6 Dec 2016

The Soul Blade Chapter 7 - Commentary

Brenna received advice from Missy before hunting ghosts, in The Soul Blade Chapter 7.

The first half of the chapter sees Missy acting as a sounding board for Brenna, following the Bladekeeper's chaotic stream of thoughts about the situations she's in.  Part of the discussion was to let me work out what was going on and what Brenna knew, though I did know what Trish was doing at this point.  The other part was to cause more internal conflict with Brenna.  If only she'd just admit to herself that she wants Matt, she wouldn't have any more worries.  Missy does know Brenna well, and she looks out for her friend as much as she can.  There is a story in how they met in high school that might be told in one form or another some day.

The second half of the chapter was purely to have some action going after all of Brenna's personal problems.  The investigation of the haunted beach house let me show what Brenna can do when confronted by a hostile ghost.  Cardiff-By-the-Sea and the Cardiff State Beach are real places.  The beach house is fictional.  The weather beating is based on seeing similar buildings locally, with wood faded by the sun.

The ghost Brenna fights is driven by jealousy and desire so strong that it remained.  It sees Missy as the girl it loved when it was alive.  Anyone else it sees now is a competitor.  Nasty being, really.  Still, Brenna doesn't like her role.  She would much prefer to coax a ghost to move along than to fight it with the Blade.  Her mother and Bert are still around; both have a purpose to fulfill that isn't harmful.  This ghost is too far gone to be coaxed.

The fight let me show off the two different versions of Brenna's Soul Blade.  Brenna prefers the pure white version.  At heart, Brenna doesn't want to hurt anyone, not even the dead.  If pushed, she fights.  However, if she needs to be more forceful, she can be.  That's when the blood red version of the Blade appears.  That version can cut.  In comparison, Joni's Blade was silver, and didn't have the option to change to a lethal form.  In Champions terms, Brenna's Blade is a multipower with two slots, one a No Normal Defense blade that only does Stun damage, the other is a Hand-to-Hand Killing Attack.  Joni's is a simpler Energy Blast with No Range*, doing Normal** damage.  The different types of Blade will appear later.

Was the chapter plot relevant?  Sort of.  Brenna got to display what she could do, which will come up again.  Some themes got rehashed, and some plot threads got more tangled.  Which ones will be seen later.

Thursday, the commentary for The Soul Blade Chapter 8.
Friday, Trish has second thoughts in The Soul Blade Chapter 11.
Also on Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Superman.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Young Frankenstein.

* Or maybe a Hand-to-Hand Attack with the special effect being the Soul Blade.  Champions is versatile like that.
** More details are in the core rules, but a Normal attack does its dice in Stun damage, with, on average, a point of Body (ie, lethal) damage per die rolled, with both resisted by regular defenses.  A Killing Attack requires resistant defenses, making Brenna's attack far more dangerous.

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