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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › House Galiana (Kingdom)

House Galiana (Kingdom)

Ben R.
Group Organizer
North Truro, MA
Post #: 626
"I want to play a Kingdom that's a family..." -Joe

Holy mother of god, that game was intense. Crazy good play from everyone at the table. Textbook example of everyone just trying to do the right thing and how that goes horribly, horribly wrong. Joe, Ace and Brad: fantastic gaming.

We were a noble House fallen on hard times, greatly diminished and holding a small realm that was wracked by drought and famine. No magic or fantasy, just a period-piece with swords and castles. In keeping with the plan, we had super-tight family connections, made even more complicated by so many illegitimate births:

Lady Ursanne / Power (me) -- widow of Lord Galiana, stern servant of duty and honor

Rohesia / Perspective (Ace) -- daughter and only child of Lord Galiana from his first marriage, would-be heir except our traditions are rigidly sexist

Oriel / Touchstone (Joe) -- secret bastard son of Ursanne before her marriage to the Lord, raised in court by other nobles of the family

Sir Gervesin / Touchstone (Brad) -- faithful old knight of the House, taught Rohesia the sword, unbeknownst to Ursanne he's her real father

So that makes Ace's character my step-daughter, Joe's character my bastard son, and Brad's character is really my father. So much family, half of which are secret. Which led to surprising moments early in the game, like Oriel brashly roughing up old Sir Gervesin in sword-practice, when it suddenly dawned on us that (duh) Gervesin was his grandfather but neither of them knew it. Awkward!

"I hope you don't mind that I'm making myself the hero of this story" -- Ace, famous last words

So much good stuff in this game. I loved Rohesia, wearing pants and sword-fighting, then rebelling against everything and sneaking off to try to make peace with House Fricor and goddammit Sir Gervesin helping her!?!? Oriel was hands-down the saddest character, cocky and arrogant trying to get the love of both his mother and Rohesia, and totally shut down and unappreciated on both fronts, until he becomes sad and unsure. He fights a duel to the death to protect Rohesia's honor and she hates him for it (duh). He takes the Lordship when his mother lies about his paternity, but then she just talks over him and uses him as a political pawn. So sad! And then, ahem, the murder…

I also loved that Gervesin never had Power per se, but because he was Touchstone and the voice of tradition, me and Ace were both always trying to get him on our side so that our Power would be accepted by the people.

Rules-wise, it's amazing, as always, how even through the threats we make at the start have no mechanical call-back, they are the themes that play through the whole game because they frame how we think of the fiction. Our threats were a rival House trying to undermine our claim to nobility, our lack of an heir and a drought -- the three building blocks of everything that happened in the game.

I also don't think I've every played a Kingdom game where we resolved a Crisis (which we survived, with much surprised screaming) and then resolved a *second* Crisis (which wiped us out), all in the space of one Crossroad. That was actually the second Crossroad of the game, so that's Crossroad/Crisis/Crisis resolved for anyone keeping score. Yep, we covered a lot of ground.

So much drama, so much sadness, so much family.
Ben R.
Group Organizer
North Truro, MA
Post #: 627
We had some really intense scenes. Here's some advice I should have given at the time about how you can shift narration from first & second person ("I stab you") to third person ("the knight stabs the king") to make it feel less confrontational:

Story Games 101: Shifting to Third Person

It's a good tool to have in your arsenal for all story games.
Joe W.
user 187099237
Seattle, WA
Post #: 2
Awesome Game!

Oriel just wanted to love and be loved. Why did it lead to so much pain and suffering?
He was beloved and looked up to by the people (exploiting Touchstone? Of course not.), yet his own family didn't appreciate him .

Oriel was the classic teenager, just trying to find his role in society; he transitioned between Touchstone, Perspective, Power, and back to Perspective. His indecision and quick action without thinking through the consequences made for some interesting game play.

One of my favorite parts of the game was the complete misunderstanding between Oriel and Rohesia.

I also loved the scene where Rohesia finally murdered Oriel. Awesome play Ace! It was only in this scene that Oriel displayed any sense of maturity, but by then it was too late. Unfortunately his murder ended up tipping the kingdom into a final destructive crisis.

The metagame was epic! During the first crisis, everyone else at the table voted for neutral, and I ended up being the deciding up vote. That was awesome (especially since I was considering a down vote, although I'm glad the story kept going) !
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