My Life with Master – Shakespeare in the Hills Edition

Tonight was session 0 of our first ever game of Paul Czege’s My Life With Master.

First we developed the Master who remains as yet unnamed (but not untitled – he is ‘the Dramaturge’). He is a monstrous playwright who thinks himself a master of the art, but who is actually a venal physical beast unable to control his lusts and who never finds satisfaction with the inspirations brought before him… he seeks to write a great play to amaze and amuse the folk of Paris. Since he can never quite find the inspiration he needs for this breakthrough masterpiece he sends us, his minions, to gather better inspiration. He has seen all the great plays, but wants greater. “Romeo & Juliet were fine… but we need something more sublime… bring me two enemies who hate each other and make them fall in love here in my wine cellars. That might be what I need.” But whatever we bring him, he destroys in his lust and violence.

And we are his minions. Sent to the village to bring him his entertainments, his visions, and that furtive spark of inspiration that is all he needs to transcend the limitations of all other works.

I am a grotesque beast of stone and wings. The scout for the master’s minions, treated as a flying hound, never worthy of being a person. Carved in the form of a man from the village, I quietly stalk his widow now, hoping that she’ll see her dead husband within me.

(Art by Christopher Shy, I believe, from Montreal by Night)

One response to “My Life with Master – Shakespeare in the Hills Edition”

  1. Horror and fear

    Near or at the top of the list for "Games to play," for pretty much anybody.

    You've presented a great example. This is how it's done! I hate the Master already and dread the possible moment when poor Cirkin is pursued or cornered by the hounds.

    Fear 5, Reason 1 = pure horror, out of the gate. I hope it's OK to jump to rules-talk, with apologies if you & the group are way ahead on this.

    The Horror Revealed is triggered when a minion's Self-Loathing jumps to a value that exceeds Love + Reason. If it's already higher, but hasn't just changed, then a Horror isn't Revealed.

    I say this because a lot of groups in the past played Horror Revealed constantly because they thought you just check those values and do it if Self-Loathing is higher. But it only happens when Self-Loathing increases and the new value is higher than that sum, at that moment.

    So in a game with starting values like yours, it doesn't mean that Horror Revealed has to kick in immediately.

    Again, if you are all totally up to speed on that, then my 'splaining is presumptuous.


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