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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: [Breaking the Ice] She shares some of the dead body with him  (Read 4119 times)
Graham W
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« on: February 26, 2006, 05:11:31 AM »

I played Breaking the Ice with my Liz, my girlfriend, on Friday. She's not a gamer and has never particularly been attracted to RPGs. But, when I described BtI, she sounded interested, so we gave it a go over a bottle of wine.

It was a fun game with some fantastic stories but, talking to Liz afterwards, she felt a bit unsure about what to do. Still, she said she enjoyed it, and wants to play again.

We started by setting genre: and I think this was our first mistake, because we didn't really set one. Liz said she wanted it to be "a bit dark", and, not wanting to correct her at the first hurdle, we went with that. But that meant we didn't really set a genre (did dark mean film noir or Grosse Pointe Blank or what?).

Liz enjoyed the character generation. We started with hers: favourite colour blue, which led on to sea and ships, and so she played a British Naval officer. His conflict was "Going against the Establishment": the Navy wouldn't approve of the union.

My character started with silver, which led on to "bullet", and then "werewolf", and instantly that set the tone for the game. The conflict was "Lycanthropy": turning into a werewolf can really put a damper on relationships. She was an arctic huntress sort of person, a bit Lara Crofty.

And so it went like this.

First date: They meet in a drinking den near the port. There's a bit of drinking and they go outside on the balcony. She takes him into the forest. There's howling. He goes hunting, but gets lost and doesn't return. She thinks he's died.

Now, we quickly realise we've got a bit of a problem: we've got a headstrong huntress trying to get together with a closed-minded, traditional Naval Officer, and it's going to be difficult to get them together, because he'll be looking for a little, obedient wife. But anyway.

Second date: He's fishing and she sees him offshore. She swims out to meet him. There's some kissing and then her lycanthropy kicks in and she accidentally punches a hole in the boat. She loses blood and faints, he rescues her and takes her to his bunk, tucking her up until she recovers. They wake. They kiss. There's a beam of moonlight and she begins to change into a werewolf, scratching him as she does so. Fully changed, she runs off. He runs after her, whether to hunt her or rescue her, he's not sure. He finds her on the edge of a village and begins to change himself. She kills someone and they share the meal (very romantic). They fall asleep and wake in each others' arms. They're woken by a mob of villagers who chase them back to the ship.

And the reason that date was so long is because we were trying to build up attraction.

Then, because we're trying to reroll attraction, there's a lot of narrating of bad things happening before the third date. The Navy kicks him out. The villagers torch her home. They sail back to England.

Third date: They meet in Portsmouth, England. He's down and out and she's not great either. She persuades him to use his animal nature to his advantage. After a lot of talking, it goes dark, they transform into werewolves and return to the Navy ship. They rip everyone apart, cast off the ship and sail into the sunset (sunrise?) together.

So it was fun. The Compatibilities didn't quite work out: we'd chosen "Alone against the world", which proved to be difficult to narrate in, and "Both werewolves", which was equally hard to specifically narrate in, because it was the whole point of the story.

But we'll play again and, probably, with a more romantic setting.
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 05:56:17 AM »

I am now motivated to try this game with my wife.

I'll have to point her at this post.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Andrew Morris
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 10:21:09 PM »

Nice.

I'm constantly amazed at how easily "non-gamers" get into and enjoy Breaking the Ice.  It should totally be sold in "adult" book stores and the like.
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2006, 05:32:09 AM »

Graham, that's fantastic.  Can you talk a little about things Liz found easy or difficult?  You say she's a non-gamer - does that mean she's never ever played an RPG, or has she tried it before and hated it, or LARPed, or whatever? 
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Emily Care
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2006, 06:08:11 AM »

Hi Graham,

Awesome! I really enjoyed the story you two created. It strikes me as being like Emily Bronte crossed with Mary Shelly. Or perhaps CS Forster crossed with Brams Stoker. 

And I second Jason's questions.

all the best,
Emily 
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

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Graham W
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 09:59:57 AM »

Jason,

Liz read your post and asked me to say this...

She hasn't played an RPG before at all: neither LARP nor tabletop.

The thing she found difficult, at first, was bringing the two characters together. She just couldn't see why these two characters would be on a date. The suspension of disbelief was too much: the natural thing for her character to do was end the date, but that doesn't make for a good game.

As the game went on, she found it easier, because they were both werewolves and so had a reason to be together.

We've agreed that, when we play again, we'll make sure our characters are a fairly good match for each other from the start.

She also said that she found it difficult to engage the creative part of her brain - it's a long time since she did imaginative storytelling - but it got easier as the game went on.

She's keen to play again. (And, of course, I asked her whether she was just saying that to keep me happy, and she said no.) She liked the game and she's interested to try it again with two characters who are a better match.

A quick observation from my end: both of us contributed equally to the story above. Given that I knew the game better, it wouldn't have been surprising if I'd driven the whole game, but that didn't happen. Liz came up with lots of ideas and often it was her who moved the story forward. (The quote "She shares some of the dead body with him" comes from her).

Fred and Andrew, thanks for the enthusiasm, always appreciated.

Graham
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 11:03:09 AM »

Rockin'!  Thank Liz for her reply.  I'm interested because my own sweetheart played BtI with me and enjoyed herself, but hasn't asked to play again.  I bet that "huge gulf between characters" difficulty will recede as she gets more comfortable with the game and her own narration skills.  At least I was thinking "Royal Navy officer plus Lara Croft werewolf?  IT'S ON NOW!"

It honestly sounds like you took BtI in a very fun direction. 
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