Friday, 29 April 2011

[bluebook] Changeling: The Lost - Venice - Clio/Malvolio cutscene

This scene occurs after last week's session of Changeling, following Clio's run-in with the House of Winter and her visit to Malvolio's party.

RATED NC-17 (to be safe) for sexual content, slight gore, 'unusual' Changeling physical features, and language.

Enjoy. ;)



Wednesday, 20 April 2011

[playlist] Exalted @darkerdaysradio #exalted #whitewolf

1. ???????????? - ??????<SCENE #03> (4:32)
 2. Ko Otani - Prologue: To The Ancient Land (3:26)
 3. Koh Ohtani - Green Hills (0:33)
 4. Ko Otani - Commandment (1:54)
 5. Ko Otani - Lakeside (0:26)
 6. Ben Houge - Wilderness (2:10)
 7. Ben Houge - Towns (1:59)
 8. Ben Houge - Villages (2:44)
 9. Azam Ali - The Wolf (2:10)
 10. Ben Houge - The Vendigroth Wastes (3:03)
 11. Ben Houge - The Demise Of The Zephyr (1:31)
 12. Ko Otani - Prohibited Art (1:53)
 13. Ben Houge - Cities (2:18)
 14. Uematsu Nobuo - Opening (1:30)
 15. Azam Ali - Returns A King (2:24)
 16. Chung Kuo/Tranceport - Tree Of Heaven (7:51)
 17. Arcana - Aeterna Doloris (2:55)
 18. Juno Reactor - Teahouse (1:04)
 19. Ben Houge - Mines (2:39)
 20. Ben Houge - The Wheel Clan (2:04)
 21. Azam Ali - What Must A King Do? (1:05)
 22. Azam Ali - Xerxes' Tent (3:20)
 23. Azam Ali - Cursed By Beauty (1:41)
 24. Ko Otani - Anger (1:52)
 25. Azam Ali - The Hot Gates (3:00)
 26. Capcom - StageIII (to the outdoor Town 1) (2:14)
 27. Ko Otani - The End Of The Battle (1:42)
 28. Capcom - Out of Darkness (prologue) (3:13)
 29. Capcom - Genocide (opening) (4:52)
 30. Ko Otani - Wander's Death (0:45)
 31. Ko Otani - Wander's Death (0:45)
 32. Ko Otani - Swift Horse (1:44)
 33. Uematsu Nobuo - Beyond The Wasteland (4:13)
 34. Arcana - The Tree Within (3:38)
 35. Azam Ali - No Sleep Tonight (2:33)
 36. Don Davis - Tetsujin (3:21)
 37. Capcom - Baroque and Beats (BIANKOANJERO combat) (5:19)
 38. Ko Otani - Creeping Shadow: Battle With The Colossus (1:47)
 39. Sephiroth - Cathedron (12:52)
 40. Sephiroth - Abyssanctum (6:44)
 41. Sephiroth - Wolftribes (4:54)
 42. Ko Otani - Silence: Battle With The Colossus (1:49)
 43. Azam Ali - Xerxes' Final Offer (2:39)
 44. Azam Ali - No Mercy (2:23)
 45. Capcom - The Gate is Opened (2:46)
 46. Ko Otani - In Awe Of The Power: Battle With The Colossus~ (2:12)
 47. Capcom - Shall Never Surrender (Staff roll) (4:58)
 48. Uematsu Nobuo - Tenrai ~Divinity I~ (2:53)
 49. Uematsu Nobuo - Tenrai ~Divinity II~ (3:34)
 50. Uematsu Nobuo - Savior (2:15)
 51. Koh Ohtani - Revived Power ~Battle With the Colossus~ (2:18)
 52. Ko Otani - Final Battle (1:54)
 53. Uematsu Nobuo - J-E-N-O-V-A (FFVII AC Version) (2:45)
 54. Azam Ali - Returns A King (2:24)
 55. Uematsu Nobuo - Sairin: Kata Tsubasa no Tenshi ~Advent:One-Winged Angel~ (6:06)
 56. ???????????? - ??????<SCENE #153> (5:17)
 57. ???????????? - The Last Day<SCENE #156> (6:43)
 58. Ko Otani - The Farthest Land [Reprise] (3:21)
 59. Uematsu Nobuo - Aerith no Theme (Piano Version) (4:06)
 60. Uematsu Nobuo - End Credits (5:35)
 61. Capcom - The Time Has Come (Nello combat generic) (3:51)
 62. Himuro Kyosuke - CALLING (5:02)

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost #changelingthelost #whitewolf #changeling #worldofdarkness @darkerdaysradio





Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 5 - Shadow - part 2



      Sonata and Freki had been tracking Tybalt in an attempt to find out more about his kidnapper. They were able to find a door into the Hedge via a window. From there, in her wolf form, Freki led Sonata through  the Hedge, tracking the scent. It was  very familiar to her. The Hedge grew darker, and it was only because of Freki's heightened senses that they noticed the long legged monster, a Harvetman, a giant spider like hobgoblin. They quickly made  their way along the  small trod and soon found the wide expanse of marsh land. The Hedge around them was tainted with the essence of Carnival. Cat people puppets hung of thorns. Fragments of masks were stuck in the mud. The air was thick with the smell of hot chocolate and spices. The trail was through the marshes and so they continued. This marsh land was in fact the great trod to Venice, the Lion's Tail.  As they crossed they were whispered to by a glowing orb, but they knew it's lies and ignored the whisp.

      They found the exit from the Hedge, a door stuck in the mud. Opening it they were in a dark room, and before them was a dead body and about them paintings. They noticed that there were no windows, and that the door they had come through was the front door of the apartment, and that it had been kicked in. The body  was that of the loyalist changeling that had attacked just a few nights ago, and she was now dead, having been stabbed in the back. The paintings were disturbing, painted using dyes mannufaactured from the Hedge. They showed reminders of Arcadia, and faces of the Fae. The most recent painting, unfinished, showed the Zookeeper, a man with antlers being stabbed, and a unfinished face. They gathered the paintings and left, hoping they might find out who killed the changeling.

      Stitches and Else had travelled to the island  of Murano, and there to meet the Autumn motley, the Green Caps. This motely were experts on the Hedge and in making things from it. Led by Captain Saor, the motley also claimed the foul gristle grinder Ogre, Dr Morphine, as a member. He looked at the dart that had drugged Tybalt and explained to Else andd Stitches that he would give it go to find out what it was made from, but he doubted that it would help them.

       Clio left the house of Spring. The change of events worried her, but she had a shift at the Florian. It was as she was heading there that she seemed to have a sense of deja vu as she seemed to pass the same person a few times, as if she was walking through a street of twins. She hurried on. While at the Florian she was met by a man, a large hulk of a furry Ogre. He did not give his name, but it was clear he was of the house of Winter. He simply asked for the book back and promised her that if she did not comply they would come for her.

      At the House of Autumn, at the Teatro Fenice, the motley had regrouped and were examining the paintings with the Wizened, Tristan Titian, trying to make sense of the images and what was happening. They learnt of the death of the Vernal Duke and that Malvolio had taken his place. While looking at the paintings Else had a flashback to her time in the sweltering workshop of her keeper, and her mind lost it's grip on reality for a moment as she felt trapped once more. She left to go work on her device, the Hedge crafted Orrey. Using the device, watching the spining orbs, Else is able to determine that the Wyrd will be involved in an alingment within a few hours. No idea where but it might be the clue they need.

      Clio is out the back of the cafe, putting some rubbish in the bins when a pale woman, dressed rather immodestly, approaches asking her to follow her. Clio says no, knowing she is a House of Winter lackey. The pale woman is indeed and a changeling, a Leech finger. Her mouth is lip less and a filled with spindle teeth, and her fingers end in similar mouths. A fight breaks out and Clio resorts to using her voice to distract the woman, and bashing her head with an empty champagne bottle. The woman retreats, scaling the wall of tha alley in the most inhuman of fashion.

      Else watches on TV the news that a famous Italian movie producer has died on the Lido, at the exact hour that she had determined. Stepping back from the TV she knocks off a knife on the table, and as it hits the fall she hears the words 'Knife falls, Gentleman calls', and with that she knows that in 13 weeks time her keeper will be in Venice looking for her.

      Clio returns to the House of Spring at the Ca da'Mosto, to find that the Hedge palace has been touched by the mantle of Malvolio. Know the flowers are enticing and give off a sickly musk. There are the whispers of indulgence and sighs or ectasy. A party is being held as members of Spring make their new pledges to their Duke. Clio is able to get some privacy with the Duke, and explains to him that she was attacked by Winter coutiers. Malvolio recognises the description of the woman, Lilith. Clio is certain he has slept with her. He explains that she works for a shadowy motley, the Endless Sigh. They are spies and torturers, a form of secret police. He will looking into reparations. He also tells Clio that she should stay the night for her own saftey and that tomorrow the dress maker will be here to fit her for Carnival balls.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

[advice] Do you have a plan? @darkerdaysradio

      It came up over a few pints between myself and David the issue of how much planning do we put into running a roleplay game.  David admits to being lazy and working on the fly. I plan a lot, and have loads of notes that may never see use, but exist anyway. So which way is best? Related to this we also considered the nature of a setting and whether or not you  plan your setting and plot before or after characters are created.

       Our realization. I plan TV series that assume a null hypothesis.

      What does that mean? Ok I plaan long plots. In fact I have in mind multi season plot arcs. I find that most one shots I run for a game are often a test of the setting for the series. They are the 'pilot' episode, where the basic feeel of the setting and the game can be tried out, just like in the Fading Suns game I ran recently. That plot comes out of the back of the 2nd edition core book, but I have a whole chronicle planned to follow from it. What do I like about this way of planning? The ability to dip in. I can look at the events of the chronicle from the angle of any for off antagonist, and choose to play from any point along the timeline of the series. I can dip in and start from any point, and the players really have little or no clue to this. This is a sort of fail safe so that I can create a plot, and if the game falls  apart and I restart with a new group I can play from a point I haad originally hope to gett to in the past.

      Ok that seems fair. A person wants to get something out of the game they are running. I like to have the feeling that there are grrand plot arcs and that I can sample the plot at different points, since to me these represent different types of gameplay i.e. you begin at the very start of the plots and are a starting troupe of characters, or you begin at the half way of the plot and are an experienced group. The issues that each group deals with at those points in the plots are very different. Thus I have built in tiers of gameplay in my settings.

     This gets us to the other point, that of the null hypothesis. David asked me why I plaan before character creation. I answered that I want to make the players feel like they are within in the setting, but that the setting doesn't just hinge upon them being.  So that means events will occur in the setting whether or not the players are aware of them. Therefore it is up to the players to get involved in the plot. Of course some plot points I have left loose so that I can work the players in properly, or I have left entire areas open to incorporate the player ideas. So then David asked what happens to the setting with the players interacting, surely nothing? That I said is not correct. The  fact is that setting will always result in the a change, and it is up to the players to interact with  that mechanism of change. There is no status quo. The players are interacting with the setting at a point of upheaval in the setting, no matter how minor. This means if, for a new group of players we start at season 2 of the settting, it assumes that the events  off season 1 have happened but that the players never interacted with it. Thus the null hypothesis. What happens to the setting if the players don't interact with it. This is because I also think about what reactions NPCs would have to the player interactions. I get behind the mind of the NPCs so that believable reactions can occur in responce to player actions.

     Now I would say that there is merit in designing a chronicle simply about the info you get given  on the player characters, or having a looser setting, or handing out to players  pre-generated characters that fit in with your plot. After all these are just tools and guidelines.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost #changelingthelost #whitewolf #changeling #worldofdarkness @darkerdaysradio





Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 5 - Shadow - part 1



                 It had been a few days since the events of the mainland at Marghera. Else was doing well, having been attended to by Stitches and the others of the House of Autumn. The festival of Carnival was looming, and still the rib killer was on the loose. The motely had been charged with dealing with this by the Doge himself. Over the next few days the motely began their research. It was only when delving into the family history of those already dead that Else, Freki, Sonata and Stitches were able to find out that one of the deceased was adopted, and this was the critical clue. The victims were all part of a bloodline. The common ancestor was a Zacani. The same Zacani who forged the paintings. The question was still where the paintings were. One had been stolen from the Casino and the other was not where it was meant to be.

                    As a group the motely went to talk to Tybalt, to figure out who had kidnapped him, Stitches and  Lady Midnight. Clio then went to find Malvolio to find out more about the book, and again he seemed somewhat smug with himself. He then took a call and his face fell and he told Clio that they had to go to the House of Spring straight away.

                    At the House of Spring many of the House had gathered, and there were urgent words exchanged. Then, before them all, the Spring Claviger announced that the Vernal Duke, Aeyther, was dead. There was uproar, and there was still the question of how he had died. It was revealed that he had been found, immolated. There were arguments erupting between factions of the House. Some were aligned with the Court of Carnival and led by Carnelian and Silver Heart. But with the turn of events Malvolio, by an unspoken popular vote, had been declared the new Vernal Duke, and about his head appeared the crown of vines and from his forehead grew the Antlers of the Vernal Duke.            


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost #changelingthelost #whitewolf #changeling #worldofdarkness @darkerdaysradio





Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 4 - Skin - part 4


           In the frosted hotel of the House of Winter, Clio went to look for the Book of Names. The hotel, in the hedge, was a direct reflection of the hotel Danieli in the real world. It was as she was heading down the corridor that she noted that many of the items left about the hotel were in fact small tokens. It dawned upon her that it would be in the spirit of the House of Winter that the tokens would be hidden in plain sight.

          She continued on towards the main foyer of the hotel, crunching along the snow covered carpet. She crept along and soon heard voices. Below in the entrance to the hotel were two other changelings. One was a wirey woman dressed in a lab coat, and the other was a monkey like man. They discussed the missing Lady Midnight, and the other disappearances. They also argued, the monkey man, Hanuman, having an outburst about his missing leader, but accepting that it is not the way of the Ice Law to go saving people. If anything they must hide better and direct the other courts

          The two changelings then left and Clio crept down to the reception of the hotel and looked at the guestbook, and her suspicions were confirmed. It was what she sought and it was hidden in plain sight. She made to leave the hotel and back to the real world. It was as she was heading back along the corridor to the door to the real world that another of the doors opened. The new arrival looked down and noted the melted snow and flowers that had grown in Clio's wake. They shouted at Clio, but he was cowed by her use of the Contract of Vainglory, and simply said sorry and let Clio leave.


           Sonata, Freki and Else hid as the Gentry, Loyalist and other monster approached. They watched them go into the warehouse and then come back out. They were arguing. But the argument ended as the Fae pointed in the direction of the hidden changelings. The monsterous man, his bones spurs extending, chased after Sonata, who fled in amongst the pipes of the refinery. The beast tore into the pipes, releasing toxic and flammable fluids and gas as the Tunnelgrub slinked through the pipes. Freki fled as the bird like Gentry made her loose her eyesight. She used her sense of smell to find her way, hearing the crack of the Gentry's whip behind her. Else pulled her gun on the approaching changeling Loyalist. She fired a number of shots, but merely glanced them, and soon the lithe Wizended was upon Else, and struck with a large thorn from the Hedge. She whirled about Else and rammed the spike through her back, puncturing her kidney and erupted out the other side. Else collapsed, playing dead.

          Sonata, seeing his opportunity, set the area ablaze, and watched as the inhuman figure was caught in the inferno. Sonata made his escape. Stitches saw the flames from a distance but as he got closer could see Else fighting and that she was now on the ground dead. He turned to flee, and all of the motely felt the power of the Motely Pledge wane. The whip lashed out from the Gentry and hit Stitches who tripped and fell. Else, seeing her chance launched herself at the Fae, using the iron dagger they had been each given, and she watched it shriek in horror and flee to the nearest door to the Hedge. The Loyalist, now alone, also fled, leaving Stitches to treat Else's wound. They had all survived, but only just.



         Clio had returned to Malvolio, and he pleased that she had got the book. He opened it and found a name, and also showed her a face, that were to the man who was meant to be Clio's true love. He then asked if he may have the book. However, Clio did not  trust him,  and so  Malvolio asked to see the book again so he may confirm his suspicions. He looked through it's pages and this time revealed a different name and face. Malvolio then left Clio with a smug grin.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Changeling: the Lost - A retrospective #changelingthelost #whitewolf

So it had now been 6 months or so since I started my chronicle for Changeling: the Lost, the 5 game in the New World of Darkness line by White Wolf. I gave my initial impressions here, but I think I can add to that now having run the game for so long.

Changeling has struck me that it can be just as dark a game, if not scarier than, Vampire: the Requiem. It has been some time coming, but I have now really hit my stride with the game, now with just an episode to go of it (about 2 -3 sessions) and the players have come to fear the Fae, distrust other Changelings, make pledges, and be involved in the beautiful madness of the Changeling Freehold.

But now, with hindsight, what things work and what don't?

Well for starters Changeling in crammed packed with stuff in the core that you will unlikely use to their fullest unless you have an episode focus on it. For example I have found that Oneiromancy and Hedge travel are rare events, and only come up if the players are interested in going down that route. So, despite there are involved rules for these things, do not be put off by it since I can guarantee that you will more than likely not deal with these that often if you set a story predominantly in the real world.

The Fae themselves are a great antagonist. There is the ever constant fear of them being at your back, and just behind the mirror, and so Changeling has and almost constant tension of paranoia. Something that is heightened by the fact there is the paranoia induced by other Changelings, something that I have used to my advantage when running games. I would definitely suggest using the Fae sparingly, and their minions more. Especially those mortals being used by the Fae and fuelled by nightmares.

Contracts themselves are fairly fun, however, I am often left finding that their progression in function is sometimes a little strange or random. But then that just adds to the flexibility of the Lost.

The politics of Freeholds is of course easy tom implement and ripe for plot and intrigue, but the pledge system is definitely something to eyeball well. I have found that leaving less rules inclined players to work out pledges is too time consuming, and it is often better to ask what they wish to achieve and work it out for them and just deal with the wording. This is had a monumental speed up in the use of pledges. Of course the best pledge is the Motley pledge as it binds the characters together and gets the players working together.

If anything the only thing Changeling is guilty of is having too many options, and this makes it a bit of a problem for players to remember what they can do with a character.