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[AP] Sorc: Toon Town Confidential - no longer freaked

Started by hix, March 25, 2005, 10:23:33 AM

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Just had the final session of our game described in 'Sorceror freaked us out'. To recap: it's Sorceror in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit universe.

Lots of work on the Bangs made me focus on the NPCs and what they wanted. I redrew the relationship map and re-statted them based on my new understanding of the system.

Went into the game very focused and confident. Made a last minute decision to give Celeste – a new player since we last ran Sorcerer – an existing NPC to run (with a pre-generated Kicker), rather than have her as a contributing bystander to the game.

I ran it very methodically, did retroactive Humanity and Improvement checks (Aside: the players liked Sorcerer's improvement system better than XP).

Then into the scenes, gradually getting back into it – although the first situation I presented each player with seemed to knock them back so I cut to the next one. The momentum of cutting and crossing between scenes increased (although it's hard work keeping things alive when moving between 5 players) and the session lasted about 3 and a half hours, with wrap up and lots of post-game discussion and filling out of the diagrams on the back of the sheet.

The Good

Svend was in Story Now Motherfucker mode from the moment he had Danny walk in on his family dinner. He pulled a gun, bound the Road Runner, blew up a rogue car and quit his job as a mobster to become a vigilante.

Jenni freaked out at the gradually mounting problems in Wes' life but by the end:

Quote from: from her blog, JenniEven though my character didn't achieve his goal (well, he became a hero cop, but didn't get promoted) I think he learnt some things and will actually have a proper life now. With friends. Well, maybe a girlfriend?

I felt like I did justice to the character and I did good roleplaying. The game seemed to work smoother last night than in earlier sessions (or maybe they are just so long ago now I can't remember them clearly). I had a lot of fun, so yay for my Gamer Boyz and Grrl and hurray for roleplaying!

Wayne actually brought tears to my eyes with the way he decided to pursue vengeance against Bugs Bunny for stealing his girlfriend  - and then finally decided that trying to turn her into a human wasn't worth the cost.

Celeste stepped up to the plate with some unexpected violence from her new PC. There was much appreciation from our group.

Gino. Nothing went right for him this session. At one point, after yet another dice roll where he'd failed by one, he yelled, "I hate this game." He walked away from the heist. He ended up working for Boss Pig. At another point he just turned to the table and said, "I don't know what to do." And yet I think he had a good time. I'd be interested in his thoughts on that.

There was lots of appreciation between players about how the characters were making each other's lives more difficult.

The Very Good

We got it.

I don't know how to explain it but Humanity was a factor right from the start. Everyone took it seriously.

The resolution system felt FAST from the get-go. I felt like I could run an entire combat in a couple of minutes. It was no nonsense; we rolled and got out. The Simple resolution system and carryover dice worked well. That's because not just me but everyone at the table was onto it.

And I finally introduced real Conflict Resolution in the second half of the session. At one point, we conducted an entire anti-hostage situation in about 2 minutes:

QuoteMe: Okay, if you win, you rescue the sister without her getting shot. And if you lose, she gets shot.

Another player: No, no. If Jenni loses, the sister gets shot by the cops.

Me: Right. One dice, she gets shot by the mob, two dice, she gets shot by the cops in the crossfire. Three dice or more, your character kills her, Jenni. Ready? Roll.

I improvised some new Bangs and – coolest for me – I felt fine about trusting the NPCs. A couple of times towards the end I just launched into scenes with no idea of what the outcome from my end. Just discovered what the NPCs wanted through the process of playing it out. And the stuff that came out of it was fascinating. In fact, now I think about it, those 2 scenes defined the ends of Kickers for the players – it gave them material to make really big decisions against.

The Not-So-Good

We did wrap things up this session. Some Kickers finished naturally, some were a little rougher. I didn't force (I don't think), I didn't want to push BUT the ending seemed to jump on us, first one Kicker wrapping up, then another and another. So I went with it.

That "(I don't think)" comes from Jenni's story. Maybe, just maybe in the end with her, like her penultimate scenes, I was tired, everybody else was finished. We pushed through a bit mechanically but then got a really warm human moment that (I think) completely changed the character in Jenni's eyes.

Also: I switched scenes as fast and appropriately as possible but with 5 players there was still a lot of downtime.


I want to play again. I had fun. I would push for a second season.
And all the characters are in real interesting places.

Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs

Ron Edwards

Hi Steve,

Good news! Thanks for posting it.

Please do follow up with Gino. It also strikes me that you might work on the skill of having failed rolls be just as fun and powerful, for the events, as successful ones.

In our long-ago Demon Cops game, Dav had his character try to Contact, Summon, and Bind a demon, and he ended up failing the Summons, as well as losing at least one point of Humanity. Total bust, right?

But considering that his Kicker was that his character's teenage daughter had recently arrived on his doorstep (context: messy divorce), the whole experience turned into a great scene between the dad and the daughter concerning the aftermath of the failure. In this sense, the worse the failure of the rolls, the better the next scene became.