Actual Play – Shimizu’s Divorce – Part 2 (8/9/2010)

GM: Travis Lindquist
Players: Tracy, Sean, Alec, Steve, Omar and Fattig
System: L5R

Why part 2? Where is part 1? I missed it. But never fear Fattig did an AP report which is up here: http://the-viscount.livejournal.com/52754.html

The divorce proceedings were actually a lot of fun. I know Steve wasn’t really thrilled about his character’s sordid affairs being dragged out all over the shoji screen, but even he got a kick out of some of the bits.

Take away from the game:

Shimizu’s wife may not be a manipulative underhanded courtier, but her side of the case (orchestrated by the imperial chancellor, a Bayushi who certainly is a manipulative underhanded courtier and has beef with either Shimizu or the Crane or both) was crooked as hell. It was all about slamming Shimizu. Very Judge Judy tactics.

Shiko was “poisoned” by some creature of the shadow. The poison gave him a vision of his wife sleeping with another man. The Shadow offered to fix this problem for Shiko, but he refused to give into his wrath and told them to do nothing.

Rei’s son is hopeless. He’s way too smart for his own good and super precocious. My favorite line of the night. Jo: “But mother, I know what I should do, but my feelings tell me to do otherwise.” Rei: “Jo, you need to take those feelings and find a black hole in your heart to bury them in.”

Shiba Katanare (the ridiculously provincial shiba and Jo’s father) showed up, insulted everyone, couldn’t fathom that Rei and he had a son because they weren’t married, but was okay with having some rough sex just the same.

A ratling… the very last of his clan showed up to read from his memory sticks and tell the story of the horrible atrocities Al-Salin, Shimizu and Shiko delivered upon their clan. It was good times, but caused some commotion with Shimizu and Rei, who both protested his presence. Afterwards Shiko chased him down and killed him in the street. Then he broke all the memory sticks. Shiko changed his mind about his wife.

Rei’s testimony was fun for me. Being the only woman in the group and seeing how they had torn down Shimizu so far, Rei did what she does best: Attack. She tore into Junko’s behavior as a wife, how she had failed her husband, prevented him from doing the emperor’s work, blamed all of her woes on him, forced him to salvage her clan, and she would be the same failure to their children. By the end of it Junko was crying and accused Rei of sleeping with Shimizu, which was kind of funny, because it nearly had happened at the harvest festival, but didn’t.

Rei’s son hugged a Dragonfly (Tonbo). If you’re a student of L5R you’ll know what an embarrassment that is. His ward in response committed seppuku for her failure.

Rei spent most of the proceedings mad. It was fun to play her with a really sharp temper.

Omar kept offering to kill Junko for Shimizu (in a discrete way of course).  The offer became more and more tempting as the trial went on.  Good stuff here.

What rocked

Togashi Satsu meet Hida Tracy.  The MOUNTAIN DOES NOT MOVE bitch!

The primary mechanic for act two keeps us separated most of the time and I really enjoyed the communal game.

All the discussions of parenting (especially being a parent myself) was a lot of fun. Tso-Lou has a pretty good kid; he’s rambunctious and takes after his father. Rei has a son she’s totally disappointed in but refuses to let him dishonor her family. Shimizu barely knows his children but wants the best for them. The discussion between these three was great.

I about died laughing when Katanare asked Shiji (the Kuni, who all paint their faces crazy) was actually an Oni (demon).  She just about killed him.  Rei was familiar with this fascination and ensured Shinji that she wasn’t the jealous type if Shiji wanted to take Katanare for a ride and show her just how much of a demon or woman she really was.

Rei was so made by the end of the session that when she received the letter writing her son’s ex-ward requesting that her ashes be returned to her ancestral home, her response was “I didn’t give her permission to commit seppuku!”

What could have improved

L5R has lots of terminology that’s easy to mix up. Alec accidentally got the Kitsune (Fox clan) mixed up with the Kitsuki (Family in the Dragon Clan). This was purely a player mistake, not a character fumble. His argument however, was based on appealing to the logic of a Kitsuki when he was talking to a Kitsune and totally offended her. The end result was a really steep penalty on his roll, which seemed appropriate based on the fiction but harsh to the player who made an honest mistake.

I was kind of bummed that I couldn’t put father and son together. There was just no way I could justify letting this horribly bad influence mess my son up any further. As a player I wanted it, and I nearly justified it in character, but at the end of the day it just didn’t work. Ah well, I’m late in writing these AP reports so I already know what happens next session with Jo… and it totally made up for all the other flounders.