Tales of the Winter Alien

So, for my Memorial Day game, I decided to go back to the very first one I did: Winter. This time, with all the tools I had learned over these past 5 years, as well as the devices I was given. Now, instead of choosing from one of three lines, I’m going to make up a new line using the BOLD.

  • Waylay Problem: 8 & 9, otherworldly.
  • Waylay Modifier: 21, harsh.
  • Waylay Solution: 5, Enemy Help.

Hmmm… This might be interesting… Alright, let’s do a five-minute freewrite.

It’s been five days since the enemy from the other world came to our doorstep. The Germans had allied with us to eliminate this threat, but unfortunately, their instant death guns have us hiding in our trenches. It’s truly a no man’s land, since no man is able to step foot on it. Food’s scarce because of it, and tensions are high.

This isn’t like Christmas. Our enemies are still our enemies and we ain’t playing football anytime soon. Any hint of camaraderie is only temporary and some of us are wondering if we’d be knifed in our sleep. Commander told us reinforcements will be coming shortly, but doesn’t know how long. We’re on a knife’s edge and I fear we’ll either be conquered by the Germans or the Otherworlders…

We don’t even know who they are. Some think they’re aliens, others think they’re faeries. Personally, I just wanna go home and get away from these monsters. Both human monsters and the strange monsters I see before me.

Okay, so I think I can see why I’m only restricted to three lines, as I managed to turn what seems to be a WWI style game into War of the Worlds… Wonder if they can get killed by the Spanish Influenza.

Wait, why wonder when I can ask!

Hey, CRGE! Can these aliens be killed by the Spanish Influenza?

[Purpose: To Knowledge. A: 53, surge goes up to 1]

[Q: Do the soldiers know? Purpose: To Knowledge. A: 67, Surge makes it 69, SC goes up to 2]

… Alright. Welp, I think I know what to do. First, a camaraderie scene, as per the rules of the game, generated by the Adventure Crafter.

[Roll: 87. CORRUPTION: This Turning Point involves corruption of asocial apparatus of some kind.]

Oh snap.

Health: 10 Hope: 10 [ ] [ ] [ ] Day One, Morning

Our provisions were given to us by the Germans. We had no idea how to pay them back, nor if we would even want to. Every day, I feel like we owe our lives to them. That, once the alien threat is taken care of, it will be a lot harder for all of us to get back on fighting terms.

Perhaps that’s what they want. For us to get used to them helping us… and then kill us once the dust settles. Every time I see one of them smile at me, I feel like they’re planning my death. I honestly have no idea how to repay their kindness. The only thing I can do is stare at them and hope they mean well when they give us food.

Alright, so we got some sort of implication that the Germans might be buttering us up, but now, we can bring the disease to the enemy’s door step and get them sick!

Health: 10 Hope: 10 [ ] [ ] [ ] Day One, Afternoon

We knew the weakness of these new threats for a while now. We just needed to get the right moment to strike. Thankfully, all it took was a farmer’s messy pig and someone to bring it over to the aliens. I volunteered to deliver it right to their door step.

Everyone wished me luck, since there’d be a small chance of me surviving. My only concern in all this was what’d happen once the aliens are dead… That would be a plan I’d formulate… should I live.

[Volunteer Roll: 6]

The result is cold, so cold. So that begs the question…

[Q: Did he succeed in his mission? Purpose: To Endings. A: 22, Surge bringing it down to 18]

No, and…

Health: 7 Hope: 10 [ ] [ ] [ ] Day One, Night

It was a trap. The Germans had me cornered, having faked the alien invasion to lull us into a false sense of security. I hadn’t expected that, so when they surprised me, I couldn’t fight back before I met a dozen bullets.

I’m wounded and it was only a matter of time before my group suffers the same fate.

  • Random Event: 65, PC Negative
  • Event Meaning: 82 & 87, Activity Magic

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach back in time… A thunderstorm broke out, the rain picked up so heavily that I couldn’t even see where I was going. Lightning strikes were everywhere and I tried hard to avoid them, but they were so unpredictable.

I struggled, but with each move, the bullets wriggled deeper into my body. My only hope now is for the lightning to strike them and save my troops.

[Q: Does lighting strike them? Purpose: To Endings. A: 70, SC going to 1]

I heard a crash followed swiftly by German screams. In my minds eye, I saw the plane they used for their hoax crash down and explode. With their dying curses, I rested easily, knowing that there was such a thing as karma. Perhaps there was something otherworldly… Maybe I’ll ask God once I meet him.

And scene.

So… Yeah. Pretty quick and it led me to think of just why the three starting sentences were necessary. Anything else would have drastically changed the narrative like what happened here. Hell, I was able to get this done in under 1,000 words because I decided to pull a War of the Worlds ending and the CRGE decided “eh, that works”.

The best thing I could say for this new way of generating scenarios for Winter is that it shakes up the formula quite a bit. Like, a pseudo-sci-fi story where the Germans faked an alien invasion to get close to the enemy and strike them is interesting.

Looking back at Winter, it still holds a place in my heart for being a rather great starting game, especially for those who are just beginning to Solo and the idea of a System + Engine + Drivers is intimidating. That said, it feels a little limited in what you could do, there’s no real indication of which scene to do — save for the beginning (which is always a Camaraderie scene) and when you volunteer (which is followed by a Violence scene) — unless you decide to randomly roll for it, and the Volunteering doesn’t exactly have any benefits that encourages the risk and seems to only exist when you want to hit the endgame early.

That said, I still like Winter for its simplicity and fluff over crunch and it definitely gives you a sort of skeleton of what to write for an actual play. I recommend it for anyone who wants to spend their Rememberance Day playing a simple little war game.

Bon Voyage, gamers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.