painting by Jozzi
but the moment Ron mentioned he had started a game of Lacuna with a couple of new people that showed up after Augustifesten and Kulturnatten (both weekend long cultural festivals that give the opportunity for all clubs at Spelens Hus to reach out to new people) I got itchy. He had introduced the game to Henna and me in the spring (Chasing Edwards) and I remembered it fondly. Also, that was a one shot kind of thing and there definitely was some unfinished business as far as the character I played was concerned.
Ron has a sheet with premade characters that he had used both in spring and now, but fortunately none of the new players had picked Provost (the character I played before). I spend some time figuring out how she had been influenced by the previous mission and it’s aftermath and showed up at the table with some rudimentary idea of who she was now.
When I joined the game everybody else had already played one session and the others characters, Fuller and Inman, had experienced enough in Blue City to have some doubts about the mission they were sent on.
I’m rather shy in general and meeting new people still puts me under some stress, but it is getting better. Also, I had met one of the players during Augustifesten and had enjoyed talking to her. After we introduced ourselves and our characters I basically hit the ground running. No more thoughts of “what kind of first impression do I leave here”.
Provost got her mission briefing from Snyder and man was that fishy. “Single room” in some new, still pretty unused looking part of the premises, I had flashbacks to a certain session of Khaotic! and Provost had just mistrust for the man and the mission alike. Then I “missed” (joking, those so called misses are the best rolls you can get if you ask me) the deployment roll, It wasn’t even a mediocre success – it was just perfect. Resulting in Provost dropping out of the blue sky in front of the very people (her fellow agents) she was supposed to observe from afar. So … cold, hard, I own the place wherever I may find myself … I’m playing a character I’m afraid of with people I barely know.
Sorry everybody, that’s about all you’ll get from me about the content of play. The others had choosen Fuller and Inman (look them up in the attachment of the post linked above if you’re curious), the Hostile Personality to be apprehended in this mission was named Sorensen.
>What happened already during the first session was magical, no kidding, the way everybody picked up on what and how things were said by the others, how it got incorporated into play, it was like we had played together for a long time – or known each other since childhood. It didn’t matter that I missed the first session or that one ot the other players had to skip one of the lessons. For me, there was a very high level of trust involved, both in the game to deliver, in the other players (for me everybody around the table is a player, even the person who runs the game) to sense where boundaries may be and watch out for anybody displaying signs of discomfort. I felt safe to dance along all the lines criss crossing my brain, violence, firearms, horror, let’s see how much I can take. Still, I was exhausted in body and mind after every session but it was the kind of exhaustion you experience after a good work out. There is no recipe for a game experience like this, but for me there are a couple of things that I think may be a part of it happening.
Trust, the feeling of everybody looking out for the others. Whether you want to establish boundaries before play, just talk about what makes you uncomfortable or feel you can start playing and will be able to signal when something starts going south doesn’t really matter.
Listen, let yourself be influenced by what you hear and sense, even if your character is not in the scene, How players describe what their characters do or feel, dialogs, descriptions of the environmentDont, let it become part of the mood, part of the backdrop, part of the thread you will be weaving into the picture.
Don’t plan or decide where things should go, just play, make your character a person, not a tool. There was a scene in our third session where I knew what Provost was intending to do and … I don’t know if I would have been able to describe it. Fortunately play is like life, things rarely go exactly after plan and even if I’m not able to describe the outcome of a roll somebody will help me out.
Last but not least, play this game, not just for one session, things develop really nicely if you give them a chance.