*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 21, 2022, 04:13:07 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: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Trollbabe] The Blood Gates  (Read 4747 times)
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« on: November 19, 2005, 08:21:37 AM »

Who - Me, Jon, and Steven.  We've met maybe 3-4 times for a Primetime Adventures game about Serbia circa 1991, but we couldn't get the whole group together, so we went with Trollbabe for a one-shot dealie.  (Seriously - I find it really funny that so many sessions of Trollbabe involve groups of experienced male gamers, since from what I gather it's meant for women who are new to gaming.  I guess they just don't post about it.)

Where - Jon's apartment.  With pizza!  Hurrah!

Prior Experience - Jon owned the game, but had no actual experience with it.  I was already familiar with the content and general mechanics of the game--it's been on my "kinda/sorta want to buy" list for a good year now, but I'd never played.  Steven was new to the whole thing.

The Characters -
Steven played SCOTTIE, who was good at hand-to-hand fighting, troll magic, and was insightful--#7.  Scottie had been involved with some wars among the Southlands, but had left in disgust, and wandered north.  She had a lucky thighbone, no doubt taken from some fearsome creature. 

I played INGRID, who at some point in her past had been abducted by the Sisterhood of the Shepherd's Crook--who had tried to cut off her horns, and they'd grown back in weird, knobby ways.  She was athletic, good at human magic, and scary (changed from perky).  Ingrid arrived at the Blood Gates by ship: she knew the place had once been involved in a magic ritual, and was curious about it.

I Go Berserk
So - in like the first 30 minutes of this game, all I did was make up ridiculous amounts of stuff about my character, the setting, and the general vibe.  I'm not sure why.

Jon: "Okay, let's see, you've been traveling for a long time, and you can finally see the village of Blood Gate as you crest the mountain trail..."

Me: "Nah, I'm on a sailing ship, if that's okay.  It's just pulling in."

Jon: "Um, okay, you're on a sailing ship coming into the village of Blood Gate..."

Me: "It's called the Blood Gates because they used to sacrifice children to the demon buried under the big rock out at sea!  So that the fishermen would get a good catch.  And the rock has, like, steps carved on it, that are all worn down and covered with sea foam!  Like, that doesn't have to be relevant, but that's why I'm in town.  Okay?"

Jon: (scribbles furiously in his notebook)

The Story
So, first of all Scottie and Ingrid meet up, which is kind of tense because they don't know each other, and Ingrid has identity issues.  Then the local headman's son is captured by trolls, who retreat into the woods.  Ingrid loudly volunteers to help, and gets into a brawl with some dude, while Scottie runs out, steals a horse, and rides after them. 

Scottie meets up with some lecherous, half-senile old troll, and persuades him to take her to the Troll Camp.  Turns out that those pesky humans have been cutting down the forest like crazy, disrupting the troll way of life, so now they've kidnapped the kid as a hostage.  The troll chief and shaman are elsewhere, with the child. 

Just as Scottie's learning this, Ingrid and a mob of villagers arrive.  (Ingrid has gradually learned that the headman is up to something.)  Ingrid narrowly prevents a massacre, while Scottie and the old troll men retreat.  There's an interrogation scene, where Ingrid learns that the child will be sacrificed to the demon under the rocks.  Also--it turns out that the headman was taught by the Sisterhood the way to control the imprisoned demon, and blighted the forest.  The villagers are pretty pissed off that their mayor has been dealing with demons.

Scottie, on the advice of the old troll, races to the rocks, rows out there, and fights off the shaman's magical power and tosses troll warriors around left and right.  She gets into a duel with the troll chieftain, but ends up being hurled off the cliff into the sea, unable to save the child.  (The old troll who had helped her also gets killed.)

Meanwhile, the demon is now being awakened by the sacrifice, and Ingrid uses Human Magic to suppress it and renew its imprisonment.  Turns out that the Sisterhood, whom she hates, was in charge of keeping it down, and she ends up using their rituals & catechism to avoid catastrophie.

There's an aftermath scene, as Ingrid turns her back on the mayor as the lynch mob comes after him, and Scottie, washed to shore amid the magical battle, persuades the mob to spare him. 

Overall
It was a good time!  We told a complete little tragedy in just under 3 hours.  The system is light and flexible.  I think I ended up using a heck of a lot of "director stance," which was a little weird for me since I felt like I was "cheating" a little bit.  The re-roll system is pretty sweet: I was worried we weren't using enough, but when the climax of the session came, we were really down to the wire.

I'd be happy to play this again sometime; it looks like it would be good for one-shot type things.
Logged

--Stack
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2005, 08:47:33 AM »

Hiya,

I'm glad you liked the game! Two points.

1. All that creativity you fired off in the first half-hour of play is may have been a form of defense. If not, then not. Something to consider, anyway. Or hey, you're just a one-man engine of trollbabe inspiration! Which is neat.

2. Your repeated use of the term "one-shot" is irritating to me, which is of course not any problem of yours. However, do consider that Trollbabe is built for multiple-adventure play and has a structured, unique reward system for that very purpose. If you enjoyed the game moment-to-moment, then you might well find an entirely new and more powerful level of enjoyment when you see what the moment-to-moment resolution is embedded in, at the larger time scale.

Best,
Ron
Logged
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2005, 09:17:42 AM »

1. All that creativity you fired off in the first half-hour of play is may have been a form of defense. If not, then not. Something to consider, anyway. Or hey, you're just a one-man engine of trollbabe inspiration! Which is neat.

I didn't feel threatened or nothin', so I don't think it was a matter of defense.  The setting simply seemed pretty wide open, and I think I just wanted to get some color in there, though after a while I began to worry that I'd overdone it.  Jon handled it with good grace.

Quote
2. Your repeated use of the term "one-shot" is irritating to me, which is of course not any problem of yours. However, do consider that Trollbabe is built for multiple-adventure play and has a structured, unique reward system for that very purpose.

Oh, certainly!  That was never in question, and as mentioned in the OP I'm certainly open to play it again.  It was fun!
Logged

--Stack
Jon Hastings
Member

Posts: 95


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2005, 10:10:25 AM »

So, first off, I had a great time GMing this game.  Though it may sound weird, I was glad to get back into a more "traditional" GM role than what I am used to from producing Primetime Adventures.

Some points/considerations:

1. Next time I play I am going to do a little bit more in the way of prep.  I had decent enough stakes (heavily inspired by other Trollbabe games written up in this forum, Princess Mononoke, and the second season of The Wire), but I could have used a few more concrete ideas/images to help me anchor the improvisation.  Partly because of this, I was very happy to weave James' contributions into the adventure: they made things a little deeper and denser.

2. A rule issue came up while I was thinking over the game: The scale of the adventure was personal, so when Ingrid used magic to suppress the demon, I didn't use any modifiers for scale, thinking: if the magic affects a single creature (the demon) it must be personal.  But because the demon threatened the entire town, I wonder if I should have used that scale to modify the roll.   If I had given James the -2 modifier, Ingrid probably would have failed, and things would have ended up being even more of a downer.

3. While playing Trollbabe, lots of really cool, thematic, and even poetic stuff seemed to creep up on me.  For example, the final image of the adventure was the two Trollbabes standing alone in the village along with the chagrined chief, whose hubris had led to his being shunned by his community.  I was much less conscious that we were making this kind of thing happen than I am when playing Primetime Adventures.

4. I am now really interested in playing a long-term Trollbabe game.  In my Tuesday night rpg group, we've just about wrapped up our Primetime Adventures season ("Moon Town"), and Trollbabe is now at the top of my list of "games I want to run next".

Anyway, this is brilliant game, Ron, and I'm very happy that I finally got a chance to play.

Cheers,
Jon
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2005, 10:40:32 AM »

Thank you.

I needed this thread today.

Best,
Ron
Logged
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!