I might have mentioned a few times that I’m involved in a Dresden Files RPG game, and that I got to steal one casefile from our GM. And finally, finally, I got to play it!
TL;DR*: no-one’s died yet (despite their best efforts) and they didn’t screw up too badly. They’ve gone chasing after the baddies and we stopped just before one of the main bosses turns up, so next session is going to be a lot of fighting…
If you want (probably long) details, then read on!
*Too Long; Didn’t Read.
So, I can actually give you some details of the casefile now, as my players have had it.
The entire aim of the casefile was to put one PC into conflict with the Winter Knight, giving the PC a chance to kill him and gain the Knight’s powers – and in an unexpected bonus, a second PC is also interested in the Knight’s position. My secondary aim, and the entire reason I stole the session, was that I ideally needed my character to be out of the picture or somehow unavailable to save complicating things – trying to play and GM at the same time is really not fun.
So, the entire basis of the case was that my character gets kidnapped. There’s some practical motivation for it, rather than a simple damsel in distress; she’s got some alliances that mean the Winter Knight would have a big motive to kidnap her. Putting her in danger was also something that would affect my other PCs in various ways – one’s a policeman, so there’s an immediate motive for getting him involved, and the others all have various links that could be pulled on. My main PC has had previous dealings with my character and is also self-centred enough to think that the Winter Knight’s out to get him personally, so I hoped that having a small revenge trip in addition to some human concern might kick him into action.
However, you might have gathered that I was a bit worried about playing this casefile. The reason for this was that the starting point was the Winter Knight making threats about the kidnapping, so the kidnapping hadn’t actually happened yet; my main PC started the game standing in the middle of Swindon with absolute free will on what he was going to do.
For a GM, that’s both an absolute nightmare and the best game ever.
I’m lucky in that my PC did something sensible (he’d previously threatened to go Denarian, which would have been…interesting. And destructive.) He phoned everyone else. Awesome, game on!
My own philosophy for the game was that the baddies had their own timings and own agenda; they would make a certain number of moves – if the PCs interrupted those, that was fine, but my baddies had a PLN. And actually, it came off pretty smoothly. My PCs screwed up once (the benefits of Faerie Glamours is that you can change your face at a moment’s notice, and the person who looks like your rescued kidnap victim just might not be the real victim) and overall, they countered everything pretty well…but countering doesn’t stop the events.
I’d set the game up so that I had a number of scenes in the places I thought they’d go, and depending on how long it took, various events would happen. It wasn’t exactly real-time but it was close enough, and actually my guesses on timings worked. It did take them about an hour to run around and get organised; it did take them about two hours to follow the kidnappers. They missed most of my red herrings, got caught in a few traps, but also managed a few sneaky moves that I didn’t expect – so overall, a damn good game!
Currently, my PCs are just setting themselves up for a fight with the Winter Knight. What they don’t know (in-game) is that there’s going to be a few more people getting involved, and a few more surprises; I’ve also got two backstabbing bastards, a major revenge trip, a dose of insanity, two hidden motives and a few secrets to use. It might be coming into the last third of the game but it ain’t over yet, sunshine!