April 4th, 2003

Me 2012

That Smile of His ...

I'm still working on that novel
But I'm just about to quit
'Cause I'm worrying about the future now
Or maybe this is it
It's not all that I thought it would be ...

--Steely Dan, What a Shame about Me

This is probably not the most inspirational song I could be listening to while I'm trying to sort out what I want to write. :)

In unrelated news, I enjoyed the Mirari game last night, though for perhaps somewhat silly reasons. As a small bit of background: Mirari is a "children's story" RPG I run, with tuftears as co-GM, and assistant GMs minor_architect and jordangreywolf. (And a special guest GM on a few occasions, Bambridge. We've got more people enlisted to play NPCs and run plots at one point or another than we do players.) The campaign premise is that the PCs were playing a game about a faerie-land, Mirari, which has proven to be real, and to have a whole slew of real problems based, in part, on the way the make-believe of the PCs, and at least one previous generation of children, has influenced the real thing.

Anyway, I was playing basically just one NPC, John Cortlynn. Cortlynn is either: (1) The real-life illegitimate son of the man who, by a previous generation of children, was relegated to the role of Main Villain in Mirari or (2) The actual Main Villain of Mirari, just pretending to be (1).

It's not readily obvious to the children which he is. As a real-world person, he seems like a pleasant, basically agreeable person. But is that just an act to throw them off guard? They keep waffling back and forth in how they treat him.

In the latest session, the kids finally convinced Cortlynn to play "let's pretend" with them, and his role is (naturally) the Main Villain, whom the PCs are going to try to reform in this bit of gamesmanship. In the midst of this, Cortlynn introduces himself to one character as "I'm a good guy pretending to be a villain pretending to be a good guy. Or maybe that's the other way 'round. I'm new to this and I don't have it quite straight yet."

But the highlight for me was the reaction of one of the players to Cortlynn's general demeanor. As he slipped into role, I posed him a few times as "wearing a small smile." At one point, kagetsume said: "That smile of his is creeping me out. Stoppit." He made a few other comments along those lines, of Cortlynn giving him the creeps.

I was really tempted to say, "You know that smile Kildare wore during the dream in the 'King of Infinite Space' scene? That's how Cortlynn's smiling." But I decided I was doing a good enough job already. Wouldn't want to overdo it. >:)

Ah, there's nothing like a GM's job well done. :)

(FYI: I left Kage out of the authorized list of readers for this post ... wouldn't want to inadvertantly give him any hints, y'know. :)

[Edit: The campaign's over, so this entry is now public.]