The big one, my record breaking three games day. I started out with Deranged, that later went on to win three ottoes (the oscar of Danish role play and one of the reasons the games at Fastaval are of so high quality.) What amazed me was the player composition, they were mostly over 30, most of them very experienced, and the ones I knew was of the same player type.
It just gos to show what a well written preview can do, they got just the right players, (oh and a strong clear theme, such as classical music.) This actually ties in to one of the points in my post about what games I wanted to play: be honest about what your game is and who should play it. Don’t beat around the bush, just to get more players.
I ended up with yet another international group alongside Lasse, who also played in my group from Distance. It’s become apparent, that if you play a lot with international participants, you will end up playing a lot with the same people. Luckily Lasse is competent and fun, so it’s kind of a first world problem. The other players were: Lars Nyberg a singer (!) and a british girl with the loveliest british accent (I often long for good accents from my second home country.) She turned out to never ever have played role play before, but you really couldn’t tell, she did a great job.
Deranged have the flow I felt This Miracle (and as you shall later see “Things that happen to other people”) lacked. It had a lot of scenes, and they had clearly worked very hard at creating a perfect cutting technique.
The frame of the game is that the german composer Robert Schumann is dyeing at a mental institution alone and mad. As life slowly leaves him, he remembers central scenes in his life and tries to make sense of it all, in his mind creating a symphony from his own memories. But because this all takes place within his deranged mind, things doesn’t have to makes sense, we can jump back and forth in time and even play some of the same scenes several times. We were actually encouraged to play the same scenes several times rather than try and play many different scenes. The whole point being the scene could be changed, he could remember it in a new light or focus on something else, or even change it.
The way it is done is where the flow comes in:
On one of the walls in the room a lot of scenes was arranged in three acts. But not just in any odd way, they are arranged as notes on a sheet of music paper, (it looked great, and became a backdrop for the game.) There’s three acts or stages (each with a separate overall theme), in the beginning we can only choose from the first act, but as soon as someone picks a scene from the second act we can start to play that as well, and the same with the third, så we ourselves decide the tempo of the game, although the GM could place a symbol signaling that now there was only 20 minutes left. But we still decided when it ended by someone picking the epilog scene.
So we would play a scene, when one of the players, even those not on stage started saying a certain line from a piece of music written by the character you played (we all played historical characters and it was their music that was used) that meant the scene had ended, but we would continue to say the sentence either going lower or higher until the music the sentence was from started. (Mine was “Die Rose Die Lilje”) While that music played one of the players (didn’t matter which one) would just chose a scene read it out and then we would play it.
So the cutting and pacing of the game was completely in the hands of the players. It was done on an individual basis, but we still managed to create something coherent. It’s interesting that it can be such a cooperation even though the choices where individual.
When I talked to Marie and Jeppe afterwards they said they wanted us to do it in silence and not by talking about where to go now and what to do. I think we did that a bit too much, in our group, and as a GM I would have been more strict with this rule. This is intuition not planning, but like my post about Distance, it’s a taste thing. But it was a beautiful game both to play and to watch. I kinda want to run it now.