Friends, NPCs, Countrymen…


Generally speaking, it is unwise to tell your friendly neighborhood Guardian of the Veil representative that you are about to hold a press conference on behalf of a man who watched a bunch of people turn into Werewolves. It is a widely held belief that going on to tell him that the whole thing was in fact your idea is… less wise.

At least Damien chose his moment well: as they were about to leave the graveyard from which the body of a young woman said Guardian representative had been accused of murdering was recently stolen.

It could only have been worse if Narsil, the Guardian in question, only found out because Damien accidentally mentioned that he’d like to get some sleep before having to head over to the steps of City Hall for his press conference.

Which is, as I imagine you have already deduced, precisely how Narsil found out about this press conference.

Narsil was displeased.

I did enjoy playing out Narsil’s reaction to this news. Watching Damien’s player squirm as he tried to spin how this would ultimately work in the Consilium’s favor by painting a picture of a man suffering from PTSD due to the stresses of his job. He went on at length about how this would not only discredit the “supernatural” elements of his story, but he could pull it off in a way that would gain sympathy for the police from the public, thereby gaining the trust of both the public and the police! It made sense, and he rolled well, and as GM I did know that this was the player’s plan going into the whole thing so Narsil (also a Mastigos) wouldn’t detect anything but sincerity from Damien. This is exactly the kind of mass manipulation (for the people’s own good of course!) that the Guardians like to see, and resulted in Narsil asking Damien if he had ever considered a career with the Guardians. He never dreamed that Damien would take it as an offer and accept it, though I’ll admit he had been hoping Damien would for a variety of complicated and conflicting reasons that will become clearer later on. (No Spoilers!)

Of course, as much fun as that was, the press conference was my favorite part of the day. I absolutely made Damien’s poor player (a lawyer in real life as well as in game) play this out. We gathered both tables together (Mages and Werewolves alike) and let people fire questions at Damien. He was then on the spot to answer them. Fun! He was a bit perturbed when I told him that was the plan. He had already augmented his mental abilities (well, his character’s mental abilities anyway) with some spellcraft, but he decided to ask if he could use his skills in the Mind Arcana to split his mind, almost like the Multi-Tasking spell, but instead of keeping track of different mental tasks he would look at the questions from opposing viewpoints while being charming for the cameras and assembled reporters. He would effectively be playing Devil’s Advocate with himself while he stalled. I decided that there could be little in life that would be more hilarious than allowing him to choose from among his Cabal-mates to represent different parts of his psyche and allowed this.

Much to my amusement he chose Aenaiyah (to represent his creative side: she’s a writer), Rex (his grumpy side: Rex is a grumpy old man),  and Riff-Raff (Riff-Raff is a cop and so would know the law, and Riff-Raff’s player is also a lawyer in real life).

Argus’s player got to be one of us mean people pelting him with irritating questions. Excellent!

Throughout the conference Damien dealt with belligerent questions like “are you asking us to believe that there are Werewolves in the city?!” He was asked if he thought that the officer in question was mentally unstable to begin with and never should have been handed a badge and a gun in the first place; if this clearly currently less-than-stable individual should be handed a gun again at some point in the future; if it really is a good idea to have people who believe in Werewolves on the police force; if the public can expect more mental breakdowns and instability from the people who are supposed to be protecting them; if he was thought it was OK to let this person get away with endangering innocent people in a diner by waving around a loaded hand-gun because ‘any of them could be Werewolves, even you*!”; what kind of disciplinary action he thinks this officer, who endangered innocent people, should be facing; and all manner of irritating questions. One of my favorite parts though: while most of the players were a wide variety of reporters (you had to say a reporter’s name before you could ask a question), one of the Werewolves had apparently (and I did not know this beforehand!) been saying that his character was planning on starting up a website of weird goings on in the city and so he was asking questions as his character, a character that Damien knows,  and randomly being a total pain in his ass. Matteus asked questions like:

  • “Do you believe in Werewolves?”
    • This may require Damien to lie since he knows Matteus is indeed a Werewolf
  • “If Werewolves really do exist, and I’m saying if here, why would that necessarily be a bad thing?”
    • OK people playing my brain, how do I answer this diplomatically without sounding crazy? GO!
  • “Don’t you think Werewolves would make really good police officers since they are really strong, and heal really quick, and have an incredible sense of smell that they can use to track criminals? If they existed I mean, of course!”
    • People playing my brain, remind me later to punch Matteus  in the brain repeatedly until he is in a permanent coma. Or dead. Dead is OK too.

All told, I absolutely endorse allowing players to hold press conferences. I also absolutely endorse letting the other players grill them like a rack of ribs! Screw the whole “we’re a team we should help each other bit”. Deep down somewhere in the sub-cockle region they enjoy torturing each other and as you know I always say “let them!” Make sure that you have a few good juicy questions ready and then let the group dig in with you. You’ll be glad you did!

Mages Make Me Cry

*You may recall that the “you” Officer Brewer was speaking to at the diner that night was in fact two Werewolves: Calypso and Matteus. (See: Regrets, They Have A Few)

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Posted on October 12, 2012, in Campaign Summary, Mage Awakening, MtAw, RPG, Werewolf Forsaken, WoD, World of Darkness, WtF and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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