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[My Life With Master] University Days

Started by LordSmerf, December 29, 2003, 05:55:54 PM

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This is a direct transcript of my first MLwM game.  The notes include our explaination and brainstorming session as well as our actual Pregame and first play session.  Hopefully i'll be able to get back and make some comments this evening.

My Life With Master Preplay

2003 December 23

•   Introduction and explanation
•   TW suggests the use of the Provost of a university as the Master
•   Continue explanation
•   Patrick likes the idea of a Collector
•   Time Check by TW (19:00)
•   TW comments "[Paul]'s adjectives are delicious" specifically referring to "cinematic failure" and "much more surreal than that"
•   Break for dinner and trivia (19:20)

That's it for this evening.  Thomas W's desire for Actual Play this evening has moved us over to Universalis.

2003 December 26

•   We're pretty much agreed on a Brain master (19:25)
•   The idea of the Provost is still appealing
•   The question: what exactly does the Provost do?  Dictionary time!
•   JG and WW are excited about the minions being GTAs
•   The Want: Academic recognition "We're just as good as University X"
•   The Need: Specimens for his "psychological" experiments.
•   Fear: 3
•   Reason: 3
•   University at Munchousen
•   Dr. Theodore Stanislov is the Provost
•   WW will be the GM
•   Groundskeeper/Custodian (TW)
•   Lab Assistant (JG)
•   "Recruiter"?  Bursar?
•   NL shall be our Bursar
•   Librarian (Me)
•   NL has decided to be the RA instead of the Bursar
•   The university is a dumping ground for the undesirables of the nobility.


Mr. Arthur Meuller the Librarian (Me)
   Self Loathing: 1
   Weariness: 2

   MTH: Total eidetic memory, as long as he's in the library.
   LTH: Cannot speak, unless he is reading.

   Mr. Wesley Readman – the local bibliophile who has "obtained access" to the university library.
   Miss Annette Curie – the clerk at the book store where he purchases paper and ink

Duncan the Groundskeeper (TW)
   Self Loathing: 1
   Weariness: 2

   MTH: Can grow anything, except for non-poisonous flowers.
   LTH: Can not distinguish between paintings and windows, unless the painting is a landscape (he believes that what he sees is reality.)

   Miss Susan Browning – he greatly admires her garden, she grows extremely nice flowers.
   Mr. Ilian Pavlov (Ilyapaplov) – the clerk at the Feed and Seed where he gets new seeds, and quicklime.

Miss Ekatarina Ernesti the Tour Guide (NL)
   Self Loathing: 2
   Weariness: 1

   MTH: Can convince any group of anything, unless it's the truth.
   LTH: Appears cadaverous and anorexically thin, unless she is eating.

   Alessandro Puccelli – brother of one of the students (his sister is catatonic without his knowledge.)
   Heimlich Maussberger – the butcher

Conrade von Stuffel the Lab Assistant (JG)
   Self Loathing: 1
   Weariness: 2

   MTH: Can keep anyone alive indefinitely, unless it's a blonde haired woman.
   LTH: Always includes an imaginary participant in conversation, unless there is a mirror present.

   Fraulein Hustafauschen – the glassblower's daughter.
   Timothy – a 10 year old boy with dreams of attending the university one day.

•   Begin (21:00)
•   Scene 1: Theodore enters the Library and approaches Arthur.  He commands Arthur to obtain some materials for a book binding.  He is told to fetch the glassblower's daughter.  He tries to resist and gets desperation. (2+3 vs. 1+3+1+0)  Caleb the stable boy rushes in and reports that the stable is on fire.  In his eagerness to not do what the master earlier commanded by putting out the fire Arthur leaves his phrasebook in the library.
•   Scene 2: Duncan, Ekatarina, and Conrade with the master outside the stable after the fire is out.  Theodore commands Duncan to bring in the butcher who is "obviously responsible."  Ekatarina tries to deflect Theodore's ire from the butcher and Theodore commands her to fetch him the butcher.  Before she can resist we are made aware that this is some other butcher (not her connection.)  Theodore then orders the three minions to collectively bring him Franz the Butcher as well as two other townspeople.
•   Scene 3: Duncan – Approaches the tavern and enters.  There are a lot of people there.  Duncan finds that he is almost entirely out of tobacco.  He sees at the bar a man with a huge cigar.  Duncan approaches him and attempts to wheedle some tobacco out of him by buying him a drink.  The man exits in a drunken huff.  Duncan follows him whistling (specifically that song in Kill Bill as we happened to have the soundtrack.)  He rolls Violence (3+1+1 for intimacy due to earlier attempts at it) vs. (3+2) with an 11 vs. a 10.  He hits him in the back of the head with the shovel.  Being a stout German fellow he staggers around with blood all over himself so Duncan gives him a shot in the face, with the edge this time.  Blood spatters everywhere, some of it getting in Duncan's mouth.  "The smoke will get rid of the taste," he says as he picks up the cigar and begins smoking.   Self-Loathing +1
•   Scene 4: Ekatarina – She is nearing Franz the Butcher's shop.  There is the sound of a young boy asking questions and being violently and physically answered by Franz.  She has a small box of biscuits one of which she has resting on her tongue "like the Eucharist."  Ekatarina knocks and the butcher opens the door, mistaking Ekatarina for a prostitute the butcher tells her to "come back later."  As he tries to close the door Ekatarina slips inside.  She tells him that the University is contemplating switching butchers.  Greed and fear war on the butcher's face.   Self-Loathing +1
•   Scene 5: Arthur – Request for Mr. Readman to meet him at the Library.  Readman appears and returns some books.  Specifically Dickens, saying "Please, no more."  Arthur makes an Overture expressing his fear of what the Master may command him to do, but that he fears going anywhere else because of his inability to communicate.  Sincerity is awarded and he successfully gets his Love.  Mr. Readman informs Arthur of a cousin at another university with an extensive library.  Arthur becomes blubberingly excited and expresses his thanks, then rushes over to his desk to put together a resume.                Love +1
•   Scene 6: Conrad – Conrad has decided that the butcher is likely asleep by now so there will be no harm in stopping by the glassblower's shop to see Fraulein Hustafauschen.  (At this point we whip out Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera.)  Conrad finds a window with light coming from it.  He peers in to see Fraulein Hustafauschen brushing her long blonde hair.  She sees him in the mirror and spins around in shock.  Roll time (2) vs. (1+Desperation) 3 vs. 6.  She screams in terror and Conrad responds with a shocked look and runs off.                           Self-Loathing +1  Love +1
•   Scene 7: Duncan – Duncan decides to stop by Miss Browning's house and present her with some compost (which he made out of the drunk man.)  He presents it to her and she appears grateful.  He hesitantly mentions that he has a request, then states that "it is too much."  When Miss Browning appears ready to accept this, and he desperately blurts out a request for a flower, as he can not grow his own.  Roll for Overture (1+Desperation) vs. (1) with a 4 vs. 1.  She provides Duncan with her own special breed of Tulip.  Duncan scampers off in thanks.         Love +1
•   Scene 8: Ekatarina – "Katya" brings the butcher and his wife to the Master.  He takes them down to the "meating" room in the basement.  Katya convinces them that "it will be ok."  They travel in the dark which is lit only by a single taper carried by the Master.  They reach a dark room, once everyone has entered the Master slams and locks the door.  He then proceeds around the room lighting torches on the walls.  As light begins to fill the room there are some disturbing things revealed, the kinds of things that you don't use to make people happy.  The Butcher is trying to discuss a meat delivery contract.  As light fills the room the last occupant is visible.  Franz stars in horror and the Master commands Katya to bash in his head.  She declares an attempt to resist.  (1+Desperation) vs. (6) 2 vs. 8.  She succumbs and must commit Violence against Franz (6) vs. (4) with 9 vs. 4.  She successfully konks him.                           Self-Loathing +1 which becomes a Horror Revealed
•   Scene 9: Conrad – Conrad goes to Franz the Butchers.  He finds the place empty except for the son of the butcher.  Conrad asks as to the whereabouts of the butcher and his mother.  The boy explains that his parents are both over at the university negotiating about meat.  The boy appears happy stating that if his father has more money he won't be as angry and "won't have to hit me anymore."  Conrad concludes that maybe the Master will want the boy as leverage.  He picks up a log from the woodpile and goes after the boy.  (3+2) vs. (3+2+Desperation) with a 5 vs. 9.  The boy rushes out the door slamming it behind him.  Conrad smashes into it full tilt knocking himself out.                   Weariness +1

Call it for the night at (22:49)  Next session with a scene owed to Arthur before a regular cycle is established, and Ekatarina owes us a Horror Revealed.

EDIT: Names changed to protect the anonymity of those who might want it.

Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible

Paul Czege


Yep...I'm looking forward to your commentary.

I will say that I quite like Duncan's overture to Miss Browning. Lots of overtures are gifts. Many are spontaneous hugs. It's uncommonly great to see one that's a request...and so nicely done. I swear, I might just retire from game design when I see one played that's a slap delivered across the Connection's face.

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans


The player for Duncan (the same TW who posted over in the Universalis thread) is a long time player in our group, but is not often in town.  I don't know if that i can convey how funny his scene at the tavern was.  He hits the guy in the back of the head and the guy stumbles around.  Since the man is a fat German fellow he begins to turn around and Duncan's player glibly stated: "I hit him again (pause for effect) with the edge."  It was great.

There's still some adjustment to scene framing and adapting from our traditionally Sim play style.  Ekatarina's player requested a scene simply so that it would be accepted that a task had been accomplished for the Master.  I believe that after some explaination the players got a better understanding of the idea that some things can be simply assumed to have happened and we can move on.  Movie-style.

I think that since this has been our first game that all of us are still learning the ropes.  Even more so since i consider this to be our first real experience with a strong and overt Narrativist Premise.  So, i'm digging it.

Good stuff: Intimacy, Desperation, Sincerity.  These are the types of things that really bring out the acting and character identification.  I'm having to overcome some of my long standing seperation between myself and my character, but i'm having fun doing it.

Interesting Personal Stuff:  Something about me is all about Step On Up.  I managed to Step On Up (i believe in subordination to the Story) in our game.  I angle for scenes and situations which give me the greatest chance of getting Love with low risk.  I also track everyone else's status in terms of Self-Loathing, Weariness, and Love such that i can "keep score."  I don't believe that this detracted from the game, and it wasn't/isn't really concious.

After i've had some more time to think about it, and after another session or two i think i'll have a little more insight into our local group's play as well as the game itself.

Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible

Bob McNamee

I love the More and Less than humans!

Quite a chuckle at," can keep anyone alive except for blond haired women"

Not sure who my favorite is...tough call between theLab assistant with his 'imaginary friend' conversations and the Groundskeeper and his art interpretation problems.

Cool Stuff, can't wait for the next installment.
Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!