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Author Topic: DexCon Everway Game  (Read 4003 times)
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« on: July 27, 2005, 07:24:25 PM »

This is appearing in Alarums & Excursions #360, the 30th AEnniversay issue. My apologies for any inaccuracies or misspellings -- if folks who were there tell me what I got wrong, I can send in corrections next month.

Everway Gateless / Tarot

Kat Miller was scheduled to run the Everway game Gateless, set on the world of Oubliette. She said that she'd be running Tarot instead of Gateless, and when she confirmed to someone who'd played in an earlier run that she'd be rerunning the scenario she'd run then. This led me to wonder if she hadn't actually written Gateless. I was right, but the events of the game made me second guess myself.

Kat generally does something unusual with the setting. This time, she had character sheets printed on tarot cards. All major arcana, iirc, and from differing decks. We all created someone who had been sent to find out why the magical gates to the sphere of Tarot were behaving oddly. Each of us was to explain who had sent our hero and why, and to invent one fact about the sphere of Tarot which our PC knew. She said that Tarot was divided into four realms, one for each of the four minor arcana. Josh said that his PC, Sky, was raised by the wolves who live in the tunnels under the cities. Someone else said that there were 22 castes on Tarot, one corresponding to each of the major arcana. Beth said that spherewalkers visiting Tarot became more archtypal, I think also corresponding to the major arcana. I said that the light of the full moon on Tarot could drive people mad. I forget the last fact -- I was dozing during character and world creation, though I was awake for the game.

[Edit for Forge post: The dozing was related to my being awake until 3 am the previous night at the PTA game, up by 8:30 am or so to make the WGP game followed by running our larp, followed by a quick dinner, followed by dashing to the game table for an 8pm game.]

The players and their PCs were:

Mitch Albala -- Scabby Ted. He called himself a god. I don't recall whether he was the Pied Piper, but there was some connection to the legend. A group of merchants wanted him to find out what was going on, as nonfunctional gates threatened trade. Card: The Fool. Yes, he had a dog, Chompers.

Joseph Poli -- Judge Ito. I don't know if this is an anime character or a character loosely based on the real world Judge Ito. He was the first Christian PC I'd seen generated for Everway, acting as he thought the Holy Spirit wished him to act. The judge passed judgment on people and could use his gavel to open temporary mini gates and banish them. He didn't know where banished folks wound up. Card: Justice

Lisa Padol -- Travels Far, an ageless sensual hermit. His sphere was organized into castes similar to Tarot's, and the priests asked him to find out what was going on with the gates both because of the endangered trade. because they thought it was a bad omen, and possibly to keep him away from the sphere's young women. Card: The Hermit. Kat was amused that one of the hermit's specialties was sensual dancing. The card showed a younger man than usual, fairly sensual looking, and I went from there.

Beth Bartley -- New Thought, a woman who did air based magic. Card: The Magician.

Joshua Kronengold -- Sky, a woman raised by wolves in the tunnels of Tarot. One of them, Moonheart, accompanied her. Sky had a personal interest in the state of her home sphere. Card: Strength.

I think only Joseph had never played Everway before. He shaped the game in both good and bad ways. His PC's powers and attitudes gave a nice direction to the scenario, but, while I was fine with the PC thinking the other PCs were his sidekicks and supporting cast, it was annoying that the player acted as if that were the case.

The heroes gathered in the city of Everway and tried to go through a gate to Tarot. When this didn't work, Ito tried to use his power to open one.

Kat: I am so tempted to segue into Gateless.

We encouraged her to yield to temptation. She did, improvising skillfully enough that I decided I had been wrong about her not having written the scenario.

The judge's gate led to Oubliette, where many of the folks he'd banished were hanging dead from trees. The party found a local guide an learned that Oubliette had no gates leading out. Many rulers used this to their advatange, finding a way to send criminals or simply those they didn't like to the sphere. The current ruler, Justice, was a good man, and enforced his laws. The mysterious Others enforced their own laws. All the laws were written on the city walls, and all who entered the city for the first time were required to read them. The laws were also written on a series of steps that rose to a dais where the king's sword, also called Justice, rested. Travels Far tried to climb the steps, but was unable.

Constable (laughing): You wouldn't want to climb those stairs.

One could only set foot on a step if one had broken the law carved into it. Those suspected of crime were herded up the stairs until they could go no further. Ito asked about the penal code.

Constable: For stealing, we cut your left arm at the first offense and heal it so it scars. For the second offense, we remove the arm. For the third, we remove your head.

Sky: And the fourth?

Constable: If you survive the third and heal so as to leave a scar, so everyone knows, if there is a fourth offense, we remove your head from your body and bury the two in separate spots.

This part of the penal code was added after Blood, a recurring villain in Kat's games, survived the penalty for a third offense. Blood also managed to escape from Oubliette.

Constable took the group to visit King Justice, who was living like an ordinary man. This was unsurprising. He'd chosen to find a way to Oubliette to rescue his wife. As Constable expected, he was interested to learn that Ito had sent many people to Oubliette and that the judge might be able to create a gate leading out of the sphere.

Ito cautioned that he didn't know if he could do this. The Holy Spirit was not indicating that he should, and he had no problem with staying on Oubliette, if that were the Holy Spirit's will.

Joseph: And you guys are all, like, "What?!"

Lisa: Actually, no.

Josh: Er, no.

Beth: Let us decide how our characters react.

Regardless, Ito agreed to try to get the heroes to Tarot. Sky feared that someone was trying to turn it into another Oubliette. Justice was horrified at the thought. He told the heroes to take his daughter Mercy with them, as she had true sight, and not to forget the people of Oubliette.

The Oubliette sequence was the heart of the game for me. Kat had a good feel for what life on this odd sphere would be like, with one ruler after another falling as different people were banished to the sphere and tried to take over.

Meanwhile, Ito struck his gavel, opening a gate. His arm burned terribly as the heroes went through the gate, and he passed out from the pain. Travels Far healed him with fire magic, sort of burning the burns away.

The heroes were in the realm of Swords, a somewhat inhospitable place. A Swords patrol rode by, uncharacteristically swerving around them, rather than riding over them if they didn't move quickly enough. The people of Swords are direct.

Sky led everyone into the tunnels and was reunited with her wolfpack. They told her that the queens of Wands, Cups, and Pentacles had all gone mad and were locked in towers. The Queen of Swords, none too sane herself, had been banished by her husband and had come to the tunnels. The wolves hadn't harmed her, but were keeping her prisoner, unsure of someone banished by her mate.

The wolves were furious at the woman who had driven the queens mad and who was now the new queen of swords. She had hunted the wolf pack leader Frost, and she was now wearing his skin. Sky told Ito that he was to leave the new queen to the justice of the wolves. Ito refused to promise not to pass judgment on the queen, but did say that he would not send her to Oubliette.

The wolves led everyone to the old Queen of Swords, and Kat gave a beautiful performance of nigh Shakespearean madness as the queen explained that the usurper was not content with one realm, but claimed them all and was causing them to blend and become one. Mercy sensed the splintering of the sphere from this process, and said that is was something her father's sword could fix quite easily. The old queen had gone to the tunnels hoping that the wolves would kill her.

She led the heroes to a passage that would lead to the palace. She remained outside, both because of the wolves and because the usurper's presence would drive her mad. Before he entered, Travels Far kissed her.

Lisa: The Queen of Swords likes direct action?

Kat (flipping a card): The Satyr.

Lisa: That's my character's vice.

Kat: She kisses you back, and this leads to much inappropriate touching.

The wolves were confused, as Travels Far wasn't the queen's mate. Travels Far's companions pulled him away.

Beth had to catch her bus at this point.

A great feast took place inside the hall. The blending of the realms caused Mercy much distress, especially when she looked at the usurper, but she was able to tell the others that they would be unable to harm the usurper unless they removed her tattoos.

Ito: I sentence you to the loss of your tattoos.

Travels Far joined his power to Ito's and moved the tattoos off the usurper's skin and onto Frost's pelt.

Ito: I further sentence you to the justice of the wolves!

Sky, Moonheart, Scabby Ted, and Chomper all launched themselves at the usurper. The king tried to draw his sword, but Ito blocked the attempt with his own sword.

Sky: Who are you and what have you done to my realm?

Usurper: How dare you!

Sky: That's my line!

Sky killed the usurper, restoring sanity to the realm. The usurper had not been trying to create a second Oubliette, but as the realms merged, the people died, and the four gates of the sphere merged and died, that's what would have happened. Mercy was disturbed by the violence, but Tarot had been saved. The problem of Oubliette would wait for another time.
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Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2005, 06:55:57 AM »


 Interesting game. I am slightly confused by this passage:

Quote
Constable: For stealing, we cut your left arm at the first offense and heal it so it scars. For the second offense, we remove the arm. For the third, we remove your head.

Sky: And the fourth?

Constable: If you survive the third and heal so as to leave a scar, so everyone knows, if there is a fourth offense, we remove your head from your body and bury the two in separate spots.

This part of the penal code was added after Blood, a recurring villain in Kat's games, survived the penalty for a third offense. Blood also managed to escape from Oubliette.

 I wasn't aware Everway characters generally survived decapitation. Perhaps a fatigue induced typo?
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daMoose_Neo
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Posts: 890


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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2005, 08:00:54 PM »

No, note that one of the archvillians HAD survived, somehow, and ended up with his head reattached, apperently leaving a scar. Below that passage you have the note "This part of the penal code was added after Blood, a recurring villain in Kat's games, survived the penalty for a third offense."
So, someone else did it, they needed to have a recourse in case it happened again. As to why there would be a leap in the train of thought to ask "If there were a fourth?" is confusing, however.
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Nate Petersen / daMoose
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Michael S. Miller
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Posts: 846


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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2005, 06:18:18 AM »

I wasn't aware Everway characters generally survived decapitation. Perhaps a fatigue induced typo?

"Generally" probably not. Blood is one of Kat's NPC villain-types with the power of immortality (three points, I think). Nate's right about the rest.
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Kat Miller
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Posts: 141


« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2005, 09:43:23 AM »

I wasn't aware Everway characters generally survived decapitation. Perhaps a fatigue induced typo?

It's that "generally" quality about everway that I love.  Generally Everway characters don't survive decapititation, yet I've had players make heroes that could.  One Player envisioned his hero as a humunculus and could rip off parts of his body to move them independantly.  Another player made a hero who could only be destroyed by fire thus being decapitated would be painful, but not deadly.   

-kat
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kat Miller
mneme
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2005, 11:16:41 AM »

As to why there would be a leap in the train of thought to ask "If there were a fourth?" is confusing, however.

Sky, my character, was/is (I hope to play her again at some point; she was fun) an instance of the "wise innocent" -- someone very intelligent, but too innocent/ignorant to know what questions not to ask.  So I thought it perfectly reasonable for her to ask the above question, and figured that if Kat didn't have an answer, she would as soon as the question was raised.
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-- Joshua Kronengold
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