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Author Topic: [Poison'd] Chastity  (Read 5101 times)
Graham W

Posts: 449

« on: April 28, 2008, 03:10:14 PM »

So, we played Poisoníd yesterday, an afternoon-long game. Iím GMing and thereís Alex, Scott and Adam playing. We eat tuna nicoise before playing, very nautical.

The first thing that happens: Tom Reed gets bashed about, then dragged down to a cabin to be subject to Scottís experiments (Scott is the surgeon). Scott attempts to rape him, but, after a look in Tomís eyes, canít cut the mustard.

Adamís elected Captain and elects to go ashore to pursue his ambitions. Theyíve got no money, of course, which makes things interesting: the barmaid gets funny about serving them.

Adam goes off and rapes Chastity, the daughter of the Captain of the Reliant. Alex rapes the vicarís daughter (fulfilling an ambition to fuck her), then sits in the vicarís chair, waiting for him to return, and when he does, persuades the vicar that heís turned his daughter into a prostitute.

So weíre playing Poisoníd, then.

Iíve probably forgotten some stuff. Scott probably did something.

They decide to hunt a merchant ship. They board them but, in a company-to-company fight, get massacred.

There is a rules issue here! Theyíve escalated to the highest level in a sword-to-sword fight, but itís between two companies. If Adam and Scott take part in this fight, are they killed outright?

We decide, with a bit of handwaving, that theyíre not, and give them a deadly wound instead. Scott makes a bargain with God, to hand over the entire proceeds from the next raid to the church. Adam makes a bargain with the Devil, I forget what. We roleplay both these bargain scenes out: Adam signs a contract with the Devil, Scott hears the voice of God as heís lying face-down in the sea. Itís rather good.

They hunt another ship! Itís a weak little merchant ship, valuable only for the gold trimmings and the paintings in the Captainís cabin, but theyíre worth enough on their own.

They take this one through subterfuge: lots of Ambition vs Brutality rolls as they board the ship under false pretences. A company vs company fight and, finally, they have some plunder. Scott gives all this to the Church, as per his bargain with God.

Alex suffers a deadly wound at some point and wants to make a bargain with the Devil. I refuse! (Can I do this?) The Devilís not interested, I decide. God, however, wants to make a bargain: Alex can keep his life if he marries the vicarís daughter, thus doing the right thing.

Another rules issue! Scott and Adam, together, fight Alex. This seems natural from a narrative point of view: Adam has promised to protect Scott, so he must be involved in the fight. How do you handle this according to the rules?

What we did was: we treated Scott and Adam as a mini-company, with Scott giving one of his Brinkmanship dice to Adam; then Scott and Adam rolling their dice at the same time. Alex just rolled his normal dice. This worked quite well.

Another rules thing. Alex wanted to knock out Scott and then saw off his lower jaw. As GM, I decreed that, if he won the fight, he could do this: but was that right? In fact, I generally decreed that, after a fight, the loser was ďunder the powerĒ of the winner: was that right?

We come to a nice ending. Scott goes to the HMS Resolute, now docked in Kingston, offering his services as the shipís surgeon. The Navy betray him: the constabulary appear at his cabin door and arrest him. Adam gets arrested, too. We end with them being hung on a gibbet in London.

Alex becomes Captain, by default. He marries the vicarís daughter at sea, fulfilling his bargain with God, and sails into the bloody sunset.

Again, a superb game. Itís astonishing how much we got through in a few hours: Iíve omitted lots of stuff from that write-up.

We added in some additional rules, at your request, VincentÖ

1.   You start the game with a number of Xs equal to the brutalities you suffered at the hands of Brimstone Jack.
2.   The GM discards one success, in success rolls, because ďthe Devil looks after his ownĒ. If thereís an outstanding bargain with the Devil, that privilege may be rescinded. (I did this, when the Devil got pissy about Adam not following through on something.)

They worked well. (The third rule didn't come up.)

Specific questions, to summarise:

1.   If PC pirates fight as part of a company, and lose, do they all take the damage from the level of escalation?
2.   Can I, as GM, refuse to let the Devil bargain with a dying pirate? My feeling is that I should be obligated to let either God or the Devil bargain.
3.   If two pirates fight one, how does that work?
4.      If I want to knock out a pirate and saw off his jaw, how does that work? If I win a fight against him, can I do that?
5.   That thing about the discarding one success, but that privilege being rescinded if a bargain to the Devil isnít being pursued? Does that affect the whole of the crew or just the pirate who has the bargain: that is, does everyone lose the benefit of the GM discarding a success or just the pirate with the bargain?

One more thing. I think, for the next game, Iíll give up using the NPC and Ship creation rules.

Instead, Iíll just make up three Prize ships, three NPC companies and three captains before each game. When the pirates want to hunt a prize, Iíll pick a suitable combination.

Iím implying here, of course, that the NPC/ship/company creation rules are a bit too complex. I mean, I know theyíre really simple, but in the heat of the moment, they take the GM out of the game for a couple of minutes. Or at least they did with me. So I think Iíll use pregenerated cards.

Thanks. We had a great time. Itís a superb game and Iíll run it again soon.

Posts: 3656

« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 03:56:07 PM »

Yay! Poison'd. Thanks, Graham.

Let's see.

Pregenerated NPC cards are fine, no problem there.

1. Yes, but for fights between companies, you're supposed to escalate on company vs company, not swords. So it's not being killed outright, it's having many on your side killed. Does this specifically, necessarily exclude the PCs? Kind of, but it depends on your mood and what success rolls you feel like demanding, I think.

Anyway, their surviving is normal.

2. Go with your feeling. The rules don't say. Personally I can't imagine God turning down a good bargain.

3. Exactly how you did it.

4. Nothing's easier. He's drunk, tied up and disarmed, right? His choice: endure duress (and thereby allow you to do it) or fight. If he fights, he's on the fists table (thrashing and rolling and struggling) and at profile 1; you're on the knives table (for your saw) and at profile whatever. Win at the second level of escalation or better and it's done. At the second level, it's a disabling or disfiguring wound (and how); at the third level, it's a deadly wound.

If you don't want him dying of it, you'll have to somehow keep it to the second level. He might rather die, and that makes that harder to do. Not impossible.

I wouldn't just impose it on someone as a consequence of losing any old fight. Making a fight OF it seems like the best way to me.

5. I think that it's good that you had it affect the whole crew. I didn't think of it but oh so pretty.

In the rules I'm going to leave it up to himself, case by case, and note that it's a choice to make.


Posts: 96

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 04:13:19 PM »


Your idea of pre-creating ships sounds good, but I just wanted to toss out there that I sought my players opinions (to a degree) on creating the defense of Prizes.  I still did most of the deciding but I certainly let them influence me as they had some great ideas.  This made the time pass much faster and no one was bored as we all hammered it out in about 2-5 minutes.

You can call me Charles

Posts: 3

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 06:57:59 PM »

The Devil turned him down! That is full speed ahead nasty. Bravo.

Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge,
                                Paul Gaugin
Graham W

Posts: 449

« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 02:51:00 AM »

OK, so...

3. Exactly how you did it. [We're talking about two pirates fighting one, here]

Cool, but it needs a bit more thinking about.

So here's what we did. Adam had promised to help Scott fight Alex. So Adam and Scott became a mini-company, with Scott as the mini-captain: Scott gave Adam one of his Brinkmanship dice, Adam took another die from the bank and chose whether to roll at the same time as Scott. Alex fought on his own.

It worked well.

Now! As it happened, Adam was the Captain. But he wasn't the one who got to give out the dice. (It would have been wrong if he had).

So I just want to note that, in this "mini-company" house rule, the "mini-captain" is the guy who's owed the bargain. That way, that the guy who owes the promise gets to decide whether to roll dice, and hence fulfil the bargain.

4. Nothing's easier. He's drunk, tied up and disarmed, right? His choice: endure duress (and thereby allow you to do it) or fight. If he fights, he's on the fists table (thrashing and rolling and struggling) and at profile 1; you're on the knives table (for your saw) and at profile whatever. Win at the second level of escalation or better and it's done. At the second level, it's a disabling or disfiguring wound (and how); at the third level, it's a deadly wound.

All right. So let me go through this.

Alex wants to fight Scott and cut his jaw off. Scott's fighting with fists, probably, and Alex is fighting with knives.

We play out the fight.

So Scott can choose to lose straightaway, right, and avoid having his jaw cut off? Alex must get things to the second level of escalation to be able to cut the jaw off?

That's fine, but I just want to know.

5. I think that it's good that you had it affect the whole crew. [We're talking about the Devil not looking after his own, now]. I didn't think of it but oh so pretty.

It's fun. It works like Accursing. Everyone gets pissed with the guy who's responsible for everyone getting screwed over. Which is fun.

I have another question! That rule about spending 2Xs (I think) to give someone a disfiguring or disabling wound. Why's that for companies only? I want to do it in normal fights! I want the loser of a fight to say, right, well you might have beaten me, but I'm spending 2Xs to scar your face.

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