Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Can't Sleep, Goblins Will Eat Me

Here it is late at night and I cannot sleep. The heatwave is playing a very small part, but I have this problem all too often regardless of the regional temperature. It is however the time when many of my game ideas come slipping from the shadows to play.

In case anyone wonders why this is showing up in the daytime on a Tuesday it is because I use the scheduling feature for the vast majority of my posts. Like this one, most of them are written late in the evening when I should otherwise be sound asleep, dreaming of dragons and treasure hoards.

I am currently mulling over some ideas for running Over The Edge as a fill-in game from time to time. I've been prowling the internet for images and forms to print out so I can spring something interesting on the players.

Some of the wonderful things about Over The Edge are how simple character generation is and how easy the system lends itself to improvisation.

If you like conspiracies and weirdness then this is a game worth checking out. Any fan of things like Lost, X-Files, etc, could certainly spend their time in worse ways than sitting down for a session or two of Over The Edge.

A game I pulled together a number of years ago featured PCs with some weird talents, fetishes, and backgrounds.

One was a Rock musician on the run from the law, accused falsley of murdering his wife by beheading her. He had a special talent to influence reality in small ways through his music and that was all that had kept him ahead of the enforcement agencies so far. He also had a nasty drug habit and was trying to sneak a suitcase full of dope through customs everywhere he went. It was the drug habit that left him unsure if he was guilty of murder or not.

Another was a graphiti artist of some notoriety with a penchant for gourmet cooking using people's pets as main ingredients. He was also on the run, having murdered a woman he was having an affair with and afraid that any real scrutiny would point to him instead of her husband the Rock musician. He was moderately certain the rocker had no clue about the affair or who he really was.

The third character was a street tough hoping to become a world class cage fighter, but his problem was if he lost control of his temper he would break out in a bad case of fangs and hair and the moon did not need to be full for this to happen.

All three of them had found their way to the island nation of Al Amarja in the Mediteranian. Here they might be able to duck notoriety for a time since word among those who knew of this place was that weird was the norm. Also, they didn't honor any extradition treaties these three knew about.

The game started off in the airport and one by one they had to locate their luggage, answer to customs and immigration agents, and then figure out how the heck to get out of the vast, sprawling building.

The C&I interviews are supposed to be very unnerving. The book explains that this is an opportunity to shake up the players and set them on edge. When you have players with quirks as out there as these three that task is so easy.

Then as they make their way around the airport having them encounter some oddball events to ratchet things up made it that much more fun. I introduced drug sniffing dogs and a look-alike for the murdered woman, a voodoo houngan, a man selling shrunken heads (that even if you don't buy keep showing up with your stuff), and advertisements for an old Wolfman movie at a nearby cinema, to goad each a little further along the nervous way.

It didn't take much for players to declare their characters were trying to shake the authorities and their personal ghosts.

Later in that session after losing a case full of dope, colliding with a cart full of exotic pets and having to fight temptation to steal any, the group finally made their way out of the airport and met up by having to share the same taxi into town.

They later spent some time at a nightclub where one one had a cage fight, another snuck out and began leaving his mark in spraypaint on the alley walls, and the third for some reason stole a large potted plant he thought was talking to him, shoved it in a cab and paid to have it driven to the other end of the island. Maybe it was the drugs, maybe not.

Unfortunately that group only had time for the one session so nothing in the way of ongoing plots could come into play.

This example is a bit more out there than some, but it was fun and with games, that is the point.

Hopefully I can work in a bit more horror and mystery into the next game of OTE that I run.

No comments: