So here is the first play summary for my Don't Rest Your Head game. After I will have some thoughts on how it went.
The story started with a frantic Jonas destroying his college dorm room looking for his design project. He thinks it might have been thrown out by his roommate and runs to the door almost bumping into him. After a strained conversation and an invite to a local bar, Jonas runs to the dumpster. Rooting around in the filth of the dumpster and getting damp from the cold mist of winter, Jonas finds a lifelike wooden puppet about the size on a 5 to 8 year old child smiling up at him, but no project. Weird yes, relevant no. Jonas ran to the library. Not finding his project, he decided to use the bathroom. While washing, he met a wooden man in a 50s style brown suit with cords attached to him running through the ceiling. Um yeah, he ran.
Next we met Kesi who was placing her murdered child in a dumpster. Looking around she also finds a wooden child only slightly different from the one Jonas did. Taking the wooden child and leaving her's, Kesi searched out an all night clinic. She becomes very attached to the lifeless child.
Then Billie picked herself up from the ground shaken and hurt. She decided to drive to the police station to make a report. Running up to the front desk she screams for help with the only person there ignoring her. Finally the chair slowly turns and she glimpses a lifeless wooden policeman. Staring, Billie eventually ran to her car.
While Jonas was driving to the bar (he needed a drink), he spies three figures through the winter mist. One of them pointed to him and the other two started to move toward him. Jonas quickly made a u-turn to avoid them while Billie was driving the other way. Paying attention to Jonas, Billie hits the first figure. Jonas stops as Kesi enters the scene to see what happened. The women find a wooden man in a 50s brown suit and damaged cords coming out of his body sitting up. Kesi and Billie started to run to a nearby gas station with Kesi finding it empty and Billie falling before the wooden man. Jonas couldn't leave her so with his "god of architecture" realized if he hurried, the other two figures would be trapped under a faulty streetlamp. The lamp falls on the figures but also his car. He and Billie ran to the gas station. After finding an antique telephone and no help, Jonas takes a bat from behind the counter and goes to beat the ever-loving piss out of the wooden men. The men went down stating the protagonists had seen to much. He decides to bring a head of one of the men along to a pancake house. They just wanted to be around other people.
At the pancake house, the protagonists interrogate the head who will only revel the creator is through the looking glass. They also learn two other things. 1) It seems they are the only ones who can see the wooden parts and 2) there is a smelly sewer grate under the table. While deciding what to do next, 3 wooden figures with cords like puppets float down from the sky. Ok, the protagonists ran.
Billie drops Jonas off at his dorm and takes Kesi to her place. Jonas answers a knock at the door to reveal his roommate as a corded wooden man. He can't take it and runs to a closet. Opening the door to a crowded city street (the looking glass), he steps through. Walking down the strange city, Jonas sees antique cars, people and unpeople traveling the sidewalk. Getting off the street, he steps into a 50s style soda shop. Conversing with the soda jerk, he reveals the location of a toymaker down the street with a lot of "Hey Mack" and "What'll it be buddy?" in his speech.
Billie and Kesi discover a door placed in the middle of Billie's second floor patio. After some tentative experimentation, they go through the door and fall a couple feet onto a rooftop. They stood among the peaks of a great city with a bloated moon against a too close night sky.
That ends the first session leaving the protagonists just arriving in the Mad City. I think the players do not know what to make of the game yet but fun was had by all. We had a lot of stops and starts, mostly because I was having some trouble with the rules mechanics. The game also allows for player narration, so we were testing the waters on that. I think this added a lot to the game. A player stated there was no one in the gas station heightening the feeling of isolation in the scene and another came up with the streetlamp smashing Jonas' car after I was at a loss to figure how Pain would dominate the scene. I will add more about how I think the rules add or subtract from the game as we become more comfortable with them.
By the way, the main idea for the antagonist in the first story arc comes from an actual play podcast by The Game Master Show. Even though I am going a slightly different direction with it, I just wanted to give them some props.