Wednesday, August 22, 2007

[Breaking the Ice] Xavier and Tricia: Funky Monkey and El Bandito!

A few weeks ago, Ed came over and we decided to fire up Breaking the Ice. My memories of the particulars may be be a bit hazy. I have the word webs and the character sheets, so maybe that'll help.

I started out with brown as my color, and had such interesting connecting words as chocolate, dirt, monkey, guitar and furniture. I should point at that our switch was that my character was a programmer, and Ed's was an office drone. Last time I played the gal, so this time, it was his turn. We set the game in Chicago, as per regulation.

I ended up with Xavier, who was a CAD furniture designer by day, guitar player in a funk band by night. He was honest, had a bit of a sweet tooth, liked to hike, and had a tattoo of a monkey. He also had an over zealous, stalker-ish fan. As a note, Ed and I had just watched a mini-marathon of "Flight of the Conchords" that I had TiVo-ed, and had Mel on the mind. If you know the show, you will nod and smile, if not, sorry.

Ed chose turquoise and ended up with stuff like ocean, jewelry, shiny, southwest, and tex-mex. His character, Tricia, was introspective, a fan of horror movies, made jewelry, liked flying kites, and worked for a restaurant chain, El Bandito! Tricia's conflict was that her office couldn't do without her. She basically, over the years, had been given more an more responsibility, but without promotion or higher pay. We had a lot of fun filling in information about the fictitious El Bandito! coming up with a mascot, commercials, and jingles.

Ed came up with the idea that one of her coworkers was the drummer in Xavier's band, and that they had met after a gig, and kinda hit it off. They agreed to meet at a park and she said she liked kites. If Xavier brought the kites, she'd bring lunch. So I described how Xavier had gone to a hobby store and bought a half dozen kites, from the cheap dowel rod ones, to slick, fighting kites. They ended up putting together the cheap ones, having fun until... crap, I can't remember the particulars, but Xavier ended up getting really pissed and just letting off a long stream of obscenities, just as a friend of Tricia's happened by, with her young child. Oops. I'm pretty sure that as some point Tricia got a call from work, as it was a very common theme throughout the game, her never getting a moment of rest. I remember them having lunch at a band shell, and he playing her some songs on his uke that he'd brought along. We ended the date with a few points of attraction, no compatibilities, and a few new traits: "Curses like a sailor" for Xavier, and "Friends hate Xavier" for Tricia.

The second date was kinda cool. Ed suggested that the date take place over a series of IM sessions. I came up with the idea that his band was on a long weekend tour out of town, playing in some clubs in Michigan. We had wonky internet connections, her getting work calls, him beginning to have doubts about being in the band. It was an interesting way to have a date, and I wish I could remember more about it. I know that they finally got some compatibilities: day job conflict, and love of old Motown songs. I seem to remember he wrote her a song, recorded it on his laptop, and sent it to her. Her conflict even dragged in the drummer/coworker who had to go to a Grand Rapids El Bandito! and help them get their computers working.

The last date was a night on the town. Xavier told Tricia that he'd quit the band. It wasn't going in the direction he wanted, and it was just a hobby for him anyway. After dinner, they were walking along Lake Michigan, when the "fan" showed up, upset that he had quit the band. Tricia stepped up and talked to the girl, and told her that the drummer/coworker kinda liked her. That seemed to placate her. Then Xavier and Tricia walked and talked about her job, with Xavier giving her some advice, telling her not to let her bosses take her for granted, etc. She got a frantic call from the office and told them she was busy and to call the bosses. Needless to say, the next call was from the bosses, and she put the smack down on them. She had demands, and they gave into every one. Starting that Monday, she'd be getting paid more, have the title of district manager, and have assistants. We ended the date with them going back to Xavier's place, and dancing to a song by Marvin Gaye.

In that last date, they scooped up three compatibilities: comfortable asking for help, night walks in the city, and dancing. I know at some point he showed her the monkey tattoo. The ended up with five attraction and five compatibilities. We decided that they'd stay together. For the life of me, and cannot remember when they fell in love with each other. I really need to take notes on these things! I think I decided that Xavier fell in love with Tricia when she stood up to her boss, showing her strength and determination. Ed, maybe you remember how it was for Tricia.

We had a little epilogue of the two of them hiking in northern Wisconsin (earlier in the game he had told her about hiking with the dad), sitting down to have a picnic lunch and him playing a song for her on the uke...

One thing that was interesting was that I used pretty much every trait I had, and even added a few, but Ed ended up with a couple that Tricia never used, or even came up. The making jewelry and horror fan for instance. I guess that happens some times. Once again, a good game of Breaking the Ice. This game is pure gold.

Next up, another game of Shooting the Moon. We played it last year, using the Talislanta setting, which was very cool, but I would like to try it again, maybe with just a modern world backdrop.


James said...

All kinds of awesome! Thanks for the report.

Joe said...

No problem. One of these weekends, we should sit down and play a game of Breaking the Ice or Shooting the Moon.

I guess I should have noted in the write up, that the game was about 90 minutes long, maybe two hours at the most, and that included making characters.

John Harper said...

"We played it last year, using the Talislanta setting..."

I... I love you.

Say more.