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Fastlane: Adventures in Ezra: Wrap-up

Started by Lxndr, January 10, 2004, 11:23:32 PM

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This is a continuation of the game last mentioned in this thread: .  A lot of things have changed, both in system and in story, since we last met our heroes.  Including a number of missed sessions.  

The cast kept on changing.  Zahn vanished for the next game, which was...  Officer Meon didn't show up this last session, and Zahn returned.  This made for a rather interesting shuffleboard as we managed to write one character out by stunning him, and writing another one in by allowing him to escape his imprisonment.

The next session after November 1st was supposed to be November 15th, but that was called off.  By November 29th, Zahn's player was on a month long holiday, and so he had to be written out of the story without him being properly interrogated.  Gabriel (Lance/Wolfen) chose to give him to some thug friends of his to dispose of him, and he dragged his ally, Meon, up to the space station to take out Von Andolini.  During this time he also got his second Lucky Number.  Bastard.

The next session was scheduled to be the 13th.  But that didn't happen.  Same with the 27th.  So this time around, we were determined to finish it - to burn the characters out.  And so we did.  Gladly, eternally, and horribly.  Meon was gone, Zahn had to come back, and the game went wild.

Lance wanted to burn Gabriel out, which we managed to do after several massive sacrifices (the two Lucky Numbers led to a rather massive character - a rule has been changed as a direct result, and the playtesting worked out well).  Zahn, who started with zeroes in several stats and generally on the downside, managed to hit HIS lucky number in time to blow up his ship and everyone on it (and help Gabriel burn out).  That, in fact, led to the last new Fastlane rule before it gets shipped off to layout - allowing "winnings" to be banked through multiple conflicts before they are finally released.

I just realized something in the rules, by the way, that would have helped Gabriel burn out so much easier.  But that's neither here nor there.  

We had fun, but at the same time I'm glad that this playtest is done, because I'm satisfied that the rules are ready to be released.

The burn-out itself was rather well-done...

Gabriel made it to the ship just in time for Zahn, who was in no way in contact with Gabriel, to set off his self-destruct and get on a ship to another pleasure planet.  Gabriel braved the ship (whose self-destruct he didn't know was happening) and then Zahn suddenly got his lucky number, the ship expoded, killing Von Andolini.  Gabriel managed to hold the explosion off long enough to kill Callum, and save his sort-of-dad and his definite-sister.

Then a series of conflicts after getting out of the exploding ship to successfully get out of the decompressing hold (since exploding ship = big hole where airlock used to be).  Gabriel burned out after that, setting up a huge, horrible stain on Von Andolini's name that would follow his one remaining child forever, as well as much of his staff, and setting up the future for Sabrina (his sister) and Luke (his father).

His final conflict was telling his sister that she was his sister.  He succeeded, guaranteeing him a happily-ever-after.  Luke invited Gabriel into his family, but Gabriel got the last laugh, he said:  "Thanks, Dad, but you gotta find me first," then slipped off to the next ship going to a pleasure planet.

Last scene, obviously the cap, had Gabriel sitting down next to Zahn (having recognized him) and saying "So, I hear Xxxxx is beautiful this time of year."  Zahn, still rattled and shaken, but doing rather better, turns to him and goes "You!!!"  Cut scene.  Credits roll.
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming

Lance D. Allen

Lance, AKA, "Fates Chosen" here,

This was definitely the first game I've ever known for an absolute fact that the GM was gunning for me (37 difficulty!) and got to gleefully grin and handily destroy every challenge he sent my way, in the process giving him the fuel (via my lost chips from bidding) for the next conflict.

Thematically, the ending was quite satisfactory. I had gone into the session with every intention of destroying Von Andolini personally, but esp. when Zahn hit his lucky number, things didn't go the way I would have liked.. So instead I managed to destroy his reputation posthumously, which worked as well. I found it terribly ironic that two characters were directly affecting the same scene without even having any knowledge of the other's involvement.

A few comments on this session:

This was definitely MY session. This could be as much from the fact that I am a very dominant player as I was very powerful as a character, due to my conservative bids, and the fact that Fate Smiled twice. Sam's influence on the story was brilliant given his limited character ability, but I think he was less than satisfied. After the ship blew, we had several scenes which were essentially the Croupier's attempts to burn out my character. Though he seemed satisfied, I think he was certainly less satisfied than he could have been.

A lot of good roleplaying seemed to have been lost in the "endgame rush". We just skimmed through what was probably the most thematically charged scene for my character.. ie, his burnout and his confession to his sister. Burnout should definitely be given more significance than it did. Mind, I don't consider this a flaw with the system or the Croupier, it was simply one of those things that got lost in the shuffle.

I both like, and dislike, how a (very) lucky and/or skilled bidding player can have more story impact than the croupier. I like it in that it allows that character to take the story where he'd like it to go in ways that are fairly unprecedented. However, I think that perhaps other players might be left in the cold in such circumstances. Lx's recently added rules might help to curb this a bit, though.

Some effort should be put forth to explain how a character can be aboard an exploding ship and still survive. Sam had an obviously hard time getting his head around the idea of plot immunity until you've managed to burn a given character out.

All in all, a good session.
~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls