Author Topic: A fun first session!  (Read 7765 times)


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Re: A fun first session!
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2011, 08:02:35 AM »

I'm glad you guys made some Turn On and Shut Down rolls... In the playtest I ran, people really avoided those opportunities for some reason.

Which moves did each character start with? How many experience points did they each mark? How much Harm was suffered?

Did anyone become their Darkest Self?

In the game I ran, with 5 players, we had 3 Darkest Selves and one temporarily dead Ghoul... Though that was exceptional as there was lots of Harm slung around.

Steve Hickey

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Re: A fun first session!
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 10:04:22 AM »
Vincent the Mortal started with 'True Love', 'Downward Spiral' and 'Sympathy is my Weapon'. Originally, Jenni wanted to choose 'Excuses are my armor' instead of 'Sympathy', but decided not to because at that point we thought this'd be a one shot. However, 'Excuses' would have been an XP generating machine, given the number of times Vincent ignored blatant problems.

Jenni marked down 4 XP during the approximately 2.5 hour session (she has Hot and Volatile highlighted), and she has 2 Harm marked (but I can only remember Vincent getting 1 point of Harm, from the smashed mirror) [EDITED TO ADD: Oh, of course - Jenni just mentioned the 1 Harm from staring into the Abyss]. It looks like Vincent has either 1 or no Strings on Alba the Witch, and that's it.

An aside about the Mortal playbook:
I was thinking about a few aspects of this today; these are just me brain-dumping some things about Experience and Advancement that might be particular to the Mortal playbook:

+ you can take a Moves from another playbook – if it makes sense for a mortal to have it

+ you can switch to another playbook – if that makes sense

+ given that quite a few of the moves in other playbooks are supernatural, it'd make sense to have lots and lots of Mortal moves to choose from - ones that are really interesting and create fascinating situations for the Mortal and the people they interact with.


Alba the Witch started off with 'Transgressive Magic', 'Sympathetic Tokens' and 'Hex Caster'. She chose Binding, Ring of Lies, and Illusions.

Alba earned 2 XP, which seems low, actually. She had Volatile and Dark highlighted. She took no Harm during the session (although there was a point where I was tempted to have Simon the Dead Boy throw her across the park in order to get some alone time with Vincent). She has 1 String on Vincent.

Seed the Fay took 'Faery Contract', 'The Wild Hunt' (which was much used in the process of 'Turning Someone On' - I think being sexy was very important to Ellen's conception of Seed), and 'Beyond the Veil' (we didn't use any of this move's extra options yet).

Seed earned 2 XP, and it would have been way more if someone had highlighted her Hot (she has Cool and Steady highlighted). She received no Harm, and got Strings on everyone. 2 on Vincent, 3 on Alba, 1 on Lez (the hottest boy in class) ... oh, and then Nicky got 1 on her.

No-one's Darkest Self was triggered. I started the game saying that I intended to make that happen, but events were way too interesting and it never felt like the right time to make that MC move (and no-one failed their Gaze into the Abyss roll, although I was on the edge of myself each time they did it).

Shut Down was like our go-to move in this game. So many times it was obvious that a PC didn't want to talk about their feelings or share some information or was freezing another person out. It probably made up about 1/3rd of the moves that were made.

Lash Out has not been used at all. Yet.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 10:20:46 AM by Steve Hickey »

Steve Hickey

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Re: A fun first session!
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2011, 08:58:32 PM »
There was some other stuff that came up during the session that I thought was worth noting:

It's difficult to keep track of the 'Shut Someone Down' options
Because all the options in the 'Shut Down' move are phrased as negatives ("You don't leave yourself vulnerable", for instance), I found it hard to keep track of what was true and what wasn't after a player (usually Jenni) had selected stuff. I had to listen to her describe which options she'd eliminated, then figure out which options were left, and then reverse those and turn them into scenes or elements of the fiction. This applies to the 'Run Away from something' move too, but for some reason I didn't have as much of a problem with that.

I wonder if it's more useful to phrase these options positively, like on a 10+, choose one. on a 7-9, choose two: they lose a string against you; you leave yourself vulnerable; you have to keep it together next time you seen them; you look like a total asshole.

I'm not sure that it is, but I'm trying to figure out a way to make it easier to interpret the results. By comparison, I found the 'Lash Out' move really easy to interpret.

Oh, and when 'Shut Someone Down', are all the unselected options true? That's how I played it.

Communicating the genre: Blanket the world in darkness
I would have appreciated even more advice about describing a world blanketed in darkness. Not just the examples you've given, but your understanding of the principles behind those examples.

There are limited options for 'Try to keep it together'
Jenni had to make a lot of these rolls, and at one point she said that she'd used all the options a few times already and that none of them really made sense for the situation Vincent was in at the moment (being hugged by overly intimate parents who were trying to get Vincent to trust them). I think we decided on 'you freeze up', but I thought her reaction was worth noting.

'Vulnerable' did not come into play at all.

Only PCs can turn PCs on
I noticed this when I had an NPC have a seductive conversation with Alba the Witch. Perhaps this will be a custom move in the Fire I'm about to build.

NPCs gaining Strings on PCs
Nils mentioned that this was an MC move. I didn't see it in the list of MCs moves, but there were times when I would have chose it. Perhaps it's implicitly part of 'Inflict Harm as established'? If so, that'd need to be clearer.

Helping others
There doesn't appear to be any way to help someone else. Is this intentional? If it is, it might be worth pointing out your reasons for it.

An idea for the  'Run Away from something' move
You could add an option: "You'll have to face them again soon". I know that's implicit in the premise of the whole game, but this particular option gives the moment when they meet again some urgency in the fiction.


I think those are all of my initial thoughts on the game, Joe. It's good; we're keen to do a second session. Let me know if there's anything in this stuff that you want me or the other players to unpack a bit.