*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
January 22, 2022, 09:35:35 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 71 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [MLwM] The Destroyer of Dreams  (Read 6572 times)
Michael S. Miller
Member

Posts: 846


WWW
« on: February 01, 2005, 09:48:16 AM »

I ran MLwM in a midnight game at Dreamation. I didn't keep close track of the scenes, but there are bits that stand out in memory.

The Bad: I screwed up the endgame rules and need to get a better grip on what qualifies as Sincerity.

The Good: well, everything else:

The Master: Rudolph von Hesch, He Who Deadens Dreams. He is destroying dreams from the villagers so as to create an orderly world--or is it because he is haunted by dreams of his late wife Else?

The Outsider: Herr Schneider, an industrialist who wants to build a factory among the obedient peasants of the town.

The Color: The Master destroys dreams by mounting weird copper and glass antenna-like things on the village rooftops. The minions have not been able to yet mount one on the steeple of the church. The master's face is never seen. He's often obscured by massive magnifying glasses (like in Twelve Monkeys) or wearing goggles, or really high collars. Because of this, I did my best not to look any of the players in the eye while playing the Master. He also has this serum that he distills from Dream Sludge that improves him in many ways.

The Minions (I'm going from memory here):
MAWG--played by Rob (aka RobNJ)--inspired by Swedish wrestler Tor Erikson--More Than Human: Incredibly strong, except when kind words are spoken to him.

Wolfgang--played by Judd (aka Paka)--a big-eyed, bulbous-nosed creature that had emerged from someone dying of lack of dreams

Deiter--played by Andrew Morris--the creepy bulter--More Than Human: Remains unseen unless someone is looking for him

Sergei--played by TonyLB--stooped and pale and toadlike--More Than Human: Can cling to any surface, except when there is a loud noise.

Luissa--played by Joshua (aka nikola)--More Than Human: So beautiful that anyone will love her, unless she opens her eyes (which were filled with maggots). Joshua's commentary can be found in 10 Dogs, 6 Ronin and Assorted Bombastic Aristos

I laid out the ground rules, someone suggested the whole dream-deadening thing because of The City of Lost Children and we were off. I think the only input I provided during Master Creation was to suggest we steer away from anything that could become silly at 3 in the morning (like the word "vomitous"). The guys whipped up minions with gusto and we started with the Master assigning tasks over the breakfast table (realworld time: about 12:50am)

People feel out the system, do their deeds (Sergei drops down upon Mawg's father from the rafters and clobbers the old man) and a couple Overtures (Wolfgang crafts a flute to give to the little mute girl).

Then it's time to start playing minion off minion. Deiter and Sergei had been sent out together, but Sergei left Deiter to bring the prisoner back solo so that he could get in an Overture with the blind glassblower. When he returns, he offers the dark glasses to the Master, because they will help Luissa. The Master berates Sergei for his initiative, breaks the glasses, has Sergei clean them up, then steps on his hand on his way out the door.

Wolfgang convinces Eva the mute to go with him, as the Master has ordered that he needs dreams from one who has never made a sound. Then, Wolfgang tries to convince her that if she would mke a sound, perhaps the Master would leave her alone. Wolfgang suggests that he could help her make the sound like villagers make when they're tucked into bed at night. That was the high point of creeping me out of the night. Good job, Judd.

Mawg is ordered to go to the guest room and beat his father. He successfully resists. By this point, Rob is talking in the 3rd person all the time in this incredible voice, and hitting himself in the head when frustrated and the others are laughing and really enjoying him hamming it up.

We can't have that, now can we?

The Master orders Mawg to keep still and silent until he is dismissed. The Master then alternates between berating Mawg for his failings and reminding him of how lucky he is to have the Master. He then dismisses him to go beat his father. Rob successfully rolls to resist the order, but it was a powerful scene. Everyone else at the table got quiet.

My memory gets thin after that, primarily due to the hour. I know that Wolfgang tried to stop Sergei from bringing food to Eva the Mute, but failed. I recall that Wolfgang was the first with enough Love to trigger endgame, but even with Sergei hiding in the shadows, urging him on, he failed his roll. Sergei very nearly committed suicide, but was summoned by the Master before he could work up the nerve. With Wolfgang and Mawg looking on (and supporting) he was able to make the roll.

I screwed up endgame, forgetting that only the minion that triggers it can kill the Master. In the end, Mawg hurled a clock tower on the Master, but was killed along with it.

Luissa was torn to shreds by a mob of men driven by their love of her. She might have saved herself had she just opened her eyes. Alas.

Wolfgang integrated into the town, for one night. He fell asleep for the first time in his life, but never woke up.

Sergei ... Tony, what happened to Sergei? I completely forget.

Deiter ... ah, Deiter. He was a pain all night. (this is not a criticism, Andrew, just my perspective). Whatever the Master dealt out, he'd take. He was barely even passive aggressive. It was like he was made of teflon--nothing fazed him. But then the realy beauty of the game was that the numbers said the same thing: he qualified for none of the standard Epilogues. So he went off to find a new Master. He muttered as the dust settled, "It is so difficult to secure a new position when one lacks refereneces from one's previous employers." The guys looked at each other and said. "He's done this before? That's horrible, but so perfect."

All in all, an great run of a great game. Fill in all the stuff I've forgotten. The Master does not take his own notes. He has the minions do it for him.
Logged

Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Keith Senkowski
Member

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2005, 09:52:29 AM »

Man, I wished I had played in this game.  I was sitting with Vincent at a nearby table observing him take someone thru character creation with Dogs and couldn't help but be drawn into what was going on in this game.  Anytime the players physcially react to the things said by the GM is a sign of a great game...

Keith
Logged

Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2005, 10:16:05 AM »

Sergei integrated into the social fabric of the town... specifically, he was healed by Anja the wild-girl he was so desperately in love with, and then became the shadowy, scurrying creature who hid himself in the shadows and was looked upon with veiled contempt (by those with a predilection toward such things) or open sympathy (again, by those with the predilection).  It's not much of a role in the community, but it's a role.

In thinking about him since, I've realized that there also needs to be a scene where Anja outgrows him.  She's an outcast due to circumstance and a fierce, self-empowering independence.  He's an outcast due to his own deeds and his self-loathing.  She can heal.  He cannot.  Eventually she's going to become a remarkable and happy young woman, and the key step of that will be when she sadly tells him that she will no longer cling to the shadows, even to be near him.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Andrew Morris
Member

Posts: 1233


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2005, 10:46:31 AM »

Quote from: Michael S. Miller
Deiter ... ah, Deiter. He was a pain all night. (this is not a criticism, Andrew, just my perspective). Whatever the Master dealt out, he'd take. He was barely even passive aggressive. It was like he was made of teflon--nothing fazed him.

Yeah, well Dieter was a pain for me, too. I'd never even looked at the MLwM rules before I played, so I went with no Self-Loathing and tons of Weariness. He didn't hate himself, he hated the master. He just didn't care enough to do anything about it, unless an opportunity presented itself. And as to nothing fazing him, well, that was just his unflappable outer demeanor. Inside, he was trembling and hating the master.

Quote from: Michael S. Miller
But then the realy beauty of the game was that the numbers said the same thing: he qualified for none of the standard Epilogues. So he went off to find a new Master. He muttered as the dust settled, "It is so difficult to secure a new position when one lacks refereneces from one's previous employers." The guys looked at each other and said. "He's done this before? That's horrible, but so perfect."

Yeah, I liked that ending for Dieter. I imagine he's out there right now, wandering the hills, looking for a new overlord.
Logged

Download: Unistat
Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2005, 06:15:48 PM »

We're the monsters.

No, not because of something we write on our character sheet and not because of a cool drawing out of the book we base our character on.  We our monsters because of what we do for Master.

I have never had so many internal revelations during a game.  I think the game was a real window into the mind of my character, demanding that I think about why he's in this position and why he serves this master.

The next afternoon, after the game, Michael yelled my character's name in his master-voice and I jumped.  I hadn't thought about that game since it had happened.  I liked it and had a wonderful time but I just put it out of my head.

Life's easier that way.

I enjoyed everyone's characters, the beautiful girl with maggots in her eyes, the unflappable scheming butler, that froggish thing that clung to the walls,  the lumbering beast and my own bug-eyed nightmare.

And of course the faceless master.

Its a wonderful game and I hope to run it some dark, stormy night in the near future.
Logged

Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2005, 06:17:02 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Morris
I imagine he's out there right now, wandering the hills, looking for a new overlord.


Deiter knew where he was going to go even as the game ended.  He had a new master set up and ready to roll.

I think Deiter has done this kind of thing before, wandering from master to master.

Ick.
Logged

Robert Bohl
Member

Posts: 525


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 07:11:14 AM »

"Happy words confuse Mawg!"*

That said, this game was the most fun I had all weekend.  Mawg! was unimaginably strong, except when confronted by fire and was hideously ugly, except to children.  This set me up for the most emotionally upsetting moment at the table for me, which was when Mawg!'s interactions with Lilli.  Lilli was one of his contacts, the pretty peri-pubescent girl who was still enough of a child to not run screaming from Mawg! and enough of a developing woman for Mawg! to begin to fall in love with her.

So here's the scene.  Baron Von Hesh says that Mawg! has to go and get Lilli.  At first he's going to resist, but then The Master tells Mawg! he wants him to make her scream and cry, and that appeals to Mawg!  He will enjoy that, but he'll only have to do it once, and it also gives him an excuse to hold her.  Mawg! goes to get her, and the totally messed up thing is she's got almost no dialogue.  She's got no personality.  She gets treated by the "story" as an object, carted from place to place, talked at but not talked to. . . .  Mawg! tells her how he's going to take her off into the middle of nowhere and they can live happily ever after.

Now I was always macking hard for the sincerity die, and as hard as it was to get that for Luissa, I think it was easy for Mawg!  Anyway, as I'm about to kill The Master, someone gives me the idea that instead of saying he wants to go and be happy with Lilli, Mawg! has a moment of redemption and realizes that he's completely corrupt and will only befoul Lilli, and his only choice is to destroy Master and himself so Lilli can have a normal life.  He has to do it before that moment fades and he gives into his baser impulses.  Not only did that get me the sincerity die, but it also made for a perfect end for the character.

I really loved that game.  It was so much fun.  Thanks to Judd for convincing me to go and letting me know about it in the first place; thanks to the guy who made the game; thanks to Mike for running an amazing Master, even as he was fading; thanks to whoever gave me that perfect ending; thanks to everyone at the table for having characters that made me cry out, "Oh my god, no!" with a mixture of horror and glee more genuine than I can remember having experienced for a long time at my own home games.

* I was really tempted to write this all in Mawg!'s "voice", but I figured the villagers would've rallied with pitchforks and stuff.
Logged

Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 07:45:19 AM »

The way I figured the sincerity die was simply this:  If there is any possible selfish benefit to your character, any at all, you don't get the sincerity die.  It has to be going against everything you want, in order to do what is right.

The trick on that is that self-loathing means that you want to destroy yourself.  I'm increasingly skeptical, in retrospect, about whether Sergei should have gotten a sincerity die for attempting suicide.  At the time I pimped for it, but in retrospect... who was he doing it for, if not himself?

Rob, you've left out my favorite thing about Mawg and Lilli.  When he's got her halfway to the castle, and is trying to convince her of the rightness of his plan ("I'm going to do terrible things to make you scream, but then maybe I'll help make you better, and that will be alright") she starts screaming and then passes out.  At which point you gave a drop-dead-perfect line:  "Why you stop screaming?  Mawg like screaming!  Wake up, little girl, and scream some more!"

It was the little slapping motions that did it for me... the understated implication that Mawg was picking her up by her lapels and slapping her unconscious form silly, trying to wake her up so that she'd scream some more.

It was utterly monstrous... and I totally understood why he was doing it, because all his alternatives were so much hideously worse that the prospect of her screaming from sheer heart-stopping terror (as opposed to, say, torture) seemed like a heaven-sent blessing.  Creeeeeeepy....
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Robert Bohl
Member

Posts: 525


WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 07:51:18 AM »

Thanks, Tony.  I'd forgotten that moment, and I'm very glad that my character's pain entertained you all :).

I loved the physicality of the way you played your character.  It made the whole thing extremely visceral.  I could "see" him so clearly.  You were also totally immersed in him and taking into account everything about his limitations and powers.  Specifically, I'm thinking of that moment where there was a terribly loud noise in a scene and you said, "From somewhere deep in the castle, there's a thud as I fall off the wall."
Logged

Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 06:57:45 PM »

The next afternoon, after the game, Michael yelled my character's name in his master-voice and I jumped.

Michael, I may need to phone you to hear your Master voice.

(And the game sounds like it was incredible.)

Paul
Logged

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
Joshua A.C. Newman
Member

Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2005, 07:58:57 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB
The trick on that is that self-loathing means that you want to destroy yourself.  I'm increasingly skeptical, in retrospect, about whether Sergei should have gotten a sincerity die for attempting suicide.  At the time I pimped for it, but in retrospect... who was he doing it for, if not himself?


Well, that's the kind of question that MLWM makes you ask, isn't it? And it's a big one, because it's a question one asks about actual suicides, too.

On the one hand, yes, you just wanted to be free from Master and all the horror around you.

On the other hand, you were freeing the village folk from your own horror.

Was the world better off without you (any of us, really)? Sure! Why were you committing suicide rather than throwing buildings, raising angry mobs, usurping power, or 'Yes Master'ing your way to the next castle? Because it's what you earnestly wanted.

Sincere? Yes. Selfish? Yes. Beneficial to everyone? Yes.

I would like to point out that, in Dreamation games I played, there were no less than four clear suicides (or attempts), plus at least two instances of totally suicidal behavior. When you get to play your character the way you like, and have your rules support you, you can let out all that bottled-up tragedy, I guess
Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Robert Bohl
Member

Posts: 525


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2005, 08:07:56 AM »

One of the interesting things with the sincerity issue is the player vs. character split.  I found it hard at times, because my interest as a player could be deemed insincere (I wanted my character to win).  From that core, I had to come up with . . . well, you know that old line?  If you can fake sincerity, you got everything covered?  I'm screwing it up, but role-playing is elaborate fakery, so it felt weird asking for dice for sincerity, and trying to seed actual sincerity into the character.

It helped to focus on the "admitting your worthlessness and wretchedness" angle.
Logged

Game:
Misspent Youth: Ocean's 11 + Avatar: The Last Airbender + Snow Crash
Shows:
Oo! Let's Make a Game!: Joshua A.C. Newman and I make a transhumanist RPG
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!