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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Things get hot in the engine

This week was the first session of play in Engines of Progress. The 1920's dieselpunk postwar epic.

First up I'd like to say that to my shame very little preparation went into this week's session as it's been a hellish week at work. Taking that into account, however, I was really pleased with how it worked out.

The characters started in media res, trapped in a burning warehouse in the middle of Chicago's air docks, with only a pallet full of "moonshine" between them, some angry Austrian mercenaries and some angrier Irish mobsters.

From there we jumped five days back in time to find out how they got themselves into this mess.

There were loads of great ideas from the floor but we eventually settled on plausible stories that brought the needs of the characters together at the right time and in the right place.

This is a three hour session, which got moving a bit late so I was tweaking my ideas for the middle part of the session on the fly to ensure that we hit the end of session cliffhanger on time. A cliffhanger that sees Lester (our Crusher-esque junior protagonist) and Darcy/Amelia (Crown double double agent) swinging from a huge crate, dangling from a warehouse crane and trying to catch a tow line thrown by Captain Jack (Indiana Solo) as he dodges through a hail of gunfire, desperate to reach the airship Black Betty before the Austrians perforate his companions or the Irish scuttle his ship.

From donkeys years of experience I can fairly safely say that we would not have managed to fit all the preamble and the action scene into the time allowed in a satisfactory way with a more "traditional" RPG. So hats off to FATE for that. There was also a good flow of fate points across the table and the guys are starting to get into the swing of self compels and success at a cost.

The first part of the next session will probably be retooling characters slightly as, this being the first play for most of them some of their decisions at initial character creation don't quite fit with the way they want their characters to play.

This is the last time in this game that everyone will get the chance to juggle skills around for free though and no, a 1 point skill is not equal to a point of refresh or a stunt.