May 2, 2020 10:24 AM - Subscribe

In the weeks since Kesh's new offensive into Apostolos territory, little has changed besides the quantity of weekly war casualties. Halting Kesh's push is Fort Icebreaker, a massive defensive line composed of a dozen smaller forts, an intricate tunnel system, and a massive moving fortress called Icebreaker Prime which stalks along the border, rejecting any intruders with overwhelming force. But that will change today, says Kesh leadership.

This time, the Rapid Evening is offered a choice, by which I mean Clementine Kesh is offered a choice and the other members of the group do whatever the important person says. More or less.

Clementine thinks about what other people want.

Exeter leaps.

Millie rejects a promising job offer.

Sovereign does in fact have a robot.

Austin, Jack, Keith, Sylvia, Art
posted by fomhar (5 comments total)
I really liked the bit at the end of Combustion when Gur and the rest were trying to convince Clem to care about other people even just in a situation where they give her stuff to do it and she's just like "???empathy??? But I want stuff! I need slaves!" She's such a shithead, it's great.
posted by fomhar at 10:38 AM on May 2, 2020

Is it just me or did all this feel way too easy? I've listened to all of Counter/Weight and half of Twilight Mirage and nothing they've ever done did so well as taking Fort Icebreaker and beating back Motion.

At first when Motion showed up I thought "Ah, this is Austin's 'whoops this went too well' escape hatch," but then they fought them off with basically nobody taking any harm? Maybe thr Black Century should have been a tier higher than the Rapid Evening?

Maybe it was just because everyone was doing what they're best at. Clem was commanding people, Millie showed off her werewolf mech, Exeter was doing some wild Luke Skywalker on Hoth shit, and Sovereign was actually.. fighting. And everybody was rolling well. I'm not complaining, well, I'm trying not to complain, but it was very different from their usual strategy of everything dissolving into a shitshow immediately.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:47 PM on May 2, 2020

I think it was too easy, but like you said everyone was rolling EXTREMELY well and everyone's been playing forged in the dark games since season four (or three, in Sylvia's case) so they have a good understanding of how to balance stress. Everyone finished within two points of taking a trauma and I think this episode may have Austin recalibrate how difficult a mission should be.

Plus, Millie took a divine as a rival and Austin does not show restraint on rival moves- he's already made rival moves for this group on the other group's episodes. I do not think it's impossible that he'll combine these two facts and accidentally kill of a member of the rapid evening in a few sessions, even if he seems pretty reluctant to kill player characters in general.

Speaking of, I'll say 50/50 chance Gucci gets a very exciting new mech in about eight episodes just to cut down on GM management stuff.
posted by fomhar at 9:34 PM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Re: difficulty, I think there are three different things going on: Firstly, they just rolled really well. There were three or four desperate rolls in the fight with Motion where even a mixed success could have been really really bad, but they kept coming up with sixes. They also were pretty tapped out on stress by the end of the mission. I haven't gone back and checked, but I'm pretty sure none of them is below six or seven stress. Lastly, they seem to actually be playing the game in a way that they haven't previously. The nature of the flexibility Forged in the Dark games offers means that they reward building your character into a great big hammer and treating the entire world as a nail. The Friends have just gotten better at playing to their character's strengths (and budgeting stress). You saw sort of the same thing with the later parts of Hieron, for example the fight with The Advocate. I get that it can feel flat after so many of the great moments of the podcast have come from abject failure, but I've also been seriously annoyed in previous seasons where it felt like even when I had only just been introduced to the systems, I could see them making big blunders, not out of any sense of character or drama, but just because they hadn't yet internalized that they had mechanically made their characters a certain way, and things were going to be a lot easier if they played them in a way that reflected that.

On a completely unrelated note, I love how committed Jack is to making Clem just the worst. I feel like Austin and the other players keep giving Clem chances to be just a tiny bit empathetic or self-aware, and Jack just keeps swatting them down. I was almost annoyed at how petulant and self-destructive Clem's response to Gur Sevraq's deal was, but then I thought about how many times across history rulers have self-immolated over exactly that sort of petty, ego-driven bullshit.
posted by firechicago at 6:30 AM on May 3, 2020

My Partizan mecha is called Decoupage Macrame, or DekuMac for short. The original meaning of the name is long lost, but it's thought to have been the names of ancient Divines related to art and creativity.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:41 AM on May 9, 2020

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