There was an amusing incident during a recent session, and I thought it perfectly encapsulated how a Romance card should play out. Well, in Tharkold, anyway.
The players were driving junkers after barging onto a Tharkold death-race type reality show to save a friend. The other contestants were Ivanovich the Terrible, a captured human from the Blasted Lands; and Slave 87-51J3, an eight-episode champion whose hobbies included scarification, pain-sculpture modeling for her technodemon master, and long walks through the slave pens to listen to the screams of the anguished. Everyone but the drivers were standing on open platforms mounted to the back of their vehicles.
The course had narrowed considerably, and right before the exit, the cars were close enough to ram each other. On the card flip, it was Heroes first, Villains second. Every vehicle had already taken some Wounds in the preceding sections of the course, so the first two players focused fire on Ivanovich's junker, destroying it and stranding him. The third player successfully Mind-Controlled Slave 87's driver to veer into a wall, killing him instantly and destroying their car. Slave 87 rabbit-jacked off the wreck on impact, and I decided we'd find out which vehicle she was jumping toward when it got to the villain's turn. The fourth player, a Tharkold native, made a psychic Premonition check as his action, and then slapped down a Romance card. Aha! So now we knew which vehicle 87 was going to be jumping toward, at least. The fifth and final player, an expert marksman, got in a huge roll while shooting at 87 as she was still in mid-air. Three Wounds, six Shock! I go to roll a soak for her . . . and roll a 1.
So this is how it played out: I could see it all in my mind's eye, in slow-mo. Slave 87 jumps toward the Tharkold player's junker. Their eyes meet. A smoldering look of intensity and passion passes between them. It's love at first sight. She draws closer to his outstretched arms, and . . . Ka-Blammo! Her head rocks back from the kill-shot, and she's instantly gone as his junker speeds away.
And that, my friends, is how love goes . . . in Tharkold.
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