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[MLwM] - The Horror Revealed

Started by Darcy Burgess, May 24, 2007, 01:04:00 PM

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Darcy Burgess

I had the pleasure of experiencing my first My Life with Master game this past weekend.  It was a wonderful romp, with friends old and new, as well as new folks who may one day become my friends.

I have an observation about the Horror Revealed, but before I get to it, I'll set it up with a little AP.

  • This was a four-hour con game
  • We went through the full process -- master creation included
  • I was playing, my friend SC was GM, and the other players included a new friend (LO) and three con attendees who were new to me (names escape me right now, so they'll be P1 through P3)
  • Our setup was unsurprising, but fun.  The master was a basic Mad-Scientist sewing bodies together to build a super-army, aiming to take over the world.  However he was trying to please his never-satisfied mother.  Essentially, the game was a fun cross of Frankenstein and Psycho.
  • Our Minions were various abhorent creations.  They did tend to verge towards the silly, but given the general fatigue level around the table (last slot of the last day), that wasn't surprising.

P2 established a trend right at character creation -- his character loved the master, and wanted to please him.  LO and I both were a little worried about this -- we really didn't know how this would shake out in play (since we were all new to the game).  After the game SC mentioned that he was also concerned by P2's choices.

P1 and P3 both played variations on this theme -- although their characters didn't "act" like they loved the Master, as players, they were both revelling in "being evil".  None of them expressed much interest in struggling against the Master.

And here's where my observation about the Horror Revealed comes in.  It's a wonderful "pressure relief valve" -- players who are constantly submitting to the master's will are more likely to meet the criteria for tHR.  The broad narrative powers that they get during the Horror Revealed allows them -- nay demands of them -- that they unleash horrible, horrible evil on the town.  Catharsis.

And guess what?  Right after the first Horror Revealed (triggered by P3), P1 thru P3 all expressed interest in "those rules for saying no" as well as for "earning some Love".

It's nice to see the rules at work.

Black Cadillacs - Your soapbox about War.  Use it.

Paul Czege

Hey Darcy,

You just made my day. Thanks.

Have you seen the thread where The Horror Revealed mechanic was hammered into existence?

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

Darcy Burgess

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the link -- it's always fun to "lift the hood" on the design process.  That was good reading.

I thought that I should also mention that during play, I was actively "teaching" the rules.  Not in a pedantic, "dude! you're supposed to resist the Master" way.  Rather, I was aggressively working towards toppling the master on my own terms.  In other words, I was playing the rules hard.

Oh!  One other thing -- and probably, a good piece of advice to GMs.  At some point in the game, give a minion something sharp and pointy with which to commit Violence or Villainy.

Because, quite frankly, we are so going to kill Cecil (that's right -- Cecil) with his own bone saw.

Black Cadillacs - Your soapbox about War.  Use it.

Lee-Anne O'Reilly

I've been wondering if play might have gone differently if some of the others might have approached their characters differently if we'd been seated differently around the table. SC consistently worked his way clockwise around the table, hitting the three newest to the game -- P1, P2, and D (P3) -- before getting to those who'd had any previous exposure at all -- myself, then Darcy.

Then again, I was working a weird personal agenda carried over from the previous day's demo, of wanting to succeed at a particular act of Villainy, so my character didn't get around to trying to resist a command until after the Horror Revealed. There was other stuff happening around that time, too, such as Darcy tossing in the game's first example of assisting another character. I can't get any feel for a mechanic until I use it a few times, so until that point, I had no idea what it would do. All that to say, I suspect it was more than the Horror Revealed prompting that fresh interest in Love and resisting commands.

As for the saw, I hope Mother enjoys his screams.

- Lee