The Shock- robots have come into positions of political and social power
The Issues- communication privacy (black-marked pasts, ubiquitous information sharing); transhumanism (robo-bias, human augmentation), religious zealotry (“mainstream”religions are anti-robot, a cult has sprung up around the first AI with free will)
Our Fulcra were openness/concealment and logic/sentiment.
Joe played Douglas Donnovan. His issue was transhumanism. He was a non-augmented boxer competing in a league with augmented individuals who wanted to become champion. He was athletic and came from a family of technicians. He had friends from his days in the military and his brother works at the gym he trained at.
His story started during one of his training sessions when Jordan Addison and some doctors showed up to talk to the boxers and try to schedule exams and such. He did pretty well in the fights leading up to the semifinals when it was announced that the championship was postponed. A new piece of legislation was being pushed through that would segregate augmented and non-augmented athletes. Fellow athletes banded together. He gave an impassioned speech before the legislative body. That bill didn’t pass but there were new restrictions on competitors. He was no longer able to compete himself and had to watch another non-augmented human take the championship.
Aaron played Dustin Tanahill. His issue was communication privacy. He wanted to overcome well-known teenage mistakes that blocked gainful employment. He was technologically adept and had an indefatigable will. (There was one more Feature that I couldn’t find or remember, I’m sorry!) Moira Gladwell had been his partner in crime but he’d protected her. His teenage son worked long and hard to help support them.
His story started with a conversation with Moira, who was able to provide him some leads that didn’t pan out. They always found out his past. He was being observed by Travis Faulkner who wanted to use his skills and prevent them from being turned on himself. He accepted a job working for him. At the end he exposed him but Travis was able to bounce back quickly. Dustin remained in his employ.
I played Brittany Milios. Her issue was religious zealotry. She wanted to rescue her brother from the Cult of the First. She had just gotten a graduate degree in the history of robotics. Her family was wealthy. She also had a robot she had dubbed “Devin.” She was close to her other brother Kent and her former professor Dr. Stratton.
Her story began with a conversation with Kent. She wanted to know where Mark (the brother she wanted to rescue was). Eventually he told her and she decided to start the proceedings to go visit him. It took a while before she was allowed to see Kermit Lochner (the cult’s PR guy) assistant, who was explaining that it’d take a long time, it was a sensitive period for Mark, etc. They discovered her anti-cult sentiments but decided to let her visit anyway. She tried to persuade her brother to leave but he wasn’t having it. Unbeknownst to her, she narrowly avoided being sacrificed to the whims of an increasingly unstable AI.
It’d been a while since I’d read through the book and it took me a minute to find the right dice, so it could have gone smoother from my end. But overall it wasn’t bad! I had the book handy to refer to, as there were some details about Fulcra and Praxis that I couldn’t remember. But overall, I felt it went pretty smooth with two players who were patient and eager.
We definitely had a good night around the table. It was a lot of fun and there were some great moments during the game. (The conversation between Brittany and Mark, the scenes with Dustin and Travis, the hearing about the athletes all stand out.) Figuring out how to use the dice took a minute but we had it figured out during the second set of scenes. The other players did a great job of listening and supporting each other in my opinion.
Thanks to Aaron and Joe for a fun evening and their patience!
P.S. Stay tuned for a write-up of the game of Abnormal we played after!