Last night was our first session of multi-session curse the darkness. Four players: Matt, Michelle, Sarah and John, with me as the GM.
So, first off (after explaining the game to John, who was new to curse the darkness) the players decided on their situation. We also decided that the “setup questions” need to be set, rather than guidelines, and need to include the questions “How are you following the rules?” and “how are you breaking the rules?”
In answering the questions, they decided the following:
- Where are you? In Cleveland, in the Flats.
- What just happened? The bridge just collapsed in the midst of terrible storm, flooding the area.
- How are you following the rules? Stockpiling useful stuff – medicine, supplies, non-perishable food. Available to those who ask.
- How are you breaking the rules? The characters “trade” useful items. Barter may or may not be against the rules, but it’s the kind of thing that’s risky. (A note to myself: The answer to this question should indicate how the GM can get Between Points.)
- What is the goal? Get the stuff out of the flood zone and get it to safety.
Because this is going to be a two-session game, I decide that three sections of Wick are required to make the essential choice. As no one got any today, though, I suspect I’ll either have to revisit that or we’ll have to go another session, either’s good.
With that in mind, the players made their characters. Michelle is playing Darla, a mechanic. John is playing Bruce, who was a corporate type before the world ended (he is an Opener). Matt plays Trey, an Iraq war medic (keep in mind this is 2022, so he’s an older fellow). Sarah plays Meredith, a gardener who grows weed, among other things.
As the scene begins, the characters are in their hideout and hear/see the bridge collapse. They realize that they don’t have long before the waters rise and flood their hideout. Darla makes a list of the stuff they need to prioritize getting out of here (she chooses “Store Manager” as a Scope), and then goes running through the rain to get their boat (moored down the block a ways).
The other three characters put their stuff together on a pallet. They tie it down and roll it out to the water…where Trey and Bruce both see that the bridge didn’t collapse on its own. It’s been neatly severed, meaning that it was destroyed by Him. They aren’t sure why, but that’s enough to scare them.
As they look, Bruce hears crying from the water. He spies a woman floundering, and has Trey tie a rope around him and goes swimming (defining “Lifeguard” as a Scope). He reaches her, calms her down, and swims back. The woman vomits up a lot of river water, but is generally OK. Meredith comforts her (she is From a Big Family, she decides).
Darla, meanwhile, has the boat and is headed toward the characters. She sees bodies in the river and tries not to think about the thudding sounds. She gets there and they load up the pallet and the girl (whose name is Cherie). Cherie tells them that two groups of people met up on the bridge, one group local that wanted to trade information about a cache of stuff in an old building (that is, the characters’ stuff). And then the other group – people who strange accents, she says, and one carrying a gun – wanted to find out where the stuff was. But she isn’t sure that a deal was reached before the shadows opened and the bridge collapsed.
The characters headed away from the wreckage of the bridge (Trey defining a Scope as “Navigator”), and toward a marina. They found a place with a campfire burning on the shore, and a man cooking shepherd’s pie in the embers. He initially cocked a rifle, but someone made a Humanity Challenge and he invited them to share dinner (the characters contributed, too). They talked a bit; some of the boats here were useless, some were still inhabited (he mentioned one had a family with a baby, but they were asleep). He hadn’t been into town lately, as his hip was hurting him.
The characters bedded down for the night, figuring to make a decision about what to do in the morning.
Game Notes: A lot of our game time was eaten up in prep, plus we started late. That said, I should have been more direct in putting in a Removal Challenge, because that’s the only way to set up the characters to make the essential choice. So that’s definitely where we’ll started next time.
All in all, though, I think the situation set-up works and I like the characters we have. Shame that at least some of them are probably doomed.