[DFRPG] Two games at once

Started by adam m, January 10, 2012, 04:09:45 AM

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adam m

I'd like to get this out of the way: this is not a complaint or a fix-my-game post. I'm very happy with the way things stand in it, and I'm interested to see where they go.

So! My Dresden Files game (seen one session previous in http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=32644.0 is rolling right along. And it seems to have wound up in a strange little place, structurally speaking. One player, I think it was Julian, pointed it out after last session, when he said something to the effect of "Our sessions have basically settled into a pattern of a big battle followed by a drama-bomb. Cool."

Last session certainly followed that pattern. The first two hours or so were a duel between Cait's character (Cassiel, angel of Solitude and Tears) and a Denarian she knew from, y'know, before.

There was an interesting bit of negotiation in the middle of that, actually. Not sure it's relevant, but here goes: we'd set up (spending a Fate point to compel the Denarian's "I Challenge You to a Duel" aspect) the duel to be a battle of Wills, using the Nevernever as kind of a metaphorical representation of the Mental attacks the two participants were throwing at each other. There was quite an audience to the duel, including my character, Poly, as a WWE-style announcer. One round in, Chris, the GM, has the Denarian summon some monsters outside the arena to attack the audience and our PCs. We players get kind of grumbly--we're unhappy because we (well, Jon's character, Karima) spent a fate point specifically to avoid having to all-out fight this guy (he's super powerful). We take a couple more actions in the initiative, then Chris stops the action and offers to rewind. We do. The rest of the scene plays out with us aiding Cassiel in various ways (mostly putting aspects on the scene), while the duel occurs.

So yeah, we win the duel and get to leave with the descendant of Mary that the Denarians need to perform their huge sacrifice.

The next two or so hours of game are back at company HQ, where a discussion about what to do next tactically turns into a Social brawl when Ra'ad (NPC father of Karima, leader of an anti-supernatural polyamorist cult) finds out that Karima's currently fucking Alex, Molly's PC and White Court Vampire. He opens combat with the stakes of taking control of their relationship. Poly has promised (for a Fate Point) to get Karima back together with Keiko, so she enters the fray with that as a goal, and everything goes crazy.

Tons of "OH SNAP" moments and reveals. It turns out Ra'ad set up Karima to be attacked by a WCV in her youth in order to get her to hate them! It turns out Rajiv (Julian's dhole-were PC) is in love with Alex! Poly tells Keiko to seduce Cassiel in order to make Karima jealous!

Poly and Alex wind up being the last two standing in the fray, and realize they don't actually have any real disagreements, so they agree to stop fighting. I should point out that we are playing fast and loose with DFRPG rules during this whole scene. I don't actually think they support multi-way conflicts. I'm not certain any Fate Points actually change hands during the whole thing; I know Poly ended the session with the same one she started with. We have our own seduction rules we hashed out before the game started.

The two halves of game feel very different; it's like we're playing two games with the same characters.

In one, our PCs have a series of battles that they must fight in order to stop some Denarians from killing a bunch of girls. Pretty sure this part is Story Before; I don't think any of us are under any illusions that we have a choice in the matter, or that it's really possible for us to lose. It's an excuse to have some flashy fights.

In the other, our PCs are exploring, in their own ways, what it means to be part human, part monster, and what love means when you explicitly use it as a weapon (to fight House Raith). Also fucking a lot.

It's pretty cool. The fight scenes, to me at least, are breathers between the fast and furious drama of the relationship scenes. I don't think I could handle that amount of emotional intensity straight through. I started having much more fun when I realized that I didn't care that Chris was using Illusionist techniques to get us from one fight to the next.

Anyway, I *think* we might be alternating Creative Agendas here. Or at least between coherence and incoherence. And I think it's working.