Author Topic: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances  (Read 9038 times)

Elizabeth

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AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« on: July 31, 2011, 05:14:22 PM »
So we're playing a weekly game here in the south (SF) bay area, and it's probably the best non-Vincent AW game I've been able to play in. The idea is that the apocalypse was tied into technology, and now anything sufficiently advanced sends people into an obsessive, crazy trance. So no one has tech beyond shitty vehicles that still run on gasoline and guns, and as a society we're back to being scared shitless of the giant ravening wolves outside of the firelight. The cast so far:

Saffron: (Played by Shreyas) A Maestro 'D who is always in the middle of an unnamed personal crisis. She runs a traveling rave and wears immaculate chef's whites and a stainless steel mask of her face (as armor, mostly, not decoration). She is currently unable to pay her debts to

Winona Augustus Rockefeller, AKA WAR: (Played by Josh HB) A Hoarder who hits this perfect tone that's halfway between senior management at a faceless corporation and apartment complex manager. He keeps his hoard meticulously arranged in a series of antique safes. He has a battery that never drains, and that might be why he's a little creepy. He is currently indebted to his hoard, which will call things even if he can procure the bike of

Nile: (Played by Sarah) A Chopper who doesn't take shit from anyone, especially not her teenage son Half-Pint. While everyone's pussyfooting around and talking about their feelings and getting into trouble, she's quietly tripling the size of her gang and bristling under the watchful eye of

Smith: (Played by Liam) A gender-ambiguous Battlebabe who fancies themself second-in-command of Saffron's crew. Smith is innately suspicious, kind of a smartass, and likes to make sure everyone traveling with Saffron is fully integrated into her crew, and therefore, under Smith's command. Which is why Smith has problems with

Rhyme: (Played by me!) A Touchstone who believes that there used to be a thing called God, but everyone got all fucked up about it and here we are. But now there's something newer and weirder that could fulfill the same purpose, as long as everyone is disciplined about it and doesn't fuck it up. Rhyme has a clear vision of a world without violence that's based on mutual respect and help, and when she Opens Her Brain, she communes with a man who's face she can never remember with eyes like static and calls him God as shorthand. She's currently taking care of

Jordan Abraham Matthews the Third, AKA Third: (Played by Chris M) A Quarantine who froze himself, his bodyguard, his fiancee and his nurse because he was very rich and very terminal with lung cancer. He woke up, his bodyguard and nurse were dead and his fiancee's pod was missing. Other than his recent coma, he's been in surprisingly good health other than a drug-induced beatdown from

Sandalwood: (Played by Chris C) A Gunlugger who works as a bouncer for Saffron, as well as main hunter for sustenance. He's a barbecue enthusiast who's learning how to butcher animals properly (according to Leviticus) from Rhyme. He's also paying for Half-Pint's continued education at the feet of WAR as an apology for almost killing Half-Pint with a grenade launcher.

Evan Torner

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 05:33:52 PM »
Dude, sweet!  And the large group is no hindrance?

Elizabeth

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 05:49:22 PM »
Nope! Josh and Chris M can't make it every week, so we're flexible. WAR was off doing his own thing last week because Josh was gone, and Third slipped into a cancer-coma at the end of this session (or was it an Opening Your Brain coma? Maybe both) because he'll be gone the next two sessions. So it all worked out well.

So here's my favorite thing that happened with Rhyme last session, and when I have email I'll point the other players at this thread and see if they want to chime in about their stuff.

So Rhyme has a crappy RV that she lives in. Its main distinguishing feature is a doormat that is pristinely-kept astroturf - always gleamingly clean and lushly green. Whenever someone knocks on her door she just yells "Wipe your feet!" It's her version of a supplicant thing; anyone who enters, herself included, needs to acknowledge they could be cleaner.

So Smith found the stasis pod that held Third's fiancee ("What's a fiancee?" "As far as I can tell it's a fancy word for the person you're sleeping with." "But she's dead!" "Hey, I'm not judging."), had to shoot the people who were worshipping it and dragged it back to to camp to try and negotiate a trade.

Third doesn't really HAVE anything of value, and is tiny and weak and has been coughing up blood a lot lately, so Rhyme is pretty livid that Smith is trying to negotiate for an actual HUMAN BEING. After they argue for a while - Smith sees a shiny piece of tech that Smith had to kill people to get, so Smith wants theirs. Smith starts angling to get Third to work for them, and Rhyme thinks Smith is kind of a terrible human being, so... Rhyme offers to trade her RV for the stasis pod.

Smith thinks. "Does it come with the welcome mat?"

Rhyme: "Yes."

Smith, trying to get at Rhyme: "What about half the welcome mat?"

Rhyme, tightly: "Take the whole thing. I'm feeling generous."

Everyone is completely confused by why Rhyme would offer such a generous trade. Smith is even MORE suspicious of why Rhyme is trying to keep Third under her wing, but hey, free RV.

Evan Torner

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 12:59:28 AM »
In my limited experience, THE most suspect behavior in Apocalypse World is generosity.  Give people enough gifts as an MC or as a PC and it will drive them insane.

Pigeon

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 01:52:40 AM »
Third doesn't really HAVE anything of value, and is tiny and weak and has been coughing up blood a lot lately, so Rhyme is pretty livid that Smith is trying to negotiate for an actual HUMAN BEING.

Third has a MAGICAL AMBULANCE that has shiny glowing lights and brings people back from the dead!  Admittedly it makes people go crazy, but still.  (This was before you guys destroyed it turning his fiancee into a crazy hate-filled grey zombie.) Also, maybe I would know he coughs up blood if you let him OUT once in a while.

Elizabeth

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 05:38:20 AM »
Third doesn't really HAVE anything of value, and is tiny and weak and has been coughing up blood a lot lately, so Rhyme is pretty livid that Smith is trying to negotiate for an actual HUMAN BEING.

Third has a MAGICAL AMBULANCE that has shiny glowing lights and brings people back from the dead!  Admittedly it makes people go crazy, but still.  (This was before you guys destroyed it turning his fiancee into a crazy hate-filled grey zombie.) Also, maybe I would know he coughs up blood if you let him OUT once in a while.

Oh right! After Rhyme and Third traded the RV for the stasis pod, they took it back to the ambulance, where Bunny (the fiancee) had an emergency thaw and told Third that he should either re-freeze her or kill himself in recompense for forcing her to be frozen with him and bringing her back into this insane world. So Smith definitely got the better end of that deal.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 03:35:29 PM »
In my limited experience, THE most suspect behavior in Apocalypse World is generosity.  Give people enough gifts as an MC or as a PC and it will drive them insane.

This is so true.


bankuei

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 06:07:10 PM »
I'm really amused that one of the things that seems to be recurring is the breakdown in communication as words and ideas are forgotten or drastically shift meaning.

"This is the codex.  I'm entrusting you with it.  It's very valuable." (hands over a snowglobe)

"Lung Cancer? Is it contagious?!?  It's not my fault, I didn't punch you there!"

"You're a 'Bruno'?  What's that?  Is being a dumbass and getting your face shot off part of the deal?  Because that's what I saw the last 2 Brunos do, and it didn't seem like such a good plan."

"Michael?  That's such a...weird name.  Flamethrower?  At least that's normal."

"So this thing needs a 'Bat-Tree' to work?"

It's all the more funny based on what words we DO know.  ("How the fuck do I know the word 'tuition' and don't know what a lung is?")

Chris

DevP

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 07:42:08 PM »
I do love MCing this world, and I like to see this vivid, complex apocalypseworld emerge from random elements into something real. I'm having a great time.

(This game also benefits superbly from some great improv, theatrics, RP, etc from the players. Good craft makes everything better.)

I worry that the plots are going like either ivy or hydra or both, but I'm told this is to be expected.

bankuei

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2011, 06:20:58 AM »
We've just hit a really interesting turning point this session.  Sort of the hanging questions of "How does this travelling rave/all these individual gigs these people have work?" was strongly revealed, and the answer is generally, "Not so well!"

I'm thinking of the situation as sort of the post-apocalyptic version of the college co-op house: a really charismatic person gets a bunch of folks together, they hang out and live together and party a lot, and eventually the important stuff like paying the bills or keeping things from falling apart, gets more and more ignored, and people start sleeping with other people's partners and petty power issues and resentment builds... and drama ensues.

This session we had:

Saffron confronting Matilda and her two wives.  It ends in blood and tears and people falling down wells.

Smith doing hir job with terrifying expedience and professionalism and tracking down Matilda as the source of poisoned greygrass wine which left Saffron sickened as well as two of the bikers.

Rhyme trying her best to explain her philosophy to her new followers who -kinda- get it, and later having to bury Matilda and her spouses.

W.A.R. cutting a blood contract with Nile - swearing to oversee Half Pint's safety and education.  (The contract?  A bloody thumbprint on a Post-It Note!).

Nile deciding to ally with the mutants and get a hardhold of her own.  A hardhold that's a oil refinery...

Sandalwood getting called out for being all up in the biker gang's business, and not being trustworthy at all, and maybe a baby-daddy to boot!

What's really interesting is that even when characters are doing things that should, theoretically stabilize things ("Hey, let's get a hardhold!") it only serves to destabilize things ("Wait, who's going to be running security for the Rave tonight if you're 3 hours out?")

Next session is bound to set up a lot of characters to have to rely on people they maybe don't fully trust, or who aren't fully capable for the task at hand.

It should be glorious.

Chris

Elizabeth

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2011, 04:12:32 PM »
There was this awesome scene where a bunch of people who come to Rhyme for advice or just to talk were looking all over for her - she wasn't at the RV, and since Smith put out the welcome mat in front of Smith's truck, eleven people ended up banging on his door at four in the morning thinking Rhyme had moved, or was spending the night at Smith's. The people were just worried and looking for Rhyme, but Smith was totally confused and sleepy and ended up beating the shit out of an old man to send a message: Smith likes to sleep in.

bankuei

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It all falls apart, it all falls together
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 06:38:38 AM »
This week was lots of violence and lots of people just falling apart in awesome ways.

The city of mutants ("Brotherhood Village", aka Broville) did the ceremony to start up it's oil refinery, which, actually we found out they were originally doing as slave/serfs of the gas traders.    Nile's gang and Sandalwood ran defense which turned bloody and insane.  Nile put herself on the line to rescue one of her bikers while Sandalwood rushed a gatling gun ("Seize by Force") to turn back on the gas traders who had come to take back their refinery. 

Casualties- one biker dead, another poisoned but alive, and Sandalwood with 3 Harm having taken a full round or two from a gatling gun straight through the body.  Uncounted numbers of gas traders dead (Chopper gang + Gatling gun + 2 more Harm from Bloodthirsty and Merciless = ZOMGWTFBBQ).   Net gain: a truck with a gatling gun.

Meanwhile the undefended Rave had it's own problems going on.  Smith rightly is freaking out that both the chopper gang and Sandalwood are missing on an event night, and, comes to find Rhyme having lost control of her followers who decided breaking into Smith's RV (previously, Rhyme's RV)  was the way to go.  Smith decides to shoot someone to make an example, and Rhyme opens her brain to check in with God who basically says, "Hey, the Rave is going to need Smith tonight, and you need to help Smith do what Smith wants/needs."

Well... this sends Rhyme into a serious breakdown, because Smith is hyperviolent and kind of the opposite of everything she's been preaching this whole time.  The long and the short of it ends up with Rhyme arming her followers to help defend the Rave, while Smith getting a gang through an advance, ends up arming hir followers as well, though Smith's gang is the people who are GLAD to see violence inflicted on Rhyme's people...   Not hard to see how this will lead to trouble later.

Also, Arten and Princey came back, had some unpleasant words with Smith, and Smith goes the fuck off and decided to snipe them- hitting Arten but Princey got away.   Net result:  + 1 good motorbike, +1 pissed off biker, out there somewhere, probably going to take action later.

Winona/WAR is becoming highly unsure of the success of the Rave as a business investment, and begins pressing his advantage in digging for info and getting more deals out of the people present.   Of course, this doubt is only confirmed when the Bruno Cult decides to start coming in on the party trying to kill everyone.

Smith takes out hir bad day on the raiders to good effect.  Rhyme is busy breaking mirrors in a funhouse, completely high on drug wine, when she gets confronted by a Bruno cultist who puts a poisoned arrow in her, when she simply doesn't care ("You told me to stand still.  Am I supposed to care?  I don't know where Saffron is.")   Said cultist ends up rushing WAR mistaking him for Saffron, before he kicks him in the nuts and having Saffron rush him with a sharp piece of broken mirror.

"You are at my event, you don't pull out weapons on anyone I don't tell you to.  You especially don't pull weapons on my business associates." and ends up slashing his throat for massive bloodspray.

Casualties: Unknown but probably a good amount of Rhyme's followers, unknown but probably some of Smith's new gang of angry Ravers, definitely some of the attendees, and a good number of the Bruno Cultists.   WAR: 2 harm and poisoned.  Saffron: 3 Harm and poisoned.  Rhyme: 3 Harm, but no longer poisoned.

It really feels like there was great gains made towards solving a lot of problems- getting ahold of a gasoline supply, seriously dealing with two armed threats... but it also feels like so many of the characters were put into personal crisis that the big threat to the Rave even existing isn't the external forces, as much as the PCs being unable to deal with the stress or each other.

It was really awesome and felt like a good payoff to the build up of the last few sessions.

Chris

Elizabeth

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 06:10:56 PM »
Point of clarification: Rhyme did not have a breakdown because God told her to protect someone she doesn't like.

So Rhyme went to find her followers, and they were camped outside of the RV she traded to Smith for the life of Third's fiancee. Her followers had wrenches and were about to tear the door off of the RV and take it by force, lead by one guy named Zenith. Smith sees that there's this group of Rhyme's followers trying to get into the RV and that Rhyme is trying to stop them, and shoots Zenith's wife in the head.

Rhyme gets unbelievably pissed and her brain just kind of opens - God tells her not to allow any harm to come to Smith, because the Rave will need Smith tonight. God shows her Zenith walking toward Smith with a purpose,, and Rhyme thinks "Shit" and goes to tackle him.

I squeaked by my "under fire" roll, and got a hard bargain: I can hold Zenith down and make sure Smith doesn't shoot him if I break his arm.

So Rhyme breaks Zenith's arm, and something breaks inside of Rhyme. It's stupid and fucked up that innocent people die and she is forced to injure someone sick with grief and it's all in service of making sure the right person is in tip-top condition to shoot the right people. And she knows her followers will never understand why she used violence against one of her own after someone blameless was killed by someone who has demonstrated a lack of reverence for life in the first place. And all of it was at the behest of a God she specifically stopped shooting people FOR.

But it's mostly that she broke Zenith's arm.

bankuei

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2011, 06:35:51 PM »
Quote
it's all in service of making sure the right person is in tip-top condition to shoot the right people.

That's mostly what I saw it as being, but Zenith's arm really puts it into context.   I'm really excited to see what happens with everyone, from here.

Chris

Guns_n_Droids

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Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 04:01:36 PM »
Don't stop. Seriously. That's f***ing great, people.
Listening patiently