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Thoughts on Sunday EoM Gaming

Got a bit of time on my hands at the moment, so thought I would post something about the Sunday gaming group and their experience with The Edge of Midnight rpg to this point. Besides, as I mentioned in the comments to one of spross's journal entries, I would do so.

spross is playing a cabbie by the name of Eddie Chandler, who's involvement with the local criminal family, the Martinellis (more on them later), stems fromm the need he had at one time for money for an operation for his daughter. Steve mentioned in the post referenced above that he's feeling "disconnected" from the character, and I've been thinking about the reasons for this. Part of the nature of the film noir genre is that characters tend to have very strong connections and ties to specific people - be it a spouse, their parents, a character they've known since childhood, a person in the workplace, that sort of thing - and this is one of the focal aspects of any given story (i.e., movie) about said character. While spross likes setting up his characters in various systems with all sorts of assorted family members, he doesn't tend to do a good job relating to the family members for whatever reason. At least he tries, Goddess bless him, so that's a start, if nothing else. In terms of his character, Eddie Chandler, well...the background on Eddie, such as it is, is a bit...bland. There's nothing wrong with that, to be honest, as some of the best and most interesting noir characters tend to be normal, everyday schmos, who get caught up in stuff and who become more than they are. I'm hoping this is what happens with Eddie.

Then we come to Olivia Martinelli, the gangster's daughter being played by oni_neko. spross felt that she's being played like Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire. To be honest, I don't quite see it this way, as I think oni_neko is still trying to get a feel for the character (even these four sessions into the game) and figure out where she wants to take the character. I've got to give oni_neko credit though, as she really has played the character well to this point, with the slimy attitude that a gangster's daughter should have (she may or may not be responsible for her father's incarceration in a madhouse) as well as the hard-edged style she showed in the last session when interrogating spross's character.

Finally, we come to Tammy's character, Evelyn Kelman, a nurse who also seems to have a vested interest in drug smuggling from the hospital where she works to the warlocks of the city, through one of her warlock contacts whom she's in love with. Tammy's character is very nicely fleshed out for the most part, as she understands the role that family and friends play in the lives of characters in roleplaying games, not just film noir ones, but what she's lacking is the mindset that goes along with the genre. Tammy's interest in the system has always been more about the (scientific) magic that is part of the game world of The Edge of Midnight, and while that's fine, I'm trying to keep the magic elements (and even the gaunts, to some extent) in the background for now, as I want to concentrate on the player characters themselves and not their trappings.

Oddly enough, as noted in spross's journal entry about Sunday's session, the three players had a really good time of things, I think. I'm not sure why spross has changed his mind about the character; he was thinking of having me kill Eddie off, and playing another character, and now seems to be feeling quite differently as the journal entry seems to indicate. oni_neko seems to be enjoying herself tremendously with Olivia Martinelli, and I have to say that she's rolling with the punches as well as I thought she might. When she gets into character, oni_neko really does a heck of a job at it. Tammy's Evelyn Kelman is coming across still as a bit too non-noir, although several aspects of the *bleep!* stuff in her life are starting to surface. I need to do a bit more work on some of that stuff, but one step at a time.

I think when it comes right down to it, the real thing lacking on the part of all three players to this point in the Sunday group is the "connecting" to the emotional and feel of the noir and film noir genre. Film noir at its heart is about the psychology of characters, what makes them tick, what makes their personal time bomb explode, and the way they interact with others, and their motivations and desires. All of this, of course, being framed in the black & white conventions of the genre. While spross and oni_neko have a basic understanding of the genre and have seen a few of the films noir, Tammy hasn't seen any movies of the genre (that I know of), nor does she understand the "noir mentality". I've been trying to get the three of them to sit down after a game and watch a noir film or two the way the Friday night group has been doing, and while the players seem to be interested in doing so, there's just been a few problems with the scheduling and all. And I suspect that Tammy may not really have a desire to do so. My biggest concern is that Tammy, who's not really a fan of old, black & white films (let alone noir cinema) will be turned off by the genre, especially if I show her and the others the "wrong" movie (not that there is a "wrong" or "bad" movie in the noir genre). I'm working on this, even as we speak. ::evil grin:: The thing is, I believe that if the three of them watch some film noir, even if it's only one or three films, they might "connect" better to the genre, the style of the characters, and the actual characters they are playing in the game. So we'll see what we shall see.

Hrrmph...well, I didn't mean to ramble on so long about this stuff. And I suspect there may have been a bit of a rant in there as well, but enough's enough. We'll see what we shall see. Meanwhile, back to work.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not as bad as you made it sound in your warning. I think it actually helped that Eddie was laid up in the hospital. With the injuries, I couldn't do much, this allowed me to concentrate more on being him more then what Eddie was going to do. Plus, we set up a sh*t load of future problems for him to deal with.

The Streetcar Named Desire comment was in relation to Olivia's tendency to effect a Southern accent, especially when saying the word "Sugar".
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
I agree with your assessment about the fact that Eddie being laid up helped you get more into the personality of the character.

As for the Olivia thing, I kind of thought that was a nice touch...and it gave her a sinister edge. (Hopefully oni_neko will comment on this, too.)
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
I was trying for a hard cynical edge to Olivia, and I guess that translates for me into Southern Belle territory. At least for this character.
Nov. 25th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
What an interesting way of handling this! I'm not sure the Southern Belle is the way to go do hard and cynical edges, but perhaps we'll see a different approach to the character once you guys see some film noir.

Any other observations you want to share on the game, or will you blog about this yourself?
Nov. 25th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
The accent wasn't intentional. it just happened and stuck. As I said i was trying for hard and cynical and this is what happened. As for blogging about the game or sharing other observations I may do that later. Right now I'm slowly kinda writing a paper for school. The reason its slow is that I hate both politics and writing papers and thus being asked to write a paper on politics makes me procrastinate.
Nov. 25th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about it then, dear, the paper takes priority.

Of course, politics and procrastination go hand-in-hand, so you're in good company! :)
Nov. 25th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
I think you're spot on the money about this stuff, John. We've found on Friday night that having watched some noir movies and all has been a good way to get into the characters, to see how they should come across, that sort of thing.

Besides, we're having a blast going through the noir films that you have! :)

Nov. 26th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
This was pretty much the reason why I asked you guys when we first started doing EoM whether you wanted to watch some films noir. I'm glad it's worked out so well! ;)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


John Kahane

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