Bite-Size AP: December 2009

edited December 2009 in Story Games
As a birthday present, my girlfriend agreed to play an RPG with me. We played In A Wicked Age, along with two other couples, mostly non-gamers. It was a short single-chapter game, but it had some good stuff, like a magician whose particular strength was turning people into owls, an owl character (who couldn't talk) trying to win back his lover, and an unctuous bishop who we first thought was a vampire, but actually just had a skin condition that made him very sensitive to sunlight.

My girlfriend mostly enjoyed the game, although she's not *dying* to play again. I enjoyed that she played "a hooded stranger", made dramatic 'whoosh' gestures to sweep the hood back from her head, and talked, yes, in-character.

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  • edited December 2009
    From our "Doom of the Gods" Microscope game, a mythic age from the creation of the World of Men to the very death of the Gods (very Ragnarok):

    The King of the Dwarves sells his people into slavery to the Gods in exchange for the gift of craftsmanship, which he then teaches all his people to cheat the gods. But of course this only serves the Gods' purposes because now they have slaves that can create fabulous weapons and tools...

    Earlier in the history, the Father of the Gods creates Man to ostensibly to turn the tide of the war against the Colossi, but another player reveals that he secretly breathed Fate into Man so they can destroy the Gods themselves. Whose side is that guy on?
  • We rocked Polaris last night.

    We we’re all in. Dim lights, music, and scented candles!

    9 scenes and only one “it shall not come to pass”. “But only if” was the star of our show.

    We found that once the mistake set the scene, the moons took over. After a few scenes, we experimented with the mistake pulling the moons aside to set the scene secretly from the heart. So the details were revealed through roleplay.

    We’re going to play again soon.
  • Posted By: jenskotwe experimented with the mistake pulling the moons aside to set the scene secretly from the heart.
    This is actually what we did once in really early Polaris playtesting on IRC, circa 2004ish. I've always been disappointed that technique never made it into the final rules of the game, because I like it better.
  • Last week, playtesting Soft Horizon, we discovered a world looks and feels just like London during the Blitz, except the fires are caused by the occasional, random, and nocturnal eruption of furious fire spirits. It has been like this for as long as anyone can remember.

    The younger ones, however, can be trained to run Engines.
  • Last night's Trail of Cthulhu game was great fun - 1932 era deep sea diving 25m down to an extra-terrene site underwater.

    Having just one PC diver, while the rest waited and theorized on the surface was great.
  • edited December 2009
    One player was missing from our post-Ragnarök valkyries game this week, so we played a pre-beta draft of Danger Patrol last night. I'm really digging all the changes so far. A great game is becoming even better.

    At one point, David's character, Dr. Madhawk (ex-Stygian mystic professor from Pluto) stabbed an enchanted silver rod into the eye-socket of the ancient giant robot head that was being revived by a cult of feral Saturnine robots. Rolling 5 Danger, this resulted in a disaster in which Dr. Madhawk's being was itself sucked into the shadowy mystery within the robot godhead, potentially imprisoning him for all time if not for the efforts of Dr. Madhawk and his companions. When the revived robot godhead was finally defeated, Dr. Madhawk reemerged, unconscious, and looming over him stood his suppressed dark Stygian evil twin, separated out from him Adam Warlock-style.

    Also, there were voidsharks. And a fleeting glimpse of the greater undead robot diety that lies in wait like Azathoth at the center of the Negaverse.
  • "This isn't the first ancient robot god head I've had to deal with, Professor!"

    - RD44, Robot Explorer
  • edited December 2009
    D&D 4E.

    The scene: the Cathedral of Bahamut in Mesa Bravo, a town that is suffering through a terrible famine. Led by a revered priestess, the town's elderly residents have sequestered themselves in the Cathedral's sanctuary. They are refusing all food, sacrificing themselves to give the young ones a better chance at life.

    Enter our Deva Avenger of Bahamut, hell-bent on reviving a thousand-year-old church that he believes to be fat and corrupt. He tells the priestess his good news -- revival is coming!

    Her reaction surprises him. "Why must you multiply my suffering a thousandfold, astral traveler?" she asks, weeping. "The Church is all we have left, and now you have come to spark a war within it?"

    The Avenger absorbs this rebuke silently. Then he goes elsewhere in the church, gathers those acolytes who will listen, and says the sermon of revival to them.

    I really dig moral clarity. In games, anyway.

    Interestingly, the Avenger's dice went very soft just then, and even with some funky deva rerolls and +1d6s, he just barely made his Religion check to say the sermon. I had previously told him he had to hit DC+5 to get the entire congregation onside, so I ruled that just half of the acolytes of the Church of Mesa Bravo have chosen to side with him against the establishment. I love oracular dice almost as much as I love moral clarity.
  • Posted By: Jonathan WaltonAlso, there were voidsharks. And a fleeting glimpse of the greater undead robot diety that lies in wait like Azathoth at the center of the Negaverse.
    YES.
  • Posted By: johnzoEnter our Deva Avenger of Bahamut, hell-bent on reviving a thousand-year-old church that he believes to be fat and corrupt.
    An an NPC, commenting on said Deva: "...an astral wander, a blasphemous monster from most mysterious space..."

    Fabulous stuff!
  • edited December 2009
    Thanks, Wil!

    I actually concentrate on not talking like I'm trying to channel Clark Ashton Smith all the time because I worry it might be tiresome. :) So it is lovely to hear that worked for you, it just kinda slipped out...
  • Bliss Stage.
    A Carefree Hedonist character who had spent most of the game alienating both of his lovers (by being an idiot) Blisses Out trying to steal a tome of Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know from an alien.
    For his Bliss Out Action, he sends his ANIMa into the waking world with that book, in exchange for his physical body.
    Resolved: using the equations in the Book of Opening Eyes, we can reverse the Bliss.
  • edited December 2009
    A Penny For My Thoughts
    We had six and the group really wanted to play Penny. (Curse you! I had a great Storming the Wizard's Tower scenario all prepped!) The first scene was unmanageable - keeping track of all the Guiding Questions was too much overhead for the Traveler. We came up with a quick hack, where instead of having everyone ask a GQ, the Traveler had to get questions from three people, two of whom hadn't been asked in the previous turn. This made everything go much faster and more easily - we finished the entire game in four hours - while keeping everyone involved.

    It was the first GMless game for half of the participants and frankly we pinned the gonzometer, as the text warns can happen the first time out. I did my best to add grim-n-gritty in the beginning, but the lure of silliness proved very strong and I just went with the flow once the mood of the table was apparent. What was cool was that certain characters wound up recurring in all of our memories, tying them together a bit in space and time. We didn't know each other, as it turned out, but at least we were all living in the same world, and we'd had a few near-misses at meeting before amnesia brought us together.
  • Lady Blackbird: More fun per square inch than any game I've played in years.

    Highlights include: A successful escape from the Hand of Sorrow, a scuttling of the engine room, dead Imperial Marines everywhere (four shot, one dead from a horrific de-arming, and six incinerated by lightning magic), Snargle turning into a big fat ball to help right a fallen ship, a scuttled clockwork automata whose vitals were hidden behind a plate reading "DO NOT OPEN - No User Serviceable Parts Inside", a love poem written on the back of ship schematics, several tense conversation shouted over the ship's wireless, some daredevil piloting, and two huge fires.

    It was like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, but not sucky.
  • Played a seven-man session of ARKHAM HORROR today.

    It was a surreal experience fora long-time RPG-er. The game is strongly reminiscent of convention-style one-shots of rules-heavy role-playing games games like D&D or (non-purist) CofC. But it's a traditional board game in the sense that thee are clearly specified winning conditions (which are achieved by the players collaboratively) and no roleplay that anyone actually engages in has any effect on states of the game.

    We had fun, and even generated a little atmosphere - the game is lovingly produced, with hundreds of teeny cardboard tokens and wonderfully written encounters. And the collaborative element was fun - after working at cross purposes for a while (my character was committed to the Asylum three separate times) we got it together enough eventually to prevent the great Cthulhu himself from invading the town of Arkham. But I have to admit that I came out of it thinking, why would anyone actually design a game like this?
  • MORDECAI (the Relic Hunter) speaks quietly so the onlookers across the room can't hear. "Better put that away, friend. If this leads to what I think it leads too, this stone may be just the beginning."
  • My Blowback character, referring to his daughter-in-law and grandson: "I don't think I should shoot her in front of him. I don't want to make the same mistakes I made with his father."

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • In our Xmas game of Mouse Guard, we rolled the dice and the weasel guards were persuaded to let us mouse captives go with mass carol singing and then not to kidnap our leader by inviting them to a massive Xmas feast.
  • Posted By: GB SteveIn our Xmas game of Mouse Guard, we rolled the dice and the weasel guards were persuaded to let us mouse captives go with mass carol singing and then not to kidnap our leader by inviting them to a massive Xmas feast.
    Sounds like your Mouse Guard has some heavy Redwall overtones.
  • It did have some heavy Red wine overtones.

    Graham
  • In this month's Camarilla LARP, the new Prince of Oklahoma City offered my utterly feckless, cowardly and self destructive vampire the position of town Harpy, largely on the strength of the fact that he speaks in an upscale Boston accent. I am not overly sanguine about this poor guy's prospects for retaining Praxis.
  • In our Dungeon Squad by Wave game, the party took a beach full of very large and violent crabs, a pile of driftwood, and a flask of oil into a mass crab-bake!
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