Lights of Hoover 8: Cracked Windshields and a Skull, Wine and Desert Flowers

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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



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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



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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.



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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.



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Love Love Love It Judd! Thanks so much for posting this. I wish I could keep a group together for this long. It seems AW really develops into an amazing game once characters start ticking their 5th experience box. Reading your APs and Letters are always inspiring.
Well done, You get my vote for MC of the year. :)

Great stuff as always, Judd. Thanks for sharing your game with us.



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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).

I echo the love.

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



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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.



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



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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.