Monday, November 2, 2009

Late Afternoon, Alcmaeon's Hold

Monday, May 12, 1650

As Vespasiano speaks casually with the old woman, an argument erupts between the unpleasant looking Persian and two of the merchants - not including the one that he had seemed to be friendly with before.  It is difficult to tell what the argument is over.  They refer repeatedly, apparently, to a woman named Sapphra; that she was not given all she was entitled to.  The Persian seems especially threatening; the merchants answer in short, quiet voices, though their faces are black with anger.  The Persian shouts: "NOT AGAIN," he says.  "I will not let this happen AGAIN!"

The third merchant intervenes.  He speaks softly to his friend, leading him away from the others.  They sit and talk for a long time.  The remaining merchants do not talk.  One climbs the ladder from the hold, speaks to a sailor on deck and is permitted to leave - when the party knows that passengers would not be allowed to do so until morning tomorrow.


Alonzo Vezzali said...

Alonzo peeks out of his bedclothes (or whatever) and whispers to the remaining merchant, "Woman troubles, eh?"

Alexis said...

The Merchant looks at Alonzo uncomprehending, and moves away.

Alonzo Vezzali said...

(OOC: Alexis, I'm not sure how to proceed here. The point of mutual interest my guy has with the other PCs is the mystery man in Alexandria. Our only point of contact with that subject matter, the Spaniard, appears to have basically divulged everything he has to say. If he hasn't, I'm willing to take another crack at him but I'm not going to sit hen on the blog in order to verbally fence with him sentence by sentence. I would prefer for each of my "moves" to be a more decisive statement about what I want to get out of any given NPC interaction. To that end, I'm willing to put more personality and forward-pushingness into my posts; but I need some kind of assurance that if I do that, I won't be left grasping at thin air as I was with the merchant here. I should note that on a philosophical level I don't care what the NPC would "really do"; you're the author of this boat situation and have the right and ability to make any given NPC's response indignant, confrontational, mocking, weepy, grasping, etc. etc. etc. (For the record, I deliberately chose to have Alonzo misinterpret the merchants' argument in order to point up that it was the mention of a woman's name that piqued his interest; in the future, I can be more explicit about my playing intent when I post, in the interest of the aforementioned forward-pushingness.)

As an alternative suggestion, I would be perfectly happy to have Alonzo abducted by a roc and unceremoniously dumped on the Nile delta in walking distance of Alexandria. With reference to your latest Tao of D&D post, I don't need an "out" to avoid subject matter that I explicitly requested be present in the game.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Alonzo,

I understand your position perfectly. I hope to convey to you that my methods are often very, very subtle, and that you should have faith in yourself. Towards achieving that, I'm going to make a little reveal here.

The merchant's reaction was not because you were grasping at straws. The actual confusion in his reaction was because, in fact, 'Sapphra' isn't a woman. He looked at you uncomprehending because you mentioned a woman, when they weren't talking about a woman. See?

I can assure you, my intentions are never to make you doubt your own ability to play, but to wonder, always, "why did he do that?"

Moreover, I tend to give clues over and over; it was my intention to make the misunderstanding about the name more plain - in good time. You weren't really expected to get the 'clue'. But as this is early in the campaign, its in my interest to use it as a demonstration.

Has the Spaniard told you everything? Not remotely. Is he willing to tell you everything? No guarantees. I'm being deliberately vague for a reason ... but it may not be the reason you think. He may just find it difficult to talk to strangers.

If I haven't answered your question, try me again. I want you to feel clear about how the world works)

Alonzo Vezzali said...

(OOC: Thanks for the reply, everything you're saying makes sense. That being said, I'm not necessarily the most subtle type of player and I may just let the campaign roll along until I see that someone, possibly me, is in real trouble. I mean, I don't know if I will or won't, but if I'm not posting for a while then that's what I'm waiting on.)