Welcome to part two of my series chronicling the misadventures of my players in a New World of Darkness game I am running over the course of ten weeks. Before we get into today’s recap of last night’s session, here’s a reminder of our cast:
Willow- the amicable dog-sledder
Eric- the helpful mechanic
Geoff Jr- the slippery con artist
Mike- the hungry intellectual
Anna- the inventor
Vic- the hot headed fighter
Tabitha- the timid medic
So after a number of comments passed onto me following last week’s session, I decided to talk to my players about cultural sensitivity. However, as I headed to my room to start the session, I chose to weave the cultural sensitivity into the fabric of the game, rather than forcing the players to listen to a straight-up lecture.
The session started at 7am on the player party’s first morning in Vancouver. Tabitha and Anna headed out to a nearby Safeway to do shopping while the others prepared to explore Vancouver. The start of the session was very much about overcoming the feelings of being overwhelmed one would experience going from a small, remote village to a city of just over 600,000 people. Tabitha and Anna cautiously made their way around the gigantic Safeway while the boys (Eric, Geoff, Mike and Vic) ended up being buffeted around the centre of Vancouver by the morning commuters. Eventually, they found a back-alley bar and stopped for beers…at about half-seven in the morning. Yes, I was cringing too.
Meanwhile, Tabitha and Anna returned with the shopping and headed into the city with Willow after unpacking the groceries. Willow was after a phone so she could text Stuart, the attractive frat boy she had met the day before. The place they went to wasn’t the best looking retail outlet and the owner wasn’t the most professional salesman but after some blagging and haggling, Willow and Anna walked away with new phones, as well as a cheap Nokia brick for the house to use as an emergency cell phone. While looking for an internet cafe, they passed a church. Now, Willow has a merit (special skill) called ‘trained observer’ which gives allows her to notice things that other people may miss. There was an infant crying inside the church and a quick glance at the notice board outside the church indicated that there was no event currently being held inside. The three girls crept inside, up the aisle and found…a baby, no more than a week old, swaddled in a white blanket in a hand-crafted baby carrier shaped kind of like a coffin. Willow found a note tucked into the side of the carrier and discovered that the baby’s name was Hope and that they shouldn’t take the baby to the police or the hospital, as that would put the child in danger. After some deliberation, they took the child home.
Further deliberation over what to do with the child occurred when the party was reunited back at home. Many were in favour of disregarding the note and taking the infant to the proper authorities but in the end, Willow’s stance about adhering to the letter and the fact that the Nunamiut way of life had taught them to never abandon someone vulnerable or unable to support themselves won out and so they put the sleeping Hope to rest in the nursery of the home they were renting.
BECAUSE NOW IT WAS PARTY TIME! That’s right; not even becoming the impromptu guardians of a week-old infant is going to stop a group of 18/19 year olds from going to a frat party. Tabitha promptly refused to go and proceeded to stay with Hope the whole night. Willow bumped into Stuart almost immediately and accepted his invitation to go on a date with him. Anna was wowed by the tech in the house and struck up conversation with Johnny, the frat techie and nerd, before being invited up to his room to check out his set-up and the computer he was building. They ended up watching the Jurassic Park trilogy on Netflix. While Vic socialised with some football bros, Geoff was busy trying to convince Mike to chug from a keg tap, this attempt failed and Mike successfully convinced Geoff to do it, causing Geoff to nearly choke and then promptly throw up all over the floor. Stuart, who wasn’t particularly happy about this, got Eric to Geoff home. It’s safe to say that Geoff won’t be hugely welcome in the frat house any time soon. The night passed on until the party kind of fizzled out naturally around 3am, at which point the players staggered back home. Anna would follow them home at around half-five, after her movie marathon with Johnny, after which she would get his number (and he would forget to take his jacket off her shoulders).
Now everyone likes a little bit of time to recover after a night of drinking and partying but unfortunately, the players would not get that as at 10am, there is a loud knocking on their front door. Upon the doorstep is a young woman, who Willow recognises as the woman holding the child they recused in the photo upon which the note was written on the back of, and a pink-haired woman who doesn’t look too happy. Before Willow or Tabitha can speak, the pink-haired woman demands to know “where’s the mother-f***** baby?” After coming inside and encountering the rest of the player party, the quieter woman explains that she is the baby’s mother and that she and her friend, Romona, are mages-magic users- obviously the players don’t believe this and so Charlotte, the alleged mother, rewinds time after getting the answer to a question only Eric, who appears to be the de facto leader of the players, knows. After revealing this information 3 minutes in the past, the players appear a little less sceptical of the whole magic thing. As they try to work out why Charlotte and Romona left the child in the church, there is another loud knocking at the door and Victor opens it to reveal two Vancouver Police Department detectives, who ask if they can come in. As Victor makes to join them outside, one of them bursts in and Romona IDs the one still outside as Brad aka Mr. Murderpants aka Hope’s father. It is revealed that Brad and his friend are hunters of the supernatural, specialising in the elimination of mages. They also want the baby, believing that Brad has an equally valid claim to the child.
After a few tense moments, in which the hunters openly threaten pretty much everyone in the house, Brad’s friend Gareth suggests that they all take a step back and calm down. Hope will be left with the players, who will visit both Charlotte’s mage cabal and Brad’s hunter cell and then make an informed decision about who should get custody of Hope. Everyone reluctantly agrees to this agreement and the players are given means of visiting both parties. The hunters and mages leave and the players are left shell-shocked, not entirely sure what to do.
Next week: The players choose how they want to proceed
What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to do as an nWoD player? What would you do if you were in the player party?