Monday, July 28, 2014

Apocalypse World: Nobody's Home (6th session)

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William H. Esquire Esq. awoke in his Arcade with a little memory loss. He was sure that he had been knocked out by a couple of Ballers but he wasn't sure why. There was some discussion about the gunfight that had just happened while Gau's tribals tried to figure out how to operate the motorcycles. Gau prayed to his ancestors to find the nearest source of fuel to fill the gastanks of these motorcycles and sensed it was north of Arcade, in the ruins of the Big 90.

William H. Esquire Esq. didn't want to use the motorcycles and preferred using a car to drive over to Montana and used fingers in every pie to get it, and that's when Lamprey showed up with his brother Philo Foureyes who was willing to hand over his dump truck in exchange for a job. Philo Foureyes is a Fisher and thus he is also a mutant.

image from Nate Marcel's Make Your Own Mudmen Eye Types

Kidboy announced that he would no longer answer to that name, now he should be called Boy Esquire.

Snail was off studying Silver's Meno Moon Array, and the rest of them hopped into the dump truck, Spector took her crew, Cullen and Whitehead, while William H. Esquire Esq. brought his guard Tango. They headed north, with Boy Esquire driving. When they reached the ruins of the Big 90 they found the decaying buses and vans that made up the walls of the Big 90 and two smashed up cars with people tied up and staked to the hoods, a crowd was gathered around listening to a preacher wearing an old and tattered American flag as a robe. As the group warily approached the crowd they could hear the words of Father beckoning to rebuild the America that was once forged in flames, and that the fires of redemption would burn away the fat of decadence and evils of idleness. William H. Esquire Esq. took issue with this, and tried to compete with Father to convince the crowd that the Arcade was a better place to make a home for themselves. Father's flamethrower-wielding guards, June and Birthday, defected to William H. Esquire Esq. and so Father declared him to be a devil, an agent of the apocalypse that laid America low.

Marlowe used the distraction to free the the two people who were tied up, discovering that they were doused in gasoline, and Gau took advantage of the distraction to circle around the crowd and attempt to bushwhack Father from behind. Marlowe succeeded, but when he climbed up onto the car that Father was standing on Gau slipped and his gun went off, killing a kid in the crowd. William H. Esquire Esq. attempted to comfort the mother, but she was having none of it. Gau beat Father to death before he could rally the crowd, but they began to move toward William H. Esquire Esq. with violence in mind. William H. Esquire Esq. commanded everyone to retreat and they quickly got back into the dump truck and fled. William H. Esquire Esq. wanted to get back to Arcade but Boy Esquire insisted that they were going to Montana.

When they arrived, they found abandoned farm fields with tree stumps along the edges. The house of Montana was in ruins, with smashed windows and peeling paint, the barn behind it looked in a similar state of disrepair, and the field between the two buildings was ringed by a thick wooden wall with one closed door, big enough for a medium-sized car to drive through. In the middle of the compound, a 40-foot tall antenna stood, lights along the antenna blinked betraying that an active generator was inside the compound. An almost perfect circle had been cut out of the surrounding woods and the circle was lined with the bodies of dead animals and a few dead humans, their flesh left to scour in the wind and weather, no scavengers or carrion feeders had even touched the decaying corpses. As Boy Esquire and William H. Esquire Esq. attempted to approach the compound on foot, gunfire erupted from slats in the walls.

William H. Esquire Esq. made repeated attempts to convince or bribe the occupants behind the wall that they weren't a threat, but the gunfire continued against anyone approaching within the circle. Spector found one route where the guns had difficulty aiming, and managed to run up to the dilapidated house while others distracted the mute gunners. Gau and Boy Esquire both got severely injured by gunfire, and Marlowe took it upon himself to drive the dump truck up to the wooden wall, he wasn't going fast enough to plow a hole through the barricade but he did manage to seal up one of the gun slats. As William H. Esquire Esq. worked his way around to the garage door, Tango, one of his guards, was killed by another gun, and Spector managed to get inside of the compound, but set off a mine attached to a door in the process.

Everybody but Gau made it inside, while he waited outside of the circle, weeping over his wounds and the terrible events f earlier in the day. They searched the compound and found it nearly abandoned, an ancient computer connected to the antenna was hooked up with wires and cables to unmanned machine guns placed along the slats in the walls of the compound. They unplugged the entire device from the generator, and a beeping noise could be heard coming from the antenna. Spector found the harness she needed to finish making her Secret Portable Tunnel, while Marlowe and Boy Esquire searched the barn and found many dead bodies that had all apparently been poisoned. They found a few medical supplies and took them out to Gau to heal his wounds.

Leaving Spector and her laborers behind to go over the abandoned equipment, they dismantled the guns and drove back to Arcade. Gau vowed to return his tribe to their secret grotto and made plans to protect them from these crazy outsiders while retiring to safety.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Apocalypse World: Sonic Pigs

I have decided to adapt Patrick Stuart's Sonic Pigs into a custom threat for my Apocalypse World game.

In the City by the Sea slaves are forced to tend the sonic pig pits, feeding them and corralling them until they have grown fat from sucking on semi-nutrient mud. They are more than just a food source though, when the slavers want to demoralize a populace they will release the runts and mutated babies of their litters around the perimeter of a town they want to subjugate, herding the pigs toward the populace with sticks and whips while protecting themselves with earplugs or scavenged headphones. The sonic pigs will search for food amongst a town's refuse but react with terror when confronted by crowds or loud noises.

When you scare a sonic pig, roll+sharp. On a 10+, pick two. On a 7-9, pick three. If you are deafened or have a way to cancel sound, then pick one less:
  • you shit yourself (you are +messy and prone to +disease if you don't clean yourself)
  • you are dizzy (take -1ongoing until you get +far away)
  • you are disorientated (act under fire or else stay where you are clutching your head)
  • you are filled with despair (the MC holds 1, they can spend this hold to prevent you from gaining experience)
On a miss, all four are true, even if you are deafened - the vibrations from the sound rattle your bones and make your intestines hum.

Click the pic for linkage

Picture drawn by Logan Knight

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hexcrawls

I have mixed feelings about hexcrawl adventures.
On the one hand, a hexcrawl has the potential to be a fun puzzle box adventure with geographical locations serving as evidence for larger schemes or ancient histories waiting for the players to discover.
On the other hand, I have never seen a group of players embrace the exploratory nature of a hexcrawl adventure.
Maybe I handle the adventures wrong when I attempt to GM them, but in the past the best experiences I have gotten out of hexcrawl adventure modules is in using them as a treasure box of resources to throw into a campaign. Maybe this is how most other GMs use them too?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Apocalypse World: Weirder & Weirder (4th and 5th sessions)

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The Cast of Characters

the Maestro d' - William H. Esquire Esquire owns the Arcade, a bar and brothel with a few working video game cabinets. The town it's a part of has also come to be referred to as Arcade.

the Tribal - Gau is a member of the Good Deal tribe, a hardy and pragmatic people who reside in an isolated grotto.

the Hoarder - Snail lives inside of a giant spherical suit of advanced technological origin called The House.

the Kid - Kidboy is an orphan who has been taken in by William H. Esquire Esq. as a protege.

the Savvyhead - Spector has set up a garage in the middle of Arcade

the Marmot - Marlowe has been in Arcade long enough to solve one murder, and realize that nobody is really in charge.

The Map


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Gau returned to Arcade with some members of the Good Deal tribe. He has been selected by Blind Blue, the leader of their tribe, to decide whether the tribe should fortify where they live or look for a new place to move on to.

Kidboy manages to steal his lucky charm, a safety pin, back from Snail while he's sleeping. Betty's Sister begins to mother Kidboy and tries to encourage him to toughen up, assigning him to guard the door to the Arcade with Tango.

Happy ran into the Arcade missing two of his fingers and bleeding profusely. They stopped the bleeding and Happy was reticent about what happened but managed to reveal he had a confrontation with the Fisher Family, one of them had very sharp teeth.

Some of the Fisher Family showed up just as Ritchie returned to town. Ritchie explained that he worked for Sweet, and she wanted to offer William H. Esquire Esq. free food in exchange for free passage to Sweet's Army. Sweet is the leader of some group from the north and they were going to move through the Big 90 and Montana, but nobody in Montana will even talk to them and Ritchie reveals that this is where he lost his eye. The Arcade is an alternative for them where they feel they wouldn't have to fight anybody to travel through. William H. Esquire Esq. decides to hold a feast for everybody in Arcade and declares he won't make a deal unless he can talk to Sweet face to face.

There are rumors of a talking rat in town.

William H. Esquire Esq. asks Spector to start work on a secret portable tunnel so that he'll always be able to escape the Arcade if it gets attacked. Spector goes back to her garage to work on the project and sends out her crew to scavenge for tech and finds out that Silver is in Arcade and trying to finish his Meno Moon Array. She helps him finish it and as it turns on she makes the thing speak and has a vision of what the Meno Moon Array does; it sends a laser signal to a base on the Moon so that the inhabitants there, sentient uplifted dolphins, can pinpoint coordinates for landing back on the Earth.

William H. Esquire Esq. then goes to confront Braille whose been moving in on his business. Rather than convince her that they should work together, he hypnotizes her and she begins to follow him around. He discovers that she's being supplied by Gams, somebody who wants in on William H. Esquire Esq.'s business.

The next day Ritchie and his gang leave town. They offer William H. Esquire Esq. the opportunity to punish one of their own, who had previously tried to kill one of the Arcade's regulars Lamprey, but William H. Esquire Esq. lets them go.

Gau prays to his ancestors for guidance and they reveal that a key component for Spector's project, the secret portable tunnel, is in Montana. William H. Esquire Esq. begins making plans for a trip to Montana when Betty's Sister is killed, apparently by Kidboy's safety pin. A few people witness it, but any who are told what happened remain skeptical. Kidboy insists he only punched Betty's Sister and didn't kill her.

William H. Esquire Esq. orders his crew to clean up the bar and fetch the undertaker, then goes back to Braille's place, the Stax, to work out what she'll do for him while he travels to Montana. He gets ambushed on the way by a few disgruntled Ballers.

Marlowe walks into the bar while people are still debating whether Kidboy's safety pin could have killed Betty's Sister and a long investigation of Kidboy's safety pin ensues. At one point Kidboy swallows the safety pin to make sure nobody can get it, but he begins to feel ill and is convinced to vomit it up. Gau has a vision of pools of blood around the Arcade all circling toward the tree on the edge of town and funneling down into the safety pin from the trees' roots.

Snail finally gets Gau's hat, apparently just by asking for it.

There is a shootout just outside of the Arcade. Marlowe and Gau's tribal gang makes short work of the six bikers. They are all wearing a similar kind of leather fatigue outfit that Marlowe has seen on the road coming to Arcade from Cellar Town. When the fighting is done, somebody discovers William H. Esquire Esq.'s body. He's alive but unconscious.

Another Map


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