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Independent Game Forums => Incarnadine Press => Topic started by: steven807 on May 11, 2008, 11:07:37 PM

Title: [WGP] First session
Post by: steven807 on May 11, 2008, 11:07:37 PM
3 of us just gave WGP a whirl.  One long session (almost 7 hours, made longer by the fact that we weren't expecting to play it, so no one knew the rules well), including a couple hours of character creation.  Fun stuff.  A few notes:

I was the GM.  I had trouble coming up with the Plan.  It seems like a good Plan should be suggested by the Struggle, and touch on each hero's Strife aspect.  I could do that, but finding an actual goal for the villain to achieve was tricky (in fact, I still don't quite have that part).

On the other hand, this game really doesn't require much prep.  I didn't have a rogue's gallery, but I was able to create a villain in 5 minutes.  And during play I changed one of the villain's aspects because of good suggestions from the players.

In all that time, we only had one conflict, and I yielded, so we haven't even started the Story Arc.  Heh.  I'm hoping things will move faster next time.

We had a little trouble coming up with stakes for the Enrichment scenes.  It was hard to identify stakes that focused on an aspect without changing them.  We managed, but we'd appreciate advice on that element.

In the single conflict, I yielded earlier than necessary, partly due to time, and partly because storywise, it seemed like a good idea.  (And partly because I was getting low on cards.)  But I wonder whether my job at this stage is to push the players hard, whether I should avoid yielding so early.

The players realized quickly that there was a mechanical advantage in losing Enrichment scene stakes.  I'm guessing that's fine -- it adds drama.

OK, enough meta-commentary, here's the story:
The Struggle:
Punishment vs. Forgiveness
Our heroes:
   Hellion, AKA Caleb Mackenzie, a man with the power to summon demons.  He comes from a long line of wizards.  When he was a teenager, his father, seeking more power, made a demonic pact, one that cursed not just the father, but his family and all his descendants.  His mother is dead, his sister is missing, and he fears his father. Caleb now has an inhuman form, but can take on human aspect.  He fears his demonic side; to keep it at bay, he uses his power to oppose evil.  He normally partners with a federal agent, an older man named Jim Dugan.

   Moebius, AKA Charles Stafford, a math professor who can warp reality by merely conceiving of mathematical formulas. His wife, Julia, was injured when he first discovered his power, a trauma that still wracks him with guilt. Ever since, he has tried to learn to control his powers so he could protect the weak.  He is most concerned for his invalid wife, who supports him emotionally but is very fragile physically.
The story so far:
   Scene 1: Phoenix, AZ.  A modest hotel room.  Jim Dugan is shaking Caleb, trying to wake him up.  When Caleb tries to ignore him, Jim eventually spills him off the bed, telling him to be professional.  Just then, Caleb's demon friend Zebulon comes through the bathroom door -- they have been partying all night.  Jim tells Caleb to grow up -- they have a job to do. [Enrichment: Relationship with Jim; Stakes: Jim's respect]

   Scene 2: Midvale, IN. Charles is teaching a class when an alert is issued about an approaching tornado.  Hearing that it is heading in the direction of the house, he immediately drives home.  Fearing for Julia, he conceives a formula that deflects the tornado.  But overcome by worry, and by his effort, he crashes the car.  He makes it home to find Julia safe, but she is more concerned about him. [Enrichment: Power & Relationship with Julia; Stakes: confidence with power]

   Scene 3: Azorel, a fallen angel, is in his chamber, watching an image of the tornado.  He curses the mortal who has interfered with his plan.  He turns to a young woman, Nina, the magician who caused the tornado, and chastises her for failing.  Nina, psychologically beaten, grovels and apologizes.  When he declares that "no one is innocent", she agrees, falling even more under his dominion. [Enrichment: Fallen Angel; Stakes: Nina's mental state]

   Scene 4: We see Nina as a teenager, with her younger brother.  The young man is Caleb, and we realize that Nina is Hellion's missing sister.  Caleb is bringing Nina down to their father's laboratory, telling her that he thinks their father is involved in forbidden rituals.  She stands up for their father, but when they get to the lab, she moves a rug, and finds that under it there are unnatural quantities of blood, and knows that Caleb was right.  We switch back to current time; Caleb is driving a car, Jim asleep next to him, and thinking back to his childhood.  He recalls the subsequent revelation of the evil pact his father made, and his own transformation.  He thinks "and worse was yet to come...". [Enrichment: Origin; Stakes: which side Nina chooses]

   Scene 5: Charles is again in the classroom, when the room glows, and Azorel is standing next to him on the dais.  The students are motionless, possibly entranced.  Azorel says he has come to stop Charles' interference in his plans to cleanse sin from the world, and he summons a light to bind Charles. But Charles, or rather Moebius, weaves some formulas and directs the light at Azorel.  Azorel dismisses the light, and causes black hands to reach up to grab Moebius.  Moebius avoids the hands, and instead challenges Azorel's philosophy that "no one is innocent".  They cease using their powers, instead engaging in a debate, with Azorel asserting that Charles' merely mortal view was too limited to recognize the inherent sin in every human.  But Charles confidently speaks of the wisdom, goodness, and innocence of much of humanity.  He speaks eloquently enough to disrupt Azorel's certainty.  Azorel ends up respecting Moebius, at least enough to tell him his own history -- he was an angel who had come to recognize the deceipt enveloping the world, the belief in innocence that even held sway with his kin.  We realize that although he is powerful, intelligent, and beautiful, he is completely insane. [Conflict, Stakes: Moebius goes w/ Azorel vs. Azorel reveals his background; Suffering: Moebius' power +2; Consequence: Azorel's "no one is innocent" now Risked]

   Scene 6: Caleb and Jim are on a case in the northwest, examining a corpse, when its eyes open; Zeb has possessed it in order to give Caleb some information.  There is an extraordinary power in Midvale, Indiana, that has all the local demons terrified and clearing out.  Zeb tells Caleb not to go, but this is exactly the kind of place he needs to investigate. To get there quickly, he uses his power to summon a demon, which takes over the rental car, transforming it into a black, intimidating sports car.  Jim enters it hesitantly. They travel at supernatural speeds, but as they approach Midvale, the demon-car tries to rebel against its compulsion.  Hellion overcomes its resistance, but he reflects that he has never had a demon react that way before. [Enrichment: Hellion's power; Stakes: demon opposition]

   Scene 7: Azorel has returned to his chamber, and appears to be in contemplation.  He is suddenly surprised by something, a moment of awareness.  He summons an image of Hellion's demon-car approaching Midvale.  He stares thoughtfully at the image.  As he does so, Nina comes in.  When she sees the image, she starts, recognizing her long-lost brother Caleb.  She tries to suppress the reaction, but Azorel notices.  He smiles to himself, thinking "this should be interesting". [Enrichment: Relationship with Nina; Stakes: revelation of Nina's relationship with Hellion]

   Scene 8: Charles is driving home from the university, shaken and discomfited by his encounter with Azorel.   He remembers the first time he had felt this way -- the day his power first manifested. Years ago, he was spending a quiet evening at home with his wife, when drug addicts broke into their house. In that moment of stress, he unconsciously began to weave formulas that stopped the intruders.  But his lack of control also caused the house to collapse, permanently crippling Julia.  As he finishes driving home, he is assailed by doubts -- the level of power he would need to use to oppose Azorel is terribly dangerous to himself and those he loves.  As he pulls up to his house, we see Hellion's demon-car approaching Midvale. [Enrichment: Moebius' origin; Stakes: Fear for Julia]

Title: Re: [WGP] First session
Post by: steven807 on May 11, 2008, 11:16:09 PM
Oh, one additional note.  When two magic-users fight, it seems weird to have tactics like Punching, Grappling, etc.  So we decided to ignore the "Using A Power", and assume they were always using their powers, to cause the other effects (magic attack, magic grapple, etc.)  We decided that after the sole conflict, so we don't know yet how it will play out.