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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [FoA] Red Prophet, Black Prophet: The Gate  (Read 3686 times)
Remi Treuer
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Posts: 67


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« on: January 31, 2006, 12:31:24 PM »

After two weeks off, Jason, Clinton and I assembled for the last session of our Face of Angels game [1] [2]. There had been a 'dead' week in between, and it took a little while to get back up to speed about where we were.

Once we were all caught up again, Clinton encouraged us to free play for a little while. There was an odd resistance on Jason and my part, and we kept going back to setting up the state of the world that we'd play the final act in, very extroverted, non-personal stuff. After a bit of back and fourth, we all agreed that it was 10 years after the end of the previous session (and the Big Kiss), that Raed and Grey were openly lovers, although Raed was still married, and that there was an 'Islamic Crescent', stretching from the Midwest of the US, through Europe, and encompassing the Middle East. South America, California, and the Pacific Rim were all banded together in opposition, with India as the sole remaining independent superpower.

Jason stated he didn't want to have more tanks and nuclear bombs, so his first Stake was that the New Caliphate take over the world peacefully, over 5 years. Clinton countered that if he failed, the Caliphate would fall apart into violently warring factions. After some back-and-forth they decided to make the seed of this an intensely personal scene for Raed, his wife asking for a divorce. The Stake was further refined that if Raed lost, his wife would divorce him, and marry a Mujaheddin who would foster war within the New Caliphate, Jason left his narration options open.

Jason easily won the conflict, and narrated Raed effectively clipping his wife's wings through intelligence gathering, never giving her the chance to foment revolution. He mentioned that he was looking forward to playing out the politics, while Clinton pointed out that it hadn't been specified whether or not Grey and Raed would be in power when the Caliphate eventually took over the world.

I set the next scene in Mecca, the home of Grey's mosque and congregation. I described that while Raed had been largely responsible for the logistical  and practical concerns of the Caliphate, Grey, since his transformation, had focused on building his sect and focusing on the religious side. Jason added that Raed saw Grey as an avuncular, somewhat harmless figurehead, babbling on about being an Angel.

Grey revealed he had, over the last 10 years, been building a Gate of Heaven, that when opened, would allow man to divest himself of his physical body and attain pure oneness with the mind of God. All it needed was a sacrifice.

The stakes were simple: If I won, Raed would sacrifice his Prophetic guise and powers to the Gate, if Jason won, it would be Grey who was stripped of his powers. I played hard to my Trump suit, using my unearthly love power to strip Jason of his remaining friends (his wife was an implacable enemy), and finally forcing him to see, in cold logic, the error of his ways, and to embrace his Angelic nature. I kicked his ass.

Unfortunately, I got played.

Jason invoked his Ace special power of Pyrrhic victory'. We both got our victory conditions and lost our powers. Clinton wanted the Gate to open no matter what, and thus we were stripped of our powers, our friends died around us, and we were sucked into the Gate.

The next scene took place in a trackless waste. Jason wanted Raed to kill Grey, and I wanted Grey to lead Raed to an oasis, find the Gate there, and ascend. After a quick contest, Grey managed to avoid being brained by a rock, and lead Raed to the oasis. The game ended with Raed's wife taking over the Caliphate and leading it to worldwide empire. The Gate continued to appear in random cities in the Caliphate, with large populations simply disappearing in its wake.

The ending was so bizarre that I think everyone was a little shocked by the otherwordliness of it, considering how much 'real stuff' we had incorporated in earlier sessions. I was pretty satisfied by the wrap up, even though it encompassed maybe 45 minutes of play (there were only the 3 conflicts I outlined here).

The session was followed by a long discussion of Face of Angels and its development, but I don't feel confident enough in my recollection to say what our suggestions and ideas were.

Questions?

Additions from Clinton and Jason?
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2006, 02:29:01 PM »

Good summary, Remi.  A coupla notes:

--That was the only time I ever used my Ace power.  It was intensely satisfying.

--I was stunned that we wrapped it up in such a cursory way.  It seemed to somehow short-change the game, even though it was thematically perfect and a really nice conclusion.  I guess I just wanted to hang onto those characters a little longer and see where they would go.  Clinton mentioned that act 4 is always short, so there you go.

--Post-game discussion illuminated the slackness of act 3, which we agreed could be juiced up by mechnaically enforcing some sort of reversal or horrible decision on the players.  It really needs four acts and act 3 is fixable.

--J
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Remi Treuer
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Posts: 67


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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2006, 10:00:25 AM »

--That was the only time I ever used my Ace power.  It was intensely satisfying.

You attempted to do it again in the Desert, but bet only 2 tricks instead of the three. With more practice, I think that power would have really effected the storyline.

Hmmmm, maybe one of the requirements to get out of Act I is for everyone to have used their Face powers, just to make sure everyone's aware of the mechanic?

--I was stunned that we wrapped it up in such a cursory way.  It seemed to somehow short-change the game, even though it was thematically perfect and a really nice conclusion.  I guess I just wanted to hang onto those characters a little longer and see where they would go.  Clinton mentioned that act 4 is always short, so there you go.

Yeah, I know what you're saying. I wish I had come up with better stakes for the Gate of Heaven that would have led to a little more game time. I'm not sure Act 4 should always be short, it might depend on the game. Like you said, it needs more testing.

Just as a thought-experiment: can you think of a way to extend the action that wouldn't have just been repeating ourselves? I've had a couple days to, and I'm still pretty satisfied with the conclusion of the game.
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Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 11:27:35 AM »

I would have liked to see the characters go full circle and end up essentially where they were on graduation night.  I was really hoping for some intense interpersonal drama in Act 4 - that's why I tried to wipe away the world conquest stuff out of the gate. 

As for my second attempt to use the ace, I'm glad I messed that up because it would have ended the game just as quickly, but maybe more lamely.
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Lisa Provost
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Posts: 52

aka urbanpagan


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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2006, 12:49:51 PM »

Sounds like an awesome game guys!  So tell me... did you feel that Act 4 was short just because "it always is" or because you just played it that way?  Or was it something else?

Were you stymied in some way?  See the reason I ask is because Eric, Clinton and I have to get together and finish our game of FoA pretty soon and I was wondering if that was something I should try to work around or if it's just something I should expect. 
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Jason Morningstar
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Posts: 1428


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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2006, 01:23:07 PM »

I think it'll take more playtesting before there's a solid answer to that.  But since the stakes can be unlimited, I think it will, in general, be a truncated act.
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