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Author Topic: Regarding blood, iron, and rotting dead elk  (Read 4083 times)
Solamasa
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« on: July 13, 2005, 05:49:18 AM »

(Solamasa's wife here)

Several weeks ago we played a game of Otherkind that wound up spanning two sessions. These are the notes from the first session.

(Yes yes, they're too long. I can't shut up. Whatever.)

It was a weird party. There was Oakblack, an orc drummer with a talent for drumming, who searched for the numinous hunting gear of his Clan. Gullywhisper, a beautiful troll who danced like the wind, who sought the numinous falls of her tribe. Fernclough, a troll of Gullywhisper’s tribe whose talent for carving knew no equal, who had made it his quest to search out the few remaining numinous animals. And then there was Foxglove, the irritatingly jovial elf who had no concern for the remaining numina and was just looking to reunite with his moonlit lover after a sojourn in Elsewhere.

They had been traveling through the woods when they first encountered the cervideth – a monstrous spectral elk in a permanent state of decay. From the cervideth, they learned of the presence of several groups of humans in the forest – one of which had actually made a permanent encampment at the numinous falls of Gullywhisper’s tribe. And the cervideth himself was bound to protect the humans at the falls, and was unable to drive off any of the humans.

Curious, Oakblack did some scouting and managed to find the other human camp that the cervideth had spoken of, and listened to the conversations of the humans as they were gathered around their fires. From that, he learned that they were here in the forest because a group of humans who they called the Wayfarers were somehow responsible for drying up their wells in their village of Blue Merry Heath. And from their descriptions, it seemed likely that the Wayfarers were the group of humans whom they would find camped at the falls.

It seemed apparent that getting rid of the Wayfarers would kill two birds with one stone. So the two trolls and the orc sat down to make plans, not noticing that Foxglove – who tired easily of serious discussions – had wandered off into the woods a short way and vanished into the mist.


The mist had grown thicker around Foxglove as he had wandered off, and before he knew it he found himself in a very different forest – one much more reminiscent of the forests in Elsewhere. Curious, he wandered for a while until he happened to encounter two humans running out of the mists. Their eyes were wild and frantic, and their beards had grown long and bushy – as if they had been trapped in the woods for several months.

Seeing that each of them was carrying a menacing iron pitchfork, Foxglove attempted to hide behind a tree, but by then it was too late. Both of the humans howled at him for trapping him in this foul place. One of them ran forward, stabbing Foxglove with his pitchfork. But even as Foxglove yelled in pain, the trees behind the two humans began to move, their roots taking the shape of elk antlers, and the two humans were impaled by the root-antlers, their blood spraying all over Foxglove.

Then, the mist cleared as abruptly and Foxglove found himself back in the normal human woods once more – albeit covered in blood. Naturally, Foxglove intended to wash it off, but in looking for a stream got distracted by something else entirely.


Fernclough had the brilliant idea of stealing Wayfarers’ children in order to frighten them into leaving. Furthermore, he suggested that they make wooden children to replace the ones that they stole – in order to cow the humans that much further. With that decided, they all sat down to make wooden children, not regretting Foxglove’s absence since his presence would have been a distraction anyway.

Fernclough’s children were, of course, eerily lifelike. As for the children that she herself made, they were far less graceful, but serviceable. Oakblack’s children were nothing more than a log, a painted rock, and a few twigs. It took a while, eventually they had produced enough of the wooden children for their purposes. (Oh, and apologies to Aaron. I lost the drawing! I shall scan it when I find it. *commits sepukku*)

Foxglove chose that moment to return and, unable to tolerate the elf’s presence for long, Oakblack stomped off to scout out the Wayfarers’ camp. He returned even more furious than before, and while Gullywhisper had expected his report that they were polluting the falls with iron, she did not expect his report that they also had been preying upon the numinous animals of the forest.

It was decided among the four of them that Oakblack and Gullywhisper would put the humans to sleep while Foxglove used his peculiar talents to get the children to follow him. Once the children were gone, and the humans asleep, they would place the wooden children next to the parents and then wait to see what happened when the adults awoke.


The Wayfarers enjoyed dancing, so Gullywhisper shifted her form to look like one of the Wayfarers as she danced into the camp. Oakblack followed along behind her, heavily shrouded in a dark cloak that hid his features, accompanying her on his huge, booming drum.

Gullywhisper’s dancing was mesmerizing as she danced around the campfire; Oakblack’s drumming was equally impressive as it rolled through the camp like thunder and caused flashes of lightning overhead. The humans resisted but Gullywhisper continued to dance as the adults fell sleeping one by one – the single adults falling first, and then the mothers, and the chief of the Clan last of all – aided by Oakblack’s radiant drumming.


That was Foxglove’s cue, and he danced merrily into the camp singing a song about adventure and a trip to the faerie lands. Using his talent at stirring infectious joy in the hearts of others in order to win the children’s trust was surprisingly easy, and they happily followed him out of the camp.

As he danced around the camp, he peered surreptitiously at the sleeping faces of all of the adults, looking for the face of his moonlit lover, Giselle – for he recognized the people of the camp as being of Giselle’s clan. He didn’t find her, but he did find the elder of the clan whom he was sure could tell him what had happened to Giselle. So Foxglove paused just long enough to sling the old woman over his shoulder as he led the children out of the camp into the forest.


Gullywhisper and Oakblack placed the wooden children around the camp, with Gullywhisper even placing some of the effigies under the arms of some of the mothers. That should have been the end of it, but Fernclough surprised them by charging off into the forest on the other side of the camp, pursuing two humans who had made their way far enough from the camp that they had not been been put to sleep. The two humans held a huge numinous boar captive in chains, and were about to slaughter it. Taking the form of a hawk, Fernclough dove at the humans and managed to distract them long enough for the boar to get away – though the humans chased fruitlessly along behind it.

At last, Gullywhisper and Fernclough turned the numinous falls of their tribe into a Gateway, making it part of Elsewhere and preserving it from human influence.


When they had reunited with Foxglove, they only then noticed that he’d stolen the old woman as well. Foxglove managed to learn from her that Giselle had gone off to marry her fiancé – a blacksmith! – and now lived at the human fort deep in the heart of the forest. She also explained to the others what that they had been sacrificing the numinous animals, at her direction, to bind the cervideth to protect them and that they had been polluting the falls on purpose because of the protection the falls afforded them. Oakblack eventually took the old woman back, but only because she would be needed to organize the departure of the Wayfarers.

Originally, the Otherkind had planned on returning the children once the Wayfarer’s left, but after hearing what corrupt people the humans were they decided to simply take the children to Elsewhere and be done with it, since they’d be better off there anyway. So Foxglove led all the children to the Gateway and they went on through. (Oakblack: It’s a door to faerie land. Now GET OUT OF HERE!)

In the morning, Gullywhisper stayed to watch and saw the Wayfarers burn the wooden children in a huge pile.
With most of their problems dealt with, the Otherkind were perfectly happy to leave the Wayfarers be. But tender-hearted Fernclough argued that the Wayfarers had suffered enough and would need protections from the other humans as well as the cervideth – who was now free.

In the end, Fernclough alone followed along behind the Wayfarers as they left the forest. And of course, it wasn’t long before the cervideth appeared to take revenge. But this time he brought with him an entire army of ghost elk.

It was with the help of Fernclough’s totem spirit, a small garter snake, that he negotiated a compromise between the cervideth and the Wayfarers. He would turn over the old woman to the dead elk, and in return they would spare the other Wayfarers. Seemingly unafraid, the old woman walked into the midst of the cervideth legion, which melted away into the mist and took the old woman with them.


The other three arrived at the other human settlement and saw the farmers arguing with soldiers armored completely in iron. (These soldiers also carried two of the hunting items of Oakblack’s clan.) The farmers wanted to go home now that the river was rising.

Surprisingly, it was Foxglove who approached the soldiers, wanting to resolve things without bloodshed. So he danced into the settlement and offered to lead the soldiers to the falls to prove that the Wayfarers were in fact gone, and with that promise the soldiers let the farmers leave.

As Foxglove led them through the forest. Oakblack and Gullywhisper followed through the treetops. After arriving at the falls, and proving to the soldiers that the Wayfarers had indeed gone, Foxglove would have been content to let the soldiers leave. But Oakblack wasn’t about to let them go while they still possessed the numina of his Clan, and he lept from the trees to demand the return of the items. The soldiers refused, and Oakblack grew even more furious. Surprising even Gullywhisper and Foxglove, he gutted the human called Dwayne in the flash of an eye, then licked the blood from his spear.

Desperate to intervene, Gullywhisper plummeted from the treetops to land between the other human, Ruic, and Oakblack in an attempt to warn the human. But having just seen his companion die, Ruic impaled her before she could say a word, and Oakblack cut off the hand on which he wore the numinous hunting glove. Ruic fled into the forest, clutching his stump, and was unpursued.


To be continued by the real Solamasa
-Anna
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 05:22:51 AM »

Tell more! Tell more!

How was playing? Was it fun? Awkward? Who had to work hard to make it go? The dice worked out, or didn't?

-Vincent
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 07:07:25 AM »

I'm with Vincent, but will be more specific.

'Cause I really don't care "what happened" to the characters in the game. What I'm interested in is how it went for you, the real people. How many rolls were involved? How heavily was the narration die prioritized? And similar.

Best,
Ron
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Solamasa
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2005, 12:21:55 PM »

Alright, let's see what I can do.  I haven't Anna's patience in recreating the character events, as interesting and harrowing a tale as it may be, but I will try to  summarize the second session at the end of this, for the sake of completeness.  I'm more interested, however, in trying to get across how things went for us.  (Unfortunately, I tend to ramble.  I pray for your forbearance.)

I GMed the game.  This is notable only insofar as I do so exceedingly rarely, and it's the first game I've GMed in a long time where my task as a GM wasn't spelled out for me (InSpectres, Dogs and Donjon comprise the list of games I've GMed in recorded history). 

Well, my role was spelled out insofar as I needed to set the characters on a grand treasure hunt, but the hows and whyfors of making things interesting were a bit murky.  (Naturally, I attribute this exclusion more to textual incompleteness than anything else, and I came to the table with the expectation that any game labelled "gestating" might have unpolished corners.  That said, I was still nervous.)

I asked the players during character creation to spell out exactly why they were lurking around iron-corrupted lands when Elsewhere is so very much more appealing.  We went back and forth for quite a while on these specifics, and in the end Foxglove's reason was the only one with real teeth.  (To expand on Anna's summary:  Foxglove and Giselle -- his Moonlit human lover -- lived in splendid bliss.  Foxglove had to return to Elsewhere, however, but promised he would return to his lover's side within a week.  Being an Elf, and consequently more than a little mercurial, he forgot his promise and was surprised that, upon his return six months later, Giselle's nomadic tribe had long since departed.  Nick credited Peter Pan for the genesis of that wonderful turn.) 

So in character creation, the question I tried to get across was "what do you care about", but answers were more along the lines of "what am I looking for", which doesn't quite have the same punch.  Nick answered the first question, and so had an easy time of figuring out where to go with Foxglove because he was so focussed on "rescuing" Giselle (and on being a complete airhead, which was great fun to watch).

The quality of character-specific material I was able to prepare was directly proportional to the oomph of what a player had come up for their character.  Textual guidelines on the subject would therefore be exceedingly helpful, were Otherkind ever developed further.

Last note about character creation:  Dwarves just aren't cool!  That might possibly just be us, though. :)

Now, on to Vincent and Ron's questions.

The game was tightly packed, as evinced by the length and depth of Anna's summary (and the length of mine, were I to give it the justice it deserved.)  I demanded "Now what?" a few times, when it seemed interesting events were giving way to superfluity, but for the most part we all kept things moving at a fairly brisk pace.  The text certainly didn't introduce any bottlenecks. 

For my part, I had a grand time watching the players of these misfits in action, and in flinging increasingly iron-drenched NPCs and ever more peculiar events at them.

With the number of conflicts we had, Radiance burned out pretty quickly.  The Otherkind only rescued two Numina, and one was at the end of the game, so didn't get a chance to refresh their Radiance much.  By the second session, even low Iron conflicts were making life difficult for the characters.

The dice were great!  They made things agonizing at all the right moments.  I should note that during play it seemed to me that Motion was the most-favoured high die position:  rarely would a low die end up there.  Obviously, the players wanted their characters to succeed come Hell or high water!  Other than that, though, low results found their way into all the positions.  In specific, Oakblack's fateful murder of the soldier, Duane, was the result of this:  Aaron had only one low die to allocate, but chose very specifically to put it in Life.

Over the course of the two sessions, despite quite a few conflicts, only two characters lost a Connection to Life.

In glancing over my summary of the second session, I think there were around a dozen specific conflicts for our two and a half hour session.  I ended up narrating a minority of those:  the players had very clear ideas of what they wanted to happen with a given roll, and so didn't often surrender narration.  I think the general feeling was, "why would I want someone else narrating when I set up this cool dice allocation?"  This was even more acute when low dice were involved.  We all contributed bits, however, even from players whose characters weren't present.  The narrator had final say on things, though.

The most troublesome moment came from a conflict where Foxglove and Oakblack had directly competing goals.  Foxglove wanted to hide Giselle, with whom he had been reunited and, in a very cool conflict, had convinced to give up her mortal blacksmith husband.  Oakblack wanted to find Giselle and return her to her husband in exchange for the Numinous items the humans were holding.  There was palpable player tension there, and it wasn't clear from the text how we should handle this.  So I went with order-of-narration, but not before I stuck the blacksmith, Guddick, right into the thick of things: he didn't trust an Otherkind to find his wife, and so had gone looking himself, and being heavy in Iron nicely skewed the rolls of the virtually Radianceless characters. 

These narrations, then, ended up being about Guddick's interference in things and actually lead into the final conflict roll of the game. 

Like our group's other lumpley game, Dogs, the end of our Otherkind game was blood soaked and tragic. 

All in all, we had a great time!

And here's a summary of the second session, and the events leading up to the blood-drenched finale:

- Started with the Otherkind electing to rescue Giselle.  Conflict to (a) find the encampment, then (b) get there via a portal to Elsewhere.

- The encampment is in the deep wilderness, an outpost constructed by humans attempting to "push back the night".  They've failed spectacularly:  the forest, old enough and distant enough to evoke the power of "Elsewhen" is reclaiming lost ground.

- It's being helped along, though, by Shadowsting, Oakblack's sister, an Orc who has lost her Connection to Life, and Corpse-Maw, (a horrible moss-covered beast with dangling human corpses for teeth -- introduced by Aaron, so I ran with it and made it a Troll with no Connection to Life, only able to move because of Shadowsting's mutilating magic). 

- Shadowsting is killing humans and feeding them to Corpse-Maw.  The resultant dark power is transforming the forest and shrouding it in an endless night.

- But the Otherkind don't see that yet:  they see humans, desperately hacking down trees despite it being night time.  Conflict to dissuade the humans.  Otherkind succeed, and capture one human, Lovim.

- Lovim fills them in on some of the details of what's going on.  Specifically, he notes Giselle is happily married to the blacksmith, Guddick, and has a three year-old child (time is a little twisted here).

- A conflict by Oakblack to capture Lovim when he attempts to escape:  this is where Aaron introduces the Corpse-Maw, and I use that to introduce Shadowsting.

- In a conflict, the Otherkind face the captain of the fort, Odhrán, and his guardsmen, and convince them to leave this place.  Oakblack notices some more of the Numinous Orcish hunting gear among the humans.

- Foxglove finds his beloved Giselle.  She doesn't really recognize him.  Her Moonlight is all but gone.

- Oakblack, accompanied by Giselle, scouts ahead to find a portal to Elsewhere.  Shadowsting chooses this moment to return, and in a brief scuffle manages to capture Giselle and take her away for Corpse-Maw. 

- Oakblack and Foxglove give chase, managing to catch Shadowsting in a darkened cave (outside sleeps the sated Corpse-Maw, but Giselle hasn't been fed to it yet!)

- A conflict in which  Foxglove takes Giselle away, and Oakblack battles his sister, finally pushing her from a precipice.  He knows full well the consequences:  Shadowsting lies broken at the foot of the cliff, fated to remain forever crippled, as because of her broken Connection to Life she is unable to return to Elsewhere to heal.

- In a touching conflict, Foxglove convinces Giselle to remember him, and what they shared together.  They enjoy rapturous reunion.

- Meanwhile, Corpse-Maw appears and attacks the rest of the encampment.  Gullywhisper takes to battle: they are two Trolls, battling viciously, shapeshifting from moment to moment.  Gullywhisper eventually mauls the Corpse-Maw, and breaks the magic that protects it:  it limps off into the woods to become a mossy boulder somewhere, and the bodies of the dead it has consumed litter the ground.  Gullywhisper, though, is dashed into a tree, her bones crushed beyond her ability as a shapeshifter to hold them together.

- Oakblack returns from killing Shadowsting, tends to Gullywhisper, and extracts a promise from Guddick that he'll give Oakblack his boar-pike (which is part of the Numinous Orcish hunting gear) if Oakblack brings Giselle back.

- The aforementioned PC versus PC conflict:  Oakblack wants to capture Giselle, Foxglove wants to hide her.  Naturally, this means Guddick has followed, and interferes.  Gullywhisper trails behind.  The final events of the session take place in two conflicts:

1.  Foxglove is skewered by the boar-pike.  Oakblack is injured, too, and drops his own spear, but backhands Guddick.

2.  In order of Narration:  Gullywhisper arrives, and struggles with the boar-pike, belts Guddick in the face.  He punches her, and she stumbles back and slams into a tree:  her bones, not properly mended in the first place, shatter again.

- Oakblack struggles with Guddick, gets speared himself.

- Finally, Foxglove, enraged, pummels Guddick to death.  And Giselle comes up behind Foxglove, dashing him over the head with a rock.  He flails, hitting her and sending her stumbling.

- Oakblack pulls himself up, goes to help the screaming Gullywhisper.

- Foxglove gets to his feet and turns -- and sees Giselle, whispering his name, looking up at him, then down at Oakblack's discarded spear, sticking through her chest:  when Foxglove hit her, she stumbled and fell on the spear.  Giselle's eyes go blank.

EPILOGUE

Much celebration in Elsewhere.

1. Feasting and partying at Gullywhisper's Cervus Falls (capped by the birth of a new troll);

2. Oakblack is honoured as a hero by the Orcish matriarch, and he erases the name of Shadowsting from the clan records;

3. Foxglove returns to a grand celebration, but instead of staying he gives his clan a sheaf of parchment, bearing the tragic epic that befell him, and heads out into the night.

When it comes to endings, we're such a cheery lot!
-- Kit
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FruitSmack!
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2005, 08:59:30 PM »

Hi Vincent and Ron!

I was the jerk that played Oakblack.  Just a few observations:

1.)  The only thing that was slightly awkward was when two players wanted to act in opposition to each other.  I don't really have a better solution so I can't give one, however for a quick patch Kit was having the narration go off of the die put into Narration going from the highest to lowest.  Then we just kind of played it by ear with the "winner" taking in the narrations that the other players had (weighting them by decending Narration number).

2.)  We actually had a lot of rolls.  Because of the dividing up of the dice, it was pretty simple to figure out and call for challenges.  Personally, I like games where only important conflicts are tested.  The mechanic for Otherkind definatly sets out what is worth testing for and what isn't.  Mostly because, IMO, if you can't really think of how each one of the 4 allocations would fit into the roll then a roll isn't really needed.

3.)  At first when we were going through the rules and character creation, there was talk about how Narration could be the throw away slot, but as Kit said it really wasn't.  Even if I got 3 sixes and a one, I still would be hard-pressed about putting the 1 in Narration simply because the GM isn't going to nessiarily do what you want to happen in the story.  Narration was hands down the most powerful of the 4 "slots" you could put your dice into.  I mean, even if the opposite happend and you had 3 ones and a six, putting the six into narration can potentially save your ass (or at least allow some damage control for your character and their story).

4.)  Dwarves, indeed apparently suck (in fairness, no one played one ;)).

5.)  This might just be us, but the mechanics made for some fantasticly "cinamatic" sceans.  I don't know if there is any relationship between the two or just a happy coincidence, but every time the dice hit the table there was someone getting speared, some sort of unspeakable horror trampling out of a dark place, or a magical effect going off with special FX that would put ILM to shame.

All in all it was a very enjoyable experiance.  Even in it's unpolished state, I think Otherkind has potential.  It's not there 100%, but it's very good.  And me, being someone that has a love/hate relationship with settings in game, dug the slim bit of psudo-celtic inspired bits that were there (if I misread the psudo-celticy thing, sorry, that's just what popped into my mind when I was reading Otherkind).

aaron

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lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2005, 07:37:28 AM »

5.)  This might just be us, but the mechanics made for some fantasticly "cinamatic" sceans.  I don't know if there is any relationship between the two or just a happy coincidence, but every time the dice hit the table there was someone getting speared, some sort of unspeakable horror trampling out of a dark place, or a magical effect going off with special FX that would put ILM to shame.

That's great to hear! My experience with that's been pretty mixed, but it sounds like you got what I hoped for. I'd like to ask just the right question so that you'll tell how you did it, but I can't come up with it.

How about this: if you don't mind, take one of your favorites and tell us the setup, the roll, how you assigned the dice, and the narration?

Kit, Anna, you too?

And, uh, what's this about Dwarves?

Every time I think I can be happy leaving this game undeveloped ... I'm not, really.

-Vincent
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Solamasa
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2005, 11:45:43 AM »

It certainly felt the way the dice are rolled in Otherkind pushed us in that direction.  There's all this data encoded in one simple roll.  (Side note:  to me, the idea of all that encoded data is very appealing in and of itself.) You only get one roll for a conflict.  So you feel like you have to find a good way to take all that encoded data and parse it, and use it for all it's worth, or you're wasting your time and everybody else's.  The roll does put pressure on you, because unlike other games, you only get that one to do your thing.

Quote
How about this: if you don't mind, take one of your favorites and tell us the setup, the roll, how you assigned the dice, and the narration?

I'll try Shadowsting's downfall.   Anna, Aaron, Nick, vet me on the details, please!

The setup:  Foxglove and Oakblack had chased her to a series of rocky hills.  In a separate conflict, Foxglove grabbed his love, Giselle, and ran for it.  Oakblack faced down his sister, Shadowsting, an Orc with no Connection to Life, corrupted by hate and death.  She was so far gone she had taken to wearing rusted implements of iron.

The roll:  Standard four, plus a die for Oakblack's ability of "Predacious" (in hindsight, hey, that's pretty much the same as an Orc's Connection to Life ability.  How did we not notice that?), and an extra die from me for the woven armour he had made earlier.

The assignment:  I don't recall all the dice, though I know his "Predacious" went into the assignment, but not the armour.  I'm pretty sure he assigned the roll as:  Narration:  4, Motion:  5, Life:  1, Safety: 5.

I hit him with an Iron of 2, bringing his Safety to 3.  At that point, he had no Radiance to counter with.

The narration:  We'd already likened Orcs on the hunt to Wuxia or ninja anime rooftop chase scenes.  We have these two vicious Orc hunters, sprinting through caves, along rocky, pine-forested cliff edges, and from tree limb to tree limb, one leaping after the other, their forms almost a blur.  They end up standing on a precipice, overlooking the dark moonlit forest below, circling each other, backs and knees bent.  They exchange a flurry of blows:  Oakblack with his spear whipping back and forth, Shadowsting lunging and slashing with her rusted iron sword.  A few lines are quipped back and forth -- kind of "join me, brother", "never, you monster" type melodrama -- but it's obvious both are obdurate.  Shadowsting raises her sword for a massive two hand swipe, slashes Oakblack across the chest, leaving herself wide open.  And Oakblack pauses for one long moment, framed by moonlight, and charges, slamming her with his shoulder and sending her careening over the cliff edge.

This of course was totally edge-of-the-seats stuff, and we're all wound up from it.  Then I said something like, "Sweet! Oh, oh!  I bet I know what that means!" and popped the conjecture that zero Connection to Life means no returning to Elsewhere, and Otherkind can't die, so he's leaving her there, broken and crippled for the rest of her years, and everyone gave immediate, really emotionally charged responses, and Aaron assented to adding that.

And those poor Dwarves?  That's just us.  We saw these three primitive, pseudo-Celtic, nature-focussed, woad-painted, antlered, spear-toting spirit beings, and then we saw Dwarves, all about creature comforts and other civilized qualities, and it just didn't jive with us.

More random notes: 

How would Otherkind be maintained over longer play?  There are no clues from character creation to focus the GM on what the players care about (hence why I asked my players to come up with those things, per the wise suggestions of earlier Actual Play threads), and it seems like it would be a tad contrived to say, okay, you took care of this treasure hunt you care about, what's the next treasure hunt you care about?

- Kit
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Solamasa
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2005, 12:42:58 PM »

This has no bearing on your questions, but I found the drawing that Aaron did of his log child. If you're interested, it's here: http://browserbeware.com/dump/log-child.jpg - just because it's so incredibly fantastic.

About dwarves, I think I should mention that I've never liked dwarves in *any* setting. Tolkien dwarves almost made it to likability for me, but in the end I just don't like them. So when I say that I just didn't think dwarves were as cool, take that with a grain of salt.

Favorite roll! The situation went a little something like this...

Oakblack and Foxglove had both run off, leaving just Gullywhisper to try and protect the humans from Corpse Maw - who of course showed up to try and devour the rest of the humans. Gullywhisper decided to fight this troll-on-troll battle the proper way - through shape shifting - but that meant she didn't have any dice to roll besides her main four and her Connection to Life.

The roll: I actually rolled okay on this roll. I got two 6's, a five, a 3, and a 2. I allocated my two sixes to narration and movement - because I was going to be damned if I didn't win this epic battle, and I was also not about to let Kit have the fun of narrating all this shape-shifty goodness. The five went to life, and the three went to safety. Whereupon Kit immediately reduced my safety to one because of all of the iron that the humans Gullywhisper was protecting had on them. And with one radience, there wasn't really a damn thing I could do about it.

What wound up happening: Gullywhisper shifted into a monstrous man-wolf to fight Corpse Maw, and there was tons of shapeshifting on both sides as Corpse Maw changed its limbs into various weapons and Gullywhisper stretched and twisted in unnatural ways to defend herself. Finally, she wound up striking one last blow at Corpse Maw, who ran off into the forest to become a nice boulder. But at that point, the only thing really keeping her together had been her shapeshifting ability and pure will. With Corpse Maw defeated, all of Gullywhisper's bones shattered at once and she collapsed, screaming like a banshee.

I liked this conflict mostly because of the coolness of having such a titanic battle of trolls, but also because it illustrates the difference in choices that Gullywhisper made from Oakblack and Foxglove. All of us wound up in similar situations where we *needed* to be successful and were left to choose between our safety and our connection to life. Oakblack and Foxglove chose to sacrifice their connection to life, while Gullywhisper chose to sacrifice her own safety. But in the end, she fared almost as badly as the other two - just because of the number of devestating injuries and permenant scars that she suffered.

And as a side note, I really enjoyed exploring the whole idea of Otherkind "ethics". We did some downright heinous stuff, like kidnapping people's children and sending them to a place where they'd never see their parents again. But because no one died, we were free and clear as far as our consciences were concerned. And hell, even other Otherkind might have argued that we were too lenient with the humans. I definitely enjoyed this angle, especially because I always try to use my characters in any game I play to explore alien points of view.

I would love to see a more finished version of Otherkind. :)

-Anna
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Solamasa
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2005, 03:42:00 AM »

(I really need my own account here. But I can never get registration to work...)

Kit told me that people here might be interested... After our Otherkind session I did a drawing of Gullywhisper, just, well, because. If people are interested you can go check it out here: http://www.browserbeware.com/dump/gullywhisper.jpg

-Anna
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ironick
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2005, 07:56:04 AM »

This is Nick, player of Foxglove.

I liked this conflict mostly because of the coolness of having such a titanic battle of trolls, but also because it illustrates the difference in choices that Gullywhisper made from Oakblack and Foxglove. All of us wound up in similar situations where we *needed* to be successful and were left to choose between our safety and our connection to life. Oakblack and Foxglove chose to sacrifice their connection to life, while Gullywhisper chose to sacrifice her own safety. But in the end, she fared almost as badly as the other two - just because of the number of devestating injuries and permenant scars that she suffered.

Hey, be fair! ;)  I spent every single conflict up to that point maintaining my connection to life, and the only reason I didn't during the last one was a) I couldn't use any color dice from being stabbed with a frickin' boar-spear, b) I rolled 1,1,1,2 and, c) there was a 5 Iron from the blacksmith on top of all that.  Sheesh, cut me some slack!

Anyway, this was my favorite conflict as well, because I love it when things fall apart at the end.  I do have to agree with the other players that the game needs a way to moderate what happens when two or more players have opposing goals.  Also, what happens when the Iron rating would drop a die below 1?  Does it just stay at 1?  As I said in the above paragraph, I rolled three 1s and a 2 with 0 Radiance and a 5 Iron.  Kit just just kind of stared at my dice and decided to ignore the 5 Iron because the results really couldn't get any worse. 

I was sad I didn't get to narrate because I had a cool scene imagined for when Foxglove finally snapped, involving him forcing bones to grow *through* the blacksmith's flesh and poisonous muchrooms popping up wherever blood was spilled.  Boo!  It seems to me there outta be another way to gain/regain Radiance than rescuing Numina, maybe by doing something with Moonlit humans.  I think that would go a long way towards making the game less of a treasure hunt.

Nick
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