players: Chris, Ben, Drew, Ben (yep, two Bens)
We decided to play a Toy Story-style Kingdom, where we were all toys of the Garden Valley Daycare Center. Harmless, right? Absolutely… unless you spiral into the utter heart of darkness. Which we did.
How dark, you ask? We're talking Lord of the Flies meets Animal Farm. Our second Crossroad was "Will we maul a child to frame the neighbor's dog and get it put down?" Yes, we were plotting ways to injure children. To be fair, that dog was a menace. "It doesn't know pity or fear!!!" So true, Mr. Bucket, so true.
It all started off so peacefully. Princess Quackers, the fuzzy stuffed duck, ruled from the toy castle in the center of the playroom, because she was the only one with a tiara. But that was okay, because no one minded except her old frenemy Eeyore (or an unlicensed Chinese rip-off of Eeyore, we were never sure). Eeyore groused about it, and so did Mr. Bucket, but they groused about everything so no one paid attention. And I, Robo-Toad, was content to serve as the Princess's brute enforcer. As a poorly designed educational toy intended to teach the value of wetlands conservation through superior firepower, I didn't have a lot of prospects. I was happy just to help my fellow toys, because I loved everybody!
We wiled away the days being played with and taking tea at the Tiny Table for Tiny Tea Parties (tm). It was perhaps this optimistic love and desire for approval that blinded me to the true ills rueing the daycare. Eeyore and Mr. Bucket, potty-mouthed and age-inappropriate toy though he was, were right all along, but I didn't see it until it was too late.
When they came for Mr. Fuzz, the lovable police teddy bear, I did not speak out. Plague-ridden after being barfed on by a child, he was first "quarantined" (read as: crammed into a ventilation duct and later a broom closet) and then finally shoved out to the sandbox at night, there to wait helplessly as Rex, the vicious neighbor dog, swooped into the yard and ripped him limb from furry limb. In fact, as one of Princess Quackers' enforcers I helped drive him to his fate. What else could we do?!? Even Trauma Technician Barbie couldn't help him! ("She has a tiny bonesaw!") It was, Princess Quackers assured us, for the good of the playroom.
When they came for Mr. Clock… oh wait, the dog got him too. His time was up!
When they came for MooCow and Mr. Mushroom, still I held my silence. Eeyore tried to organize the toys to nobly sacrifice themselves to stop the dog rather than hurt a child but that fell on deaf ears of the terrified toys. We didn't know that at that very moment the ruthless Princess Quackers had taken matters into her own fuzzy wings and clubbed those two beanie babies on the head, soaked them in bleach, and then dragged them out to the sandbox to poison the dog when he devoured them (sidenote: best Prediction challenge ever). I witnessed this crime but I said NOTHING.
Even with the dog gone, fear and distrust loomed over the daycare. No one knew who to trust, or who would be next. What happened to simple play time?!? What happened to fun?!?
In a bold quackdown, the Princess marched regiments of green plastic army men into the playroom, surrounding her seat of power in the toy castle. Poor Robo-Toad was her trusted enforcer no longer. I'd been cast aside after going slightly nutty. Sure, maybe I refused to believe that Mr. Fuzz was gone and that he didn't want more tea but WISHING MAKES ANYTHING POSSIBLE!!!
Mr. Bucket, no longer a party to the Princess's schemes ("are you wearing a wire?!? is that a see-and-say?!?") set up a summit at the Tiny Table for Tiny Tea Parties where Eeyore's rebel faction could forge a peace with the Princess, but the ever-glum Eeyore turned out to have been abandoned by his followers (note to self: asking supporters to let themselves get eaten, not a good campaign slogan). Mr. Bucket seized the moment and called for playroom-wide free elections, throwing his hat in the ring as the less fuzzy, less murderous candidate.
As tensions rise, riots break out. Toys clash with toys. Her pastel castle crumbling beneath her, Princess Quackers finally gives up her tiara (but not her tutu), returning to being merely Ballerina Quackers. From the rubble, a parliamentary structure emerges (Mr. Bucket, first prime minister) with each toy having a equal say around the Tiny Table.
And then in the morning kids show up and throw us around.
“What the fuck are we gonna do with that fat bear?" --Mr. Bucket, getting us rolling early as we realize Mr. Fuzz only fits halfway into the ventilation duct
Holy god this game was a ride. This is why we have the X rule, kids!
Eeyore (Chris) and Mr. Bucket (Ben) had Perspective for most of the game, Princess Quackers (Drew) had power (obviously) and I had Touchstone, installing a healthy dose of blind trust and then confused terror and suspicion into our community. Our Crossroads were, as you may have noticed, excellent and quite to the point.
So dark and yet so, so funny, but with serious clashes of ideology too. One of starting threats was "summer is coming", meaning the kids that played with us were all going to go away and forget about us and new ones were going to take their place. That small detail suddenly broke out into a whole moral debate of whether we were there to serve the kids (even if that meant sacrificing ourselves to get eaten by the dog) or whether the kids were just _using_ us and we needed to look out for our own survival.
Such a painful time to be a toy. So, so good. Thanks, everybody!
Edited by Ben Robbins on May 17, 2015 3:57 PM
Holy crap I miss story games!