Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going Out With A Bang

My regular campaign game just ended, after running almost every week for well over a year (nearly a year and a half maybe?) It really does feel like the end of an era.

It was huge. Ivan originally billed it as a 'troupe-style' game, not quite in the pure Ars Magica sense where people take turns GMing, but we all had multiple characters, and the storylines spread out over many worlds and, through the art of flashbacks and time skipping, an extended period of time. As you can see from the character map below, the phrase 'a cast of thousands' isn't far from it:*

It was a pretty big rollercoaster in terms of play style, too - we went through silly comedy, intense character drama, political machinating, with every now and then a mountain blowing up.** In the end, though, it turned out to be a horror game, which given that the plot had done a lot of meandering surprised us a lot. We realised that the turning point had been when we invented some fun child characters, one of whom was our imaginary pirate friend (with a Sinister Background), who was both totally evil and wanted to eat everyone on the ship, starting with our friends and family, but also really liked us and wanted to be our friends - resolving Cap'n Pi's plotline made for some complete WTF moments. (I hadn't realised that ransoming our family back from the completely real military coup with an imaginary hat could be topped, until today, when we rescued the Guys Who Could Save The World from an armed base by means of a song and dance routine, and a flower.) I think, by the end of the game at least, Cap'n Pi really loved us, and it was us who had to kill him in order to save humanity, by fighting our way to his centre of power and giving him a 'gift', an infophage antivirus that manifested as a treasure chest overflowing with gold. I still feel really sad about this, two hours later. Thank heavens we get to debrief with liquor tomorrow.

Great game, Ivan!

(*) This is actually still incomplete - I realised earlier today that we were still missing some characters like The Bruces, the dirty lawyer, and most of the imaginary characters.
(**) Later in the game this included 30,000 crew spaceships and entire planets. By the end it got big.