DramaSystem/Hillfolk Playtest Part 4

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15 [Weise Schildkröte] Dramatic
Driven by his promise to Zornige Löwin, Weise Schildkröte tries to reconcile Silberblick and Falkenauge, but the scout still insists that Silberblick’s leadership is weak and indecisive, resisting the priest’s petition (and giving him a drama token).

16 [GM] Dramatic
Now armed with two Drama tokens, I described Prince Silbergischt returning my several armed retainers to Dunkeltot and Zornige Löwin. The prince demands that they lead him to Seestern, brushing aside their protestations that they could only deliver messages. The two drama tokens force Dunkeltot to bow to this demand, although he is going take an arduous route through the hills where they will have to leave their horses behind.

17 [Zornige Löwin] Dramatic
I now expected Zornige Löwin to cast a procedural scene (perhaps to escape their escort), but she surprised me by turning dramatically to Dunkeltot and declaring her love for him. He is shocked and surprised that his “little (step-) sister” harbors these feelings and does not declare the love returned. But still she feels acknowledged enough to say her petition is granted, gaining Dunkeltot a drama token.

18 [Silberblick] Procedural
Now Silberblick casts a scene where some of his scouts spot the Tridents nearing the tribe’s fortress – and we have the first objection in the game. Dunkeltot feels it is too far a jump – he wants a procedural scene with the Tridents on his turn – and we put it to the vote. The vote ends 4:3 for the called scene to happen. This was a fun process and the surprising fast approach of the enemy gave the next scenes quite a dramatic push.
The scene then shows Silberblick’s attempt to gather enough fighting men from the dispersed tribe to stand against the three-dozen well-armed Tridents. As I had only a green token left, this became a difficult procedural challenge – which suited me just fine.
The resolution was full of suspense, with everybody pitching in. Seestern uses her green token against the tribe, wanting the Tridents to have a strong bargaining position. The others do their best to help Silberblick and his strong Talking ability – Falkenauge has gone with him, so he is in the scene, and I allowed Dunkeltot and Zornige Löwin direct support as they are trying to delay the Tridents. Weise Schildkröte had to use his green token for the final redraw* … and it still wasn’t enough. Too few fighters assemble before the Tridents close and the tribe retreats into his fastness.

19 [Dunkeltot] Dramatic
Dunkeltot now casts himself talking to Prince Silbergischt, trying to gain his assurance that violence is not needed and everything can be settled peacefully. As the prince is not well disposed towards peaceful negotiation, Dunkeltot uses his two drama tokens to force a concession. Eventually the prince agrees to try the diplomatic approach first.

20 [Falkenauge] Dramatic
Falkenauge stands with the chieftain atop the fortresses gate as Prince Silbergischt demands the exchange of Seestern for Dunkeltot and Zornige Löwin. Silberblick is reluctant to let his favorite slave go, but eventually agrees to the deal on Falkenauge’s insisting. Silberblick earns a drama token for this.

21 [Seestern] Dramatic
Seestern is now able to cast the heart-warming scene where Prince Silbergischt takes her into his arms in front of the Rock-mighty’s fortress. She urges the prince to peace and asks him to let Dunkeltot and Zornige Löwin go without incident. Reluctantly he agrees (earning the GM a drama token).

– At this point I looked at the time and considered calling it a night. It was getting a bit late and I thought the episode had gained a nice peak with the Tridents at the gate. But the players were still eager and no one looked remotely tired, so we decided to do another round. Boy was I glad we did, for the best was yet to come…
– If there’s one thing that I think could work better, it’s that players are sometimes a bit too easy on the petitioned in a scene and are too quickly happy with a grant. But it seems to work to everyone’s satisfaction, so I’m not complaining.

* We weren’t quite clear here whether the use of a green token without the PC being personally involved entitled him to a positive side-effect. It seemed pretty obvious from the intent of the rules though that this wasn’t the case.

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