Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › The Gods Must Be Crazy (Microscope)

The Gods Must Be Crazy (Microscope)

Pat
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 39
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Players: Sylvia, Ben, and Pat.

We wanted to have a pantheistic civilization rife with plagues and hubris, so our big picture was "Mankind is punished by the gods." Our bookends were "Humanity steals the words from the gods" and "The nine plagues wipe out humanity as we know it."

It turned out "the words" were both literally a string of words that thereafter "all men know," as well as a key for unlocking humanity's free will, creativity and ambition. Up until now, mankind was a meek race of villagers that aspired only to survive and never deviated from their daily routine. Thanks to the mysterious and unnamed ninth god-- the source of the words-- mankind's civilization began to grow and flourish. The other 8 gods had mixed feelings.

What follows is a rollercoaster of man vs. gods conflicts. We've got periods of adulating worship, defiant independence, fearful desperation, and of course, divine retribution. Throughout it all though, the simple shepherds and pastoral folk who never really took to "the words" quietly weathered the storm.

This was a fun game with lots of great moments, and I think we all agreed that some surprisingly deep human themes emerged by the end. Thanks to Ben and Sylvia for a great game!
Ben R
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 272
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Yeah, a surprisingly deep story. I really liked how our ideas built on each other, leading to some very unexpected results. The simple pastoral folk like the shepherds never being "tainted" by the Words and free will really threw the whole thing into sharp relief. It made you wonder whether the freedom the Ninth God gave humanity was really a blessing or a curse. But then on the flip side, we've got the high priests effectively renouncing free will to be proper servants of the gods. So cool!

- Sylvia, your image of the Great Sacrifice, where people come from miles around and create an ad hoc city of animal slaughter in a vain attempt to regain the attention of the gods that have abandoned them: entirely too awesome.

- The whole Champion of Clyus cycle, including the shocking-but-ohmygodthatfits revelation that his lover was herself a humble shepherd girl, explaining why she was so adoring and submissive even in the face of his extreme hubris.

- Poor, poor Kalius. The idea of the gods inspiring a prophet to have the seven great kings defile her remains (I believe the actual description Pat gave was "carry her bones to each court and have the kings spit on them") highlighted just how mean and spiteful the gods could be.

- The race to reveal more of the nine plagues unleashed by the nine gods. I never got to make a plague! Lame! I have no one to blame but myself, but the plagues we saw were great. The Ninth God being unchained and unwillingly(?) releasing the last plague to rid humanity of the Words (and free will) that he had given them was the perfect capstone to the history.



I think this also highlights the cardinal rule of all story games, which is to be very honest about your likes / dislikes as early as possible. Like Sylvia saying she didn't want to do a Greco-Roman feeling culture, which I think would have been a completely different (and far less mysterious) beast than the vaguely Sumerian-Babylonian tone we went with, which in turn lent itself much more to primitive angst, unseen gods, and big big sacrifices…
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