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Thread: [BW One-on-One] Part 1, Master Si Juk

  1. #1
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    Default [BW One-on-One] Part 1, Master Si Juk

    About a month ago, my friend Rich (Fourth Horseman on zee boards) told me he wanted to finish up the arc of one of his Burning Wheel characters.

    His character, Si Juk, was on a quest to assassinate a pair of wizards. During a running fight through the woods surrounding the sorcerers' lair, he took an arrow to the chest -- a Mortal Wound. He was knocked out of the fight. In fact, the rest of the group tended his wounds as best they could and then fled the scene with his body.

    They returned to a nearby city, reorganized and then headed back up north to the wizard's bizarre lair (a crater lake basin which they were draining). Si Juk was going to be in a coma for months, so they took his spirit blade wih them. He certainly wouldn't be needing it.

    Rich asked if we could pick up from there. When his character went down, he initially wanted to let him go. We convinced him to spend the Will to Live and keep going. I sent him emails with visions for the comatose Si Juk. He agreed, but vowed to make it Si Juk's life's work to destroy all magic and sorcerers. Fair enough!

    It's been at least a year and a half since that game. We'd played a few other times in that campaign world, but it the play involved really high level stuff -- old magic, gods, heaven and hell, etc. In fact, in our last game, the players "saved the world." Awesome. I think we all assumed that we'd put that world to bed.

    Rich wanted to play in the aftermath of the saved world. There was a remaining wizard to be killed and he wanted to do it. (There are actually two, but that's another story.)

    I was still doubtful. I asked him what he wanted to do.

    "I want to start a cult that practices trance fighting. The trance fighters can't be swayed by sorcerous manipulation." Hm. I'd wreaked havoc on Rich's group with Persuasion. It sounded like there could be a story in there.

    "Are you willing to play out learning the trance fighitng and gathering the cult? We could do it like we used in the old days," I said. Back in 92-93 Rich and I played a lot of Shadowrun and did a fair share of one on one sessions. We called them "vignettes." They were meant to be side adventures and to fill in time inbetween Shadowruns. What did you do when your buddies were healing up or getting implants? You took side work and got into trouble (or out of it on occasion). In this case, we could use Resources and Circles and Practice in order to make it all happen.

    Rich agreed with me. He wanted to give it a shot.



    A week ago we sat down for our first one on one session. I was a little skeptical and doubtful. Rich and I have an adversarial relationship at the gaming table. We've had a number of blowouts that have been unpleasant to watch.

    During the MW catastrophe, if I remember correctly, Danny failed his Herbalism treatment test. Si Juk received the Short of Breath trait. His Forte dropped by 1, from 4 to 3, and was then capped at 5. Then we couldn't remember whether or not he'd made the additional recovery tests for the MW. We decided that he had. In one respect, it was a hand wave. In another respect, we really couldn't remember, so we just assumed the best.

    I pulled out the old campaign folder and a couple of my old campaign notebooks. We decided we'd pick up right when Si Juk woke up. He was attended to by his loyal hobgoblin shaman. Everyone else was gone. They left cryptic word, "One of them got away." And they took his spirit blade* (help them confront the wizard).


    We started off with simple practice. Rich was one or two tests away from advancing in a number of his abilities. He practiced his Power, his special sword martial art Takashido, a few other skills I can't remember and then dumped the rest of his time into practicing his Forte to get it from 3 to 4.

    This practice took 6 months. In his spare time, he read and reread a book of poetry written for him while he was comatose by the Princess-Regent of the realm. She wrote one poem for every day he was unconscious. Just before he woke, she left with Si Juk's master to journey across the sea (and learn some Terrible Secrets).

    At this point, it dawned on me that Rich was going to have to keep a log of time for all the stuff he was doing. The passage of time is very important to this type of play. Because rather than just a series of practice tests and advancements, play becomes a description of the passage of time.

    After fully recovering and practicing his Takashido skill up to 6, Rich decided that Si Juk needed to move on. Rich wanted Si Juk to start his cult and the trance fighting. I asked him, "What do you want from the trance fighting?"
    "Complete immunity from Persuasion."

    Wow. That's a big power. We talked about it and decided that this would be trait that he would have to earn. Essentially, he'd have to get me to vote for him to get this trait. Fun stuff.

    So I asked him right away, "Well, let's start with a Meditation routine. What's your Meditation skill?"

    He didn't have one. Ah hah! "I ain't voting for you to get this trait until you have Meditation. That's your first step."

    So Rich sent Si Juk overland to a city in which he knew the Master Priest, Chima Park. The Master Priest was an old friend of his and they'd had some cunning adventures and stunning coups. Since then, his friend had been appointed as Master Priest of a temple and become a sort of spiritual advisor and safe haven for Si Juk. Rich went to see him and we roleplayed the discussion.

    Park agreed to help, but there was a kink. He didn't have the Instruction skill. Practicing Meditation into a skill would take Si Juk three years! I quickly referenced the Instruction rules and the practice times and came up with a solution. "Very well, I shall teach you, but first you must go and empty your mind. Sit and think on this and come back to me in six months time."

    I then confided in Rich, "While you're practicing for your first test, Chima's going to teach himself Instruction." Rich loved it.

    Si Juk returned to the temple and Chima had a B2 Instruction. It's an Ob 2 test to teach. Each time I would fail the test, I would get gruff and pronounce, "You are a bad student! Return to your studies. Six months!" And Rich would have Si Juk slink off. When he returned, I would ask in a gentle voice, "What have you learned?" And Rich would say something like, "I have learned that wind feeds the flame, master."

    It took Si Juk about a year and a half to learn how to Meditate. During the course of the training, Chima also earned a B4 Instruction. Not a bad deal. The process took a half hour of play and was rather entertaining.

    During that time, the Princess-Regent returned from The Land of Terrible Secrets across the seas. Her first stop was the city in which Si Juk was currently living. He went to see her.

    And I'll pick up my next post with what happened when he did!

    *That spirit blade, btw is from L1, Bone Hill. I think it as a +1 Sword with Detect Magic. Another character retrieved it from the ruins back in '94 or something! It's been in our game in one form or another ever since.
    "Athos—Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
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    Default The Princess, Mars and The Swords

    The Princess, Sui Nim, had lead an interesting life in our campaign. She was one of three children from the Emperor Miro. the only daughter and the middle child. Her elder brother fled the throne at a young age under mysterious circumstances.

    After The Great War, the capital moved into exile and the princess, then in her twenties, took charge of the household. Her father, Miro, had fallen ill with a broken heart. He missed his home!

    The young Mino, son of Miro, could not be properly coronated until the capital returned from exile. The Great Priests demanded all of the proper rituals for the new emperor. Until that time, he was a young and errant prince, and his sister bore the brunt of rulership.

    Si Juk first met the Princess after the capital returned from exile. (Though she didn't know it, he was instrumental in its return.) At the time, Si Juk was visiting the capital with his master, Kirin. Kirin and the other masters had been invited to court for the coronation. During their stay Kirin impressed the Princess. As her last act as Regent and Chamberlain, she appointed Kirin as a Chief Inspector of the Imperial Registry. It was (and remains) a rank of great power. He essentially became the Emperor's eyes in his realm. It was his duty to report abuse among his subjects. Much to everyone's surprise, the young Si Juk -- 21 years old -- was also appointed to the rank of Inspector. He has served her well and loyally in that capacity since. In fact, he has even saved her life not once, but twice!

    However, during the same catastrophe, two other dire events transpired. The capital was laid waste and desolate, and the Emperor was spirited away -- by Si Juk and his cohorts. Surely, the young inspector saved the newly crowned Emperor. But just as sure, the young man had ulterior motivations.

    The Emperor has been missing for almost four years now. There is peace on the land, but it is uneasy. Once again, the Princess is in the position of regent, but now she is old. It's been 20 years since she first assumed the role. She's unmarried and without child. The demands of courtly life and the endless crises of her reign have come between her and a family -- and an heir for her line.

    All of the events described above happened in play from about 1996 to 2005. I should also confess to the world that I love the character of the Princess. For many years she was in the background, a mysterious and tragic figure. I've enjoyed every instance of getting to play her in the spotlight.

    Rich sent Si Juk to see the Princess with a purpose. Within in moments, we were into a Duel of Wits:
    "You will take your rightful place as Regent Empress and rule this land."
    "You will find my brother and return him to me."

    The Princess won. Which we both expected -- she's an able debater. It's also worth noting that I do not have stats for the Princess. I gave her Persuasion and Oratory at 5, plus Etiquette and a couple of Wises. Gave her a Will of B6 and some bad ass traits: Imperious Demeanor and Domineering Presence. I won on my numbers, though. Didn't need to use any funny tricks.

    The compromise: The Princess will take on the role of Regent until Si Juk returns her brother, the rightful Emperor.

    Rich seemed please. He mentioned that there was no time clause and that, well, things could happen on the road. I reminded him that he was bound to return the man. He agreed. HE wasn't going to do anything untoward.

    We paused for a moment after the DoW. It was short, sharp and fun. I said, "You've got your quest. Find Mino. You lost him, now you have to figure out where he went." It's an established fact in our game that only one man knows the exact location of the Emperor -- the man who physically kidnapped him. No one else could reveal his location even subjected to torture or sorcery.

    Rich immediately replied, "I have two quests: I have to find a spirit blade, then I'll find the Emperor. The wizards must be destroyed; I need the blade to do that. Those are my Beliefs."

    Rich then decided to do some research in this city, Easter, about magic swords. I thought for a moment. I could force a Circles test, a wises test or even a Resources test, but to what end? Is there really any secret information here? And do I really want Rich to be able to bring in a new magic sword for his character? No! I want the sword to be part of the adventure. So I spilled all my "secret GM info" on magic swords. I told him that there are four known magical weapons -- spirit blades -- in the Niraih: His sword, known as Gorka's Sword or Hirio's Blade; his master's daisho; The Sword of Kings, a legendary sword which had recently surfaced during a revolt near this city; and the Spear of Destruction owned by the Hobgoblin Patriarch.

    His master's daisho and the Spear of Destruction were out, his own sword was missing and he'd never even heard of that other sword.

    Rich was struck with an idea, "Where were my master's swords made?"

    It was a good call. "The daisho was made during the course of the game by the patriarch of a famous sword-making family, the Han."

    "Where are the Han now?"

    "Well, rumor has it that they fled the capital with all of the other refugees during The Catastrophe. That means they're either in Twin Wolves or Mars."

    No rolls. I just gave up the goods. Rich decided to head to Mars (which is the city in which he awoke from his coma). The Princess decided to accompany him -- she needed to tour the Inner Sea. He could journey on her imperial capital ship. They talked about poetry en route.

    In Mars, Rich described Si Juk finding the Han. I said, "Uh uh. No way. You hear that the whole family has taken up residence in one of the hotels. It's a huge city. Do you have a relationship with them? No? Then if you want to find them it's a Circles test. What reps and affiliations are you going to use?"

    He mustered 6D and failed the rolled. I was stuck! I'd called for the roll but had no failure result in mind. There was a few minutes of silence as I chewed on it, trying to think of a good enmity clause. Didn't want to just say "No!" and nor did I want to be like "they hate you!" Neither really made sense.

    "Which affiliation did you use?"

    "3D, Inspector."

    "Oh!" It hit me. "You find them, a large family, living in a sprawling hotel up in the city. They receive you and have tea and a meal with you. After the meal, the aging mother -- she must be 90 -- produces a thick scroll and hands it over. Her son, 60 years old himself and the new patriarch of the family, watches you intently."

    The scroll was a list of grievances and damages. It demanded reparations for damages done to the Han estates during The Catastrophe. Rich was taken aback for a moment. But he relaxed into it, "What would you like me to do?"

    "We want these reparations addressed."

    "Could we add the cost of one set of your family's famous swords to the list?"

    "If you wish."

    "Fine, then I'll get this paid."

    Rich snapped out of character, "I want to find the Minister of Finance."

    "Excellent, no roll for that! Let me just look up his name...Ah yes, Taeriin Haeng Ga. You go to him as an Inspector?"

    "Yes."

    "He sees you right away. 'What can I do for you, Inspector?' You remember the Taeriin, right? They're the wealthy merchant council that you had to deal with in the capital."

    "I remember. Look, Taeriin, I need this bill paid out of the imperial treasury and promptly."

    "Where do you expect the money to come from? There's none to be had."

    "Would you like me to make certain of that, Taeriin? Would you like me to audit your books?"

    "You'll not touch these accounts, young man. I'll petition the Princess directly."

    Rich was in character. He stared at me hard.

    "I hear, Inspector, that you've been charged with returning the Emperor to the throne."

    "This is true," Rich grimaced.

    "When Mino is returned, there will be many changes and much upheaval at court."

    "What are you driving at Taeriin?"

    "There will be an accounting then, Inspector."

    Rich paused for a heartbeat and considered. "Taeriin, you put the document in front of me and I'll sign in."

    "Excellent. Let me get these accounts settled." I described him pulling out his chops and stamping the list of grievances and writing up a new bill.

    Rich described Si Juk personally hauling the gold and delivering it to the Han residence. They were very pleased and invited him to tea and a meal.

    Rich had Si Juk speak up, "These swords that I need made, they are to be like the ones you made for my master. They must possess certain qualities -- they must be able to harm the spirits, demons and wizards."

    I raised an eyebrow, "First, those swords were not made for your master. You'll note their length. They are two small for him. My father was making them for one of the Chan sons. A man a head and a half shorter. But your master's need was urgent, so my father gave him those.

    "Second, those swords can no longer be made. My father worked with Great Priest Qua Lung to bless those swords and grant them the power to harm demons. The priests have since lost their way. That power is lost to us."

    Rich started to get upset. I reminded him that it was a FAILED Circles test. (Probably one of the best failure results I've come up with in a while, too!) Rich knew that the priests had lost their power, but he hadn't made the connection between that and the spirit blades. Awesome!

    However, in the interest of pushing conflict, I tossed this out there: "It is remotely possible that we could make those swords again if, and only if, we had wood taken from an oak that was planted and grown atop the Wheel of Earth buried beneath it."

    "Where can I find the Wheel of Earth?"

    "I don't know. Probably with the Priests of Cley in Cley itself." Cley is the holy city of Lord Earth and the religious center of Niraih Empire -- the ailing empire which Si Juk serves.

    And with that, Si Juk took his leave from the Princess and headed for Cley. She provided him will a small bit of traveling money and a set of horses for him and his companion, Chujitsu.

    At this point, we'd played for about 90 minutes. I'll pick up with Si Juk's arrival in Cley in my next post.
    "Athos—Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
    --D'Artagnan

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    That's some awesome epic shit for 90 minutes of play, Luke. Absolutely killer and inspirational, too. It's all about the Circles and Relationships...

    Tim

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    I concur. I've really enjoyed the two posts thus far and I think they serve as an excellent example of what BW is capable of for 1-on-1 play. It will be an inspiration to a lot of folks.

    I don't want to sidetrack you too much but I have two questions Luke, if you don't mind.

    1) Was Taeriin, Master of Finance, a relationship for Si Juk? Just wondering why there was no roll there. Was that a Say Yes or Roll moment?

    2) The info on the magic swords and the facts about the sword of Si Juk's master, like that it was made for another man and that those swords couldn't be made anymore, was really cool. Was that information that was preciously established or at least given thought to ahead of time by you or was that impromptu color and complications?

    Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for taking the time to offer this AP.
    Chris McNeilly

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    Thanks, guys.

    In the future, comments are welcome, but try to hold off until I complete a session. I'll finish this one up tomorrow. Then I'll start on our second session. I'm being detailed in these accounts for a very specifc and particular reason.

    ==

    To answer your very valid questions Chris:

    1) No, he was not a relationship, but he was a previously establish NPC -- from ages ago. I did not require a roll for two reasons. First, Let It Ride. Rich had failed his Circles test and I felt it carried over nicely to this sidetrack. Second, there wasn't a conflict about finding this character. The conflict involved leveraging him to act. It could have been a Duel of Wits, but Rich and I agreed to terms in character before we got to that stage. What's more, that conflict was secondary to a secondary conflict. I wanted to stay focused on the dealings with the Han.

    By the way, I asked for a roll to find the Han because I wanted a gauge for how they would receive this young Inspector. I had nothing in mind and therefore took my cues from the dice. As you'll see in the next section, it was clearly the right thing to do!

    2) All of the info on the magic swords was developed in previous play. Those are all living breathing artifacts in our game with years of history in play. All of the facts I laid out there belonged to the experiences of other characters. I simply summed them up and glossed them over. The fact that spirit blades cannot be made any more (by the traditional means) has also been a "known issue" since, oh, '97.

    Hope that helps clear things up. That section of the AP is a little thin on mechanics. I apologize. But I did want to show explicitly how we roleplay and resolve conflict via roleplay. However, as you can see, even though we are not rolling dice there, we are engaged with the system.

    Also, I wanted to mention that all of the "travel" consisted of maybe a sentence of description, a note in Rich's log and then a brief description of the new place. We jumped quickly from place to place and didn't dwell on it. Rather than seeming disjointed, it felt sweeping. I think the time log had a lot to do with that.

    Wait until I post again before commenting.

    Thanks!
    -Luke
    "Athos—Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
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    Default Part 3 of Session 1

    Part the Third of Session 1 of the One on One trials of Si Juk.

    When we last saw our hero he was annoyed at his bad luck in Mars. He needed a spirit blade to confront the evil wizards -- their destruction was in his Beliefs! But spirit blades are hard to come by.

    As the GM, at this point, I knew that Si Juk's options were limited. From the start, I felt he really only had one choice. But I did not say this, I wanted to see where Rich would take it.

    Rich sent Si Juk to Cley (on the horses gifted to him by the Princess). I paused in my descriptions to remind Rich of the last time he'd been to Cley. It was during the coronation of Mino. Cley was the start of the coronation procession. Si Juk had gotten into a good deal of trouble for mouthing off to another master and to some of the officials in the city.

    Rich cackled at the memories, clearly delighted. "Dinner for wolf?" he chanted, quoting Conan. Rich had chained Si Juk to a wall in front of his master's manor during his last visit and spent his time begging. Trouble, I tell you.

    "So are you arriving as an Inspector?"

    "No, incognito."

    "Ok, where are you headed? What are you up to?"

    "Do these people hate me?"

    "No, Cleights are renowned for their friendly, down to earth dispositions. You've haven't really made any enemies here. You're thinking of the Navy. They're in High. They hate you."

    "Oh, right. Right. Ok, I head for a temple and start asking people -- priests -- where I can find the Wheel of Cley."

    "Um, well, there's one main temple in the center of the city. It's huge. Cley's the religious center of the empire, remember. And there are priests everywhere. You stop a journeyman priest and he kindly explains that such a thing would not be possible, but he'd be happy to take you to a temple where you can pray."

    At this point Rich started badgering the priest, repeating his demands. I was politely refusing his requests. It was becoming a case of the player asking and the GM saying, "No." Dangerous ground. From where I was standing, Rich wasn't going to get anywhere in this city without a Circles test or a wise or something. I didn't say anything explicit, though. I felt like it was clear. (Though I was wrong to think so. It wasn't clear. I'd play this differently in retrospect.)

    Taking my unspoken cues, Rich adapted. He asked the journeyman to take him to his superior. I consented and described him introducing Si Juk to a master priest heading up a rectory. Lest Rich think he bypassed a Circles test, the master priest supported the journeyman, and even upped the stakes a bit.

    "The Wheel of Cley is dangerous, friend. It is not something to be trifled with. Two Great Priests have died handling it. Two. You simply cannot touch it. No one can."

    Again, true stuff from the old days. Two priests died from the Tax of using this God Wheel. Rich hemmed and hawed, pushed and wheedled a bit more. I wasn't giving in.

    "Fine," he said, "I want to use Circles to have someone who likes me and knows me walk past."

    We set an obstacle -- 4, i think -- and rolled. He failed. Hm. I paused a moment and then had a flash of inspiration. When I was flipping through my notes, I'd noticed the name for an old priest antagonist, Ryun Chun. He was a traditionalist, a conservative and the head of the Temple of Cley's martial wing. He was its Master Priest of Battle. I flipped to the page and noticed a couple of other characters, Un-Miil and his assistant. Hell, I thought, they're visiting, too. I'll throw them in!

    "You feel someone standing behind you then you hear a gruff old voice speaking to the master priest, 'Are you ready for lunch? It's time and I am hungry.' Turning around, you see a wizened old priest, with deeply tanned skin, he's got two other younger priests with him. A look of recognition flashes between you two. You've met him before."

    At this point, I stopped and described Ryun Chun to Rich -- what he looked like and who he was. Ryun Chun hates Rich's master -- he believes he's a cultist and a heretic. Did I mention that he HATES him?

    Rich got that steely glint in his eyes as he sized up his adversary.

    "You," I said, "let's discuss this outside." Ryun Chun didn't want Si Juk's presence profaning even the rectory!

    Rich immediately started in, "'I am on a quest to rid this land of demons and wizards. We may be at peace now, but there is a darkness all about us. If we do not act, it will overtake us. You will take me to the Wheel right now.' And that is my statement of purpose for the Duel of Wits."

    Buh?! "Really? You want to go toe to toe with Ryun Chun? He's bad ass!"

    "Yup."

    Wow, fun! "You and your master are heretics and aberrations; you're liars and sorcerers. I never once aided your master and I swear I will never aid you in any quest."

    The actions are important here. I chose Point, Incite and Point. All out attack. Rich chose Feint, Rebuttal, Point (if I remember correctly). I had no stats for Ryun Chun, but he was easy to stat out. Will of B6, Oratory B5, plus various FoRKables. Told this to Rich as we rolled for our body of argument. My starting disposition was 14! Rich's was 7.

    Ryun Chun won without compromise. It was ugly. I trashed him in the first volley, insulted him in the second, caused him to hesitate and then finished him off in the third.

    But there was a beauty to it. Rich had to make a high obstacle Steel test from the Incite. I got extra successes. The test was of sufficient difficulty that it counted toward his Steel advancing. In fact, it was the last test Rich needed to push his Steel from 6 to 7.

    It was awesome! Si Juk stood up to this terrifying priest and got his ass handed to him -- but he learned from it. He learned something at his core. Rich and I were both very excited by this.

    Master Ryun Chun stalked off to his lunch appointment after the short, sharp argument, but the Master Priest Un-Miil stopped to have a word with Si Juk. I described this and reminded Rich who this character was: Si Juk had met him about 4 years ago. He was also a member of the martial order for the Temple, but he was a trained assassin. He had been dispatched to kill Master Park and one of Park's students (who is now the General of the Center). Master Park, so charismatic was he, and so righteous, convinced Un-Miil that his cause was just and won his favor (and his life!). Un-Miil was now a member of the General of the Center's court.

    Still Rich flinched when I described an assassin priest pulling him aside in the garden. "Young master, it is good to see you. I am Un-Miil, hopefully you remember me. I knew you and your master once. Your cause is just, Si Juk, and righteous. I wish you the best of luck in your quest. If should ever need anything here in Cley or at court, come to me and ask."

    "Thank you, sir. I shall." Rich was genuinely surprised and pleased by the overture.

    Why did I do something like that? Rich was operating on a failed Circles test and had just been trashed in a Duel of Wits, so there was no mechanical cause for it. I could have ended the scene and moved one. I had two reasons: First, to soften the blow of a double failure. Nothing worse than getting trashed and then being made to feel like you're the world's pariah. Second, because the world seems so much richer when there are varying and multiple viewpoints expressed. It's boring if each place is monolithic in nature. Un-Miil gave me a great chance to offer an outsider perspective. And it's a nice hook for further adventure!

    "What next?" I asked.

    "How do I get back to Easter from here?"

    "You're leaving? You're giving up on the Wheel?"

    "Yeah. I want to head back to Easter and see if I can get some leads on this other sword, the Sword of Kings."

    "OK. That'd be the place to start. It'll take about a week by boat. There's a new harbor here in Cley. You can ship out immediately."

    "Great. I go."

    Rich seemed impatient to push on, but I was exhausted! I asked if we could leave off. All told, we'd played for about two and a half hours. One on one play is intense -- both parties really have to be on. I knew this from years of playing one on one games with my brother, but the intensity of it really came through when playing with someone like Rich.

    We did artha awards and double-checked his advancements before calling it a night. He got a couple of fate points and a persona point.


    ==


    Questions and comments are welcome in this thread. I'll start new thread for our second session. We played a week later. It was different -- both more and less intense. Crazy!

    Rich, if I've misremembered or forgotten anything, please correct me.

    -Luke
    "Athos—Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
    --D'Artagnan

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    One final note about session 1. Rich had left our game before the end of Si Juk's last adventure. His character had taken a Mortal Wound and Rich didn't want to know what happened while he was in a coma. He wanted to be surprised "when he woke up."

    So he didn't get to participate in a trait vote. So when we started off of the session, I called for a trait vote and we discussed his character.

    Based on the discussion, he lost Aura of Innocence and gained both Fearless and Born Natural -- a call on for his Sword skill.

    -Luke
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    Just a couple immediate questions, and sorry for the earlier interruption:

    1) What was the basis for the Persona point award? Doesn't look, thus far anyway, that he accomplished a personal goal but I can see the possibility of a number of the other awards being appropriate.

    2) So in the last part the scene is driven by a failed circles test and it looked really cool. Two questions here, as another just sprang to mind.
    a) First, if Rich had somehow won that Duel of Wits would that not have reversed the failed circles test? In other words, there's no denying the failed circles test but if he'd had won the DoW he would have essentially gotten what he was initially aiming for with circles test, right?
    b) As the GM you really felt like the circles test was going to be necessary to make any headway towards the wheel. But he failed. Now this is all irrelevant now but just for my knowledge...after the failure what options do you see as still being available if he wanted to continue pursuing the wheel? As a player, what would you have done from there?

    Love the way the test outcomes are REALLY driving the game. Thanks again...
    Chris McNeilly

  9. #9
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    1) Moldbreaker. He has a Belief about dismantling the class structure. He supported it with his dealings with the Han.

    2)

    a) Yes, the DoW would have trumped his Circles test. Major, risky, escalated conflict trumps minor, semi-risky test. Tests are supposed to lead from conflict to conflict. They are not meant to build insurmountable walls.

    b) After the failed Circles test? He could have upped the ante. He could have looked for someone else with his Circles -- that test was pretty open ended. He could have shot for someone more specific. Or he could have gone into "adventurer mode" and started doing ninja shit at the temple so as to recon the location and then steal the damned thing. If he wanted to keep hammering away at it, there were all sorts of things we could have done.

    ==

    Regarding your last comment. I'm glad you like how the system engages the fiction, but do you SEE IT in your head? Do you see how you would apply this at your table?

    -Luke
    "Athos—Porthos, farewell till we meet again! Aramis, adieu forever!"
    --D'Artagnan

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    Quote Originally Posted by abzu
    Tests are supposed to lead from conflict to conflict. They are not meant to build insurmountable walls.
    This is the sentence that really popped out to me and seems to sum up what's going on at the table.

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