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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › The Witches' Summit (Kingdom)

The Witches' Summit (Kingdom)

A former member
Post #: 48
Our Kingdom: All the witches of Great Britain, circa 1770
Us: Sam, Me, Emily, Drew
Our Characters: Ygrain, a savvy and politically-connected witch (Power); Maddoc, the oldest witch in Wales, and probably in all Britain (Perspective); Leslie, a young academic witch with the gift of prophesy (Perspective); Myaar, the witch who runs the world's best potion shop (Touchstone)
Crossroads: Will the Kingdom banish a witch from the Sandwich Islands (ie Hawaii) that Captain Cook brought back with him? Will the Kingdom act to prevent the publication of a tourist's guide to magical Britain?

This followed what seems to be a common pattern for one-shot Kingdom: the first crossroads was a relatively tame affair with no one's emotions deeply involved, which let us get used to the characters and establish tensions without anyone switching roles. The second was tense and strongly contested. In this case, Ygraine took Perspective from Maddoc to prove her dire warnings false, but then when Maddoc took Power, she realized she liked that even less, and switched back just in time to keep the infuriated elder from invoking the Darkest Arts to hex the poor guidebook author into oblivion. But of course, that made Maddoc Perspective again during Crossroads resolution, which meant she got to "predict" the outcome of the power grab...

It was a good game, and I think everybody had fun and that Sam wasn't too mortified by our questionable grasp of history.

Ben, if you happen to be lurking, we weren't quite sure how to handle a Power -> Perspective role seizure. It seems clear how to seize Power- get some clout of your own and use it to take their clout. Seizing Touchstone should be about cutting someone off from the community, like "Now nobody comes to your bar anymore, which means you're not part of everything like you used to be." But how do you take someone's insight? It's both pro-active and retro-active (their old predictions are wrong and they can't make new ones). Can you give an example in whatever setting of how that might work?
Sam Kabo A.
user 30231972
Honolulu, HI
Post #: 48
Yeah, I felt in something of a bind when it came to position-grabbing. We had two first-time Kingdom players, and seizing a role isn't something anybody's eager to do until they've seen it done a couple of times; and Maddoc was exerting a great deal of influence from her Perspective position and seemed unlikely to want to jump ship. But what's Kingdom if nobody steals a role? And I was sort of in the position of wanting to undercut Maddoc's influence, when she wasn't technically in either of the directly-influential roles. So that was a little tricky.

It was still a totally enjoyable session, don't get me wrong; but the big dramatic switchup of role-switching didn't really get a good airing.

(My own grasp of the period is pretty patchy and full of handwaves. Half the time I don't know whether what I remember is actual history or Joan Aiken. Hope I didn't block too much.)
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 406
I was bummed that I missed meetup but it cheered me up immensely when I heard you guys threw down some Kingdom.

…Sam wasn't too mortified by our questionable grasp of history.
Did you just out Sam as a witch? Not cool, not cool.

This followed what seems to be a common pattern for one-shot Kingdom: the first crossroads was a relatively tame affair with no one's emotions deeply involved, which let us get used to the characters and establish tensions without anyone switching roles. The second was tense and strongly contested.
Yep, I've seen that exact thing too. I think you're right it's the "learning Kingdom" pattern. I kind of love it.

Taking other character's roles has been streamlined and refined a bunch since the last playtest version. The final version also tries to address this exact question you raise much more clearly and intuitively. Stealing Touchstone or Perspective is often less about fictionally doing something to change the other character than it is the player declaring that the other character is wrong and then having the character show us how. So you take Perspective you really just have to rant about how and why someone's insights into the Kingdom are totally wrong. In the fiction they were always wrong, we just didn't know it yet and you're just showing us (the players) that it's true. We're finding out what's really true about the Kingdom. Same with Touchstone.

In hindsight the version you're playing now feels like a mess. Oh the power of revision.

Another rule (that I don't think is in the version you've got) is that you have to play a role for at least a scene before you voluntarily change. Someone might take your role away from you sooner, but you can't choose to switch. I don't expect it to come up a lot but it's a pacing handbrake in case someone want to do *everything*.

Also in the final version there are ways you can resist losing your role. Without getting into the nitty gritty, someone can take Power and storm the castle but maybe the king's guard holds out. Then you both have Power. Which has led, I must say, to wonderfully awkward situations.
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