Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cherry Blossom Rain: Session 1

I've noticed that when I "mean to" put something on my blog, it almost never goes up unless I do it while the ideas, the events, are still fresh in my mind, so I'm going to post this right away, lest it fall in the dustbin of history.

So!  As you may remember, I ran my samurai one-shot over the Summer Weekend a month or so ago, thus completing my vision of a GURPS Samurai game wherein I could really explore martial arts.  That was enough... but in the process of creating my game, I created an entire world that really demanded more exploration!  And so, I offered to further the game as a campaign.  Today, I ran the first session of that campaign.

Planning the game turned out easier than I expected.  I fretted that I hadn't spent a week putting session material together and, indeed, I would have liked to have statted a particular ninja out before hitting the table.  However, I put together a skeleton of a session that relied a great deal on what I had already written (not really a problem, as the whole point of all this fore-planning was the fact that I could use it to make the rest of my game easier to toss together).  The results worked great!  I think this whole "intense work putting together a world so that actually putting the sessions together is a snap" strategem really works well for me.

As to the actual session, I wanted a chance to introduce the new characters, bring everyone up to speed on what was going on, have a big, interesting fight that served as a combat tutorial, and then move on to solving the rest of the story.  I got everything up to solving the rest of the story.  I hate it when a session is 90% combat, but I find that's just the pulse of my GURPS games: This session, a really interesting fight with lots of combat, the next two sessions aftermath and building the context for the next big fight.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the fight.  I fret that Desiree, who certainly enjoys roleplaying more than beating the crap out of people, might have been a little bored, but she didn't seem bored, she got to stab someone in the eye with her hairpin, and she said she had fun, so I'll take her at her word.  And we started late, around 7 pm, so we only had 3-4 hours to play, thus it's natural that we wouldn't get much done.

The session began where the last ended: The imperial princess snatched from the home of Taro, the heroic Yakuza, with Yukiko, Daisuke and Hayate there to see the carnage.  They gathered up Taro and moved to leave, when suddenly, ninjas attacked! This gave Hayate a chance to reconnect with his past (an element that had been sorely missing thus far), and showed just how lethal ninjas can be.  Meanwhile, Goro made his move against Taro, bringing his hardest hitters to attack the club and finish off his rival once and for all.  The three players (along with Satomi, the doctor secretly in love with Taro, and Taro, our heroic Yakuza) faced a force of five ninjas, an elite ninja, twenty bandits and the Ox brothers.

Fortunately, the cavalry came (in Maartje's case, literally).  The other players had their own scenes of arriving at the city or realizing that half their party had vanished, and set off in pursuit, only to arrive at the club just in time to see the carnage unfolding.  Each player had a moment to shine, and quite a few NPCs.  Hayate talked the ninjas down (thus saving the doctor's life), and through teamwork, Daisuke (by drawing their fire), Hayate (by wounding them with a flash-step-gut-stab), Desiree (by pinning one in the eye) and Taro (by finishing the final one off with a grab-and-smash) managed to put down both of the terrifying Ox Brothers.  And then the players took the time to get to know one another and decide on where they wanted to go next... and we ran out of time.

So, like I said, I didn't get much done, but the players enjoyed the battle, and I think they needed this sort of "reintroduction."  All in all, given the enthusiasm shown, I think it went well, but I still look forward to digging into the meat of the role-playing in the next session.
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