[Monster Marionette] Village of Death

edited January 2009 in Actual Play
I got together with my friend Daniel who is easily enthused and made him try my little game Monster Marionette; it's all about doing cool stuff so refrain from thinking there's any real tactics to the game. I quickly laid down the outline: it's Japan, it's the 17th century and we're gonna hunt monsters. He got on board right away and we made a character each. Here they are:

Hunter type: Avenger
Curse: Berserker rage

Extreme Acrobatics
Kama Fighting
Whirlwind Kicks
Cat-like Stealth
Hateful Rain of Blows

Kuroi Wasabi
Hunter type: Witch
Curse: Slips into the Shadow World

Flying daggers
Kickflip Attack
Backward Leap
Poison Arrows
Animate Dead

Kuroi Wasabi's underlined ability is actually her supernatural power. She's a witch after all. Avengers don't have a supernatural power; they're just really really badass.

So, we started the games official soundtrack (anything by Rammstein) and got to it. I framed a scene where we walked into a village at night. The rain was pouring down and there didn't seem to be anyone around. The little village inn was the only place where a light shone. We walked over there and Kuroi Wasabi slid the door open. Bam! Everyone inside is already dead - except for the Eight- armed Devil that's sitting by the fireplace, snacking on one of his victims. He turns and looks at the women with all four of his evil and beady little eyes. Kuroi reacts instantly and by throwing a handful of daggers at him with blinding speed - but she is unsuccessful! The Devil is even quicker and upon her in a flash. She's been outmaneuvered and cannot attack. Junfa, still outside, sees them struggling by the door and runs at them. She dare not strike from behind, she might hit her ally, so she jumps over them to attack from behind. Junfa hasn't seen that Devil has eight arms though and is caught by surprise as she's struck while in mid-air. She tumbles across the room, through the fire, but is still unharmed.

Kuroi is struggling to break free but can't really manage. Then suddenly she vanishes! Her curse is invoked and she slips into the Shadow World where the Demons of the shadow grab at her. Since the Shadow World is all around us she partially emerges from dark corners of the inn only to be dragged back in.

In the meantime, Junfa runs straight at the Eight-armed Devil with her sickles striking furiously at it - but to no avail! It's hide is thick and leathery. Just as Kuroi comes leaping back from the shadows, blood trickling from the side of her head, Junfa instead drives the Devil back with her Whirlwind Kicks.

...and so it went on until the Devil was finally defeated. We'd created the Devil by rolling 2d4 and assigning that many ablities to it. The number of traits is also equal to the number of successful rolls needed to defeat it. We rolled 4 and came up with:

Eight-armed Devil

Claws and Fangs
Crushing Hold
Great Strength
Thick Hide

Since success and failure is all in the players roll we used these abilites to explain our unsuccessful attemts to slay the monster. During the battle Kuroi was both Outmaneuvered, Hurt and Stunned while Junfa got through without a scratch. We both felt like we wanted some more so we rolled our 2d4 again and came up with this:

Spider Queen
Web of Death
Poison Fangs
Wall Crawler
A Thousand Sons (yeah, a horde of smaller spiders - up to the size of cats)
Reek of Decay

Seven abilites, clearly a tougher fight. You can notice how our imagination sort of peaked at the Thousand Sons... I think a big list of cool monster traits can be a good thing to put in the game.

Even though the monster that faced Kuroi and Junfa outside the now burning and collapsing inn was a lot tougher they both got through unharmed. Me and Daniel agreed that it'd probably work really well to face a monster each but we didn't try it since we were out of time. The system seems to work pretty well over all; the fact that a potential GM wouldn't have any dice to roll, just a narrative function, means that it works well with GMing each other through the fights, maybe creating and running your own monster.

All in all, a good nights work for Kuroi Wasabi and Junfa who left the Village of Death after defeting the Spider Queen, leaving her body behind to be eaten by her sons.


  • edited January 2009
    Well, there's not that much to read about it yet. I just got myself a blog the other daybut this AP is the latest thing posted there.

    I'm hoping to make this my entry in Jared's Indie Game Company Game Design Challenge so I'm looking for collaborators as per this post.
  • Posted By: DeBracyWell, there's not that much to read about it yet. I just got myselfa blogthe other daybut this AP is the latest thing posted there.

    I'm hoping to make this my entry in Jared's Indie Game Company Game Design Challenge so I'm looking for collaboratorsas per this post.
    I posted in the Game Design Challenge thread that I'm up for being your writer; I think I have the skills and I'd love to give it a shot. Whaddya think?
  • edited January 2009
    Well, I've already jumped for joy and whispered you so... I think it's just beautiful.
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