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Messages - drnuncheon

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The Regiment / [AP] Colonial Marines take on Mission: Boston
« on: May 24, 2015, 09:30:13 AM »
One of my current games is an SF "anthology" of several short games with different characters in the same setting, and for the latest entry my players picked groundpounders over flyboys, so I decided to give Regiment: Colonial Marines a spin, especially after I found the amazing Mission:Boston writeup. I already had two major alliances at war and a conquered planet, what else did I need?

Playbooks chosen were Sergeant, Medic, schlaghund's Gunner, and doc_cthulhu's Sniper from Enemy Unknown. I rewrote the Sniper's special move to avoid overlap with the Officer. Final Shot: When you die, hold 1. Spend it when your comrades are in trouble to make one final Headshot at 10+.

I described how the fleet had entered the system under stealth and been speeding in for a week, tensely waiting to be detected…the alert and launch of the dropships through heavy fire…de-orbiting at top speed as the AA guns on the surface started up…when the ship took the hit I kicked the table to shake it up a bit. The Gunner froze up on being asked to make the jump, and the Sergeant had to assist him.

The platoon was pretty dismayed to wind up several clicks west of their LZ. The gunner lost his drop bag, the sniper took flak shots, and the Sergeant wrenched his knee on the landing. They sent the Sniper off to scout while they patched up the wounded and tried to gather other members of the platoon. The sniper spotted the enemy infantry squad heading north. Unfortunately for him, he blew his damn good ground roll.

Since he had taken up a position on the north side of a ridge, in a snowbank, I decided that he was in fact almost perfectly camoflaged, and a member of the enemy squad who was lagging behind came over the ridge and actually stepped on him, his cries of alarm alerting the others. The sniper used him as a human shield, and meanwhile the unwounded and mobile remnants of the unit were dropping their gear and springing towards the sounds of gunfire.

The Gunner had chosen the Incinerator loadout, and triggered his jump pack (since the platoon chose +mobility, I have them multi-use rocket packs instead of single- parachutelike drop packs) to land in the middle of the enemy squad. Between the terror tag and his rolls he scattered (or immolated) the entire unit.

Somewhere around this point, we located a typo: the timeline indicates that the mortar squad is at the crash site (E) instead of at (G).

In all the chaos, the Sergeant has decided that the plan is to commandeer the enemy armored hovercars at the airfield and use them to get back to the original mission, but there's too much fire from the infantry squads there. They decide to hole up in the building across the road, which has been turned into an enemy billet. While investigating they discover some locals, one of whom shoots in a panic, downing the NPC PFC who discovered him.

When we left off, the Gunner was at the entrance to the bunker waiting to light up anyone that comes near, the Sniper was setting up at the window to begin taking shots at the opposing infantry, the Medic was patching people up as best he could, and the Sergeant was trying to raise any other members of the platoon to rendezvous.

Apocalypse World / Re: Monolithic foreign powers
« on: October 08, 2010, 12:17:24 PM »
I don't think the agency thing is necessarily an issue, but my suggestion would be to present these foreign armies as something akin to a force of nature - you can't seduce or go aggro on a hurricane or a mountainside or radiation, you just have to hunker down and hope you survive. These armies should be the same thing.

Later on, maybe you can change that as you increase the scope of the game.

Apocalypse World / Re: AP: High City
« on: October 07, 2010, 04:22:19 PM »
Hey, nice, another Denver AP. Maybe we can steal stuff from each other.

(Are you in Denver or did you choose it more or less randomly like my crew did?)

My first session started out the same way and the second one really picked up, so don't sweat it too much!

Let's see…where were we?  Right, Trey got himself a broken nose trying to calm Fox down from his hallucination. (Fox saw himself as Partidge, the guy he killed; Trey as the younger Fox; Sammy as a friend of Fox's; and III as Fauna, Fox's girl.)

You know…if he saw Sammy as someone who was there, I clearly need to ask Fox who was with him when he killed Partridge.

III was an NPC I actually came up with on the drive to the game store.  She's one of the girls at the Convent, and she never speaks.  In fact, I've never said her name—I just hold up three fingers.  (If you check out my other thread, maybe you'll figure out why she's mute.)  She's inspired a curious mix of protectiveness and speculation - the players are trying to figure out if she's a helpless waif or a secret River Tam ninja asskicker.

And I left out a scene - earlier, when Trey went to go see Fox (right after Fox jumped out the window, in fact) he caught Twice, Abondo and Fuse leaving Fox's room.  He failed to Go Aggro (a gunlugger! the shame!) but managed to Read a Person on Fuse (big, slow, likes to burn things) and Manipulate him into letting him go, using the leverage that they would go cook off some rounds from Trey's grenade launcher.  Fuse entertained himself blowing things up and is something of a natural at it.

Right, so, after all of this things seemed to quiet down and I thought I'd announce some future badness, as Sammy sees a group of muscle surrounding a small well-dressed man moving across the floor of the Convent, led by Jeanette.  He catches her eye and reads a person with an 8 - she doesn't want him to piss these guys off.  He tries to stealthily get into a place where he can observe them, but is spotted.  The small guy hands him a card with his name (Peppering) and, sotto voce, implies that should he ever tire of working here, Mr. Peppering's employer could find a place for a talented young man like him.

Everybody knows Peppering works for Parson.  So why is he here, and what does he want with Mother Superior?

They go in to talk to MS, Sammy gathers Trey and Fox and tells them what's up.  Fox has a key to Mother's room, and he's been sleeping with her, so he figures if he gets caught listening in he has a built in excuse.  He overhears Twice report "they're clean" - but Sammy was sure the thugs were packing heat.  Is Twice going to betray Mother Superior?  He grabs the bull by the balls and knocks, telling III (who answers the door) that he needs to see Mother Superior right the hell now.

In her private room, he tells MS everything: that Twice and her thugs tried to kill him, that Peppering's men are armed, that Parson has a spy working in the Convent.  He wants her to believe him…and he blows the roll, snake-eyes.  She dresses him down, telling him that Twice has been with her for years, and tells him to go back to his room like a good little boy toy.  NOW he reads a person and finds out she'd need some damn good proof to believe him, so he calls in Abondo and fast-talks him into spilling, with a promise to protect him from Twice if she retaliates.

Mother Superior sends Twice & co out of the room.  Peppering gets nervous and leaves, which doesn't seem to upset the Mother very much.  In fact, she's got a job for Fox and his boys.  See, Fox has infiltration as a gig, and she very much wants someone on the inside of Parson's camp…

Apocalypse World / AP: Things to Do in Denver (session 2)
« on: October 06, 2010, 11:16:55 PM »
Session 2?  Definitely turned out better than the first, maybe I'm getting the hang of this?

So Dr. Pity was out - I'll have to write him a nice letter - but we picked up a new player (or rather a returning player new to this game), M, who is playing Sammy, a No shit driver with a red Trans Am and a Killdozer.  I wrote him a letter to welcome him to the game. 

Well, Sammy, you've been on the road a while. You've been running on ethanol for so long that when you heard a rumor a crazy old guy out in Grand Junction had a way to cook up oil out of rocks, you headed right out to check on it. Turns out he was just making biodiesel, but he was willing to trade you a generous supply for help with a little bandit problem.  Roll +hard, and you can use your car.

On a 10+, pick 3
On a 7-9, pick 1.
On a miss…everything went south.
* the old guy made it, and he'll probably trade with you again
* you've got plenty of fuel for yourself, and extra cans worth 3-barter in the back.
* your car isn't damaged
* you're not being chased

Well, he rolled a 7, and was practically paralyzed by the choice. Eventually he decided that the bandits outsmarted him, outflanked him, booby trapped the old guy's place, and chased him clear back to the tunnel - but hey, his car was OK!

Meanwhile, Fox had chosen fucking, luxury, and keeping Mother Superior happy for his gigs, and rolled a 7.  Disaster on one - he chose fucking, and entanglement came kicking his door in, in the form of Twice (head of Convent security) and her thugs Abondo and Fuse.

Fox's player has discovered the "secret" to Apocalypse World and was continually hitting his highlighted stats (cool & hot), manipulating people and acting under fire - he actually got two improvements (one was partially filled from the first session).

After a quick escape (jumping out a window, 2 harm) Fox hooked up with Sammy and they went looking for the doctor, Line.  He wasn't around, but a sketchy guy named Chin (on account of he's got none) tried to sell him some drugs.  A quick threat and he offered the packet as a freebie instead.

Fox took the drugs, and we got our first look at the psychic maelstrom…well, through his eyes anyway.  He relived the worst moments of his life, including one that was pivotal in making him the murderous gigolo he is today.  In this case, he goes through his first murder…from the victim's side.

(to be continued)

Apocalypse World / Re: Retirement Question
« on: October 05, 2010, 09:18:32 PM »

On the one hand, you did retire a character, so logically you should get a replacement.

But, you have a character already, so it's not like you'd be kicked out of the game.

But, you did take two characters as an advancement option, it seems kind of mean to take that away from you.

On the other hand, you pretty much lose all your other advancement options when you retire or lose a character, so why should you keep that one?

You could be losing your second character, though, the one you got from the advance. 

But do I really want to keep up two sets of rulings depending on which character you retire? No, that's kind of ridiculous.

Final decision: "So, Player, do you want to keep playing two characters, or do you want to go back to just one?"   

Apocalypse World / Re: MC mis-steps and how to deal w/them
« on: October 03, 2010, 07:21:27 PM »
they poisonned calmly and with a great plan a NPC, and so there were no Seize by Force of Go Aggro. All I could do is say "ok, it works" because nothing in the rules seems to prevent it.

"That's a great plan!  To pull it off, you're Acting Under Fire, and the fire is 'do you get noticed?'"

Apocalypse World / Back to Ambition!
« on: October 02, 2010, 09:12:38 PM »
OK, I moved Parson out of Ambition so I really ought to fill that slot, but that's OK because I had been thinking about these guys and wondering what to do with them. 

I mean, just because we've got poison gas and shit floating around doesn't mean that we want to leave all that great stuff unused - but most people don't have the balls or the equipment to go searching around long-term in the ruins that aren't habitable.

Enter the Salvagemen, a bunch of creepy bastards who do just that.  Armed with gas masks (some makeshift) and protective gear to keep the poison off their skin, they head down into places like Denver's eastern outskirts, Pueblo, Salt Lake City, take what they can find, and bring it back.

Actually you know what?  Fuck it, that's not interesting enough, and I just spotted Warlord/Prophet.  The Salvagemen are wearing all that protective shit every time you see them.  They're an insular little community with their own superstitions and tales.  They don't talk much to outsiders, except to Barter with them, because nobody else understands what it's like down there in the Fog.  They are ripe for someone to rise up and tell them why they are the chosen and everyone else is wrong.

To join the Salvagemen, you have to give yourself to the Fog.  Walk deep into it, until you can't see the group you left, then strip naked, breathe deep, and roll +weird.
On a 10+: You are accepted! The Salvagemen accept you as one of their own.  If you leave the Fog for more than a couple of hours without your Salvager gear, though, make the "if you enter the Fog unprotected" move.  Those masks aren't to keep the gas out.
On a 7-9: You have been touched by the the Fog, and it takes something from you.  What was it?  Although you do not join the Salvagemen, take +1 ongoing when dealing with them as they recognize this.
On a miss: The Fog rejects you.  Treat as if you failed the roll for entering the Fog unprotected.  Hope you can make it back out.

I figure the Salvagemen are one of the sources of food, machinery etc. Having their support would make winter a lot easier to handle.

Apocalypse World / Front 3: Fear
« on: October 02, 2010, 08:39:46 PM »
Our last front for the moment - well, except for the home front - is Fear, which is a wonderful motivator for all sorts of fucked-up illogical actions.

I'll start with the Tunnel Rats, who just had their leader capped by a quartet of heavily armed mercenaries sent by an unknown person.  They're Brutes/Hunting Pack, a bunch of raiders who got too big for their britches and paid the price.  Their new leader's a guy named Juck.

The gang itself is 2-harm medium savage 2-armor (they've got, like, roadblocks and Jersey barriers to hide behind when they're preparing a tunnel ambush), but they're filthy and unwell (+disease).  I used the chopper gang template, it seemed more appropriate.

I'm going to take a "wait and see" attitude toward these guys - no special moves or countdown yet because I'm not sure where the PCs are going to focus their interest. 

Next up would be Mother Superior's Girls, a Brute/Family.  (Something about the Brute threat archetype screams 'fear' to me.)  They look out for each other.  A lot of them are working for Mother Superior because they're afraid of being unprotected in the Apocalypse World, and they stay because they're afraid to leave.  Not sure what to do with a special move here, or a countdown.  Maybe they don't need it until things change.

Threat #3.  You know what?  I keep imagining Parson as this mystery figure nobody ever deals with directly.  I think he belongs more to Fear than to Ambition, everybody's fucking terrified of him, so I'm going to move him here.  (Now I've got two slots in Ambition to fill.)

Threat #4.  Winter is coming.  The hold's in the mountains, and without legions of plows and salt trucks, nobody's going nowhere without a warm coat and a pair of snowshoes.

3pm: Spring is over
6pm: Summer is over
9pm: Fall is over
10pm: Snow
11pm: Fucking bizzard
midnight: snowbound! starvation, freezing.

Apocalypse World / Re: Just Outside the City: From West Point to Kip-town
« on: October 02, 2010, 05:01:53 PM »
Sorry, I'm not recognizing the reference.

Full Throttle, one of the classic LucasArts adventure games.  The Cavefish were a band of rival bikers who used night-vision goggles.

Apocalypse World / Front 2: Decay (part 2)
« on: October 02, 2010, 04:54:56 PM »
Need a few more threats on the decay angle.  Next are the drugs that Parson's been distributing - decay on the moral level here, not the physical. I'm calling them Affliction/Delusion, because "to dominate people's choices & actions" sounds like a damn good description of what it's already done to Mill.

The countdown here is for the whole threat - you could have a personal addiction one too, but this is for the entire settlement.

0-3pm: there's a few takers
3-6pm: everyone knows someone on the stuff
6-9pm: junkies on every streetcorner, seems like
10pm: demand outstrips Parson's supply
11pm: theft and violence
midnight: riots, looting, and burning

Still working on threat #3 & 4 for this front.

Apocalypse World / Front 2: Decay
« on: October 02, 2010, 04:37:00 PM »
It's going to take a hell of a lot of games of AW to get me to give up decay as a front, because fighting against decay?  That's what my favorite works of the genre are about.

So what do we have? As we're playing in the first session I ask them, "So where are you?" and they tell me, "Denver" and I say "Why?" and they say "Maybe because its high up, it's safe" and I'm like "so what, anything lower than Denver is fucked, like poison gas or something?" and they're like "Yeah."

So picture it, you're looking east from Denver, CO, and instead of seeing the whole goddamn country laid out before you, you see the lad getting lower and lower, and it descends into this stuff, this yellow-green nasty fucking mist, clinging onto the ground.  Sometimes there's more of it, sometimes less.  Maybe when the weather's right you can get certain places that are usually blocked.

You know what? Have a couple maps.  Here's the western US, and the CO/UT area:

I actually did these with a "sea level rise" map overlay but it works pretty well.  Red means you're fucked; orange is the mist coverage on a typical day, yellow is as bad as it gets.

You'll notice that yellow comes right up and touches Denver - it's all around the Convent.  When the mist is at its worst, people climb up to the second floor and pray it doesn't get too high.

So yeah, the mist.  Landscape/Furnace.  I know I said breeding pit, but right now it just seems like it's dead out there beyond.  Maybe I'll change my mind later.

I figure I need a custom move for going into the stuff.  This stuff is fucked up, it's swallowed most of the goddamn planet, there is no way it's not connected somehow with the psychic maelstrom.

So, if you enter the mist unprotected: roll +hard.
On a 10+, you hold your breath and keep it together long enough to do your thing and get out.
7-9, choose one:
- burning lungs, take 0-harm AP and -1 ongoing until you're out of the mist
- You cough up a hunk of bloody mucus. At least, you hope it's just mucus. Take 1-harm AP.
- your mind gets ripped open and exposed to the psychic maelstrom. Treat it as a miss on that roll.
On a miss, all three.

The mist doesn't have a countdown, it's just there.

Apocalypse World / Re: Just Outside the City: From West Point to Kip-town
« on: October 02, 2010, 04:13:47 PM »
Night Riders: specializing in night raids, using plumbing pipes and night vision goggles.

Not the Cavefish?

Apocalypse World / Front 1: Ambition
« on: October 02, 2010, 10:33:40 AM »
The PCs started the game working for Mother Superior, whacking a rival leader, so I'm going to start with her too: she's dead center on the Ambition front, which probably needs a name.  She wants to unite the various Rockies settlements and she wants to be, if not in charge, then the one pulling the strings.  I'm putting her down as a Warlord/Hive Queen: consume the other leaders and their holdings then swarm on to the next.

Threat 2 is going to be her chief enforcer, one of the first leaders she chewed up and spit out.  Shading to the envy side of Ambition, because the PCs seem to be Mother's new toys.  She's called Twice, and her gang is Brute/Enforcer.  I pick a few names for her gang: Rum, Abondo and Fuse.

Threat 3 is the mysterious Parson.  We know he's a Grotesque/Mindfucker, so he craves mastery.  I have a feeling that he's got his fingers in a lot of pies, and Mother Superior is upsetting that balance.  There's only space for one behind the curtains and he wants to be it.  I get the impression that nobody deals with Parson directly.  Like, nobody even knows what he looks like.  It's all intermediaries.

I'm leaving the fourth threat open for now in case something good shows up in play.

The fact that two threats on this front are both working "offscreen" for their ambitions makes me call this Front "Shadow War", and that lets me write the Dark Future: unless the PCs tip the balance, Mother Superior and Parson will keep up the brinksmanship until the war comes out into the open and there's blood in the streets.

Need to think about the countdowns for this one. 

Twice's countdown might look like this: every time the PCs do something for Mother Superior that she could have done, advance 1 tick.

3pm - dirty looks and the cold shoulder but nothing more
6pm - refuses to offer or accept assistance
9pm - scuffles between the thugs & PC supporters, no blood yet
10pm - betrayal on the battlefield, or anywhere else convenient
11pm - "Mother Superior, it's them or me."
midnight - pushed too far, Twice gathers her entire gang and comes after the PCs (or Mother Superior, whichever seems appropriate).

For Mother Superior - a countdown to an assassination attempt might work.

For Parson - maybe one to discovering his identity, or his reaction to attempts?  The PCs certainly seem to be heading down that path.

I know that not all threats need a countdown, but they seem pretty darn useful.

(first session thread here)

Well, MC, you've been churning this over in your brain for a while, letting it simmer while you read that crazy Chinese stuff for another game.  Let's see what you come up with.  As always: comments, criticism & suggestions from you fuckers that maybe know what you're doing? Lay it on.

Looking over my first session worksheet and my last post, I think I was scattering too much on the scarcities - trying to do a threat for each rather than a front for 2-3 of them.

I think the strongest stuff I've got so far comes from Ambition, Fear, and either Despair or Decay.  Not sure which I am going to go with. 

The way the lacks are arranged on the circle seems to suggest some kind of relationship, which I can kind of see: Fear arises from Ignorance and Decay, Ambition is the product of Envy and Hunger.  Often threats that would seem to fall into one category can be shifted to one side or another - I had originally pegged Parsons as Envy but he works as Ambition just as well, and the drugs could be either Decay or Despair.

On the other hand, nothing says Apocalypse to me like Decay, so I'm going with that.  Ambition, Fear, and Decay plus the home Front.

Aside:  Does anyone else pick the Front sheet the use for a particular front based on the picture?  Because the woman with the baby, that just says "home front" to me, and when I get to whichever front has the clouds of poison gas that are all over everything lower than Denver, well hell if I'm not going to pick the front sheet with gasmask guy.

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