Sagas of the Icelanders: Episode 3

We finally got everyone together in one place for SotI last night: 5 total players, yikes! Busy table and it was dicey fitting the fifth and newest player in (she chose a Thrall) but I think it worked out fine.

Nobody is really moving their relationships around much each session, which is moving the creative load back to me to figure out new conflicts. I think everyone changed…one of them? And half of those were because an NPC they were aimed at had died. Not really sure how to prompt them to do more relationship updates, but I think we can keep it going as-is for at least a couple more sessions.

The most interesting thing to have happen is dead Sola’s huscarl (an NPC), returning from a’viking, and being immediately shamed by the Goði (a PC) and the huscarl throwing down right then and there to reassert his honor. Well…the Goði is pretty terrible at gendered rolls, so he utterly misses his physical challenge move. The huscarl, being an actual viking badass, does grave harm to the Goði. He fails that roll, too: it’s fatal, beyond help and the MC will say how and when.

Oho so that’s interesting, right? I spend one of the Norns’ bonds on the Goði:

“How could the gods get you to praise them as they wish?” I ask, because the Goði has been notoriously terrible about his religious duties.

This is the same Goði who previously prayed for an NPC’s death, mind you. He says “Save me! I’ll do anything!”

Well so I kind of go off-script on the moves here and continue. “The gods require justice in the matter of Sola’s death.”

Tough spot for the Goði. It’s his crazy niece who actually murdered her step-mom Sola, but she’s touched by the gods and it was the Goði, after all, who told the gods what he wanted. And Fura is his niece or/but more importantly maybe also his own daughter. So he tells the gods he’ll announce his own blame in the matter. Whatever happens, happens.

“So…would you consider being returned to life a gift?” I ask him. Well yes, of course. So I put another bond on the Goði and he awakens after being beaten to death by that huscarl.

Nobody watching even realized he was dead. Everyone saw him go down after a nasty haymaker, the bros are high-fiving and the women are tutting at the Goði’s glass jaw. And so he comes back, the only one to know what went down.

Well so a deal’s a deal. It all comes out and now there’s a massive realignment of loyalties and schemes.

He doesn’t know this, but of course “the MC will say how and when you die” hasn’t changed. The move’s the move; I’m keeping that in my back pocket. :devilhorns:

The Thrall is doing okay, but unfortunately in-fiction her owner was Sola, the murdered NPC. She didn’t take a relationship that way, instead with Fura, the psycho seiðkona, which is pretty awesome. But it does mean the Thrall is kind of at loose ends here. She’s got the “invisible among non-thralls” thing as well as the “not a tool” move, which is kind of the Thrall’s personal “tempt fate” but so, so loose. The longer I play the game the more critically I’m reading the rules — for example “when you act on your own goals” is crazy-loose. So, yeah, I do hope Gregor Vuga will consider a new edition at some point. Mostly the moves just need to be re-evaluated, tightened and maybe explained better here and there.

We’ll jump ahead to the fall next session.

0 thoughts on “Sagas of the Icelanders: Episode 3”

  1. Oh yeah for sure.

    It’s been super interesting to send this game down a more supernatural path. On the one hand, there’s like…no real mechanical support for any of that. But on the other hand, all the support that really matters is there, mostly in the “look into their heart” move and the fact of the fate’s bonds.

    Although the Wanderer’s “Odin’s Own” move has been getting quite the workout as well.

  2. Despite the Fates’ intervention, you’re still intending for him to die as a result of the Grave Harm? How are you planning to spring that, practically speaking? I feel like a lot of players may feel “cheated”.

  3. You’ve made me want a copy of this game; the tough rich situations sound perfect for drama, and perfect for a PbtA game (from my still limited exposure, but hey, PbtA convention next month).

    But can I find a copy in print shipping from the UK? Not so far…

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