27 March 2007

Congo Square, New Orleans (More Playtesting)

I'm not going to go into too many details about this one. We played for about an hour, and had to leave--with people wanting more! Yay! It was with 2 people I've played rpg's with, one person I've played a game with (Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, which is sort of a rpg), and one person I've never played rpg's with: my handsome and princely husband. That was in interesting experience right there.

The setting was New Orleans 1840-1850. I borrowed characters from our Prime Time Adventures game from last year, which meant I didn't play for absolute historical accuracy. No one's master or slave driver came into play. Because it was a city, everyone had a different one. They all congregated at Congo Square. They made lots of bargains with each other, which would have been awesome to see used in a major conflict. Awesome interactions. I loved the pace of this one. The GM (me) had less involvement since there weren't any subjugators in play. I did get to play a free person of color who was sweet on a slave (played by my husband, by sheer coincidence).

I noticed that I had to referee more though. Maybe it's just a part of explaining the mechanics, but there was one bargain where the risk to one of the PC's was huge compared to the risk to the other player, and it wasn't very plausible either. I can do anachronism, abandoning historical accuracy, but I need plausibility. I had to get them to really think about it.

I also noticed that it's helpful to do worth assessments at the end of a session. I already knew that, but I see how I might have mis-assessed some people in the other playtest. On the other hand, I like that, too. The GM assessing worth is like the auctioneer deciding where to open bidding. The assessment will be based on the going rate plus the auctioneer's own prejudices.

Another interesting thing that came up (and I was waiting for it to come up), was a clear clash between modern ideals of sex, paternity, and male dominance, versus the Antebellum ideals of sex (with slaves), paternity (of the offspring resulting in the likely forced sex with slaves), and male dominance, where white men--more specifically white male property owners were at the top of the food chain. I have mull on that a bit more before I write about it.

Anyway, all my ideas and fears of people creating stereotypes are fast fading. I'm seeing that players are creating real people who happen to be slaves. On Sunday, I saw people create characters who, if they died suddenly, I think the player would be jarred, maybe hurt because he/she cared for the person. That made me happy, not in a sadistic way, but in an intent becomes reality way.

In non gaming news....
I have a job interview today for job I would totally take if offered, and I'm totally qualified for it. And it pays better than what I make now. And I could almost say I'm using my degree for it. Sort of. Roll some Lucky Sevens for me (which you'd get if you read the draft rules of my game).

I added ginger to one of my kombucha batches last week. It is soooo freakin' good. So good that my handsome and princely husband couldn't wait to drink it. It's all he talked about. He wants to bottle it and sell it, or give it away. I'm trying to get him to give kombucha babies to his co-workers. And yes, I have many kombucha babies for anyone interested. Kombucha will change your life. Really.


Seth said...

I might take you up on that kombucha offer. My wife makes kefir and had experimented with kombucha before, so I'll have to talk to her first. I recall mixed feelings about it at the time, but I think that it could grow on me. Especially if you add ginger. I'll need details on that, if we take some of your scobys.

Seth said...

It has been decided! We would be interested in kombucha babies! Oh, and recipes, too, please. Drop me a line at greatwolf at gmail dot com so that we can work out details (like paying you shipping and handling).

Parthenia said...

Wonderful! How many do you need? I'll email you this evening!