Sample of Play

We’re going to be using the OP forums to play, so each major scene will have its own topic, with all the action and roleplaying in that scene happening inside that topic as successive replies.

A typical set of scenes will center around a single day. It will begin with a post from the GM, in the role of The Master, assigning tasks to each minion. (Note that in the example below i refer to them generically as minion and Master. In our game they will have proper names and should feel free to use them as appropriate.) After that it will break out into a separate topic for each minion’s task. When the task is resolved the minion may make an Overture towards one of his current Connections or to establish a new Connection.

A few general guidelines:
Tone: The story is supposed to be melodramatic and a little bit over the top. Think gothic romantic horror. No one expects a masterpiece out of every post, but effort will be rewarded with a drama bonus! Note that the players have almost as much control over the elements of the story as the GM does – that’s part of the design of the game. Feel free to pull the strings of The Master or the npcs for dramatic effect, but try to keep their words and actions consistent with their character.

Length: Posts should be long enough to set the scene and convey the intent, but we don’t want to read a novel. See below – minion’s first post in the “minion’s task” thread is getting close to the upper limit.

Rolls: Most conflicts are concluded by a single roll. When you’re done with all the exposition you intend to use, it should be obvious what sort of action you are attempting, but spell it out at the bottom of the post anyway. Also include the numbers as they apply to your character in parentheses to make things easier on the GM. Consult the Rolls page and plug in your values. If you’re uncertain, just say say so and the GM will be happy to figure it out and explain it, especially during the early stages of the campaign.

Pace: Take as long as you need to make your posts and responses. If we clear one “day” of action each week (real time) then i would consider that a pretty good pace. Remember that each player will have their own thread going for each “day” so even if each player only posts two times per week, there will still be quite a bit going on in the story. If things start to drag on then i will do something to hurry it up.

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By: GM
Topic: Day X Begins
As minion is cleaning up the shattered glass and twisted, burnt wires that were left over from last night’s experiment, a shadow falls across him. He flinches and ducks reflexively before hearing The Master’s gentle, purring voice. “I had such high hopes for this one.”

Minion relaxes a little, seeing that no beating will be forthcoming. “I know you worked hard to find a suitable subject,” Master pokes the blackened corpse still strapped to the table, “but he was clearly not up to snuff.” Master’s voice is getting louder now and each of her last few words is accompanied by another jab at the burnt flesh.

“That boy was underfed. I think we need a heartier test subject for next time. Sturdily built, and female, i think. Nordic features would do well – those people are more suited to cold temperatures. Am i understood?”

Minion racks his brain, sifting through the faces of the pitiful townspeople in his head until he comes to the inescapable conclusion. She can only be referring to the innkeeper’s daughter, Ingrid.
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By: minion player
Topic: Day X Begins
Minion stands and shouts before he knows what he is doing, “Master, NO! Not her, she is too young! She is too frail, she is not hearty! Please Master!” Minion sees the flash in Master’s eyes and the tensing of Master’s muscles and realizes his mistake. He will be punished for this insolence. Shrinking back into the corner, with a more timid tone but no less hope for a reprieve, he whispers, “She was kind to me.”

Resist (2-1)
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By: GM
Topic: Day X Begins
+1d8 Sincerity
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By: GM
Topic: Day X Begins
Master quivers with rage as she strides quickly forward. Master’s hand goes up and minion shuts his eyes and ducks his head, but what comes next surprises him. Master’s voice is soft and though her hand still shakes slightly, it is gentle as it strokes minion’s hair like a dog. “Do this for me minion. You know how important my work is. Sacrifices must be made and when the procedure is done, i will let you care for her as she recovers.”

Dominate (4+2+1d4 Intimacy)

Resolution: Master 7d4 = 14 vs. minion 1d4+1d8 = 10
minion fails to resist
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By: minion player
Topic: Day X Begins
Minion unfurls from his protective crouch and looks up at The Master’s lovely face. It’s true. The Master’s work is important, and she is brilliant. Maybe this time it will work. Maybe Ingrid will realize how much he cares for her as he nurses her back to health.

Minion scurries out the door without seeing The Master’s disgust as she scrubs the hand that stroked minion’s head, making it clean again.
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At this point, either the GM or the Minion (whoever is inspired first) will start a new topic in order to resolve the task at hand. If you want to start a topic but you need some time to write out your response, just reserve your spot with a post that says “Incoming” and add more later.

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By: minion player
Topic: Day X minion’s task
Few townspeople are awake at this early hour, so minion has little trouble going unnoticed as he makes his was to the inn. With every step he begins to see a little clearer, and by the time he stands just inside the back gate, watching Ingrid hum a tune to herself and fill a bucket from the well, he knows that his dream of nursing her back to health is nothing more than delusion.

Minion is confident that he could overpower her; snatch her away unseen before she could cry out, but he is loath to sully her perfect alabaster skin with his own rough, warty fingers. He does not want her to fear him; he does not want to take her at all so he decides on a different approach.

“Mistress,” he whispers as he pulls his hooded cloak up, concealing his face. The sound of the water drowns him out, so he steps closer and repeats himself while tugging feebly at her sleeve. “Mistress?”

She wheels and gasps, dropping the bucket in a panic. The water pours down over his feet and he too shrinks back reflexively. For a moment, they are mirrored images of darkness and light, both leaning back, one hand raised to their breast. Minion in a dark cloak, and Ingrid in a pale blue dress with a white apron.

Ingrid relaxes first. She steps forward and rights the bucket. “I’m so sorry sir. I wasn’t paying attention and you startled me!” She pulls a handkerchief from under her apron and kneels down before him. “Oh, I’ve muddied your boots sir! I do apologize!”

As she leans in to wipe the spots of mud, he dances back, ashamed that she should stoop to serve a wretch like him. His voice sounds nervous, almost panicked. “No mistress, please, don’t trouble yourself! These boots have seen worse and will again.”

Ingrid stands again and appraises him once again. The cloak obscures his features, but his short, squat stature is plain enough. “You’re from up at the manor, yes? I’ve seen you before. Was it you that left me these ribbons?” She swings her long blonde braid in front of her, showing him the pink silk ribbons plaited into it and forming a bow at the bottom.

“Yes m-m-mistress,” he stammers, unable to look at anything but the bucket. He rushes onward, before he loses his nerve. “I…uh…i have a bolt of cloth to match those? Would you like it? It’s up at the manor house. We…uh…we could fetch it.” He silently hopes that his unfeigned awkwardness and transparent ploy will fail, but he must put on a show of it. The Master will know. He may be punished for failure, but the punishment for disobedience is unimaginable.

He risks a glance at Ingrid’s face. A war of emotions is clearly taking place. She wants the cloth. Minion knows a dance is coming and she could make a dress that even the Mayor’s daughter would envy. Like all townspeople she mistrusts The Master and is scared of the Manor, but he curses himself when he sees that she does trust him. Despite his bald-faced lie. Despite his stunted shape. Perhaps it is pity or kindness, but he both exults and burns with shame knowing that she feels something for him.

Villainy (4+2 but roll only 1d4 please)
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By: GM
Topic: Day X minion’s task

+1d6 drama – declined!

Resolution: Minion 1d4 = 3 vs. Ingrid 2d4 = 4
minion fails

Ingrid takes a hesitant step forward but then shakes her head as if coming to her senses. “Thank you sir for your kind offer, but i haven’t the time now. I must do my chores or mama will be furious. Perhaps another time.” With that, she gives a smile and a small curtsy before scurrying back into the inn.

Minion breathes a sigh of relief, but tinged with sorrow. He looks up at the dark silhouette of the manor house in the distance. He shivers and would swear he can feel The Master’s gaze upon him.

(You can continue with an overture.)
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By: minion player
Topic: Day X minion’s task

Minion walks quickly back to the manor house. He tries to remain unseen, but he feels The Master’s presence all around him as he wraps the package in brown paper and scurries back down to the town. The next time Ingrid comes to fill the bucket her heart leaps when she sees the bolt of cloth sitting on the edge of the well. A delicate blue satin, just the shade to match her eyes and softer than anything she’s felt before. She peers around curiously, looking to thank her benefactor, but does not see him in the shadows, peeking through the fence.

Minion cannot go to the ball. Could not dance with her even if he were there. He knows she will not wear the dress for him, but he is happy for her to have it none the less.

Overture (2-2 min 1d4)
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By: GM
Topic: Day X minion’s task

Resolution: minion 1d4 = 2 vs. 2d4 = 4
minion gains 1 Love for Ingrid and 1 Self-Loathing

Minion’s joy is tempered by the shame of what he tried to do. He knows Ingrid could never love a monster like him.
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This example assumes that the other minions are busy with their own tasks. If someone else had wanted to aid or interfere, they would simply post in the appropriate thread, before the GM provides the resolution. They can post in the “Day X Begins” topic simply stating their intent with “Assist minion” or “Interfere with minion” in order to reserve a spot in the “minion’s task” topic, or they can simply post in the task topic.

Assuming someone else wanted to assist minion (that is, they want to help capture the girl) they could post something like this just after minion’s initial post:
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By: minion2 player
Topic: Day X minion’s task

Before she can reply, minion2 rounds the corner and asks, “Well does she want it or not? I won’t have that satin cluttering up my workroom any longer. One way or another it’s out this morning. Perhaps the mayor’s daughter would like it and the lace trim both?”

Ingrid’s cheeks flush with jealousy at mention of that spoiled little brat. Why should she have this too when she already gets everything she wants?

Assist (2-1)
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In this case, the GM must roll the additional 1d4 from the assistance in addition to the 1d4 minimum that minion requested.

Sample of Play

My Life with Master Mutak Mutak