After finishing the Continuum: Roleplaying in the Yet scenario last week, the Friday gaming group decided they wanted a change of pace, and when I asked them what they wanted to play, they said, "a|state!!!" So I gave them what they wanted this week, and more.
For those who don't know, a|state is an industrial gothic sf roleplaying game, with a strong touch of Charles Dickens and a smattering of horror just to make it...interesting. Rather than telling you more about the game, you can read my post about the a|state RPG here.
I guess I should start with the various player characters present in the game. KathyB is playing Cyndra Jesspian, a former house servant of one of the Macrocorporates who may or may not know something she shouldn't, and fled/was booted into The City's more rough and tumble life. SteveB is playing Thomas Thackery, now a Lostfinder, who started out as an information gatherer and has been doing well for himself. Nick is playing Edward Fleckright, a Ghostfighter of some repute who may have been the inspiration for one of Sideband Media's tv shows (or vice versa). Tom has taken on the role of Jason Demonoris, an antique and relics hunter (who has worked with Tommy Thackery before), but is something of a sly devil as well. Finally, Joanne is playing Hedriana Locke, a Runner, a message carrier, in The City who has finally made a name for herself - and some enemies. In addition, Ellie (SteveB and Kathy's 11-year-old daughter) is playing a precocious street urchin called Genny, who has been taken in by Cyndra for reasons that have yet to be dealt with. Little Genny causes more problems than she's worth at times, but she's...feisty.
In any event, the session began with two seemingly unrelated events. Thomas Thackery was asked to find, Davinia Hartelburk, the missing daughter of wealthy banker (not macrocorps related) Harold Hartelburk. All that was known is that the girl was taken from school during break by two men "wearing dark coats". Meanwhile, Jason Demonoris was approached by a representative who claimed to be from Sideband Media itself, who asked him for assistance in finding an old cannister of film from the company's very first show on television, "A History of Folly's End". Suffice it to say that the two characters met up at Emma Wolfield's School for Young Girls, Hedriana Locke was attacked by a ghostfighter and was lucky that Edward Fleckright came to her assistance, a stringer from Sideband Media tried to interview Cyndra Jesspian and found out that he was the same reporter who had made "The History of Folly Hills", and poor little Genny found herself looking for her "Missus doll" that he had taken a shine to in recent weeks that had been purchased for her by Cyndra in the marketplace in Brightlights (and just how exactly did she end up shopping in that high end burgh, anyway?).
Suffice it to say there was a bit of everything for the various players, and they were very pleased with the game session, and are looking forward to figuring out how the various mysteries connect (if they do). Joanne commented that one of the things she loved about the game was the fact that the horror in a|state is some of the most subtle, and disturbing, that she's experienced in any of the roleplaying games she's played to this point. She said that she appreciated the...menace... that seems to underlie The City, and loved the Dickens and steampunk feel of the game. SteveB commented to me that I should have run a|state at CanGames, rather than SkyRealms of Jorune, but I'm actually good with either. :)
After the gaming session was over, the players watched another film noir. They decided to watch one that they had seen before again, this time, Gun Crazy (1950), the marvellous film with John Dall and Peggy Cummins that is the immediate precursor to Bonnie and Clyde (1967). While I didn't nod off during the film at all (how could I, with all the violence and great dialogue in this one?), I was feeling pretty exhausted by the time we broke up for the night and the gang headed home.
Had a really good night of gaming overall, and will be sorry not to be running a|state next Friday night, as I will be at CanGames, 2009. (And I hope to see some of my LJ friends there! :)