Heroics and terrors in Lima

The super-powered young (and not-so-young) godlings are now in action.

If you’re seen the “0” session, then you know we’re looking at a water-controlling Atlantean – not an uncommon phrase considering certain popular characters, but here it’s much more Illuminati-ish than Aquaman-ish – a shapeshifty-techie Chimeran, and a low-impulse-control fear-wave Black October guy, who share the agenda of taking down the Power Elite, who are your basic post-Nazi South American take-over antagonists. But here, we completed and clarified our agenda, the names and powers for our characters (Ilappa, Ditto, and Fearstrike, as pictured), and launched into play.

Jerry is trying out his ideas for three levels/layers of play:

  • Weeks or months long activity representing ongoing operations, in which agendas clash directly. You act as your character but you’re using the group agenda’s characteristics, not your own.
  • Events, which occur as “regular play” but representing hours or perhaps days of activity, in which you’re using your own characteristics to confront some generalized or large-scale situation.
  • Fights or confrontations which are handled in more familiar role-playing, action-by-action terms.

His concerns include the “change” mechanics: how hard and often are agendas affected, how do characters improve relative to these changes, how does his Hero Point mechanic play into success or failure of things, and all the related issues, like damage or other forms of suffering.

My own concerns are far more personal: whether I like playing Fearstrike or not, and whether such things as Authorities and Bounce actually fuel play. I hope you can see that my role as consultant is not, ever, co-designer or advisor, but rather, to prompt reflection and to ask the questions that are hard to ask oneself.

If you’re following this topic mainly for the consulting, then you can go directly to the conversation between Jerry and me held a couple of days later, here. Familiar topics of the moment are included, like the meaning of failed resolutions and incorporating actions and events of the moment into one’s next stated actions. But I think it’s helpful to see what we’re talking about in the play session too.


4 responses to “Heroics and terrors in Lima”

  1. Session 2! (bonus: pantheon naming)

    I'm sure you're familiar with the heartwarming scene in most fictionalized musician/group movies, when the actors playing famous musicians provide a scripted "how we came up with the name" interaction. It's always a fun mix of almosts and inspirations, as the audience wriggles with delight because they know what the outcome will be. You can see the real thing here!

    So, this session represents the third, most familiar level of play for this game, which is to say, "what do you do?" and "I do this," with methods for IIEE and all other necessary devices of confrontation. If you're seen the previous session you know what Fearstrike and Ilappa do, and there's a lot of it here, but this time you'll also see Ditto bust out whoa oh shit powers too.

    Here's the direct link into the playlist.

    Jerry and I haven't yet met to discuss it, but as the meme goes, "I have … questions." One of them you can anticipate from our previous conversation, concerns the effects of failed rolls. Play provides us with a fine look at how it stands at present, as I rolled double 1's (the "one true failure" in these mechanics) for a resolution at the outset of play. Contrast its impact to the impact of the several times, last session and this one, in which I rolled spectacularly well with multiple doubles of other values.

    • We’ve met! Here’s the fourth

      We've met! Here's the fourth conversation/consult session, based on the play events of session 2 (by which I mean the play-group of Jerry, Renee, Kieron, and me).

      Consulting during the past month has exploded colorfully like a case of Roman candles which just had a still-burning cigarette butt carelessly dropped into it. Everything's related to everything else. In this case, observe the interactions among:

      • The role of failures and especially double 1's
      • The raw number of Hero Points, how they're gained, how they're used/lost
      • The choices and opportunities for decreasing the upcoming Antagonist Pool value

      Then you can take that over to questions and issues that are just now brewing and baking for Night Waves and Compact Stories, and see how the big picture looks in my head.

  2. Session 3!

    Enjoyable chemistry among us and the fun of learning about Lima aside, for consulting purposes I'm most interested in the expected or desired cycle of play: Agenda resolution alternating with "regular" play, the latter subdivided into Events and Adventures. This session demonstrates "back around" through the cycle for the first time … and what I'm looking for is causality from part to part.

    Here's the direct link into the playlist.

  3. Session 4!

    Here's Terry's mano a mano dust-up with a group of equally-powered or perhaps more-so opponents. My two consulting thoughts to develop with him are:

    • (as mentioned in the session) The critical feature of timing based on that no-joke initiative roll, which I think is a good thing. Xenophon got in two solid first-strike group hits on them, which as Terry pointed out might not have gone that way, and in each case, therefore Ditto and Fearstrike had more room for some strategy, e.g., choosing opponents, following up on useful physical positions.
    • Continuing with the questions I raised in our conversation after the third session: are Hero Points as written indeed a limited resource? Or do we apparently have as many as we need whenever we need? And if not that extreme, how genuinely separated are we from that generous endpoint?

    Here's the direct link into the playlist.

    I like our comic Paradox Force a lot. Very much a chaos-force for order, merely because we individually happen to be pointed in the same direction more often than not.

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