Friday, September 3, 2010

The Dragon and the Phoenix: Episode 2

Episode 2: The Dead of Night

November 13, 2002 Wednesday 
A group of necromancers (the Order of Six) is using zombies of people killed by the cast, including Ben/Glory, and a shape shifting spirit to try and unlock a portal to Leviathan’s plane.
Story Arc and Game Design elements: Monster of the week (mostly). Necromancy rules for Cinematic Unisystem. Establishes that Tara keeps a Journal that she writes in religiously. Also introduces the Codex Albius and the first of many cults.

Notes and Comments: This adventure was written by Garner Johnson based on a draft he was doing for a story. It was designed as our playtests of "Monster Smackdown".
We featured a weak shape shifter as our first among many jabs at “The First”, but mostly we wanted to deal with some glaring issues, such as why some people get do all the killing of normal humans they like and never be held accountable for it (Spike, Buffy), while others are treated like pariahs (Faith, Willow).
We also wanted to do a “zombie” episode since we were all getting into AFMBE by this time and really just wanted a monster of the week one. The title was my idea and Garner objected, but he saw it my way after spending a week trying to come up with something better.
The episode itself doesn't advance the arc much save for the fact that we established that others are going to be interested in what is going on here.  This was part of my "your characters do not live in a vacuum" philosophy.  This was stage building.
The idea was to have the characters have to deal with the deaths, accidental or otherwise, that they have caused, but it didn't quite work out like that.  The players saw zombies and zombies had to be destroyed.

Tara's journal writing was one of those things that seem to come out of several different places at once. Lisa (our Tara) and Sass (our Willow) both talked about it. Later on it was reinforced when we began work on Ghosts of Albion and Tamara Swift also kept a journal. In fact the Journals of Tamara Swift became magical tomes in their own right, as did the Journal of Megan Maclay would in the next season.

Yes. I know there is a typo in the cover. I have been meaning to fix it for years.

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