March 2, 2012

The building was on fire, and this time it was my fault.

Got another chance to play some more Dresden Files a while ago, and I think our GM is really starting to get a feel for what sets games under this setting apart from your typical RPG, particularly in terms of group dynamics.

For starters, during our first run-thru, she seemed convinced that we had to follow the typical party dynamics, up to and including starting the campaign by having us all meet outside of a coffee shop. This time around, she seems to be taking more of a note from Jim Butcher's books and letting each of us start on our own side story before we wind up getting pulled into the main plot, much like how Harry, Murphy, Thomas, and the rest all do their own thing before their respective stories get interwoven together. We each had our one B-plots that linked up to the A-plot, and nobody really felt short-changed, which is always a plus.

What also set this apart is that the GM's starting to let go a bit and let the players have a bit more narrative control in terms of aspects, both the declaration and invoking, particularly when it comes to the bad guys and being "close enough" in guessing an aspect and trying to invoke it; then again, maybe she's just willing to let the aspect be applied to the NPC based upon how she's portraying the character. Now that I think about it, for a lot of scenes, she also used to go ahead and establish most of the aspects for a scene, rather than giving a few basic details and then letting the players flesh it out. Granted, it forced us to be that much more creative in making declarations about the scene, but I suppose that's a matter of opinion on whether its a good or bad thing.

I do think she took my suggestion to give the Actual People, Actual Play podcast episodes pertaining to Dresden Files a listen, if only due to the appearance of Red Bliss, which by the adventures' end we'd learned what it was (in a word, yuck!) as well as what the intent was (for our game, it was a power-ploy by a White Court vamp looking to earn favor with the Red Court vampires).

City Creation for this game was done in an odd fashion, as instead of it being a group effort, the GM did all of it by herself, adapting the setting she'd worked up for a very short-lived Buffy RPG campaign. So it was noticeable that we got to spend time getting to know people/faces of the city a bit better as well as meet some new ones, both the good and the bad. And perhaps true to the source material, I did wind up burning down what used to be a very nice suburban mansion (it was White Court vamp's personal base of operations). That's Danny for you, saving the city, one random act of destruction at a time (^o^)

Since the re-launch of the campaign, the characters in the group have changed quite a bit. Of the original crew, only Danny the Young White Council Wizard and Jessie the Scion of Athena have returned. We met one of the two new PCs in the form of Anthony something-or-other, Knight of the Order of Saint Dumas, who is pretty much a Champion of God wielding a watered-down Sword of the Cross (still holy, but not quite as much righteous mojo behind it). And yes, in-character I made light of the fact that he was on "a mission from God" and even asking if he had shades or enough gas in the tank of his car to make it to Chicago. Still have one more new character to meet, but as the player couldn't make it to the session, I have yet to see what sort of character she'll be playing.

Looking forward to some more Dresden Files sessions, particularly if my suspicion is right and the Vampire War is about to heat back up. I may be adding "Warden" to my High Concept after all..

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