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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: Tim Alexander on November 10, 2004, 11:34:40 AM



Title: [Sorcerer] Ordinary Tragedies, session two
Post by: Tim Alexander on November 10, 2004, 11:34:40 AM
Hey All,

We ran our first real play session of the Ordinary Tragedies game last Thursday, and I'm working on the continuing prep for it this week so figured a recap to the Forge would help solidify things in my head and consolidate my notes. You can see the character break down here (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=13243). The onesheet is available there as well. The r-map (I'll get a link to it up later tonight) and my prep from the game revolve around the death of Lonny Hardin, manager and primary shareholder of the Desert Queen Casino, and the oldest sibling of the Hardin family. The patriarch of the Hardin family, Thomas, was a part of the old school Vegas foundation and in death he's ended up as an immanent object that is now in fact the Desert Queen Casino. Thomas and Lonny had an arrangement going where Lonny brought in new customers to the casino, and Thomas ensured a profit.

So obviously Lonny was a sorcerer before he died. He was also a heroin addict, and he'd made 'friends' with a stripper by the name of Sheryl Casey. Sheryl got tired of the abusive treatment from Lonny, but Lonny wasn't letting go and summoned up a nasty possessor to keep her in line. The new and imporved Sheryl got tired of Lonny faster than the first, and she got her hooks into another Sorcerer (Protege of Darlene's dad) by the name of Richard Weller. Richard has some money problems and Sheryl convinced him that killing Lonny wasn't a bad way to solve them (he's literally got a bunch of buried treasure out in the desert.) This has left a void in the power structure, with the rest of the Hardin family looking to find out who killed Lonny while trying to solidify control of the strangely profitable Desert Queen. None of them are Sorcerers, nor do they understand the relationship Lonny and Thomas had going.

In going into the first session I had a few possible bangs on my list as well as the player's kickers:

-Fix, another demon of Lonny's who was present at the murder but unkown to the possessed Sheryl, butts his way into someone's contact in the dry lands and pleads his case. He's stuck at Lonny's house, an object in the form of a set of heroin gear and he's wasting away without his need.

-Thomas Hardin, appearing in the dry lands much as he did in life, butt's his way into a contact, or appears instead of a called demon. He's looking for Lonny's killer and needs some hands in the outside world. He might also be pursuing Fix to find out what he knows.

-Jack Hardin, owner of the club that Vic works at, calls Vic into his office and let's him know that there are some important folks appearing at the next show and he hasn't been able to get hold of Vic's partner. He might have gotten a replacement for them if they can't make the cut.

-Julie (a friend of Darlene's) gets fired at work when she makes a gaff in serving some folks being catered to by Cristy Padilla (Lonny's younger sister, Padilla by marriage) and comes to find a shoulder to cry on in Darlene.

-Gordy's mom gets canned along with Julie.

-Gordy gets a message from his email mentor to check out a motel wherein he finds his mom having sex with a stranger.

-The police show up looking for Vic's partner and begin asking pointed questions about a woman Vic's never heard of.

-Nancy (Vic's partner's wife) shows up looking for the partner and has evidence of an affair.

Only a couple of these actually came to light during the session; Gordy got the email from the mentor, and Vic got called into Jack's office. The rest can mostly be carried over for next session, but the players are pretty well moving at this point so the bangs I'm working on for this session are more specifically about adding direct pressure rather then the above which were net casting in case they needed something to grab onto.

So what happened in play?

Vic was approached by Marty, the night watchman at the club. Marty followed Vic out to the desert where he buried his partner, and he wants cash; 50K. Vic tried to hedge the amount, but he's agreed to come up with something by week's end. Marty was pitched as being played by Samuel Jackson; confident, with a willing smile, but with more than a bit of an edge. After Marty left Chip and Vic ended up having a talk about what to do about the whole money thing and Vic settled on seeing if he could maybe get in with the widow who must have some sort of insurance policy on his ex-partner. I can smell the humanity checks a-comin'.

Meanwhile, Demetrious (I've decided Harry is his real name but he uses Demetrious to puff up his own ego) shows up at Darlene's trailer. Demetrious ended up being played as that sort of wantonly demeaning parent who acts like their being helpful, but with moments of lurid creepiness. Helga was played as Paris Hilton with a penchant for weird foodstuffs. Darlene was flustered, pissed at Helga when she did nothing more than paint her nails as she floundered around with dad, and ended up being left mostly where she began only with a note from dad on a way to reach him. A couple of exchanges went something like this:

"What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I was just in town, on business... I was hoping we'd get together. You're sister wanted me to get together with you..."
"Amy? You've talked to Amy?"
"Do you have any coffee?"
"Uh, instant..."
"Oh, nevermind... Amy's doing really well, she's in advertising, executive or assistant, or something. I can't keep track. How about wine?"
"Um, no, no wine."
"Ah, well, that's ok, look, maybe this is a bad time. I should go maybe, come back some other time."
"No no...."

Basically Darlene got that he's in town on business, he wants a favor from her in the form of letting a friend hide out with her, and that he's in contact with her sister. For the most part that is in fact the case, though he left out the part about the murder and how he's desperately looking for help in leveraging something on this giant demon that she's working in.

Gordy was framed as being at an after school thing that he normally ditches, a computer program that his mom signed him up for. He'd stayed that day because Sally Jane was there, and she'd pegged him as a computer geek that could help her with an assignment. So things were going along well until Billy Padilla walks in; the bully. I originally framed it with the intent that Gordy knew about the relationship, but Eric was under the impression that Gordy was just finding out. Even better I say. Billy got in Gordy's face, and eventually shoved him down (four or so successes) as Sally Jane tried to mediate unsuccessfully. Gordy tried some unsuccesful physical retaliation, but he never called in the dogs on Billy, and eventually skulked out.

So with the kicker's in play, the following other stuff went on as well:

Darlene ran into Richard and got into a catfight with the possessed Sheryl at the hotel where she thought her father had been staying. She managed to cut a hunk of Sheryl's hair out and Whore is now well aware of the fact that Darlene is a Sorceress and Helga a demon. She skulked out, but she's pissed at Richard and is harboring a grudge with Darlene. Richard ends up going out with Darlene and Helga, gets trashed and spills the beans about the murder, trying to pin it firmly on Sheryl. We left Darlene's story with her taking Rich back to the trailer to seduce him.

Eric (Gordy's player) seemed to need a little prodding during the game, so I bumped him with the email from the mentor. Gordy ends up setting the dogs on the man with his mom and it comes out that this was a paying relationship. Gordy humiliates mom, takes the john's money, and lets him out with only some minor wounds. He has the dogs set fire to the motel room. In play I completely missed a humanity check here, which was completely braindead. We'll be rolling it at the beginning of this next session. Gordy ends up pursuing some photoshopped images of the bully, and he also ends up at Vic's club, probably for the big show.

Vic paid a call on the partner's wife, who was worried but not incredibly so as an occaisional absence isn't unusual. He never broached the money but was instead just getting a lay of the land. He ends up doing his routine with Chip in lap in a really creepy/funny scene, and Chip's ju-ju gets a few laughs out of Nancy, the partner's wife. He ends up at the club where Jack tells him about the big show, threatens his job, and bitches about the partner. Once again Chip is used to break the ice and Jack gives Vic a shot at doing the show with the qualifier that he's the opener and Jack's still bringing in another performer.

Everybody had a good time, and in fact I think everyone would have been happy to play on but I called it in order to keep it from going to late and losing the momentum. For the upcoming session I'm pretty certain that mom is going to get fired from her job because the john makes some sort of a stink, and to repush the Bully issue I think Billy Padilla probably catches wind of the whole thing from his mom (Cristy) and so Gordy's going to get his name smeared at school. I've got a new performer to introduce for Vic, and I'm thinking of bringing in the affair possibility with the partner's wife but I'm not entirely clear on what that's about yet. Darlene's obviously in the thick of it, and Sheryl is at least considering the possibility of turning herself into the police and hopping into some other body to screw Richard. Richard's debt is still out as well, and the possibility of some thugs showing up looking for him is a strong possibility, and Dad may encourage summoning up something to help them get the loot from the desert as a precursor to group sorcery in order to get an angle on Thomas.

So, I'm looking for what, if anything resonates about the game with you folks? Specifically, it looks like we're going to end up with a sex heavy game and there are sex and power issues all over the place. Is this a general trend with r-map oriented design, or does that usually just provide emotional background for the players without necesarily being the focus of play? Anything sound unusual or unclear to you? Questions and comments are welcome.

Thanks,

-Tim


Title: [Sorcerer] Ordinary Tragedies, session two
Post by: Mike Holmes on November 19, 2004, 12:05:46 PM
I think that r-map play does produce this sort of thing, but not particularly because it's an r-map. That is, it's not because of the nature of the r-map per se, but rather just the fact that play that focuses on NPCs will tend to lead to stories about romance, etc.

Think of it this way. What percentage of books are about sex and romance, and this sort of thing? At least in part? The vast majority.

The fact that RPGs have not been about these things is an artifact of a previously young audience, and designs that focused on things, like, say, killing - because somehow sex is considered taboo for kids, while killing is a fine topic.

Well, now you have a more "mature" method of scenario creation, and are getting more "mature" stuff as a result. No surprise, IMO.

Oh, and there's some speculation that Sorcerer in general produces such play with fecundity. Not sure if this is true or not.

In any case, seems par for the course to me. :-)

Mike