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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › City of Masques and Daggers (Kingdom)

City of Masques and Daggers (Kingdom)

A former member
Post #: 44
Tim, Pat, Terry, and I played Kingdom on playtest night. Our kingdom was the Veridelli family, a sprawling, secretive clan in 16th century Venice. Power was held by paranoid family patriarch Livio [Tim] and by his recklessly Machiavellian daughter Sofia [Me]. Sofia's daughter Guilietta[Terry] was our touchstone, and was delighted by the exciting lifestyle the family's power bought her even as our vicious methods disgusted her. Our only source of perspective was Calazzio [Pat], Livio's bastard half brother, whom their father had trained to operate behind the scenes as the family's spy and assassin.

Crossroads: Will the Veridellis intercede with their diplomat friends to prevent westward expansion by the Ottoman Empire? No- we'll just set it up so we profit from the invasion and still come away with good PR. Will the Veridellis arrange for one of their own to be chosen as the next ruler of Venice? Yes. Yes, we will.

Two things that worked well and one that didn't:
1) The flexibility of Kingdom's structure made it easy for us to frame scenes even with characters with radically different agendas and social circles. If Guilietta wants to spend all her time going to balls and chatting up cute boys, it doesn't stall the plot, we just figure out how that advances the Crossroads. I never once felt stuck for what the next scene should be.
2) Our side effect choices and Calazzio's predictions combined to make both of our decisions seem weighty. There isn't explicit antagonism in Kingdom but attaching negative consequences to the decision someone wants to make is an elegant way of making it appear anyway.
3) This was the first game I've played with two Power characters, and we didn't handle it right. We made sure that we disagreed about everything on paper to ensure there would be conflict, but when it came down to the actual game we were both moderate enough to see eye to eye every time. That meant it was pointless for anyone else to seize power, because even taking one of us down would only create a stalemate. So no one ever changed roles and we missed out on a big part of the game.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 390
Man, I'm jealous. That sounds like a great Kingdom.

It's totally legal to overthrow multiple characters who have the same Role in one fell swoop, so long as your explanation makes sense (possibly I need to make that more prominent in the text). You can lead an uprising and take Power away from the Duke and the Cardinal at the same time, for example. Arrest them all!

I've played in other games where characters didn't like what was happening but the player didn't think the character really had it in them to step up and do something drastic to change the course of the Kingdom. Watching those characters stew but ultimately give in to their own limits and fail to act was gripping in a totally different way.
Ben R.
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 391
Also: Your game has given me new clarity about one aspect of the rules. And just in time. Danke.
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