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[Universalis] Wuxia Post-apocalyptic Frozen Tundra Action 3

Started by CPXB, July 08, 2004, 03:40:32 AM

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Session 3

A good session, but a little short, again.  Universalis takes a lot out of a person.  We started the game by talking about it a little bit, and Lyz said that she wanted people to – when framing a scene – to give the scene's purpose or intent.  So we added another rules gimmick:

When starting a scene, the framing player states the purpose or intent of the scene.

The thinking behind that was to provide the other players an idea of where the person who framed the scene thought it should go; as well as assist the framing player come up with a concrete direction for the scene.  There is no pressure on other players to go where the framing player wants the scene to go; but the direction is there for people who want or need it.  It worked well, I think.

Anyway, the first scene was of King Rat, in his fortress.  A couple of guards dragged the wise woman Chennai and threw her down.  King Rat asked her about the prophesy, and where the people she had sent off were going.  She resisted, and the king had her taken away.  Prince Rat, entered, saying that he would take a force with him and find the people who did it, and kill them.  Exit Prince Rat.  Then Iron Arm Wu said he would follow the prince and put an end to these meddlesome heroes.  It was also revealed that the mutants who had attacked Jigen in the previous game were mutants working for King Rat.

The second scene was taking place with Prince Rat at the steel mill trying to pick up the traces of the heroes.  He had some troops with him.  Unbeknownst to him, Jian Ngan was stalking about.  So, Jian seizes Prince Rat, avoids the four guards Rat brought with him, and takes him up to the roof.  Jian interrogates Rat, learns that King Rat is holding Chennai and that King Rat is after them.  When Jian tries to get Rat to tell Jian where King Rat's fortress is, however, Prince Rat succeeds in holding out – and busts free and rejoins his men.  Jian follows and gets an "idea."  So he jumps into the middle of the mutant soldiers and scatters them like stalks of grass against the hurricane – but he only wounds Prince Rat, and gives him time to escape.  Prince Rat does.  Jian's plan was to have Rat escape so Jian could follow the mutant back to his lair.  

However, Iron Arm Wu is there and, alas, poor Iron Arm Wu gets his ass handed to him by Jian.  There was no high drama, this time, just an ass-kickin'.  Wu manages to escape.

The next scene happens in King Rat's throne room.  Prince Rat is groveling for forgiveness.  The king is contemptuous of the prince's incompetence and weakness and sends the prince away.  Then the king's advisor, Melisande, a sentient plant-woman with considerable social mutations and psychic powers, says that the king was too hasty.  Then Iron Arm Wu shows up and says that, yeah, King Rat might want to actually send forces sufficient to deal with the problem at hand – that amongst the heroes there is at least one fighter strong as an army, and he is not the only fighter.  The king considers and dismisses Wu.  Then Prince Rat returns, all steely, and asks to be given a chance to prove himself.  The king balks, but Melisande suggests that the prince try with his own men and money, rather than the king's.  The king agrees.  Then Melisande takes Prince Rat to her office where she asks the prince what he would do to succeed.  "Anything," the prince says.  With that in mind, Melisande reveals she has been developing a force outside of the king's control.  She takes Prince Rat, then, along a secret way to a hidden basement – where she reveals she has a pre-apocalpyse tank.  She gives the tank to him, with the provision when King Rat and the prince control paradise that she will be given control of the rest of the world.  The prince agrees offhandedly, his eyes full of adoration of the tank.

The new rules gimmick seemed to do what we were worried about -- providing focus and drive for scenes.  It worked particularly well for Lyz and Josh, who haven't had GMing experience and sorta need a kick in the right direction.  But it did work.
-- Chris!

Mike Holmes

Cool tweak. Note that there's nothing stopping people from discussing rationales for scenes without the Gimmick. But having it probably ensured that it got done, and made the player feel that they weren't imposing on anyone. This is the advantage of the Gimmick rule. If a change is put into place, and not challenged, then formally the players have told the person making the change request that it's OK.

Good stuff.

Do you sense that the story has an "arc" to it yet? That it has a pace that's going at some point to lead to a conclusion?

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Lyz actually brought it up at the beginning of the session and I said, "Save your coin.  We'll do it and see how we like it and then, afterwards, if we feel the urge to we can make it a gimmick."  Lyz really liked it, and all of us had favorable impressions of it, so it got made into a rules gimmick.

I'm not sure about the conclusion and pacing towards it.  Things have been revealed, certainly, and we're closer to coming up with an end point -- something about finding paradise from the White Warriors of the sea.  I might suggest that we come to an idea before sessions how far we want to go, test the waters in that way.
-- Chris!