Actual Play – Until We Sink… or the owner kills us (1/18/2015)

Players: Matthew Klein, Dale Horstman, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Until we Sink

Until we Sink is such a delightful game to play. You can play it while lounging comfortably in your living room, which we did. You can play it while enjoying your favorite beverages, which we did. You can play it and still enjoy the creature comforts in life… like bringing your friend who seems to be asking for it a glass of milk with an ice cube in it, and just a bit of nutmeg sprinkled on top to make it special, which I did.

I love that there is no conflict resolution system, you just talk until you think you’re done for the night and then leave the patio.

Dale and Matt came over. We lounged about. We ate cookies from Hot Cookie (Karen and I were in the Castro earlier in the day to see Noir City), and we played some Norwegian Style.

Our Cast

Taluk, the brawny owner of the hotel Aitakai. He was an aging but still muscular man with some old injuries. He couldn’t drink alchohol because of his medication, and enjoyed a glass of milk with ice in it instead, particularly watching the condensation form on the glass. Related, he protected his island from becoming  stopping point for Colombian drug runners by murdering and they burying any “trash” that washed up on his shores.

J.M. Francois was the one hit wonder novelist who had written the Great American Novel, and then hadn’t written anything worth noting since then. J.M. (a pen name) was divorced but traveled to the island with his teenage daughter Tavi, and the two basically couldn’t stand each other. J.M either drank because his life was miserable, or had a miserable life because he drank. It was a chicken and egg situation by now.

Tavi Taylor (J.M.’s daugther but with her mother’s name) was a bright, young, bored teenager. She didn’t want to be on this stupid island and she didn’t want to be with her dad. But here she was, bored enough to snoop all around the island and through people’s personal belongings.

Darcy Fisher was a retired gossip. Her husband “may he rest in peace” left her with a comfortable life and now she spent it getting into other people’s business. Darcy had the inexplicable propensity to talk all the air out of a room, seemingly never stopping to breath as she skipped from one tangent to another without letting anyone else get a word in edgewise.* She was instantly drawn to the strong Taluk, and told him often that he reminded her of her late husband. She told him she liked a strong man who would take charge. Oh, and her husband wasn’t actually dead, the were in the middle of divorce proceedings. She was a liar too.

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Thoughts on this game

I was a bit disappointed with my own reaction to finding out I was lying about my husband. It made perfect sense, Darcy went on and on about him, of course she was lying. But then when it came time to reveal that lie… I just blanked. He cheated on me. Sure that made sense. Darcy had the kind of personality that would drive people away. But it felt like it landed flat. Like, “oh, yeah, of course he did… next”. I guess I want the reveal to have more of an impact.

What did come out of the reveal however, was Darcy being very angry at Tavi for rifling through her personal belongings and the next day Tavi making some really crappy shell necklaces as a way of apologizing, which itself, was pretty adorable and awesome.

Matt’s development of Taluk was amazing. He was this kind (most of the time) old man with major anger management issues. And like, he point blank admitted that he killed some people but he was so charming about it and seemed to be so earnest that we all accepted it without much alarm.

* I discovered my super villain power. Impenetrable and inane conversation.