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Author Topic: Conspiracy of Ravenloft: Session One  (Read 1900 times)
Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« on: January 17, 2006, 01:06:11 PM »

So on Saturday we finally hit the CoS Ravenloft game and I think it was a bit rougher in spots than it should have been.  Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but I think we struggled a little at times.  Part of that is this being the first real session with this group and the other part I'm talking about in this post. 

See I don't write bangs or relationship maps.  Part of it is being lazy and part of it is that I am more interested in reacting to whatever cool shit the players come up with.  I came into the game with a vague idea of something being wrong in the village, the count is a part of it, and that there would be a few different indicators that I could think of, which I tried to tailor to each player's interest based on what they did with character sheets.

For those that don't know, in Conspiracy of Shadows, Trigger = Kicker and Drive = Belief for the characters.  There is also a Group Kicker, which functions just like any other Kicker.

I took one of the character's Trigger, which was that he had been a part of the razing of the town a year before and threw in all sorts of stuff and details in his scenes to spark the something isn't right here response, which seemed to work for the most part.  Matt M. seemed very engaged with the fact that his character's shit was directly tied to the session's events.

For another player I attacked his Batman meets Luke Crane priest deal by sending a sympathetic character who is in trouble his way that also was meant to spark the something isn't right here. That worked really well I think, though I am sure Matt W. might have more to say.

With the third player, Monica, I struggled a bit with.  I wasn't clear on her priorities from her Trigger and Drive.  Also I don't think she is used to the whole bottom up approach to running games that I use.  Her familiarity, system-wise, is things like Unisystem and WoD, which are very top down in their approach.  That combination I think is what was the cause of the struggle, and something I need to be aware of.  I also think I need to try and poke her character a bit more to see what she really wants out of the game.

On a side note, we as a group totally ignored the Trust Pool and Destiny Pools, which is my fault cause they have not played the game before and the importance of those two parts of the game.  I think next time I am going to put a pile of dice in a bowl in the center of the table for the Trust Pool and give everyone poker chips for their Destiny so that it is right there in front of them.  I don't think Matt W's character would have suffered the smack down that he did when he faced the goons with the axe-handles.

I am sure Matt, Matt and Monica will have more to add.
Keith
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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
Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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student, second edition


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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2006, 01:24:54 PM »

I was shocked! Shocked I tell you, to discover that a priest with a gun shouldn't attempt to buy up initiative from 4th place.

The rules for fightin' in this game are fun, even if my character totally got his balls stomped. Sorry Luke.

What's cool is now I have a real need to hit the Doom mechanic and the Trust pool. I can't not use 'em.

And yeah, Keith's GM style is much better suited to "I want to go talk to this guy and get him to tell me what happened to the little girl" than "I want to go and just talk to this guy for a while." It's not unlike PTA where you need to go into the scene looking for conflict.
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Matt-M-McElroy
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2006, 01:50:19 PM »

I was shocked! Shocked I tell you, to discover that a priest with a gun shouldn't attempt to buy up initiative from 4th place.

The rules for fightin' in this game are fun, even if my character totally got his balls stomped. Sorry Luke.

The whole scene was good for learning the various combat mechanics. I need to get a bit more descriptive with my characters actions though...


What's cool is now I have a real need to hit the Doom mechanic and the Trust pool. I can't not use 'em.

And yeah, Keith's GM style is much better suited to "I want to go talk to this guy and get him to tell me what happened to the little girl" than "I want to go and just talk to this guy for a while." It's not unlike PTA where you need to go into the scene looking for conflict.

I was just about to use a Destiny Point for the big scene at the end of the session...guess it'll have to wait for the next one. The cliffhanger was cool and aggravating at the same time.

I think with a little more time Monica will get into the swing of things. She is starting to pick it up and I'm working with her between now and the next session to figure out her character's Descriptors and Drive a bit more.

Regards,

Matt M McElroy
"What Are You Afraid Of?"
http://www.flamesrising.com
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 02:44:46 PM »

On a side note, we as a group totally ignored the Trust Pool and Destiny Pools...

That's a big honkin' side note, man.

I have the Trust Pool as these gold d6's in the middle of the table in a bowl and yeah, Destiny is represented by poker chips.

How's about a conflict example or any Destiny spent?
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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student, second edition


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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 07:46:46 PM »

Quote
How's about a conflict example or any Destiny spent?

How about the description of what happened when I tried to turn my sorry-ass priest into Batman (note to self: stop doing that!)?

It's a valuable lesson about understanding the rules.

So we're being stared down by four Mooks(tm), holding axe handles, being all "get out of town," and  and I draw my sad little flintlock and say, "so which one of you wants me to leave the most?" Hee hee.  A priest says that.

Yeah, the words were cool, but no follow up.

I get a total crap initiative roll, and Keith, because he is the devil, he says to me, "hey, you can buy it up, but you take a penalty." How bad can that penalty be, I'm thinking?

Oh, how bad indeed.

I give myself first go, because I figure, dude, I'm already holding and pointing the gun. I should be going first. And I make a decent roll of my pistol shot, but the damn thing goes wild, because penalty dice don't reduce your pool, no. They subtract from your other dice. I didn't read that part carefully. So then the thugs just pile on me, and because of my three-dice penalty, my defense roll comes out to a zero. Against their roll of like 80, that puts me out instantly.

Luckily Matt M's guy is an Army of One, and he takes them all out while I whimper. So there we are at the end, I'm about as tough as Grandpa Simpson, and now we're facing the whole rest of the village.

Cool. And yeah, my guy has the talk but not the walk.
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Jason Leigh
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2006, 08:32:07 PM »

I'll hop in to add two things of no real value:

1) Matt Wilson's round up of the conflict kicks-arse, and totally makes me want to run out and buy of copy of the game.
2) I love cliffhangers in RPGs, where the session ends at a moment of high tension.  Sadly, those only work if one plays regularly enough for the "gotcha" to wear off.

Cheers,


Jason
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daemonchild
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2006, 12:00:47 PM »

For me the second time around was a little more challenging because well, I was a little confused about what a female character should and shouldn't do in the setting. We started out as the Priest's servants, and well I kind of felt like my character was taking a backseat for a while to see how things were playing out. Then, when I did try something it was the wrong thing. So it goes.

The investigation part I didn't feel too connected to, but there was a lot of mystery and, at times, trying to get something out of our GM was like...trying to play Trivial Pursuit--the Speed Round. The pacing felt off for me, too, if only because we were all on our own. As usual, Keith's accents kept me very entertained, though.

We are at a cliffhanger, and I'm much more interested in the action part than in the "find stuff out" part. The "find stuff out" part failure was partially my fault; I forgot to use those useful witchblood powerz. But...I'm not so sure they would have worked anyway, the townspeople/castle kind of reminded me of "Children of the Corn" and "Fright Night."

What I want out of my character is for her to feel the conflict (the touch of the Fae) and be so passionate about it sometimes it overtakes her emotions. Explore whether or not she has the potential to abuse her fae-touched powers; find out if she can remain as a merchant or if the horrors will force her to commit acts that may potentially put her in more dangers than just "seeking the fae." Right now, I'd say my character believes (unless she's proven otherwise) that the fae are behind everything. So seeing (below) she's convinced herself she's gotta do something.

Here's the cliffhanger:

I'm currently behind a curtain holding a baby that may (or may not) be fae-enchanted. It has two different colored eyes. Supposedly the only way to cure it is to baptize it under a fae spring at midnight (the next day). The townspeople (who potentially appeared out of the mist) are watching a very gory ritual where a man is flaying some woman (who's potentially enchanted) and ribbons of flesh are dropping to the floor. Some other girl is giving birth to a baby that matured in three months. The rest of my team are toward the back.

My initial reaction? Swap the kids. I think the baby was just a ruse to get us to this rathole of a place. If the (new kid) starts eating me I think I'm in trouble.

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Keith Senkowski
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On A Downward Spiral...


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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2006, 12:13:24 PM »

For me the second time around was a little more challenging because well, I was a little confused about what a female character should and shouldn't do in the setting. We started out as the Priest's servants, and well I kind of felt like my character was taking a backseat for a while to see how things were playing out. Then, when I did try something it was the wrong thing. So it goes.

Whatever the fuck you want them to do is what the ladies do.  The game is defined by the players, not by a setting book, characters or any of that other shit.  That's isn't important.  What the players want out of the game is.  If you want liberated women's roles, then you have to say so.  If you don't same rule applies.  Fuck you could spend a Destiny Point and say women are the ones who really run the show.  That is what they are there for.

I don't remember you trying something and being told it was the wrong thing.  Please point it out. 

The investigation part I didn't feel too connected to, but there was a lot of mystery and, at times, trying to get something out of our GM was like...trying to play Trivial Pursuit--the Speed Round. The pacing felt off for me, too, if only because we were all on our own. As usual, Keith's accents kept me very entertained, though.

We are at a cliffhanger, and I'm much more interested in the action part than in the "find stuff out" part. The "find stuff out" part failure was partially my fault; I forgot to use those useful witchblood powerz. But...I'm not so sure they would have worked anyway, the townspeople/castle kind of reminded me of "Children of the Corn" and "Fright Night."

You have to understand something about the game.  It is player proactive.  If you want something out of a character you get it.  Let me 'splain.  When you approached the blacksmith you didn't approach the scene with anything in mind.  You never said, I want to know what this guy knows about X.  And if he doesn't tell what X is as we are working through, you call for a conflict, define the stakes and bam we get to see what he knows, or if your ass loses we get to see the consiquences defined in his stakes.  Ya dig me?

What I want out of my character is for her to feel the conflict (the touch of the Fae) and be so passionate about it sometimes it overtakes her emotions. Explore whether or not she has the potential to abuse her fae-touched powers; find out if she can remain as a merchant or if the horrors will force her to commit acts that may potentially put her in more dangers than just "seeking the fae." Right now, I'd say my character believes (unless she's proven otherwise) that the fae are behind everything. So seeing (below) she's convinced herself she's gotta do something.

Okay.  So I don't remember seeing anything like this really on your character sheet.  The character sheet should be a reflection of your priotrities, not character priorities or what you think a merchant should have as priorities.  We need to go back over you Trigger and Drive.  I mean the whole merchant vs. horrors thing is coming out of left field to me too.  If it makes things easier for you, when you are looking them over think along these lines:

Trigger = Kicker in Sorcerer
Drive = Beliefs in BW

Keith
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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
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