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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › What We Played: Trouble in ParadiseTM (Shock)

What We Played: Trouble in ParadiseTM (Shock)

user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 3
Welcome to ParidiseTM: the station everyone wants to visit. Too bad the waiting list's ten years long, inflation runs rampant, and the fashion changes quicker than you can say "social outcast." With five distinct themes, ParadiseTM is the perfect station to take a quick (or long) vacation. Simply rent-a-body. From the comfort of your home planet, transport your consciousness to another body. As a renter you have full control over another body in Paradise--what you do with it is your own business (or pleasure).

Players: Jason (Aaron/Cole's antagonist), Caroline (Enid/Aaron's Antagonist), Marc (Cole/Enid's Antagonist)

Our story begins with young Aaron, looking for acceptance from his rich peers, especially the cruel Chelsea. When Aaron isn't selling his body to renters for enough money to support his sweet mother, he's being tormented by his classmates with taunting jeers of "puppet." Things start looking up for him when the sweet but shy Olivia befriends him, inviting him to a party. The joke's on him when he is strapped down, forced to watch as others inhabit his body, particularly a skeezy renter interested in dating teenage girls... Turns out a certain 'Eduardo' had particular fun with Chelsea, who he has now knocked up...

Enid is a stressed-out single mother, frequently rented and thus torn away from her eight-year-old daughter Jules. Her daughter and her lover/mysterious renter Taurus who visits her through different bodies are her only joys. One day she gets a call that changes her life: her agent, Rick, has a two month assignment for her. Although she begs to be left with her daughter, Rick insists and her body is rented. It turns out Rick's assignment was a bit longer than two months, Enid wakes up ten years in the future. Her daughter is eighteen and a 'puppet' herself, and her life is ruined. She needs money, she needs to buy back her contract and her daughter's. Jules and Enid become hit men, taking orders from a mysterious text-messager. One night,the hit goes terribly wrong and Jules is blasted to hell. As Enid holds her dying daughter, the killer surfaces from the shadows, it is none other than Jules' estranged lover Taurus...

Cole serves dessert in a sex hotel, no not that kind of dessert (although he makes really creamy creme brule apparently, and let's not talk about his lady fingers...). His one wish is to bring his darling wife to Paradise Station, but the wait list is so long. He strays into a steamy but short affair with the hotel's receptionist, Nicole, and is haunted by the guilt. Desperation turns him to less legitimate means of bringing his sweetheart to the station, as Cole finds himself paying a coyote to get his wife higher on the waiting list. As he walks out of the cafe feeling triumphant and hopeful for the first time in years, he is put in cuffs and hauled off in a high-profile immigration sting. Cole's luck might be heading up though, as at that moment a catastrophic failure hits sector 3, killing all those within. Perhaps this is just the opening he needed...

And that's just round one!

In the end, Aaron finds love with Olivia, only to lose it after a brutal renter makes her unable to even look at him. He eventually wins the acceptance of the rich kids (many of whom turn out to be poorer than they appeared), but only after killing most of their parents in the new 'kill club.' Enid regains her contract, only to find that her lover Taurus is none other than her evil agent Rick. Cole's wife steps off the inter-gallactic cruiser, but has a daughter in tow. He spends the rest of his life in a loveless, threesome marriage, supporting his wife and her younger, sexier, just all-around-better lover.

Excellent game of Shock! The game was very character-centric, and we had some great sympathetic moments. Thanks to Marc and Jason for awesome role-playing. Sorry we had to draw the veil on puns!

Quote Board:
"You just knocked up your antagonist." Marc

Pause. "We go and kill my mother." Caroline
Longer pause. "We go and kill your mother." Jason

Ben R.
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 83
Never feel bad about drawing the Veil, particularly when it comes to puns (sex hotel desserts? Dude...)

Body timeshare is pretty fantastic Shock. My hat is off to you guys for that one. Hey, what were your starting issues?
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 4
Starting issues were immigration, inflation, and the commercialization of identity (that is, identifying people based on what they buy/wear). We actually managed to explore all three very well with the shock, so that was rather pleasing.
A former member
Post #: 6
I was really happy with the way we hit all four issues, too. I think this is the first game of Shock I've played where we didn't have one of the issues fall by the wayside somewhat.

I'll disclose now: My mental view of the shock was somewhat shaped by having read Charles Yu's Standard Loneliness Package a week or two ago. That was the base-image I had in my head when I started thinking about people who rent themselves - particularly when Caroline brought in the notion of the "permanent renter."

I highly recommend the story, by the by, which uses a similar SFnal conceit to explore a different set of issues. (And, in general, I recommend Charles Yu's fiction. He's doing some interesting things.)
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