Friday, March 23, 2012

One Arc Ends, Another Begins

Last Sunday, we had our make-up game due to Madicon disrupting our schedule. It was the end of the Apocrypha arc and it ended less than enthusiastically; the bad guy got away (with the mysterious tome in ancient Greek), the book of prophecy is still loose; however, the Warden has woken from his lazy slumber and set a ward on the city of Denver to alert him if the Breaker of the First Law works his magic.

This arc suffered a number of problems - some external due to scheduling and personalities starting to mesh at the table with almost all new players, and then learning the system and working within it is making things difficult. I'm having trouble finding good compels for the players to take that make sense within the context of the game - and it takes the fate point back and forthing to really make the system sing, instead I have a bunch of 1 or 2 refresh characters that don't have enough points to do anything truly extraordinaire when the dice come up against them - they are dependent entirely on their abilities, and those are being drastically affected by the dice rolls.

Oh and the characters themselves, I tried to sketch out a fairly straightforward job, but it did involve a lot of rapport and investigation rolls with no real strengths within the party. I have to scan the characters sheets but the party is strong in Discipline, Weapons, and Conviction - not a whole lot to hang an arc off of.

Also, thaumaturgy, I have a high Lore Wizard and the Swiss army knife of thaumaturgy is making certain challenges not so challenging, or even particularly interesting to do for the low level rituals, and admittedly I can make it more interesting by putting a time crunch on things; however, there's only so many times I can go back to that well.

So with a minor advancement between them and some down time. We started the next arc which I'm aiming to be a major storyline called Battlefields.

One less character as the player behind Rufus had to tap out due to life concerns getting in the way of regular play. Focusing in on the Five Points, a rougher part of Denver, gunfire and skirmishes between the three Red Court controlled gangs are flaring hot and knocking over the status quo. Kimiko, the Bearer of the Sword of the Cross, is stuck in the middle as one of her orphans that she shelters takes a bullet to the thigh. Things go bad to worse quickly as grenades (that are duds) and automatic weapons quickly enter the picture as some of the gangs start hitting each others' headquarters. So we have a three way free for all going off with each gang saying the other gang started it, and worse, the Red Court leadership is being called into town.

The blood is going to run in the streets.

If that wasn't enough, a half-demon has caught a plague and is hiding out in the Lakeshore Amusement park where Mrs. Jenkins runs effectively a boarding house for monsters. However, Georgie, the half demon, doesn't really recall what happened to him as he was walking his prey to a hunting ground and he got hit by men streaming out of a white cargo van and doesn't recall much after that. What's scary to the Werebear Paramedic is that while Georgie has all of the external symptoms of the plague, he has not of the internal causes. Calling in the friendly mage, Debra, the two are stumped for answers at the moment.

So if the first arc was talking/investigation focused, this one will be a lot more intrigue, combat, and research oriented. The next session is this Sunday so we'll see what happens.

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