5 Nov 2007

Thoughts on Session 3

I found session 3 of this game very interesting from a theoretical perspective, hence my inclusion of mechanical details such as compels and tagging in the write-up.

I was very pleased to see the three players present embrace the possibly of shaping the ongoing story. I had sketched out some details of what might happen but wanted the players to decide on a course of action.

Previous sessions had involved player disagreement over the theme of time travel, this was expressed as in-character choice and played out in an ultimately unresolved conflict. The issue felt to me, more of a player level problem, needing some form of resolution at the "lets tell the story this way" level.

The functional working-out of this conflict was the Butterfly Effect aspect placed on future scenes, effectively acting as a "told you so" aspect which allows the Phantom to express his reticence without halting the story. It also allows the player to engage with the time travel theme in a meaningful way that supports further story.

Clay pushing his Nautiloid contact through the portal was a PC act that reflected an embracing of the possibilities of player authorship. The assertion implying that there are only a finite number of Nautiloids and that they do not reproduce freely (akin to the Asgard in Stargate) and creating a weakness that could be exploited later in the story.

During play I also discussed the possibility that the story could result in a wiping out of the Nautiloid race wholesale, and how this could necessitate a rewriting of the characters aspects. This was not only accepted, but Doc's player considered that his Bane of the Nautiloids aspect could be an indication of this eventuality, and we were amused that this aspect could be used a little like the Doctor uses his reputation against the Daleks in Doctor Who.

All-in-all the session involved feeling-out story direction and establishing themes for future sessions, something that I have never experienced before, but have attempted to facilitate in the past with little success. Given that one of my reasons for playing Spirit of the Century was to help explain my predilection for Narrativist game play this was an excellent result.

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