Actual Play – You Expect the Winter Knight Not to Cheat? (11/14/2011)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Alec Ransdell, Eric Fattig, and Steven Dunn
System: Dresden Files

The next story, which will resolve around the goings on at Winter Court, followed right on the footsteps of our APEC/Jade Court Story. The Hecetean Hag Catarina had a been stopped (her ritual foiled), lives were saved and all was well…except that the Winter Knight had just crossed over into the NeverNever and still had a binding pact to return Catarina to a member of the Jade Court alive.

Previously on

Since it had been a little while between games I decided to recap in a more cinematic non-linear fashion. Rather than recount the events of the last game, I recounted, in a specific order some scenes from the last few games that I thought were pertinent, to give a little context for the challenges I planned on presenting in this game. Here were the cut scenes

Chief of police Lawrence Rothgarn telling VC “The 42nd is a laughing stock and the commissioner is going to have my head if we don’t close this case. We need to close this case!”

Rose and her father in the hospital “Daughter, there are wheels within wheels in APEC, you must be careful with who you trust”. As the dialog rolled over, the imaged changed to her walking into the APEC office and noticing everyone eyeing her suspiciously.

Alex Tagushi of the Jade Court meeting with Remington “Winter Knight, we have come to an accord. Bring Catarina back to me alive and I will make your legal problems go away.”

Finally we cut to the end of the last game, fighting out on the beach and under water the Winter Knight opens a portal to the NeverNever and pulls himself and Catarina through moments before lightning from Caine’s fingertips arcs through the space they were.

Fun times on the beach…

I started on the beach, with the folks left behind dealing with what Remington and Catarina had left behind. VC had lost his perp and he could hear the sirens on the bridge of officers coming to the scene no doubt (because of a compel on his “It’s better if you don’t know the details” aspect) the lead car had Chief Rothgarn in it expecting to find the perp apprehended. Fun times.

VC did what any cop did that didn’t want to talk to his boss. He hid. “Officer Caine, you know where Reminton went? Good. I need to do some of your voodoo to send me there as well. And fast!”

Rose meanwhile, was nearly arrested by agent Alisha Hayes for collusion with Monroe in escaping her custody. Yes he had found her the kidnapped victims, BUT he also disappeared! (Alisha thought Rose was aiding him because of a compel of Rose’s “Just one of the boys” aspect). That turned into a fun social conflict where Alisha was just owned, and finally consented that the best way to find Remington was to let Rose go look for him.

And finally, with the least creative interpretation I could take of “One step away from Iron Bars” I had the NeverNever around treasure island be a giant cage, containing what would later be revealed as a gigantic axe (like a 3 mile long axe) named Ragnarok (blatantly stolen from a game Ryan Macklin ran where one of the wizards had an axe of the same name, though presumably much smaller). As he crossed over, he saw himself on a giant but rounded and slippery bridge (what turned out to be the haft). The waters were roiling below and his only companion in this foreign places was a beast of a creature. Catarina could not take her human guise on account of the extreme consequence she had suffered from Caine.

The guardian

I felt a little slopping introducing two trolls in the same area, but you know, bridges and trolls just make sense. At the end of the bridge was a giant cage, large enough for Remington and Catarina to climb through, but guarded by Francis, the Troll. He offered Catarina free passage; she had already been paid for (in the previous story) but Remington would have to pay 250 gold bullion to pass… or you know challenge the troll to a fight. Ha!

Francis was a pretty savvy troll, as trolls go, and he wanted no part of a fight with a Winter Knight with the sword of winter, so as the challenger he chose the weapons: unarmed! To assure Remington his sword would not be stolen or tampered with during the fight he summoned a sprite from Winter Court to hold the blade for him in the process.

As Remintong handed it over, he made some inference that he was the knight, this sprite must be his squire. I didn’t think much of it, so I said sure “Yeah, Torsius of Winter Court is totally your squire.” Hah, how that affecting things. As the fight went on it was pretty clean Francis was toying with Remington. He swatted him around some, buried him in rubble, and generally disoriented him. Remington the whole time was preparing for a master stroke. He created a cloud of fog around Francis, obscuring his vision, locked him a in ice, preventing him from moving and then, in a surprise twist told the troll he was a fool “You accepted a challenge from the Winter Knight and expected me not to cheat? Squire, my sword!”

Apparently, witting one liners are rewarded with great rolls because not only did his roll incredibly well, then tag every aspect he could and blow his fate chips AND except a favor from Mab guiding his stroke, but Francis also failed to beat the block on his Athletics roll and was totally unable to dodge the 16 shift attack that came his way. Yeah, tough, but not tough enough. A thousand little miniature trolls sprouted forth shouting “Never trust the Winter Knight, never trust the Winter Knight. Should have known better, should have…”

Outside, Rose and VC decided the really didn’t need follow Remington after all, they knew where he was heading!

Thoughts on the game

I loved the fight. Felt a little bit bad using two trolls so close together in the game… but as Francis is dead… maybe there is a job opening for Fred now.

Really thought, one of one fights are where Fate shines. Each person doing cool moves and positioning themselves vs. the chaos of multiple combatants that don’t always interact in a manner I can wrap my head around. I didn’t detail out everything but the fight had lots of back and forth. Maneuvers, blocks, spectacular defenses, etc. As having a little pocket domain all to himself, Francis had control over the environment in ways that were just fun.

Remington is up to owing Mab four favors…and he has no fate chips remaining. Fun fun fun.

I worry a little about Rose and VC not being part of the action, but from what I suspect they are going to do, they’ll create action of their own.

The interactions between Catarina and Remington were interesting. Neither one of them was very interested in gaining the trust of other but rather in trading information and services. Catarina was impressed with Remington’s resourcefulness and if he planned to help her kill her captor, she was all for it, but she doesn’t trust him at all. She’s working on making herself valuable to him, but the progress is slow going. Not sure if I should handle that strictly through the narrative or as a social conflict. Each of them trying to get one up on the other. I need to figure out her leverage (knowledge of NeverNever, favors owed to her but Winter Court, ability to lead Remington to the Jade Court slaves) and then push that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *