[UtB] First trial: Adventures of Pena

Started by Jaakko Koivula, September 14, 2009, 05:12:43 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Jaakko Koivula


Got to test UtB and it was a blast. Unfortunately only got 2 people with me, but the game worked pretty nicely still. Not sure if we got all the rules right and we were left with couple of questions about the rules. Maybe you can help clarify or share how you've done it.

Anyways. We played the story of Pena (short for Petronella), a 5-year old girl. She was called Pena (pretty much a boy's name), because she was maybe a bit tomboyish. One of her toys was a GI-Joe action figure for example :)

Pena had a mother, who had hooked up with a new man recently. Mother and Stepfather, they were called. The problem was, that christmas was coming up. Now that Stepfather was moving in, they needed more room in their flat. So Pena would have to throw up a bunch of her old toys before christmas came and she got tons of new toys from the family etc.

Players were:

Me - Aibo dog. Faithful, Perceptive, Impressionable.
Peppi - GI-Joe. Sturdy, Violent, something.
Mika - Snufkin. Passive, Peaceful, something.

Mika starts the first conflict. Pena is home alone and a repairman comes in with his own keys, to fix the radiator. He's characteristic is "steps on toys". On his way to the radiator, he steps on GI-Joe and breaks him completely. First toy down. (Peppi lost the conflict) New toy is found: a plushie dog.

Mika continues. Pena makes the repairman pay her 20€ for the broken action figure. She has learned from her mother, that everything can, and should be, handled with money. The repairman proceeds to fix the sauna. Stepfather enters the apartment, also with his own keys. The main electric switch is off because of the repairs, so the apartment is very dark. Stepfather hears noises from the sauna and being Rash, gets a baseball bat and tries to go beat up the "burglar".

Pena stops the Stepfather by Perceptively pointing out that it's only the repairman. I get a favouritism token. I narrate how the Stepfather gets annoyed about Pena. He's still Rash, but now also Petty and he proceeds to chew on Pena. "You should have told me at once!" etc.

Pena goes to cry on the couch Passively, Peacefully and somehowly. Mika wins against Rash, but throws a bunch of 1s for the second roll. Stepfather makes Pena feel utterly crap about herself and Snufkin is lost. Mika draws Little My as his next toy: Bad, Stubborn and Disobedient. (Which was hilarious, Pena clearly saw that you get nothing in this life by being peaceful and passive and went for the opposite)

(not sure if we broke the mechanic there. I narrated that conflict for Mika, who was the one who started. So the round should have ended before that? Dunno. After that we threw all the tokens into the hat and went for the next round)

I continue to narrate the next conflict. The repairman came out from the Sauna and also started to chew on Pena. "I've been here for 10 minutes and it's the second time you obviously done something nasty!" etc.

I also get picked to solve the conflict. At this point I had 2 tokens and Mika and Peppi had 1 each. So I had 50% chance to be picked to solve my own conflict. Then theoretically I could have gone and solved a second conflict of my own narration also. This seemed really weird, but we just couldn't find anything decisive in the manual for this kind of situation. So we went with it.

The two adults gang up on the little girl, but she Perceptively knows she hasn't done anything wrong and the Faithful Aibo Reassures her. This is enough and I win the conflict, but it still makes Pena get Sad.

I keep narrating. Mother comes in and the two guys start going on to her about how Pena is a horrible brat. Stakes: Mother believes to two guys / Mother takes Pena's side. Characteristics: Stepfather is Having Sex with Mother, and There's Two Against One. Mika manages drive a wedge between Mother and Stepfather by lying about how the Stepfather threatened her with the baseball bat also and somehow beat the 2 against 1 also. Mika got Treacherous :)

Mika narrates: Repairman is leaving the home and in the dark, again nearly steps on a toy. (Repairman's only characteristic in the game was that he was good at stepping on toys, brilliant!) Pena perceptively notes that Aibo is going to get stepped on and manages to rescue the toy. This makes her realize how much she loves Aibo and nets me Loving characteristic.

I narrate: While leaving, the Repairman mentioned the 20€ he'd given Pena. Mother gets peeved and demands to know if this really happened and demands that Pena gives her the money. Peppi puts up a fight by pointing out that she is only doing what the Mother always does herself and she's also Obedient to her real father (who she hasn't seen in weeks) who always taught her that you have to stand up for youself, etc. Peppi gets Fast as a reward. Must've be a greyhound plushie.

Next round, tokens into hat.

Peppi narrates next conflict. All the open characteristic cards have gone, so the game will end if a toy wins this one. I naturally get randomly picked again. Now Mother demands that Pena decides on which toys to throw out. Pena tries to get out without throwing anything away. By showing how much she loves Aibo and how faithful she is to it etc. she beats her Mother's Im Your Mother and You Have to Do What Your Mother Tells You To.

I therefore win the game and Pena grows up to be a Faithful and a Loving person, but one who is more Perceptive about her own failings than anything else. Thus everything she does is also tinted with Sadness. (Also Impressionable, but I never got to use it in game, so it got sort of forgotten)

Meta-game thoughts:

We were only three, which I think sort of broke the mechanics. I got into a huge lead in the beginning, when I managed to get a token and the others didn't. The game ended rather rapidly, but I guess that's just the way it goes, if everyone picks new characteristics and if one stays lucky with the dice.

It also felt really weird how I could potentially narrate many exchanges of conflicts just for myself. Not sure if we got the mechanic right for that.

End of round -> all tokens into hat -> last winner narrates conflict -> the one who's token gets taken out of the hat solves the situation (even if he just narrated the conflict)
Is this the way it's supposed to go?

Not sure if I understood if you get one chance to solve a conflict a round, or so many chances as you have tokens. If you had four tokens in the hat, you could end up narrating 4 times in a row, both sides of the conflict. Sounds really odd, but maybe this just doesn't happen in larger crowds? Or do you just put 1 token in the hat always? I'll try reading the rules one more time for this.

Also, how do you solve ties? We just rerolled, but we couldn't find anything in the manual about them.

Lastly, does the person who starts the game by narrating the first conflict, get to solve a conflict on the first round? After reading the rules again, Im leaning towards no.

Summa summarum, we all enjoyed the game really much. The story turned out great and funny and also a bit nasty. And atleast for me, it felt just like what UtB game was supposed to feel according to the manual. Can't wait until I get to play it in a larger group with the teenagers.

Jaakko Koivula

Read the glyphpress forum here and actually found answers to pretty much all the questions already. Heh.

No narrating conflicts for yourself and that actually pretty much solves the "how many tokens in the hat" -question also. Because having more tokens doesn't lead to as much sillyness this way as it would if you could just keep on narrating stuff to yourself.

At the end of a round you could potentially have only one person's tokens in the hat, but I guess you could just randomize someone to narrate the conflict then or something.

On Arkenstone's forums I also found the idea, that ties could be always decided for the toy, which sounds quite nice and balanced.