AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances

  • 22 Replies
Everyone finds God or, Breaking up is hard to do
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2011, 10:58:07 PM »
Real life gave us a couple of weeks of delay, between people traveling, sickness, etc.

This session was all about the emotional fallout and character growth from the hyper-violence of the last session.

Smith, Saffron and Winona manage to find Rhyme and (a newly re-awakened from stasis chamber) Third, along with a scary unpredictable Bunny and convince them to patch them up in the hypertech ambulance.   

This convincing was actually pretty tough, as Rhyme was last told God through the Maelstrom that the ambulance was to be left alone until Third woke up.  Smith attempted to open hir brain to the Maelstrom to get a clue, which involved the creepy Maelstrom Girl attempting to get Smith to actually work through hir feelings... which Smith promptly ended.

Winona does a little bit of human resources work, and enlists Bunny as a medic/techie after showing her the "many advantages of joining the Winona Augustus Rockefeller family" - which include palatial double apartments (dividing walls between units knocked out), a wonderful balcony (area missing roof), and brand new anti-carnivorous squirrel technology (electric fence, in the hallway).

Bunny's endless bitter sarcasm about the fact that this is what passes for boss balling in the Apocalypse was especially fun.

Third decided that he didn't want to go in with Bunny on it, and left with Rhyme in the hypertech ambulance.   They had a road trip sort of scene which was awesome and really human, and involved him introducing her to ancient music ("Roadtrip Mix 3" on CD-R, of course) which coincided with Rhyme's changing from a Touchstone to a Skinner and a new found love of Music.

Sandalwood wakes up, not great, not dying, and finds out the mutants are somewhat in awe of him, but the bikers still think he's kinda a shithead.  He manages to get a ride back to the Rave camp to check in with Saffron...

Which leads to a chewing out and poor performance review by both Smith and Saffron - which, given that he took off without warning and left Smith as the only defender of the camp, perfectly reasonable.

Rhyme returns to find her followers still demanding instruction and direction, and gave them some rather reasonable directions ("Be nice to somebody.  Go make music.  Make something beautiful"), which, naturally wasn't what they were looking for, but they listened, sorta/mostly.

Sandalwood and Rhyme meet up, and Rhyme is... different, which totally trips out Sandalwood.  A bunch of the people just got killed, Rhyme is chipper and indifferent about it, and well, yeah.  She's found a bit of her peace of mind, and not trying to take care of anyone else, which totally changes how she's rolled previously.

Saffron does a late night "afterparty" and has taken a move to treat a space like a workstation for Augury- in this case, raves/parties count as a workspace.  She sets it up with lines in the dirt drawn in a big circle, a blue light form K-Mart in the middle being flicked on and off, while people dance to music and manages to get a stable conduit to the Maelstrom.

Not just any part of the Maelstrom, but specifically, Rhyme's version of "God", because Saffron wants to know what God's deal is, since it seems to cause Rhyme to act in... less than helpful ways sometimes.   I can't even quote, but it's one of the best exchanges ever, with Saffron mostly being, "What's your deal?  Why are you being an ass?" and God basically saying, "You small-minded flea.  You don't even know what the big plan is. Look, you just keep the party going, and make sure people party -this- hard, any harder, any less, and people will start dying."

At that moment, Smith shows up and interrupts the proceedings - and hearing Saffron say she can talk to Rhyme's Maelstrom God (RMG), has this hilarious 3 way conversation where Saffron has to pass the things back and forth with RMG basically disgusted with the both of them.

Sandalwood, being dejected, decides to open his brain to the Maelstrom and ask, "I tried to do stuff to help the Rave and everyone's pissed at me, what am I doing wrong?" to which, his Chef/butcher Maelstrom God says, "Stop being a wuss, step up, make a decision of what you want."  Sandalwood heads off to go find Rhyme, "That future you wanted to make?  Let's do this."

What's really fun to see at this point is everyone's character is hitting turning points about who they are and what they're doing.  It's also great because I think we're seeing everyone's hypocrisies and issues, coming to the forefront. 


Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2011, 12:10:45 AM »
Fun moments from Smith's perspective:

* Telling hir new crew the facts of life. "This is not a playground. This is not a warzone. This is a business. You WORK for me."
* Telling off Sandalwood. "I could have killed you when you got back." Sandalwood: "I don't understand. Are you apologizing?"
* Trying REALLY, REALLY hard to get along with Rhyme. "I'm sorry if I was mean to you." "Oh, no, it's that you're a mean person IN GENERAL."  Then my invisible psychic friend prompting me: "When you say that I'm a mean person, it makes me feel blank." Smith just staring at her.

Excited to see what happens next! The rave's headed towards the mutant city, and negotiation over the gas refinery seems likely.

The end of the Rave, the beginning of empires?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2011, 12:08:25 PM »
This session began with the three way negotiation between:

- Nile- biker and hardholder of the gasoline refinery and mutant city
- Saffron - head of the Rave
- Winona - Hoarder, drug cultivator, and collector of fine goods

Initial negotiations didn't go so well, Nile holding the fort with the gatling gun at ready and offering a token 2 barrels of oil if they leave.   Winona Augustus Rockefeller III saves the negotiations by suggesting a "peace tie" put around the gun ("neon green and orange jump ropes, the double-dutch kind with the plastic bits") and a more detailed meeting during the rave.

Which, by the way, the rave was decided like this - Saffron says, "You forget, you may control everything inside the city, but out here?  I control everything out here.  We're laying Party Siege, and the party won't stop until we have a reasonable negotiation set up."

(I desperately want "Party Siege" to be a special move somewhere.)

Sandalwood is sent by Rhyme & Third to go retrieve Flamethrower the Michael and Rhyme's remaining followers.   Smith confronts Sandalwood and makes about the best deal you can get from Smith : "Go ahead, leave, but if I see you again, I'm shooting you."

Rhyme's new Skinner/religious thing is about beauty and removing ugliness- and Smith's sociopathic violence rates as something which needs to be removed - Apocalypse World will be made beautiful through careful pruning, like a bonsai.   Sandalwood isn't sure about this plan- "Who's going to take care of the Rave?"
"God will protect the Rave."

Which leads to Third, Rhyme, Sandalwood, plus followers blasting into the Rave in the uber-ambulance, music blaring, flashing lights going, armed with guns.  Smith starts shooting- armor piercing rounds ripping through the ambulance, followers spewing blood left and right.

Everyone is shooting, the shit is going down. Ravers are getting hit, and Sandalwood demands a cease fire, by going aggro on EVERYONE (including Third & Rhyme).   The violence stops, for a moment.

Bunny arrives on the scene, walks through the tense situation, up to Third.  "Come home."  And Third and her get into a shooting match, Bunny dead, Third bleeding and crawling to hook himself up to the automated medical bed.

And the shooting begins anew!  Smith rolls a 12 with an Advanced Act Under Fire and finds hirself inside the ambulance.

At this point, Nile and Princey (!) show up, with Princey looking to put Smith to dead.   She tells Sandalwood - "Just grenade the ambulance" and Sandalwood decides instead to go in with a machete.   

Outside- Saffron had begun another round of Rave/Augury and the blue flashing lights of the ambulance lead to "The Blue City" that exists within the Maelstrom, somewhere.   His followers rush the ambulance, dispersing the gangs and ending the firefight, and LIFT it up while Sandalwood and Smith commit horrible violence upon each other.

Rhyme crawls in, slams the nearly dead Smith into stasis, and throws Sandalwood on a medical table to stabilize at 11 o'clock harm.

Princey decides to have gross bloody make out with Sandalwood for helping enact her vengeance.


Three weeks later:
- Sandalwood decides to break with Rhyme.

"I don't know what your plan was, but that wasn't the way to do it.  We could have just gone after Smith, but we left a lot of people dead, people who didn't need to die.  It was sloppy, and I can't support this future of yours.  I don't see how this was going to be more beautiful"

Rhyme, touching Sandalwood's newly Disfigured face - "You were once more beautiful yourself."

He goes and signs on with W.A.R.   "I want steady pay and no drama.  One condition: I won't do acquisitions, only security."

- Nile the Queen of the Brotherhood

Princey comes to Nile.

"We need to talk.  I'm going to take the gang."
"I know.  They're yours.   Take care of them."
"I thought you'd put up a fight."
Nile shakes her head.   The bikers quietly gather their stuff, and join up at the gate, driving away from Brotherhood city.

Princey rolls her gang to W.A.R.'s holding - "My man is here, and so I'm here and my gang is with me."

- The end of the Rave

Saffron walks up to the accountant, Nickelbee. 

"Hey.   I think I need to take off.  Do my own thing.  I'm leaving the Rave in your hands.  There's something I need to go looking for.  The Blue City - there's more than one."
"Let me tell you something.  You may know how to throw a party, but you don't know business.  Here.  Take my machete, I won't need it, I'm not an accountant anymore."

Saffron heads over to Third & Rhyme.

"The Rave?  I think I was trying to make it a business when it should have been something else.  This needs to be a journey, a religion.  Let's go find it together."

- Smith is always in control

One night, when the ambulance is empty for the moment, Half Pint sneaks in and gets Smith out of Stasis.

W.A.R enters his office and finds Smith waiting.

"Close the door.   Let's make a deal."

We figure Smith negotiates back into being security for W.A.R.  Which probably means some kind of really intense negotiation would have to happen to stop Princey & Sandalwood and Smith from killing each other... but provided that can happen, W.A.R basically has a small army of the most dangerous motherfuckers around.  (shudder).

Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2011, 12:20:04 PM »
Anyway, that's all stuff that happened.

Here's how I felt:

I found it really interesting how I came to care about all these characters and the shit they're going through, and their vulnerabilities and failures.  Definitely all of them had problems inflicting their problems on each other, mostly in the form of irresponsibility or misplaced idealism or rash action.

I joked early on that a travelling Rave is basically like a college co-op house- a lot of idealistic folks get together, probably held by a charismatic head, and spend a little too much time kicking it and partying and not enough time paying bills.   And pretty much that's how it played out, with a lot more blood and guns and psychic nightmare maelstrom to go.

Despite the lack of sex moves, I really liked the emotional ties everyone had, and felt sad about them breaking as play went on.

I also found myself feeling for the NPCs, a lot of whom were caught up as much as anyone else.  (Except the Brunos.  Those guys were assholes.)


This was fun.  I did want to see Dev slap us with a lot more hard moves.  Liam was frustrated especially since player vs. player conflict failed Interfere rolls should also see some kind of consequences - I agree.   The climax was tough because everyone started talking at the same time and it seemed to be a bit overwhelming for Dev in the moment.

I'd love for anyone to start a thread on best practices for A) Getting order out of chaos at the table, and how to handle that when everyone wants to do something at the same time, B) mentally prepping yourself to deliver hot steaming fuckery as the game demands.


Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2011, 11:39:08 PM »
The bloody shootout as Rhyme and Third barreled into the Rave blasting Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son" was maybe the most gratifying moment of payoff I have ever had in an RPG.

As an MC, Dev is definitely much nicer and engages the rules less than I am used to (of course, I am used to Vincent, who is a beautiful and brilliant sadist when the system allows him to be). I wasn't always on board with where Rhyme's story was going, but I'm okay with where it ended up.

Looking back, I see it as almost kind of a "coming of age" story for most of the characters - trading idealism for cynicism. Except for Smith, who was always kind of a realistic cynic, and WAR, who basically learned that his life's philosophy will always pay off.

Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2011, 02:15:42 AM »
I'd love for anyone to start a thread on best practices for A) Getting order out of chaos at the table, and how to handle that when everyone wants to do something at the same time

go around the table

Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2011, 05:25:42 PM »
Just wanted to drop in and say Thank You for sharing your campaign's story. I think I got to know the game better by reading it. And had a lot of fun.
a friend in need is a friend indeed

Re: AP: Traveling rave, creepy forests, and techno-trances
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2011, 08:28:12 PM »

Some of my favorite moments:

* Smith interrogating Sandalwood. "I'm reading you." "Cool. I'll roll to help you."
* Sandalwood yelling at Rhyme later. "You did exactly what Smith would do in that situation. How is that better?"
* Chris forgot to mention that Half-Pint came to help me because I seduced him earlier, just in case.

Things did get a little messy, initiative-wise, when the big fight happened, but I think things worked out okay. I still don't know why Third was so mad at me.