SAT-04 In A Wicked Age: Who Rules Mizur?

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Ben Robbins
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SAT-04 In A Wicked Age: Who Rules Mizur?

Post by Ben Robbins » July 10th, 2011, 11:25 am

players: Xander, Noah, Ben, Ben

Saturday night. The consensus is "we are zombie brained." So we settle down and make a solemn pact to lazily game in a very low-energy way and just see what happens. Gaming, chilling, no pressure.

An hour later and we are hooting at the top of our lungs, but actually spinning a compelling tale of tyrants and slaves and demons, love and betrayal and a yearning for freedom: freedom for the demons, the slaves and the tyrant -- they all want change, but each in their own surprising ways. The In A Wicked Age oracle once again gently delivers us from weary to wow.

I also have to say, that was a game where we really let the plot tangle. Instead of just "oh, we see how the lines are drawn, let's start the stabbing" we had two or three more layers of scenes to let all the different twists and allegiances / cross-allegiances / cross-cross-allegiances come out. We gave the characters room to breathe and become a lot more human, even the demons, which was excellent.

(cowering shaman faces recently imprisoned demon his conquered tribe once worshiped) "I long to return to the old days of my people, when we only had to live in terror of you!"

So many lovely, lovely scenes of demon + tyrant business meetings in the dream-realms of blood and gold. You would think two demons was too many, but no, it's the perfect amount.

"I am a demon of atrocities, but also women's suffrage."

Ben Wray
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Joined: May 24th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Re: SAT-04 In A Wicked Age: Who Rules Mizur?

Post by Ben Wray » July 11th, 2011, 11:27 am

I had a blast in this slot! I'd never played In A Wicked Age before, but I was a bit familiar with the rules and loved the Oracles, and secretly I always wanted to do a game where both those demons showed up in the same sitch. So when that exact thing happened, a not insignificant part of me went "Yesssssssssss." I ended up playing IPQU-ANNUNITUM (shorten his name to "Ipqu" at your peril, be you mortal or god!), the demon of rage and avarice, secret power behind a great tyrant's rule.

One thing I'll point out is that those dreams were pretty much a text-book example of the Play-Unsafe advice "Be Obvious". Like, I'm a secret power, so I'll talk to him in dreams. I'm a demon of avarice, so it'll be a dream of a chamber whose floor was covered in gold coins, but I'm also a demon of rage, so the coins were absolutely soaked in blood. We had also established that it was IPQU-ANNUNITUM who had bound the other demon (the one of rage and atrocity and women's rights) in chains for a thousand years, so I gave myself a title somewhere along the lines of "The Lord Of Chains", and thus it seemed obvious to me that the second dream would be myself and the tyrant walking across the backs of a thousand faceless people bound to the ground by chains, in poses of supplication. And then everyone got really excited to see what the next dreams would be, so I tried to be clever, and honestly, while they weren't bad or anything, I don't think they were quite as good as the first two.

But yes, it was fantastic how the Best Interests had all of us (including the key NPCs) working at subtle crosspurposes which made the titanic battle during the sacrificial rite (with the Tyrant's own concubines as sacrifices, no less!) on top of the ziggurat seem completely inevitable, and awesome. IPQU-ANNUNITUM, of course, totally won that battle: so what if he ended up the ruler of an empty kingdom? He was still the ruler!

I would play that system with that group again in a heartbeat.

Xander V
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Joined: July 11th, 2011, 1:00 pm
Name: Xander Veerhoff

Re: SAT-04 In A Wicked Age: Who Rules Mizur?

Post by Xander V » July 12th, 2011, 3:29 pm

I also had an amazing time with this game. I hadn't really had more enthusiasm for IAWA but this game sold me on it.

My highlights:
-Ben's dream descriptions (all of them!) were amazing, as was the reaction of the tyrant's concubine when she was dragged into one inadvertantly.
-The ending. A demon of greed and blood ruling over an empty city filled with riches? That's an adventure hook if I ever heard one.
-Every meeting between IPQU-ANNUNITUM and the tyrant (SHAR-KALI-SHARRI) ended with them both laughing like supervillians.
-We only realized that near the end of the game.
- The verbal contortions Noah went through as a demon in order to manipulate people. Both of you were fantastic demons.
- After joking that my name sounded like something from Conan, Noah finally slipping up and calling me Xander, tyrant of Mizur. :D
-Any game where I get to shout, "Guards! Seize him!" is OK by me.
- How organically everything flowed into a betraying, backstabbing,epic free-for-all grand finale.

Ben Wray
Posts: 68
Joined: May 24th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Re: SAT-04 In A Wicked Age: Who Rules Mizur?

Post by Ben Wray » July 12th, 2011, 5:50 pm

Xander V wrote:-Every meeting between IPQU-ANNUNITUM and the tyrant (SHAR-KALI-SHARRI) ended with them both laughing like supervillians.
-We only realized that near the end of the game.
- The verbal contortions Noah went through as a demon in order to manipulate people. Both of you were fantastic demons.
Sometimes the cliches are cliches for a reason! A hearty shared supervillain laugh is surprisingly satisfying way of closing a good plotting session, no joke.

Also, I was very impressed with your portrayal of Shar-Kali-Sharri's playing both demons off each other, seeming totally sincere regardless of who he was speaking to. "Oh, I seek freedom from Ipqu's chains, just as you did! Surely you can help me in defeating your ancient enemy." "My lord! Your ancient enemy has escaped his bonds! Of course, I had to promise to help him to save my own head! Of course, now that he trusts me, we can betray him. I'll just need you to enchant my sword and some of my guards' arrows with the ability to slay demons...." For a second I was actually a tiny bit surprised when he DID inevitably betray me once NAR-AYYA(?) was vanquished. Just for a second, of course, but still.

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