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MLwM: Meat for the Machine

Started by Trevis Martin, October 15, 2003, 05:39:54 AM

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Trevis Martin

Hey everyone,

We've started a game of MLwM over in indie netgaming and have played one setup and one story session so far.  

I'm the Ref, my first time trying to GM both MLwM and on IRC (though I have played a bit.

The Master is General Viktor Teslenko who we rougly conceived of as a Teacher/Beast.  He has a clockwork arm.  He was a successful if cruel officer in one of the endless little wars in central europe who was eventually ejected by his general staff for his cruelty. He lives aboard a decaying ironclad warship, the 'Redemption' which has run aground near a small Baltic Sea fishing villiage.

The master is, on the surface, obsessed with humans trascending the 'meat' which is imperfect, for the perfection of the machine.  The general hones 'candidates' from the townsfolk, breaking them down at their weakest points bit by bit like a demented game of human jenga, until they can't take anymore and he offers them his new vision of mechanical perfection.  HIs ambition for these converts is to form the perfected human race, thereby showing his methods to be just to the Outsiders (his former officers)  Thats what he thinks he's about.  The truth is he enjoys the pain and suffering of his candidatess, and none have been known to survive his rigerous testing as he frequently looses his patience with the process and kills them for his own sadistic pleasure.

Fear is 4, Reason is 2

The minions are:

Old Hanse (Mike Holmes)

-the master's spy in the villiage.

Weariness 2
Self Loathing 1
Love 0

Moves incredibly slowly unless he's near fire.
can tell if people are telling the truth, but not if they're sad

Britta the scullery maid who comes in three times a week to clean the ship's mess (he has a crush on her), and with Benno Gottsman who is the village smith (who he respects for his honesty)

Lucano (Jason)

an italian engineer who builds terrible devices for the Master

SL 2
W 1
L 1

"Can build anything unless it's harmless."
"difficulty breathing except when on water"

Nestor, the Clockmaker in the Village. Lucano goes to him for parts. He reminds Lucaon of his father and Lucano feels protective of him.

Thalia, a young woman who walks on the beach alone at night.


Alekov (anonymouse - don't know his real name)

the masters main enforcer/violence type


SL 3
W 0
L 0

More than: Can walk normally on any surface, unless its white
Less than: Blind, except at sunrise and sunset.

elder fisherman guy. Uncle Rott, Oldest one, legend in his time, et cetera. Whoo.. likes telling stories at sunset. So there's a reason to go see him.

Brewer's son, Gunter Baren Alekos meets Gunter some early mornings for beer to bring back to the ship.

I'm gonna post the actual play narration log in the following message.

Couple of notes.  Irc play is a bit slow and we were all Noobs to the game except Mike, who has been a great help.  Though Mike's comment that the game structure itself is pretty indestructible indeed seems to be true.

Its interesting that this game involves such heavy scene framing as that is what I felt I was having trouble with in my live game of Sorcerer which I posted on here.  Mike was helpful in this sense.  I started framing his scene and stopped and he did a little response then said in the ooc window 'Frame harder, go to the roll.'  I tried to take that to heart.

We have a good begninning and everyone is feeling around.  MIke was ordered to find out what the dearest thing to the smith was (presumably so the master could destroy it. MIke attempted a connection with the Smith,  but was interrupted.  Because of the masters commands in an earlier scene the interruption was Lucano.

Lucano was sent to get new parts for a horrible machine and to spy on old Hanse in the process.  He attempted a connection with the clockmaker and did a bang on for the sincerity die in my opinion. Won it and gained a point of love

Alekos was ordered to bring back the clockmaker's son so his purification could begin.  He succeded in villany of kidnapping...which I'm not sure if it should have been violence.  HE didn't actually hurt his quarry, just kidnapped him... which will trigger a horror revealed scene as he has no love and his self loathing is already 3.  (Unfortunatley I did not have the horror revealed understanding clearly so I had to come back to reveiew that post where that was discussed.)

I'm really interested to see how this goes and anyone wanting to lurk and watch in the IRC you are welcome to do so. The server is channels are #MLWM_ooc and #MLWM_nar.

for your reveiw, the IRC log follows.



Trevis Martin

Here is the narration log.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: MLWM, Session 1
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: A lone figure stands shillouetted against the sunset on the deck of the immense ironclad ship.  Flaking paint on the bow reads "Redemption" Hanse turns and makes his way deep into the iron caverns of the ship, finally stopping at a bulkhead.  The deathly silence that has persisited until now is broken by a high pitched scream and and wet sounding thud from behind the bulkhead.

Hanse_Mike: Hanse tries to rush to the site of the sound, but, as always, his ancient frame does not allow him to proceed with anything like speed. In fact, he barely creeps forward. He passes from the corridor into the room where the Master waits.

(this is where mike said "Frame harder in the ooc channel")

      Ref: Behind the master hanse can see another of Lucano's horrible constructions and no doubt something that was once human.  The Master himself is a picture of crisp military precision as he puts a crisp white glove over his artificial hand.  "Hanse," he says, "We need a new subject.  Someone stronger.  I need you to find out the dearest thing to the smithy for me.  I need to know where his weaknesses are. And I need two new candidates to evaluate."

Hanse_Mike: "Aye, Sir!" says Old Hanse, and he begins the long trek to town first having to extricate himself from the bowels of the ship.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Lucano
      Ref: *
      Ref: *

      Ref: Lucano sweats profusely, working on the ancient gears in the bowels of the ship, tinkering, muttering to himself.  He turns to reach for a wrench only the find the Master standing immediately there.  Lucano pulls his hand away seeing the black grease stain on the masters fine waistcoat.  The Master's eyes burn.  "All your machinary, and still you are weak." he says.  "I need modifications to your machine."  He hands you a piece of paper " Go and get what you need.  While you are getting parts, stop by the smith.  If you see Hanse there, make note of him and what he does."
      Ref: Go and get what you need.  While you are getting parts, stop by the smith.  If you see Hanse there, make note of him and what he does."

           Lucano_0 averts his eyes from the Master's fiery gaze. He nods in agreement.
 Lucano_0: He carefully looks over the paper and sees the gears kniting themselves together in a most unpleasant and painful configuration. With a shudder, he leaves for town, feeling more sickened than ever.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Alekov
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Alekov sits on the deck, enjoying his what vision he has at this time of day.  "Alekov!'  He hears the Masters voice, sharp and thin through the air. "Come here immediately!"  Aleokov goes to him as fast as he is able.  The master regards him cooly.  "You must go to the villaige and fetch me the clockmaker's eldest son.  He is a fine lad who understands machines.  You are not to be seen.  YOu will be back this evening."
      Ref: The master eyes the setting sun.  "You have little time, Be off!"

   Alekov: The boy bows at the waist, straightens, and turns at a run off in the direction of the village.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Hanse
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
Hanse_Mike: Hanse approaches the Smith's shed tentatively. He respects the brawny man, who would is truthful to a fault. His master seeks the man's weaknesses, but Hanse feels that he'll not be able to uncover anything. As he finally finishes his long journey Hanse hails Benno, "I see that honest men work long days. Can I get water for you, Herr Smith?"

(mike rolls with the intimacy die...fails.)

      Ref: The smith seems about to answer you when he suddenly sees something behind you.  "And greetings to you, Sir?  How can I help you.  Hanse turns to see Lucano standing in the doorway with a parchment in his hands.

           Lucano_0 weezes and coughs. "Pardon."
           Lucano_0 nods to Hanse, smiling weakly.

           Hanse_Mike_0 glares at Lucano.

 Lucano_0: "I....need a...bolt forged."

           Lucano_0 walks past Hanse towards the Smith.
 Lucano_0: "Exactly to these...measurements."

      Ref: I'm afraid I'm a bit bogged with work at the moment.  Says the smith, taking the paper,  How soon do you need it?

 Lucano_0: "As possible. Very important."
           Lucano_0 presses his hand against his chest.

      Ref: I can maybe get it for you in a week, but it will cost extra.

 Lucano_0: "He will *cough* We will pay. More...if we get it sooner."
 Lucano_0: "Let me...make a copy. Do you...have a pen and ink?"

      Ref: Well as much as I like yer money sir, I have got promises to keep.  A week then?
      Ref: The smith gives you a quill.

                  Lucano_0 slowly makes a copy. Listening to the Smith and Hanse.

      Ref: The smith turns back to Hanse,  and how can I help ye sir?  I have t close here soon.  Family you know.
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: **
      Ref: Lucano
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Lucano approachs the clockmakers shop.  The ticking can be heard reverberating through this part of the villaige.  Lucano sees the old man in the doorway closing up shop.  A youth behind him is sorting gears at the workbench.
      Ref: The clockmaker sees Lucano "Out late are'd better be careful.  There are strange things in the dark"

           Lucano_0 smiles as he enters.
           Lucano_0 looks around the shop at the intricately made clocks. His eyes tear.

      Ref: "Martin, get that stuff cleaned up," the old man says. "And get upstairs for your dinner."

 Lucano_0: "Not quite...dark yet. Still make it home."
 Lucano_0: "I need a few...things."
           Lucano_0 leans on the counter. He looks at the bench where the boy was sitting, remembering his youth...his innocent childhood before he became tainted.

      Ref: Ah, and what might they be, sir?

 Lucano_0: "Do you remeber...the main springs and...*weeze*...those [jargon] gears I came for...last week?"

      Ref: I do...odd pieces to ask for, people usually want me to make watches/

 Lucano_0: "I need three more springs....six more gears...and *takes out the paper* a threaded shaft like this."

      Ref: Well, well, what in the world would you be building with this thing then?  Not many others mechanically minded around here.  The smithy tells me you order a bit from him as well.  What's this machine for?

 Lucano_0: "It is for a machine...that crabs and oysters. Very effecient. *cough* So, your Martin...he is coming the trade, no?"

      Ref: Ah, yes, he has the mind, but not the patience yet.  He's a good lad." Nestor's eyes twinkle. "Shuckin oysters...hmmm...this is a bit big isn't it?

 Lucano_0: "It's made for volume. *weezes* Ah, I remeber...I remember...I was Martin's age when I first helped my papa build the first village clock in our home town. *tears well up* remind me a lot of my...papa. Your shop is a haven for a weary soul."
           Lucano_0 is close to weeping.

(In my judgement, that deserved the sincerity die)

*** Lucano_0 is now known as Lucano_1
      Ref: The old man's eyes soften, but are still cheerful.  "There, there lad.  I was fond of my old Papa too.  Come lets get the things you want and get you a bite to eat, eh?"
 Lucano_1: You are too kind...
           Lucano_1 follows.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: Alekov
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
   Alekov: Alekov creeps up the eastern side of the house; the forest is to his back, and the light is very dim. Through the window above him he hears his quarry enter the room and close the door. With a flip, he crashes through the window; with the sun so low, subtlty is no longer an option.

(Alekov rolls for villany and succeeds.)

      Ref: The young man cowers looks with fright at Alekov shillouteed against the final light of the day.  Alekov leaps on him, immobilizing him firmly and leaping to the window just as the clockmaker and Lucano burst into the room.  Alekov leaps to the ground with his qarry and runs into the night.

      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: End Session 1
      Ref: *
      Ref: *
      Ref: *


* points to real name in signature for future reference ;) *

I was seriously considering not playing. The chargen session left me feeling very.. iffy. And unmotivated. Yeah, I had this sort of clockwork-Nightcrawler guy in mind, but didn't really have any interest in him. I like having very focused games - "Okay, everyone is playing an X" - but this was a concept I wasn't really grooving on.

This session, we hammered out Alek's connections, as I hadn't decided on any at end of chargen; in fact, I was just going to let Trevis decide on them, or maybe even just hand me a new pregen character to play, I'd've been happy with that.

Still not feeling any sympathy for or any real interest in the character, but I'm hoping a fuller session next time will help alleviate some of that. At this point, I'm mostly just looking at the end game conditions and thinking, "Hmm, I'd like him to end up either with choice A or B, but not C." Just to give me some kind of focus.

Glad I played, though, for all that.
You see:
Michael V. Goins, wielding some vaguely annoyed skills.

Mike Holmes

Not really too much to say yet as we've really only just begun to play. I am, however, looking forward to it. I really like the atmosphere that we're building.

BTW, Mike, you aren't supposed to like your character particularly. In fact it's OK if you loathe him. You just have to be able to feel sorry for him, or relish in his destruction.

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