Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: Antisinecurist on September 07, 2011, 10:40:26 AM

Title: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on September 07, 2011, 10:40:26 AM
I've created a new playbook, as a gift for a friend. I daresay it's the most polished and/or finished I've made, and, while some of the moves might need tweaks here and there to be "perfect", I'm pretty happy with it.

It's for people who are going away or coming back, or who go from place to place. It has some strange and possibly overly good advancement options. It's got, to my knowledge, the first move that relates to and is triggered by you as a player, not your character. It's missing a section on barter and it's not formatted in the Apocalypse World style, but, otherwise, it's complete and playable.

If you'd like a copy, you've got, oh, three or so options:

1) Tell a story here about a time you went somewhere, temporarily or permanently. It needs to be, you know, a story, not just "One time, I went to New Mexico.".

2) Trade me a copy of the Marmot. I see it's floating around and I'd love to get a copy. I'd also accept the Faceless. (Offer only valid for the first of either.)

3) Play a game of AW with me at some point.

Any questions, ask here, please.

- Alex

Edit: The Faceless has been redeemed.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Arvid on September 07, 2011, 11:28:14 AM
Could I trade our up-coming Nobilis hack playbook The Seeker (was The Traveller) for it?
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on September 07, 2011, 11:40:55 AM
That sounds fair, appropriate, and pretty cool!

Please email to my username @ aol, when you might.


- Alex
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Apfelsinus on September 07, 2011, 06:23:50 PM
In 2006, I went back to my old fieldwork site on the Omo river. I hadn't been in some time. I was driving the old white Land Cruiser short base, and my friend Steffen was with me. He had always said, "one day, I will come to Ethiopia with you", but so had several other people. So, big city kid Steffen, ever been to Africa only like once (in Ghana of all places), is touring the Savannah with me. He is a film-maker, though, so he brought his big-ass Sony camera, and later we ended up... but that's not the story of this trip. This trip, coming down from the Hamar hills, we first went to Korcho, beloved by all ye tourists for its pretty river loop; at any rate, we were cordially yet calmly received, got some news, got some coffee, and as the wind picked up, we drove on to my little village. Young Terbi, the son of Wujo came with us; I'd known him since 2003. Shifty-eyed, and sometimes plain shift, but he'd always done right by me. He promised to show us the currently best and shortest route through the bush. Circling around the flood plain, we ran right into the craziest storm of my life. Horizontal lightning was flashing all up and down the river, as the sky turn yellow, green, and purple, and a howling wind came from all sides at once. As is wont down there, darkness followed quickly - by that time, however, I felt I recognized the track, and was confident about us reaching the village safely. Approaching a mud hole, I asked, shouting over the storm, "Terbi, can we cross this?" "Yes yes, just keep going", he assured me with the recklessness of youth. This is when we got stuck, and when the rain started coming down for real. After just some minutes, we were soaked through, and our attempts to give the tires some traction by shoving sticks underneath them in the mud had failed. We needed manpower. "Terbi", I said, "run ahead and get like everyone. And make haste." Off he went, leaving Steffen and me for our selves in the Savannah, not even trying to begin conversation rendered prematurely pointless by our situation. Then, dark shapes emerged from the brush - I lit up the headlights again, and despite the apocalyptic weather, people were laughing and shouting, and already the first ones were rattling the chassis, checking whether they might not magically free the car. Foregoing greeting my old friends even, I sent Steffen back outside, and issued some quick commands about how many people should be cutting sticks, and how many should be pushing the car. Every thirty seconds or so, I stepped on the gas, hoping for traction, yet it took easily five minutes until the car lurched forward. Not wanting to risk getting stuck again, I maintained the momentum and, accompanied by the younger of our ground crew, hooting and hollering, drove the final kilometer to the palisade of the village. That's when I realized I had left Steffen behind in the bush, among a score of people with whom he had no single word in common in any language, and without his shoes, which he had -maybe prudently, at the time- carefully taken off when trudging through the mud. He arrived twenty minutes later, wet, flithy, half-stunned, but all along the way, old Ameriken had been holding his hand, leading him to shelter, and so, he had at least found a friend.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: mease19 on September 08, 2011, 12:02:26 PM
Ok, so this is the story of the three Mexican mechanics.  A number of years ago, my wife and I moved to California from North Carolina.  We had a van packed with all my wife's possessions.  We were packed to the gills and driving late, late at night through the desert in Texas.  All of the sudden, we hear a pop and it becomes obvious that we have a flat.  Crap.  So I go to put on the donut only to find that the tire won't come off.  Its got one of those lock nuts, but I had never seen one before.  Yeah, so I call her parents (it was there van to begin with) and figure out that there's an adapter in the glove compartment.  Ok, that's fixed but the full size wheel doesn't fit where the donut did and there's no room in the van to take it with us.  We can solve this!  Its only 25 miles to Van Horn.  I'll just throw the tire in the bushes and we'll get a hotel for the night and come back for it, I thought to myself.  Great, now we're underway again.  Five miles later, the donut blows.  Well crap, its 1am and there I am standing on the roof the van holding my cell over my head and all I can get is bloody Mexico asking if I'd like to make an international call to US 911.  Lucky us, a state trooper drives by and offers to call us a tow.  Great, we take the 20 mile tow to Van horn and find a hotel.  The next morning, we go and buy a new rim (ours was still in the bushes) but he doesn't sell any tires that size (this is the first Mexican mechanic).  Turns out his brother does.  So we go there to get a tire, he doesn't take credit though (This is the second Mexican mechanic).  So he lends us his car to go and find an ATM.  We come back and get our tire on the rim and the rim on the van.  Great, its almost noon so we pick up some rope and start driving back to get our original rim.  We get 20 miles outside Van Horn and guess what, the van's engine just cuts out.  Now we're sitting on the side of the road, in the desert, this time in the sun, with no AC and we're calling 911 again.  There you have it, we take a second 20 mile tow back to Van Horn where we have to wait an hour for the mechanic (this is the third mechanic we've been to that day) sends his brother out for a new part.  They speak English to me but Spanish to each other, I don't trust mechanics anyway!  Finally, we're fixed up and on our way!  We drive back and get our tire and restart our journey, high-fives as we pass Van Horn and keep on driving.  This is so great, we're finally on our way.  Twenty miles outside Van Horn, the van slows to a stop.  WTF?!?  We're out of gas.  We were so excited to get on our way we forgot to get gas in Van Horn.  So there we are, calling 911, again.  A nice policeman responds and gives us a lift (my first time in the back of a police car) to a gas station where we can purchase a 2 gallon container of gasoline then another ride in the police car back to our van.  Anyhow, we made it to CA with only one other snag (no matter how tempting, Mexico is never going to be a "quick picknic" destination).  I hope you liked the story, it was a real pain then but a good tale now.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on September 13, 2011, 04:34:56 PM
The Marmot has been redeemed, but you can still tell me a travel story or play a game with me. You could also offer something else, of your own, that I might find appealing. I'm pretty flexible.

- AD
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on September 14, 2011, 04:46:25 PM
It looks like the playbook is going to get laid out in tri-fold, so I'll update here and send updated copies when it happens.


- AD
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: mease19 on September 14, 2011, 06:00:46 PM
Awesome!  I can't wait!
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: help im a bug on September 16, 2011, 02:08:54 AM
I hate Los Angeles. I've only been there once, in July of 1994. I was ten. My dad's parents moved out there the year before; his stepmom, Sibyl, was dying. Then we get a call, his dad's dead, out of the blue. Pulmonary embolism. Bam.

So he takes me out there to visit Sibyl in the hospital. We're there for a week, it's swell, there's a pool at the hotel and Dennis Bergkamp is doing cool things in the World Cup. We watch Four Weddings and a Funeral on the hotel TV. Sibyl's happy to see us; I read to her for a bit from a large print Dave Barry book. The week passes. Our last night in L.A. is his birthday; he gets drunk, and we set up a wake-up call for our flight back. We go to sleep.

I remember thinking "Is that what wake-up calls sound like?" when I hear the sound; it's horrifying, like a cat being sawed in half. It lasts a second or two, stops, and repeats. It's coming from dad's bed. I get up and turn on the lights. It's his breathing. I shake him, turn him over. He's nonresponsive, just keeps making that horrible wheeze. I poke him with a plastic fork. Nothing. I go out to the front desk of the hotel.

"Do you need help?"

"Yeah... I locked myself out of my hotel room and my dad won't wake up."

They call the hospital, get some doctors out there. One guy is there to get info out of me; does he take any medications? I don't know. Has this happened before? I don't think so. The hotel calls my mom (still home in North Carolina), she calls some relative I don't know, he comes to watch me while my dad goes in the ambulance. We get our wake-up call. We're awake. I am, at least.

This relative, let's call him Mike since I don't remember, drives me down to the hospital in his car. We go to visit dad and he's awake, talking, wants to know if we can still make our flight. It turns out that we might be able to if we hurry. Apparently something reacted with alcohol and made him go unconscious and inhale vomit, but the doctors say he's good to go now, so we do.

This is not the end of the story.

Mike drives us down to the airport, and my dad's acting weird. He keeps forgetting where the tickets are (they're in his wallet) and tries to take everything carry-on even though he has too many bags. He puts the tickets down on a trash can and walks off. I pick them up, and give them to the lady so that we can get on the plane. He falls immediately asleep when he sits down. He smells like vomit. His breath smells like vomit. I try to wake him up. He starts, then looks at me, annoyed. "I'm really tired, let me sleep."

I've figured out that something is very wrong, so I take the tickets so they don't get lost, and write down all our flight transfer information on a napkin so I don't forget. The stewardess gives me a pack of cards and an extra bag of pretzels. I don't honestly remember how I dragged him across the Denver airport and got him on the second leg of our flight; he kept mumbling incoherent things about soccer.

"C'mon, we're going to Raleigh-Durham, gate C14"
"That's Brazil"
"No, that's home."

Thank god you were still able to meet passengers as they got off the plane; my mom took one look at him and decided he was going straight to a doctor, despite his protestations.

"I'll be fine, I just need one more goal."

He was then hospitalized for a month with severe pneumonia. The doctors in L.A. had woken him up with drugs, then set him loose with vomit in his lungs. That's why I hate it there, and that's the story of my travel back. The first time I've told this story in over a decade, actually.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Christopher Weeks on October 17, 2011, 05:20:45 PM
Is it trifolded?
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on October 19, 2011, 11:20:42 AM
help (I'm sorry, I don't actually know your name), thank you for sharing your story. It's been really interesting hearing about everyone's experiences, good and bad.

I'll send you both the PDF format later today; the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.

I'm really sorry there was a delay getting these out! Christopher, your email got lost in my inbox, and I never received a notification that anything was posted here.

- AD
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Aaron Friesen on October 21, 2011, 04:42:57 PM
Bit of a personal story.

My Grandpa and I were pretty close. Well, close for itinerant, generally distant folk. I mean, I don't think distant is quite the right word. Every time we saw each other, it was always picking up right where we left off, often picking up the conversation from our last phone call three four months ago. Hugs, smiles, good food, good discussion, and then we do our own thing. And I've never been a religious person, but I'd always go to his sermons whenever I was in Winnipeg, or whenever he'd be giving a guest sermon out my way. It was just amazing hearing him speak. He never dished out guilt. He never dropped blame. Pure love, and friendship, and motivation, from the most powerful voice I knew. And more than anything, that's what made my last trip to Winnipeg so hard.

I knew he'd been having health problems for some time. Dad had been keeping me posted for some time, Gramma too, but Grampa and I just both seemed to want to bury our heads in the sand about it. We didn't discuss it. We just kept going the way we did on the phone. When the call came from Dad that things were looking really dark, though, I dropped everything. I called my boss and said I'm outta town for the next two weeks. I called my brother and told him to do the same, cause I'd already bought his ticket and to hell if he was missing the flight.

The cab ride to the airport was jovial enough. My bro and I just don't have it in ourselves to be anything else, until actually confronted with stark reality, but our laughs and talks of good times were definitely down a notch or three. Any lull and we were getting a little hollow eyed. The plane ride was a bit easier for Rob. He dozed off (4am flights, yeah) about 5 minutes off the ground. I was stuck awake, though. I gotta say, I was shaking. It was a damned long flight for me. My Uncle picked us up from the airport after we landed, and again, conversation was a godsend. Of course, when we got close to the house, he stopped the car and tried to prepare us for what we were walking into. It made us a shade more sombre, but sure as fuck didn't ease anything. We arrived, and Gramma gave us both a big hug, and sat us down for some breakfast. Grampa wasn't awake yet, but she was sure he was getting up soon enough. His younger brother, the doctor, was there too, and we got to have some time just chatting, both about the situation and just about this that and the other. Gramma sure made a strong cup of coffee that morning. Heavy cream didn't dent it.

A few hours and a brief nap later, and Gramma comes downstairs to let us know Grampa is awake and would love to see us. We weren't sure he would, because, y'know, sometimes people just don't wan you to remember them... like that. Anyway, Rob went first. About a half hour later, he came down looking pretty broken. Wouldn't say a word to me, just kinda sat himself in the cozy chair and stared at his thumbs like they were his only friend. My turn. Gramma took me up to his room, and, like Uncle Thom, tried to tell me what was what, and I did my best to steel myself.

Again, all my life, Grampa was a strong man. Even after I sprouted up and had a few inches on him, he was just such a strong personality that it felt like he held you in the palm of his hand. Perpetually rosy cheeks, eternal smile, booming but kind voice, and a little potbelly to finish it off, with muscle to back it up. Walking into that room was earthshattering. A small hospital bed was set up, and in it there he was. Tiny, shrunken down to a near skeleton of a man. He looked up and smiled at me, that same smile, but on such a different face, skin drawn taught along his ashen cheeks.  In the hour I was up there, not too many words passed between us, outside of "It's so wonderful to see you," and "I love you." Other than that, there wasn't much to say. I just held his hand as he came into and out of consciousness, finished trimming his beard (yeah, to that very day, trimmed it himself every day, no matter how long it took), and reached for a few kisses with Gramma. When I left his room, I put my hand on his cheek and said, "I'll see you soon." He smiled again and grabbed my hand, and then dozed off again.

Shortly after 3, he went into what was either a really deep sleep or a comatose state, said Retired Nurse Gramma and Doc Great Uncle. We all did our best to keep up spirits, half heartedly watching baseball with Gramma (she loves the Jays), telling good stories or our travels with Grampa, and just chatting about everything. At about 8 o'clock, Gramma and Doc came downstairs and told us that Grampa had stopped breathing. Shattered and broken, but happy his suffering was over, we called my Grampa's sister and her reverend husband and held a small service to say goodbye to him in his room, each taking turns holding his hand and telling him that we love him and will miss him. Us younguns retired downstairs while the older family stayed with him until the funeral home folk came to pick up his body. I couldn't stop crying, and I just couldn't be around anyone, so I stayed in the living room and kept watch for them. I called my mum, my dad, my girlfriend. It was a long night.

After the Funeral Folk came, we cracked open a bottle of Grampa's favourite wine, and toasted to him, and soon after did our level best to catch some rest.

The next few days were a blur. Dad and his wife came up to town. Mine and my brother's significant others flew in. Family and friends started pouring in from all over the world, all offering condolences and telling more wonderful stories. The official service was beautiful, with many going up to the podium and telling their most definitive John Friesen moment. I gotta tell you though, that church felt hollow and empty without him, even with the place packed to the nines.

When I boarded my plane to go back home, all in all, I was glad to have been there. Visiting Winnipeg again will never be the same.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: kaczmars on October 28, 2011, 10:16:26 PM
It was a cold and bright morning on September 8th, 2010. Michigan was in fall-mode, and I can still remember the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as we walked to the van. I didn't know that day what I was getting into, but I was excited about my prospects. Driving to the airport was a  blur, it seemed like the hour long trip lasted all of two minutes, and I spent every second of it drinking in the scenery, the trees, neighborhoods with houses and lawns, the blue sky, lakes glowing in the morning sun. I knew that after I stepped onto that plane, I would be leaving all of this behind for a while. I can only recall scenes from the airport, they flicker in the back of my mind like a broken flashlight, quick and tearful goodbyes followed by a lengthy security check, and finally settling in for the 15 hour flight...

15 hours later, with no sleep and white knuckles from gripping the armrest so tightly, I stumbled off the plane in Beijing. A quick walk through the airport lead me to the exit, where we were greeted by our employers. I looked at Brad, and realized that he was the only person I knew for thousands of miles. Swallowing this fact, I stepped outside. The air was just as I remembered it from my study abroad trip the year before, heavy. With each breath I took I felt like I was only getting a fraction of the air that I needed. It was stifling hot, the haze so low to the ground that the buildings appeared to be quivering in the distance. Our employers informed us that our new school was a 4 hour drive from the capital, and we proceeded to hunt for our their small VW sedan in the labyrinthine parking garage. When we found the car, they realized that they had miscalculated the appropriate transport. 2 tall Americans + the maximum allowed luggage weight and number of pieces = too small for a compact. We made it work- the trunk held one of our 50 lb. suitcases, and the other three packed into the backseat with us. The guide was kind enough to take our carry on bags (also almost 50 lbs. each) in the front seat with her. After we started the drive, I fell asleep on my companions shoulder, and saw no more...

Until 5 hours later when (after being stuck in horrible traffic, or so I was told) we were rolling in to our new city. Shijiazhuang was nothing like Beijing, no history to speak of, a fraction of the air quality, and none of the beauty. This quaint little city of 7 million was where we'd be living for the next year. The sun fell below the horizon just as were entering the city proper, and by the time we reached the school, it was dark (as dark as possible in a city that suffers from extreme light pollution). The car pulled into the gate, and drove up to the front of a large building. One light out of our line of vision was on inside, flickering threateningly like those in a haunted house. We untangled ourselves from our luggage and the VW and proceeded up the steps. Our guide led us to the elevator (the source of the flickering light) and pushed the #4 button. My stomach dropped as we started to rise...

The 4th floor hallway was similar to the entrance, dark and slightly creepy. Ever since I played Silent Hill, deserted schools always make me uneasy, I'm just waiting for the little kiddies to come gnaw off my kneecaps... But to my relief, no hungry children came looking for me, and I was lucky enough to be shown my room first. The apartment was much bigger than I expected, and I was thankful for that. I dropped my things and jumped across the hall to Brad's room. Our guide made sure we were satisfied with the rooms before telling us the scoop. At the end of her speech, we realized that out of our two apartments, we could make a single functioning one.  One shower didn't work, one of the gas lines was leaky and might blow up if we try to cook with it, one of the air conditioners had been turning itself on and off recently without warning. After giving us these little gems of information, we were left to unpack and rest up and think about surviving here for a year...

(I realize now that this story could go on forever seeing as how I'm still in China, in a different city. After reading this, it sounds like a horror movie, but it's actually been one of the best years of my life. I hope this doesn't turn anyone off to teaching abroad, I just thought that I thought I'd share this part with you today because it is so unique, and a traveler probably would have some stories like this. If you'd like to hear more, I'd be happy to write, just let me know.)

Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: mease19 on November 03, 2011, 01:58:25 PM
...the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.
How goes the tri-fold?  I'm excited to check it out!
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Ernesto Pavan on November 13, 2011, 03:24:08 PM
My life is boring as fuck, so gimme an e-mail and I'll send you the Marmot. XD
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: winter009 on November 13, 2011, 10:19:37 PM
I also have this model tablet. It is very good.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on November 14, 2011, 01:24:35 PM
My life is boring as fuck, so gimme an e-mail and I'll send you the Marmot. XD

Ah! In reply #5, up above, I noted I'd already received the Marmot!
I'm sure it really can't be that boring, but if you haven't got a story, you can play a game of AW with me (though this may not be realistic, I dunno where you're from!) or else offer me something you made yourself.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on November 14, 2011, 01:25:59 PM
...the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.
How goes the tri-fold?  I'm excited to check it out!

I need to send an email off and check, but the last I saw, it was pretty spiffy! I need to write the damned gear/barter section. Funny, that's the one vexing me the most!
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: AlHazred on March 05, 2012, 02:04:55 PM
A good friend of mine (the kind you'd let live in your compound when the zombie apocalypse hits) called me several years ago asking for a lift. He was calling from some bumfuck little burg out in the boondocks of Massachusetts (I live in New Jersey) and wanted to get to Greenville, NJ, where he was moving in with someone for a few months. This was shortly after we all graduated college, so most of my friends didn't have cars yet.

He was in a bind and we had previously been roommates, so after much grumbling I agreed to drive him and his stuff. I got there relatively early on Saturday morning, basically not sleeping (much) the night before, and it wasn't too long until we were off.

Now, I'm not great company in the best of times. I can only imagine that I made somewhat of an ass of myself during the trip. The fact is, we spent most of the trip in silence, as it's a fair stretch (three hours and change) to Greenville, NJ. We took a few rest stops, as I didn't want to get too cranky and I figured we had plenty of time.

When we got to Greenville (a part of Jersey City) we had real trouble finding the street. Eventually my buddy gives his friend a call, only to find out that it's Greenville, PA, that we have to go to. For those without a map, Greenville is literally on the other side of Pennsylvania from New Jersey, four hundred miles of mountains.

It took over six hours to get there. I ended up sleeping the night, then driving back on Sunday. Essentially the whole weekend was shot, but I didn't feel that I could say "Hell No" after already saying "Yes" to the initial drive. I mean, I can't just drop a friend onto a street corner in Jersey City with all his luggage.

People think I'm too picky now, when they ask me for lifts and I want to know exact addresses of pickup and delivery before agreeing to it. But I've learned my lesson.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Doc Aquatic on March 17, 2012, 05:12:24 PM
I was travelling across Europe as part of a month long study abroad, skimming the artistic highlights of each city for a couple days before moving on to the next.

When we got to Athens, our teachers led us to a a posh little hotel in a nice part of the city, and started up with the guy behind the desk as we crowded the lobby, our overstuffed suitcases and day bags and sweating bodies filling all available space. An hour later, our teachers returned, red-faced. They had lost our reservations. But they had found another hotel. We had to hit the streets again.

We walked for what felt like miles, though it might just be the length of the day and desire to have someplace to rest our heads. As we walked the town got less nice. By the time we stopped, it's fair to say that it was the worst part of any city I'd ever been in.

I dragged my bag to my hotel room and tried to rest, but my gut protested. The art history was only half of the reason I was on this trip. Maybe less. Really, I was travelling for the food. I headed down to the lobby, hoping to see someone else from my class with the same idea. Soon, the teachers returned, holding foil-wrapped gyros. I asked where they got them. I was told to walk two blocks down from the hotel, take a left, and get to the intersection where people are doing heroin.

I bit my lip.

Heading back up to my room, I did everything I could think of to make myself look like someone not to be fucked with. I had no idea what such a person looked like. I put on the raincoat I had brought for London. I took the cigars I had bought from a shop in Charles du Galle airport. I took off my glasses. I decided my name was Carlos Gigante, and that I was a drug dealer from California. I took everything out of my wallet except for twenty euro and put it into one of my boots.
I headed outside the hotel, walked down two blocks, took a left, and found the intersection where everyone was doing heroin.


I took a deep breath, walked into the gyro shop, crowded with customers and loiterers, and asked the man at the counter for a pair. I handed him my money, he gave me my change, and as I was putting my money back in my wallet, a man came up to me.

"Hey, where you from?"

I was afraid, but at the same time, I was secretly excited I got to bust out my fake backstory. "California. My name's Carlos Gigante."

"Cool, cool. What's it like there?" He peered at me, and I squinted back.

"It's... not bad." I hastily shoved my wallet into the pocket of my coat.

We made awkward small talk for a few minutes, and I was sure I was going to get stabbed, so when the gyros were passed to me over the counter, I cut off the sentence immediately and walked back to the hotel, as quickly as I felt I could without drawing attention.

As I unwrapped up in my hotel room and bit into it, it was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. I looked up, enraptured, and realized that I looked like an idiot. Looking back, I realize I was an idiot. But goddamn, what a sandwich.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: moleculo on March 28, 2012, 03:20:22 AM
1) Tell a story here about a time you went somewhere, temporarily or permanently. It needs to be, you know, a story, not just "One time, I went to New Mexico.".
I love this as a form of payment for a Traveller play book. Bravo.

After I'd been out of college for a couple of years, a buddy of mine and I decided to jump into his van and drive around the United States, and I do mean "around." We started in the SF Bay Area and headed to Seattle, drove east across the top of the country. We saw what we figured out only after staring for a long time what must have been a very faint but visible Aurora Borealis when we were in the Dakotas. Spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out what goddamned city would be north of us and big enough to make such a light show. Funny.

As we eventually headed down the eastern seaboard, I became increasingly depressed and homesick. The adventure had been fun but as the weeks went on (we were on the road for six), the grind of driving driving driving and two guys living in a van, pull out the sleeping bags, stuff the sleeping bags, anything you wanted to get out of a box meant digging for it and displacing other stuff, eating pounds of lunchmeat and turkey jerky. It was wearing a bit thin. By the time we were in Washington DC I was about ready to buy a ticket home and just be done with it.

However, I stuck it out with one concession: we'd beeline from Virginia to New Orleans, cutting off our planned dip into Florida. I was by this time fairly uncommunicative and spent hours staring out at the passing landscape, wishing I was anywhere else than this monotonous slog. I was really down.

So when we hit New Orleans, my buddy was fired up to get out (and probably away from me) and hit a cafe, do some writing, see the city for a bit. I let him take off and I slept most of the afternoon in the van. It was raining a bit (it was November) and he was gone for a few hours. When he returned, he found me in a bad way, and I actually broke into tears. He helped me through that and then said exactly the wrong thing: "Hey, I met a couple of Canadian girls and I told them we'd meet up with them for dinner and maybe dancing. I need you to come with me - one of them is really cute and I want to spend some time with her but she has a friend. Are you up to it?"

Was I up to it, a social night with women I didn't know in a city I didn't know trying to make up bullshit conversation? I'd spent the last four days as a depressed automaton, threatening to hit the next Greyhound station for home, and my eyes were still red from crying. I think I would have rather stripped naked and lay down in the gutter water outside the van. But I looked at my friend, who had been so patient all these days and miles. He was depending on me for this, for some enjoyment at last after all that I'd put him through. I said, "OK, dude. For you I will do this. I will come and eat dinner, I will be nice, and I will return to the van when I can and sleep for 48 hours. I will do this FOR YOU."

We wound up staying in New Orleans three days longer than our original itinerary.

The sum of it is - despite, or maybe because I was in such a "nothing to lose" mindset - we hit it off with the Canadians. Not in a fratboy's dream kind of way, but in a real way, real conversations and connections and truly enjoying the mutual chemistry that the four of us created. We went to dinner and out dancing and on a riverboat and just walked and saw sights and talked and had a great time.

The cute girl that my buddy had his eye on turned out to be much more my style than his and we've been friends ever since, pen pals even when that's dorky to do now. I've never been back to New Orleans since, never seen the Canadians since but I found someone there who I know I will always care about. And I almost didn't find her there... it was just that close.

It's easy to interpret such things as fate bringing people to a place to meet and I'm sure someone reading this will think that's so. Me, I'm not sure either way about that but I do know I feel incredibly lucky I didn't throw a tantrum or sulk or demand we just get moving again, even though I considered each of those options in those crucial seconds before saying yes. And because I said yes, I have this now, this person who is a part of my emotional pantheon, and without whom I would be a smaller man.

So there's my tale. Hope you like it.

Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Krippler on March 28, 2012, 04:10:15 PM
Me and a friend were biking from Sweden to Paris last summer. It was a good experience because it taught us that using a compass and very basic or no maps at all can get you places in the planned amount of time. Also, cities are awful mazes that will trap you for half a day or more.

Asking for directions is vital. Locals will warn you of obstacles not obvious on maps and  advice you on places to sleep, eat and drink well and cheap. My friend doesn't like bothering strangers and I don't know a shred of french or german so whenever we were lost I'd walk up to a local and speak nonsense language while flailing my arms till my friend was so embarassed he had to come over and talk.

Duct tape is the solution to everything. Ripped bags, tents and even broken bikes can be fixed with it. In a hilly region in the north of france the cog disc things on my back wheel came loose so there was no traction. The nearest settlement was a couple of hours away, all around were rolling wheat covered hills as far the eye could see. We rolled to a hazel bush and with two branches as stabilizers and lots of duct tape my bike worked again (and four more days). My friend flew home earlier than me from Paris. When I was going home I figured I'd sell the bike instead of taking it on the plane so I wrote a sign saying "€15" (the real worth was somewhere closer to €100 but I wanted to get rid of it quick) and went out with it. Before I even left the hotel a guy wanted to buy it. We didn't share any languages and he didn't have even change so eventually we settled on €20. To make sure he wasn't gonna feel cheated or anything I pointed out how the rear disc things were broken and my primitive fix and that now the highest gear didn't work at all. "OK, OK" he surrendered and gave me €50.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: mease19 on March 28, 2012, 04:13:13 PM
These stories are a hoot!  Thanks for taking the time to write them down.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: argent on August 25, 2012, 03:44:54 PM
This one time I drove from DC to Toronto and back in two days to go buy someone's D&D collection. It was a blast.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Lord Lance on October 18, 2012, 05:43:55 PM
Hallo Antisinecurist.
I'm not a great traveller, however I'd like to help here.
I'd like to receive a copy of the Traveller playbook. In exchange, I'll turn it into a trifold for you.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: firstborne on November 19, 2012, 09:58:08 PM
I almost shot a man once.  Not a man, just a kid, but you find out fast there's not much of a difference between the two; maybe we just invent this middle ground to inhabit...  Anyway, the story.  We had blocked the road, and and my job was to keep everyone coming down the road from going past me.  "Sit down, take a break, can't go down the road just yet," is what I told them. I hope I did, at any rate; our only common language was that of fear masked with anxiety and angry stares.

But I digress.  The story:  An hour or so goes by, and everyone is tired, angry and restless; they just want to go home after a hard day's work, you know?  Same as I did.  Anyway, after some time goes by I realize there's a kid missing, and I scan the distance looking for him.  He doesn't take long to find; he's just a kid, skinny and brown and running pell-mell across the dried-out river bed.

I'll never forget what a human looks like as a target.  But hey, I said I almost shot a man.  Instead, I let him go home for both of us.
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Ardhanari on December 05, 2012, 01:59:58 PM
So I was in Hong Kong for a summer, and some classmates and I decided to take a weekend trip to Beijing. For whatever reason, we were on different flights, but I promised to give them a call on the cell phone once I got in so I could discover what hotel they had arranged.

Unbeknownst to us, mainland China does not share Hong Kong's cellular phone network. I arrived in the airport with a phone that was nonfunctional. Having no way to contact them, I tried various technical shenanigans. Fortunately, one of them had an international phone and was able to get a text message through to me with the address of the hotel.

By now it's late at night. I get a cab to the hotel. As I step out of the cab, there's a woman standing by the front door of the hotel. She rushes up to me and starts babbling at me. It takes a moment, but I eventually understand her incredibly broken English enough to realize that she's a pimp, trying to sell me the services of a young woman for the night. Exhausted, and a bit freaked out, I refused and went inside.

That's when I discovered my classmates had decided to already depart and hit the Beijing night-life (they were veteran partiers) and so I got a room myself and crashed.

The next morning I noted the condoms on the nightstand, and the strip of "massage parlors" along the side of the hotel. Apparently my traveling companions had chosen a location where tired foreigners could stay and get some local sex-on. The hotel had also, apparently, been recommended to an American high school sports team (I forget which sport) who were all gathering in the lobby that morning, some looking a bit bewildered. I wondered how many of the teenage boys were... tempted by the advertised wares...
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: Antisinecurist on December 06, 2012, 09:38:37 AM
I owe ya'll playbooks!

I'm gonna go back and read everyone's stories - thanks! I really appreciate those - and I'll work on getting an email out to everyone I owe.
I've been so air-headed and forgetful the past year or so.

I'm terribly sorry!
If you see this and I haven't sent you one (I'll try to start on them tonight), please send an email to aedsoftware at the gmail, just put Traveller in the playbook and I'll get it to you.

Gah! Sorry, everyone!
- Alex
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: nerdwerds on December 14, 2012, 02:39:02 AM
When I was a kid I always daydreamed about living in a big city. I watched the Fat Albert cartoon on Saturday mornings and imagine myself exploring the alleyways with Rudy or keeping Donald and Bucky from getting into trouble.  The fact that I was a suburban white kid living in semi-rural Wisconsin didn't make me think that I would be out of place there, but then I was as naive about city living as my background suggested.
I moved to Chicago in August of 1999, a few months before I turned twenty-three and when I arrived it was everything I wanted it and hoped it would be. The elevated trains were noisy, the people were constantly rushing from place to place, and whole streets of the city seemed to have been spray-painted with a grimy gray lacquer that had evaporated and dried up. I lived in a huge apartment block where my window faced other windows and nothing else, and when my neighbors cooked food I could smell it. I was a block away from the train so every time the express roared past I could hear the metal clacking and groaning. It was everything I dreamed it would be!
What it wasn't, and what I was in complete shock to discover, was fucking expensive! Just to eay regularly seemed like a small fortune. My diet quickly turned into a staple of ramen noodles and generic off-brand macaroni & cheese boxes as I looked for a job. It was all of my savings later when I finally managed to snag a minimum wage job and keep myself from failing to pay rent.
The job was really boring and I felt it sucked my day away, it was my first experience as an adult and hating my workplace. But my co-workers were great, and I was suddenly in a place where I didn't see the same people every day. I made friends all over the city and this added to my financial woes as my free time ended up taking me to all sorts of exotic neighborhoods where there was always a new restaurant to try out, a bar to go get drinks at, or a new club to go dancing in.
By the time I decided to retreat some place more affordable I had developed a new and more realistic appreciation for city life. It was a great experience but there were a lot of things missing from it that seemed impossible to replace. This was in the days of internet infancy, so it was very hard to find a regular gaming group, and having to rely on the altavista search engine was not always the best way of searching for one. The best gaming store in the city had closed and gone out of business in the summer before I arrived, the only place I knew of that sold games only carried Magic cards and didn't have a RPG section, and this was before the days of google too so even if I had owned a computer I probably wouldn't have been able to do much more than find game stores with net-savvy employees or Vampire LARPs (because in 1999 it seems like every Vampire LARP had their own website).
I don't live in a big city anymore, I live in a big college town that lies to itself about being a metropolis. I play games regularly, I hear new music constantly, and I can always afford to pay my bills. But I still miss being poor and gamerless in Chicago, it was a fun time!
Title: Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
Post by: sully the raptor on December 23, 2012, 06:57:02 PM
May of '12 My wife and I ventured from just south of Boston, MA to a B&B 2 hours west of Richmond, VA. We made the trip in 6 days, 2 of which were spent at the B&B. Here is an account as detailed by my digestive tract.

Nathan's Hot Dogs in Coney Island tumbled a bit at the freak show. Sheppherd's Pie from a hole-in-the-wall pub in Atlantic City held position with the aide of a few beers, which carried us around the board walk for a few hours. A greasy spoon diner breakfast held us over til we could check out a building shaped like an elephant.

A Ferry and some fistfuls of Goldfish Crackers landed us in Deleware, where we drove south while filtering various candies and junkfoods into our systems. A stop at a Stuckeys in Virginia with a debit machine that ran on a 56k modem reloaded our snack supply and we made a pit stop at Sonic for shakes.

We braved the 17 mile bridge-tunnel to Virginia Beach. Best damn waffels we've ever tasted that next morning at the Pocahontas Pancake House. 2 hours west to Richmond to check out the Fine Arts Museum and scope out some tasty barbecue. On the road again as we braved a torrential rain and thunder storm, we arrived at the B&B to watch peacocks frolic and sit down to home made pie. The next morning brought bacon, grits, greek yogurt, and fruit salad. We took the "brew ridge trail" tour, which consists of 4 brew pubs all littering the same winding mountain high way. We spent the day drinking house-brewed beers and munching on pub food.

That evening I had a bowel movement that felt like my asshole had been naughty and Krampus was kicking it straight back to last Christmas. We are talking strain, tears, tearing, lurching, and little payoff. Not being able to sit comfortably, and not being able to sleep at all (aided by the half dozen black wasps we'd spotted in our room and the creaky old farmhouse that was the B&B) It was all we could do to pound some coffee in the morning and hit the road again.

We drove as far as my bereaved behind could take before finding a CVS to get some store-brand Hemorrhoid topical and then dragging our asses to Baltimore. We stopped at a restaurant next to the aquarium and both ferociously masticated some salads to offset the punishment we'd put our bodies through that week. We watched the fish for a while and then drove north until we were tired.

We stopped in Chester, PA and shacked up in a room with a hot tub. This grass-poking-through-concrete, half-urban Philly offshoot was an odd comfort as it reminded us quite a bit of the garish town we live in. We stomached some more diner food and the next morning we picked at the mediocre buffet the hotel provided and again headed North.

Our last stop was in Connecticut, a little place called Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center. Our stomachs ripe with more junk (this time from a McD's) we checked out Wild Bill's collection of posters, records, movies, toys, and memorbelia in his cozy storefront plastered with hand painted murals. We peeked at the funhouse out back before heading back home.

The moral I learned is this: Eating junk for a week while sitting on your ass nearly full time is a good recipe for destroying your colon for life. Did I earn a playbook yet?