This summer I ran some intense (8 hour sessions no less) Dark Days games, for playtesting purposes. This is the AP report from a single storyline, played over 4 days, back to back. I'll try and highlight the awesome scenes and what mechanics I feel promoted or created those awesome scenes as a way to show what the game has to offer in terms of play. Here we go!
Dark Days Game Premise:
Your life was shit and then you died. Maybe your life wasn't complete shit, but near the end, it definitely was shit. The reason for why your life was so shitty is probably what we call Darkness. Darkness is entropy, death, misery and whatever horrible thing you can imagine all rolled into one and the worst thing is, it gathers over people and places like flies to a corpse.
When you died, you were infected with it. It chose you and you chose it and you came back. A deal with the devil if you like. You give it a place to stay and grow and it lets you live again, allowing you to do something you always wanted to, but was too afraid or too weak to do.
Reap vengeance on those that wronged you. Help your junkie half brother kick the habit. Find out what happened to your dad. Watch over your family. Save the fucking world.
What you are is a Wayward. There's a little bit of Darkness in you, but it grows stronger every day and with it, so do you. You're not a magician, but you can do some really fucked up Harry Potter shit. All because of the Darkness. You use it and it uses you, even though you try and deny that last part.
All this takes place in a city called New Baltimore. A melting pot of the occult and monstrous, it's home to the original Hotel Babylon, a 50's era grand hotel that seems to reach to the sky. Getting a room is easy, paying the bill is a bitch, and the VIP membership? Don't even ask.
Each character in DD chooses an Archetype. Archetypes represent the reason you wanted to strike that deal, the reason you wanted to come back to this life. I'll talk about 3 of them here:
Avengers are out for vengeance. Not only on those that wronged them, on everyone and every thing that needs to be righted, according to taste.
Doppelgangers had such shitty lives that they wanted a new chance to live what they missed. They achieve this by stealing other people's lives or at the very least their money, house and cars.
Hellblazers want to know. They want to see how the Darkness touches each and every one of us. They want to know what makes you tick and they're very good at it. They're the wild card. They just fucking chose to come back.
Harry is a Doppelganger. A small time criminal scared straight when his brother got snuffed out after a bad deal, he felt that his life had been to boring and meaningless, unlike the one his brother had before he died. Harry was burned alive in a trunk of a car when he wouldn't tell the nice police officers where his brother had hid the money. He didn't know of course, so that's a bonus he's got coming to him now that he's back to life.
The first few years of his unlife, he spent tracking down the crooked cops that killed him and his brother. Got romantically involved with a girl that turned out to be undead. She's a nice girl, she just needs human flesh to survive. He also makes a living scaming people and pretending to be what he's not.
Concept: Scam Artist
Darkness: 3 (on a scale of 10)
Asset: Contact (Guntrade) (this allows Harry to get a hold of some very illegal firepower.)
Crooked Cops (the cops that killed him and his bro will still hunt him down if the word gets out that he's alive.)
Gotta find the money (apparently his brother hid a suitcase full of cash somewhere. Harry has a key, but he doesn't know to what.)
My lovely Mary (Mary, his undead girlfriend is pretty high maintenance but a cool person nonetheless.)
Survival Instinct (Whatever Harry does, Harry has to get out of it alive.)
Scars: (Scars are Aspects that stem from a high Darkness rank.)
Voice of our Shadow (sometimes the Darkness inside Harry can speak through his mouth.)
We started the game with a little prelude for Harry.
He wakes up in a coffin, 2 months after his death. Panicked, he manages to gets out to find himself in the family tomb. Choking on dust and some very nasty chemicals they use on corpses to make them look nice, he busts through the door and starts heaving outside. After having some fun purging, he tries to find his way out of New Baltimore's main graveyard, one of the biggest and most complex in the States. His funeral suit is a bit breezy on the back side, but he ignores the humiliation and goes on.
Walking in circles in the pitch black darkness (there are no lights in the cemetery for some reason), he stumbles on a figure sitting beside a grave. What he first believes to be sobbing sounds turn out to be something far more fucked up, as the pale young girl in the Korn hoodie appears to be munching on a human arm.
Harry, taking it all at stride, has a nice chat with her. The ick factor is a big obstacle here, but is young Harry actually flirting with an undead ghoul? Yes, yes he is.
Ignoring a voice in his head that tells him to leave her and run away (literally, there is a voice), he offers to buy her a burger instead. She agrees and leads him out of the cemetery. Remembering his ruined suit, he leaves her alone for a few minutes while he attacks an old man and steals his clothes and wallet. The voice is back, asking him to steal his watch too. It's an old looking watch, probably has sentimental value. Harry decides the voice is wise and takes the watch.
He gains 1 point of Tenebrae. Tenebrae is your ''fuel'' for using the powers (called Talents) that Darkness provides. You earn Tenebrae whenever you follow your Archetype's path. In this case, Harry just stole a part of this person's life. The clothes and wallet are one thing, but the watch meant a lot to the old man and now Harry is wearing it. In a way, he's wearing the old man isn't he? Since he's a Doppelganger and that's what Doppelgangers do, he gains the point.
Harry goes back to the girl (now Mary) and takes her to the nearest burger joint where she asks for a raw burger, hold the bread. We then fast forward the whole thing a bit and 4 years later, Harry is still with Mary and they're living at a fancy hotel that thinks that Harry is a wealthy Russian businessman that may or may not be involved with the mafia. Harry is tracking down the cops that killed him and trying to figure out where the money is, or who might know where the money is. He has a few leads, but is still trying to figure out what to do to the cops.
next: A strange phonecall and 1 million dollars up for grabs! Stay tuned on Dark Days: Fucked up things for more!