players: Emily, Stuart, Seth, Ben
We started looking at seeds but rapidly did an about face and decided to make a setting of our own. We started off creating a simple space patrol and wound up building a small universe and waging a battle of the planets.
Our Kingdom: Star*Watch, the interplanetary patrol, protecting the vast reaches of space between inhabited worlds. We're an apolitical force for good, founded on principles of the legendary heroes that united the five races. Nowadays we're understaffed and spread perilously thin. Political corruption is rife in the planetary governments so the different worlds are looking to keep us from interfering with their schemes or finding ways to exploit us. Threats all around.
With that happy starting point, we whip up characters:
Commodore Hawthorne / Power (Stuart) -- Thundering old guard. Determined to protect the legacy of Star*Watch. At all costs, it turns out.
Captain Sarella Nasir / Perspective (Emily) -- Gethen by birth and with plenty of influential ties back to that world, which puts her in a difficult position as the Gethen make their bid for supremacy.
Hagen Black / Perspective (Ben) -- Former pirate, converted from a life of crime by a heroic Star*Watch patrolwoman who died in the process. She was a shining pupil of the Commodore and he would much rather she had come back than this scruffy criminal. Awkward…
Ecae Rorr / Touchstone (Seth) -- Idealistic and naive young patrolman. Believes in the Star*Watch, which is tremendously convenient because he's Touchstone. He's in for some major disappointment.
Our very first Crossroad cuts right to the heart of the matter: do we help the wealthy and influential planet Gethen dominate the interplanetary UN? Y'know, entirely throw away our ideals to keep the lights on and stay relevent.
We thought we might be starting too strong but in hindsight I think it was a great idea. Frequently there's a "warmup" Crossroad as everyone gets used to the rules and then things really come to a head in the second Crossroad, but in this game we jumped straight in.
(Stuart sums up the interplanetary political situation)
And I have to say, people _went to town_ on this Kingdom. As experienced Kingdom players, me and Emily were throwing bombs as Perspective (really, we were entirely cruel) but I don't think we held a candle to Stuart and Seth bringing Star*Watch down around everyone's ears. Seth played that most dangerous of Touchstones, the person who actually believed in the Kingdom and held it to a high ideal. So when the Commodore (Stuart) started to cut questionable deals to protect the future of Star*Watch -- betraying our neutrality to ensure our funding -- Ecae (Seth) got disillusioned. Hard. And many Crisis boxes were checked. Many, many Crisis boxes. We hit a Crisis before even finishing the Crossroad.
I originally planned on my ex-pirate being more shady and unworthy, but once the Ecae and Hawthorne went head-to-head I started channeling the ideals of my Star*Watch mentor/rescuer. There were a couple of great bits where Hagen and Nasir (me and Emily) were indirectly battling for Ecae's soul -- since he was the Touchstone, if we could win him over it would change the Kingdom.
Stuart, I loved that you actually had Hawthorne accept the offer to sneak off to save Star*Watch from tearing itself apart under his command. I didn't think you'd go for it, which made it even better.
Bonus points: Emily, your comment about waiting to change Roles until the Crossroad resolved made me realize there was still a gamey way to gain advantage in the Overthrow rules. Which I have now solved, literally in the nick of time before printing. Thanks!
Edited by Ben Robbins on Nov 18, 2013 9:28 PM