Author Topic: [AP] Sunken Sydney  (Read 1971 times)


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[AP] Sunken Sydney
« on: October 13, 2010, 12:22:59 AM »
So, it ended up being me and Kat, creating characters and mooching through the first session. We stuck to the plan as much as possible, despite me not having received my hardcopy of the rules yet, thus printed off playbooks, loose leaf sheets of moves and MC responsibilities flung about the place in disarray. It all went well! So well in fact, that we’ve spoke long and often about the characters and their story (whilst not ‘at the table’) in most of our casual conversations since.

We started by talking through character creation. I really started enjoying asking lots of provocative questions. The things I pondered, I put to Kat. I couched answers as queries and pushed hard toward situations that tilted crazily on the edge. This is what we came up with

Sydney is sinking. An overgrown jungle of tepid swamps, mosquitoes, giant carnivorous marsupials and pitted concrete that rarely glimpses the sun through its thick canopy of verdant green and mist. A map was laid on the table, the water table raised by 10m. We circled and named places we were interested in, we jotted notes on stickies and asked lots and lots of questions.
Old Sydney Town is best left unexplored, full of raw, wild, degenerate folk. The forests alone will eat you alive. In the outlying western fringe is the ancient city centre of Parramatta (‘place of many eels’). Truly it lives up to its name. The river seeps into everything, always wet, always dank and the eels will eat you whole in one snap of their gummy maw.

The Burrow is a small, confined hardhold  tucked into the underground carpark of a crumbling edifice to capitalism in the CBD of Eeltown. Full to the brim of folk, rumours and smug paranoia, the ragtag bunch of 50 or so misfits is ruled over by Grome; a large, bearded and grizzled old-timer.  We made Grome one of  Kat’s significant NPCs (to have Hx with). A strangely reluctant leader, he manages to be hard when needed, but has a softness for the life before.

Tanamai is the short and skinny Savvyhead of the Burrow. She lurks primarily in her workshop or on the roof, tending her precious solar panels, transmitters and receivers. These components are the source of her reality’s fraying edge. She’s a bit hot, a bit sharp and very weird. She was dragged from the mire by Grome as an orphan after her parents were killed in some Apocalyptic Mess. Thus she has a positive Hx with him.

What about a negative Hx NPC, I ask. Huh? Well, some other ‘type’ in the burrow that you don’t get along with…. Thus enters the Gunlugger Corbett, a brutish thug, complete with a motley of bad smells that follow him ‘round as if he’s some hero in cargo pants. He wants Tanamai in a nasty way, she doesn’t get him at all. Cool. Kat really wants to see Tanamai’s Weird come up in play, I go for her Sharp.

We follow her round for a while, discover that her scratch is repairing folk’s techno crap and maintaining the Burrow’s 12 volt power supply. She sleeps alone in a hammock slung in her workshop – a carpark space deep in the burrow. What’s bad about today? I plagiarise the rules. What would happen if Tanamai lost power to not only her weirdshop, but the whole burrow? The power flickers overhead, arcing translucently over the dripping walls. That’s bad.
Kat declares that it must be the ‘wildlife’ over the power cells / cables / panels. She’ll have to trace it from the top down. Cool, What do you do? Well I ain’t goin’ outside without a heavy. I go looking for help. Help?! Nothing’s for free in AW, Kat. I put her in a spot. Corbett barrels you up in the refuse strewn corridor freaking about the power surges.

No worries, he can escort me up the roof and cover me while I sort the problem. Escort? That’ll cost ya. What? Its his home too, surely he’ll come out of obligation? No way princess, scarcity and UNstatus quo remember? What do you do? What about a move? Hmmmm. I’m gonna manipulate him by promising to repair his windup GPS that broke. *7-9* Sure, he leers, as surety, give him a hardcopy map of ‘the main drag’  showing all the good scavenger spots now, and he’ll have your back on the roof. Tanamai reluctantly agrees and loses 1-barter and is even more disheartened when a disgruntled Grome accompanies them to the rooftop to oversee the repairs.

The rooftop view is one of unease and quiet storms circling round. The sky is grey, a thin misting rain falls and a few roving bands of Eel Hunters scour the banks of the swollen river. Grome shifts impatiently near the mess of panels and antennae, whilst Corbett peers intently at his newfound map of The Main Drag, comparing landmarks to map marks. What do you do?

Well, I’ll fault check the power system. So you do so under fire?  What? No. I’m repairing, not fighting. Yeah, but Grome is giving you the stink-eye, he even mutters that time spent outside is time spent dangerously. Oh. O.K. well I roll using my spooky intensity *7-9* Hmmph. I go for an ugly choice with some future badness thrown in. Well you know what’s up; exposure had finally got the best of your electrickery and you’re gonna need some serious supplies not part of your workshops inventory to fix it. Oh, and you need to fix it soon.

Whilst you argue with Grome about the specifics, Corbett grabs your sleeve and thrusts a finger east down the river toward Old Sydney Town, a chugging armoured barge emerges from the gloom. What’s all that about? Oh, they’re just the S.A.S. Who? That’s what we call ‘em, they don’t even know the Burrow exists. A bunch of evil bastards holed up on Cock-or-Two (Cockatoo) Island in the ruins of the old Navy Shipyard. She marks the map and writes a sticky. Cool.

You hunker down and watch as they molest a pair of Eel Hunters, throwing their rifled corpses to the murky depths for the eels to munch on. What do you do? Well, I need to get these bits for repair, and I’m not taking Corbett. I go looking for a Scavenging Party to take to….. Oh, I know. The huge Dick Smith Electronic Mega Store downtown on the Main Drag. So, you’ve been there before? Yeah, but not often, and not for a long time its too dangerous with the roving bands of crazies about. I wonder about that. What makes ‘em crazy? Oh, you know, its AW and they have no home or hearth! Fair enough.

Tanamai manipulates Elsie the schoolteacher and Wacko Jacko the Burrow’s Scavenger to accompany her to the Mega Mart by promising to stand with them against Corbett in the near future, as he bullies them mercilessly. *10+* No assurance needed. A good triangle emerges.

The trio leave under cover of darkness, tracking their progress on our map. Kat looks expectantly to me in a lull of barf and I struggle. Announce future badness right? Dick Smith’s is a large two storey warehouse, nestled in an old homemaker depot and completely overgrown. A gigantic strangler fig bursts skyward from the top of the collapsed shell, its tangled roots coiling down to the road, smashing the pavement below. Holed up in one of the alcove’s formed by the roots is a bunch of S.A.S. They are heavily armed and appear to be collecting valuable tech into large ammo crates.

Tanamai reads the charged sitch *7-9* and asks what she be on the lookout for? I smirk and reply that the unmistakable silhouette of Corbett flickers against their campfire,  rifle slung casually over his shoulder as he appears right at home. +1 for you if you act on that juicy tidbit.

We call it quits. One-on-one is draining and demands us to be on our toes, especially as newish story-gamers. Was awesome fun though and the fronts are just writing themselves. Keep you posted. Fingers crossed that my hard copy of the rules arrives in the mail soon.


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Re: [AP] Sunken Sydney
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010, 12:36:16 AM »
Sunken Sydney, I love it! Mostly because I can't seem to get a game set up down here in Melbourne, though, and I love seeing a good bit of Australiana.

I really like that you tracked the moves to establish both the mechanical and in-fiction reasons for the way the narrative progressed, too. It's really helpful in understanding the flow of the session, as well, and gives more ideas on how to shape my own future games.

Really looking forward to seeing more from this game!


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Re: [AP] Sunken Sydney
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010, 03:16:30 AM »
Thanks Simon!
Initially we thought about the traditional radback of MadMax, or a prison allegory set in Tasmania. When the concept of an overgrown AW emerged, Sunken Sydney seemed perfect, and full of unexplored potential.

The S.A.S are an Obvious front, holed up on their industrial island, and the threatened sanctity of the Burrow from forces within. But I've been wondering about these bands roving the suburbs, the Eel Hunters and the treasures hidden beneath the waves in the central CBD. Iconic Landmarks are on my rumourmongery and future badness list too. The Sydney Harbour Bridge? The now semi-submerged Opera House? Centre Point Tower? So much fodder.

I'll write up a front sheet soon and post for critque.

Oh, and my rules arrived in the mail today! Woo Hoo! Beautiful Book, lovely to read and stash in my satchel. Thanks Vincent. :)