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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: arthurtuxedo on January 08, 2008, 10:49:43 PM

Title: [Tensided] Serenity Springs
Post by: arthurtuxedo on January 08, 2008, 10:49:43 PM
Session start is about a quarter of the way down.

Chat log ( for Session 1. Played August 7, 2005.

Serenity Springs was the first campaign to use the new superhero rules (not counting the short test campaign I ran just before it). It was also one of the few Tensided games (and really RPG's in general) where I had the pleasure to play rather than GM. I've always considered myself a better player than GM, and anything gets stale when you do it too much. My characters for this one were Enkidu and Gilgamesh, a noble speedster and angry tank from the neolithic era. They share one physical point in space, and randomly swap in and out. Gilgamesh is a bit of a guilty pleasure, since big dumb idiots require very little skill to play, although they always seem to be group favorites.

The rest of the cast went as follows: Warrick or "Ghost" played by CorSec. CorSec is probably the best player we've ever had, but he hasn't come back for another game since I had a very nasty and public falling out with a longtime player. Until we can win him back, the chat logs give testimony to his superior roleplaying skills. Ghost has the powers of flight and intangibility. Marcao played Black Star, a flying nuker with a lot of smaller powers. Marcao ran the gamut from great RPer to GM's worst nightmare. On the plus side, the quality of his writing was great and he would get very invested into the gameworld, writing fanfic about his character's past between sessions and such. On the minus side, his characters were all James Bond-esque badasses and he got very upset when the rules prevented him from being master of all trades. You really had to be ready to get flamed if you were GMing him, although once you were done with the exchange, you would often find good suggestions buried in the angry tirades. Alyrium played Shining Staff, and it was probably the best character he'd ever played. Alyrium usually plays the nerdy, persecuted mage who's smarter than everyone else, and if he can't do that then it's the nerdy, persecuted telepath or the nerdy, persecuted scientist. This was the first character not to fall into that stereotype, and it was very well done.

The group were members of the crime fighting organization SENTINEL, paid for by a mysterious do-gooding benefactor. The police and the public don't trust supers because of the crimes of the craven first-generation of supers, who went around stealing and killing with their powers, and without anyone to stand up to them.

Everyone fell into their roles very quickly in this one, both within themselves and with respect to the other characters. Gilgamesh was a hoot to play right from the get go, since his personality was basically to ruin and fuck up the GM and the group's plans at every opportunity, and to do the exact opposite of what needed to be done at all times. It took me a while to get his speech syntax down the way I wanted it, since I didn't want to do the standard "me am happy" talk. Instead Gilgamesh would say "I is being happy".

Most of the session involved us investigating the scenes of a rash of disappearances. The group split up into 2's to investigate both sites, which I can only imagine was a challenge for Gerard, especially as an inexperienced GM using the chat format. We found that the identity of one of the missing people was the superhero Ultraman, and the other group dug up a body in the backyard, dead of buckshot wounds.

This turned out to be one of our more enjoyable campaigns, and it was run on Sunday mornings while our other game, the Cyberpunk SDN3 campaign was run right afterward in the afternoon. Both were great games and we had a lot of active players, so those were good times. Stay tuned for the recap of next session!

Title: Re: [Tensided] Serenity Springs
Post by: Callan S. on January 09, 2008, 01:37:18 AM
Hi Arthur,

When you GM, does anyone else take up a 'Gilgamesh' type of role in play?

Title: Re: [Tensided] Serenity Springs
Post by: arthurtuxedo on January 09, 2008, 03:50:06 PM
We haven't had any other big dumb barbarian archetypes that I can remember except during the very first campaign back in high school, and that rulesystem was only a slightly modified AD&D 2nd Ed. so it doesn't count as a Tensided campaign. It's a crowd pleaser but it really takes almost no roleplaying talent at all to pull off, so I tend to avoid them. I wouldn't have done it except that I thought the yin / yang personalities of a 2-in-1 character would be interesting.

Title: Re: [Tensided] Serenity Springs
Post by: arthurtuxedo on January 11, 2008, 10:11:15 AM
Session start is about a quarter of the way down.

Chat log ( for Session 2. Played August 21, 2005.

The second session was a lot like the first, but with the addition of a player. Hotfoot had played with us a few times before, and was a great player and contributer. His character was High-Power, an armored suited hero with electrical attacks. I don't think we got to know High-Power as well as many of Hotfoot's other characters, but it was still a good showing. The session involved more investigation and detective work, which was a lot more fun than it appears in the chat logs. When you're in session, anything could happen next, and so you can have a lot of fun even if not a lot actually goes down.

The team traveled to the site of the first disappearance and talked to the victim's stoner roommate, who didn't even realize his friend had been missing. We found nylon stockings with eyeholes in them, but chose not to follow up. I don't think I even noticed, since I wasn't paying much attention to what the others were doing. So it looks like I was guilty here of the same thing I was criticizing my players for in the KotBS campaign. Reading old chat logs can be a real eye opener! Black Star didn't even show up for the investigation, and instead posted in-character about how tired he was of "detective work", which seemed to be like a jab at Gerard's GMing, and I found it to be uncalled for. More destruction ensued when Gilgamesh showed up, and reading these old chat logs does make me feel a little guilty. I was playing a very disruptive character and really derailed a lot of sessions. As funny and entertaining as it was, I don't think I would want to play another character so disruptive that it makes the whole session about him.

After the session there was some grousing about the complexity of the rules, which is understandable. I tried to create a set of rules that would allow the freedom to mix and match powers at magnitudes that would cover everything from characters as lowly as the Blue Beetle to ones as mighty as Galactus. It worked, and worked well, but it required a lot of multiplication by decimals, and got pretty complicated. The main trouble was that the GM, having not created a character, understood the rules probably less than any of the players, which caused a few troubles later on. One thing I've seen in the years I've developed Tensided is that new players often understand the rules better than the old vets, who learned them a long time ago and haven't really kept pace with the updates.