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What We Played: Love in the Time of Magic (While the World Ends)

Ben R
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 235
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players: Debbie, Sev, Martin, Ben
Nov 3

Love is dangerous. Mortally dangerous. Loving makes you vulnerable to spiritual harm. And in a world where sorcery is real, that's a serious matter. Want to love your children? You're putting them in danger. Emotional distance and cold detachment is literally for their own good.

Take "modern world, with sorcery" and make the cardinal rule "love makes you vulnerable" to things like mystical disease vectors, and everything else pretty much writes itself. Sure we had other more tangible problems like "witchy weather run amuck" that would lead to the rain of fire we knew would end the world (one way or the other) but love = danger was an inescapable plot magnet. All four characters took a big bite of it.

Our two possible world ends: 1) sorcerers learn to control the rain of fire and use it as a weapon of oppression. Pax Arcana Tyrannis. Or 2) fire falls freely, scourging humanity because we were afraid to dare to love. Cowards.

First, Team Loveless:

Saul (Debbie) -- librarian and unimpressive magician of the St. Horace Library (aka the Spiderweb) wanted to find a way to love his children safely. His cold wife? Not so much. Would he get help from his sister, the vengeful sorceress Mara?

"Brad" (Ben) -- a true romantic, he had seen the woman of his dreams at the anonymous Aphrodite Club, where people go to wear masks and pretend to be deeply in love with total strangers, because hey, you need a safe outlet for those romantic urges. All he wanted was to find her and not get turned into a frog by his ex, the vengeful sorceress Mara.

Next, Team Oppression:

Winifred (Sev) -- should be laboring tirelessly like the rest of her cabal at "the Lighthouse" to unlock the mystery of the eldritch weather, but no, she's too fixated on proving she's better than the gifted and devoted sorceress Quincy. Is her fixation more than just rivalry? Is it the suppressed obsession of forbidden romance? Uh, yes, it is. But will she come to terms with her feelings (or get the acclaim she wants) before she's undone by the manipulations of the vengeful sorceress Mara? (notice a trend here?)

Mara (Martin) -- just wants to ruin her rival, Sylvia. Why? What terrible thing did Sylvia do that merits the destructive lengths Mara will go to? Not a lot, actually. You could say that Mara's revenge is entirely disproportionate to the offense, which is what you get when you start tapping into your Hate to power your magic. Love opens dangerous doors, but Hate opens powerful ones.



So much fun. Rules-wise, we still had some of that weird "why am I going to Nebraska?" stuff but we worked around it quite gracefully (and actively bought relationships to avoid the problem).

Love = danger as a central theme was a gold mine.
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