Background: I have a table of seven players and one follower
- Core Earth American Marine
- Tharkold Russian Occultech Trooper
- Cyberpapacy Sikh Swordmaster
- Pan Pacifian Psionic Secret Agent
- Orrorshan Grandma Monster Hunter
- Aysle Elven Warden
- Nile Empire Mummy Boy Detective (Basically Johnny Quest as a mummy)
- Aysle Bugbear follower that was introduced with the wandering monster card
The Mission: I was running a high speed chase through Tharkold. It was very "Mad Max: Fury Road." The team was supposed to pick up a "weapon" from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast (Russia).
Act one was a beautifully insane running gun battle chase. Everyone had a great time and everything was clicking. The players were really playing to the cinematic style of the game. Turns out that the weapon was Markina a young pre-cog that they needed to smuggle out of Tharkold and deliver to the Delphi Council. Act one ended with the pickup.
Act two was to race to the port of Arkhangelsk and hook up with a submarine to escape. The crew is approaching the last stretch when vehicles from the Cyberpapy, Core Earth, Tharkold, and the Nile Empire show up to grab Marinka. The players do a great job tactically and the only vehicle left is Nile Empire weird science walker. It has a force field that is proving annoying to the heroes. The Swordsmaster and her Bugbear follower move in to engage in hand to hand. At the same time the Psionic causes the explosives located in the walker to go off. One is a Nile Empire Reality Grenade. I flip the Drama card and a Surge comes up. The Bugbear, the Psionic, and the Warden disconnect. Then they ALL roll a one on reconnect. The Psionic and the Warden opt to lose a reality add. The Swordsmaster says that Grog the Bugbear transforms and is now an action adventure bugbear.
That alone would have made for an epic story, but we had the boss fight left.
The heroes cross the bridge and there before them is a Tharkold Ravagon named Thrag the Unworthy. He's a beast. There are two Ghuls for each character to keep them busy while he pounds on them and escapes with Marinka. It's either going to be a huge win for the Storm Knights or a huge setback for the Delphi Council. The stakes are high. I decide to have Thrag monologue (it's a Social 25 axiom and I'd decided that he'd give them a chance to give up Marinka). He intimidates and the party is Very Stymied.
Then it all went sideways and became one of the most epic moments I've ever had the pleasure to Game Master.
The Warden steps out of the vehicle and says "I have a counter proposal. I see honor in you. Wouldn't you rather be free to live your own life -- with me?" and she throws down the Romance card.
What can I do? The other players are stunned into silence. I cannot in good conscience invalidate that player agency. Thrag takes a knee and vows to love and protect the Warden and tells them to escape. The Warden's player got tears in her eyes. Thrag flew off to deal with the consequences of his rebellion and I decided to let him escape across the border to Aysle.
Now I have to figure out what to do with Thrag, but the possibilities (no pun intended) are vast and the players were cheering when the game ended. My players that also game master hung out after the game to tell me how much they enjoyed how I had it all played out.
It was a great night and definitely one for the books.