Manaburst Actual Play, Session 3 (Final Session)

On the 16th of December we had what wound up being our last game of Manaburst. It wasn’t intended as such at the time but between holiday scheduling and the fact that the system and/or world wasn’t working for most of the players we recently decided to call the game.The session it self did answer a small number of questions but also raised many more. It’s revealed all of the constructs around the palace were apparently going through the motions of their jobs but not doing any real work – chefs cutting at empty cutting boards or servants carrying empty trays around. After the guards are dealt with the servant the group was following leads us to what appear to be the royal apartments. In four separate suits were what appeared to be the royal family, each tucked into their beds but clearly long dead.

A more thorough investigation followed and turned up some minor clues but nothing definitive. However we did eventually find the throne room and the king- and queen-bots located there. After talking to them (they were the first constructs to actually speak to us other than Failure) Failure tried to machine meld with the king and found what appeared to be a prison for the king’s consciousness, soul, or something of the like. He tried to break down the prison to free the king but that only succeeded in destroying the construct and suddenly all of the constructs turned aggressive.

We made a fighting retreat through a hidden passage in the throne room and escaped through the sewers, eventually making it out of the palace grounds. The game was called with the intent to pick back up heading to one of the nearby towns we found out about while investigating, though that won’t happen now.

It was an unsatisfying conclusion to the campaign, but moving on was probably a good idea. The system didn’t gel right for most of the players and some of them felt the setting was a little to over the top. But Manaburst was meant as an experiment to see how well the Everway-style worked for us and we found out it didn’t. It was just too ambiguous for us and strayed a bit too far from traditional task resolution systems. But now we know and can tailor future games around that.