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Messages - Judd

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Apocalypse World / Re: Lists of names & replay value?
« on: May 24, 2011, 11:22:59 AM »
For the game set near and around Hoover Dam, I wrote down the name for all of the counties and cities in Nevada and used truncated and messed up versions of those for names.

I watched Padraic really think about this and then, in the middle of every thing he says, "Fuck this.  I walk up to the kid and touch him on the forehead, 'Go kill your brothers.'" He rolls for his move, puppet strings and nails it.

"Then I hand him his gun back."

The kid get's in one of the armored school-buses and drives away.

The Five Points Empire is done.

It was one of those holy shit moments where everyone's jaw dropped to the floor, mine entirely included.

"We should take him prisoner."

"Will it work? Does brainer shit work on other brainers?"

"Yeah, it works," I assured them I wasn't going to pull some dick move.

Padraic said, "No, we'd take him prisoner and get shit information.  Fuck this.  Let's somebody else do our work for us for once."

Tons of sitches and people read before this one moment...

The Five Points Empire is at work with Mrs. Dubya and her manufactories in Albany.  After some deliberation, the Hudson River Compact rides to aid her.

They attack in a brutal multi-pronged attack with Dent's Demons falling like old world para-troopers from the overpass that goes over their camp, Bullet's new truck spitting out heavy calibre machine gun fire and Baby's Boys riding in like a biker calvalry.

In creeps Marsh, under fire, with his tribal cult.  He comes face to face with number I, the creepy brainer kid, one of four left in Five Points.  The kid surrenders when Marsh goes aggro.

It is the first big battle like this where no one was shot-up terribly, no mad dashes to find a doctor, no comas, no scars.  Their losses are minimal.

I watched Padraic really think about this and then, in the middle of every thing he says, "Fuck this.  I walk up to the kid and touch him on the forehead, 'Go kill your brothers.'" He rolls for his move, puppet strings and nails it.

"Then I hand him his gun back."

The kid get's in one of the armored school-buses and drives away.

The Five Points Empire is done.

There aren't any really threatening groups out there anymore. I think they will spend the summer exploring, securing and governing this section of New York State that they have carved out for themselves.

Apocalypse World / Re: Just Outside the City: Mission Aborted
« on: May 22, 2011, 10:44:01 PM »
I really want to write about last night's game, same campain but back with the founding Hudson River Valley crew.

So, to sum up this session:

Dale leads his team into an entrenched encampment of Five Point Empire guys.  He fails his roll and his team get's brutalized.  One goes down with a head-wound, another is shot and he takes Harm.  His Harm roll goes poorly and he's out.  When he wakes up, he's naked, chained up, being asked questions about where he stole his gear.  They can tell him and his boys are not from around here.

Menendez, one of Dale's soldiers, makes his way back to the dirigible and Nimbus tries to leave him around because the Private is going mad due to the maelstrom and he's just a kind of beligerent dick.  He ends up shooting Menendez off the dirigible, killing him.

Before that the Savvyhead does his augury and I get to describe the difference between doing augury and just seeing into the maelstrom.  One is scrubbing at the window of the maelstrom and trying to see in.  The other is opening the window and stepping in, maybe re-arranging furniture.  Nimbus makes contact with the Five Points Empire networked brainer and realizes that the wires coming out of the back of his skull allow him to communicate with his four other cloned brothers.

The savvyhead and the tuxedo-wearing battlebabe break into the Five Points Empire camp and save their friends.  When Dale get's free, he has a confrontation with their psychic kid,  with a tattoo onhis forehead: III (as in, III of V).  He slits the kids' throat, old school army-psychic-hunting style.

I had no idea that the savvyhead and the  battlebabe would attempt a rescue and I definitely didn't think it would work.  Neat.

The big emotional beat for Captain Dale is that he is done being a soldier.  He has taken off his rank and has asked his comrades to just call him Dale, no rank, the mission is over, there is no sign of the chain of command; its over.  Time to find their place in this world.

Now there's this other odd posse in the Hudson River Valley, the Five Points Empire is down one brainer.  Things move along...

Apocalypse World / Just Outside the City: Mission Aborted
« on: May 16, 2011, 01:44:06 AM »

We haven't played in a while and of the regular players, only Barry and Padraic could be there tonight.  The good news is that both Barry and Padraic have extra characters who haven't gotten a whole lot of table time.  Padraic made up his Savvyhead and we launched into Barry's Quarantine.  He had woken up the Major and was sent north to the nearest Army base to find remnants of the chain of command.

Randall, a friend of Barry's and guy who I've known from around for a while, was there when I arrived.  Barry asked if it was cool if he made up a character too and I reckoned that was fine.  Randall made up a male Battlebabe named Butane, a bad-ass with a monstrous rifle and a bright blue tuxedo.

The Quarantine made a roll to find out another clue about the apocalypse.  Barry asked me what they had tried and failed.  I told him that the army had started a psychic spec ops battalion but that it had ended poorly and his squad had been called on to hunt them down and kill them.

"So, you're saying that my squad hunted psychics?"

"Army trained experimental psychics...yeah."


Padraic made his Savvyhead, Nimbus, whose workshop was a Goodyear blimp.

I picked a spot on the New York State map, between Albany and Watertown and put the town of Tower.

Maybe Seven Samurai...nope

I needed to bring everyone together.  I decided that the blimp was a solid place to start.  Nimbus was bringing it down, a storm was incoming and a town built around a radio tower was the best bet.  Everyone saw the dirigible land in a nearby field.

Tower is a small town, behind on its payments to the Five Points Empire.  Their hardholder, Mother is hoping to get the radio working again in order to communicate with other towns.  But the Five Points have made it clear that they had to pay their tribute.  And in walk the PC's...

Mother was talking to Nimbus when Captain Dale came out of the forest in a poncho made by squid-eaters to help disguise the squad.  Dale looks like Five Points Empire muscle.  She draws her pistol, starts screaming at him.

Dale puts out his hands tells her that he is not affiliated with any local groups and asks her to notice the laser sites blooming all over her chest.

Rolled Manipulation and failed, one of the many failed rolls Barry would make that night.

She opens fire on Dale but the kevlar soaks it up and his damage roll is fine, he ends up on his back, dropped his gun.  The squad opens fire and she dies, the townsfolk who came to see the dirigible run, and Nimbus screams, runs towards his air-ship.

And that was the last we saw of Tower for the night.

Other Bits:

Butane's Intro
The Storm
Into the Maelstrom
Seize by Force
Seize by Force

Amazing Judd.  Do you ever have shitty games?  Seems everything you run is golden.

I'm really lucky in Ithaca, in that I know a ton of gamers and can tailor which folks I play which games with.  I have pretty good instincts for which folks to line up with a certain game.

With AW, this Lights of Hoover game is right in my sweet spot.  I really dig three players for this game.  When everyone shows up in the other AW game I always walk away feeling like we didn't get to one character enough.

I echo the love.

Also: did you have anything in mind if the act under fire roll went south during the toast with Phoenix?

Oof.  I would have unleashed bloody hell but to be more specific would mean I'd have to talk about some secrets in the setting that I want to keep mum for now.

There would have been a nasty shoot-out on that bridge is how I'd imagine it.

Apocalypse World / Re: Extended Mediography
« on: May 09, 2011, 05:30:12 PM »

Thanks, guys.  I'm intensely flattered that anyone other than the folks who sit at the table and game with me read this stuff (and them too).

Some time in Wheelyard

The Croaker was shot up as a result of Harlan's opening letter events, so they took it to Wheelyard, not only to get it fixed up but to plan without prying eyes.  Folks like Wheelyard.  Gila is a solid guy and his son Corbett is a nice kid and he has an old blind Irish Wolfhound who can see into the Psychic Maelstrom.  He talks telepathically to Cybelle.

They were outside Wheelyard and the dog was leaning into the wind, looking off into the direction of Cocktail.

"Brainers," he said.

"More than one?"

"Two.  Two Brainers."

Harlan got a workspace in Wheelyard, ala the move from another playbook and they took off from there to Hoover.

A toast

There is a fortified bridge over Hoover.  Phoenix met the Doc and his crew on the bridge to toast the founding of a new hospital.  Doc had been asking folks about how the Engineers worked.  What he figured out was that they work kind of like the Pope and the Cardinals from the old church back pre-AW.

They toasted.  Roll Under Fire...he made it.  None are the wiser.

Phoenix made a toast about Hoover being the light of civilization on this continent, how it is the start of something bigger, and when the world is right again, people will say it started here, in Hoover.

M to the C

Before the game I looked over the Fronts, moved some Countdown Clocks forward.  I made up some new threats, basically filling in the spaces between the hubs, vegas, and the canyon that had come up.  I will post those in another thread, so that Anthony, Sarah and Pete can read this thread without having to see behind the curtain.

Folks are starting to fill up their first 5 XP slots, so the second row is opening up.  I'm intrigued.

The pacing feels about perfect.  The pieces are all in play or hinted at and now the Doc has made his first big, direct, even nasty move.  Can't wait to see how that shakes out.

How to gather poison

Anthony wanted to gather local plants to use as a poison.  We talked about what he could use in a desert in real life and figured a doctor would know that.  I could have had something bad happen out in the desert around Cocktail but I wasn't interested.

Gathering the flowers, grinding them up, getting ready to kill was just something he was doing while the gang talked about what they were doing.

The Under Fire roll occurred when he gave her the drink.  He succeeded.

He did roll his new Maestro'D ability, Fingers in Every Pie to get a good bottle of champagne and he failed, so he got the bottle with wicked strings attached.  The Roarks had taken the bottle from a Gorm family claim and a gunfight occurred over it. The Gorms are good and pissed.

A couple of important things came out of the letters.

Harlan got into a nasty car battle with a scavenger clan and ended up pulling into Cocktail with Exit Roark embedded on his windshield.  She had a major concussion, leaving her memory pretty much fuct for the rest of her life.  Millions Roark shows up and makes peace, explaining that his kin didn't understand what the red cross meant.  It was his sister's kids and Exit, his daughter and he's sorry, not wanting to have bad blood with the only Angel in the area.

Doc and Bar are a thing and he's trying to be subtle in his gathering info about the Engineer-in-Chief, Phoenix.  He thinks that he has to bring her down somehow but he's got this oath that doctors take.

Cybelle knows the Chemist and his outfit inside and out and they left on good terms.  She knows that  if she is indiscreet about his outfit's inner workings, he'll be forced to take some kind of action.

Last game Pima, the Chemist's bad-ass gun, sent to the Angel to learn healing, made his feelings for Harlan plain and clear and Harlan held him off.  But they're a thing now, though we haven't had much on-screen time for it.  I'm looking forward to seeing that relationship.

Doc tells Harlan that he's thinking of poisoning Phoenix, setting up his hospital in Hoover and having her in his pocket because he'll be the only one who knows how to help her.

Harlan let's Cybelle in on the coming storm.  He shakes her hand, knowing that she'll read his brain.  She learns that his lowest moment is when Harlan's family disowned him when he came out as bi-sexual.  She learns that he lost his dad at a young age, his dad was a reckless driver.  She learns that damaging Exit really pained him as did the disappointment in his mother's eyes.  He's a sucker for anyone who says that they love him or are in love with him.

They drive to Hoover to share a drink with Phoenix and poison the Engineer-in-Chief.

More to say:
How to gather poison by the rules?
Some time in Wheelyard
Info on the Engineers
A drink with Phoenix

It has been over a month since we gamed.  It seemed like a good night for letters:

Dear Driver,
You’ve gotten to know the roads around the Hub-towns pretty well, roll +Cool:

10+ Choose 3 from the List of St. Dale

7-9 Choose 1 from St. Dale and 1 from Crash and Burn

Miss, all Crash, all Burn.

List of St. Dale
•   Ask Read a Sitch for the roads and drivers around Hoover, get as many questions as you rolled on this move.
•   +1 barter for some parts you’ve picked up here and there.
•   +1 forward on your next driving related move because you know the area so damned well.

Crash and Burn List
•   You are driving one of the cars, you’re bleeding and the car’s lurching back into the Hub with trouble in your rearview.
•   One of the cars is not drive-able until you can get some parts and some fixin’.
•   You took a nasty wound and you are bleeding all over the damned seat.  Mark your wound countdown at 3.

Pete rolled 7-9 had Harlan read a sitch on the roads of Hoover and decided to be lurching back into the Hub with trouble in the rearview.  He was on his way towards Cocktail with a band of scavengers from the Roark clan in his rearview.  Due to a misunderstanding, they thought the Croaker's crew was trying to take their claim.

Dear Brainer,
Welcome to the life of a working stiff.  The good news is, take +1 forward for being well fed for the first time in your life.  Other than that, roll + Weird:

On a 10+ You can ask 3 questions from the list below about the Chemist or anyone in his employ.
On a 7-9 you can ask 1 question from the list below and somehow the Chemist get’s to ask one of those questions to you.
On a miss, you answer a question from the list below and the Chemist things you’ve stumbled on something you shouldn’t have.  Brace for trouble.

The List Below
•   Who do you love most in the world and what secret are you hiding for them?
•   If things move according to plan, where do you see yourself in five years?
•   If things go to shit, where do you see yourself in a week?

Sara rolled really well and asked 3 questions about the Chemist.  She found out that he loves his wife most and that her secret is that she is a burned out brainer from Area 51.  If things go according to plan, he'll have his own electricity in Vegas and no longer have to pay taxes to Hoover.  And if things go to shit, if his family was killed, he'd either throw himself into the canyon or walk into the canyon and let them ligers eat him.

They parted on good terms, as her month of employment was over.  She read a sitch and saw that as long as she didn't talk a bunch about the inner workings of his operation, he'd let her go and keep his side of the bargain.  Hum gave her a lift back to Cocktail. 

Dear Angel,
If you want, the hospital’s building is underway. Where is it?  If so, roll +Sharp:

On a 10+ you have +1 Barter from people excited to have an up and running hospital, you have +1 forward on your next roll advocating or defending the hospital and you & a small gang, a clan of scavengers has adopted the hospital as their place to protect, painting and tattooing red crosses on their necks and faces.

On a 7-9, choose one from the list above and you have a spy in your shop.

On a miss: The construction is a total mess and you need 3 barter to get it up and running again or else this site is going to go fall apart inside a few days.

If you aren’t setting up shop with the hospital, roll +Hot to see how things are going between you and Bar.

On a 10+, you two have really connected.  She gets to ask a Brainer question about you and you get to ask a Brainer question about her.

On a 7-9 You are both having good fun, nothing wrong with that.  Where was the last place you two had sex?

On a miss, you are in bed with her when catastrophe strikes…

Anthony wanted more time to think about the hospital, so we just rolled for him and Bar.  He got 10, so they learned about one another and are really close now.

To post later:
The Roarks
Pima and Harlan, up a tree
He shook her hand.
A toast

Apocalypse World / Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« on: April 29, 2011, 12:41:55 PM »

I've generally used letters after a long time off the game when we need to re-connect quickly and get back into the groove.  Any particular reason why you decided to go with letters the second game in?

Apocalypse World / Re: New Campaign: Objects in Space
« on: April 21, 2011, 10:59:24 PM »
This campaign concept is splendid.

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