Memoirs of an American Pope

From: ANDOVER@delphi.com
Date: Wed 15 May 1996 - 04:33:17 EEST


MOB's memories of being Theoblanc should be matched by mine, as per
whomever it was' request. Jim Chapin
The Story of An American Pope

When I was picked to play Theoblanc, all I knew was that MOB had been killed in
the same role, and after reading the character sheet, my response was, "boy am I
screwed." I got my immortality "shot" in an even more unprincipled way than
MOB, by selling off my position on usury to the Vadeli, and bribing one of the
chief opponents with a high bishopric. I did have to play becoming senile for 15
minutes until I got my oysters: unfortunately, given my grey hairs, several of
my bishops thought I really WAS sick!

Actually, I disagree with Nick: I think the problem with the way the scenario
was played was that the reactionary views of the Rokari made the Hrestoli more
united than they should have been: another version of the ease of

coalition-building against the Lunar villains that caused the problems in the
Boldhome scenario. The Hrestoli in our game, too, were much more active in
converting than we were. Our inquisition spent most of its time beating up on
our side (including me) : if I had to do it over again I would appoint a
missionary to the fallen brothers right away -- and tried to organize conversion
the way the Hrestoli did.

We didn't have many issue betrayals ourselves, but I think the reason for the
betrayals was the presence of an active feminist caucus being played by active
feminists -- few of our Church had the cojones to look a woman in the face and
tell her she was inferior. On the other hand, since Theoblanc didn't care about
the status of women, I could support a sell-out there. We would have gone down
fighting on the caste system, until Notslor gave us a way out. I was willing to
do almost anything to get the churches together -- and then in the end realized
that none of the Hrestoli gave a damn, else, after winning everything else, they
would not have gone out of their way to insult us by picking a Lunar agent (who
was actually Arkat the Deceiver) as their pope.

Actually, what struck me after reading all the character sheets -- thanks to a
misunderstanding on the part of John Medway, who mistook his wife's expression,
stopped bidding, and let me walk off with the character sheets for a mere $70 --
was that Theoblanc was about the only guy there (besides Notslor) who cared
about church unity -- it wasn't even a character goal for any of the Hrestoli --
so it is not surprising that they were unwilling to make any effort to hold the
thing together.

A few sidelights to the American version: I spent my time endlessly trying to
service anyone who asked a favor of me -- since I was determined to stay alive,
and had very few ways to defend myself from anyone who wanted to hurt me. The
strategy worked to the extent that I cut a deal with the Fat King (I'll outlive
him anyway, I told myself) and not even Audrec tried to kill me -- Our Audrec
ended as an excommunicated, seduced drunken sot. When we walked out we did
manage to keep our church together. The most surprising thing to me was that my
money and my relic disappeared in the first hour -- I didn't know that there
were pickpocketing rules -- so you can imagine that I thought for most of the
game that there was no way for me to get my oysters!

It turned out later that my money went to a dastardly little Castle Coast runt
named Sangsouche (ably played by one James D. Chapin, the little bugger!) and my
relic was picked by the King's man, peasant representative Lepet, and eventually
returned through the good graces of the inqusition.

Like Sandy, I am happier playing some roles than others -- I prefer to play
someone who truly believes in whatever he is doing, no matter how silly or
obnoxious that might be. My wife likes earnest do-good roles, and was satisfied
with being the Torkani Queen and Mimsgill, respectively. My older son likes
playing double roles, such as the vampire in Home of the Bold (though he said it
made him totally paranoid) or Sangsouche in HtWwO, while the younger seemed
equally at ease playing the idealistic Pliny and the incredibly ruthless
Briestoc (his complaint about that role -- "I don't mind playing an S.O.B. --
but I just hate it when everyone already knows I"m an S.O.B.!"). High points in
family relations included David, as Pliny, catching and pummeling his vampire
older brother in Home of the Bold, and Jim, as Sangsouche, promoted to head of
his little schismatic Castle Coast Church, roundly denouncing the evil Theoblanc
and his Church. Ahh, how sharper than a serpent's tooth! Good fun was had by
all!

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