2013-08-06 : The Sundered Land at Ropecon

At Ropecon I got to play my Sundered Land games for the first time at a con. I understand that some other folks have played them at a con before - John Harper and friends at Go Play Northwest, I believe? - but not me. It went great!

We started with Caravan Guards, with me as the Hazard player. I was impressed with the beautiful Finnish countryside so I had the caravan making its way through high birch and conifers on a road burnt through the forest. It was attacked by a gigantic skeletal snake, which the players' characters managed to defeat by carving a holy symbol into its spasming heart.

Of the five characters, three were dedicated to fallen gods, and come to discover they all served different cults. This was the matter of our second game, Night Watch. One was a child of a god of vengeance. One was the sole survivor of his cult's otherwise utter destruction, "and good riddance," he said. One had been a soldier and now served discredited gods of peace.

For the third game, we played Warriors, and Aaro graciously agreed to be the Butcher player. I took the character of the caravan overseer and we came under attack from, I don't clearly know. Possessed or undead townsfolk. The rules of Warriors mean that I can give you my impressions, but what really happened exists only in the Butcher player's mind, if even there.

But here's a fun thing! In that game, when we warriors should retreat but stand our ground instead, by the rules one of us is killed in the fighting. We go around and say how we fought, and the Butcher player judges what we say, and whoever's is worst, that character's killed. This is a hard rule to follow. I knew it would be when I wrote it! I think Aaro struggled with it when it came time. But he steeled himself and killed two of us before we managed to drive the attacking townsfolk away with fire and escape with the caravan.

We didn't have time to play a fourth game so we went around for epilogues. Even the killed characters got them, "what happened to you after you died?" And this was fun too: the rules for Night Watch work great for epilogues. One of the killed characters, the former soldier, his player said that after he died he found an escape from the world and eternal peace. We wondered if he was telling the whole truth. He wasn't, he admitted; he was overstating his own achievement. In fact he had only wandered the earth, substanceless, forgetful.


1. On 2013-08-08, Matti Delahay said:

Thanks a lot for the game, it was truly great to get the chance to try it with you! It was almost a shame my character survived, I can't help wondering what kind of afterlife my oblivion cultist might have found.

I'll definitely have to put together a group to try Sundered Land with as soon as possible, I found it a very inspiring system - it sure gave me more ideas about different ways to run and play a game.


2. On 2013-08-09, Ville Halonen said:

It was Aaro who played the Butcher. I don't know if there was a Ville in SL, but I played the Brainer in AW.

Now I'm kind of sad I didn't have the guts to organize a game of Sundered Land at the con. But S/lay w/Me was a fine substitute!


3. On 2013-08-09, Aaro Vierti? said:

This stupid website deleted my previous comment.

So yeah, it was me who played the Butcher as Ville said.

Actually when running the part I found that the easiest part was when characters had to die. The mechanic was really easy to run and good. Was simply deciding on the brief description and how well that suit the character, style and most importantly what I was thinking of the enemies. At least that came across quite clearly as I had possessed villagers in mind too. I think having to decide an advantage (numbers) and disadvantage (morale) for the enemies worked really well.

However I feel I had some problems with pacing the scenes and kind of felt lost after each one. Maybe that's because I had not prepared to run anything or because I have zero experience running anything with horde-kind of situation or horrorish wheeling.

So points for you on good, easy to follow rule on the character death. And thanks for the nice little game!


4. On 2013-08-09, Vincent said:


Thanks, Aaro.


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