Dreamation 2017: The Watch
Yes, I finally got it together to write up some of what happened…
My words really can’t convey how intense and rewarding this game was.
Originally shared by Christo Meid
Dreamation 2017: The Watch
The Mystical Fox Tabak
You’ve probably ready posts by other players in the Long Con game of the Watch at Dreamation (by Tony Lower-Basch https://plus.google.com/111342308702465447948/posts/QsYaKJM6AFm), and Michael X. Heiligenstein https://plus.google.com/112385927503441977582/posts/aj19gGAzhHn. They talked about the events, the battles the camaraderie. What they didn’t talk too much about was the magic…
I played the Fox, one of the extended playbooks for the Watch that we’ll only see if we make some stretch goals (that’s a big hint people — please back it! I want those amazing playbooks). You might think the Fox is a trickster or a cunning thief. That’s not how Tabak came out. Her playbook says in no uncertain terms that she talks with spirits of the dead among other things. That immediately drew me: creepy magic!
Tabak, my character, was chosen by Laustek of the Degrassi table. As you might have guessed by reading Tony’s write-up, we were a tight group and earned the name Degrassi. We covered for each other, argued with each other, exposed our fears and vulnerabilities to each other (e.g., Open Up to Someone) but we had each other’s backs even when we did horrible things…
When team Degrassi was taking the fort, following the screaming lead of Presti the Fabulous (aka Presti the Reckless), one of the shadow-thralled got up and surprised Tabak, pinning her to the ground and vomiting putrid shadow into her…. Tabak boiled with rage, freed herself (or was she freed by a comrade?) and fought fiercely. Later, when searching the fort, it was Tabak that found the 3 hostage women in a side room. It was also Tabak who was overcome by the rage of the shadow and viciously slew them…
From that battle, three of our women had been tainted by the shadow: Laustec, our leader, Tabak, and Patho (sp?). We had not known of Patho’s corruption until she attacked Laustec and infected her also. Hiding this corruption from our commander (the women above Laustec), we pondered what to do. At this time, a new force of shadow thralls was approaching the fort, preparing to lay siege. Tabak came up with a risky idea that had the chance of solving many problems at once: she should do the Spirit Walk move and, through extreme exertion, take her comrades with her and cleanse everyone of the shadow taint…This raised her Weariness and Jaded, but Tabak needed to atone for what she had done to the hostages, so she was willing to take the risks of losing herself. Tabak instructed all to close their eyes and link hands, and she would lead them through the whispering spirits.
The Spirit Walk went as planned, with a tunnel opening through the spirit world, leading right to the center of the enemy’s forces as planned. Engaged in battle, our friends were briefly separated. Tabak threw herself to attack the commander of the Shadowthralls, only to discover (missed roll) that it was her cousin. She fell in shock and anguish (missed roll resulted in being overcome by weariness, an excellent cinematic mechanic), since her cousin had been her best friend, and more, growing up. Laustec came to the rescue and saved Tabak. In the ensuing battle, one of the women killed Tabak’s cousin, and Tabak obtained the amulet that had been around his neck — a shadow artifact that Preyma had divined could be used to create a talisman of protection against the shadow. On taking down their commander, Team Degrassi achieved a stunning victory, and routed the shadow forces. Not to forget, the Spirit Walk has also cleansed three of the comrades.
On returning to the fort, Peyma and Tabak performed a ritual (Peyma’s move), using the amulet, some of the remains of the shadow vomit (yes, Tabak kept it in her waterskin after the attack: she has more willpower than I do!) and light to create a protective amulet that would make the wearer immune to corruption by the Shadow.
Team Degrasi hid what had happened to us (shadow tainting) and the fact that we had taken a shadow artifact from the commander, since she felt that any that had been touched by the shadow should be killed. This, of course, ratcheted up the tension, but made our characters bond and trust and protect each other all the more. Oh, and blow off steam, talk heart to heart, etc. Degrassi, after all.
An aside here: in all cases where magical moves are mentioned, the mechanical effects are given in the playbooks, but the fictional details are left to the players and MC. It was Tabak that decided that the Spirit Walk was a chill pathway through spirits of our dead, who would whisper and try to lure living souls from the path. When Tabak botched her roll when confronted with the leader of the enemy, it was the MC who asked: how do you know the leader? The first person that came to mind was Tabak’s beloved cousin… This creative, collaborative flexibility led to fantastic, mesmerizing storytelling and cinematic opportunities to show that our character’s were not emotionless automatons of war, but people that had been drawn into this battle, and were trying to hold on to their humanity. It also, of course, gets everyone to buy-in to the story, since we all contributed to it and no two games would play the same.
Well, hopefully this post has given you a glimpse of the intense dramatic nature of The Watch. Please support it: not only will you bring a great game into the world, but you’ll free the Fox and other playbooks, which are currently locked as stretch goals! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/medeiros/the-watch-rpg
Props to our GMs: Anna Kreider and Aaron Friesen.
A big thanks to the players: Tony Lower-Basch, George Austin, Rebecca W, Michael X. Heiligenstein, Joe Beason, Albert D, and Doug Bonar