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Kimberly

Fatemaster Friday - "It matters not how strait the gate..."

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Fantastic Friday Breachers!

 

Last week, I asked about your favorite pursuits and this comment by @vagen stuck out to me because it’s from a strictly Fatemaster point of view and I completely agree with the sentiment!

“I've always been the fate Master never the player. As such, I don't have a favorite pursuit. However, I do love how the game has gotten my players to create new types of characters with the pursuit system. I've had the more traditional RPG style characters of the sheriff, the mercenary, the doctor, and the mage. I've also had things like a reporter, a shop keeper, and a miner. That the pursuit system allows for people to do these things is just awesome. I don't think I've ever played in a game where someone could be the shop keeper and still take a meaningful part in the story.”

Now today, I’m super excited to talk about the newest Penny Dreadful released, The Obsidian Gate! I love our Global Events, as it’s a way to truly experience how the ‘Fauxverse is a shared universe between our various game lines. Each Global Event is a way for the community to influence the ongoing story of the world of Malifaux, and The Obsidian Gate is the latest example of that. 

During the Obsidian Gate Event, TTB players got to influence the Earthside part of the world as they dealt with a major oni threat in Kamakura, Japan centering around a mysterious object known as the Obsidian Gate. Once the 11 week event was over, the most played character was chosen to become a new Adjunct for their respective Allegiance or Syndicate in The Other Side. 

Having played in The Obsidian Gate during this time, I will say that the campaign was a wild ride. The aspect I liked the most was that every one of the Pre-Generated Fated were from The Other Side Allegiances or Syndicates. My group had someone playing The Gibbering Hordes Fated Vh'udraa, who I can best describe as being in the opposite situation of The Little Mermaid. She definitely did not want to be where the people are. We had a creepy as hell Court of the Two Fated being played, along with a strong appearance from the King’s Empire agent Dr. John Watson (more on him in a moment) and a sniper from The Guild named Karlheinz. I swapped around characters for a bit, trying to experience as much as the campaign had to offer of these groups from The Other Side. 

It seemed that it wasn’t just my group who enjoyed Dr. Watson. When the final results were tallied, the King’s Empire emerged victorious with Dr. John Watson being played far more than most of the other characters. See, who says Watson has to play second fiddle to Holmes? Not Wyrdos it seems! This means that the good doctor will be released as a King’s Empire Adjunct in an upcoming release. I know I’m planning on picking him up for my army.

Ultimately, The Obsidian Gate is a great adventure for any who want to have an adventure Earthside. It features one of my favorite Fatemaster Characters, James Whitaker. I can’t go into why I like him so much without spoiling, so you should definitely play the campaign so I have someone to share my very strong feelings with. Luckily for all our Breachers, The Obsidian Gate is not available for digital download. It’s a beautiful PDF with a linked Table of Contents, and frankly it’s a great campaign for those new to the system and TTB veterans alike. It is available for purchase here.

Now, by now you all know that The Best Four Days in Gaming™ is coming up, so there will be no Fatemaster Friday next week. But that gives you more time for my mail call question. That’s good, because it’s a doozy! What is your absolute best role-playing experience? What system was it and what made it so great for you?

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For me this is easy. I was running a D&D 4th edition adventure I wrote as part of a museum exhibit. On the other side of a wall where my game was exhibited they were showing Conan the Barbarian, the original with Arnold. At one point I called for initiative. Just as the players finished rolling the dice the scene where Conan and his group broke into the tower began and the music started. Half way through the fight something huge happened and that's when Conan and company were discovered and the fighting started along with the ramped up music. This continued until my players struck down the last monster in the fight. As they rolled damage, killing the monster; the arrow struck the Valkyrie and the scene ended. The music stopped and it was done. It was far to perfect, and there is no way I could have planned it.

Another really great one for me that's a little more down to earth is at the end of a session of Through the Breach. We'd just had a session where the town sheriff, one of my players, helped introduce some marshals to another of my players who was working a front for the Ten Thunders. The marshals were looking into some stage coach robberies and trying to figure out if anyone in the area had lost anything. Most of what had been stolen was general supplies, flour, nails, bolts of cloths.; those sort of things. the only specific thing taken was an ornate grandfather clock. A clock that now sat in the one characters living room. Part of the session revolved around the one character trying to hide the grandfather clock before the marshals arrived. After we finished for the evening the player who ran the sheriff said, "I think this campaign is going to end with a bunch of people in a room pointing guns at one another and I'm pretty sure we'll be the only people in the room." He meant it in the best way possible. I'd never had a moment like that in a campaign before. It was so much fun to have my players that into the idea they may have to kill one another. In the end they had managed to work it out. It helped that someone released a titan in the mines near the town. But that moment where everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the marshals would find the clock was awesome.

 

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My best roleplaying experience was playing Call of Cthulhu with some friends. We lived in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, so naturally I ran an adventure which took place in the city. The introductory session saw the investigators on the last ferry from Oakland to San Francisco for the night. The investigators were: a rich heiress, charming but not overly bright; a paranormal investigator named Fox who was willing to believe anything; and a sailor looking for a new life on shore.

They ran across a derelict junk and decided to investigate. The crew were below-decks, nothing but desiccated husks sitting around an opened pouch of opium, pipes still in their hands. The investigators were debating what to do when the junk was boarded by cultist smugglers.

While the sailor and the heiress tried to talk their way out of the problem, I got a text message from Fox's player which simply read "I stay below-decks and try the opium". Immediately, thick black tendrils erupted from his palms and snaked up to the deck, plunging into the cultists and ripping their hearts out. Fox failed his sanity check and could do nothing but stand there in horror. The sailor also failed his check, and began screaming and climbing the rigging. His player demonstrated this by throwing himself over the couch and clinging desperately to a floor lamp while hollering out what his actions.

The heiress, through it all, passed every sanity check, noticed every clue, and correctly interpreted every cryptic message. Her player (my wife) did a great job of playing her in character, but her dice were on FIRE. We decided she was an idiot savant, staying cool and calm by virtue of not knowing any better. "Yes, there are nasty black tentacles ripping hearts out, but doesn't that just happen sometimes? I'm pretty sure I've heard about that."

We laughed about that first adventure all through the campaign, and it completely flipped the planned character roles on their heads. The sailor never fully recovered his nerve, Fox became an unrepentant drug addict, and the heiress took charge of fighting off an ancient evil because it ripped her new dress.

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My best RPG experiences have always been centered around when my players add to the world with their own actions. Things far beyond the rules. The top option that comes to mind is when one of my players in a homebrew Pathfinder world role-played an Orcish wedding, which I'd never consciously thought of before, but turned out to be a ritualized fight where both parties prove to the other that they can take care of themselves, thereby showing they'll be an asset instead of a liability.

Having just picked up TTB at GenCon, I'm looking forward to starting some trouble Breach-side and seeing what shenanigans my players get up to to deal with it.

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I'm going to cheat and say Every train ride in my TTB games. I started this tradition a while ago, but I keep coming back to it because it's a nice change-up from the normal RPG session. I assign my players another player's character, and they generate an interesting NPC or event for that character. I'll usually take over from that point but sometimes folks want to play as the NPC they created. It's been a constant source of new character development, lore, and in-jokes for the group. One player encountered a demigod that was a sentient swarm of bees and now we include bee-related scares for him every train ride, a woman is haunted by spectres that represent her guilt, the big bruiser discovered she's great with kids and always gathers a crowd, I've had crossovers with other games, and impromptu hoedowns, infinitely spawning birds and the unluckiest man in Malifaux, cartoon villains and dark reflections of PCs. It's always a good time when the party has to go on a trip.

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