June 07, 2007

Space Slayers

No really.  "Space Slayers, the Series!" 

So, in trying this Prime Time Adventures thing again (this time with Rainbow K and the Barbarian) we started with a pitch session that had Pirates, Vampires in Spa(aaaaaaaaaaaaa!)ce, and bits and pieces from other shows the two had watched. We were driving to my place, so I figured we had enough time to at least build the idea in the kids' heads.

"Why vampires in space?"
"No sunshine."
"Oh.   Yeah.  They'd LOVE space."

The premise turns out to be that Vampires have invaded Earth, and the protagonists are freedom fighters trying to get their home out of the clutch of the evil undead (undead, O!)

So the real argument came up with the fact that both players wanted to be Captains of their own ships. I tried a variety of alternatives

"How about one of you take 'Captain' as a trait, and the other be...I don't know... pilot?"
"No." [in chorus]
"How about you both be other things, and there be another Captain on the ship, like an NPC?"
"No." [in chorus]
"What if I said that your ships were itsy-bitsy tiny so being Captain wasn't really going to count for anything?"
"Um...." pause, consider, "No."
So on, and so forth.

...but they were set. Cool.

(I always encourage testing them to see what's going to be their pivot point, but if they're steady, let's (of course!) go with what they want. I think that's one of the "gaming with kids" rules that goes unnoticed a lot, because we have GM fiat and player choice (fiat! [snort]) and when working with kids, they'll change their minds if you haven't poked them. After all, does it say anywhere in the rules that you can't change your mind?)

So, we described the characters, and why they were involved in their anti-Vampire ways. Rainbow K's character had a vampire contact who had been teasing her by offering her the power to do what she wanted, but we created this intensely convoluted reasoning, wherein she was his catspaw against the other vampire families. The Barbarian had as his main contact his dead father, who was the reason he was fighting, and as we pointed out, could still have a lot of minor contacts and favors, and a possibility of a cameo as a ghost.

After several rejected names for the series, we decided on "Space Slayers!" which was a tad bit misleading, but easy to remember. [note to self: make logo]

The first scene had people going through a processing facility before they could load up on their ships. It was very depressing, with cattle-kill lines of folks being scanned for possible vampire taint, and no views of the ships. They were being held for departure when an alarm sounded. The force fields (made of anti-gravity technology) start sputtering on, when one of the spaceforce guards (in femme-style armor) is grabbed by a pair of levitating vampires. Enter combat, with lots of pretty weaponplay (including UV grenades), and a rescue of the guard, with the next scene going to be reviving her in the medical unit.

Unfortunately at that point we made it home and other things took our attention, but I think the kids liked it, and they got the hang of the narration and contribution very quickly. It's starting to look like PTA may end up being a good "car game," which would be a break from Amber. I think using group consensus is a fair use of the game even without cards, although it may weaken the conflict. More experimentation is needed.

Posted by Meera at June 7, 2007 09:12 AM
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