I finally figured out how to compel Raoul’s trouble. It is “Ice My Arm Down Coach” to represent how Raoul’s coach Frank Ortiz tries to protect him from doing things that would mess up his career. In the past I’ve used it weakly to try and stop Raoul from getting into danger. That was just lame, it was like I was saying “it’s going to cost you a fate chip to be part of the action and have fun.” I tried it once and, seeing Chris buy it off, instantly knew it was the wrong way to compel the aspect.
So, what is the right way, Frank doesn’t try and stop Raoul from making mistakes, instead he tries to clean them up himself. In all the wrong ways. Last session to foil a kidnapping, Raoul had effectively kidnapped an Olympic figure skater named Mao Asada. The press was all over her absence and Frank was sure if she came forward she could ruin Raoul’s career, and thus deprive the Giants of their starting pitcher. Frank couldn’t have that. So he did what coaches know how to do, he planted a performance enhancer (Klomifen) in her locker and then circulated some rumors that she was juicing. Once that was discovered any claims she made would fall on deaf ears. Now that’s how to use that compel.
And Roaul took it too. And did nothing. He left it for the Winter Knight to sefl-compel “The Girl I Couldn’t Save” to go sneak into her locker room and steal the stuff out…before the authorities arrived. All in all, that was the highlight of the game for me.
On top of that Caine was told to arrest Raoul for kidnapping, charges quickly dropped.
Roaul, after a Legendary+ resources roll to dress up for a meeting, created a new, extremely crass and bold fashion, called the “Railroad”, or RR depending on the piece. New city aspect “Railroad is the new Pink”
Oh, and they met with a dude how identified himself as a member of the Jade court. Alex Tagushi. Someone who thanked the Winter Knight for preventing the red court from making an offer to his patron, but wondered why they had meddled with his property (a hag named Catarina that they had freed last game).
Tagushi made an offer to Remington. Capture this hag for me and I’ll make your legal problems go away. Yep, flat out. He was ready to wipe out Remington’s Trouble “One Step Away From Iron Bars”. They agreed and a pact was made. A VERY powerful pact. A 10-shift block that hangs like a guillotine over his neck should he try to break the bond. And, about five acres of fresh sod was turned to dust in the process. So much for Tagushi’s private golf course. I guess he’ll have to use one of his others.
Meanwhile more kidnappings were happening. Seven to be precise, and not any of them subtle. Men, women, children, grabbed indiscriminately off the street. Several security cameras got footage, all of them confirming they looked like a woman Kyung Soon, one of human chattel the Jade Court is planning to make as an offering to Winter Court, but more accurately, the human guise that the Hag Catarina had taken. She was kidnapping people and in a hurry, nothing good could come of this…
Thoughts from this game.
Dude, personal stuff is where it’s at. I tell all these epic stories to justify giving my PCs challenges where they can use their big swords and spells and juju, but the stories I really love don’t have anything to do with that. They have to do with the ramifications of our power, of how much work Superman has to do to maintain Clark, of how much Peter gets the short end of the stick compared to Spidey. Every hero must make personal sacrifices and those are the stories I love to tell. I know, they can’t exist unless someone does something heroic, like nobody wants to play Ryan the bathroom attendant (except maybe me), but that personal fallout, is the stuff of legends.
In comparison I felt the meeting with Tagushi was a little flat. He waved his giant magic codpiece around and bullied the PCs into working with him, or at least the Winter Knight. He was a consummate douche, and pretty paper thin. I don’t like playing high status characters. I tend to play them as assholes (my general experience with people that have a lot of power), which just feels antagonistic. Also, I think in reaction to that, my players often chafe against them, totally indiscriminate of how dangerous it might be, and then I’m REALLY reluctant to have them strike out because I think it would be cruel and petulant (both of me and the NPC). So, I’m left with this giant ego-inflated ham of a character, all bark and no bite.
Having VC and Rose miss this game, when so much of it focused on Rose, really hurt. I had a couple of compels (read: bangs) ready for those two, that I really wanted to see them react to. I kind of wonder if I should have just postponed the game. By the time Fattig returned, I felt very much like he and Rose were out of the loop. To a lesser extent (because this wasn’t his story) the same was true for VC.
In general I’m liking the format of having each story center around a major component of the the PCs lives. The first one was about the Red Court, specifically Alec’s sire. The second was all about voodoo, bringing in Raoul’s loa into the foreground and this was about APEC, the organization that Roses’ father, and now Rose, works for. Next up… Winter is waning.