Running Tribunal Stories (Arcane Connection 4)

OK, another podcast by Darkwing and I. This one is just the two of us, talking about issues we as storyguides have found in running stories set at Tribunal meetings, and fitting Tribunals in to our sagas. Next week incidentally Darkwing is away so we will hopefully have some guest interviews, but if you enjoy Arcane Connection you can listen to the latest podcast (number 4) here:

If you hate listening to AC podcast, hey no probs. How do you handle running Tribunals in your game? I'd like to discuss the issue, and you really don't have to have listened to the podcast to make useful suggestions or contribute. Are we alone in finding it a problem? What was the best Tribunal based session you ever played in? Any good articles or advice?

cj x

Tribunal events in tabletop tend to be very stressful on the SG. I tend to gloss over the motions that are unlikely to interest the players, go into more detail for the ones that do interest them and spend the majority of the time on the motions that involve them :slight_smile:

The best Tribunal sessions I've ever been involved with were a couple of series of freeform/larp events that we ran here in the UK. The first ran Stonehenge -> Normandy -> Rome -> Provence -> Loch Leglean -> Grand under the Machiavelli Games banner; the second ran the Levant -> Thebes -> Transylvania -> Rome -> Grand under the NWO Games banner. The final events topped a hundred or so pre-written characters and ran over a long weekend in Ilam Hall (an old stately home, now a Youth Hostel) with everyone in costume and in character for the majority of the day. Needless to say, the prep-work was monumental (most characters clocking in at over 10K words!) and took a team of more than 10 people. The familiar refrain at the end of each was "never again...." :laughing:


Hi Eric;

Yep, they had I think Darkwing says written nearly a million words by the time they stopped running! I never met the folks, but I write 25-30 characters most years for the GTUK freeform and that is enough. I think some of the early events they ran were held at St. Briavels castle, where I later worked, but that was before my time -- or maybe another Ars freeform. :slight_smile: I never met any of the folks involked, though as I say Darkwing knew them, and by the time I became interested in Ars the games series had stopped, some time in the late 90's I think?

EDIT: Project Redcap really needs entries on those LARPS, if anyone can add them?
cj x

The first series (Dragon Rising) ran mid- to late-90s as I recall, with the second series (Lion & Serpent) running early- to late-00s. And yes, we churned out a metric ton of words by the time we were through. It's fun when it starts, hits a nightmare stage in the middle where you think it's all going to collapse and nothing will be ready on time (all hail cut-n-paste!) but finally become fun again once the event runs and it's out of your hands.

Lurching back on topic, I've known some SGs who draft in their friends to run a couple of character (or covenants) during Tribunal sessions to give the players a more dynamic feel to the event. That can work quite well so long as the SG briefs them well with the ideal outcome for the NPCs.



Some one posted a comment with questions on the podcast - as more likely they will see my reply here: The excellent Atlas Games forum user Vrylakos created these cards -- you can download on the Atlas Games website. The Gerald Wylie articles span I think Sub Rosa 8 to 12 but I shall check: some excellent stuff in there.

cj x

I tend to write "Tribunal" when talking about the political distinction, like Theban Tribunal, Transylvanian Tribunal, since it's a proper name.

I write "tribunal" when talking about the meeting itself. There's an article on running a tribunal meeting session in Sub Rosa #5.