@muscularpikachu and @EvilHatOfficial's For the Queen went really well today. I wanted to make sure I had a chance to facilitate a game before next week when I'm facilitating it at @TabletopCentral.
I mention facilitating specifically, because, if you don't have the game yet, the game does not have a GM. I am just making sure I can present the game properly to those that haven't had a chance to get a copy for themselves. By the way, you should get a copy for yourselves.
I think it was mentioned on the @MisdirectedMark play through of the game that this is the queen that they have seen selected most often, and she was our first choice as well.
As the prompts started to develop, we found out that one of us was her informant, giving up people that dissented against her rule, including their family, one of us was someone continually put in situations to make them look incompetent.
The "disappointment" was a person that she kept putting in bad positions so that she could show how benevolent she was when she publicly forgave them.
Another of our group was a lady in waiting that was considered beautiful on her own, but constantly downplayed her own appearance to not draw the queen's ire. She was also in awe of the queen and was actually touched by her once.
My prompts led me to a character that was being held as a political hostage from the other nation we were negotiating with. Originally I hated the queen, but the longer she told me about how terrible my homeland was, the more I came to love her.
She would have me stand in front of the nobility and apologize for the sins of my countrymen to educate everyone on the superiority of the Queen's land.
We also found out that the queen ate things that no one should see, that all of the royal butchers were blinded so they couldn't see what she feasted on, and no one close to her could remember anything from before they were in her inner circle.
In the end, everyone except my character defended the queen. When she was attacked, I suddenly saw a brief glimmer of hope of returning home, and abandoned the shell that I developed to defend me from the abuse of hearing about how awful I was by association with my people.
It felt like early on, we decided this was a sinister queen, very quickly, asked most of our questions to flesh out our characters and our history with the queen, then moved towards "world-building" questions towards the back half of the game.
When we picked our second queen, we definitely wanted to play against type when it came to the horns. Our first player mentioned a foiled assassination attempt, and ended up being from a family that served as royal bodyguards.
We started a lot more world-building questions up front. We established that the country was a blasted wasteland where you can hardly see the sky for the crimson haze, and that it has been ruled by a hell-spawned/tiefling dynasty for centuries.
The bodyguard is part of a noble family that needed to serve for seven generations before they could return to being nobles, and the bodyguard is of the seventh generation.
Our next character to take shape was the royal chef, that the queen treated kindly and introduced to nobles at banquets in recognition of his talents. Eventually, we found out that his secret is that he is the bastard sibling of the queen.
I had to determine why I could not forgive the queen, and decided that I was a noble that was potentially betrothed to her, but she ruled in favor of a rival family that had been attempting to ruin my family's business.
I had a magical broach that I would use to defend her, with the souls of some of the lesser members of the rival family trapped within it. We determined that while the dynasty is traditionally tyrannical and cut-throat, she had her brother have been less so than their forbears.
She wants to make the country a safe and clean place, and to have respect for others. To rule through respect and service instead of fear. Which my character thought was a very quaint trait of hers, but not realistic.
Our last character turned out to be her legitimate brother, and we learned that ascension to the throne is by assassination. He loves his sister, and hated his father, but still regrets that his sister killed their mother as well.
When asked how I reconciled loving the queen, but being unable to forgive her, my character stated that all real marriages are a successful balance of love and resentment, and it is better to go into a marriage knowing what that resentment would be up front.
From the half-brother, we learned that the queen enjoys dancing when by herself, and we learned that the bodyguard danced with her once, and was shocked that she would do so. We also found out that we have magical weapons of mass destruction that she isn't willing to deploy.
When it came time to answer if we would defend her, the bodyguard and her legitimate brother did not. The brother is afraid she is too much of a dreamer to keep the nation intact, and the bodyguard wanted to back a strong family member.
The illegitimate brother/royal chef cared about her too much for all of her kindness, and I wanted to prove to her that I was a better match for her than she thought by devastating her enemies with my amulet of enemy souls.
This was the opposite of the previous round of prompts because we fleshed out a lot about the kingdom and the dynasty before we went too deep into most of our characters, and we didn't discuss much about the trip, just lives at court, and then the attack on the road.
I am really glad we had the opportunity to play more than once, because I wanted to see how the second playthrough differed from the first. I am really excited to play this game again.
The prompts are very strong, and I love the different images of the queen and the structure that conjecturing about them provides.
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