Actual Play!
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Author:  higgins [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Crow Caller wrote:
I'm a bit confused on whether I should post Ghost Jaguar now, or if Higgins should post first?
Go right ahead. Itzcoatl is pretty busy with the festivities and has no plan to remove the Artefact from the safest place of all. :)

Author:  Hector [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!


He really can't afford to alienate her any further by beating up her friends, so he's going to stalk away just far enough that he can get his thoughts in order. I hope.


Punchau bites his tongue and stalks away in an attempt to force the bile back down. He stays close, only about twenty feet away, and takes deep, deep breaths. After a while, when he feels it to be safe, he walks back over.

"Well, as she insists on telling the first person we meet exactly what she's doing... yes, that's right, I'm trying to get her to the jungle. Anyone she hides with here will join her under the knife when she's found and if we use the causeway we'll be seen easily. The Jungle is dangerous, but it gives us a chance, which is more than we have here. We can follow the causeways from the jungle floor and get to another city that way," he says, his voice still holding the faint trace of the growls of before.

Author:  Crow Caller [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar - Itzcoatl's Quarters.

After being dismissed by the portly priest Ghost Jaguar is quick in making his way back to the quarters of his master, forgoing the priestly staff he had previously stolen hoping it will remain hidden where it is until he atleast has whatever it is he is looking for in his hands.

Silently Ghost Jaguar slips into Itzcoatl's quarter, he avoids the servant tunnels as they will be in use by other slaves, rather he boldly uses Itcoatl's own halls. Walking silently, pausing at any sign of noise or movement, and hiding when necesary, the going is slow but the young slave manages to make his way unseen into his master's quarters.

At once the hunter begins to search methodically through the possessions of his master, pilfering anything he may think is the item, or simply something he could sell to make money, in the slim chance he will need it. Every second that passes puts another twist in Ghost Jaguar's stomach as he fights back nerves, strangely however the fear of being caught is not fear for himself but for his daughter. He must find the object. As the time goes on Ghost Jaguar increases his search frantically tearing open pillows and pulling down drapes, he searches high and low but to no avail! Finally the hunter falls exhausted onto a low couch, for the first time since receiving the news about his daughter the hunter allows himself to cry, deep sobs of anguish escape his lips as he gives up all hope. He has not found the object, surely Itcoatl has it on him, and now there is no time to cover his tracks, his only chance is gone.

With anger burning in his eyes the young hunter's gaze falls upon the glass case holding the most dangerous of all Itzcoatl's snakes, snakes he himself had fetched from the Jungle, the Jungle he would never see again, not in the way of his youth, frustrated the young hunter grabs the nearest object, a heavy stone mortar had throws it at the tank! The glass shatters as spilling the contents from within, the great snake being washed from his cage by a tide of sand.

Sinking hopelessly back onto the couch, Ghost Jaguar resigns himself to being discovered by the guards, his daughter left to whatever fate the gods have instore for her. Just then however the slightest glint of light reflecting fro metal catches the hunter's keen eye. Sitting up Ghost Jaguar stares back at the tank, again the glint of metal, god-metal! Jumping to his feet the hunter rushes to the tank, stepping confidently around the snake he stares in disbelief, all this time, the object he had searched for lay buried in the one place that he would be most likely to gain access to. Taking the object in both hands Ghost Jaguar allows himself one final moment of disbelief accompanied by tears of relief before he is rudely snapped back to the present by the door to Itzcoatl's quarters bursting open, two guards stare menacingly at the young hunter.

I was going to have it be Itzcoatl and two guards, but didn't know if it was my place to bring Higgins into the scene, especially since you mentioned him being busy elsewhere.


Author:  Grettir [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Itzcoatl. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

The other six ranking high priests, had followed Itzcoatl’s summons to an unscheduled session of the clave, and what he had to tell them had shaken them to the core. Even that bitch Layanna had managed to appear perfectly surprised, and if Itzcoatl hadn’t seen her, he would have been convinced that she hadn’t already known of the God’s demise.

It had been Itzcoatl’s plan to put a strong emphasis on the graveness of the situation and on the urgency and importance of the evening ritual – of course to be headed by him – and the Servitors couldn’t have done better in lending weight to his words. Itzcoatl hadn’t yet finished his opening speech when a messenger from the Servitors had appeared, demanding that Ozomatli be closed – nobody is to leave the city until “the present situation is resolved”, as had been their words.

After the high priests had relayed the necessary orders to the commanders of the temple warriors, they had discussed the situation. Some had been coolly assessing, but the more pious fools had been shaken to their very foundation, something that Itzcoatl had welcomed – when other high priests were loosing their heads, it could only be to his advantage.

After a long, excited, and eventually fruitless discussion, they had finally been able to move on to the matter of the evening ritual to reenact the “ascendence” of the God into heaven for the faithful. Beating out the specifics of this imprptu ritual had been child’s work for the high priests, steeped deeply as they were in esoteric symbolism, but determining who would play what role had been more difficult. Itzcoatl had had no intention to pass this opportunity to stand in the limelight, but neither had Layanna – she had fought him bitterly for prominence every step along the way.

Now, finally, at long last, all is decided and the clave dissolves. Itzcoatl has a number of orders to relay to his underlings, and, much more mundanely, he yearns for a bite to eat – it is past noon now, and he has not yet had anything today.

As he makes to leave the council chamber, Layanna approaches him, her blue and turquois tattoos rippling over her loathsomely lithe and attractive body. “Just a word, if you please”, she addresses Itzcoatl. “There is a certain … matter I urgently have to discuss with you in private, worthy colleague. Would you maybe care to join myself for a quick lunch, so that we can talk?”

Higgins, apart from stating your reply I also want you to roll your Social/Diplomacy, with your Drive to keep and gain power as bonus dice, against Layanna. This will determine who won the previous argument about precedence at the evening ritual; as Itzcoatl claims to have the mandate of the Servitors, the odds favour him and merely tying Layanna will be enough to win the argument. Layanna has Social 7 and +1 die for the Beauty gift (she offensively uses her beauty as a weapon of manipulation to throw males off balance), and a Diplomacy 6; here’s her roll:

Author:  Grettir [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Punchau. Somewhere in Ozomatli.

The young man who has acompanied the acquaintance of Palaluca’s has left while Punchau has taken some time to regain his composure, probably on the errant he was sent on ahead by, so it’s just the two women Punchau has to deal with now. They have been talking animatedly all the while, and now the woman stares at Punchau, assessing him.

“Listen”, she says after a few heartbeats of silence, “I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know why you saved my friend, but I do thank you for it. You have risked much. But plunging headlong into the jungle is madness – you are going to be dead within a day or two. I know what I am talking about, I’ve been to the jungle.”

Punchau is startled to hear this, and also reluctant to believe it. The woman does look lithe and atheletic, sure enough, and also self-confident enough, but believing that anybody, especially a woman, should venture into the jungle, is just beyond the plausible.

While these thoguhts race through Punchau’s head, the young woman continues in hushed tones: “If you really think that you have to flee into the jungle – and I don’t believe that that’s the only way – don’t do it blind. I know a few among the Descended, and if you give me a day or two, I can contact tem so that they can receive you and extend their protection to you. And I think that I can even arrange for a passage along the causeway, hidden in with some trade caravan; but that would also take some time. In the meantime, while we organize your escape, I can hide you in a place that is absolutely safe, where the priests will never suspect you and where the casul authority of the temple warriors does not reach – in my brother’s house. You will be safe there, at least for now.”

From the look on Palaluca’s face it is obvious that she wants to go to the house of her friend’s brother, who has to e no other than the godstone-shaper Pac Utal himself, if the woman’s claims about the security of this house are true. Pac Utal might indeed have enough weight to shelter Punchau and Palaluca from the temple’s immediate grasp, and when what his siter says about her contacts is true…

Well Hector – what’s it going to be?

Author:  Grettir [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Ghost Jaguar. Private apartment of Itzcoatl.

Both guards are well-known to Ghost Jaguar – they are two of the small handful of temple warriors who are personally loyal to Itzcoatl; they serve as his personal guards and run his special errands.

“What’s that noise, slave?”, the taller one, who goes by the name of Mizquitot, barks. With one glance he takes in the devastation in the stately apartment, the snakes on the floor and the strange, stubby godstone wand in Ghost Jaguar’s hands. His eyes widen and he continues, baffled: “What in the Dark Twin’s name…?”

Crow Caller, I wouldn’t have let Ghost Jaguar find the Shoatli quite so matter-of-factly, especially as it was cleverly hidden by higgins – I demand the payment of 1 Drama point for this fortuitous find. On the other hand, you just “Banged” yourself so viciously that I reward you with an immediate 1 SA point to Ghost Jaguar’s Drive to free his family – saving his daughter is a prerequisite to freeing her, and having the Shoatli goes towards that goal.

Btw, I very much like it how you have come to grasp the principles of this style of play and begin to take on prerogatives that would normally be the referee’s.

But right now – what’s Ghost Jaguar going to do? As he is allowed to be in that room, he might still be able to talk himself out of this mess.

Author:  Hector [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

"Which would be quicker; a trade caravan or the jungle with the help of your friends?" Punchau asks after a moment. "For your sake and ours, we can't stay in this city any longer than we absolutely must; anyone caught helping us will most likely join us under the knife, and the longer we stay the more likely that is to happen."

Author:  Grettir [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Punchau. Somewhere in Ozomatli.

Palaluca's friend glances at the warrior, his concern for Palaluca obvious in his heavy-handed body language. Her gaze returns to Palaluca; looking Palaluca in the eye her hand reaches out to gently touch her friend's cheek.

"Do not fear; we will set both escape routes in motion as soon as you are both safe in my brother's workshop. Whichever way proves quickest to get you both to safety will be the one you use. We do have one ... blessing ... on our side. With what has happened today your escape isn't going to be uppermost in anyone's mind, least of all the Temple guardsmen."

Punchau has been in the seclusion of the dungeons for long enough so that he has missed all teh rumours flitting around the temple, but he has realized that something was amiss when he left.

Author:  Ian.Plumb [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Hector, Michael -- well played! Punchau and Palaluca's tale is an interesting one!


Author:  Hector [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

"What has happened?" Punchau asks, recalling the scene once he and Palaluca had left the dungeon. "I was in the dungeons freeing Palaluca, so the only rumour I've heard is that there's an urgent conclave planned for this evening."

Author:  Grettir [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Punchau. Somewhere in Ozomatli.

The young woman, who still hasn’t given her name, suddenly takes on a guarded look. She hesitates for just a heartbeat before she replies: “The high priest Itzcoatl has found the God – dead, murdered it seems. Yes, yes, I know, it sounds it impossible, but I assure you it’s true.”

Punchau is stunned. A God-in-the-flesh, a Celestial, dead, no less – it can’t be! Impossible! Or can it?

He sees his own incredulity, consternation and no less than fear and terror at this upsetting of the entire universe mirrored in Palaluca’s face as her friend reaches out a comforting hand to her and continues in beseeching tones directed at both: “So you see that there’s right now just no way how the entire temple would come charging after you right away – they’ve got other concerns. That gives you a breathing space to weigh your options, to prepare your escape, and my brother’s home’s a safe place to do so.”

“Please“, Palaluca turns to Punchau, “can we not go? I’m so afraid of the jungle.”

Hector, I hope you realize that I don’t try to force your character into this course of action – I am just making it even more difficult for Punchau to carry out his plan, as Palaluca really doesn’t want to flee to the jungle. If you want to go ahead with Punchau’s original intention, dire threats (Intimidation) or some outright use of force will be necessary – Punchau’s already tied reasoning (Persuasion) and has failed, so it’s not going to work again in this scene.

Ian, thanks, when a character’s story is entertaining also for the other participants, my personal gaming goal is attained. And I guess Pac Utal will also re-enter soon.

Author:  Crow Caller [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Grettir I used the whole "accidently" finds the Shoatli because I didn't feel right "searching" the tank, knowing full well that that was where Higgins had said Itzcoatl stashed it...

Ghost Jaguar - Itzcoatl's appartment.

Ghost Jaguar looked up stunned, at once he saw what little hope he had to save his daughter slipping away.

Glancing out the corner of his eye the hunter saw the window, it was a two story drop to the roof of another appartment, but it was his only chance.

Thinking fast the young slave remembers the snakes slithering around near his feet. Fortune had it that the trap was laid and baited, now all he had to do was lure the guards in.

"Layana sends her regards to you and your master you impotent dogs." Ghost Jaguar spits the word with as much venom as he can, putting great emphasis on the words impotent and dog. The warriors' faces redden with anger. Ghost Jaguar smiles with contempt, the year of slavery adding much weight to the insult, hefting the Shoatl he spits a few final words. "Now if you cowards don't mind, I'll take this and go!"

With that the hunter runs towards the window keeping the snakes between him and the guards. Deliberately making his movements sudden in an attempt to excite the snakes and spur the guards into giving chase.

So, what Ghost Jaguar is trying to do is use Ridicule to to get the guards to move heedlessly through the aggrivated snakes, whilst he himself has a relatively clear path to the window.

Also by dropping Layana's name, he hopes to blind Itzcoatl into exspending his effort and man power in that direction, hopefully allowing Ghost Jaguar to reach his true destination a little easier.

I'm assuming you'll want a couple of rolls, Ridicule to make the guards attack, and Acrobatics for the leap out of the window. Also maybe Survival to know how to move in a way that will aggrivate the snakes (basically do the opposite to what he has learnt in the jungle).

Anyway, let me know what rolls you want me to use. I can see myself quite possible spending my last Drama Point too :P.


[EDIT]: The whole above post relies on the fact that the guards are not armed with ranged weapons, I assume I can say as much through use of Director Stance???

Author:  higgins [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Aaargh! All my servants have gone insane! :lol:

Itzcoatl. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

The pressure on Itzcoatl had been immense today. He even felt the snake in his pouch was growing uneasy and he was eager to switch it for a well-rested one.

Itzcoatl has mixed feelings about Layanna, really. At one hand, she's brilliant manipulator and a beauty on top of that, on the other however, that brilliance is mostly directed at Itzcoatl, and not in a good way. Damn her! If Itzcoatl hadn't seen his downfall in it, he would have made Layanna his wife years ago, but the woman is just too dangerous! And that's coming from a man who carries snakes casually on his body!

"Why, of course..." replies Itzcoatl to Layanna and claps his hands to get the attention of a nearby slave.

"Slave! Have a lunch for two delivered into my quarters immediately!"

Having said that, Itzcoatl smiles to Layanna and motions her to follow. Judging from her expression, Itzcoatl tries to deduct what the woman is up to? Is she pleased so she can be alone with him, or will the invitation to his (possibly dangerous) quarters cause discomfort?

Michael, the name was originally Tayanna, btw, but I as Layanna has been used more than the original name, I feel we can freely make a switch. I have also edited the name in my Kicker and Drive.

Social 7 + 2 from SA, Diplomacy TN 6

Okay, I knew that it's a very close call but... what the heck.. check out this roll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10! Almost a straight line! :shock:

Author:  Grettir [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

Crow Caller, you needn’t have worried about OOC-knowledge. Ghost Jaguar searching the room would’ve been handled by me as a single, straightforward rool, without any need for you to tell me beforehand just where and how he was searching – and in view of your OOC knowledge I wouldn’t even have given you a bonus if you had said that he searches in the tanks.

You see, part of this style of gaming, or at least my take on it, is not to limit dice-rolling, but on the contrary to give a lot of power to rather frequent rolls – a character’s statistics are going to make a lot of a difference. This style is not about the players solving some kind of puzzle, as in guessing just where something might be hidden – that’s the character’s job. We are just here to take the results of rather sweeping rolls and the actions of all participants weave them into an engaging narrative, not to solve or discover anything; after all, I’ve freely admitted that there is (not yet) anything to discover, as I don’t know myself how and why and by whom the God was murdered and why Ghost Jaguar’s daughter is wanted at all. The Simulationist priority of Exploration is taking a back seat.

How this could work and gaming still be enjoyable was hard for me to convey to you in theory alone, but I hope you’re beginning to see it.

Then of course, giving a lot of power to dice rolls does also require that players overcome their habitual anal fixation of having to have at all times full and complete control of their characters. In this style, your own rolls are powerful, and so are the referee’s – it’s likely that sooner or later, some kind of behaviour is forced upon a character by something as simple as a not-played out social roll.

But let’s not start yet another discussion of gaming principles but get back on track:

Remember how I wrote that I won’t allow Drama Point use to avert physical harm to your character or inflict it upon others? That’s still in force. :twisted: But don’t worry about spending your last one, you can trade SAs at any time at a one-for-one basis. Also, remember that spending Drama Points gets you Insight, so you’ve just earned your first point of it.

The guards not having missile weapons might warrant a Drama Point, but certainly nt inthis case, as them currently not carrying any makes a lot of sense. They migh have weapons that can be thrown, though.

Now for the crunchy bits. I need several rolls of you, to avoid misunderstandings in the following order: First, a single Social/Ridicule roll; Social is used to see with what panache Ghost Jaguar insults the men. Then, a Willpower/Animal Handling roll to see just how much he excites the snakes; Animal Handling defaults to other animal skills at +3. Finally, an Agility/Acrobatics roll to see both how well he tumbles out of the window and how well he breaks his fall.
Ghost Jaguar’s Drive aplies to all three rolls as bonus dice.

Make the rolls and leave their narrative interpretation to me, please.

Author:  Grettir [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Actual Play!

A close roll, higgins; Itzcoatl only just managed to stave off Layanna’s own ambitions No checks of any kind here. And sorry for mangling up her name.

Itzcoatl. Temple-citadel of Ozomatli.

Layanna, having attained her lofty rank among the priesthood at a rather young age, is like Itzcoatl himself a seasoned intriguer who has long since learned not o let her thoughts show on her face. Her beautiful features express nothing but a deceptively honest but somewhat uncaring and detached concern as she cocks her head slightly: “With all the organisational work we’ve got to do, I’d rather get to business right away and not waste any time going to your rooms. Let’s have something quick brought right here, into the antechamber

She changes the slave’s orders accordingly and turns back to Itzcoatly with a half-mischievous, half-apologetic smile on her lips: “And then I have to admit your snakes make me uncomfortable, dear colleague. I couldn’t possibly eat with all those … creatures around.”

* Of the council chamber, that is.

Ok, if Itzcoatl is going to refuse Layanna and insist on going to his rooms, she will counter him again – instead of playing this out, we’ll have a short contest between the two of them to see who gets his way in the end; a draw would mean a short indecisive exchange and something else I’m not yet going to talk about.

If you want to avoid this roll, Itzcoatl can outright refuse the talk and walk out of Layanna. If not, roll Itzcoatl’s Wits/Persuasion, with his Drive to manipulate Layanna as bonus dice.

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