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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › And All That Kizzizzizzaz (Sign in Stranger)

And All That Kizzizzizzaz (Sign in Stranger)

A former member
Post #: 7
I love this game so much. I'd forgotten how much.

In Sign in Stranger you play, essentially, Peace Corps volunteers on an alien planet. My fellow players were Katie, Erik, and Tyler.

First we had to choose which planet to be assigned to! Our choices were the following, generated collectively through a method inspired by the beatnik parlor game "exquisite corpse":

SKWARK: a small, gasous planet inhabited by the Shadowfolk, who have pretty eyes but no sense of personal identity, where we would be involved in intensive pobsnark blistering (something like being a soux chef).

SOMNUS: a liquid moon inhabited by the Two-Sided Rim, who are made of organically grown gems but eat only dead rotten meat, where we would be involved in skok stet treckle (something like planting flowers).

KRYPTON: a subterranean satellite inhabited by the Lobster People, who are protective of their young but also prolific social spitters, where we would be employed as quill quellers (something like being a DMV employee).

KLASNO: a space satellite inhabited by the Clodhoppers, who are wonderful storytellers but have arms made of slime, where we would be involved in gaff dakking (something like cave diving).

We ended up choosing our assignment randomly and ended up on Klasno. We then generated our group of volunteers (Jess, Tom, Kara, and Tanaka) and the few required NPCs (your Earth Authority liaison back home, the local alien ambassador who actually speaks Earth languages, and your local boss who oversees your work). Only the latter two would come up in play.

We also wrote down our list of initial questions that we had to explore (some of which are required):

- What can we eat?
- How do we do our job?
- Who's in charge here?
- Why did each of us leave earth?

During play, you frame scenes based on exploring one of these questions, a new question you add to the list, or developing a relationship with another PC or NPC (including, of course, the aliens).

Over the course of play, a great many hilarious misadventures ensued:

- There was a failed fishing expedition to find breakfast, which involved defacing an "ancestor spawning ground" and almost getting eaten by a very relaxed jellyfish thing.

- Some relationship building between Tom and Dr. Jess, when she reassured him that the pox he contracted from being half-strangled in Clodhopper slime would only make him grow a neckbeard

- Minimal progress made at figuring out how to graff dakk, which apparently involved securing climbing ropes with these cactus-like things

- Almost getting eaten by an "embarrassed sphark," but then killing it and discovering that it tasted like (addictive) sweet happiness, like cotton candy + ecstacy

- Trying to repair awkwardness with the Clodhoppers by sharing in the spreading of slime over ancient statues, only for things to become even more awkward

- Burning our remaining supply of dead sphark with a military-grade raygun, destroying the only known source of food we had

And, in general, offending and totally being baffled by our Clodhopper hosts.

Sign in Stranger is really meant for long-term play, but I felt like we really got to sink our teeth into it and explore how it worked. One of the coolest parts is that, before play begins, you generate these pools of random words on cards and then draw them from their various piles (nouns, verbs, and adjectives) whenever you encounter something alien, to free-associate what their existence and homeland is like. That serves one of the roles that a GM normally would but also puts the aliens outside of any player's full knowledge and control. They and their world is always surprising and unknowable at first, but then over time you build up an understanding of what it's like and how it works.

All in all, a great time and makes me excited to play more games with SGSeattle.
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