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Author Topic: Unknown Armies solo session 1: Mich Garcia  (Read 2052 times)
Ferry Bazelmans

Posts: 137

« on: May 02, 2002, 06:47:28 AM »

After character creation for my new Unknown Armies group (more on that in this thread), I made an appointment  with each of my players for a solo session. Last night I played the first of these with Mich Garcia's player (Robin) and I have to say it went superb.

First off, what I wanted to do with these sessions was introduce an element of strangeness into the character's life without it being a blatant clue as to the cosmology of UA (no cultists who explain the true nature of the universe, no run-ins with godwalkers). I also made it a point to pay attention to details that evoke the rather dreary setting I had in mind.

Mich, who has his own courier company, is a man who values his privacy over anything else. He is terrified of the power that big corporations and the government wield when it comes to tracking someone and their past down.

Of course, I could write down everything that happened, but I'll stick to some of the highlights and then explain what I took away from the session.

While at the bar, Mich noticed a trucker consume inordinate amounts of alcohol without dying or falling off his barstool (I figured the guy was dipsomancer - a sorcerer (no challenge intended *smile*) that gets his power from being drunk at all times) and this intrigued him. I had the trucker get up eventually and leave the establishment to get into his truck and drive off into the night. Robin had hard time controlling the urge to follow him, since it looked like a blatant plot hook. It wasn't at all and I assured him that he could do whatever he wanted. He then opted not to follow the guy (which was fine by me).

Later, back at his warehouse, he found the mafia had deposited two rectangular boxes there with one of their flunkies, Vinnie Scarnetti, to watch over it. I made sure Robin understood that something weird was happening. Usually the mafia didn't make it clear that he was working for them, preferring to deal with him through sleazy lawyers and bought cops, but this time the order came from the Don himself. Vinnie was to spend the night with the boxes to make sure Mich did not open them.
Mich found the deal to his liking (10K for one job isn't bad at all, eh), so he turned in (it was well past midnight when he came back from the bar).
He did make sure not to fall asleep to quickly and kept one eye open. After about two hours (during which Vinnie made quite a racket, bumping into things after Mich had switched off the lights) he began hearing a sound at the edge of perception. It took him a while, but he finally discovered what it reminded him of. When he was small, his father'd taken him to church and he'd seen the mechanics that made the bells ring on time (i.e. the clockwork). As he neared the boxes (curiosity killed the cat, eh) it became slightly more distinct. Vinnie had evidently managed to do a bit of heroin, so he was out cold.
Mich discovered that the top of the upmost box had come off about an inch, the nails'd been pulled up from the sides. He took a small flashlight and looked inside, only to be confronted by a body. Which turned its head and stared at him with eyes that were definitely not completely soulless.

*I then had Robin roll an Rank 2 Unnatural check for seeing an automaton, which he passed*

Mich wisely decided that it was not worth it and made sure the lid was pushed down again and went to sleep. Next morning he delivered the cargo and made a note not to ask too many questions about it.


So much for the in-game account. Now for what I distilled from the evening. The most important thing would be that horror in UA works best when things aren't explained in full. How scary is it when you know exactly what an automaton is and how it is created? Or that that man who just drank 70 shotglasses of whiskey is in fact a magic-using drunkard and can hold far more than that?

The atmosphere of the game is definitely enhanced by random weirdness that is never fully explained. The more loose ends, the scarier the game becomes. After all, having the answers makes sure you never have to be afraid again.

Anyway, I'll post more when I've played a few more of these solo sessions.


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