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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [MLWM]My Life in Feudal Japan  (Read 3655 times)
rylen dreskin
Member

Posts: 34


« on: September 17, 2005, 01:41:25 PM »

lo folks

Mixed results on my first session of My Life with Master.  I think I might have started things too quick out of the gate, and as a result, Im not sure where to go next.  Also Ive got a couple rule questions.  But first, the basics.

Im the weird guy at my college gaming organization who keeps trying to get people to do things besides d20 Living series.  Ive had success with Nobilis and a one-shot Great Ork Gods.  This time, I put out a feeler for My Life with Master.  Two weeks ago, I had three people and we were going to meet at the library.  I waited with one of them for an hour.  The other two waited for us about 50 feet away.  Amazing.  Last week, we tried again; those two were there and the first was home with a flu.

So, I started things off with some info on making masters.  Jeh and William were very fond of an anime villain, so we used him, somewhat, for inspiration.  The Wise Master, The Benevolent Lord, The Great Seer, or as they whisper his name, Yami the darkness is a minor feudal Japanese figure who has set himself up as overlord of a small area.  (Just a village?)  He is old and driven by immense fears of death and betrayal.  This fear expresses itself in his efforts to build a massive army and learn dark alchemical secrets.  He builds his army by kidnapping children and indoctrinating them into belief he is semi-divine.  He lives in a outside the village in a modest mansion which is kept so absolutely immaculate it seems no one lives there.  Below the mansion is a chaotic warren of winding tunnels.

Weve got a formerly prosperous market town.  Yamis been a blight on the place for 30 years, but has recently gotten much worse.

Mechanically:
Fear 5, Reason 3.
Brain Collector:  Seeks a perfect army, total knowledge, and defeat of death.
Needs:  Recruits, subjects for experiments.
Wants:  Knowledge and domination over other warlords.

Characters:
William is playing Kagi the General 3L.  An incredible martial artist, but only once a day.  And mentally slow, except for violence.  He has a soft spot for an old widow who regularly visits her husbands grave and for a young kid who wants to fix things.  He is Yamis heavy and chief thug..

Jeh is Asuika.  1L 2W A young woman raised and brainwashed by Yami who uses her as a steward and assassin.  She can move with blinding speed, but is clumsy around children.  And she cannot show emotions, except with an orphan child.  Her sympathy lies with an orphan kid in town who hasnt given up, and a white bunny.

Steven wasnt there the first day, and I hope the above description will help him fit in.


* * *

I scribbled for a few minutes, only came up with one or two ideas, and we ran with them for a bit.

The master was sitting in his raked garden.  He called to his general and worried there were too few recruits.  He sent the general to get more children from the town for soldiers.  [Attempt to resist failed.]

The master also had a domestic problem.  One of the serving girls had spilled tea earlier that day.  He instructed his steward to have the other girls discipline her.  When asked for clarification was he said to beat her until she can no longer walk.  [Attempt to resist failed.]

We framed a general sense of what was going on in the town and focused on a single incident.  A mother was trying to hide her child.  The soldiers broke in her door.  She brandished a kitchen cleaver.  Kagi had the men club her down and grabbed the boy.  [+1 SL.  Should this just happen for his actions?  Just for murder?]

Next, in a dungeon beneath the mansion, Asuika drove the serving girls to beat the victim.  But she directed the beating to not do any great damage and cut the girls tendon to fulfill the no longer walk direction.  [+1SL?  This is trying to soften an order.  And how well does this grow back?]

William wanted to bond with the boy, who we decided was his connection.  I started out the scene one way, he had a better idea, so we reframed.  Coming back from town, the boy tried to escape.  Kagi sent the other men along, tracked the boy down, and grabbed him.  The boy argued how things were horrible and that they had no right.  Kagi told the boy he was helping.  That the only way to make right in the world was through strength and he would make the boy strong.  The boy heard.  [Intimacy die.  +1 Love]

After the beating, Asuika carried the serving girl to the healing room and dressed the wounds herself.  She told the girl to be strong, that she had suffered that way herself.  [Intimacy die.  +1 love]

--I dont have notes for the next few:

The master had heard that the great swordsman Usagi was in the area and sent Asuika to fetch him.

The master decreed that the 5 kidnapped children needed serious martial training.  That they be driven hard and it would be acceptable if one died in the process.  [Resist failed.]

After traveling around a few days with a pair of thugs in tow, Asuika found Usagi having a drink after a duel.  She left her thugs behind, talked with him for a while, and drugged his drink.  [+1 weariness]

I dont remember the details of the training session.

--At this point I had no idea what the master wanted next.  Im working on his goals.
Goods theyve picked up their roles in creating and framing scenes and creating the story.  William has an elaborate scheme for the master to use Usagi as a false general, get him killed, and get the kids fired up about avenging him.  I may use it.

Bads Im still figuring out violence and villainy.  Does having others commit the wicked act save you from SL?  What about using More Then to accomplish it?  What about minor violence, like cutting the tendon?  [Certainly SL if that sort of wound is for life.]

Id appreciate suggestions on master gambits.  Im also worried that starting off with a big snatch from the village suggests the master is too strong for the village to defy.

Now, to track down a list of Japanese names.

Rylen
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rylen dreskin
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2005, 01:45:17 PM »

Almost forgot--
Does every order need to push Violence/Villany?

Rylen
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ewilen
Member

Posts: 108


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 06:20:21 PM »

Based on this example of play, I'd say the answer is "no".
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Elliot Wilen, Berkeley, CA
Michael S. Miller
Member

Posts: 846


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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2005, 03:23:05 AM »

Does every order need to push Violence/Villany?

YES!
Every Command requires at least one Violence/Villainy roll unless it is successfully Resisted. Check out the recent thread Question: Using More/Less-Than traits, and trying to avoid conflict for discussion on that.

Also, you might want to read my Manifesto on Mastery. It's got my own take on running the game.

Don't let the minions' attempts to "soften" a blow affect the dice. Just by carrying out the order, they are doing the bidding of a corrupt, evil, foul, dastardly, wicked villain. Why shouldn't they loathe themselves more?

One further suggestion that's worked for me. When the minion says: "How much should I beat her?" don't give a specific directive like "until she can't walk," but instead fly into a rage "Must I do everything myself? Are you so incompetent that you cannot beat a simple disobedient girl on your own? Beat her until she has been beaten enough! Get out of my sight, you filth!" That way, the player has to decide how much is enough. It makes them squirm. And hate the Master more.
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Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 06:31:53 AM »

Hey Rylen,

We framed a general sense of what was going on in the town and focused on a single incident. A mother was trying to hide her child. The soldiers broke in her door. She brandished a kitchen cleaver. Kagi had the men club her down and grabbed the boy. [+1 SL. Should this just happen for his actions? Just for murder?]

Absolutely. The question isn't whether a modern court of law would hold Kagi responsible, but whether Kagi himself hates the things he does. If Kagi is successful at the Violence roll, he gets the Self-loathing.

Bads Im still figuring out violence and villainy. Does having others commit the wicked act save you from SL? What about using More Then to accomplish it? What about minor violence, like cutting the tendon? [Certainly SL if that sort of wound is for life.]

You need to use the game mechanics as a basis for understanding the conflicts in your scenes. Use Violence for any scene where the minion, in acting against the interests of the townspeople, could possibly come to physical harm. By acting against the interests of the townspeople, the minion risks Self-loathing. If the player fails the roll, then interpret how events result in injury to the minion. And avoid too often relying on accidents (e.g. the minion rips his hand open on a rusty nail in fleeing from the house). A player who's into his minion's wretched psychology might do okay with an accidental injury by playing up frustration with the injury and what it represents to the minion's state of mind, but it's better to not rely on this at all if you can avoid it. In the case of Kagi, if the player had failed the roll, I'd have maybe had the mother get in a nice wicked scratch on his face from out of the scrum. Only use Villainy when there aren't any people around who might cause harm to the minion.

Paul
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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
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