Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I am finalizing the last bits of my character for a HS6E game a friend is running starting next week. I'll be playing alongside my husband - which is always interesting.

Most of the time I enjoy it, but there are others when it makes me absolutely nuts. He has a very dominant personality, and sometimes he runs a little roughshod over other people in the game. The flip side of that is sometimes absolutely nothing gets done without him to push it forward, so it does even out.

I have to say that Hero holds a very special place in my heart- my first gaming experience was 3rd edition Champions. It was an absolute blast. I learned so much by playing Champs rather than D& D or some other fantasy-oriented game to start out. I clearly remember cussing (loudly and often) about the amount of math in the game.I was forced to learn multiplication, division, decimals & fractions, percentages and economy of points. I still failed at some crucial lessons; a very famous one involves my complete inability to do any operation involving "8"s.

I have to say that 6E is really frustrating for me, because I am so familiar with the old rules I have trouble adapting to the new ones. The change away from figured statistics is truly a hard concept for me, as is -BUYING- OCV & DCV. I was also very disappointed that they got rid of EC's.

I have a very specific way I need to learn new rules- it often involves a lot of paper and pencil, and about 80 drafts of the same idea. It took me well over a month of stop-and-start attempts, but I finally came up with a complete character that I really enjoy. It's not a new one (I've played this character very briefly in a 4th Ed game) but it's fully fleshed out, with all the points and so forth.

This is a big deal for me, because I usually write down a few key elements I want in a character. The I hand it over to my husband, and say "make it work". My husband is a rules monkey extraordinaire, especially Hero system. He knows so many tricks, has so many unusual ideas, and understands the flexibility of the rules so well, I almost always defer to him.

I did want to expose myself to the new rules and some of the new mechanics, so I forced myself to make my own character, with pencil and paper. I cannot honestly say I enjoyed the process- it was actually pretty frustrating, but I'm proud that I did it and I am proud of the result.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Austin by Night (WOD) Session 4 as Eile

A little more about Eile and the game:

Eile is a Beast, with an alternate Hunterheart oriented Kith approved by the ST. She has the RiddleKith contract and has been employing it since being introduced to the game. Her theme song is "Temptation Waits" by Garbage.

She's one of  3 active Changelings in the game; and 1 of those players (C) comes approximately  once every other session. I deliberately chose to be a Changeling after my Werewolf died so that I'd have a chance to play with the other active player (K) on a regular basis. She's a very challenging player and I really enjoy seeing how far she can push me both in terms of immersion and moral choices. We're very good friends outside of the game. At the moment, our characters are at odds- neither sees the other as friendly or an ally.

Our game is fairly large (15+ people) with Mage, Werewolf, Vampire, Geist, Changeling, and Hunter players.  It is a mashup of LARP and tabletop. Groups wander throughout the setting interacting as appropriate, and move away or closer as indicated by the scene.  There's an indoors, which is the FLGS, and outdoors, which is the parking lot. It is used very frequently when the weather is nice and players want to smoke, have privacy, or just enjoy a breeze.

There is a lot of talking, and very little combat (unless you are a werewolf). As a rule, our ST lets us run our own scenes- he will actively be involved if he has a plot hook for you, is acting as  an NPC, an antagonist, or you need him for a ruling.  In this session, our ST enlisted the help of a couple of friends to be "bystanders" or interactive NPCs.

Onto the recap: 
Eile works at the Hedge Row, the local bar, owned by an NPC member of the Lost. The Geist and the Hunter also work there in various capacities. Eile had a conversation with the Hunter (Bruce, played by my son) sometime last session that ended up with Bruce and Eile agreeing to find an apartment and split the costs. Eile did not know he was a Hunter at the time of the agreement.  (this was all last session)

In this session, Bruce finds an apartment and Eile gives him a deposit.

Eile's romance with the Geist has been intensifying. They've spent quite a bit of free time together and enjoyed it very much. They're both broke in the game, so a large part of their activities have been free (walking in the park, dancing to the radio/stereo, going to farmer's markets etc). During their courtship, TK (the Geist) asks Eile if she makes jewelry, as he wants a piece made. She says no, but that she'll either learn how or find someone who does. Eile sees some very interesting behavior from TK that leads her to believe he's got an invisible familiar. (She knows he is supernatural, but has a limited knowledge of what exists in this world.)

Eile tells TK about the rooming situation with Bruce, and TK is not visibly mad, but he is definitely upset by the news. 

Later in the evening, TK  hears some sort of commotion in the upstairs portion of the bar, which is off limits to those that don't live there. He goes to investigate and discovers Avere (Changeling) and Walker Lee (Mage) in a room that is supposed to be locked. [I know generally OOC what happens here but not all of it. I/C,  I know almost nothing of what happened.] An interactive NPC (a kitchen worker named Teddy) hears the same commotion and goes upstairs to investigate. He sees the three normal looking people leaving through the back door. Because Teddy is paranoid and wants justification for coming upstairs, he says he saw TK steal something and comes downstairs to tell the owner. The owner is unavailable, and Eile intercepts Teddy.

She goes upstairs and sees TK , Avere & Walker Lee leaving down the back stairs. She interrupts, trying to determine what's going on. Avere displays a significant ability of seeing through Eile's RiddleKith and recognizing her from a previous encounter (where Eile was using a different Kith/Seeming). Avere also has a very distinct aura, which Eile recognizes as an increase in power. [The only way Eile knows to increase power in such a way is pretty gruesome, so Eile is on guard.] Eile tries (unsucsessfully) to avoid questioning from Avere and settle the situation so the police are not called. Eile does return to talk to Teddy and gets him calmed down for a few moments, explaining that TK had a reason to be upstairs, nothing was stolen, etc. This appeases Teddy for a little bit, and Eile joins up with TK, Aver & Walker Lee again.

Apparently after Eile left Teddy, he continued to talk about the incident in which he saw TK 'take something', spreading rumors throughout the club.

Avere continues to press an issue that Eile really doesn't want to discuss. Eile attempts to downplay the issue, again; not very sucessfully. Walker Lee is very upset that Avere went somewhere he couldn't, and encourages her to go in the bar to get something to eat. The group goes inside, and Eile, the only waitress, takes the order to the kitchen. TK asks for several drinks, and Eile has one as well. TK asks how Avere and Eile met- Avere is completely blunt and responds that they met at the Goblin Market. [This is true.]  Eile doesn't deny, but phrases things differently; then disucssion heads into being attacked at the Goblin Market.

Eile knows whatever attacked herself and Avere at the market was a large hunting animal, and has a strong suspicion it was a dragon. She asserts that she knows what attacked them, and Avere doesn't believe her. Eile states that she doesn't care what Avere believes; Eile knows the truth. Avere implies that Eile didn't see the true form of whatever attacked them, to which Eile concedes is a possibility.Avere suddenly becomes more cautious in her manner and what she will & won't say. [Due to an interactive NPC sitting near us.]

[My notes get fuzzy here, and my memory of what order things occured is not the best. I BELIEVE this is how things went.]

Eile  serves Azira and Rastlin (Mages). They both become aware that Eile is supernatural, but not exactly what. [Our ST's rule is that you need to get 5 sucesses on your perception+supernatural dice pool roll when you interact with a new person to determine WHAT they might be. 1-4 tells you that they are supernatural and sometimes what power level they are.] Avere asks them if they are going to some sort of meeting, but they indicate that Coyote Joe and Memento (also Mages) are taking care of it. After a few drinks, they leave.

At some point, Avere and Walker Lee leave. TK and Eile are left in a very strange, almost shell-shocked wake. They are forced to address the nature of the conversation they just had, and the accusations Avere made to TK regarding Eile before Eile arrived upstairs.

The conversation between Eile and TK seems to actually strengthen the budding romance. They address some of Eile's nature (she reveals just how flexible RiddleKith can be), and that she and Avere share some commonalities, but are vastly different. TK shares some information about his life as a Geist (but doesn't call it that) and his ability to see & interact with the dead.  Eile and TK head back outside for a bit, and Ginger (Werewolf) walks by. There's a brief interaction - Eile deliberatly acts as if she's sniffing Ginger. TK then discusses the Werewolves and how they smell like death to him. [OOC there's a very good reason they smell that way, and I know it, but Eile doesn't.] Eile says that they smell like "something" to her, and that she understands them, but doesn't necessarily LIKE them. [OOC this is relevant to her background but not immediately impacting her now.] TK indicates that he's decieving them in a very specific way, and enjoying it. This lights Eiele right up. Through a little inquiry, she discovers how deceptive TK is, and she likes it quite a lot. She lets him know that they will get along just fine, smiling over this little victory.

TK and Eile go back inside to the bar [I was getting bug bites] and continue their conversation. Bruce joins them, as he's been covering for Eile. Dottie and Vienna (both Vampires) come into the bar and order stiff drinks. Eile sets them up and chit chats with them for a bit. TK declares that they are dead, and asks Dottie if her taste buds even work. [I was looking the other way for this next part and missed it.] Dottie sticks out her tongue and points to her taste buds and then says, See? General laughter ensued. Dottie is uset because "everyone she knows is trying to kill her" and TK quietly asks if she can die again. As they leave, TK strongly indicates they shouldn't be allowed to leave with bar patrons, and that they are dangerous. Bruce is strung tighter than a live wire and is trying to defuse the conversation. Eile and TK agree to discuss it later. Dottie and Vienna leave, and Eile "closes up the bar". [I went outside for a bit- another big scene was ongoing and I wanted to watch.]

Later in the evening, the Mages hit the bar as a large group, with the Werewolves in tow [so Eile opens back up] and serves them. David (the Alpha of the pack) asks Walker Lee a question- were you having fun with Avere while all that [OOC I know, I/C no idea] was going on? -Laughter at the innuendo- Walker Lee responds: "I'm just her guardian, that's all". Drinks flow, things close up, etc.

Eiele speaks with David alone, determining certain boundaries of his territory.She then speaks with TK, sharing that Walker Lee is Avere's guardian, and confirms that Vienna and Dottie are truly dead.

This is where things wrap up for the night. OOC, I know several other BIG things happened, specifically to the Werewolves and Mages. Maybe I'll get one of them to do a guest post here.

It was a fun night that really challenged what I want to do with Eile. I pretty much fell into one of the best possible scenarios with the Geist player, and I'm enjoying being able to actively move Eile forward through a happy accident. We'll see what happens next time!