Actual Play – Take a Ride on the Loa Train (6/6/2011)

GM: Sean Nittner
Players: Chris, Steve, Alec and Fattig
System: Dresden Files

I think this week’s game is best described by the bangs/compels I started it with, and the totally unexpected things the players did with said bangs.


First things first, I wanted to get Raoul’s connection to the Loa in play. The Loa Marinette had been running around unchecked for too long and there were forces that want to balance this. So, right off the bat Raoul is approached by an old man with a crutch and a broad brimmed straw hat, petting a little black basenji. An iconic avatar of Papa Legba if there ever was one.

In no uncertain terms Papa Legba said he’d send a friend named Ghede Nibo, who would show Raoul how to help him from the Spirit World into Raoul’s. He met Ghede in Jean Emmanuel Baptiste’s apartment where the Loa told him everything necessary to prepare a ritual to allow the Loa to possess him. Yep, possession!

There was a funny moment when Raoul asking Remington (who he also knows is marked by power) if getting possessed was safe.  It ‘was like asking a chiropractor if neurosurgery is safe.  I liked Remington’s response.

Raoul headed off to get the goods: a black rooster, coconuts, pistachios, herring, cigars and many other offerings for Ghede Nibo.

This was Chris’s first whack at Thaumaturgy (Rituals). I tried to walk him through it as a player, as the Loa walked Raoul through it as a character. There was some confusion all around but he muscled through it… until he didn’t. He failed a roll midway through the casting and I gave him the standard options to reroll/get +2 with fate chips and aspects, take backlash (stress) or fallout (spell goes wrong). I should have known that Chris would take the latter, it is the most fun option.

So, what happens when you try to let a Loa possess you and make a mistake in the ritual? You get the wrong one. Good by Ghede. Hello Kalfu!

Rose and Remington

On the other side of town Rose was busy quitting her job, which NO ONE took well. Remington in particular, who realized it was only a matter of time before his “probation” would be revoked. Also, to put a point on it Remington cares about Rose and didn’t trust for a moment that her father wasn’t using his injury to manipulate her.

The scene with Rose and L.T. Alvarez was great. Rose had been hen pecked by so many people for years but there was literally nothing Alvarez to could say to stop her. So long officer Itsuaki.

A small side note. Rose quitting actually poses something of a problem for a game premised around characters playing cops in San Francisco. We’ve gone from a ratio of 2:1 to 1:3. Ah well, the game goes where it goes. I’m not going to pin anyone down. Besides Raoul is a deputy!

After the quitting Remington got a tip that something bad was going down at All Star’s place from Little Mikey. Just as soon as Rose had quit being a cop, Remington dragged her back into the case, like any good friend would do. And sneaking into All Star’s apartment they found a blood bath! Another massacre, bodies cut up by a short, razor sharp blade. And as they examined the bodies and found one still living, Remington heard the stomp of boots below. He only barely had time to sheathe his sword before the door was kicked open and cops from another precinct were yelling “Freeze! SFPD!”


And just for kicks VC was trying to do some police work, catching up with the body of Ringo… being carried out of the precinct by a dead man.

What rocked

I loved the tension between Rose and Remington, you’re never sure who is watching after who.

Chris was awesome in allowing a mis-possession. Fun times with Kalfu will ensue!

Remington got the name of a sword smith Melvin Rachter, looking forward to their meet up in Golden Gate park.

The pickle Rose and Remington left off in was great.

What could have improved

The story, as it does, feels like it’s slipping away from me. I know Steve has genuine concern about status of his character should Rose leave the force permanently.

There are a lot of NPCs at the precinct with to no personality. I’ve got to spend some time fleshing them out and giving them simple characteristics and motivations.

I haven’t worked out what APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Conference) is up to exactly (besides in some parts trying to prevent the expansion of the Jade Court). If Rose is going to work for them, I’ve got to get on that.