Sadly it didn’t occur to me to take a picture of the Scene’s first foray into public house gaming. Altogether eight people showed up. Five of us (Alissa, Carter, John, Hugh, and Joshua) played Lady Blackbird while Nat, Sam, and Kieva played Fiasco at a nearby table, (see separate post).
My first comment about the venue is that I sure enjoyed my delicious pints of oatmeal stout and I’m pretty sure they deserve a lot of the credit for me having the confidence to go ahead and GM this game. On the other hand the pub’s background noise and low lighting made things difficult. I think full enjoyment of a game like LB really requires every player to listen attentively to every other players stories and contributions. The ambience definitely made this more difficult. Also the game itself is printed in a lovely but dainty and fine font which in low light made for a lot of squinting and straining.
At the bottom of this post is a link to another review of the game. I don’t think we achieved that level of ‘awesomeness’ but I am very pleased with the story we created so far. The character’s first attempt to escape the brig started well with Lady Blackbird using wind magic to create an impressive distraction, while Kale confidently picked the shabby iron lock. “Childs play!” she said… but just as the last tumbler falls into place, but before she can swing the door open an officer entered with 4 new marines and ordered Cyrus to come with them. Naomi and Kale took this opportunity to attempt to rush the guards and Cyrus slipped out and made his way out into the rest of the ship. As punishment, the officer in charge summoned ‘Bubba’ to enter the cell and deliver an educational beating on the unruly prisoners. This didn’t end well for Bubba. Kale uses her magic to make the lights go out and the remaining marines panic, allowing Naomi to disarm them in the dark. The characters are able to slip out into the ship in search of Cyrus and ultimately their own spaceship during the brief moments before a general alarm is raised.
Cyrus meanwhile had found his way to the senior brig officers quarters in hopes of recovering everyone’s personal effects. This results in an encounter with the officer, Gary Slaughter… surviving brother of Shawn Slaughter a former comrade in arms of Cyrus Vance from his days in the imperial wars of ’36. Obviously Gary blames Cyrus for Shawn’s death to the ensuing battle cannot be avoided. This doesn’t end well for Gary. The noise of their struggle allows Kale and company to home in on Cyrus and the group is reunited. During the moments while they regroup and consider their next move, Cyrus thinks back to the horrific last days of the aforementioned war. The reflection the mortality of friends and the senselessness of war apparently give him a sober appreciation for the stakes he still plays with and a new determination to get his crew and his passengers, especially the lovely Lady Blackbird, out of this dire situation.
A death defying sprint through the Hand of Sorrow allows them to reach the Owl just as it is about to be jettisoned into space like 80 tons of space trash. The Imperials realize too late that instead of cutting of the heroes escape they’ve just made it that much easier. Fighters are scrambled and poor Snargle has to pilot his goblin ass off to evade their guns. Luckily he does just that and manages to line up some great shots allowing Cyrus, at the guns to take out three fighters. Kale, in the meantime coaxes some once in a life time, do-or die performance and speed out the Owl ‘s doughty engine and steam drives. at one point she put them into a perilous ‘overboil’ no doubt risking catastrophic consequences. But said risk is averted and the Owl loses the Hand of Sorrow in a rogue gas cloud on the fringes of the lower depths… oh wait that’s no gas cloud! In fact it was a massive gout of ink from a ravenous sky squid.
… to be continued…
Here’s a positive review from Wired magazine: “Lady Blackbird is simply awesome“