Friday, September 10, 2010

The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 3

Episode 3: The Serpent of Destiny 

December 13, 2002 Friday

The cast are transported to the legendary Thebes of the Gods. Here they learn that the god Set has been corrupting Willow with magic for his own nefarious needs. The God Osiris also has issues with Willow. The Goddess Isis intercedes when they learn that Willow and Tara’s battle with Leviathan was foretold on millennia old cartouches. Isis gives Willow an amulet to protect her from dark magic.

Story Arc and Game Design elements: Willow receives The Ankh to protect her from “dark magic”. Try to make some sense out of “dark magic addiction” to a group that has a collective 90+ years on writing about magic and witches. Do away with magic addiction rules.
Soundtrack: Santana “Black Magic Woman”.

Notes and Comments:I can't tell you how much I hated the magic addiction rules. Well, not the rules themselves, but the concept from the show. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! It was everything I felt went wrong with the show. Playtesting rules for them was like polishing a turd.  We opted for a different metaphor.  We originally wanted to go with Taint from WitchCraft.  But for various reasons we didn't.  I think if I were to do this again I might go with Taint and the Ankh would still draw off the Taint from Willow.  The Ankh plays a greater role in the Willow-centric episode "Shadows in the Rain" later in the season.

We also wanted to add more mythos for other cultures to our game, this is the Egyptian one. Dealt with the whole Osiris nonsense. We began more myth building here and establish that Willow and Tara had been through other lives before and were together then too. Their connection to Leviathan via Set is also established.

Author Kirk Baldridge was one of the people that helped me with the Road Stories ideas and this was his second adventure.  His first was second season episode, Deep in the Heart. 
The cover was designed by Kitten artist Shinnen, whose work I have always liked.  The interior art was done by me and featured some Egyptian cartouches that detailed the events coming up in the series. These disparate events and prophecies became part of the larger Elder Prophecies which has appeared off and on throughout all my games.  Again basically saying that if a world does not have a living Willow and a living Tara it is doomed to be consumed by Leviathan.  Sorry for your world if this not the case. ;)

The plot kicks up next week in Episode 4 where we meet our enemy and Tara becomes a stripper.


Tim Knight said...

The show's heavy handed "magic = drugs" metaphor always annoyed me as well because it simply didn't work logically. For instance: how come Giles never become a junkie (especially when 'shot up' with all the borrowed magic to face Dark Willow)?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

That is only one of a hundred problems we found. We were pretty fed up with the show by this point.

Tim Knight said...

And yet you still managed to make an incredible game out of it!