Actual Play – Daddy’s BMW (10/16/2016)

Facilitator: Jason Morningstar
Players: Jason Morningstar, Nathan Black, Kristin Firth, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Daddy’s BMW (adaptation from Daddy’s Cadillac)

Thank you Jason for bringing a 90 minute game to the table so I could get a chance to play a game at Big Bad Con!

Daddy’s [Insert Car Brand Here] is a short tabletop game about a group of friends who went to school together five years ago and haven’t stayed in touch since. They are all getting back together to out to a bar and find out what happens to them, and what has happened.

A few interesting rules about the game:

  • You only have autonomy about your characters present, everyone else gets to say what they were like or what happened to them in the past.
  • Each player is dealt one trump card that allows them to absolutely do something that cannot be countermanded by another player.
  • Each player has a secret which they should play towards getting out.

The game offers a series of scene prompts (driving to the bar, at the bar, etc) along with a few other character that players can play out as we see folks mingle with the locals.

Together we told the story of Randall (Rando) who could never get over pining for Felicia (Filly), who was broke and trying to keep her fashion model NYC life together. Along with John Thomas who had everything handed to him on silver platter and couldn’t see his own privledge, Rebecca who was the only one that was married among us, but her husband had been cheating on her, and Marta, who was living life to the fullest because she couldn’t cope with the fact that she had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

The people were flawed and sometimes predictable sometimes not. Marta wanted Rando who was obsessed with Filly, who was never into him and in fact incredibly embarrassed about the one time the did hook up. The night ended with Rando and Rebecca hooking up in Marta’s dad’s car,  Marta sobbing into to the half undressed John Thomas’s shoulder, and Filly feeling alone, which wasn’t unusual.

We had a final epilogue, which was a tiny snipped of what we did later to connect with each other on social media or otherwise. Rando posted a tweet of some kids in the parking lot working themselves up to sneaking into the bar with the caption “Look at these assholes.” Rebecca went back to her husband and never spoke of the night with Rando with him or anyone else. Marta texted John Thomas a purple heart, and he sent her back two. Filly’s mom emailed on her behalf. Filly had left her phone and wallet in the car, and could they please be shipped back to her and here was a venmo payment to cover the shipping cost.

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What Rocked

Telling a story in 90 min is amazing. I love any game that can jump right in and deliver like that.

It was great, as always, getting a chance to game with Nathan and Karen and Kristin and Jason. I love all these people.

The game was melancholy but not sad. Though our characters weren’t happy but neither did I feel like we were trying to grind them down or make them suffer, it was just the life of normal people trying to reconnect and not quite being able to.

The random NPC prompts were great for making the world feel alive without tasking anyone at the table to make up a new character themselves.

The retelling of prom night was amazing. Cut scenes between Filly telling Marta how embarrassing and awful it was to Rando telling John Thomas how life-changing and amazing it was. Oh, wow, that was so good.

Rebecca’s make over. It wasn’t the Hollywood version but between her dress being turned into a skirt and several shots, we got to see a whole different side of Rebecca!

What could have improved

As is often the case with a nebulous shared fiction, it did take us some time to suss out what was going on. Early on Jason gave me an offer about “after everything Becky did for you, you treat her like that? she saved you!” and while I didn’t reject it, I just wasn’t sure in the moment what it was that she had done. Did she keep me from falling off a cliff or warn be about dating a jerk. It took some time to to work out those open loops and I’m not sure we got all of them, but we certainly had plenty wrapped up by the end.