Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Red Dragon/Green Dragon (To Stand Before the Dragon's Wrath double-playtest)

Red Dragon/Green Dragon (To Stand Before the Dragon's Wrath double-playtest)

Ed T.
AproposPenguin
Seattle, WA
Post #: 19
The game: . To Stand Before the Dragon's Wrath, by... me, Ed. Hi.

The players: Drew, Aaron, Steve, and myself for the first go, and then Aaron, Steve, and me for the second.

Two times? you ask. Well, Dragon's Wrath is a short game, taking about forty-five minutes, as much as an hour if we're taking our time. Very quick, so we did it twice. Both times, I think, went really well.

To Stand Before the Dragon's Wrath is a game about one epic battle against a ferocious dragon; one player will be playing the dragon, while everybody else will play themselves. Yeah, this isn't about a fantasy battle starring epic heroes, it's a story about the dragon who came to your town--in this instance, to Seattle. Whenever you're playing, that happens to be one day before the dragon arrives, and the game itself is set five years after that, when the people playing the game have decided to go on a potentially-suicidal mission to slay the beast.

Round 1: Drew played the dragon. Whomever plays the dragon gets to introduce it by being the very first casualty of the beast's reign, and in this case Drew had the misfortune to be the dragon's first snack: snatched up, dropped from on high to splatter, and eaten. In this case the dragon was big and red and bestial, a straight-up giant monster who perched on top of the Space Needle when it wasn't lifting and splattering its meals.

In the attack, I, alas, was killed during our first strike: the intent was to crash cars into the base of the tower, assuming the five years of neglect and heavy weight on top had weakened the structure. It worked, but I wasn't able to escape my ride, and ended up crushed by the falling tower. And the dragon was only angry.

Steve was next to go; after a long battle in which the dragon tore apart buildings and dropped masses of concrete on the heroes, they needed to retreat. Aaron tripped, Steve stopped to help him up, but paused too long: he was lifted extra-high and splattered vindictively.

But Aaron ultimately saved the day: using his connections at Amazon, he took control of hundreds of drones, each loaded with five pounds of high explosive. Any one a mild annoyance, all together they were enough to break the dragon's wing, and it fell, impaling itself on its fallen Space Needle. Cut to five years after the battle, and Seattle is returning to normal, if anything nicer than it was before. Kids are playing in a giant dragon skull in the middle of the park.

Victory: humanity.

Round 2: Steve was the dragon; in this case, a path to Faerie opened up at the corner of Pike and 2nd, and from it emerged a woman, Aurora, who declared that this land was hers now. When folks disagreed, she would change into her dragon form, and suddenly things went her way. Steve himself was unfortunate enough to be the first person to step foot on her land, and was made an example of (read: heart torn out).

Over five years, she outlawed most technology, and Seattle began turning into a magical forest, with her living and operating out of a massive growing at the corner of Pike and 2nd. Cue: Aaron and I, making our way to her dominion with a homemade flamethrower and a paintball gun whose ammunition had been injected with gasoline. Also, plenty of allies, other folks who missed their cars and Internets, presumably, promising to meet us there.

Then, our flamethrower was seized at the border by one of the many, many hippies happily following the queen. And our allies never showed up. Our first assault, which should have been a blazing triumph, was pathetic, and the dragon approached us, more baffled than angry, and turned Aaron into mulch. Literally. Planted a tree in what was once his body. Me, I ran... straight to where contraband was kept, where I knew the flamethrower would be. And, in a stroke of good fortune, our allies arrived just then... they would have been right on time but we forgot that the flow of time is a little different so near the fae realm. But alas, despite setting everything on fire, we still underestimated the dragon's power: she called forth all the creatures of nature, to trample basically everyone to death, and I, too, was mulched.

Five years later and Seattle is more woods than city, and all the humans still living here are under the watchful eye of a "friendly companion" imp, constantly. Good for nature, bad for freedom.

Victory: dragon.


Real victory: Ed, who got two solid playthroughs of his tiny game, one in which the dragon won, and one in which it lost, but in both things came down to a very tense head at the end of the battle. It was also a fantastic example of different interpretations of what a "dragon" could be: Drew's was from a more traditional mold, built on being big and scary, while Steve's was a very different interpretation, intelligent and sentient and, honestly, pretty nice as far as tyrannical rulers go. It gave me a few thoughts about how to adjust the game for different settings and monsters--it would be pretty trivial to hack the game into "To Stand Before the Vampire's Wrath" or "To Stand Before the Elder God's Wrath" or "To Stand Before the, Like, Alien Invader with Vaguely-Outlined Intention's Wrath."

One the whole, I'm calling it a pretty unqualified success, twice over. HUGE thanks to my players for taking part.
Steve C.
user 141744482
Seattle, WA
Post #: 1
Very nice write up. I had an absolute blast and loved bring Aura into being. Goddess be praised.

-steve
Aaron L.
user 139852352
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 5
Both games were fantastic, and each was taken in an entirely different direction. Thanks for the awesome game, Ed.
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