Ok, so I put off writing this a week, and somehow in that time I've lost maybe half of the materials from the session. My memory of specifics are hazy at best; here's what I can recall:
Alex, Eddie, Erik, Jonathan, Sev and one person whose name tags were lost. Chime in if you remember his name, please.
It escapes me some of who was playing what. Again, chime in.
Those who stayed behind:
The Assassin -- throat & ribbon
Moves by darting through shadows, wears a wrap of vinegar soaked bandages, and bears the face of a blank, unlettered sheet of parchment.
The Kitemaker (sev) -- wind & paper
Wears a cloak woven from ribbons of coloured paper, over the body made out of sticks and rice-paper, and speaks the language of the fourteen winds.
The Mourner (Jonathan) -- death & music
Whispers in harmony with a chorus of spirits, smells like freshly-dug earth, and carries a sack of silver coins, a-jingling. I recall that he was also covered in mud and was somewhat cantankerous.
The Navigator -- light & ocean
Invokes the feeling of a conniving mutineer, is missing a...hand (or was it his ship?), and carries a bag filled with storms.
The Virgin (Erik) -- temperance and flesh
Wears an elaborate ritual mask, with hair nested full of crows and magpies, and is trailed by a crowd of children. I recall that my hair was full of trinkets taken up by my magpies, and that I called my menagerie of children and corvids "storm and rain" or something like that.
The Winemaker (Alex) -- vine & fire
Carries the wine in blood, sweat, and tears; wears a skin stained in red and purple blotches, and laughs like he knows a secret.
Our six stations: Del Sol, Diagonal, Einstein, Estadio, Los Leones (sev), Santa Rosa (Erik)
We caused three stations to flower: Del Sol, Estadio, and Los Leones
They three new bodhisattvas to bode forth: the dancer, the traveler, and the blacksmith
I can't recall many details at this point. I recall I reversed everything that was thrown at me when I played the Virgin, especially in sev's station where I spent the most time and closed the station out. I talked to inanimate objects and treated people like animals.
I've had the sense that the game is more about the stations than it is about the characters. Stations develop, characters don't necessarily. And once a station flowers, the character that did it goes off to die, so the characters feel more like enzymes than they do the stars of any narrative. That sense is mitigated some by playing all characters to completion. My previous game, we did one station and called it. And that felt much less abortive, and gave some more weight to each character, though the stations still outweighed them.
I was eager to play with the game's creator--I know as we run a game at Storygames, they carry the sense from people who've been playing them of what works and what doesn't, so they're never quite what the creators envision them as. This was a chance to see Jonathan's sense of things. He played very fast and loose with the rules, which suits me perfectly. And he was very affirmative to everyone's various playstyles. There was a bit more god-moding than I'd seen in a while, and I started off off-balance a bit seeing it. It got reined in over the game, and we hummed along after that. And things went into full surreal-mode quite quickly. I was surprised. But it's not like we got cornered by having nothing left because we spent too much, too early. It's a weird thing in this game, seeing everyone's pacing. There're four stages the stations go through, from symbolic but coherent, to a near cataclysm of ripped-open metaphors by the end, and seeing how people progress from step to step is interesting.
I liked that Jonathan really encouraged everyone to cluster in groups. A lot of us ended up in Los Leones, which caused the game to progress faster, and got a lot of interactions between characters.
There's a weird thing I see in this game. A tendency to set things up as an infocom-style text puzzle. A person playing a station puts forward a conundrum with the expectation that the person playing the saint is to solve it. There's nothing I recall the game rules saying about this, but it's manifested twice now, and I wonder what causes it and if it's a good or a bad thing.
Anyway, I may have more to say later. Apologies for the spotty write-up. Fill in what you recall of details you liked or thoughts on mechanics/the session.
Edited by Erik Hamilton on Oct 5, 2012 5:35 PM