Let’s Finish A Flower For Mara

Alright, let’s finish off A Flower For Mara. For those who haven’t, please read my previous part, as it sets everyone up. For those who want a quick skimmy, here you go:

Mara’s dead. The game would have been about people grieving for her had it not been for a few Oracle rolls telling me that her mom had a hand in the recent ‘hauntings’ (though they’re more like ghostly visits) and that I should investigate further. What this results in is Naomi being an evil mastermind and the group is banding together to talk about their feelings to make the ghost of their regrets go away.

We also discovered that Zoe isn’t Caleb’s father. It’s Ajax’s, my PC. And that Joshua just… gave up grieving. No. I’m not making this up. He just… gave up. Zoe’s took the whole truth of being Ajax’s daughter rather well, but only because Naomi is actively trying to tear the family apart. Why? Out of revenge for what everyone did to their daughter.

Now, in keeping with the tone of the RPG having a TV-show sort of feeling, I would probably do a Previously On segment, but that’ll be me splicing together different scenes together to replicate what I just gave above.

So far, Zoe and Joshua set down their flowers. The others are well aware of setting the flowers down. And now we’re going into Fall. It’s gonna be hard to figure out what to do, since everyone is now allied with each other. We also have to make sure Naomi doesn’t impede us. Though the real question is why we don’t just pull an intervention and shove her into the same room as us, hold her down, and pretty much settle everyone’s differences.

This… is a hard nut to crack. I really wanted to play the whole year out and finish this on the final act, but I think we’re gonna finish in the Fall. So, I’m gonna skip to the final confrontation with Naomi, since I assume that the next few scenes is everyone putting their flowers down and admitting their griefs as soon as possible.

So, Thanksgiving.

[Q: Does Naomi expect a fight? Purpose: To Endings. A: 62. Surge Counter’s at 1]

Yes, she is. Alright. No sense beating around the bush. However, there’s one thing I want to ask… juuuust to make it interesting…

[Q: Did Ajax tell his grief? Purpose: To Endings. A: 10, Surge making it 8.]

No, he didn’t, and for a good reason too. Not gonna say until the time is right.

{Scene: Thanksgiving Dinner, everyone is sitting at the table. They glare at each other, ready to pounce.}

[Rolling conversation modes. Everyone sans Naomi is loved, while Naomi is hated.]

  • Caleb: Neutral/Reputation/Enemy
  • Zoe: Sociable/Surrender/Superiors
  • Naomi: Cautious/Confusion/Retainers
  • Joshua: Helpful/Speech/Power
  • Ruth: Sociable/Rage/Skills
  • Thomas: Neutral/Enigma/Flaws

A couple of these make sense (Naomi’s confused about why everyone’s teamed up against her, Zoe wants Naomi to surrender and stop turning everyone against each other) but a lot of others don’t make as much sense (So Ruth just… rages at skills?) but I can work off this.

… But in the end, it’s just gonna be six people in a room yelling and screaming at one person to get over it. I really want to make it climatic, I really do! We’re basically doing this Intervention style. All we need now is someone to cry in a way that’ll make a short-lived meme.

There is one thing though: Ajax’s grief. Remember, he was the last person to have seen Mara. She ended up dead in a motel. The details haven’t been exactly straight… So I’m gonna just ask right now:

[Q: Were there drugs in the motel? Purpose: To Endings. A: 74. Spark Counter: 1]

That confirms it. There were drugs in the motel. I can figure out the rest from here with the inclusive holdings and the weak attribute. The holdings can refer to the motel and the drugs, while the weak attribute refers to her dying from an overdose. Right now, two and two are so put together, it’s hard not to think otherwise.

Ajax was her drug dealer, or at least someone who helped her with a recent drug addiction. Either way, he feels guilty for her death (and in a way, he is) and he needs to set things straight. Naomi, manipulative bitch that she is, probably knows about this. After all, she was quite friendly towards Ajax. Maybe she wasn’t trying to lure him into a false sense of security. She was just thanking him for giving her the edge she needed to tear the family apart for nothing more than petty revenge.

Or, she’s just setting him on for when the big reveal comes. This is not so much an open-shut case, so I’ll ask the CRGE.

[Q: Does she know about Ajax’s role in the overdose? Purpose: To Endings. A: 7, Surge making it 5]

No… and she has no idea of Ajax’s life with Mara… Sans the whole Zoe’s his daughter thing. That… just made me declare victory. The one trump she could have against Ajax is gone. She has no information about how he rolls and is just a third wheel that she disregards. So… in the end, it comes down to two rolls.

Mara and Naomi both must forgive everyone for their wrong doings. The rolls will see if we succeed. However, a straight up D100 roll isn’t gonna do this justice.

Mara’s roll is gonna be +5 for each flower set down, but -10 for each flower that hasn’t. Everyone sans Ajax, which means the total is +15 to the die roll. Meanwhile, Naomi’s will be +5 for every positive speech towards resolving and -10 for negative speeches encouraging that she continues this feud. In this degree, it’s -15. However, if Mara forgives, then there’s a +25 to it too.

Let’s do this.

[Q: Does Mara forgive? Purpose: To Endings: A: 16]

The one time I roll a natural 1 on a D100. You know what? Unexpectedly…

[Roll… 11 = Limelit]

You’re kidding me. The Ghost of Mara’s Past doesn’t forgive everyone and will probably haunt them until the day they die of being scared and yet this all goes super-de-duper. We confessed our darkest secrets regarding hurting her in an attempt to forgive her, only to find that she doesn’t… and it goes alright.

You know, come to think of it, they can’t hear Mara anymore once they set down the flowers. Only Ajax does. … Oh crap. That’s… That’s actually… I think I know how to end this in a way that’s tragic enough to end this rendition of A Flower for Mara on a note that a sad story should have.

Ajax has to confess to being the one who indirectly killed her (or fuelled her addiction, one of the two) in front of everyone in order to get the forgiveness of Mara. In a twist of fate, as if God himself took pity, everyone forgave him for it, telling him that it wasn’t his fault and that the death and all these events were enough to convince him to enter rehab.

Naomi’s bitter about what happened to her daughter, but after a month, she learned to let go of the transgressions and focus on the future. Joshua went to a therapist to discuss his life now that Mara’s gone. Thomas and Ruth are now bonding and improving each others’ lives for Mara’s sake. Caleb leaves the family after settling in court to make Zoe legally Ajax’s daughter. It wasn’t easy, considering his drug abuse, but the clean slate he got was enough for the court to hand the papers.

Ajax is now a member of Mara’s family. After he faced his demons, confronted his ghosts, and threw away the drugs for good, he finally sets down his grief, puts away his sorrows, and lays on the grave:

A Flower For Mara

Well, that was an interesting session. Earlier this month or so, I asked a question regarding if I should ditch the narrative and write summaries of it or continue with the story telling. I found that this is the easy route, especially since I can hit Writer’s Block easily. As for the system itself… It can work to the degree it intended.

A short time ago, I played a game called Hope Inhumanity, a post-apocalyptic mix between a roleplaying game and a board game. The game challenged our character’s morality and humanity, even if it sometimes ends in everyone just laughing along and deciding what the best route to take for healing their character is.

In the end, the game that could be a thought-provoking game ended up being a party game. It was enjoyed, but not in the degree that was intended. Same with A Flower For Mara. The way the rules were written and even its origins as an actual play lend itself to being a tragic game. A game that is meant to be enjoyed through being sad.

And yet I managed to take it and make it anything but. It made me think though. Despite me not enjoying it the way it was intended, I still enjoyed it and have fond memories of it. A Flower For Mara can work as a game that makes you feel. It can also work as a game you can enjoy, laugh, have a beer or two, and overall make light of the situation.

And that’s my finding on A Flower For Mara. Well, tune in next time where we return to a world where I have spent a couple of posts fleshing out.

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