New Playbook: The Traveller

  • 29 Replies
New Playbook: The Traveller
« on: September 07, 2011, 10:40:26 AM »
I've created a new playbook, as a gift for a friend. I daresay it's the most polished and/or finished I've made, and, while some of the moves might need tweaks here and there to be "perfect", I'm pretty happy with it.

It's for people who are going away or coming back, or who go from place to place. It has some strange and possibly overly good advancement options. It's got, to my knowledge, the first move that relates to and is triggered by you as a player, not your character. It's missing a section on barter and it's not formatted in the Apocalypse World style, but, otherwise, it's complete and playable.

If you'd like a copy, you've got, oh, three or so options:

1) Tell a story here about a time you went somewhere, temporarily or permanently. It needs to be, you know, a story, not just "One time, I went to New Mexico.".

2) Trade me a copy of the Marmot. I see it's floating around and I'd love to get a copy. I'd also accept the Faceless. (Offer only valid for the first of either.)

3) Play a game of AW with me at some point.

Any questions, ask here, please.

- Alex

Edit: The Faceless has been redeemed.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 05:36:06 PM by Antisinecurist »



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Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 11:28:14 AM »
Could I trade our up-coming Nobilis hack playbook The Seeker (was The Traveller) for it?

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 11:40:55 AM »
That sounds fair, appropriate, and pretty cool!

Please email to my username @ aol, when you might.


- Alex

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 06:23:50 PM »
In 2006, I went back to my old fieldwork site on the Omo river. I hadn't been in some time. I was driving the old white Land Cruiser short base, and my friend Steffen was with me. He had always said, "one day, I will come to Ethiopia with you", but so had several other people. So, big city kid Steffen, ever been to Africa only like once (in Ghana of all places), is touring the Savannah with me. He is a film-maker, though, so he brought his big-ass Sony camera, and later we ended up... but that's not the story of this trip. This trip, coming down from the Hamar hills, we first went to Korcho, beloved by all ye tourists for its pretty river loop; at any rate, we were cordially yet calmly received, got some news, got some coffee, and as the wind picked up, we drove on to my little village. Young Terbi, the son of Wujo came with us; I'd known him since 2003. Shifty-eyed, and sometimes plain shift, but he'd always done right by me. He promised to show us the currently best and shortest route through the bush. Circling around the flood plain, we ran right into the craziest storm of my life. Horizontal lightning was flashing all up and down the river, as the sky turn yellow, green, and purple, and a howling wind came from all sides at once. As is wont down there, darkness followed quickly - by that time, however, I felt I recognized the track, and was confident about us reaching the village safely. Approaching a mud hole, I asked, shouting over the storm, "Terbi, can we cross this?" "Yes yes, just keep going", he assured me with the recklessness of youth. This is when we got stuck, and when the rain started coming down for real. After just some minutes, we were soaked through, and our attempts to give the tires some traction by shoving sticks underneath them in the mud had failed. We needed manpower. "Terbi", I said, "run ahead and get like everyone. And make haste." Off he went, leaving Steffen and me for our selves in the Savannah, not even trying to begin conversation rendered prematurely pointless by our situation. Then, dark shapes emerged from the brush - I lit up the headlights again, and despite the apocalyptic weather, people were laughing and shouting, and already the first ones were rattling the chassis, checking whether they might not magically free the car. Foregoing greeting my old friends even, I sent Steffen back outside, and issued some quick commands about how many people should be cutting sticks, and how many should be pushing the car. Every thirty seconds or so, I stepped on the gas, hoping for traction, yet it took easily five minutes until the car lurched forward. Not wanting to risk getting stuck again, I maintained the momentum and, accompanied by the younger of our ground crew, hooting and hollering, drove the final kilometer to the palisade of the village. That's when I realized I had left Steffen behind in the bush, among a score of people with whom he had no single word in common in any language, and without his shoes, which he had -maybe prudently, at the time- carefully taken off when trudging through the mud. He arrived twenty minutes later, wet, flithy, half-stunned, but all along the way, old Ameriken had been holding his hand, leading him to shelter, and so, he had at least found a friend.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 12:02:26 PM »
Ok, so this is the story of the three Mexican mechanics.  A number of years ago, my wife and I moved to California from North Carolina.  We had a van packed with all my wife's possessions.  We were packed to the gills and driving late, late at night through the desert in Texas.  All of the sudden, we hear a pop and it becomes obvious that we have a flat.  Crap.  So I go to put on the donut only to find that the tire won't come off.  Its got one of those lock nuts, but I had never seen one before.  Yeah, so I call her parents (it was there van to begin with) and figure out that there's an adapter in the glove compartment.  Ok, that's fixed but the full size wheel doesn't fit where the donut did and there's no room in the van to take it with us.  We can solve this!  Its only 25 miles to Van Horn.  I'll just throw the tire in the bushes and we'll get a hotel for the night and come back for it, I thought to myself.  Great, now we're underway again.  Five miles later, the donut blows.  Well crap, its 1am and there I am standing on the roof the van holding my cell over my head and all I can get is bloody Mexico asking if I'd like to make an international call to US 911.  Lucky us, a state trooper drives by and offers to call us a tow.  Great, we take the 20 mile tow to Van horn and find a hotel.  The next morning, we go and buy a new rim (ours was still in the bushes) but he doesn't sell any tires that size (this is the first Mexican mechanic).  Turns out his brother does.  So we go there to get a tire, he doesn't take credit though (This is the second Mexican mechanic).  So he lends us his car to go and find an ATM.  We come back and get our tire on the rim and the rim on the van.  Great, its almost noon so we pick up some rope and start driving back to get our original rim.  We get 20 miles outside Van Horn and guess what, the van's engine just cuts out.  Now we're sitting on the side of the road, in the desert, this time in the sun, with no AC and we're calling 911 again.  There you have it, we take a second 20 mile tow back to Van Horn where we have to wait an hour for the mechanic (this is the third mechanic we've been to that day) sends his brother out for a new part.  They speak English to me but Spanish to each other, I don't trust mechanics anyway!  Finally, we're fixed up and on our way!  We drive back and get our tire and restart our journey, high-fives as we pass Van Horn and keep on driving.  This is so great, we're finally on our way.  Twenty miles outside Van Horn, the van slows to a stop.  WTF?!?  We're out of gas.  We were so excited to get on our way we forgot to get gas in Van Horn.  So there we are, calling 911, again.  A nice policeman responds and gives us a lift (my first time in the back of a police car) to a gas station where we can purchase a 2 gallon container of gasoline then another ride in the police car back to our van.  Anyhow, we made it to CA with only one other snag (no matter how tempting, Mexico is never going to be a "quick picknic" destination).  I hope you liked the story, it was a real pain then but a good tale now.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 04:34:56 PM »
The Marmot has been redeemed, but you can still tell me a travel story or play a game with me. You could also offer something else, of your own, that I might find appealing. I'm pretty flexible.

- AD

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 04:46:25 PM »
It looks like the playbook is going to get laid out in tri-fold, so I'll update here and send updated copies when it happens.


- AD

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 06:00:46 PM »
Awesome!  I can't wait!

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2011, 02:08:54 AM »
I hate Los Angeles. I've only been there once, in July of 1994. I was ten. My dad's parents moved out there the year before; his stepmom, Sibyl, was dying. Then we get a call, his dad's dead, out of the blue. Pulmonary embolism. Bam.

So he takes me out there to visit Sibyl in the hospital. We're there for a week, it's swell, there's a pool at the hotel and Dennis Bergkamp is doing cool things in the World Cup. We watch Four Weddings and a Funeral on the hotel TV. Sibyl's happy to see us; I read to her for a bit from a large print Dave Barry book. The week passes. Our last night in L.A. is his birthday; he gets drunk, and we set up a wake-up call for our flight back. We go to sleep.

I remember thinking "Is that what wake-up calls sound like?" when I hear the sound; it's horrifying, like a cat being sawed in half. It lasts a second or two, stops, and repeats. It's coming from dad's bed. I get up and turn on the lights. It's his breathing. I shake him, turn him over. He's nonresponsive, just keeps making that horrible wheeze. I poke him with a plastic fork. Nothing. I go out to the front desk of the hotel.

"Do you need help?"

"Yeah... I locked myself out of my hotel room and my dad won't wake up."

They call the hospital, get some doctors out there. One guy is there to get info out of me; does he take any medications? I don't know. Has this happened before? I don't think so. The hotel calls my mom (still home in North Carolina), she calls some relative I don't know, he comes to watch me while my dad goes in the ambulance. We get our wake-up call. We're awake. I am, at least.

This relative, let's call him Mike since I don't remember, drives me down to the hospital in his car. We go to visit dad and he's awake, talking, wants to know if we can still make our flight. It turns out that we might be able to if we hurry. Apparently something reacted with alcohol and made him go unconscious and inhale vomit, but the doctors say he's good to go now, so we do.

This is not the end of the story.

Mike drives us down to the airport, and my dad's acting weird. He keeps forgetting where the tickets are (they're in his wallet) and tries to take everything carry-on even though he has too many bags. He puts the tickets down on a trash can and walks off. I pick them up, and give them to the lady so that we can get on the plane. He falls immediately asleep when he sits down. He smells like vomit. His breath smells like vomit. I try to wake him up. He starts, then looks at me, annoyed. "I'm really tired, let me sleep."

I've figured out that something is very wrong, so I take the tickets so they don't get lost, and write down all our flight transfer information on a napkin so I don't forget. The stewardess gives me a pack of cards and an extra bag of pretzels. I don't honestly remember how I dragged him across the Denver airport and got him on the second leg of our flight; he kept mumbling incoherent things about soccer.

"C'mon, we're going to Raleigh-Durham, gate C14"
"That's Brazil"
"No, that's home."

Thank god you were still able to meet passengers as they got off the plane; my mom took one look at him and decided he was going straight to a doctor, despite his protestations.

"I'll be fine, I just need one more goal."

He was then hospitalized for a month with severe pneumonia. The doctors in L.A. had woken him up with drugs, then set him loose with vomit in his lungs. That's why I hate it there, and that's the story of my travel back. The first time I've told this story in over a decade, actually.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 05:20:45 PM »
Is it trifolded?

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 11:20:42 AM »
help (I'm sorry, I don't actually know your name), thank you for sharing your story. It's been really interesting hearing about everyone's experiences, good and bad.

I'll send you both the PDF format later today; the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.

I'm really sorry there was a delay getting these out! Christopher, your email got lost in my inbox, and I never received a notification that anything was posted here.

- AD

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 04:42:57 PM »
Bit of a personal story.

My Grandpa and I were pretty close. Well, close for itinerant, generally distant folk. I mean, I don't think distant is quite the right word. Every time we saw each other, it was always picking up right where we left off, often picking up the conversation from our last phone call three four months ago. Hugs, smiles, good food, good discussion, and then we do our own thing. And I've never been a religious person, but I'd always go to his sermons whenever I was in Winnipeg, or whenever he'd be giving a guest sermon out my way. It was just amazing hearing him speak. He never dished out guilt. He never dropped blame. Pure love, and friendship, and motivation, from the most powerful voice I knew. And more than anything, that's what made my last trip to Winnipeg so hard.

I knew he'd been having health problems for some time. Dad had been keeping me posted for some time, Gramma too, but Grampa and I just both seemed to want to bury our heads in the sand about it. We didn't discuss it. We just kept going the way we did on the phone. When the call came from Dad that things were looking really dark, though, I dropped everything. I called my boss and said I'm outta town for the next two weeks. I called my brother and told him to do the same, cause I'd already bought his ticket and to hell if he was missing the flight.

The cab ride to the airport was jovial enough. My bro and I just don't have it in ourselves to be anything else, until actually confronted with stark reality, but our laughs and talks of good times were definitely down a notch or three. Any lull and we were getting a little hollow eyed. The plane ride was a bit easier for Rob. He dozed off (4am flights, yeah) about 5 minutes off the ground. I was stuck awake, though. I gotta say, I was shaking. It was a damned long flight for me. My Uncle picked us up from the airport after we landed, and again, conversation was a godsend. Of course, when we got close to the house, he stopped the car and tried to prepare us for what we were walking into. It made us a shade more sombre, but sure as fuck didn't ease anything. We arrived, and Gramma gave us both a big hug, and sat us down for some breakfast. Grampa wasn't awake yet, but she was sure he was getting up soon enough. His younger brother, the doctor, was there too, and we got to have some time just chatting, both about the situation and just about this that and the other. Gramma sure made a strong cup of coffee that morning. Heavy cream didn't dent it.

A few hours and a brief nap later, and Gramma comes downstairs to let us know Grampa is awake and would love to see us. We weren't sure he would, because, y'know, sometimes people just don't wan you to remember them... like that. Anyway, Rob went first. About a half hour later, he came down looking pretty broken. Wouldn't say a word to me, just kinda sat himself in the cozy chair and stared at his thumbs like they were his only friend. My turn. Gramma took me up to his room, and, like Uncle Thom, tried to tell me what was what, and I did my best to steel myself.

Again, all my life, Grampa was a strong man. Even after I sprouted up and had a few inches on him, he was just such a strong personality that it felt like he held you in the palm of his hand. Perpetually rosy cheeks, eternal smile, booming but kind voice, and a little potbelly to finish it off, with muscle to back it up. Walking into that room was earthshattering. A small hospital bed was set up, and in it there he was. Tiny, shrunken down to a near skeleton of a man. He looked up and smiled at me, that same smile, but on such a different face, skin drawn taught along his ashen cheeks.  In the hour I was up there, not too many words passed between us, outside of "It's so wonderful to see you," and "I love you." Other than that, there wasn't much to say. I just held his hand as he came into and out of consciousness, finished trimming his beard (yeah, to that very day, trimmed it himself every day, no matter how long it took), and reached for a few kisses with Gramma. When I left his room, I put my hand on his cheek and said, "I'll see you soon." He smiled again and grabbed my hand, and then dozed off again.

Shortly after 3, he went into what was either a really deep sleep or a comatose state, said Retired Nurse Gramma and Doc Great Uncle. We all did our best to keep up spirits, half heartedly watching baseball with Gramma (she loves the Jays), telling good stories or our travels with Grampa, and just chatting about everything. At about 8 o'clock, Gramma and Doc came downstairs and told us that Grampa had stopped breathing. Shattered and broken, but happy his suffering was over, we called my Grampa's sister and her reverend husband and held a small service to say goodbye to him in his room, each taking turns holding his hand and telling him that we love him and will miss him. Us younguns retired downstairs while the older family stayed with him until the funeral home folk came to pick up his body. I couldn't stop crying, and I just couldn't be around anyone, so I stayed in the living room and kept watch for them. I called my mum, my dad, my girlfriend. It was a long night.

After the Funeral Folk came, we cracked open a bottle of Grampa's favourite wine, and toasted to him, and soon after did our level best to catch some rest.

The next few days were a blur. Dad and his wife came up to town. Mine and my brother's significant others flew in. Family and friends started pouring in from all over the world, all offering condolences and telling more wonderful stories. The official service was beautiful, with many going up to the podium and telling their most definitive John Friesen moment. I gotta tell you though, that church felt hollow and empty without him, even with the place packed to the nines.

When I boarded my plane to go back home, all in all, I was glad to have been there. Visiting Winnipeg again will never be the same.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 10:16:26 PM »
It was a cold and bright morning on September 8th, 2010. Michigan was in fall-mode, and I can still remember the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as we walked to the van. I didn't know that day what I was getting into, but I was excited about my prospects. Driving to the airport was a  blur, it seemed like the hour long trip lasted all of two minutes, and I spent every second of it drinking in the scenery, the trees, neighborhoods with houses and lawns, the blue sky, lakes glowing in the morning sun. I knew that after I stepped onto that plane, I would be leaving all of this behind for a while. I can only recall scenes from the airport, they flicker in the back of my mind like a broken flashlight, quick and tearful goodbyes followed by a lengthy security check, and finally settling in for the 15 hour flight...

15 hours later, with no sleep and white knuckles from gripping the armrest so tightly, I stumbled off the plane in Beijing. A quick walk through the airport lead me to the exit, where we were greeted by our employers. I looked at Brad, and realized that he was the only person I knew for thousands of miles. Swallowing this fact, I stepped outside. The air was just as I remembered it from my study abroad trip the year before, heavy. With each breath I took I felt like I was only getting a fraction of the air that I needed. It was stifling hot, the haze so low to the ground that the buildings appeared to be quivering in the distance. Our employers informed us that our new school was a 4 hour drive from the capital, and we proceeded to hunt for our their small VW sedan in the labyrinthine parking garage. When we found the car, they realized that they had miscalculated the appropriate transport. 2 tall Americans + the maximum allowed luggage weight and number of pieces = too small for a compact. We made it work- the trunk held one of our 50 lb. suitcases, and the other three packed into the backseat with us. The guide was kind enough to take our carry on bags (also almost 50 lbs. each) in the front seat with her. After we started the drive, I fell asleep on my companions shoulder, and saw no more...

Until 5 hours later when (after being stuck in horrible traffic, or so I was told) we were rolling in to our new city. Shijiazhuang was nothing like Beijing, no history to speak of, a fraction of the air quality, and none of the beauty. This quaint little city of 7 million was where we'd be living for the next year. The sun fell below the horizon just as were entering the city proper, and by the time we reached the school, it was dark (as dark as possible in a city that suffers from extreme light pollution). The car pulled into the gate, and drove up to the front of a large building. One light out of our line of vision was on inside, flickering threateningly like those in a haunted house. We untangled ourselves from our luggage and the VW and proceeded up the steps. Our guide led us to the elevator (the source of the flickering light) and pushed the #4 button. My stomach dropped as we started to rise...

The 4th floor hallway was similar to the entrance, dark and slightly creepy. Ever since I played Silent Hill, deserted schools always make me uneasy, I'm just waiting for the little kiddies to come gnaw off my kneecaps... But to my relief, no hungry children came looking for me, and I was lucky enough to be shown my room first. The apartment was much bigger than I expected, and I was thankful for that. I dropped my things and jumped across the hall to Brad's room. Our guide made sure we were satisfied with the rooms before telling us the scoop. At the end of her speech, we realized that out of our two apartments, we could make a single functioning one.  One shower didn't work, one of the gas lines was leaky and might blow up if we try to cook with it, one of the air conditioners had been turning itself on and off recently without warning. After giving us these little gems of information, we were left to unpack and rest up and think about surviving here for a year...

(I realize now that this story could go on forever seeing as how I'm still in China, in a different city. After reading this, it sounds like a horror movie, but it's actually been one of the best years of my life. I hope this doesn't turn anyone off to teaching abroad, I just thought that I thought I'd share this part with you today because it is so unique, and a traveler probably would have some stories like this. If you'd like to hear more, I'd be happy to write, just let me know.)


Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 01:58:25 PM »
...the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.
How goes the tri-fold?  I'm excited to check it out!

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 03:24:08 PM »
My life is boring as fuck, so gimme an e-mail and I'll send you the Marmot. XD