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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Panda-demic, and Oh, dear, what have we wrought?

Panda-demic, and Oh, dear, what have we wrought? (Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple)

sev (.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 26
Pilgrims played by Natalie, Janetta, and sev.

Stories in Do are spawned by letters, and each letter takes an hour or two to play through. So we played through two letters.

While we were playing through letter 1, I was reminded of a couple of the inevitable truths of three-player Do: If we prioritize solving the problem that started the story over rescuing our fellow Pilgrims, we will fail. The underside of that is that approximately round 3 it becomes possible to calculate whether we're going to succeed, and at least for me, that means I'm half-thinking about how the denouement is going to play out instead of focusing on the scene at-hand. Which actually does a good job of approximating what adolescence was like for me: self-absorbed, oblivious to the larger world around me, nebulously fretting about the future to the detriment of my actions in the present, and capable of doing amazing things as long as I didn't actually do them on purpose. As the Pilgrims are supposed to be about that age, I guess that's appropriate.

Letter 1 was from a classroom full of little kids who'd accidentally shattered their classroom panda into a thousand small pandas who are now running around wreaking havoc. While attempting to address this situation we were dragged off-course by: Summoning a remarkably sexy ghost panda-wrangler. Installing a brand-new bamboo sculpture in the middle of the classroom. Discovering that the school had its very own Guardian Fish (when it dragged us into the pond). Accidentally further shattering the fractal pandas & getting covered in even smaller pandas, like being at the beach and dealing with the pernicious bits of sand that you never manage to get out of your … err... Anyway. By the end of the story, we're being blamed for starting the panda-demic, lectured by kindergarteners, swatted with the teacher's metal ruler, and writing "I will not fragment the class panda" over and over on the blackboard.

Even though we did end with the panda mostly put back together. Ungrateful wretches. Good thing one of the reliable traits of Pilgrims is that we always fly away…

Letter 2 gave me the opportunity to point out that the letter-writers are not necessarily reliable sources of information regarding the situations they're writing about. We got sucked right into the fairy-tale love triangle in which a pair of sisters are both in love with the same wizard's apprentice, one of whom may have been ensorcelled with a love potion. Er, love box-of-chocolates. Whatever.

Learning our lesson from the previous letter, we tried to make progress on the problems of the two sisters as a side-effect of bailing each other out of trouble, instead of the other way around. This resulted in us displaying pronounced lack of empathy for the girls we'd ostensibly come to help. Amid threatened executions, blown-up towers, and scat jokes we manage to divert the amorous attention of the wrathful count from the cute young pilgrim over to the cute local girls we were supposed to be helping, and sealed their fate by love-potioning one of them and manipulating the other until they're both in love with the abusive count instead of the wizard's apprentice.

And then, because this is a fairy tale, we declared that the love of the two girls mellowed the mean count into somebody they could actually live with, only somewhat assuaging my consternation at having told a fairy tale about Pilgrims that mess about with the personal agency of young women for our own quasi-nefarious purposes. Serves us right that the forgotten wizard's apprentice went and magicked one of the Pilgrims into being in love with him.

Thank y'all for an exceptionally giggly evening of Do.
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