Hey everyone. I originally had an idea in mind for what I’d do for Valentine’s Day and play Beloved, a rather cute and funny game where you play as a hero trying to beat undefeatable monsters, only to find that the damsel he’s trying to save is not his beloved, and each time you try again and again, you face even more unbeatable monsters, until you finally settle on a damsel you rescue (each time you do this, the damsel you rescue next will have one more trait that’s like your beloved).
I do have to say, it makes for some very hard-hitting brain teasers, such as “how can I beat this monster?” to more dramatic stuff like “do I push on, even though these monsters I face next will be even tougher?” and in the end it practically asks how much you love your beloved. It makes for an even crazier brain-teaser when you realize you are in control of how these monsters are unbeatable. Will you base them off a popular character; one you know is close to impossible to beat without quick thinking, clever planning, or even a last minute Deus Ex Machina? Will you start simple (a red dragon) but make the enemies more complex as time goes on (half-red-dragon Tarrasque brought back from the Shadowfell)?
Thing is, I’m not sure how to best do this for a replay blog outside of me posting a small story blurb about a fight between the hero and the monster(s) he’s fighting, then repeat that until the hero or I am satisfied with the damsel we rescued. I worry that I might not get the best ideas in my head for how I should make each monster unbeatable in their own way, and if I do, chances are I already have a good strategy of how to beat them in mind.
So I do what I always do when in doubt regarding the RPG: research. And what I found blew my mind. You remember when I said that the game provoked thoughts as simple as defeating a monster to something as complex as settling for less or pushing for more? The author of the RPG, Ben Lehman, has a lot of other RPGs that have this dramatic thought process. Hell, one of his latest RPGs is essentially a LARP scenario where you have one last video chat with a recently deceased loved one. This post explains in more ways than one about how thought-provoking Ben’s RPGs can become. One of his quotes regarding the RPG Polaris actually makes him seem like the RPG equivalent to Lemony Snicket.
What helped me decide on what to do for Valentine’s Day was this session done by the author himself and the discussion of Beloved, in which some people also talk about what the theme of the game is. I should stick to playing the game, but not in the way you think. I will write a narrative prose in tribute to the game and a possible theme it presents. For added challenge, I will do it in media res. Without further to say, let’s begin. Continue reading