Posted on : 06-02-2011 | By : Brian | In : Indie Games, Session Reports
Tags: DresdenFilesRPG, FATE, rpg
Each one of them blinked, and was somewhere safe and familiar. PJ was in his apartment; Percy was at work, in City Hall; Debra was in her dorm room at Drexel; Boop-Boop was in Bartram Gardens, her home. They had each recieved a glimpse of a possible future, three days from now.
PJ, determined to get photographic evidence of supernatural goings-on, called City Hall to schedule a time when he could be there, taking pictures. He talked to Percy, pretending to be an architectural reporter doing a story on the buttresses of City Hall. He got the name of an architect (who he would likely not contact), and scheduled a time to come take pictures of the outside of the building.
Meanwhile, Debra was procrastinating, trying not to think about mid-terms. She was cleaning up around her dorm room, and began idly scrying around the city. At the exact same time, Boop-Boop was also scrying around the city, and the two of them wound up scrying at each other. They were both stunned–Debra because she was looking at a fairie, and Boop-Boop because Debra could see her, despite her glamours. Before they could communicate, though, they were both immediately redirected to an image of Independence Mall, where they could both feel something distinctly unclean.
Debra, recognizing Bartram Gardens, quickly drove there to find the faerie. She found a very surprised, very confused fairie (“How can you see me?”), and after a brief introduction, they both agreed to go to Independence Mall to investigate the feeling that they had had earlier.
Meanwhile, PJ was eating his lunch in Independence Mall, which was across from his apartment. He noticed a distinctly heavy police presence (which made him uncomfortable), and decided to find out some information by Listening to a couple of officers. Shutting out his other senses, he focused on his hearing and was able to eavesdrop on the two. They were speaking, in hushed tones, about disappearances happening around the park. He decided to call his police contact, Detective Mark Harrisson, about the disappearances.
Meanwhile, Percy was called into the mayor’s office. The mayor, Kenneth Darmon, told Percy that there were some troubling events afoot, and that he needed a man like Percy, who had numerous contacts both politically and . . . otherwise, to investigate these rumors. First, there were rumors of disappearances around the park. Then, there was talk of escalating gang violence, a turf war between two motorcycle gangs: the Warlocks and the Pagans. Finally, more disappearances, though these ones were around South Street. Darmon told Percy to contact Detective Mark Harrisson for more information on the disappearances in Independence Mall. Percy called Harrisson, who agreed to meet in Independence Mall in half an hour.
In Independence Mall, Debra and Boop-Boop arrived to find PJ there; PJ was overjoyed to see Debra (and couldn’t see Boop-Boop at all). Boop-Boop, however, recognized that PJ had been in her prophetic dream (as did Debra). She appeared, and the three quickly realized that something larger than them was going on. Percy soon arrived on the scene, and came up to say hello to Debra. Then everything clicked: all four of them knew that they would be in a car chase together, three days into the future. The wheels were in motion.
This segment of the game was almost entirely player-driven. There was a lot of in-character banter and dialog between the players, and I mostly just kept my mouth shut. Occasionally I’d chime in with a compel (or to reward a de facto compel, when the role-play was going particularly well), and I’d answer questions when they were asked of me.
Initially, I had wondered how I was going to get this group together. The car chase that I started the session with gave them some impetus to find each other, but they all started in different parts of the city when I asked them where they were when they “woke up” from their prophetic dream.
However, the players made this pretty easy for me, all things considered. Sean (PJ) connected himself to Mike (Percy) with a phone call, which was a good start (and a great roleplaying scene that resulted in the line, “I like big buttresses, and I cannot lie,” from Kathleen (Debra). I awarded a fate point for that.). But where it really started to click was when Kathleen (Debra) and Denise (Boop-Boop) both decided that they were scrying at the same time. We had already established during city creation that mystical “crossed wires” were common in Philadelphia, so a simple compel on a city aspect allowed me to connect them together. I was able to connect that to Independence Mall, which got the ball rolling.
From there, I really only had to figure out how to get everyone else there. Sean (PJ) again made it easy, by simply saying that he lived across from the Mall and ate lunch there every day. In retrospect, I probably should have given him a fate point for that as a thank-you. Percy was the hardest to get to the Mall, but an audience with the mayor solved that, and also gave him some goals to work toward. Once they were all in one place, it became clear that Fate had something in store for them.
One final note. After the prophectic flash-forward sequence, I told all of the players that there was an aspect on the city: Threads of Fate. I told them I could compel this aspect any time I wanted to steer them toward that future. I didn’t have to; not once. The players did so much of my work for me, I feel like I probably should have given out twice as many fate points as I did.