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What We Played: Two Deaths And A Botched Suicide (Penny For My Thoughts)

Jamie Fristrom
user 12636925
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 75
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He said he approved of his daughter's relationship with Howard but when a chicken feather came in an otherwise empty package in the mail for her he flipped out - went to Howard's house and demanded to know what was up. Howard fell down the stairs. The daughter went to live with her uncle, telling her dad he was too controlling - and the feather was from Veronica anyway. He stepped into traffic.

He loved his brother - he has fond memories of playing in the snow, of protecting him from the old man. He doesn't even remember what they were fighting about, but he got a black eye and his brother ran off in the woods for three days. We're not sure what went down at the old man's place, but the brother got shot and died in his arms.

She didn't want Danny hanging out with Derek - she realized, on that fateful fishing trip, it was because she was attracted to Derek despite herself. When Danny found out about their affair... and drove away drunk... and got in the accident ... and they were standing over his hospital bed, oh, that look in his eyes as he died ...


Yeah, we were a bunch of guys who don't really know each other getting all emo at the Capitol Club. We got into some personal territory (for me, a foreshadowing of what life's going to be like when my daughter grows up?) ... the veil was even drawn once ...

My first time playing Penny. It's great. I didn't realize what was happening at first, but it flips the GM-player relationship, the 'I' and the 'You' of most games. The other players frame your scenes, say what you did, and all you get to say is what happened then. You're immersed and have no control over what you do.

It remindes me of Johnstone's *Impro* in a couple of ways - the memory triggers are like the disassociative-word-list trick; you take a bunch of unrelated elements and make a story out of them. You're required to say back what the other players say verbatim - that way the game makes you listen and reincorporate.

The fiction it made for us was like Ordinary People / The Bell Jar / Girl, Interrupted ... a mundane tragedy has happened and we're reconstructing it.
Pat
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 35
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Yeah, I'm a big fan of Penny. It never fails to bring out heavy emotions. I'd talked to others I'd played Penny with before, and we came to the consensus that it might be too heavy to play in a pick-up game with strangers. So naturally, I wanted to try it anyway! I think it worked out well, although with the wrong group I could definitely imagine it jumping the tracks. Kudos to Jamie and Blake for really bringing it!

Jamie, I'm interested to hear how you think Penny compare to PSI*RUN mechanically? Obviously they're different when it comes to tone and setting, but when I heard PSI*RUN described as a bunch of amnesiacs helping each other recall their pasts, I thought "action sci-fi Penny."
Jamie Fristrom
user 12636925
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 76
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Really, the only thing they have in common is amnesia, but that's a big thing. Amnesia is such a great trope for an RPG, puts you in the character's shoes right away.

Psi*Run is 80% present-tense-action, 20% remembering-the-past. You control your character almost completely - what you don't control completely is your past: that's where, depending on die rolls, everyone else can fill in.

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