I ran the first full game of Tribute (Powers) ever, tonight. Tribute Powers is a specific Tribute Spin (version) of Tribute, one that only uses 10 Powers and the Experience Key rather than the full set of 33 Keys (modular rules bundles). If you're interested, follow the link I posted for more information on Tribute.
The players were Gregory and Sarah Connolly, and my son, Ethan Kennan. I've been working on the game for much of his life, so it was especially nice to run it for him.
They were playing forces of nature/reality near the beginning of the universe. Greg was playing Faith, who is literally the concept of Faith, statted up, Sarah was Blaze, a hot-headed brava with a patience problem, and Ethan was playing Bandit; the iconic Trickster.
Ethan's character Bandit was the first character ever to use the Tribute Mechanics for Limitless; an Effect that gives a state of being where all of the game's limits are removed, and you can essentially go nova; a spotlight moment. He used his to convince a tribe of people who were worshipping an evil goddess that the monsters that were attacking them worked for her. He did so by tearing a tattoo of her spider web sigil off of a monster, then enlarging it so the whole village could see it. This after creating a bit of a Rube Goldberg device to wake the village up and grab their attention.
The idea for the adventure was that there were three factions:
- The Weave, which was arguing about how to create the universe (even while much of it was already being created),
- The Void, which saw no point in creation, and tried to sabotage the whole thing.
- ...and The Cleave, who decided between them. It was because of their decision to side with the Void on an issue that Death came to exist.
Blaze and Bandit were Weave faction, and Faith was Cleave Faction. The bad guys were all Void.
The setup was this: they had formed a party, sent by the Weave and the Cleave to investigate a raging Void monster called "The Hunger", that was about to destroy a solar system that had a great destiny. Think Silver Surfer for the scale of this encounter. Cosmic Fantasy.
A few issues; I used what I intended to be my boss fight as my first encounter, because of technical issues that delayed the game. We were playing over Skype and Fantasy Grounds.
*I* also failed to use my own rules well, and the boss was one-shotted. It can happen. Blaze pumped a lot of Fuel into her attack, and I didn't have the monster Counter her attack, the way it should. Normally, you have a chance to reduce the impact of any incoming effects, and there are a few ways to do it. Since you only have a maximum of 10 health boxes, it's the smart way to fight. I didn't fight smart, and the monster was killed right away. I think I tried to use the wrong Power to avoid the damage.
I did give Blaze some Tribute (for her Bank- to use later) for the one shot.
I improvised a second adventure, with some cooperation from the players. This time they had to help a fledgling society that needed a code of Ethics. I figured I'd try some social mechanics, etc. I inserted an evil being calling herself a goddess to fill the role that the first "boss" monster was supposed to fill (An annexation problem), and the characters spied a bit, and found out her plan. She wanted them to give their souls to her, so she could use them for Fuel. That's a game term, but the idea should be straightforward. They made their own Plan, and began to implement it. They tricked some of her minions into attacking a village, but swooped in before they could kill anyone.
Bandit whipped up his Rube Goldberg device to wake the village, and get their attention Focused on him (an in-game Effect).
Faith, invisibly, tripped up the bad guys, and kept them from attacking villagers (but not the PCs or property)- it was one Effect.
Blaze blasted the big one with Fire, but it Countered, and was reduced to just under 1/2 health.
The Monsters first attacked Blaze, and then Bandit. Blaze created a fire shield, and Bandit dodged. Neither was hurt.
Bandit then pulled his tattoo-ripping stunt. The villagers truly understood that the monsters worked for their "goddess".
The Monsters were taken out during this round.
We ended the session. The session was three hours, but the actual play time was about two hours, and a lot of it was explanations, and the characters making their Plan; said plan involves the Trickster writing the code of Ethics that these people will follow (since he's the best at making things). I can't wait to hear what it's like.
We play next week to try to finish the adventure. We should get more done.
I also found that I need some clarification on two things;
- What the mechanical differences between Annexing (taking) things , and Forging (incorporating and using them to justify your actions- i.e. MacGyvering) things are. They are different, but my explanation in the rules needs work.
- What to do if you still have the Limitless Effect on you, but the Scene ends. I'm going to let you take Experience points equal to the number of Turns you would have been Limitless.
I know some of this will mean virtually nothing to some of you, with the game terms for a game you haven't seen yet, but the point is, I ran a crash test, and the game didn't crash. It's ready for me to finish writing up the final playtest rules, which are about 90% done. That means that sometime this week, I should open the playtest to a wider audience. We will be using Slack for that, and I'll post a link on the Tribute page when it's time.
Thanks for reading.