The latest chapter of “For the Free” is now up. Tonight is what looks to be the final chapter of the cycle.
I had originally envisioned this to be a eight to ten chapter cycle, but the players are very on the ball, and a lot of the curves I threw at them they dodged really well (in fact, I expected this final story would take two chapters, but since that’s been consistently wrong thus far, I’m planning for one). They even managed to completely bypass a couple of the fights I put together. Chapter five is the only chapter thus far where the player characters went too far off my radar for any length of time (the entire party scene), although it ended up being probably my favorite part of the session — even if I was totally making it up on the fly.
While I originally had plans for a Demigod and God cycle for the game, I think I need to take a break after this cycle wraps up. One of my co-workers is considering a game of In A Wicked Age, and I have a couple of ideas for much lower-prep games I could run. But this has been a really fun experience for the past six months, and I think six months is about the right amount of time to get a good amount of gaming in without burning me out.
I’m a bit behind in putting this up, but here’s chapter four of “For the Free”. This has all been leading up to the first big plot reveal, so hopefully the next session will get things moving in a whole new direction.
One thing that the players picked up on was that each of the first three stories ended up underground to get an item of significance. Once they fought for it, once they solved puzzles for it (and found they were out-played), and once they talked their way into it. Myth tends to have a lot of heavy imagery that’s reinforced again and again, and I wanted to play with that for the first few stories, while splitting them across the Mental/Physical/Social spectrum.
The other thing they picked up on was that things are not what they appear to be. That is partially because the ways of Gods are strange and mysterious, but mostly because when I run games, I somehow manage to work intrigue into every game I run.
Chapter three of “For the Free” is now up:
If you want to catch up, here’s chapter one and chapter two.
We’re playing chapter four (the second part of this story) this Friday.
After some delays, we got together to play the second chapter of our Scion cycle, “For the Free”.
The game went about the same as last session (i.e., very smoothly), and I’m finding that I like Obsidian Portal a little better than my original wiki. I can put Storyteller notes onto any page, and can even make entire pages Storyteller only, which I can unlock later. I still have Notepad open to take notes in (in case the browser crashes), but it’s easy to copy and paste my notes into a new journal entry, which I can then expand and update. It’s taking me a few hours to set up for a session and a couple hours to do the writeup afterward, but I think having so much information easily cross-referenced and available on the fly makes it all worthwhile.
The next session is on the 27th.
I had been running “For the Free” through a personal wiki. However, the guys at Obsidian Portal asked for a “celebrity campaign” to be featured on their site, and apparently my minuscule fame qualifies, so I volunteered to feature our cycle on the site.
I played with the site for a while, and found it to be pretty cool — it replicates 95% of the functionality of the wiki, and adds a GM Only section to most pages (which gets rid of the need for the private Google Doc I had). The forum nearly gets rid of the email group I have as well, though I might keep that just for ease at this point.
Anyhow, here’s the new home for the game:
“For the Free” campaign home
Also, if for some reason you want to be instantly and immediately informed of when I update it, you can subscribe to the RSS feed.
I still plan to cross-post game summaries here. For example, here’s the first game session.
We just completed our first chapter of “For the Free,” our Scion game. You can read what happened on my wiki. This game has been unique in a few ways:
1) This is the most I’ve prepared for a roleplaying game in a long time. Usually I just jot down a handful of notes and improvise the rest, but the structure of Scion (and indeed, this cycle) made that hard. I made the decision early on to use the wiki to organize the details of the cycle (combined with a Google Doc for my scene notes in a short-hand SAS format), which has amounted to over a dozen Storyteller characters, a handful of locations and tracking the state of dozens of Gods. I spent several hours last night and this morning updating the wiki with photos, character sheets and location information to run the first session, which is a lot more prep work than I usually do.
2) I ran the game entirely via my laptop. I had a PDF copy of Scion: Hero up, along with the wiki, the Google Doc, a simple text editor for notes and an online dice roller. Originally I planned to use the laptop as a support piece while I conducted the game with my usual paper notes, but I realized that 95% of my game was on the computer anyhow, so it just made sense to use an online dice roller and text editor for the rest. It also made it easy to look up quick pieces of information (like JeanRo, since I didn’t expect the group to look for Dionysus’ restaurant this session).
3) I gamed with a rough mix of people in terms of my familiarity with them — two I’ve run a lot of games for before, two I’ve played in a couple of games with, and one I’ve only gamed with in a LARP, but not tabletop. Also, I put a lot of the initial cycle construction and idea-building on the players, and I was more open about letting them handle rules interpretations and nuances instead of me acting as the primarily rules arbiter and subject matter expert for the game.
All in all, the game went really smoothly — we got through an entire story of about five scenes (four planned, one improvised) in four hours, with plenty of time for roleplaying and combat. The group gelled really well. Some of the elements of the Scion world (such as liberal use of Fate to justify disparate story elements) helped to smooth over what might normally be rough spots, and the players really seemed to gravitate to the almost comic-book style game play.