South Bay Story Games Day: February 2011

         This was a semi-formal gathering of SF Bay Area gamers organized via the Story Games forum (mostly on this thread), and held at Game Kastle in San Jose.


The morning slot had two games of Fiasco and one of Microscope. One Fiasco played using the Manna Hotel playset, while I played in one using the Flyover playset. The four players were Owen, Stephanie, Harsimran, and myself. We allocated out the starting elements as follows:

From this we worked out our characters. Harsimran decided first that his character was a 19-year-old named Lacey who was a good cook and chemist - including food, meth, and poison. I was her high school sweetheart who had gone off to become a cop and returned to get a job as deputy, possibly to protect her from prosecution. Owen decided that he was playing a beer-bellied meth dealer named Jim-Bob, adopting a stereotype. Stephanie went with a guy named Rob who was secretly Jim-Bob's brother, but passed as a farm-hand at Jim-Bob's mother's farm. Rob was an informant selling evidence on Jim-Bob and Lacey to my deputy. I decided to go against stereotype and decided that my deputy was named Mustafa. We also decided that Lacey was daughter of Shab and worked at her father's bar, which fit the location. However, we didn't yet know what the poisoned peaches were for.

The first half was mostly playing out what was implied from our setup. Lacey and Mustafa re-connected now that he was back in town, telling Jim-Bob that she can seduce and manipulate him. Jim-Bob was angry and jealous, and twice got into a fight with Mustafa. Rob found out about the meth lab and began blackmailing Jim-Bob and Lacey at the same time as he was selling information to Mustafa. Jim-Bob and Lacey plan to poison Rob at dinner with the peaches, but Jim-Bob's mother Edna invites Mustafa and furthermore mixes up the poisoned dessert. As players, we know that it failed to poison Rob - but leave it open who was actually poisoned. After an early dinner, they shot some skeet and as Jim-Bob began to get in Mustafa's face, he let slip that he knew something about Jim-Bob's illegal activities.

We then went to the Tilt. The two Tilt elements were: "Failure: A tiny mistake leads to ruin" and "Guilt: Somebody develops a conscience". We discussed and it seemed like Lacey was likely to develop guilt. The failure could be the mistake in poisoning or Mustafa letting slip about what he knew.

The remaining scenes went quickly. Jim-Bob's mother died, and revealed as she was dying that Rob and Jim-Bob were brothers. Lacey's father Shab was secretly also father, making Jim-Bob and Lacey half-siblings.

A Penny For My Thoughts

I had signed up to run Blowback, but only one person had signed up, and Colin was unable to run in the afternoon slot. The four people were Joey, Oliver, Owen, and myself - and after some debate we agreed to play A Penny For My Thoughts. (A fifth person decided to sit out, but watched for a time.)

Oliver and Joey had played more than once before, and suggested as a variation to not use a sheet of facts and reassurances. This made for a more zany game as we could introduce strange things. None of the memory triggers were outright supernatural, but they were sometimes suggestive. The triggers we used were: "a blank U.S. passport with no picture or writing", "an iron sculpture in the shape of a monkey", "a distant tune played on a harp", "a whistled tune", "the sound of water dripping", "the scent of tar and salt water at the docks", "the red and blue glow of a police cars lights", "the echoes of footsteps in a Gothic cathedral", "the sound of the ocean", "shivering in the rain", "the taste of copper", "a plane ticket to Seoul, Korea from June 1958".

The game was very wacky, as we dragged in both supernatural elements and each others' stories into the memories that we suggested for the others.


John H Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Thu Feb 23 11:06:24 2012