Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley

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Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« on: March 06, 2011, 07:40:52 PM »
It has been a while so we started with some winter letters.

The Hudson River Valley shuts down as the river freezes up and the squid-eaters hole up in their villages for the winter.  A few squiddy families have sled dogs and will run messages up and down the valley but never into the city.

Dear Driver,
West Point is in pretty good shape.  Your main enemy for the winter is complacency.  The lumberjacks turn to drugs, gambling and worse.
When winter grips West Point, roll + Sharp:

On a 10+ pick 3 from the fireplace.
On 7-9 pick 1 from the fireplace.
On a miss, we’ll start our game with big problems.

The Fireplace:   
•   You keep Rubbin out of trouble for the winter, away from the crazy-bad shit the lumberjacks are getting themselves into.  +1 forward when you roll concerning Rubbin

•   You manage to regulate the lumberjacks, keeping their depravity from becoming too damned out of control.  +1 forward when you roll concerning the lumberjacks

•   You spend your free winter time bonding with a player character, which one?  What do they learn about you and what do you learn about them?  +1 Hx with that character

•   You cut a good deal with the dog-squiddies and keep the market place stocked with goods.  +1 barter

He rolled over ten and chose to keep Rubbin safe, keep the lumberjacks from going too far off the deep end and keeping the market place stocked.  In hindsight, this was kind of a boring move.

Dear Chopper,
Winter closes in on Kip-town, roll +Hard

On a 10+, some people die and some live and you had to make some hard fucking decisions but you deal and can choose 1 of the following:
-   The Kip-town guard is back up to muster, all 40 of ‘em to replace the Demons.
-   The Boys have their bikes primed and ready to roll for spring.
-   You have, Rook, a defector from the Five Points Empire and he is willing to spill all kinds of shit about those folks for a promise of protection.

On a 7-9, shit doesn’t go so well, choose 1:
-   You hold it together but you are in debt to Albany’s Mrs. Dubya, owing her five barter.
-   Half of the population either up and leaves or up and dies.  Them’s the breaks.
On a miss, Kip-town is a fucking starving mess.

She rolled great and elected to have 2 that I don't remember and also Rook.  Yay, Rook!

Dear Brainer:
The tribe has asked you to find other people native to this continent by traversing the Psychic Maelstrom.
When looking for other tribal folk in the Psychic Maelstrom, roll +Weird:

On a 10+ you make contact with other shaman in the Pacific Northwest, in the far, far north and the Yucatan Peninsula.  None of them is having an easy time of it but you can contact them with some difficulty if need be.

On a 7-9, you make contact but something/someone/what-the-fuck followed you back and is now stalking you whenever you open yourself to the Psychic Maelstrom.  You can feel it scratching at the membrane between the world and the maelstrom.

On a miss you don’t find shit and that thing found its way into one of your people.  Shit, shit, shit.  Which one?

This was the weakest one.  He rolled over ten.  Ah well.

Dear Maestro’D,
Winter is an odd time.  Folks have little to barter but everyone wants to eat and fuck even more.  What is a gal to do? 
When you seek to balance your joint’s books for the winter, roll + Sharp:

On a 10+, you notice some outstanding debts that are owed you through the eating and fucking of their gang-members/representatives.  Choose 3 people who owe you 1 or 2 barter.
-   Mrs. Dubya from Albany
-   Millions from Pole
-   Baby from Kip-town
-   Marsh from Bear
-   That Squid-eater asshole who drives the big garbage boat the one whose dad committed suicide after that nonsense in Kip-town.

On a 7-9, one person owes you and another you owe.  Choose from the list above.

On a miss, the MC chooses someone on or off the list and you owe them.  How the fuck did that happen?

She ended up missing this roll, so she owed Baby.  I was considering making it Mrs. Dubya but for some reason, having it be a player made more sense to me.

Dear Dent:
How is married life treating you?
When you try to make good on your married life, roll + Hot:

On a 10+, life is fucking good.  Lee has taken up as the Demons’ den mother and you are finding that your bride fits into your lifestyle really well. +1 forward when dealing with the Demons.

On a 7-9, man, relationships are fucking work and Lee is a whole lotta work.  Something is wrong and you need some fucking advice.  Take +1 advice if you talk to someone other than just your mask, an actual living person (stacks with the +1 from your mask’s advice, if you do both).

On a miss, shit at home is bad, something is really wrong.  Until you sort it out, when you go home, you roll Under Fire.

He rolled 7-9 but hasn't sought out anyone for relationship advice...yet.

The tone was set.

Things to write about:

Marsh sees Baby's lovers fight
The Blacksmith and the Midwife
The Demons do their thang
Bullet's coma



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Re: Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 11:12:32 PM »
In the real world, not the Apocalypse World, the players were at a birthday party before the game.  The gals, in particular, were tipsy.  We started the game with Brandy asking if her character could procure toothless prostitutes, a boy and a girl.  Apparently, KK and Brandy had been talking and drinking and smokin' and they decided that Saffron should have a toothless boy and girl.

"Well...uh, Saffron does have that move for procuring stuff right.  She could ask around for a toothless guy and gal."

*Brandy rolls, get's it*

"Um, okay, you put word out that you want that and a squid-eater comes to your joint with his teenage boy and girl.  They lost their teeth to the scurvy and he sells them to you for market-place vouchers so he can get enough good lumber to re-make his boat that he lost to squid before the river froze up."

Rubbin came to Bullet and started asking him all kinds of sex questions about why a toothless prostitute would be preferable.  Barry got flustered; it was wonderful.

It occurred to me that prostitution in the real world is illegal so that parents don't have to talk about sex to their kids.  It also occurs to me that this group is becoming horrifically jaded.

Marsh sees Baby's lovers fight

Newton is one of Saffron's working girls and when Baby visited Saff's joint back in the day, she always went to Newton.  She was Baby's favorite girl and Newton was smitten, asking Baby to take her away from the joint and let her be her biker-wife.  Baby was leery of any kind of commitment.

I have been wanting to have Newton show up at Baby's place in Kip-town and proclaim her love. 

Marsh is sitting in the bar under Baby's place and there's Newton, talking to Baby's current boy-toy, the Green Mountain Boy, Izzie.  He hears Newton scream at him, "She don't love you!  She loves me!" and with that she slices Izzie's face with a straight-razor and he pulls a gun, blood pouring out from above his eye socket.

Marsh steps in, Violation Glove on, touches Izzie's arm and says, "Drop the gun."  He does, cussing.  "Fucking Brainer bullshit!  Fuck!"  She slices his arm and he over-wraps her knife arm and starts beating on her.  She falls to the ground.  Marsh and Izzie start arguing a bit.

When she get's up, she has Izzie's gun.  Marsh makes eye-contact with Shit-head, who is now pretty much Baby's number 2 guy.  Shit-head shrugs and without words says, "Crazy shit, huh?"

She is holding the gun on Izzie and Marsh is trying to talk her down.  Izzie is bleeding and irate.  "You don't have the fucking balls to fucking pull the trigger, you squid-eating bitch!"

Marsh steps in and takes a bullet but get's the gun away from her.  Izzie steps in, hits hear a shot and bounces her head off the bar.  She passes out.  Izzie walks out with some of his boys.  Marsh sends Shit-head to get Baby.

Dent shows up, having driven his Deuce-and-a-half up the road to Kip-town.  He sees Baby talk to Newton.

"I cut him because he was telling lies about you, Baby."

Baby starts yelling at her, "He wasn't telling lies.  He is my boy.  Shit, I'm thinking about fucking marrying him.  His family has a big compound out in the Green Mountains.  His gang is tight.  And you are here fucking cutting on him...stupid fucking bitch."

I'm trying to keep a cool MC-face on but inside I'm all, she's thinking of fucking marrying him?!?  Ward is the Green Mountain Boys' current leader, an older guy played by (as Barry suggested) Chris Christoferson.  Ward wants some things.

First, he wants the engagement to be made official and they'll take her to the Green Mountain Compound in the spring to meet the Father. 

She's cool with that.

Second, he wants the Green Mountain Boys to kill her and he wants them to do it in a way so that it seems like they didn't get Baby's permission, wants a public dispute about it.  "We've had a few of our boys get jumped, a few get mugged and I'm done with that.  I want to put a message out and we'll put it out with this girl's death."

Baby's fine with that, so some Green Mountain Boys will kill Newton while she's at the nurse's joint during the engagement festivities that night.




But Dent doesn't like that.  He doesn't like that Saffron's property is being bargained with when Saffron isn't even fucking there.  If you squint your eyes, you can almost make sense of the Dent Logic.  Almost  He knocks out the Green Mountain Boys' spy and takes Newton in his truck.

They follow in his snow-plow wake on bikes with chains on the tires but don't catch up with him until they get to West Point, where they decide what to do with Newton's life.



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Re: Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 09:42:09 PM »
Newton's Fate

Newton was unconscious on the stretcher in Saffron's place in West Point.  It was Saffron, Bullet, Dent and two guns from the Green Mountain Boys, one of whom is the top gun, a gal by the name of Lake in denim, a shoulder holster and a hip holster.

They talked a bit and in the end Lake shot Newton where she reclined.  Saff was pissed that she shot in her joint.

"Someone clean this shit up!"

One of the new girls cleaned it up.

Up in Kip-town, Baby's engagement party had begun.  Izzie had stitches over his eye and one of his eyeballs would always be a bit dis-colored.

The Blacksmith and the Midwife

Before the party started Dent and Baby interviewed their latest refugee.  Rook said he was from the Five Points Empire.  He had led groups into small towns, collected tribute and at times, wiped out towns that were not able to pay.  He was called a Sargent.

"They're going to send you an agent, someone your 'hold needs - a doctor, a smith, an engineer or a gun.  They'll be open about where they are from and when the empire wants to take in your 'hold, the agent will be the go-between, the diplomat and by that time, they're already a member of the community, probably respected.

"But they might not do that with Kip-town.  They don't like it when women are in charge.  They're having real trouble with Mrs. Dubya up in Albany on account of that and with your killer rep, they won't like you at all.  We're...they're descended from prison guards and prisoners...they just don't value women in power much."

Baby shrugged, unconcerned, "They don't like women...too fucking bad for them."

Right after Newton was shot, a blacksmith showed up in West Point.  He had kids with him and his wife, a midwife and bone-setter was with him too.  Cort introduced himself, shook hands, asked to rent or buy a building to set up shop and explained where he was from.

Bullet was cautious.  Dent didn't like that, not at all.  The family didn't stay in West Point long, just long enough for Dent to incite Cort into an act of violence.



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Re: Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 01:21:29 AM »
Dent drove the spies from the Five Points Empire right out of town in his own Dent way...acting like a psychopath but really just using that act to get what he wanted.

Throughout the whole game, Egg, one of Dent's more verbal demons, has been futzing around with this grenade.  In this time we have learned that:

 - Egg really wants to use this grenade.
 - He bought it off someone in Kip-town.
 - He has no fucking idea how to use it.

Dent, Egg and Bullet are in Bullet's office, talking about the spy and how Dent dealt with it when Egg gives his side of the story and brings up the grenade.  Bullet asks him to give the grenade to him and if memory serves, he fucked up a roll to get it from him peaceful-like.  Egg loses his temper, pulls the pin and leaves it on the table defiantly, knowing that it will probably kill everyone in the room, him included.

Bullet tosses it out the window and loses his temper, pulling a gun.  The violence doesn't go well for Bullet.  His wound from that cannibal ambush still pains him and Egg takes the gun from him, shoots him and dances over his bleeding, unconscious body.

Rubbin goes up to Kip-town to get the best doc in the Hudson River Valley sent down to West Point.  She talks with Baby, who has become a kind of big-sister to her.

Over Bullet's unconscious body was my favorite moment of the game.  There's Dent, whose gang member shot Bullet, and with them is Lee, formerly a prostitute named Ugly but took the name Lee when she married Dent.  She's been Flo's nurse, so she knows how to keep bandages clean and a bit more.  She's learning fast.

Dent explained what he was doing, getting the blacksmith to pull his gun so that he could do his thing.  He explains that the Demons are tools to keep everyone safe and he would use them up in order to eradicate the cannibals and whatever's in the northwest that very well might be worse.

She asks him to make sure that the Demons are all used up in nine month's time.

"I don't want them around after nine months."

Dent says that he'll make sure they're all gone by then.

I'm not doing the moment justice.  Its been too long and I can't remember the dialog but I really liked it.  Here was this quiet moment between two people who love each other and are trying to eek out a family and a life in this horrid world.  Here's this guy who has put on a mask to hide his scars so that he can be the psychotic super-hero he believes his friends need to survive.  And here's his wife, learning to keep people alive in this horrid world and loving this man who will only show her his face after he's barred the doors and shut off all of the lights.

And they shared this quiet moment over their friend's comatose body and it was really touching.

Rubbin had walked in at this point and blows Egg's fucking head off.

Re: Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 12:37:00 PM »
Wow! That last line I was not expecting a-tall!



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Re: Just Outside the City: Winter in the Hudson River Valley
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 12:46:56 PM »
The last sentence was a mistake.  Rubbin blew Egg's head off paragraphs before that.