[TMW] Castlevania Hack: The Punisher as a Fish and River kill Dracula

Started by sirogit, January 19, 2008, 10:41:25 PM

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So I put finally together a MW game based on Castlevania, like I said I would since I playtested the game. The transistion effort was pretty minimal, with eastern fantasy  changed to eastern europe fantasy and the witch changed to the count.

The players/characters are:

Chris - My brother, who's been in most of my indie face-to-face games. Even though our expiereineces are so similar we can still be somewhat divided on several issues, like elements of theory. - He's playing a crazy aristocrat guy who's whole damn town was exploded by Dracula. His abilities are navigating caves, climbing walls and reading latin.

Miel - My girlfriend, she has a somewhat common expierience of RPGs - heard vague references to white wolf games, thought they sounded neat, got into a D&D game once and didn't really do much and was ignored - She's playing 'The Green Fairy', who's pissed off because her absinithe slaves got addicted to blood instead. Her name is Abi with a star at the end of the I. Her abilities are flying, giving people hallucinations and healing.

Angela - Friend of a number of years, she's played a couple of roleplaying games but I don't know much beyond that - She's playing a horny, hard-ass, bitter ex-soldier with gills, which I like to refer to as the punisher as a fish. He's in it for the hookers and smack. He can 'stab' super quickly (The less said about the better), hypnotize people and breathe underwater.

Diana - Vague aquitence, has played abit of D&D and didn't seem to excited by it - She's playing an escapee from a mental instiution. She's peeved that Dracula killed her sister. she can freak out and do the 'koolaid man trick'(Break through walls/restraints), talk to animals and can see in the dark.

Something I did the last time I ran the mountain witch and a few other games was prepping a whole lot with very specific scene-progression and whatnot, and well, that's shit. So this time I wanted to devote as much energy to pushing for creation at the table.

I performed some changes to the Zodiac rules - Number 1, I used the western zodiac, number 2, I doubled the amount of Allies and enemies, as most sources I found talked about each zodiac having two 'troubled relationships, and usually having more allies and enemies is a good thing. This seemed to have a minor but positive effect on the game.


I used a couple of maps for these first two sessions, which turned out to be quite usefull for A) Inspiration for changing scenery, B) Provding bits of geographic setting detail, C) Providing a visual pace and scope to the adventure,  D) Injecting 'Castlevania'-ness into the game, and E) Putting these features squarely into the hands of the players.


Most of my prep consisted of a handfull of Bangs (which used a strong amount of 'the MW trick') and a small list of things I know I and/or players wanted in the game (Big skeleton fights, zombies, super-seedy characters, a surprise frankenstien attack)

More to follow.

- Sean Musgrave

Eero Tuovinen

Ooh, this is something I've also done! My version is called "The Dragon's Castle", and it's also been playtested. Haven't gotten around to putting it up yet in the 'net due to more pressing business. My version replaces the zodiacs with vampire hunter families, six in all, and players can choose to play either the "major branch" or "minor branch" of each, depending on whether the character is in line to inherit leadership of the family or not.

Anyway, good going!
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.


Hey Eero,

Sounds pretty nifty. What were the families? Related to characters in the game series? What was the purpose of having the minor and major branches? To have symmetry with the 12 Zodiacs?


Session 1. The basic plan is having fun with zombie-town (Jova Town on the map) while people get a grip with the game. (I picked this out as a starting scenario to appeal particularly to the zombie-fetishist who I -thought- was going to play. Oh poo.)

Most of this session involves very player-driven situation based on getting a place to say and a means of transportation, bordering on what I've heard of "sand-box" play, though with more focus than I've heard in most descriptions of such play due to high levels of tension and creepily increasing danger.

One thing I notice is that there's a sharp divide between the more extroverted players and introverted players. Angela and Elizabeth and are all about jumping on situations and making them their own, while Miel and Chris seem to be a little more hanging back. Angela almost seems like the 'anti-turtle' - She seems driven to move play into addressing neat stuff for her. Which happened to gel very well with my play priorities. Awesome. I do make a note to send more character-specific stuff towards the more introverted players in order to help them get on board. What I handed them wasn't too meaty, but got them involved.

I'll note that Chris's character got captured pretty early on, which reminds me when I read somewhere that PCs can't get captured in role-playing games. Man, what kind of bunk was that? There was all sorts of awesome stuff there, with hobos and evil dogs.

Chris's character escaping into a zombie horde -DID- bring up two paticularly insightfull moments of the session - One, after he got the dreaded first-session-6-against-1 roll, there's a moment I point out that this would be a good time for someone to use Buying Narration - Angela calls for it, and I explain that she can now choose to soften the blow considerable while still giving the zombies something they want - OR, she could choose to have his character get taken out. She's got this evil gleam in her eyes where she knows full well what her options are. In the end she decides to have the zombies fall apart when biting him cuz they're old, giving him two chapter wounds instead of a taken out.

The other moment was arguably the low-point of the session, after everyone arrives and zombie fighting and trust-slinging is insuing - and, chris is getting grumbly, because he thought he was rolling with another character when he wasn't. Which brings up this issue for me, in that I go into definate manic states when I'm having fun running a game. I'm talking fast, I'm emphasizing things moving, and I'm just not taking the time to point out everything I probably should. Another note on an area to improve on. I'm glad Chris told me after the game that he still thought the game session was kickin'.

Next time - Foul trickery in the forest!

- Sean Musgrave.