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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Trollbabe and Mythos  (Read 1514 times)
« on: July 12, 2004, 11:17:40 AM »

Hi folks,

My roommate and I have been alternating between GMing and playing one on one Trollbabe for a while now.  Both of us have been reading Nameless Cults, a collection of R.E. Howard's Mythos stories along with a good dose of Hellboy, so we have a lot of the Olde Ones on the mind while playing.

Here's some observations about overall play:

1) Quick start up time

Between Stakes and the lack of stats for NPCs, setting up for play pretty much consists of, "Hey, wanna play some Trollbabe tonight?" "Sure", and 15 minutes later we're playing.  We're hoping to get a third friend in on the game, as scheduling permits.

2) Open Setting/Mythos like fun

Given that TB only nails down humans, trolls, and the existance of the PCs as elements, there's a lot of room for interpretation.  So naturally we've been introducing all kinds of weird stuff such as the classic elder race that lives underground, ancient gods, etc.  We've alternated GMing about every 2 sessions or so, playing off of each other's ideas, much as the Mythos writers built on each other's stories.

3) System

We've been playing with the old rule of Social matching highest.  I'm still on the fence about changing it to lowest.  As it stands now, for most rolls(not just social), the Trollbabes have been successful, with occassional surprises of failure.  The sessions have generally been short(2-3 hours), and the worst level of injury has been Injured.  At most, 2 rerolls have been applied.  I suspect the key to really turning up the adversity has to do with presenting the conflicts and throwing in Bangs rather than simply "more rolls".

4)Other Observations

•One on one play goes, really, really fast.  It's also more of a challenge to keep exciting scene framing going.  You don't get a breather by switching to different players.

•Player/NPC interactions can go anywhere, at any time.  Like Ron states, you have to be willing to totally alter your concept of an NPC's role at the drop of a dime.

•We keep a copy of Gary Gygax's Book of Names at hand for reference.  I think it may become my very bestest friend in gaming.

5)A Highlight Moment

An elder race, the Bwelt, are in the midst of a dark summoning ritual which involves sacrificing kidnapped townspeople, when a small band of warriors led by Nora Myrun, a Trollbabe, swoop down to rescue them.  Giant fray ensues, and the goal of the conflict is, "Save the townspeople from sacrifice!".   Because the conflict used all 3 action types, and I succeeded, I got to narrate the results.  So, the Bwelt fall under the combined might of the Trollbabe and the warriors, BUT- the summoning is still successful.  At this point, I put the ball in the GM's hands...

The Thing which is summoned, which lurches from the bonfire, is... a toddler.  Which proceeds to cry.  Now, the GM has given me a great moment in Meaningful Decision- do we kill/imprison this child "to be safe" or do we treat it like a normal kid?

As a player, I found myself weighing the options on many levels, but finally decided to let the child live, for the following reasons:

-Character Integrity and Me; I couldn't see Nora mercilessly killing a child, plus I don't know if I could keep roleplaying a character who would do such a thing.  Funny enough, if I felt I personally was in the situation, the kid would be dead, dead, dead, because babies from fire are a Bad Thing.

-Future options for further stories;  Though the baby may grow up to be Something which Should not Be, it actually seems like it would be a fun set of future adventures and scenarios.

-"System protect me";  Finally, no matter what the baby-thing turns into, unlike many other systems, I know that in Trollbabe, success is a few die rolls away, not something that can be totally crushed out by GM-Force.  I needn't worry about "Oops-gotcha!" play in this game.  I don't have to fear that the GM will spring out, "...and the world dies in fire, guess you should've killed him when you had a chance!"


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