Saturday, November 20, 2010

Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries, Expedition Log, Part 1

Last night was our first session playing The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries (and I still think it should be a society, not a committee), and I think things went fairly well. I was somewhat clumsy with the rules. Several of the players are still feeling quite hesitant about speaking with the grandiose tone appropriate to the setting and genre. Almost everyone's having trouble speaking in first person past tense, or remembering to take as much narrative control as they should. But everyone is warming up to these things quite well, and after only a single round of scenes, people seem a lot more comfortable with it than I expected this early in, and are enjoying themselves.

To keep the game simple, I've omitted all the rules related to beverages, as well as the timer, and we chose not to end on a cliffhanger. We've not yet decided on one or two scenes per location; we've done one scene in the first location, and there are quite a few dangling threads that I think we'll want to resolve before moving to the next location (as well as some which will carry on into the next location), so I think we'll probably decide for two. If we don't finish in the next session, we might end that one on a cliffhanger.

On an expedition bound for the fabled city of Shangrila, located high in the Himalayan mountains, six stalwart members of the Committee faced unforeseen perils with bravery and cunning. Amongst our number were an aviatrix born into one of the wealthiest families in New York high society, a humble librarian around whom mysterious disappearances and violent deaths were prone to happen, a rich playboy investor looking for adventure, a swarthy Arab who bought and sold nearly everything, and a young boy who'd been raised by a pack of wolves. For my part, I'm just a mechanic from New Jersey, they call me Wrench, and maybe I don't much belong among such rich and fanciful folk, but there's things what I can do enough they keep me along.

We're riding on the Orient Express bound for China, where we'll hire guides to take us overland to the foothills of Nepal, thence the climb into the snowy peaks of the Himalayas where our information suggests the legendary city of Shangrila might be found, there to find the secrets of that mysterious place. Only we're not even halfway there and already we've had some archaeologist trying to steal our identification papers, a Chinese spy attempting to mislead us to disembarking at the wrong stop, and a bomb set amongst the machinery of the steam engine. What greater perils must we no doubt face before the train arrives in the exotic Orient? Harrowing, indeed, but that is a tale for another day.

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