This is a recording of a session of the game “Masks: A New Generation” I run in a friend’s twitch channel. It is in Spanish and the video can only been seen on Twitch. Once it gets uploaded to youtube, I’ll post the link so you can give a try to the automatic subtitles. In the mean time, here’s the basics of what happened in this session.
Relevant context: this session was a last-minute replacement for our usual campaign. The three players had at least some familiarity with other PbtA games, but are generally more familiar with games like D&D and World of Darkness.
I did some preparation before the session, but only very broad strokes. I mainly had the idea of starting the session with the player’s characters doing some kind of live interview in an internet show. Since the game has a “how we came together” procedure to create the origin of the group by coming up with their first mission, I though the interview would be about whatever happened during that. I also had a concept for a villain who would attack them mid-show with the objective to use the opportunity gain attention and fame.
First we did character creation, which took a fair bit since doing it online always takes longer. The character they created are:
– Fate: The Doomed
– Saturno: The Nova
– Bruselas Star: The Protege
After that we did the part where “the team came together”, in which each player answers a question about their first mission together. It turns out they had fight a big villain together called “La Aberracion”, who was attacking a school’s cafeteria. But in the process, Fate lost control of her powers and some kids died as well.
After that, we started to play.
They started the game in the backstage of a semi-professional twitch show dedicated to gossiping about superheroes. They had been invited due to what had happened with “La Aberracion”. Even before the show started, Fate and Saturno already were arguing and throwing blame around to each other while Bruselas tried to calm them down. In fact they practically started a fight, but were interrupted because the show was about to start. The host, a young woman called Tessa Hammer, introduced them all, let them sit in from of the audience and started asking questions clearly engineered to cause distension and polemic in the group. She succeeded. As, despise Brusela’s best attempts, Fate and Saturno kept accusing each other and exposing their personal grudges in public.
After things came to a close and Tessa decided it was time to wrap things up (presumably because there was no more tension among the heroes to exploit), she was interrupted by an explosion in the roof of the studio. As building started to collapse, Saturno reacted quickly and created a force field to stop the debris from crushing the audience. In mean time, Bruselas and Fate saw a figure standing in the border of the fissure and jumped to meet it. It appeared as a figure completely covered in a suit with the image of an old TV tuned to a dead channel. Before the session ended and we went to black, the new villain introduced themselves as “#TheI”.
After that we did the “stars and wishes” procedure, which is simply talking about the things you loved about the session and the things you’d like to see happen in the future. And one of the things that came up was that they wanted for the unmasking of #TheI to be some big revelation, with some big twist regarding their identity.
And that’s my problem. I had not planned any of that, nor was my intention with this villain. I don’t have any particular interest in pulling the rug under my player’s feet. But I realize now that, by putting the villain in a mask, I was setting myself up for this. Quoting Nolan’s Bane:
So as I see it, I have several options:
1. I ignore this and make the reveal something trivial, some random individual with a grudge with the players or some other interest
2. I come up with something myself, either before the next session or in the middle of it
3. I let the player who unmasks them decide, by saying something like “you already know the truth, so tell me who hides under this mask” and hope for the best.
I’m currently leaning towards option #3, but I’m open to suggestions and ideas.
Here’s the video of the session: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/316800290