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Mountain Witch Play-By-Post Game

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  • Matthew Snover
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2006
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      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
      of foes."

      "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.

      the game:

      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)
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