Midnight’s Shadow

Well, it’s the end of the year. Man have we gone through a lot lately. A town got overrun by rats, a farm got destroyed by the Bliss, I saved a prince from a vengeful god, I wrote a letter to someone regarding their deceased sister, got a bunch of people killed, engaged in a lot of war, made a lot of NPCs, fought giant Kaiju, infiltrated a church, comically killed everyone by playing Jenga badly, became a superhero, secured my black market standing, and just recently saved a spaceship from anarchists.

For a lack of productivity this year, I did quite a bit. And now I’m gonna kick off this year with the game Six Hours to Midnight. Keeping in tradition, I’m gonna go into this game blind, reading the rules as I play it and hoping it presents the rules sort of like instructions. With that, let’s play.

So, apparently nobody is who they appear to be, including my Rival and Lover. And I seem to have a Purpose in this scenario. I am dutiful, shrewd, wanton, and I am wearing someone else’s mask. Seems my goal will be to deliver my own brand of justice in this kegger party.

So I guess we’ll start with me rolling up to the front entrance as two bouncers stand outside a house. They look at me and just grunt.

[Q: Am I on the list? Disadvantaged. A: 5. No, but my mask is on the list]

The two let me in, assuming I’m the man on their invited list. I enter the room. Scene end.

[Scene Roll: Not matching]

So now that I’m in, we begin the first hour.

[Roll: 3]

So someone whispers in my ear… Of what?

[Roll: 5]

Hmmm… A scandal. The first thing that comes to my head that has some relation to the overall rules of the game is that a girlfriend broke up with her boyfriend over him cheating on her. With that, I understand very well the context and move in to talk with the lover.

The Lover is another character I have to write up in this game. She’s brave, but also a little foolish. I also must make a bit of a barrier between me and her. In this case, I promised myself that I’d be only here to exact justice and not woo the ladies. Unfortunately, as the PDF states: “She always wants you though she may not want to.”

However, I am here for a reason, so I go to her and try to get information out of her regarding her boyfriend. The goal is to find out the information, the danger is drawing attention to myself. I don’t think I’ll add any complications here. I’m placing myself in the lover’s power so that’s a die for me.

[Roll: 6, 3, 2]

So I succeed in getting information out of the guy, people are drawn to me, but they seem to ignore me for the time being, and I guess the 2 goes into the reserve. So the guy is a pretty wealthy football player who has a very strong arm when it comes to tackling. As such, he has plenty of women flocking to him but had sworn to be steady with her.

I guess I’ll leave her at that, since I’m not intent on impressing her… for now. The rival, meanwhile, gets to do his move. He’ll try to seduce the lover into returning to his side. The danger is obviously getting rejected. He’ll try to remind her of the good times they had (a past experience that has bearing) and how they can have those moments again. And he’s placing himself in a lover’s power.

[Roll: 5, 5, 2, 3]

He manages to remind her of the good times and she is seduced. He moves the three to his reserve (where it has a 4 already). And with that, the hour’s resolved.

[My Reserve: 2]

[Douche’s Reserve: 4, 3]

Ouch, so far, so bad. Second Hour.

[Scene Roll: Not matching.]

[Hour Roll: 2]

Someone knows me.

[The Real Me? A: 7, yes, but…]

Yes, they know me, but they’re more than willing to play up with the fact that I’m someone else.

[Roll: 2]

… He’s the rival. Shit. So… he’s most definitely going to blackmail me, isn’t he?

[Odds: Advantaged. A: 5]

No, but he does make it clear that I shouldn’t be anywhere near his girl. Easier done than said. I tell him off and be on my way. After all, I’m not after the lover, I’m after the rival. Hour 2 I believe is over.

“Each hour, the Rival does at least one thing”

Oh, alright, he’ll try to convince me not to go after his girl. He’ll do his roll and then I’ll do my roll to counter it.

Douche’s goal is to get me away from his girl. The danger here is drawing a crowd. He’s also gonna have a few complications: Does control slip a bit? If not, it goes out of control, Does something physical happen between you? If not, something emotional does, and do you hurt them? If not, they hurt you. He’ll also invoke a past experience that has bearing, since he knows me as well as adding one to hinder me, his rival.

[Roll: 3, 4, 3, 5, 4, 4, 1]

So he’s gonna put that five in the Goal, with the remainder being put in the dangers and complexes. One of the two fours, however, go to his reserve, as does the 1. For balance’s sake, I’m taking the other four. So, while Douche manages to convince me to stay away from her, a crowd starts to form, looking rather interested. His control is starting to slip a bit while he becomes emotionally unstable. However, he manages to hurt me in a bit of an egomatic way. I don’t have that sway that I’m a mysterious masked man wanting to seek justice. The scene ends with me and him going our separate ways.

[My Reserve: 2, 4]

[Douche’s Reserve: 4, 3, 4, 1]

Third hour now. Hopefully I can beat the rival.

[Scene Roll: Not matching]

[Hour Roll: 4]

So someone takes liberties. I’m gonna roll a d4. 1, it’s me. 2, it’s the lover. 3, it’s the douche. 4, it’s someone different.

[Roll: 1]

So it’s me that’s taking liberties. Not sure what that’d mean, but I’m gonna assume that I got myself hammered to get over the fact that some asshole told me off.

And now I’m gonna try and not get super drunk, with the danger of me… well… being drunk. I’m also gonna say that my flaw is my alcoholism and that it can turn things into a disaster.

[Roll: 4, 2, 2]

So I’m gonna fail me getting drunk in order to not make sure I become the laughing stock of the party and so the next few hours will be me being smashed. You know, we’ve been through a lot, but I doubt getting drunk at a party was what I had in mind when I made Solo RPG Voyages. The two goes to my reserve and my rival has to do something, but I can’t really think of anything.

I guess he’ll try to record me, with the danger being that his ex-girlfriend will spot him. His flaw will be that he wants to drive his rivals to the dirt, no matter the costs, and he’s gonna try to stop that from causing a disaster. And he’s already attempted to hinder me in the previous hour so he can’t use that again.

[Roll: 6, 3, 5]

Well, not only does he make me look like a complete idiot, but he also managed to simply hinder himself while his ex watches him trying to upload the drunk video to Youtube.

[Q: Does he see her? A: 4]

OH CRAP! TWO TWOS! Twist time!

[Twist: NPC changes the Goal]

Welp, I know how to go about this one. He doesn’t see the ex-girlfriend notice him, but he manages to upload it to YouTube and have people look at it with thunderous applause, all while I’m too drunk to notice. Inebriated, I forget my original goal as the girl, who I shall call Robin, approaches me and sympathizes with me.

My goal now is to win her from Douche… I actually feel irked typing that out, mostly because I feel uncomfortable with the whole “winning the girl” aspect. Even if it’s a classic gaming staple, times have changed and now women aren’t just ‘prizes’. Hell, the aspect of me trying to save her from Douche is me basically being a White Knight.

But, I really want to know how this all ends, and the only way to find out is to play it out.

[My Reserve: 2, 4, 2]

[Douche’s Reserve: 4, 3, 4, 1, 3]

Hour 4.

[Scene Roll: Not matching]

[Hour Roll: 2]

So, I guess this will take place half an hour after I got smashed and me doing the Macarena with a banana while singing Uptown Girl got five hundred views and is considered being featured on most vloggers’ “viral videos of the week” videos.

And I’m assuming Robin also knows me. The true me. She takes off my character’s mask and is revealed to be that chubby fat kid they made fun of in summer camp. The one that was so fat, he couldn’t swim properly and nearly drowned.

Turns out being a masked vigilante causes you to lose tons of pounds, whoda thunk it?

… Well, I guess it’s time to try and make out with her, danger being that I pass out drunk.

… What the hell am I doing? I played a game where Hitler hits on me in the middle of a battle and yet this is the most gonzo thing I’ve ever done. I’m roleplaying real life! At least with A Flower for Mara, it felt more like some Lifetime movie than real life. Hell, I might actually be playing Super Bad.

Whatever. I’m in a lover’s power and I’m rolling also to see if something physical will happen to me. However, my flaw will make me take one of the dice at Disadvantage.

[Roll: 1, 1, 1, 6, 4]

… Are you kidding me? Are you absolutely kidding me? Alright, so, while I don’t get freaky, I do get some emotional bonding goin’ on, but I pass out mid-kiss. By this point I have no idea what the rival can possibly be doing. Thankfully there’s a way for me to figure that out with the list of actions he can do.

So he’s gonna talk to this big bulky guy to recruit him. Danger is that he ends up attacking him. With it, he’s moving towards his Goal and is also gonna see if something physical will happen. He’ll use his status to possibly win the bulky man over

[Roll: 2, 2, 6, 2, 4]

He talks him over into working for him, but he gets extorted in the process and for the first time, he feels fear. The scene ends with him basically placing a hit on me.

[My Reserve: 2, 4, 2, 1, 4]

[Douche’s Reserve: 4, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4]

Well… I’m going to die. Hour five!

[Scene Roll: Not a match]

[Hour Roll: 2]

HOW MANY PEOPLE KNOW ME!? Okay, so the hitman now knows me.

[Q: Friend? A: 7]

Yes, but we’re former friends. I wake up with a gun pointed towards me and now I have to talk him out of killing me. Danger’s obvious. Obvious complication is do you hurt them? If not, they hurt you.

[Roll: 2, 5, 6]

Alright, so after getting rough housed a bit, I managed to tell him about our friendship and how we could rekindle it. He stops his attempt to kill me and accepts me as his buddy bud. By this point, Douche will not be doing anything because he’s already done what he can to make sure I’m out of the picture.

[My Reserve: 2, 4, 2, 1, 4, 5]

[Douche’s Reserve: 4, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4]

Final hour.

[Scene Roll: Not a match.]

[Hour Roll: 4]

Someone takes liberties. Well, it’s time to end this shebang. New Years finally happens, everyone celebrates, including Douche who is relishing in the apparent death of me. I march down, struggling to keep myself stable. Danger is that I fall.

[Roll: 5, 5]

Nailed it. So I step down the stairs and challenge Douche to a duel, brandishing the machete I was gonna use to axe him.

[Q: Does he accept? A: 6]

Not yet, not until I say what the winner receives.

I think it’s pretty obvious.

So, here we are. The final battle. Douche picks out a rapier while I brandish my machete. People aren’t panicking because this is the best entertainment they ever got tonight.

Right, let’s do it. Goal is to kill the Douche. Failure is that I die. Other risks I will involve is things going out of control and hurting. I’ll also invoke my drunk condition and hindering my rival.

[Roll: 3, 2, 2, 4, 3, 5]

Alright, so I can totally welcome things getting out of hand if it meant my rival is stabbed in the chest. So, I get totally hammered, slashed the villain, caused the party to go into chaos, but it didn’t matter. I finally fulfilled my goal of being the villain of a slasher flick. The gift is now “opened”, which means me and my rival’s dice have to be compared and whoever wins wins the bacon.

Me: 2, 4, 2, 1, 4, 5

Rival: 4, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4

Alright. So…

  • [5 vs. 4] My character ends up surviving the ordeal. He has a hangover, but not much in terms of damage.
  • [4 vs. 4] My goal’s achieved, though I never had a complex goal other than to bring forth justice.
  • [4 vs. 4] Oh yeah, my rival’s dead now. He died of his stab wound.
  • [2 vs. 3] Unfortunately, in the chaos, the hitman decides to murder the lover because the rival hired him to make a hit on her in case things go arry with me.

And really, the rest is redundant. I technically won, even though I lost a lot in the process. Didn’t matter. I got what I wanted going in. I will say though, while the game is straightforward, there were some rules I got hung up on. Like the gift being open. I have no idea what this “gift” is, and all I know is that it happens at the end of the game.

Other than that, though, it’s really easy, simple to play, and I recommend it to people who have six hours to kill. Well, that’s one way to kick off the year. Let’s see what else we’ll do. Bon voyage, gamers.

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