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[TFOS] Years gone by....

Started by TonyLB, October 01, 2004, 01:10:14 AM

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I'm interested to see if there are insights that Forge-think can bring to roleplaying stories from (in this case) more than a decade ago.  I've got several stories from a Teenagers From Outer Space campaign I ran in college, and every single story has a rosy glow of deep satisfaction.  I have no idea what I did right.  If anyone has any insight on that, it would probably help me to reproduce (or even approximate) the feeling in future, which I'd dearly love to be able to do.

So, first story (from the first session).  My buddy Gordon looked over the rule book and then looked at me with a devious grin.

Gordon:  This 'Duplicator Gun' thing... what can it duplicate?
Me:  Anything physical up to a certain size... about mini-van size, I think.
Gordon:  By anything you mean....
Me:  Anything.  For fifteen minutes.  Then the duplicate vanishes.
Gordon:  So the duplicates don't stick around causing trouble?
Me:  They don't cause trouble by sticking around, no.
Gordon:  I want one.

Play proceeded rapidly.  Gordon's character (who, because I've forgotten his name will hereafter be referred to as 'Gordonzo') enraged a killer panther-alien, but escaped him.  Gordonzo was hitting on an attractive red-headed NPC when the panther-alien finally caught up with him.

Me:  Like a tsunami of fur and claws, the alien bears down on you, screaming a battle-cry.
Gordon:  I duplicate myself.
Me:  Your... self? <snicker>
Gordon:  And then the two of us split up.  Which one does he chase?
Me:  He chases you.
Gordon:  Well yes, but... the me that's still me, or the other me?
Me:  The you you're currently playing.
Gordon:  Drat!
Me:  If it makes you feel any better, you notice the red-headed girl hanging on the other you in obvious admiration for your clever ploy.

Gordonzo led the panther a merry chase, until:

Me:  He's got you backed into the alley.  There is no escape.
Gordon:  I raise my fists, prepared to die with honor.
Me:  And that is the moment that... you vanish.
Gordon:  What?
Me:  Duplicates only last fifteen minutes, remember?
Gordon:  But... but then who...
Me:  You open your eyes and the first thing you see is the red-headed girl, wearing only a bra and panties.
Gordon:  Okay... awkward.  But it could have been worse.
Me:  She pulls a shirt on.
Gordon:  On... wait... she's dressing?  As in coming from a state of nudity?  I'm not wearing any clothes, am I?
Me:  Socks are clothes, right?
Someone else:  Fifteen minutes?  That's PATHETIC!
Gordon:  It wasn't me... not exactly, anyway...
Me:  It's you now.  "Oh, Gordonzo," she sighs.
Gordon:  "Oh... uh..."
Gordon:  <Long pause>
Gordon:  <Pained look>
Gordon:  Did I learn her name before the duplication, and I've just forgotten it?  Please?
Me:  I don't recall mentioning it.
Gordon:  Do I remember anything from the fifteen minutes that...
Me:  Gordonzo remembers what we played.
Gordon:  I don't suppose she's going to introduce herself?
Me:  She seems to think she already did.

And thus began Gordon's often painful but always rewarding exodus through a blossoming romance.  Literally every other player in the game knew the girl's name.  They all conspired gleefully to keep Gordon in the dark.

Other player:  We're going to the movies, do you and...
Gordon:  <Eager lean forward>
Other player: ... your girlfriend want to come along?

Gordon rose to the tactical challenge gamely.  He fashioned a list of distractions, some radio controlled, some arranged with confederates, some just fiendishly clever, to pull out any time she seemed about to notice that he had never spoken her name.  

Me:  "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?" she says.
Gordon:  I click the signalling device.  "Of course, how thoughtless of me.  Ari, this is... My GOD!  Someone is about to jump off of that nearby high tower!  Only my hoverboarding skills can save them now!  I'll be right back!  Talk amongst yourselves...."

He dragged her around the social circle, trying desperately to get her to introduce herself to a third party.  All in vain.  He did confide in me, however, that he had an ultimate plan.  And I could not fault its sheer brilliance.

Gordon:  I'm going to a jewelry store, and I'm getting a diamond engagement ring.
Me:  Whoa.
Gordon:  Just in case.  My other distractions will eventually run out.
Other player:  But... but... don't you think it will be WORSE to be married to someone whose name you don't know?
Gordon:  No, no!  That's the thing!  I'll walk down the aisle, and a priest will say, "Do you, Gordonzo, take this woman..." AND THEN HE'LL TELL ME HER GOD-DAMNED NAME!
Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum

Bill Cook

LOL. You guys had just too much fun:)

Ben Lehman

I have some similar stories about Teenagers.  I'll write them up for this thread at some point.

I would like to suggest that the reason you had good play is that the text of Teenagers does a hell of a lot to lay out the techniques of the "wacky high school comedy" style, does it well, and encourages everyone to participate together in doing so.  While the system isn't all that it could be, the supporting game text is impressively coherent and well-written, supporting strong group play in a single CA.

*which* CA has been the matter of some dispute :-)



Classic.  Absolutely classic.  I am SO sending out this link.
"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker