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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [TSOY] The very first session  (Read 882 times)
Andrew Cooper
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« on: July 01, 2006, 08:55:04 AM »

Last night, I got together with 3 friends and played The Shadow of Yesterday for the first time.  Overall things went very well and there were a few questions that I figured I might get answered by posting here.  Plus, I get to say that Clinton is like super sexy for writing such a cool game.  Yer the bomb, Clinton!

The Players
  • Me - I've never played TSOY but have done Capes, The Pool, FATE and had demo sessions of a couple more Indie games, so the concepts surrounding the games are not alien to me.  I'm the Story Guide.
  • Fred - One of my normal D&D players.  However, he really liked Capes when I introduced it to the group so I figured TSOY wouldn't be a big deal to him.
  • Seth - Also one of my D&D players.  He wasn't as thrilled with Capes.  Not sure why.  He has the habit of coming up with really off the wall characters... more on that later.
  • Ryan - A new friend I met through Clinton's Find Play website.  He frequents the Forge and owns several Indie games.  Not sure which ones he's actually played.

Goals for the Session

When we sat down to play, (We were all seated on the couches and chairs in my livingroom, if it interests anyone.)  I explained that this first session was meant to be a one shot scenario to give the system a go and see how we liked it.  Thus, they shouldn't feel any concern when making their characters that they didn't understand exactly how things worked.  If they didn't make the most efficient of effective character it wouldn't have any bearing beyond this one session.  I then handed out sheets on how to make a character.  I got these from the TSOY Wiki, which is a great resource.  I also read the Race descriptions from the book, since I was the only one with a book.  I hope to remedy that soon.

At this point I asked if anyone wanted to play a non-human.  Seth raised his hand (as I expected) and wanted to play a Ratkin (as I expected).  In the 18 months or so I've played with Seth, he's never made a human character.  He's never played anything that would be called "normal" at all.  The closest he's ever gotten is an Elven Druid in D&D (which is pretty standard) but then he made it an Ooze Master, which is waaaaaay not standard.  I'm not sure why he does this.  He's not disruptive or a difficult player.  He just likes really weird concepts.  The other two players stuck with human characters.

Given the Ratkin, I described the following situation and location.  The scenario starts in Maldor near the lands of Baron Khoros (I think I stole that name from Ron) in an ancient ruined city infested with Ratkin.  Two of Baron Khoros's agents were returning to his lands bearing an ivory and platinum scroll case that was very important to the Baron.  They were beset by agents from a rival noble and fled into the ancient ruins.  There was a fight.  One of the foreign agents is dead.  One of the Baron's agents was wounded and fled to the Baron with the news.  The Ratkin somehow got the scrollcase in the midst of the fight and they now possess it.  I then told them to make characters that fit within that situation tightly.

  • Fred decided on the step-daughter of the Baron.  She hates him as she thinks he killed her mother.  She doesn't want him to get the scrollcase simply because he wants it.  She overheard the wounded guard return and raced to the ruins to beat any reinforcements her step-father might send.
  • Ryan made the Baron's agent that remained in the ruins.  He wants to return to the Baron successful in his mission.
  • Seth made a Ratkin of the city.  His littermate, Pegapep, currently has the scrollcase.  He wants to defend his littermate and his right to the object.  Unless of course Pegapep drops the case, then it is fair game.  Possession being 10/10th of the law to Ratkin.

We played through a couple of short opening scenes where Candra (Fred's character) found the site of the battle with the enemy agents and followed her father's agent (The Agent from now on.  I forget the character's name.) into the city.  The Agent followed Varaat (Seth's Ratkin) and Pegapep to their lair where he confronted them and demanded the scrollcase back.  Pegapep refused and Varaat sided with him.  There was a simple Conflict here.  The Agent attempted to snatch the scrollcase.  Varaat attempted to hinder him while his littermate got away.  Varaat wins and Pegapep darts out the back door.

The Agent pursues and initiates another Conflict to dive and trip the fleeing Ratkin.  He succeeds and both he and Pegapep fall to the ground.  Of course, attacking a Ratkin in a Ratkin infested city does bring down a lot of furry pain on a character.  Rats and Ratkin start converging on the area.  Candra arrives at the scene and initiates a Conflict.  She attempts to sneak up on The Agent and stab him with a dagger, using Secret of the Sudden Knife.  She succeeds and does Harm 4 and 6.

Ryan is having none of this and Brings Down the Pain (just like I hoped).  Intents are declared.  The Agent wants to get incapacitate or run Candra off.  Candra wants to incapacitate The Agent.  Varaat wants to distract the Agent enough that Pegapep gets away.  Long story short... The Agent ends up Incapacitated.  Candra is left in the middle of a bunch of Ratkin.  Pegapep gets away.

We ended the session there because of time constraints and because we succeeded in doing what I wanted with the session.  We played through several Conflicts and at least 1 BDTP.  All in all, everyone enjoyed themselves and we are going to play again next Friday.  We'll probably start a mini-campaign.  A scenario that takes 3 or 4 sessions to complete.  That way we can get the rules down solid.

Questions

In the Secret of the Sudden Knife, it doesn't say which Ability it applies to.  I used Stealth since the important thing seemed to be Candra sneaking up on the Agent.  Also, I need clarification on how much harm the victim takes.  It seems to me that there is the potential for taking 2 separate Harms at values of 4 and 6.  The 4 Harm is inflicted if the initial Ability roll.  The 6 Harm is inflicted if the subsequent Resist Check is failed by the victim.  Am I reading this correctly?

In BDTP, the Agent was taking Reason Harm from the Ratkin and Vigor Harm from Candra.  If he has the 2 Harm box checked off with Reason and then Candra inflicts a level 2 Vigor Harm on him, does the Vigor Harm bump to level 3 or are the types of Harm completely separate tracks?

Once again, thanks for a great game, Clinton!  We had a great time and it wasn't even a session that we were terribly invested in.  We were just learning the rules and it was still fun.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2006, 09:31:53 AM »

Keys!  Keys!  What were their Keys?  When did they hit them, and how hard?
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2006, 09:50:46 AM »

I knew I was forgetting something!  Thanks Tony.

Nealin (the Agent) : Key of the Mission, Key of the Fool-Hardy Hero, Key of Doom
Candra                   : Key of Bloodlust, Key of Vengeance
Varaat                    : Key of the Litter, Key of Fraternity, Key of the Guardian

Seth really grokked the Keys better than anyone else.  He knew that since Pegapep started with the McGuffin that he could really rack up some XP by having him as a littermate and the object of both his other Keys.  Hell, just about every Conflict he was in he was raising his hand and saying, "I hit all three of my Keys!"  It was also interesting to note that he spent those XP he had after the session even though we weren't going to play these characters again.  He just likes doing that kind of thing.

The other two picked good Keys that worked together (and against each other) pretty well.  They just didn't always remember to take XP at the beginning.  As the session progressed and Seth kept hitting his Keys, the others started remembering.  I didn't prompt them too much.  I figured I'd let them get into the habit.

No one bought any advances during the session or mid-Conflict.  I told them they could but no one did.  That may change as we play more.

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Doyce
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 02:47:20 PM »

In BDTP, the Agent was taking Reason Harm from the Ratkin and Vigor Harm from Candra.  If he has the 2 Harm box checked off with Reason and then Candra inflicts a level 2 Vigor Harm on him, does the Vigor Harm bump to level 3 or are the types of Harm completely separate tracks?

Andrew,

Sounds like fun intro game -- I'm planning on doing something similiar using John Harper's "Freebooters" one-shot in the very near future. 

Only thing I can contribute past that observation is that Harm is all one track, and tracking what 'kind' of harm it is really only important for things like Bloodied results, where it matters in terms the penalty you're pulling down.

Doyce
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Doyce Testerman ~ http://random.average-bear.com
Someone gets into trouble, then get get out of it again; people love that story -- they never get tired of it.
colin roald
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 04:11:08 PM »

In the Secret of the Sudden Knife, it doesn't say which Ability it applies to.  I used Stealth since the important thing seemed to be Candra sneaking up on the Agent.  Also, I need clarification on how much harm the victim takes.

Sudden Knife says, "In a surprise attack, the victim automatically takes harm level 4 (bloodied) if your character successfully hits."  Myself, I'd interpret that as specifying an *attack* roll, so I'd use the weapon skill.  The way I think it works is you test Stealth against Sense Danger to see if the victim is surprised.  If so, then you get an unopposed weapon check (unopposed because of the surprise), to which you can apply Sudden Knife.  But I'm not certain of that -- see the thread I just started, Ability Check Stakes and Harm outside of Combat.

Also, I think Sudden Knife deliberately doesn't specify what *kind* of attack, so as to allow you to use it on say a Law or Seduction check.  You just have to be able to justify it as a "surprise attack".
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colin roald

i cannot, yet i must.  how do you calculate that?  at what point on the graph do `must' and `cannot' meet?  yet i must, but i cannot.
-- Ro-Man, the introspective gorilla-suited destroyer of worlds
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