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Author Topic: My Life With Master (first time running)  (Read 3022 times)

Posts: 34

« on: July 24, 2006, 05:47:15 PM »

So I bought My Life With Master the other day and was itching to run it. I got a humourous group of players together. We played it for laughs - it was a very zany session and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Here's a description of the game (and I realise i'm a bit long winded about it all):

It was a dark and stormy night. We are panning through the dark, lightning filled clouds, descending into the hilly countryside. We see the sign for the village, Little Lower Borogravia and rush past it. The village folk are locking themselves inside as it begins to rain. Window shutters are pulled closed, doors are bolted and barred from within.

We come across the old crumbling manor, a chill wind creeps through the walls and pervades the building.

Inside what was once the grand ballroom we now find the master’s laboratory. The strange Doctor V shuffles about the room, pouring beaker into bubbling beaker. Hawg, his misshapen hunchbacked assistant passes further chemicals to add to the mix. The doctor puts a beaker of chemicals into a cauldron of an oily green liquid.
“I’ll show them, I’ll show those cretins. They will never again ridicule me for my theories on HyperEvolution.”
“Hawg, lower the cage.” He cries.
The hunchback moves the chain, the pulley system lowers a cage, inside of which is a cat and a rat, separated by a grill.
“And now, they shall become one!” the doctor cries gleefully.
In the highest room of the manor sits Matthew. He plays the organ that dwarfs the room and which causes the floorboards to creak, threatening to plummet through the floor.
Outside, Gregor shambles out of the stables, a flash of lightning illuminating his grim and decaying features. He turns to go inside the manor.
Interrupting the experiment is Anna, who wears a French maid’s outfit with nine inch stilettos. She carries a tray of tea.
“Master,” She says in a high pitched voice. “Tea is served.”
The doctor forgets his experiment and quickly consumes the tea. The grandfather clock some rooms over strikes eight o’clock.
“Ahh, it must be dinner time. Sound the dinner gong.”
Hawg bangs the large metal gong in the corner. It reverberates throughout the manor.
We next find the master and his minions seated around the enormously large dinner table. The doctor sits by himself at one end, the minions at the other.
“My creations, the Manimals grow unruly. We are running out of food for them. We need new supplies. I cannot have them behaving in such a fashion when my guests are due to arrive tomorrow. This very night, you must leave the estate and not return until you have brought back food for my precious precious creations.”
“Is that understood?” another flash of lightning as the master stands up.

The black coach bursts through the gates of the Villy Vonka chocolate factory and pulls up short near the great doors. Stepping out of a smaller door in the great doors is a dwarf, carrying a torch.
“You can’t come in here at this time of night. Mr Vonka doesn’t like visitors. Begone at once!” he cries. He starts to wave his torch in front of the horses and yelling.
Hawg tries to slip away unnoticed into the shadows of the building. Anna distracts the dwarf by slipping off the coach and into his arms. She had changed into a white silk gown…and it had been raining on the way over. The dwarf is so astonished by the pretty young thing in his arms, that Hawg manages to get away safely.
Gregor on the other hand cannot control the horses. In their panic, they flee out the gates. Matthew manages to put his mask on in time (which allows him to basically be a swashbuckling like hero) and leaps to the safety of the walls. Gregor chases the coach, but the horses run into a ditch, everything falling into a great big heap. Gregor realises the horses may have broken legs.
“Perhaps these shall be what the creations shall feast upon.” He says. He disconnects them from the coach and starts to haul the bodies back to the manor.
Hawg sneaks through an unlocked window and creeps through the factory. In the main production area, he runs into…..another hunchback! His name is Igor and Hawg tries to communicate to him (Hawg can only communicate to the Master and the Minions). It is a heartfelt moment as the two hunchbacks communicate through grunts and groans just how lonely their life is. Igor decides not to turn in Hawg to Mr Vonka and lets him take a basket of the chocolates with him.
Anna uses soft words on Clepto the dwarf and persuades him to allow her access to the most delicious chocolates of the factory. There, she stole the Chocolate De Milo, Mr Vonka’s prized piece of confectionary!
Matthew, fleeing the factory, finds his way to the large vegetable patch at the edge of the village, owned by Farmer Maggott. Unfortuneately, the farmer was very protective of his prized pumpkin and was alert to the fact there was an intrude in his vegetable patch. Matthew had managed to acquire one large sack of vegetables and fled as soon as he saw Maggott coming after him with a metal rake.

Gregor returns to the manor and begins preparing the horses whose whinnying shrieks out across the night sky. He kills them and then begins to hack up their bodies so that the Manimals might feast that night. Doctor V comes out to find Gregor. The Doctor sees that while Gregor has succeeded in part, he has failed him miserably by killing the horses he needs for his coach.
“Tomorrow, the special guests shall arrive. Whatever will they think of me if they are not brought by coach.” He cries. Gregor says that he will fetch more horses. He returns to the village by foot and goes to the stables. It is raining hard and the thunder is loud. Some of the stable horses have kicked their way free from their stalls. A woman is there, trying to calm them down. Gregor’s strong arms reach out and grab their reigns. The woman, Silvania looks down at the arms. They remind her of her husbands arms, who died recently. Gregor says the she should return to her children and he assures her he will take care of the horses. Silvania thanks him and returns inside to the warmth of the fire and her two children. After Gregor calms the horses down, he watches her through the window. He contemplates stealing the horses for his master, but he cannot bring himself to do it. He flees, returning to the manor.

Hawg finds himself near the Inn in the village. He can hear the innkeepers daughter’s voice coming from within. He knows which room is hers. Hawg climbs up to the second story and opens her window. There, he sees her folding her clothing and placing it in a set of drawers. Quietly, he places a box of chocolates on her window sill. She does not hear him as he departs.
“Oh, my secret admirer has left another gift for me.” Hawg hears her say as he steals into the night.

Matthew makes his way across the moors, along a path that would lead him to the woodcutters hut near the forest. He hears soft and lovely singing across the moors. Soon, he sees her, a pretty young thing. She sits on a moss covered log, singing and brushing her hair. Matthew sings out to her. She is surprised, but returns the song. This continues for some time until she gets off her log to see who it is out on the moor. Matthew leaves before she can do so and returns to the manor.

Anna makes her way through the village. There is no one on the streets. Looking in through a window, she spots a poor family, a mother and two children shivering against the cold cold night. Feeling sorry for them, she takes firewood from a nearby house with plenty and lights a fire near by. Only the young child spots her, and while stills scared, thanks her. The child wakes his mother so that they might warm themselves by the fire and survive the night.

The minions find themselves back at the manor. The master is impatient and awaiting results. But it seems his minions have succeeded. They each have food that he can give to the Manimals. He orders them to feed his creations. The creatures growl, roar and twitter from the grated pit. Food is lowered down and a frenzied feast is had.

Doctor V tells his minions that his special guests will arrive tomorrow evening. He wants the house clean and presentable for them. There will be a special unveiling of his latest project to show them. They will all meet again for breakfast in the morning and the doctor will have further tasks for them. Anna fetches the doctor’s slippers and he heads off to bed.

The next day at breakfast another gathering occurs. The master gives out his orders for the day.

To make himself look proper, he needs a wife and family. He orders Hawg to kidnap a woman and her family. Her name is Silvania.

This morning when he awoke, the doctor saw a hunchbacked figure leaving through the window. He realised that Villy Vonka has sent a spy! He asks Matthew to go after the spy and do what needs to be done to get the stolen information back. Out of earshot of the master, Hawg pleads with Matthew not to hurt his new friend. He says that Igor is the only one that has every understood the life he has.

He orders Gregor to see the Mayor. When the guests arrive, the master wants all the children playing in the streets and with happy smiles. He wants the village to be decorated and make the guests feel welcomed.

Because it is Tuesday, Anna must also go to the Mayor’s house, where he cleans his house. The master also wants something beautiful to sing at dinner time when the guests have arrived. He orders Anna to kidnap the woodcutter’s daughter. He will mix her genetic material with that of a nightingale!

Matthew runs immediately to warn Anya, the woodcutter’s daughter. He overcome’s his master compulsion to go after Igor the hunchback, at least immediately. He finds her near the cottage, but knows her father is nearby. He sings a warning to her to leave. Anna shows up and says that she will swap clothing and identities with her so that she might flee.

Gregor goes to see the Mayor. He convinces the Mayor that the master will unleash the Manimals upon the village unless all the adults go into the woods. The children shall be the only ones remaining and they shall be happy and cheerful for the rest of the days. The Mayor caves in. Gregor helps to coordinate the evacuation of the adults. Anna shows up to perform her house cleaning duties and helped to convince the Mayor of Gregor’s intent.

In the village, the adults are leaving. The innkeeper’s daughter, Isobella is organising many of the children to come to the inn to keep their cheer up. Hawg is spying on her. Eventually he approaches her and attempts to communicate his love for her. She is surprised, but realises that he is her prince, the mysterious man who has left gifts for her. She is very busy and returns to her work with the children. Hawg, feeling uplifted then realises he has work to do for the master. He wrestles with his conscience – if he wants Isobella to like him, he must not do evil things his master bids him to do. He overcomes his fear of the master and lopes towards the manor to prepare for the nights events. His master will pay!

That night.

The guests are brought through the village by coach (stolen from Villy Vonka’s factory). They arrive at the manor.

Doctor V is in the grand hall speaking to the guests about his accomplishments. There is a curtain behind which Doctor V says is his most important invention. The village folk have come out of the woods and are on their way to the Master’s manor. They will overcome their fear of the master and return to their children this very night.

Doctor V unveils his creation: The Spanglet – it is half rabbit, half spinach. But, instead, lying behind the curtain is a duck. The scientists laugh at Doctor V and walk out of the room. Hawg reveals that it was he who replaced the Spaglet with a duck. He says the Master must never threaten his love and he leaps at Doctor V. A struggle ensues that leaves the master dead. He has been choked to death by Hawg.

The village folk storm into the manor. Chemicals and glasswork have been smashed in the laboratory. Flame is spreading everywhere!

The Manimals escape their imprisonment, released by Matthew.

Gregor catches fire in the conflagration that is consuming the manor. He managed to stumble out and through himself into the well outside.

Anna flees the manor. Clepto is waiting with horse and carriage outside. They disappear into the distance together.

Matthew runs to the woodcutters cottage to sing to Anya of his tragic life and profess his love for her.

Hawg climbs to the top of the manor, screaming. He is a distraught that he killed his master, but he knew it was the right thing to do.


and now I'm thinking of running this at a Con....such simplicity and fun!

Scott V.
Melbourne, Australia
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 10:20:09 PM »

I like this part:

Interrupting the experiment is Anna, who wears a French maid’s outfit with nine inch stilettos. She carries a tray of tea.
“Master,” She says in a high pitched voice. “Tea is served.”
The doctor forgets his experiment and quickly consumes the tea.

As who would not!

Having enjoyed this game many times, I know how you feel. Here's my question - what were the real interactions among the real people like? For instance ...

How did they use the system and do stuff that was fun for everyone? Did any of the Minions seem a little left out? Who suggested the duck? The player who ran Hawg, or someone else? Was the relatively parodic material, like Villy Vonka, introduced by one person in particular, and if so, was that you?

Best, Ron

Posts: 34

« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 03:52:36 PM »

As who would not!

Having enjoyed this game many times, I know how you feel. Here's my question - what were the real interactions among the real people like? For instance ...

How did they use the system and do stuff that was fun for everyone? Did any of the Minions seem a little left out? Who suggested the duck? The player who ran Hawg, or someone else? Was the relatively parodic material, like Villy Vonka, introduced by one person in particular, and if so, was that you?

Best, Ron

Everyone was really into the spirit of the game. We had settled in for a night of silly gaming. They had great characters they wanted to play up and mess with the genre. We were a little pressed for time, seeing as I was running this over 3 hours, but they knew when to speed things up a bit and push the game towards it's conclusion.

Being the first time I'd run the game and the first time everyone had played it, I don't think we utilised the system as perfectly as we could have. There were bits I'd forget, or the players would forget. The kinds of things you'd learn from playing more than just once. All the Minions got a fair share of the action. Each had their own turn, and each wanted to contribute a little to the other player's scenes.

The duck was purely the player of Hawg's idea. It was his Endgame and he wanted it to go off with big bang and a laugh. The player is very quick to come up with stuff.

The parodic material was from the input of all. When it was first suggested as a joke, I wasn't going to go with it, but then the others reacted to the idea, and so I kept it. Then I decided I liked the idea of an opposing Master in the area and used the ideas for a good part of the session.

Scott V.
Melbourne, Australia
Adam Dray

Posts: 676

« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 10:21:17 AM »

This game fascinates me. When I play MLwM, I want it to be serious but I can't see any reason why the game wouldn't work as a parody. Just not my cup of tea for this.

Did the players hate the Master? Can you tell me a bit about him and the process you used to create him? Did you do it as a group? What were his Needs and Wants. Was he, essentially, a pitiful character with the propensity to misuse his power?

Did the characters hate the Master? What reason did they have to continue to serve him? How was he in power over them? When I run the game, I always instruct the players to find a human reason their characters are in his power. A weakness, a flaw, a dependency, anything. Why do they follow his orders? What are they afraid of?

To me, MLwM is a game of the conquest of Love and Reason over Fear and Self-Loathing. It's a tale of learning self-respect and breaking out of a codependent relationship.

How did those themes play out in your parody game, if at all?

Adam Dray / adam@legendary.org
Verge -- cyberpunk role-playing on the brink
FoundryMUSH - indie chat and play at foundry.legendary.org 7777
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