Solar System Communal Vignette Writing

Eero Tuovinen

Surprises are oft bestowed upon those who expect little, ‘though they do not think much of it.

As the Story Guide would have it, my character Montserrat was in trouble. The Thieves’ Guild was grateful for services rendered, that was for sure — too bad the Morninglight knew everything after Ana sold me out.

Thing is, while I knew this full and well, being at the game table with my friends, Montserrat wasn’t so lucky in his obliviousness. Mike was being the Story Guide here, so it was he who told us that the lord’s troops were the cause of the racket downstairs. Montserrat just had time enough to grab his pants and give Beatriz a peck on the cheek before escaping right out of the window.

This being most obviously a conflict situation, we went into dicing mode with it: Montserrat was a fine hand with horses, so I didn’t hesitate to have him grab one of those the soldiers rode to the warrens. However, luck being a fickle mistress, the guard captain was the more cunning this time around: his men were waiting at the end of the alleyway, leaving Montserrat with little choice but to dismount courteously.

“Hold it right there, rebel” Mike growled on behalf of the grumpy captain. “Not for me to know why, but Morninglight’s wantin’ your head on your neck for the time being. Come back peaceful-like and you’ll live to see the sunrise.”

“And this I should believe, when it was I you cursed with three terrible deaths just a forthnight ago, captain Reinaldo?” I riposted in-character, finally inventing a name for the captain I’d fooled in the last session. “I’m just doing some flavor, Mike; Montserrat’s not really resisting if they’re truly not hostile right now.“

“That is so, Montserrat. Like it or not, your womanizing days are over: Lord Morninglight decided that you’ll serve his interests best as a member of the new expeditionary army. As I hear it, you can become either an aide to the commandant or a grunt in the first line of advance.” Mike replied, smiling. “My job is to make sure you’re in the army camp before they leave.”

As Mike probably expected, this turn of events blindsided both Montserrat and me quite completely. In no shape to escape, my adventurer accepted his fate for now.

This was my project for gathering some Solar System stories for use in my Solar System booklet; the idea was that I’d get different people to write about their own favourite parts of the rules.

The principle worked out well enough, and while I’d have liked to have a bit more participation, we got by well enough. I ended up writing about half of the vignettes myself; the one on the left is an example of my own style.

The Vignette Slots

The following table presents the final set of vignettes we ended up with after I filled the blanks. I was thinking of getting the participants to licence the vignettes with a CC licence like I’m doing with the actual rules text, but hunting them around about it proved too much trouble. Perhaps later, when we figure out an electronic edition of some sort.

Rules chapter Topic Author Fiction genre Finished?
Game introduction Overview of how to roleplay Eero Tuovinen Sword & sorcery swashbuckling My own
Starting a Game Creating initial crunch Steve Segedy zombie apocalypse ???
Creating Characters Developing Abilities, choosing Pools, etc. Ask me about the Finnish style of chargen if you want to write the details to match. Sami Koponen Anime Scifi ???
Developing the initial situation with the group, connecting characters or not connecting them. Jason Morningstar Mythic China Book’s CC licence
Playing the Game Framing scenes, interaction in play; themeful choice situations (bangs) and how they lead to consequences. Eero Tuovinen Modern Peacekeeping My own
Scene types, Pool refreshment, healing Harm. Sami Koponen Punk Art scene ???
Ability Check A situation where a check is made; timing the check (IIEE) and recognizing stakes (that is, why a simple Ability check is made in the first place – conflicts are handled later in the book); narrating the result Eero Tuovinen Wilderness Survival My own
Bonus & penalty dice, circumstance penalties, supporting a check Sami Koponen Stone Age ???
Conflict Resolution Stakes (conflicted character intent), how Abilities resolve conflicts, etc. Eero Tuovinen Wild West My own
Extended Conflict (BDtP) Declaring it, goals, choose Abilities, roll. Switching goals, gaining bonus dice, causing Harm, giving up. Eero Tuovinen Hard Boiled Crime My own
Experience and Keys You can’t cheat with Keys. Dave M Caribbean pirates ???
Transcendence, finishing a campaign Eero Tuovinen Space Now My own
Secrets and Crunch Using Secrets Dave M Caribbean pirates ???
Creating advanced crunch and using it. Eero Tuovinen Near Future Dystopia My own
Story Guiding Preparing a scenario / session of play in advance Eero Tuovinen Beat Culture My own
Running secondary characters, planning ahead, improvising Eero Tuovinen High Fantasy My own

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