[AP] Treepocalypse

  • 12 Replies
[AP] Treepocalypse
« on: April 03, 2011, 08:55:52 PM »
The setting: The Rout, a secret brothel whose atmosphere offers its clients the finest remnants of the pre-apocalypse. The brothel is the ruin of Risley Residential College in Ithaca, NY. This was where (at least) one of the players ("Spiral Jacobs," aka Paula) lived when she went to Cornell University.

The apocalypse: All we know is that at some point, the trees decided to grow everywhere, grow virulently, aggressively, and quickly. Roads have to be constantly maintained and there are rumors of plant zombies roving the wilds. This rumor may grow out of the fact that if you sit still for 20 minutes or so, you've got plants growing on you, or it may be real.

(It's probably real.)

The cast:

Dickson, the Maestro'D, played by Paula, owns and operates the Rout. He inherited it from his dad within the past 5 years or so, when he died of syphilis.

Dickson is the only character I have the stats for: A man in vintage wear, with an expressive face, frank eyes, lean body, and playful hands. Looks like a Thin-White-Duke-era David Bowie. He's most attracted to Absinthe (see below).

Cool 0, Hard +1, Hot +2, Sharp +1, Weird -1, Moves: Fingers in every pie, everybody's got to eat

The Rout: offers sex as well as drinks and music, features intimacy, fantasy, luxury, and nostalgia. Its protection is everybody’s packing and secrecy, passwords, codes & signals, invites-only, vouching,
etc. Dickson takes care of his boys and girls.

Doc Margrave, the Angel, played by Matt, is a disturbing, advantage-taking, grinning maniac of a doctor. He's deeply weird and doesn't seem to understand fear. He makes his scratch by taking care of Dickson's employees and clients. He arrived in the Rout when Dickson's father was in charge, and he and Dickson worked together on the road a lot before Dickson took over the Rout.

Absinthe, the Battlebabe, played by Colleen, is the Rout's main muscle, and Dickson's right-hand girl. She arrived at the Rout after Dickson took over, looking for her sister. She got the prior bouncer fired and took his job over, and, if I remember correctly, gave up on finding her sister again. She dresses like a bygone-era prom queen, albeit one that brandishes a gigantic fuck-off magnum revolver with alarming casualness. And in case she wants to be subtle, there's a horrible spiked chain disguised as the dress's sash.

Other dramatis personae to come.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 09:16:41 AM »
Got another PC in through email (this is a Skype game):

Doc Margrave III -- Physician for The Rout
Causal/Utility clothing
Male, Pretty Face, Hard Eyes, Spare Body

Stats:  Cool -1 / Hard +1 / Hot +0 / Sharp +2 / Weird +1

Moves: Touched by Death / Healing Touch

Angel Kit
Small Practical Weapon: Bone Saw ("Big Knife")
Oddments: "Strange Meat"
Fashion: Blood-stained "leather" apron (1 armor)

Hx: Dixon: (-1) / Absinthe: (-1)
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 12:06:43 PM »
Still no stats or anything for Absinthe, but here are the NPCs that got generated during the first session.
  • Ba: Dickson's best regular, an old man who sells Dickson pre-apocalyptic shit that he finds.
  • Balls: one of Dickson's working boys, missing at the start of the first session.
  • Been: Leads one of the nearby hardholds and wants in on Dickson's action.
  • Dog Head: A sweet, hideous, probably-retarded 12 year old boy who helps out around the Rout.
  • Fleece: A rail-thin, ghostly-pale prostitute who works for Dickson.
  • Gams: A madame who operates a brothel out of the other hardhold (not Been's). She fills the niches that Dickson won't, specializing in drugs and fetish services.
  • Joe's Girl: A biologically-male self-identified-as-female prostitute. I forget the details, but I remember there was a client who was outraged that Joe's Girl turned out to be a woman.
  • Mimi: A working girl that Dickson and Margrave failed to save from the "lake monster people." They had been tasked by Dickson's father to retrieve the girl, but arrived in time to see her pulled below the water.
  • Rolfball: 7' tall, very few teeth, a face like a ratty burlap sack, Rolfball feels he's owed for helping Dickson's place get established. He has been trying to get Balls given to him permanently as payment.
  • Toyota: I don't remember much about this character, though I think he or she was another hooker.

Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 12:28:24 PM »
Here's what happened in the game:

Balls was supposed to show up back home before dark (it's way more dangerous after dark; the plants are more aggressive), but failed to do so and it's getting very late. Dog Head, who is working outside to maintain the cleared perimeter around the Rout, pounds on the door and tells Absinthe that Balls is missing, and he hears Rolfball's motorcycle headed up the path. Absinthe assesses a charged situation and determines that Rolfball's gang is about 20 minutes away.

After about 10 minutes, while the people inside panic and start to get ready for what they expect to be some pretty awful shit, one of Rolfball's men who had run ahead of the others knocked on the front door. The Rout wouldn't let him in or talk to him, so he dropped a package in front of the door and fucked off. Margrave and Dickson went out to investigate.

What they found was a severed hand that looked a lot like Balls's, rooted to the dirt by the stump of the wrist and twitching every now and then like a dead frog being hit with electricity. Margrave pokes at it and I offer to let him open his brain to the psychic maelstrom. Matt declines, and instead starts pulling on the hand. I describe that it's connected to the earth with a grey/brown root-like structure and it's not easily coming up. Margrave yanks it as hard as he can, so I prompt Matt that he's trying to sieze the thing by force. He agrees, gets a partial hit, and leaves me harm to give. I decide instead to make him miss something:

As he pulls the hand out of the ground, the root structure resists and is yanked up and the pressure releases a plume of spores that makes everyone hack and cough and hide their eyes. As he yanks the hand the last bit of the way out of the dirt, a fist-sized leathery sack that glows with a green bioluminescence pops out and the hand is free. The sudden loss of tension causes him to fall and crush the pod under his knee without realizing it. The fluid inside the sac dissolves into his skin, leaving no trace. The hand is dead, all the twitching gone after that.

With that, Margrave and Absinthe switch places, and the two meet Rolfball when he arrives with a motorcycle pack, the members of which are all wearing heavily-concealing clothing, and can't be seen well in the darkness. A figure swaddled in a hole-ridden, mold-eaten tarp sits on the bitch seat of Rolfball's bike. Without raising his voice or being unpleasant, Rolfball gives the figure freedom, says he's got people now, and that he's going to take his payment soon. As the figure, who everyone takes to be Balls, disappears into the Rout, Absinthe notices (too late to stop him) that "his" hand is actually her sister's complete with a ring that the sister always wore, fused to the stump of a man's wrist.

Absinthe reads a charged situation again and determines that Balls is the most dangerous enemy to her right now.

I ended the session there.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 12:39:14 PM »
So, here's my experience of running the game: I was panicking and confused constantly. I am told this will change.

I'd read the book cover-to-cover over the course of a few days. I'd also played in a half dozen sessions of a game with Vincent, and played in a really successful con game at Gen Con.

When I started playing, I immediately forgot all of my moves. The MC foldout and the 1st Session book are helpful, but weren't sufficient for my newbieish state. I forgot what I could do with MC moves, what triggers them, etc. I still don't know because I haven't had time to do my 2nd session stuff, but I do plan on re-reading certain parts of the game.

So I didn't know what triggered my moves, or how to do them. Instead I focused on trying to figure out when to trigger PC moves and those principals I was able to remember.

I also felt bad because I spent a lot of time looking things up. I tried my best (and, I think succeeded) to tell them that there wouldn't be this much confusion as things went on.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 12:44:30 PM »
That description of how running the game was for you.  Yeah, me too.  Every word.  Maybe not quite panicking, but certainly not confident.



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Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 12:50:55 PM »
I'd keep my eyes on the agenda and the principles and just look at the moves when you are stuck.

Like jazz...just play and when you need an oomph, look at the MC's moves.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 12:52:43 PM »
I may have overstated things with the word "panic," but yeah.

I should mention that the whole roots thing came out of Dickson rolling and failing Fingers in Every Pie to get Balls back. The failure says it comes with "strings wicked attached," so I decided to be literal.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 08:44:18 PM »
Everyone did a lot of shuffling around, figuring stuff out.  It was fine, Rob.  The first session is always like that in every game.  I think John Harper's character playsheets .pdf, p. 12-15, would be useful, as it details all the moves.  We should all print them out and have them handy for Thursday.  

Also, Toyota was not a whore.  He was Dickson's worst regular, one who likes to pinch and bite and pull the girls' hair.  He hurts them just enough to make Dickson grind his teeth, but not quite enough to get booted, because he is loaded with tabs and cigs and his business is mighty consistent.  One of these days, though, Dickson is going to lose his fabled patience with Toyota-San.

Joe's Girl was a female identified biological male prostitute, and Toyota flipped out when he found  out that she still had her male equipment.  In the subsequent dispute, Joe's Girl tried to kill Toyota, and Absinthe had to save his life.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 08:51:16 PM by Spiral Jacobs »

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 12:51:21 PM »
Thanks for the clarifications, and the confidence, Paula.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 01:37:50 PM »
Got the last character, Absinthe, played by Colleen:

Absinthe - Battle Babe
woman, luxwear, striking face, arresting eyes, gorgeous body.

Cool +3 Hard -2 Hot +1 Sharp +1 Weird +1

Visions of Death
Impossible Reflexes

2 custom weapons:
hand gun (2 harm close reload loud)
Ap ammo (+ap)
hi-powered (+1 harm)

Chain belt
hidden (+1 infinite)
spikes (+ 1 harm)

Dickson Hx +3
Doc Hx +3
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 02:18:58 PM »
My unanswered "I wonders":

* Where does the Rout get food and other supplies from?
* Which of the prostitutes is a chiseler, taking advantage of Dickson's kindness?
* What rivalries are there between the working boys and girls?
* Why did the fish people take Mimi?
* What did Rolfball do to make him think he set up Dickson?
* Who harbors resentment over the nepotistic way control of the Rout was transferred?
* What does Been think he'll get out of the Rout?


And I'm about to start a thread on the fronts that I'm working on for this, and would ask any players in the game other than me not to read it.
Misspent Youth: Teenage rebellion in a fucked-up future.

Re: [AP] Treepocalypse
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2011, 12:21:38 AM »
 I wouldn't worry about any subjective feelings of anxiety.  I'm in Chris's game, and I would have had no idea he was nervous if he hadn't mentioned it here.