Thursday, March 03, 2005

The wild west comes back in force

"...but for Rowan and Elaine's goodbye party, I can make an exception."

This was to be my first endevour into the world of free form games, and is certain not to be the last. Chris, Rowan's best friend, took on the part of bartender, the person who coordinates the whole event. Chris assigned all the roles at the beginning of the week, gave us costume suggestions, and the game was held on Friday.
There were to be fourteen characters altogether.

I was assigned the part of Dan Fairweather, Deputee Sheriff.

Before the game begins, everyone gets a package with info about their character to familiarise themselves with who they are. Then the bartender makes an announcement that good old Zeke Calhoun has been found dead in the stable. Then everyone gets their second package, containing their special ability cards, their weapons and props if they have them, their goals, and their secrets. People find their way into a corner to read and hide these, and then with another announcement, the game begins.

Zeke calhoun was a landowner who had a massive pastureland and who also had a knack for finding precious material deposits. He had found a massive silver deposit on a yet unclaimed piece of land, and had made a map. He had been in a fight with Doc Faraday who won his land from him in a card game by cheating. Also, it was his land that the railway companies want to build through. As he is now dead, shouldn't his daughter Lucy inherit it?

He was found with his wrists chafed as though by ropes, ropes cut and lying near his body, and a bruise on his left temple, but which does not look bad enough to have killed him.

So then everyone has goals they have to accomplish, which generally requires sorting out what all the other characters are on about.

So here is the story as it occurred for me.

I am Deputee Dan Fairweather. i want to be just like the sheriff someday, and I look up to him to the point of imitating everything he does. Also, my secret is that I am desperately in love with the tomboyish Lucy, daughter of the late Zeke Calhoun. Zeke knew this and entrusted me with half of the map to the silver. My goals include comforting Lucy, getting her to wear a dress, keeping an eye on Slick O'hare, and helping the Sheriff. I have a handgun and six shots, I have the ability to fistfight, an the ability to brush off two gunshots as "just a flesh wound". I also have the map-half. I have heard the rumour that Blaise, the older prostitute has some of doc's cards which could prove he was cheating. Kate, the younger prostitute is friends with Lucy and knows I like Lucy. Also, I say Runs Like Deer fleeing the stables, knife in hand and very shaken this afternoon.

It's very difficult to know who you can trust. People say all kinds of wierd random things to you and you don't know who you can believe.

Some of the others were Slick O'Hare the shady farmhand, Mel Easton and Clem (someone) the competing railroad reps, the judge, the shady preacher with scars and intimidating tattoos, the young prostitute, the old prostitute, Abe the Sheriff, Doc Faraday the gambler, Lucy daugher of the deceased Zeke Calhoun, and two indians: Runs Like Deer and Three Feathers. At the beginning of the game I fully trusted the sheriff, but then Doc told me that the sheriff, the judge and the preacher were all on the take. After he said that I overheard the judge talking to Blaise about 2000 dollars would be enough in a very quiet voice. Later I heard the judge ask lucy for 2000 dollars, and he would rule in her favour. So I began to distrust the sheriff. then Kate told me the sheriff had the cards and I should get them from him to give them to lucy. I tried. And failed. But in the course of it I found out that the sheriffs secret was that he had no secrets. So I could trust him after all. That didn't stop me from nearly shooting him later at the insistance of Three Feathers, who said that he was standing in the way of Lucy getting the land (my nerves were high at that point. i had arrested slick, who I had overheard saying he wanted to kill lucy, and his jail time was up and he was out again, and my ability to arrest without evidence could not be used on the same person twice.) But the kind Barman stopped me. "woah woah woah! before we do anything rash..."

Later, when no progress was being made on the maps, the barman took lucy and I aside, asked us if we knew the other had a map (she knew I had it, I had told her in exchange for getting her to put on a dress). We went into a back corner to compare the maps. When I opened the door to come out, Doc Faraday was standing there and shot me. Once. I said "It's just a flesh wound" and shot him back. So in the end I did get to kill someone.

Speaking of dying, Clem the rail rep was assaulted early on by both the preacher (who shot him) and then the sheriff healed him with a first aid kit, and Three feathers, who stabbed him with a knife. The sheriff was still there and healed him again. And arrested Three Feathers, but not the preacher.

Eventually I explained the maps to the sheriff as well, but thinking we had one real one and one fake one I gave the one we thought was real to the sheriff for safe keeping (another one of my goals was to find someone trustworthy to pass the map on to in case i was killed). When everyone else left I gave him Lucy's as well (which she gave to me) in case someone used a pickpocket ability on the sheriff, so he could give the fake instead.

Then someone told me that the preacher had a relationship with lucy, which made me suspicious. The preacher started talking to me about my connection with lucy, which made me even more suspicous (because my secret was that I was desperately in love with lucy). I threatened to shoot him. (can you say trigger happy?) He said if I really loved lucy I would be sorry if I did. This made me depressed because I then figured he was like some long lost husband or something back from prison.

Just before the game ended the preacher and Slick O'hare had a shootout which slick lost.

It turned out that the judge was being blackmailed, the preacher was lucy's uncle, zeke had died of a heart attack, and I had given the sheriff both halves of the real map. The amount of miscommunications and lies and confusion made the game so so SO interesting and so fun. I maintained a fake whiney southern accent the whole time. At first lucy couldn't talk to me over her own laughter.

It was good fun, and I would do it again in a second.

Incidentally, I also completed ALL of my goals and lived to tell the tale.


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