Talk:LSD9: Into That Good Night
Paris in the Spring
The character of Norma had been largely a cypher throughout the series, with the only information known about her was that she was Andrew's wife, she was a French linguist and she was suspected of treason at Croydon (though that did turn out to habe another explanation). With the drama obviously building to a climax, I took the opportunity to start the episode with a flashback to Andrew's first meeting with Norma, firstly to establish her personality and secondly, to prolong the tension of the episode by contrasting it with happier times. The conflict over the stolen art work set the tone for the marriage of Andrew & Norma: I gave him a -1 relationship with Norma to reflect the fact that she was wearing the trousers in their marriage.
Tony and Dave agreed to let the East End perish rather than allow the Pure to give their gift;n their motivations were that they didn't want trust the motives of the Pure and theye didn't want the Impure running around on Earth indefinitely. At least 20,000 people died because of the choice they made, but they may have saved many more, if their hunch was correct... of course, just as with real life, we'll never know what would have happened if they'd chosen to make the deal.
I pushed in a couple of extra narrations that didn't involve the PCs directly during this episode: the deaths in the church were used to underscore the fact that almost every NPC they had a relationship with was dying as a result of their decision. The final narration about the future of London as a fascist state was a spontaneous attempt to extrapolate a viable future for the city in the light of the PCs actions, hence giving the series more of a sense of closure.
...and the revelation about John being Apathy? That was something I only thought of on the way to Tony's place for the final session, though at the time I was thinking it might be fun to reveal that he had been Pride (or Ego) all along, but some of his actions in this final session threw a clearer light on his character. He just went with the flow: if the good guys had given him a better deal than the monsters had, he would have taken it just as quickly as he agreed to work for Robert Clay and Gordon Prendergast, who were created as 'monstrous' NPCs right from the start. It might have gone badly worng of Tony had been upset by my abrupt narration, but he took it in the spirit it was intended: a final sting in the tale, capping off the story of a life that had run out of direction.
We really enjoyed this game at every level: the drama and conflict kept us engaged week after week and we all had fun coming up with bigger and better stakes to challenge opponents with. The game did drift from out initial concept, with the undercover operation completely sidelined by about the third session and the 'weird' elements becoming foregrounded instead of backgrounded as we'd agreed. Talking at length after the end of the game, we agreed that we'd learnt a thing or two:
- Keep PCs together: too much of the early parts of the series kept the PCs apart, which lead to a lot of baggage creeping into the game and slowing it down. Dave and Tony both agreed that the bits they enjoyed most were the bits where they were actually working together.
- Don't stack secrets: Tony's character look like a good concept on paper, but in prcatice he found himself backed into a corner on most occasions, caught between maintaining his allegiances to both the Soviets and the SSG without revealing either to more than one or two other characters in the game. It put a lot of strain on many scenes and even Tony visibly chafed on many occasions on being told that his character, a deep cover operative, simply wouldn't have any SSG ID or equipment on him as a matter of course.
- Let go of ideas: there were a couple of times I went into session with a strong confidence that certain scenes or conflicts I had worked out in the intervening week would take place; I was mostly wrong. Fortunately, I'm the sort of GM who just works these things out in his head, so I didn't lose pages of notes or anything like that and it was easy to let go of the preconceptions I had. Tony surprised me a number of times by reacting in ways I hadn't foreseen at all, but it was more fun following the presumed or inherent consequences of his actions that forcing the story to fit the scenes I wanted to have.