Game Day: Gothic Earth Season 2, Session Zero

After an absence of 6 years, we returned to Gothic Earth, where we had left off; the players naked, the city of London reduced to a wasteland of the terrified and sand as the artifact that they had been seeking, and finally completed was dropped, and was activated. Creatures immediately begin assaulting them, they are able to disarm a demonic beast and kill him with his own katana, the door bursts open, and instead of mumified zombies, it is police officers, they look down and it isn't a demon, but a man . . . but they are still naked, and they are raving like lunatics.  Their greatest enemy, Fu Manchu had somehow won? What was real? What was imagined? All of their memories seem like dreams from long ago.

This was how we started session 0. Because of bad luck and exhaustion, I didn't do any prep, but since we haven't played these characters for so long, and we were all on the same boat, I figure that we could spend the game trying to remember what had happened. I found that my wife had kept a lot of my notes, and I had been able to piece enough together to remember major NPCs, and events. I already knew the part above would happen; prepping for Gothic Earth is harder than Forgotten Realms, as this is a game for History geeks, and plausible lies. Instead of researching English Law in the 1890's, we had a preposterous trial that was clearly just a ruse to reintroduce major NPCs, and give the PCs a chance to talk to them and remember what they had accomplished.

In reality, it was stupid. This stuff would never had happened, but I needed a transition. There is a module that I really want to run, it is part of the Ravenloft Boxset called The Bleak House, which takes place in a mental asylum, it was just getting the PCs there, and figuring out their role in events.

We only Played for about 3 hours, and most of it was dialog. I had racked my brains on how to accomplish a trial so that it would be interactive, and this is what I came up with. Next session, it can be dismissed as the last traces of whatever Fu Manchu had done to them, but reality is now being easier to grasp.

What really happened, according to the NPC's, there was a mysterious happening, a German agent who had disappeared 6 years ago while investigating a criminal organization called "The Si-Fan" suddenly reappears out of a tiny Opium Den, claiming to had been held prisoner in a cell that doesn't exist. 

Something happened down there, but, as is always the case with Fu Manchu, authorities are able to prove nothing. Yet again, good witnesses (the PC's) have been discredited as insane. This has further repercussions, as it was the PC's who were able to acquire the evidence to convict a madman, who must now be set free again.

Their past has also returned to haunt them, the disaster at Lisbon, Spain; where they had accidentally destroyed a quarter of the city, destroying property and killing men women and children, has led to Spain seeking justice, but since they aim to execute the party, England refuses to extradite them.

It was also released that the two PCs who had started this game, Charlotte, a whore in London's White Chapel  district, and Sam, an American gun-for-hire are actually descendants of the Weathermay family, and are protected as Lords by a treaty signed in 1612 which states that because of great services rendered, no Weathermay's will ever be imprisoned. The courts, bound by this ancient treaty, instead sentence Weathermay's found guilty of crimes to Mental Asylums, for treatment. The rest of the party was included in this Treaty as they are to be considered Knights and Servants of the Weathermay Estate.

According to the Law, the PC's are convicted of murder, however an ally, Detective Ramses, has proven that the player's had acted in self-defense, but, to kill two birds with one stone, the practices of a German Psychiatrist are in question, and this act may also appease the Spanish Courts, they have been committed to the "Berlin Memorial Hospital for the Mentally Insane", in Berlin, Germany, and placed into the care of Doctor Dominioni. They have been informed that this is a very dangerous mission, and someone will be in place for them to report all of their findings to, but other than that, they are on their own.

For technical notes, I wanted to use our confusion and memories (or lack-thereof) as a part of the game, I also wanted to head in a completely different direction than last time. In last season, the party was in a race with both the Si-Fan and the 6-Fingered Hand, to find a mystic and powerful artifact called the Spirit Blade of Nag Shuba, which had them globe-trotting to ancient sites to uncover pieces of this artifact that possessed terrible powers.

This season will be more personal. We will be delving deep inside of the minds of these characters, exploring themes of madness and pain. We love these characters, but it is time to hurt them in ways that they won't easily bounce back from. In a word, this will be a role-playing focused game, which will really test the player's abilities to embrace that aspect, and challenge them in a way that few players ever are. I wanted to do this a long time ago, but then we were joined by players new to the game, but I think that they now have the technical aspects of the system down and have enough experience to handle this style. This style really isn't for everybody! But for our table, it should be fun as hell!


1 comments:

David Baymiller said...

Glad you got going again. I've had years long breaks and had to do recap sessions before. Never easy but you pulled it off well. Kudos on the Si Fan as well. Love the Fu Manchu.

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