[Sorcerer] A bizarre feeling

Started by Christoph Boeckle, March 24, 2009, 10:43:38 PM

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Christoph Boeckle

Hi gals and guys!

Quick status report on the Carnival Bizarre. Last session was a night at the opera bizarre and was mighty successful in my view.

This time we played at Thomas's place, after eating some pizza. We didn't play very long and I'm slightly worried about my back-story stealing the show.

Fiction, in brief form [NPC map]

So H.P. Locke spent the session spying on his mum, whom he is suspecting is having an affair with Brian Falcrest, delaying his mission to get rid of Regazzoni in the South Quarter. He had transferred his demon lock from the alchemist's house to Falcrest's, and I used it's Desire for Mischief to paralyse Elizabeth Locke as she opened the door to the rich man's mansion (with Hold). Alerted, H.P. Locke finally has a proof that she's... cheating his dead dad?
They finally have an open discussion about it, first very confrontational and gradually... well life must go on, right?

At one point during this mum-spying, Locke meets Arthur, who is still running around doing errands for the Scarlet Jester. They agree that they should start working together a bit to find out more about other sorcerers.
Arthur follows some guy who is supposed to be the one paying the Couriers (the guys that run message errands for the Jester, the Seneschals and the Kings) but he looses him in the celebrating crowd (crowds are always celebrating). At some point he sees a guy dressed up as a scarlet jester looking right at him and disappearing then. This also happened to Locke at some point when he was running after his mum...
Arthur seeks out Altar (the guy that introduced him into the Seneschals), who is now in a completely paranoid state of mind. Something's fishy, the guy talks about a mercenary coming soon to protect him, because one guy, probably Oskar, is messing up the organization from within. Roll for the telltale... Altar has become a sorcerer! Arthur asks him to tell him if there was an operation concerning the Locke brothers some time ago, there was, and Oskar was in charge. Altar is ready to take action with Arthur once his "mercenary" has arrived.

Goete for his part was trying to find out who the guy that had nearly poisoned him at the opera was. Tracing back to the guy who was officially supposed to serve at the reception, he learns that since the steward was ill he had been replaced by a friend of his, who probably never got the chance to go to the reception for he had been stabbed to death.
Goete has also been summoned by Toricelli, who suspects Goete to have ordered some drug be put in his drink. It's the only way he explains his ridiculous behaviour the other night (of course, it was Goete's hopping possessor demon who was responsible). He demands that Goete make amends. Our hero turns his investigation about the steward to his advantage and tells Toricelli that somebody had tried to assassinate someone at the reception and that investigation is under way.
While leaving the house of the director of the South Quarter opera, Goete notices a bald man (the one Arthur had tried to catch up with in the crowd) talking to a little boy with a crippled hand and a wooden toy "chariot".


I don't know how to pace. Thomas is doing all the work of revealing the npc's relationships to the players (mainly because the other two are much lighter on the investigation), but I sometimes have the feeling I'm making him linger. Of course, he could summon a new demon to speed up the work, but none of the players are really considering that option anyway. Thomas shares my impression that he's kind of floundering. How do I bring back the focus to Arthur from this not-quite-investigation? Or is this game's assumption that if the players are feeling lost, they should have their sorcerers summon a couple of demons?
I do have to consider the possibility that Arthur will very soon hit the resolution of his kicker. I introduced the image of a scarlet jester a few times, kind of innocently and in completely irrelevant ways. I'm trying to use this as a kind of foreshadowing, but I'm wondering if it doesn't shift the players' expectation to me making some grand revelation.

Also, no humanity rolls, but now that I'm thinking about it, Locke might have deserved one for finally understanding his mother's preoccupations and discarding his paranoid misconceptions about her having planned the murder of the father and uncle. Definitely a potential gain.

I'm considering framing a few scenes begining of next session where I just reveal the whole fucking NPC map to the players once and for all. I still need to find a credible way to do that and give some information to Locke and Goete as well. It's very easy to bust the Scarlet Jester's organization (it's now quite obvious to the players that this is the mastermind behind most "problems") from inside using Arthur's privileged relationship to Altar, but I'd like to spread out the infos somewhat. This has been three and a half sessions already, not purely investigation but still, this needs to burn.

As usual, just writing up the report has gotten some ideas for how to get on, but any comments and suggestions are appreciated anyway.