Actual Play – The Black Tree (5/30/2017)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Karen Twelves, Eric Fattig, and Adrienne Mueller
System: Blades in the Dark

Ro, Jadvyga, and Arquo entered The Black Tree (named for the petrified roots that enveloped it) the intent to bring back Roric and the box he was supposed to possess (own, not the other kind of possess).

They did it, and with spaces. Here’s a few highlights about how:

  • Ro chatted up Mist, the very tall bouncer at the door.
  • Jadvyga got the lay of the land from Pool (cavalier, daring, quiet) the bartender working that night.
  • Arquo surveyed the room and found Roric, but in doing so annoyed several of the guests who felt scrutinized [2/4 ticks on the “Your Face Pisses me off” clock]
  • Jadvyga talked with two other Tycherosi about how they could get through the lightning barrier and got the name of a smuggler who is part of the Vultures named Yasmin [acquire assert] by impressing them. They were Lannic and expert art forger and Veleris, a powder dealer.
  • Watching a fight in the Lighting Dome, the illegal whisper fights where each whisper vies for control of feral ghost which is the send to devour the loser.
  • While Arquo and Ro chatted up Roric and convinced him to meet them on account of important business with Elke and the Spirit Wardens, Jadvyga prowled behind him and attuned to deteremine that he was keeping the box in the ghost field. Though she did not have the training to so, Jadvyga forced herself into the ghost field and grabbed the book, but then found she was stuck there and couldn’t get out [2/4 in the “You’re a Ghost Now” clock]

What Rocked

I love it when someone tries to do something that a special ability they don’t have, because then I’ve got justification for a) this is possible, b) maybe after this you’ll take that move and c) it should be VERY difficult to do it without the ability. So when Jadvyga tried the desperate action to shift into the ghost field, it worked just a little bit too well and she didn’t know how to get back. It was great.

It is always a mystery to me what NPCs will interest players. Roric has all this backstory and prestige, but wasn’t as exciting as the very tall Mist, who Ro decided he must have!

Arquo stressed out during the coversation with Roric, which was great because we had to answer the question of how is Arquo taken out of the scene and the answer we decided on was “Setarra steps in to give him a hand, and for a bit, wears him like a meat suit.” I’m not sure that’s a think Setarra can do, but since he’s bound to her, they were right by the water, and he was unable to defend himself, it seemed like it be worth a try. The Results were delightful! (Spoiler, Setarra tried to eat Roric, but was slowed by Ro, and Roric slipped away).

What could have improved

Keep your motivations simple. I felt like several of NPCs (Corro, Griggs, and Roric) weren’t displayed consistently or believably because internally I wasn’t sure what their motivation and preferred means were. Gotta lock that down Sean, especially when there is a lot of intrigue in the air!

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