Home > Between the Lines, Game Development, Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace > Between the Lines: “The Messenger,” “Crack,” and “Shatter”

Between the Lines: “The Messenger,” “Crack,” and “Shatter”

These three events were all fragments that came together as the introduction of a significant evolutionary shift in the history of OtherSpace. Oddly enough, so far they have proved to be among the most intimate of the adventures that I’ve run in a long time – and this has been for better and worse.

“The Messenger,” a weekend event in which a mysterious Mystic named Verdian Xos wandered Comorro Station asking people what they wanted, was my homage to one of my favorite episodes of “Babylon 5.” In that episode, a creepy character named Morden sought out Londo Mollari (among others) to offer power, influence, and wild dreams in exchange for some favor to be named later. I’ve always been of the opinion that in any kind of fiction, the best stories get to the heart of what the central characters want – what drives them, what motivates their actions, and what fuels their regrets. It was great just poking characters here and there to make the players explore those aspects.

“Crack” saw the arrival of the freighter Ainda – last seen with Zar Hideg Fekretu aboard, fleeing from this dimension with a Koltkamir battle cruiser in hot pursuit – aboard Comorro Station in a flash of blue light. This event was a fairly basic “mystery box” plot that was open to anyone hanging out in the docking hub. Unfortunately, it took far too long for people to get the flow going. In the end, it took five hours to go from “look, ship showed up!” to “look, we’re aboard the ship and here’s the reveal about why and how it got here!” That’s just insane. Part of it was slow posing, due either to RL distractions, multi-windowing, or simple lack of interest. Another part: Not enough peril or profit to make it engaging.

Things improved the next day with “Shatter.” In this event, I amped up the risk – the ship started powering up on its own and prepared to leave without anyone aboard. So, interested parties scrambled onto the Ainda to see where it might go. They were rewarded with a couple of interesting twists. First, they experienced a “reality compromise” as the artifact drive powered up – so, playing off some conflicts I’d witnessed between the players, they saw their doppelgangers killing each other and then riffed nicely off that with their characters in the prime reality. Second, they showed up near Demaria in a version of the year 2650 where Stumppaw Sandwalker lived and now served as Imperator. They learned that the Demarians acquired the interdimensional tech from Medlidikke leader Vard Bokren, who wasn’t too forthcoming about WHY he was so generous besides just wanting help in chasing down the ex-Zar. Fekretu, it seems, is on the run in that version of OtherSpace.

The “Shatter” event was much more “on rails” than the previous two. I think “The Messenger” was the best character evolution event of the three, while the second was a great opportunity for the players (had they chosen to do so) to really poke and prod at the tech, and the third was just an amusement park ride meant to deliver the new revelation and a fun afternoon.

Thanks are owed to those who participated!

  1. Razorback
    June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Well, interestingly, I actually made at least part of these events.

    As to the second, I’ll admit, I had RL concerns that kept me busy, and I actually had to go !RP for a while. When I came back, I half-expected everything to be over. Imagine my surprise when everyone was still outside. Personally, I think that the ship’s sudden appearance made the characters a bit nervous. Plus we had some IC conflict over whether or not it was morally acceptable to board the ship without permission.
    I think part of the problem, though, is that there is the perception that ‘bad things happen to the curious’. This is something we see quite a lot in horror films, and is not _altogether_ uncommon on the MUSH. Personally, I enjoy the element of risk, and had enough action cards where I wasn’t worried about imminent death or dismemberment. Plus, I brought along some cannon fodder.
    On the whole, the events themselves were a lot of fun. We did have some conflict after the fact, though, concerning the resolution of Dirionis’ apparent theft of the ship. The point being that Razorback called someone to come back onboard the ship to copy the schematic files, then left the same four guards outside the Ainda before leaving. Dirionis’ actions seem to have a specific point, that being to make people chase him for the Ainda, but some of the players there didnt’ really bother because they were under the impression that Razorback had already acquired the schematics, making the ship nice to have, but not necessary.
    After some discussion, it was agreed that Razorback’s crony did get on the ship and acquire the data before Dirionis left, but that Razor left the guarding of the ship to those onboard after that point, taking the guards with him. This is your plot, though Brody, so please lemme know if you need us to change some things.
    Our reasoning stemmed from the fact that we wanted to be able to discuss the events ICly without having to freeze everything surrounding the subject. Even as it was, there were concerns of us attempting to lock other players out of the plot, but I am trying to address that problem as well.

    • June 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      I’m good with how you guys resolved it.

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