Mayhem and mirth, with the horns and hair

I’ve played a whole lot of Trollbabe at Spelens Hus, so far with three sessions and five players, although not all of the latter at once. There isn’t too much to say! Everything has been berserk and fun and gory and funny and heroic, the whole time.

I think if there’s one lesson I could have struck harder in the text, it is that the prep phase is serious. This isn’t a good game for GM improvising; you need hard prep. Not a lot of it, but in terms of the listed items in the book, do all of them, all written down. I’ve definitely seen the difference across the (so far) five locations of play based on the amount of “oh, I’ll do that when I get to it” I allowed to slide in, mostly during the second session.

I only recorded the third session in play, so what follows is a brief reflection on the two, and then the recording of the third. I also managed, somehow, to turn up the gain on the microphone without knowing it, so the exact opposite of what we needed happened: it picked up every damn thing happening in a block’s radius. But from now on, I’m checking!


2 responses to “Mayhem and mirth, with the horns and hair”

  1. When did Pippi Longstocking grow horns?

    This was fun to watch, sound problems and all. On the subject of prep, had you known before this session that at least one character was going back to the Blood Gate? Or did you find out on the spot and put the prep together same-day?

    • I found out on the spot, as

      I found out on the spot, as per the rules. Technically, the rule is that you prepare a few small relationship-map diagrams for very basic situations, including Stakes, and then you adapt one of them to each location a player chooses.

      However, in this case, I made a bad call by ignoring that preparation and relying on the "split sect" trope to improvise instead. It wasn't a bad call in terms of plot, but it was a bad call in terms of arriving at our own plot instead of running through what was pretty much pre-determined by the trope. You can see it in the flatness of the NPCs, which is very much in contrast to the vivid characters in the previous sessions. That's where Sifal, Marya's sidekick and presumably lover, came from, and why the other trollbabes have interesting carry-over relationships too – but you'll notice in this session, no one proactively seized a new relationship. It's because I broke the rules for preparation.

      The session was saved by the players' enthusiastic participation, especially since all three are now familiar with the Series mechanics and engage fully with the steps for re-roll/or-not.

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