This week I actually had a chance to run a game again for the first time in a while, and we actually got to play a game system that I have been dying to play again for two years, PDQ. Actually, we played using PDQ#, which I think is a little better than the just PDQ. By the way, the rules themselves are a free download here: PDQ# Rules.
First, I’d like to say that the game rules and setting are really well written and allowed me as a GM to play fast and loose. I can say that I actually did not prepare at all for this game other than reading through the rules and skimming the setting briefly. There is only one other game that I have been brave enough to do that for, another awesome game called Inspectres! However, after reading through the rules, the GM section, and the example play part, I not only felt like I didn’t have to, but that I might actually take away from the game if I did. The example play part of the book is pure gold by the way, and I am very thankful the author included it. Not overly detailing the game let me go where the characters wanted to go, not take them where I wanted the story to go.
We started off the night by letting the guys create their characters. It was great because this only took about an hour, and the only reason it took that long is because the players had trouble deciding what exactly they wanted to be and they were unfamiliar with the setting. They both ended up making Pirate characters, but while one was a skyship captain, the other was a Master of Disguise rogue. Since they were both pirates, I gave them a ship that is not theirs, but on lone from a mysterious benefactor and declared that they are ship-mates that have served on the same crew for a while now, giving them a bond.
The characters began the adventure on the sky island nation of Barithi, in a local pub. Picking something from the Motiviation of one of the characters, I tell them about a conversation they overhear from a seemingly drunk man. He is talking about an ship that will be making a very lucarative run by harvesting mystical materials from a beached airwhale. The characters head over and immediately begin loosening the mans tongue with drink. At this point, I had some idea of what could be going on, but the players came up with some ideas all their own.
One of the characters (snikle) decided to see if he could read the man using Past: Ex-Physician to a Noble and Nationality: Barathi and discovered that the man was higher up that he was playing at and was not being a truthful. Then, he used a style die to create a ring that contained some truth serem that he slipped into the mans glass. (He got a style die for this)
They then really question the man, and start to take him home. Once they finished, they knocked him out and took his clothes so that the Master of Disguise could see what was really happening on the ship. I had an idea of where to take the story at this point, the man was of a different house than he was claiming and just wanted the ship of the competition to be ambushed. However, the players had some ideas of their own and when they started talking about them, I decided to go with them because it seemed like more fun and like it was what they wanted to do. Another benefit of not having everything already laid out.
At this point, the characters head to the ship Dancer’s Dream and, disguised as the man, board it and decide to make an inspection. Once on board, snikle rolls well and the sailors take him to be the man he is disguised as. They find that the ship is headed to Colrona island and through some good leading dialogue, find out that there is a second ship actually headed to the airwhale and that this one is just a decoy. He then sends one the the sailors to the second ship with the other player’s (Rob) character, saying “the master demands it to be inspected.”
Rob’s character managers to get the the sailor talking along with way with some nice rools and find out the second vessel is called Merchant’s Game and that the airwhale is on a small un-colonized island. Merchant’s Game is a large slower vessel meant for carrying lots of cargo, but it is also well armed to defend itself. Asking Rob what his character wants to do when they get to the ship turns out awesome. Rob decides to make a roll and spend a style die to bend things to his favor and sabatoges the ship by tossing all the wicks to the cannons overboard. If it hadn’t have been the end of the session, he would have recieved a style die for it.
That was were we ended for the night, and it was a load of fun. The game mechanics are great that allowed for a lot of character narriation, I was simply a guide and it a great experience. PDQ was always one of my favorites and I have a feeling that S7S will my favorite game for quite some time.
To find out more about the the game setting and mechanics go here: Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies.
I will post more adventures as they happen.