So, we’re beginning the game exactly where we last left it off, with Shun going to a mad dash towards the base. While mechanically wise, Sayaka, our Anchor, is still controlling the dream, story wise, she’s probably not gonna be at the controls for long as she’s back at base where it’s gonna get attacked by the Bliss.
However, this is where I need to tweak the rules to make it solo friendly. See, when the Anchor loses control of the dream, other people, GM included, take their reins of controlling the dream. However, we only have an Engine as our other player, which usually acts as Anchor, and UNE if we count it as such. So, I decided that instead, Fate Solo will occasionally hijack the game.
As of right now, the Anchor has lost partial control. I’ll roll a Fate Die. A plus or a blank means that the Anchor is in control of the game. A minus means that the dream is in control of the GM, which technically means Fate Solo.
Alright, so CRGE Kai/Sayaka is still in control.
[Scene Roll: 0]
Oup! Random event time!
- Event Focus: Remote Event
- Event Meaning: Intolerance of Business
Well, Frank’s pretty pissed with us at falling for the trap. This adds stress to the relationship, which in turn breaks our Trust (if the stress is one over the relationship’s trust, it lowers, and if the trust goes to 0, it breaks) and is symbolized by Shun’s sword falling to pieces after his duel with Jacob. In response, I’ll have Shun build a new weapon from Naoto’s relationship. A rifle scope to put on his gun.
So, back to the dream at hand, what can Sayaka see?
[Tangent Zero: A tear drop]
It begins to rain very hard. According to MyDreamVisions, this symbolizes an actual/feared challenge. In this case, the aliens raiding the base is a much feared challenge. So, pretty accurate. The rain’s too hard for Shun to see, so Sayaka has to guide him through it. What I’ll do is roll a fate die five times. If I get a plus, I’ll skip an additional time I roll, if I roll a blank, I roll the next roll, and if I roll a minus at any point, Fate Solo takes over.
Good! So Sayaka only needs to roll a few more…
Alright, he’s through the rain!
[Q: Does he find any aliens on their way to the base? Purpose: To Conflict With “The First Action” Thread. A: 87, while I could use Chaos to shift it to an 83 and get a Surge Point for later, I’ll have it stick so that I can have a Yes And.]
Yes, Shun finds the aliens and the rain is having him in deep cover. So he sets up a shot with the aliens. The mission has reached a climax.
So now the new number of dice I need to roll is 9. Less dice to throw around, yes, but also less chances of rolling bad numbers.
[Roll: Three plusses, four blanks, two minuses]
Alright, not a lot of good things to throw around, but at least we got some necessaries out of the way. Mission Success gets a plus, as do my relations with Jack and Sayaka. Naoto’s gets a blank, which increases the stress by one, and I get a blank, meaning that Shun gains one terror as Sayaka loses control of her dream. He also gains two Bliss.
Since my current Terror Level is higher than my Trauma Level, Terror resets to 0 while Trauma increases by one. So now the Fate Solo engine takes over. Shun manages to get a jump at the aliens by shooting one of their leaders in the head. Their reaction is to fire at me. I’m brought back to Mission Climax and rolling time.
[Roll: Five plusses, three zeroes, one minus]
This is great! Super great! All those plusses go to Mission Success, Pilot Safety, and Relationship Safety. I’ll take that one Bliss point and have it so that Shun manages to snipe away at the other aliens.
[Q: Did he kill all the aliens? Odds: (roll, 2 plusses) Great A: Yes -]
Surprise Check… The Chaos Factor turns into a Surprise Factor.
Okay, so no surprises there. So yes, while he killed the aliens, they managed to do some damage to the base. Scene ends there as the Chaos/Surprise Factor goes up by one.
[Scene Roll (I’m gonna use CRGE Kai for the Scene Roll, as the Scene Roll I made for Fate Solo acts independent of the Surprise Factor): 5]
Scene is altered. So, I’m guessing that, instead of a totally devastated barn or even a damaged one, the front door was kicked in, and we stopped the aliens from going in further. So, for my mission action, Shun will hunker up and guard the barn from more alien attacks.
[Q: Do more aliens come? Odds: (Roll: Two Blanks) Even. A: No ++]
No, the aliens do not come. Not only that, but the entire area is relatively safe. Shun can end the mission there once Sayaka gets back to anchoring.
[Surprise Factor Roll: One’s a 4, the other’s a 0]
This triggers a minor surprise. Given how the flavor for the minor surprise is “some things are not what they appear” I could probably take this to mean that, because the dream is not in the anchor’s control, the dream is misinterpreted. Shun thinks he went to the farm and it’s not even scratched… but unfortunately…
The entire farm is destroyed. Sayaka wrestles control to tell Shun this and he sees the wreckage for what it truly is. She reports on how Frank, Jack, and their technician Misaki all died in the wreckage, while Naoto and Frank’s son went missing. Only a small fraction of the barn survived. The scene ends with Shun getting out of the ANIMa and back into the real world. Chaos obviously goes up and we no longer need to use the Fate Solo system for now.
[Scene Roll: 8, no Scene Event]
So I figure that I’ll close things off with an interlude action, just to see how it would play out. The scene will be burying Frank, Jack, and Misaki in the field. The survivors sans Shun and Sayaka are Diane, their storyteller, and the daughter, who we’ll simply name Bloom.
It’s a simple funeral scene. Sayaka can obviously tell that Shun is not happy with what happened. Especially since he didn’t want to pilot the ANIMa. Diane’s busy comforting Bloom, and the question of who will be the new authority figure is proposed. Shun insists that Bloom should be the authority figure, since it’s in her blood, but it’s also obvious that she too is going through too much of a hard time to act on it.
Thus, Diane will be temporary Authority Figure until Bloom can move on. Shun tells Diane about the traitor known as Zeke and announces his intent to make him pay. It’s pretty obvious that the trust being broken here is Shun’s trust in Zeke, so his trust goes down by one. The intent of the action seems to be trust building. Shun put his faith in Bloom, so his trust in her goes up by one.
That’s the end of that scene. Chaos goes down by one. New scene.
[Scene Roll: 4]
And we get a scene interrupt!
- Event Focus: Close a thread
- Thread: Theft From The Lawl
- Event Meanings: Disrupt Goals
The next day, Shun gets a letter from the Lawl. They said that their feud has now ended due to the assault on their base. They felt like the death of their authority figure was enough of a blow and claim that they won’t fight anymore. Shun’s pretty pissed with this, since he wants revenge. He goes to ready the ANIMa, but his newly entrusted Anchor, Sayaka, stops him and tells him that he shouldn’t go for revenge.
[Q: Does Sayaka get close enough to Shun to make him stop? Adding Intimacy to the roll. Purpose: To Ending the Bliss Stage Session. A: 75, Chaos unable to change it]
Yes she does. Shun breaks down into tears and tells Sayaka that it’s the first time he wants to pilot the ANIMa and that he felt like he let Frank, Jack, and Misaki die. Let’s see what Sayaka says to make him stop.
- NPC Mood: Sociable
- NPC Bearing: Belief
- NPC Focus: Current Story
Sayaka tells Shun that there will come a day where they will defeat the Lawl, but that day won’t come. The ANIMa was made to fight the aliens, not to hurt humanity. This was the belief that Frank died with, and Sayaka wanted Shun to carry that on.
Shun takes some consideration and accepts the belief. Even if the Lawl sold out humanity to the aliens, Shun vows not to use the ANIMa to attack them. Sayaka notes that, with the Lawl leaving them alone, they could instead relax, build up supplies and troops, and prepare for the next alien attack. And she even suggests raising a new generation.
Sayaka, on the spot, proposes to Shun, and he accepts. The scene ends with Shun and Sayaka’s intimacy going up to the max of five. And I think that’s a good place to end the game. There’s plenty of loose threads to tie up, such as finding Naoto and the son, or Zeke’s comeuppance, but I think I can focus on that either next year or later this year. Probably the latter, since I love this game.
The gameplay mechanics are very fluid, and the plotting can be pretty good too. I didn’t need to use any sort of driver to do the last bit of scenes save for the UNE. I’ve been meaning to play Bliss Stage for a long time, and now that I have, I can say without a doubt that this is a really great game. Welp, we’re done with one holiday special… now we’re getting into another one. Bon voyage, gamers!