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Inactive Forums => My Life With Master Playtest => Topic started by: Blake Hutchins on October 18, 2002, 03:23:02 PM

Title: Playtesting tonight
Post by: Blake Hutchins on October 18, 2002, 03:23:02 PM
Hey all,

Finally getting something up and running tonight.  It's a bit rushed, and none of the players has ever experienced anything like MLWM before.  Only one of them has any experience with non-d20/DnD games.  We'll see how it goes.  I created the Master and the general setting in order to save time.  Players will (as a group) create their Minions and then we'll sally forth and see what happens.

Here's the Master I'm planning to use:

Herr Doktor Emil von Lichter
The third son of an Austrian bootmaker, Von Lichter has always been a supreme manipulator.  Brilliant and charismatic, he won a scholarship to the University in Vienna, but was eventually expelled for crackpot hypnotic and pharmaceutical experiments with certain neurotic patients lodged in the Walzenheim Psychiatric Asylum.  After marrying a patient who was an heiress, he opened the Von Lichter Asylum to Graustadt in the Alps to pursue research on nightmares, hypnosis, and psychonautical alchemy.  No one knows what became of Frau Von Lichter.

He uses the townspeople and patients as raw material for experiments to produce Noctis, the distilled elixir of nightmares.  His minions help cause nightmarish terrors in the townís children, kidnap townsfolk for Emil to hypnotize and implant with ugly nightmares, and use a variety of specialized instruments to distill Noctis from townsfolk, destined for use in Von Lichter more complex efforts in psychonautical alchemy.

Von Lichter hates boots and will not wear them.  He also looks down on any who wear boots as uncouth brutes.

Von Lichter is a Teacher Brain type of Master.  He delights in lecturing his minions, and he hopes through his manipulation of the townsfolk to have them build a new hospital there.  He and his minions live in the Asylum just outside Graustadt.

Just to do the exercise and provide some NPC color, I also created an NPC minion.  The more/less ARE damn tough to do.  I think this will be an interesting experiment.  Anyway, here she is.

Fraulein Anna Stahl (NPC Minion)
Fraulein Stahl is a middle-aged woman with her black hair pulled back into a severe bun.  She dresses in a gray frock with long sleeves and sensible black shoes.  Her face has a terrible scar.  She seems to be devoid of any emotion or affect, save when she receives affection from the Master.  A former patient ravaged by nightmares, she can only shield herself with rigid emotional retreat from the world.  The Master uses and abuses her as his sexual plaything and she desires his love and companionship above all else, but suspects he uses her only as an object to release his animal lusts and placate his flesh in order to permit him to concentrate on his important academic ventures.  Her responsibility is to keep the keys and to log the comings and goings of all who deal with the Asylum.

Self-loathing 1
Weariness 2
Issue: Loneliness

Less Than:
1)  Fraulein Stahlís face is permanently frozen in a stern expression; she cannot display any emotion unless she feels physical pain, at which time she displays a luminous, sensual beauty and her face becomes animated.
2)  Fraulein Stahl is nearly deaf, except at night, when she can hear anything about herself or the Master that is spoken in shadows.

More Than:
1)  Fraulein Stahl has a hideously strong grip unless someone is making eye contact with her.

1)  She admires the strength of Andre, the mail carrier, who rides his bicycle up the hill to make his deliveries to the Asylum every day.  It is possible, were she out of the Masterís toxic influence, that she could fall in love with this man.
2)  The autistic patient Mouse is a young girl who somehow reminds Fraulein Stahl of her own childhood.

I'll post the results of Actual Play as soon as I'm able.  Thoughts or reactions on this stuff are, of course, welcome.



Title: Playtesting tonight
Post by: Blake Hutchins on October 19, 2002, 11:28:50 PM
Just a quick note to say we finished the game tonight, having played Friday and Saturday evenings.

Wow.  It went breathtakingly well.  I'm still sorting out my impressions before posting a recap, but Paul, this is good shit you have here, creepy as all hell, atmospheric, and utterly engrossing.

Hat's off to you.



P.S.  Paul, given this is all occurring in a playtest context, would you rather I post the description of the game here or would you like it to appear in Actual Play?

Title: Playtesting tonight
Post by: Paul Czege on October 20, 2002, 09:06:48 PM
Hey Blake,

As you can probably imagine, I'm very keen to hear about it. Two nights in a row is just insane!

As far as where to post about playtesting, I think it should be right here. I'm not disinterested in generating some buzz for the game. Quite the contrary, in fact. And I very much appreciate the thought. But since the game isn't publicly available I'm hesitant about potentially making people at large feel as if they've been excluded from some kind of elitist game development project, which would seem to be a rather serious PR mistake. The one exception would be if Mike, Josh, Gordon, Tom, or Danielle were to post publicly about playtests they participated in at GenCon. I'd be totally cool with that.

Still, I could possibly have my opinion turned. Can you think of a way of publicly posting about your playtest that wouldn't carry a subtextual "I'm one of the have's and you're not" message?


Title: Playtesting tonight
Post by: Blake Hutchins on October 21, 2002, 09:08:51 AM
Hi Paul,

I can't think of any magic bullets on the PR front, sorry.  I'm happy to post here for now.  We can then just copy things over to Actual Play when you're ready.

On another note, one of my players - who has not registered at the Forge - wants to register and post his impressions of the game.  How would you like to handle this?  He and I work at the same place, so you can let me know, or you can e-mail him at, or I can take his comments and post them myself on this forum.  If you want direct dialogue with a player, you might consider inviting him to the playtest forum once he's registered.



Title: Playtesting tonight
Post by: Paul Czege on October 21, 2002, 09:22:23 AM
Hey Blake,

On another note, one of my players - who has not registered at the Forge - wants to register and post his impressions of the game.

Absolutely. When he registers, just let me know his username or have him send me a private message and I'll add him to the usergroup for the forum.