24 Nov 2007

Spirit of the Century - Session 6, Part 2

In which the Tide Turns

The remaining heroes are taken to the Tidal Machine, leaving Oriole's dead body alone in the office to slowly shroud itself in blood. Doc begins work on the machine, but in an act of bitter defiance he surreptitiously recalibrates the machine to only transport the inhabitants of the hanger into the future.

Just then, an explosion rocks the hanger as the slave race escalate their rebellion, breaking through a wall into the hanger. Sylvie takes her change to slip away from the guards in order to liberate any artefacts of weird science and technology from the Nautiloids lair. Whilst she peruses the hanger, Sylvie espies Nautiloid soldiers driving back the slave race incursion by use of a pain enslaving device. And, overhearing their boastful claims that the device will doom any rebellion, she locates the core of the device, and removes the biological empathic material that is the source of its amplified, projected pain.

The machine now back in operation and the tide rising, the machine roars into action, but at the last minute Doc realises that in order for it to work, and project the heroes and their captors back to his own time, someone must stay behind and hold in place the calibration lever. Clay bravely takes the task on, and everyone else disappears leaving Clay stranded in the distant past.

Doc and Sylvie appear in an ancient and empty version of the hanger in their own time, surrounded by the Martian and his Nautiloid guards. The Nautiloids, now devoid of water fall choking to the ground, and the Martian makes a dash for it. Evading Doc and Sylvie's attempts to confine him, partly due to Sylvie's shock at the sudden loss of Clay.

Is Oriole really dead? Will Clay be trapped forever in the distant turbulent past? Has the Martian commander escaped Oriole's predicted fate? Find out next week in the concluding episode of the Tides of Time.


Matthew said...


but, in reference to an earlier post:

I don't get this at all:
Player: “I did it!”.
GM: “Yes but what did you do?”
Player: “huh! Oh your evil.”
GM sits back with a satisfied grin.

Web_Weaver said...

It's an illustration of how a GM can always shift the goal posts and withhold resolution from the players in favour of the intended story: story protection perhaps.

If the game is a straight forward simulationist experience where the GM is trying to pace out the significant elements of the story in order to satisfy the players as audience, then these kinds of tricks can be played and often are. So much so that it is regarded as the GMs job by many.

But such a tactic would be poison to a narrativist game because the players will sense that the story is being withheld from them.

One method I have used with you guys in the past (but cant remember the details), is to make it above board and openly ask if you want to have that story thread resolved or delayed.

(I think that method of delaying story is an example of what Ron Edwards describes as Bobbing but I have yet to see a satisfactory definition of that term.)