PLAYDAY 1: AUGUST 19TH, 2022
In person, a whole game of Negocios Infernales can usually be played within 4-5 hours–sometimes fewer!–depending on how many people are playing and if they’ve played before. Online, it’s a bit different. Role20 slows everything down (though we’re very grateful to have it), so it usually takes two sessions of about 4 hours each (breaks included) to get through a whole game.
We recently played with some folks from the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers, as a Kaleiodcast exclusive. Kaleidocast is an audio literary magazine run by the BSFW, “a group dedicated to getting writers producing content with a professional polish for publication!” (Follow their Patreon!)
Session 1 of a two-session game of Negocios Infernales usually includes: Part 0: Pregame Trust and Affirmation; Part 1: Invocation; Part 2: Character Creation; Part 3: Relationships; and Part 4: Worldbuilding. This is where all the players collaboratively create their characters, their country, and their world, using the “Baraja del Destino” (the Deck of Destiny). Usually, by the time all this is done, players have a pretty good idea which of the seven plots/genres they’ll want to play.
At the end of session one, from all the worldbuilding and character creating we’d done, we knew we wanted to play “The Royal Wedding” plot. (Spoiler: it was kind of like the Red Wedding, but with more mollusks.)
I really liked the character I came up with: Ven. Viana de Eularia de Alvar. (In Negocios Infernales, we use the gender-neutral honorific “Ven.” for “Venerable,” instead of “Don” or “Doña” or Sir or Lady, etc.)
Together, along with “Melliza Exposita, the Royal Mirror” (the queen’s proxy, played by Mimi Mondal), “Jose Díaz, the Cypher Strike” (a thief of books, played by Cam Robb), Rodriguez the Fair (trickster, worldbreaker, spymaster, played by Liam Burke), and our AI/Rulebook Carlos Hernandez, we were well-set up by the end of the first session not only to have a wild night of improv, but maybe also to write, like, 15 novels set in our very weird world.
The chat was small but FIERCELY AWESOME, and they came up with the most amazing perfumer NPC that we pledged would show up in the plot once we got to the improv!
For flavor, Carlos took prompts I texted him from my character sheet & entered them into Midjourney, so now my character has a profile pic!
PLAYDAY 2: SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022
In session two of Negocios Infernales, we got through Part 5: Plot; Part 6: Roleplay; and Part 7: The Alien Epilogue. The fun thing about Zoom is that it has an Alien filter, so for a while, several of us were cyclopses with deelie boppers, and those that weren’t used masks and funny voices to inspire our alien selves.
We’d known we were going to do the “The Royal Wedding” plot, so after we refreshed ourselves with the details of our last game, we got right into the interpreting the Plot cards. Then came the really wild stuff: the Roleplay. Each of us had to act as a Protagonist at least once, to solve the orders la Reina gave us. Each of us had to play an NPC at least once and use our Magic at least once.
We called upon the chat–again, small but AMAZING–to help us interpret certain cards and make certain decisions as we played. And yes, we used the NPC, perfumer “Marinel Curie,” which the chat had invented for us in the last game.
In the end, it was almost five hours of harried wizards, demonic monkeys with red glass claws, shapeshifters who have to smell whoever they want to change into, cannibal pearls, alien mollusks, masquerades, cypher-strikers, truth-extractors, and so much more! It was unpredictable and precarious; we were on the verge of losing the game. Our Reina Resoluta token had slid all the way down the Sword. If she’d gotten buried to the hilt, it would have been all over. Thanks to our Doom mechanic (which three of us had to activate to forestall failure), we won by the skin of our teeth. We’d lost most of the rest of our skin.
Carlos and I are very grateful that Kaleidocast played with us. We should have footage from the two sessions available through Kaleidocast one of these days, so consider supporting their Patreron!
Also, we’re gearing up for next year’s Kickstarter for Negocios Infernales, forthcoming from Outland Entertainment, so sign up here to keep abreast of the latest and greatest news: negociosinfernales.com