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Lee Griffin
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"Sure, I can reach the top shelf for you"
"Sure, I can reach the top shelf for you"

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Out on Alpha now, and I guess out on the Geek and Sundry website and Youtube soon, Masks just got a shout out!

I'll try to remember to comment here again when it's out properly, but if anyone has Alpha then check out the latest Signal Boost where the presenter heaps praise on the game and its system :)

http://geekandsundry.com/shows/signal-boost/

I've now run a further 3 sessions since my two-part opener, and as I've said previously the whole thing as my first GM role has been incredibly eye opening and a big learning curve. Still forgetting to make sure that conditions affect roll modifiers and such, and constantly battling to try and make sure that a group of 7 players doesn't just overwhelm whatever foe I put infront of them!

Since my players ended the "first issue" with a bit of a split one team went off in search of some answers about the Outsider's cryptic message from home, befriending a one handed bar landlady-cum-information broker and infiltrating without being detected a technology company that deals in creating life model decoy style androids for supers who wish to protect their secret identity.

After finding out what they could they headed to the route of a protest march that had been going on after getting news of a bomb going off, but thankfully not seriously injuring anyone thanks to the Legacy's earlier precaution of having a hunch and asking some of her Legacy pals to go and keep an eye on things.

When there they noticed a shady figure scoping buildings out from the roof tops...

Meanwhile the other group went on a treasure hunt (which was poorly structured by myself so they spent a lot of time just not getting anywhere!), however eventually they got where they needed to be, a warehouse on the docks where a cultist ritual was taking place. The treasure they were hunting was a cultist himself, the Doomed in our game is seriously dark and is intrinsically tied to an inter-dimensional being of great power, who the Doomed has trapped in his sanctuary, and who unfortunately also provides this Doomed with his powers.

With cultist eventually in tow they were stopped by an AEGIS detainment team, interested less in their exploits that evening and more on the Nova that was with them, for undisclosed reasons. A brief skirmish ensued in which the commander of the detainment units was left writhing in agony on the floor as the Doomed lost his cool and wanted to find a way out of the situation.

Having taken the cultist to his sanctuary, and allowed him to be sacrificed to this inter-dimensional being... with Nova watching on shocked but unsure whether to judge Doomed if this was for the greater good or not (yes, our Masks story has an inherently more grey perspective on life and death in this situation... I am keeping an eye on it to try to make it something that is redeemed rather than spirals out of the sense of heroic duty)... information was found on a number of old relics that were once used by the great threat of the Legacy's past, who will come again, including the "Marionette stone" that they had retrieved from their fight with the Golden age pirate-like "Captain Slaybeard" in the two-parter before.

And so, the team rejoined in the latest session, as team A confronted the sneaky guy on the roof and decided that with their powers seemingly failing them they needed backup and called in team B to come and help.

A fight ensued between this balaclava clad assassin like man, who frequently frustrated the team with their powers just fizzling as they attempted to take him down or stop his attacks. Eventually though the Outsider transformed into a silverback gorilla from a height and dropped on their shady foe, ending his struggle against them.

They learned that he was scoping out a job, a contract found on the dark web to assassinate the Mayor (who happens to be the Meryl Streep in our little universe). Forcing him to decline the job, and give them information on who he found the contract from, the team handed him over to the authorities... first the super-powered international emergency response force, the SPEARS, who rejected the notion that the guy was under their jurisdiction, and then eventually the local police who were happy to take in suspects that they could question about the bombing.

Heading back to base the Outsider managed to get back in touch with her parents on her homeworld, having feared that they may be dead or her planet destroyed. Instead she learned that there had been a major deception, and a break out of their prison.. specifically her as yet unknown of eldest sibling, a source of family shame kept secret to our hero, had escaped.

Meanwhile the Legacy was getting frustrated with how much the SPEARS, who she feels could be a great ally, don't seem to respect her and the Legacy, and gets some advice from her sect leader, Justice, to find a specific contact and gain their trust to get an "in" to the SPEARS.

And lastly, "Team B" along with a confused but relieved Outsider head to the pub, the "Golden Compass", where Ted... an ally of the Doomed runs a small bar/cafe in a quaint part of town. However when they get there they find the place trashed, entering the back room an automatic holo-projection set by Ted plays into the room, showing that AEGIS, specifically the team that were thwarted earlier that evening, have come and forcefully taken Ted and all his equipment.

And so now here we are, thinking about the route forward to the next session. Everyone is at the Protege's base, and they'll have a decision to make. There is a contract out to assassinate the Mayor, and there is a threat headed to this planet from Outsider's planet in the form of her newly-learned-of older brother. There is also a desire to find allies in the SPEARS, and also to go and save Ted and put a stop to AEGIS targeting them. Which will get priority? And will their decision have consequences to those objectives that they can't meet?

This weekend saw me split out my group of 7 in to two groups, due to scheduling conflicts that meant not everyone could be together on one date.

It was a good opportunity to see how the game runs on a smaller scale, and to test some things out in terms of what players liked.

Session 1 of 2 ran with the group of 4, and they were given two explicit options of potential threats they could deal with, along with two of the characters each being given personal messages/information that they could reveal or not. One of them chose to reveal it because her character was comforted at the beginning of the session.

My group is clearly very cautious about getting in to a fight, which is good to know, and means I'll probably have to force a fight on them if I want them to actually get in to conflict, but it was good to see that they were happy to play in character, and to shun the easy "beat up a bad guy" scenario in favour of keeping an eye out for protecting innocents and helping a fellow team member on their quest.

The session 2 of 2 didn't go so well, which is entirely my fault! I made a treasure hunt of sorts, where the three of them would have to go through the city to try and find information to get them to the location of a cultist ritual.

Problem 1: I didn't make any explicit clues, I used custom moves which enhanced the players as they went along, which would have been great if they got to the final location quicker...but didn't actually help them find the location!

Problem 2: I relied on these moves as a way of giving the players information about their success or not, and the move I had was a roll + mundane. I should have paid more attention to the fact these three characters had the lowest mundane ratings of anyone else on the team. As such, one player managed to rack up an impressive 7 potential in one game through failed dice rolls!

Problem 3: I should have accounted for the possibility of terrible dice rolls. It's one thing to play the averages, but I see now that if there is no planned route out of the situation for the players and they don't roll successes then they can't go anywhere. If your game was one where the players could just say "This isn't working, we need to change mission" this might be fine, but where it's important that they actually follow the story through... I clearly needed to have more backups planned, and had to ad hoc these hard pushes in the right direction on the night.

So... lessons learned, not sure if we'll be split again next month or back as a 7, but either way there are a few strands to play on for the story going forward, and the players seem to be enjoying themselves.

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I finally managed to do a write up of the first session (that took two sessions really). Second and Third sessions happen this weekend!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pJ57riZ1snQHjKT0lPVjpJgkzHvYnXVZ4_6owmm-bRY/edit?usp=sharing

After two sessions with my 7, because of work commitments we're having to split in to two groups this month, a 3 and a 4. Interestingly there is a good story driven reason for this happening which is nice.

However essentially the first two sessions were the introduction, an extended one-shot. I want to give the players some autonomy in what they do next, to drive where they want to find the next steps of their adventure.

Does anyone here run any games where the story has a structure that is more like a computer game's "side quest" system, where the heroes need to seek out the next adventure to conquer? Any tips from those that have?

Next week I'm going to be running my first session for this, but I've managed to collect a group of 7 people to play. I know this is more than the rulebook suggests the game is built for... so my question to anyone out there who might have been in a similar situation is, is there anything I should do to prepare or better suit this larger group?

I understand that it's going to be harder to make sure everyone gets their time in the spotlight with a larger group, any tips?

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Great British Bake Off's BakedAlaskaGate: not worth the fuss?
This week on that gritty and hard-hitting fly on the wall documentary into the underground lives of.... um... sorry, themed gameshow, Great British Bake Off, was hit by scandal. In the third round of this weeks pudding based episode the challenge was set to...
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The "Security vs Liberty" fallacy of #DRIP law
MPs are continuing to abuse your liberties in the name of "crime" and "terrorism". They say that the law they are debating in the space of one day, because the previous 3 months were not long enough to discuss the wholesale recording of our movement online ...
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Emergency Data Retention Bill, 2024
It has emerged today, Thursday 11th of July 2014, that emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access records of which shops you visited, who you exchanged glances with and what you do in your own home are being rushed throug...
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And the worst bill of the Queen Speech 2014 goes to...
... SARAH! Oh yeah, it seems that the Tories are taking to the bullshit motivational speaker style personification of things, in this case a bill that appears on the basis of it's description to aim to diminish and water down the rights of workers and indiv...
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