Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for KIA

I come to bury the chevalier de Saint-Sauvan, not to praise him.

According to the designers the Mythic Game Master Emulator is intended to facilitate gamemaster-less play. My previous experience with the Emulator was as a tool for refereeing my Flashing Blades campaign, but I was curious to see how the Emulator worked for solo play.

I was pleasantly surprised by the results, enough to go back and repeat the expeience a few more times with my character, Urbain de Foresta, the chevalier de Saint-Sauvan.

Unfortunately the dissolute gambler met his end at the hands of a Marseillais bravo named La Gautier. There was bad blood between Foresta and La Gautier, after Foresta defeated La Gautier by flipping his cape over the bravo's head and running him through, leaving La Gautier for dead in the street not far from a tavern known as Lo Diable - the Devil.

But La Gautier survived Foresta's thrust, and - as subsequently determined by the Emulator - sought out the chevalier to take his revenge. Last Thursday I had a few free hours, and as Foresta made his way to a tavern seeking a game of chance and some feminine companionship, he encountered La Gautier once again.

This time no trick could save him and La Gautier, the better swordsman, left the hapless nobleman bloody and dying on the cobbles.

If roleplaying games can be said to have loss conditions, it's hard to argue that this is one of the biggest losses a player can suffer. While I accept death may come to my characters in the course of playing the game, it's rare that there isn't some measure of disappointment attached to the experience. Foresta wasn't a terribly likeable character - a fop, with all that that entails - but he was fun to play and I saw some interesting adventures in his future, if he was spared.

But by the roll of the dice, that wasn't meant to be.

So I lay the poor chevalier to rest, his future abruptly cut short, his potential unrealized. Such is the life of a gambler and rake in 1625 Marseille, and such is the fate of a player character when the dice don't break his way.

I'm not ready to give up on the solo gaming thing, however, so I hit up a dice roller for a new set of character stats, and thus was Peyrot La Planca, an occasional actor and would-be bravo, born in the chevalier's stead.

Many roleplaying games have rules which allow characters to cheat death in any number of ways, but those games hold little appeal for me. If anything can be said to be real in a game which takes place almost wholly in the imagination, it's the roll of the dice.

4 comments:

  1. A not-unexpected end for the Chevalier. He lived fast and died young.

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    1. Yeah, I wish he'd had more of a chance to improve his Expertise with the rapier. It wasn't meant to be, however.

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  2. That sounds like a lot of fun. His death was not inappropriate given his lifestyle. I enjoy that.

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