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Author Topic: Nine Worlds in play  (Read 2164 times)
Matt Snyder

Posts: 1380

« on: August 22, 2003, 08:23:26 AM »

We played the first "real" playtest of Nine Worlds last night.

I explained the setting and system briefly to Flash, Tony, and my brother Dave. They then came up with some character concepts, and we were off an running.

Flash created Xavier Jones, a cosmic homage to Indiana. He decided he wanted to be a kind of archaeologist who seeks artifacts and secrets about the Nine Worlds. He further decided to be part of a group, tentatively called the Keepers, who seek to preserve secrets, and generally protect "sleeper" humanity from the dangers of the Nine Worlds. His Muses were:

Quest: Find artifacts lost in the Titonmachy.
Devotion: Dedicated to the cause of the Keepers, who protect arcane knowledge and prevent sleepers from the shock and danger of awakening.
Rivalry: Rival with the Aquarians, who aim to awaken all mortals by spreading the truth.

Tony created Jack Sousa, aka (several other names). He wanted to be Prometheus' assistant, one of a band of agents, tentatively called Watchers, who identify help protect potential Archons that Prometheus will awaken. In effect, like one of the members of Morpheus crew in the Matrix. He emphasized Hubris to be magical, and devoted the most points to his Metamorphsis Urge. His Muses were:

Patron: Loyal to Prometheus.
Lost Love: Loves Callisto, who was killed by Atlas.
Vendetta: Seeks to get revenge on Atlas for killing his lost love.
Code: Will not perform supernatural feats in the presence of Sleepers.

Dave created an "old sea captain" (can't remember his name). His archon was a former denizen of Saturn, once Poseidon's domain, who was slain as the Titans destroyed that world (and it's Eternal lord!). Dave wanted his character to have a ghost ship. Sort of a Jack Sparrow type, ghost pirate, and all that. His Muses:

Vendetta: Seeks revenge on the Titans that destroyed his home world, Saturn.
Debt: Indebted to Hades, who released his soul from the underworld.
Patron: Loyal to Poseidon, the dead god whose blood, along with Oceanus' corpse, IS the aether.

Our session was cut short, but we had an initial conflict to show how the game works. I simply set up a situation, trying to play up their Muses. They were aboard an Aethership leaving earth with sleeper passengers who are potential Archons. Dave's character was an officer on the ship, Tony's character was escorting the passengers, and Flash's character was tagging along to the Sun for another expedition.

They were immediately beset by the Star Kraken, captained by Atlas himself. The conflict went pretty well. It was the three of them vs. Atlas (one entity) and the crew of the Star Kraken (another entity). All three players were victorious against the crew. In addition, Tony and Dave also bested Atlas  himself. Atlas managed to win a victory vs. Flash's character only, stealing his Tricks (Tony took two of Atlas' tricks, and Dave took the remaining 1).

Narrations ensued, Flash starting. His goal was to get their ship away from the Star Kraken. So, he banked the ship, sending a violent aetherwake at the other ship that knocked a copule Atlanteans overboard.

Then I narrated as Atlas. He beckoned to his brother, Oceanus, who IS the aether. The call stirred a storm that assaulted the archon's ship, tearing open a few doors and hatches. This then alerted the sleepers they were escorting. The sleepers came above deck to witness the supernatural spectacle. This harmed Tony's character's Arete (2 Tricks).

Next was Dave, who countered Atlas' call with his own call to Poseidon. Poseidon's latent spirit whipped up a storm on Atlas' ship, knocking Atlas down a few pegs in the eyes of his crew (Dave used Metamorphosis tricks to steal Atlas' Power and take some for himself and Tony).

Finally, Tony narrated the closer. He had several Cosmos Tricks. He described one of Zeus' patrol ships of Aegis coming in to ram the broadsides of the Star Kraken. He wasn't sure what to do with the Cosmos Tricks, but wanted to use them to "create" the new attacking ship. In the end, he decided to devote many of the Tricks to his own Chaos so that next round he could whip up on the Star Kraken.

We cut it short there. The session was a good starter, but raised a couple issues. Namely, that last bit reminded me that Tony might have wanted to create the Ship as an Talisman -- a permanent "character" with its own Power & Urge ratings.

I also was reminded that the current iteration of the playtest document does not sufficiently specify opponents, as I recall. Declaring opponents is crucial, because it determines from whom characters can steal tricks. (For example, you can't steal Tricks from your allies if you don't declare them as opponents in the conflict.)

Tony really took to the game quickly, having little to no knowledge or background previously. Dave and Flash had participated in a mechanics run through a while ago. He was eager to try it again, and I am too. What I'm really curious/worried about is long term play. Will the mechanics ever threaten characters with death, or is it too easy to avoid? Are one-phase conflicts meaningless without the use of a Stasis trick?

FINALLY, the biggest issue: Handling the decks of cards. I have not yet decided upon mechanics for shuffling, discarding, and refreshing a deck. While I had intially paid it little mind, figuring people would shuffle when they needed to, I realize now it's an important metamechanic. Discussion on the Chimera Creative forums by Valamir and MathiasJack had some interesting ideas that are sparking some of my own, but I haven't figured it all out yet.

Matt Snyder

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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