Mountain Witch Play-By-Post Game
- My apologies if this gets sent multiple times. I sent it once
already, but didn't see it on the site.
A game of The Mountain Witch is being started as a PbP game on the RPG
Crossroads PbP boards and is looking for players. I'm not running the
game, but I am a player
(the GM isn't on this light right now).
Here is a link to the post advertising the game:
Here are some blurbs from that thread:
"This is the tale of the fallen samurai, without honor, but in their
desperation courageous, who attempted to storm the mountain fortress
of the Witch-King, O-Yanma, hoping to succeed where armies of
thousands had failed. Climbing the frozen slopes they came, hungry and
cold, like wolves in the winter ... driven to extremity by
deprivation, dangerous in their need. They bore their old skills like
rusty blades, brandished in last resort against this most formidable
"Neither knowing each other nor wanting to know each other, these men
held their secrets close, suspicious of the motives of the others ...
each knowing that the others would most certainly profit from his
death. And yet they would need to trust, lest they find themselves
divided, conquered, each dying alone on this terrible mountain."
"Their tale was followed by this one, myself, Kotone Oda, poet and
priest, who has dwelled on this mountain for so many years, watching
the desperate and the brave destroy themselves, and each other, in
contest against the Mountain Witch."
"The sound of bells echo the impermanence of all things; the fading of
flower blossoms reveal the truth that the prosperous must decline. The
proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the
mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind."
The Mountain Witch
A handful of ronin samurai, driven by desperation and secret goals,
accept the mission to scale the slopes of Mt. Fuji and destroy
O-Yanma, the Mountain Witch, who stands secure behind his fortress'
walls, the mountain's supernatural protectors, and - not least - the
rigors of the frozen mountain. In the interests of survival, they must
learn to Trust, even though their Dark Fates constantly undermine
their unity with the temptation of Betrayal.
Though the game suggests a simple plot outline (climb mountain -> kill
Witch), that is really quite deceptive - it is extremely freeform, it
has no set ending, and it is no hack-and-slash. Rather, the handful of
cannon elements (the mission and a few stock characters) act as a
framework on which to hang player-created material.
The intention of the game is to examine the ronin, with the Witch
quest acting as a McGuffin that spurs them into action and puts
pressure on them until they reveal their true natures. Will they
reconcile with their pasts and Fates, pulling together and triumphing
over the mountain? Will they fail to confront their inner demons and,
weak in their indecision, die on the slopes of Mt. Fuji? Or will they
embrace their Fates and descend into bloody opera?
The ronin are built out of only a few major characteristics, primarily
Trust and Dark Fates. Trust is given to a ronin by the others, and it
may be spent to either Aid the others (which is nearly necessary to
pull through the game) or to twist the knife a little further during
the act of Betrayal.
Dark Fates act primarily as an opposing force to group unity. Each
ronin has a secondary (or primary) drive beyond the simple goal of
killing the Witch. One might have a grudge against another, while a
third has secretly made a deal with the Witch himself. Another may be
looking for something completely aside from the Witch, with his
loyalties only lasting as long as the others are useful to him.
The Fates push the ronin to make choices ... loyalty to his allies or
pursuit of his closest goals?
An interesting characteristic of this game system is that it hands a
great deal of the GM's directorial power to the players. You can add
and alter game elements, so long as it relates to your Fate, and
conflict resolution is a fortune-in-the-middle style of play, where
you check for success, then determine what actions are taken (and
their results). So, you make the check, then you get to narrate that
entire conflict if you win, using it to develop your character or
foreshadow your Fate.
With a bunch of characters doing this, the GM's role essentially
become that of a sharp stick, prodding the players with simple story
hooks that they can work with as they please. In theory, this might
not even be necessary, if the players always take the initiative to
kick in their own hooks. In that case, the GM's role is narrating when
NPCs succeed at conflicts, and that's pretty much it. Go, player
* * *
We're probably looking at a couple or a few posts a week, though this
system does lend itself to independent player action/interaction
(without checking in with GM so much), so it could possibly go faster
if the play group moves that way.
Anyone who's interested should declare their interest on the board,
but that's all - don't send character concepts. Since character
concepts start so stripped down in this game (you're encouraged to
start simple and make stuff up as you go), there isn't going to be any
point in me picking characters out of a set of submissions. Instead,
it'll just be first come first served, ideally with 4 to 6 players.
-Matt (Garvey on the boards)