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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month: Monomyth structure - Session 3

Well, I couldn't quite stay away from this story. :) I am still playing through the Ordinary World, as in the last session. Mythic has thrown an interesting and unexpected twist at me. At first I wasn't quite happy, but it turned out to be quite fun. There is some concern which I will explain.

As I've been reading about the Monomyth, I've learned about the various archetypes defined in the theory, such as the Trickster, the Herald, the Shapeshifter, etc. According to the information I've read, these are not always tied to a specific character, but can be thought of as "masks" that any character can wear to serve a function in the story. My intention was to have these masks be randomly assigned to characters, but I was thinking I would make masks available only at certain points in the structure of the story. For example, my plan was to leave the Herald archetype off until after the "Ordinary World" phase, in what is called the "Call To Adventure" phase.

I have broken that rule in my session, somewhat forced by Mythic. I think it might work, and perhaps it means I don't need to be too rigid about the structure. You be the judge!
So far, this is some of what has been established in the first two sessions:
  • Eli is both an artistic and intellectual individual
  • This town [still to be named] wasw forcibly incorporated to the Empire centuries ago.
  • Eli has somewhat likeminded friends, except in their learned snobishness.
  • Local folks who are more educated tend to look down on the other locals, and their "parochial" views.
It's not clear yet to me whether locals know much or care much about their past. I don't know if their insularity is due to their pride, or some other disatisfaction with the Empire. There are also hints that the educated folks might be more cosmopolitan-minded, or more outward looking.

What follows is the write up for this session:

Situation: Eli and Ulen are walking home from the library, excitedly conversing about how the librarian [to be named] showed up Brelward.

[What is the conflict? Mythic: separate-intrigues]

Ulen parts ways with Eli as they walk past Ulen's street. Not long after Ulen leaves, Eli becomes aware of being followed*. He catches a very brief glimpse of something that he would vaguely remember later as "ageless"-- and threatening**.

Eli picks up his pace, and then full of fear, just bolts home. Somehow, nobody seems to notice he is being followed, which convinces Eli that it allowed itself to be seen only by him. 
As fate would have it, Eli does eventually bump into Brelward's gang, minus their leader. They only laugh at him, though, seeing as he's scared to death.

They taunt him. "Watch where you're going Twig!"

Whatever was chasing him, does not catch up as Eli makes it home.

Our hero is glad to find his mom at home, but he looks out the window with concern.

[Random Event: Move towards a thread. "Malice-Adversaries". I interpret that as a reaction from his mom]

"Are those little brutes bothering you again?" She asks with some concern, and annoyance, going towards the window herself.
Eli only manages to nod.

With an irritated sigh, she turns from the window after not seeing anything. Somewhat absentmindedly she puts her hand on Eli's shoulder, and tells him what she always tells him: "They are just jealous of your talent, my dear." With that she goes back to her scholarly work on ascetic monks of old. 

No kisses or hugs from Mom. Eli would usually feel somewhat hurt and needy, but today he's just too scared. He looks out the window again, but does not see "it" again.

* This is where Mythic threw me a curve-ball. I asked whether it was Brelward, and got a no. I then asked if it was Brelward's gang, and got another no. Then I asked if it was some other bully (being really rigid with my questions), and got another no!

**The creature or being that Eli felt was following him was discovered through Mythic questions. Since Mythic left me with no options that I could think of, I broke my rule regarding using Monomyth Archetypes, and asked whether it was the Shadow archetype; possibly a manifestation of it. That's when I got a yes, so it may be a foreshadowing (no pun intended).

Edit: Click here for Session #4.

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