AP: Dam Big

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AP: Dam Big
« on: March 11, 2012, 11:48:47 PM »
So, due to a number of factors, the occasional Saturday group was open to try something new. I suggested AW, and several people were interested to try it.

I have few concrete ideas, but I figure that's all to the good. AW is not about scripted encounters or overarching plots, it's about relationships and character interaction, which develop as time goes by. I had to whip up something solid to start with, but plan to mine the player character-added elements for more elements.

For the first session my group consisted of Cullen, the Savvyhead (probably will migrate to Coot when he has enough experience), Spot the Gunlugger, Setter the Angel, and Agent Chessman the Agent. Not present for the first session but coming in later will be Kentucky the Ruin-Runner.

For the start-up, I drew a (crappy) relief map of Dam Big, the remains of the Hoover Dam, in an advanced state of disrepair. (It's always been my favorite dam because it has hood ornaments. And a starmap!) Lake Mead became the Silt Sea, a lake with a large amount of silty deposits that contain radioactives and poisons; so long as nothing stirs up the heavy silts, the top layer is relatively safe, and a population of Skimmers live off of (sickly) fish they catch in this layer. Las Vegas became Lost Vision, a ruin squabbled over by several competing warlords and some resident grotesques. To the east is the Burn Flats (dry as a bone), to the north the Rag-Waste, to the northwest the Glow, to the west the Mud Flats, and to the south the Big Dry. The characters started out in Big Dam itself.

I started with Agent Chessman since it seemed the obvious place to start. He finds himself on top of the dam, in the middle. "This doesn't look like Prague," he thinks. He heads toward the west end of the dam and finds a barricade on the road there. He approaches an open service door and introduces himself to Rum and Grome, two watchmen. Rum scampers down to alert Spot while Grome keeps Chessman in the "Interview Room," the room at the bottom of the stairs.

Spot grabs his 9mm and goes over to talk to Chessman. He starts off by shooting at him to intimidate him and then shoots at him whenever he gets an answer he doesn't like. He wants to know where Chessman came from and who sent him, but Chessman keeps telling him he doesn't have Clearance to know.

Setter hears gunshots from his infirmary at the bottom of the dam and walks up to see what's going on and make sure they don't need his services. He calms the situation, taking charge of Chessman while Spot paranoiacally goes to check the Armory to make sure nothing is missing.

Setter decides to find Chessman temporary housing in rooms previously occupied by people who've gone MIA. He tries to explain the local set-up to Chessman, including the concept of barter. Chessman misunderstands and gives Setter his wallet as a tip, keeping his cash and documentation.

Cullen arrives to work on the one remaining generator that still works (Generator 01). He runs into Chessman, takes his measure, decides he's as nutty as the rest, and goes below with his helper Thuy.

While Thuy starts cleaning out the filters that keep the generator from getting silted up, Cullen works on some of his side projects, kept under tarps near Generator 01. Most of the hardhold's people live in ramshackle accommodations on the rest of the generator room, which is a massive internal structure.

Thuy has problems getting one filter out. Cullen helps him lever up the filter and finds, in the mesh, a globe somewhat smaller than a bowling ball, colored green and glowing slightly in the near-darkness of the room. He starts checking it out.

Spot finds that, every time he checks the inventory of the Armory, he gets slightly different results. He's the only one with a key (he's Insano like Drano -- who's going to take it from him to make a copy), so he's obsessive about it. His inventory, of course, is a bunch of drawings in crayon on a dirty sheet of paper, so his accounting leaves something to be desired. He goes to talk to the hardholder.

I'd tried to keep the hardholder position undefined in case the absent player wanted to play one, but this forced my hand so it became Uncle, the one man Spot respects in Dam Big. Uncle appreciates his report on the newcomer, and offers to task one of his men to recheck the Armory inventory.

Uncle sees to Chessman while Setter is still there. Uncle does a short interview, trying to determine if Chessman has anything of value to offer the settlement. He comes away thinking Chessman's the fruitiest fruitcake in the asylum; he also has a few hundred in Prague currency as a "tip." Later on, there's a guard posted on the corridor leading to that area, "just in case he's really crazy."

Setter decides to go out and scavenge the ruins nearby. He visits the remnants of the Hoover Dam Gift Shop, which is not in the Dam proper. He spots two bikes out in front and determines that there are two chopper gang members inside. He's trying to figure out what to do when a shot rings out.

And that's where I called it. Short because of little time.

I'm having issues determine Fronts. The threats are obvious, but the Fronts aren't always. Also, I need to figure out a custom move for normal people who want to scavenge the ruins, that can't be anywhere as good as the Ruin-Runner's ability. I'll also make a custom move for fishing the Silt Sea; my idea is there are valuable things lost in there, and dangerous, too. I'm thinking there's something related to the psychic maelstrom in the Rag-Waste, and a rival hardholder named Dremmer and a chopper gang leader named Foster. That's where I'm at.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 12:58:59 AM by AlHazred »

Re: Custom Moves
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 11:57:37 AM »
Any constructive criticism on these would be appreciated.
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The Big Dry is a sandy expanse of rolling hills that continues to the southern horizon with no breaks. Periodically the constant winds will expose strange forms briefly before burying them again. When you venture onto the Big Dry, roll+hard. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1.
* you make it where you wanted to go.
* you get there fast.
* you don't take 1-harm from the harsh conditions.
* you don't become blinded by sun-glare and wind-borne grit.
* you find something strange in the sand.

The Burn Flats to the east are dry wastelands, full of sand bowls separated by small copses of tough weeds grown to enormous size. Sometimes, the copses of Burn Weed surround small ruins that date from the time before it all went to shit. When you try to cross the Burn Flats, roll+sharp. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1.
* you make it where you wanted to go.
* you get there fast.
* you don't take 1-harm from the harsh conditions.
* you don't take s-harm from hallucinations.
* you find a pre-apocalypse ruin.

To the north you'll find the Rag-Waste, a region of hills and mountains covered with debris. When storms roll in from the Burn Flats and the water runs in torrents down the mountainsides, it will sometimes deposit things from elsewhere or expose some item from the ruins that dot the peaks. The psychic maelstrom rages with particular fury in these parts. When you brave the Rag-Waste, roll+weird. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1.
* you don't get lost.
* you don't take 1-harm from the harsh conditions.
* you don't pick up a weird vibe (take -1ongoing until you successfully open your brain to the psychic maelstrom).
* you find oddments worth 1-barter.
* you find something useful.

Lost Vision is the ruins of Las Vegas. To most, it's a pit of scum and villainy overflowing with chopper gang members, strange cultists, and mutants that squabble over its ever-diminishing resources -- drugs like Bliss and Trill, relics of the old times, and fresh meat for slave-pits or cannibal feasts. When you go to Lost Vision, roll+cool. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1.
* you don't get ambushed by choppers/mutants/cultists.
* you get in without being spotted.
* you get back without getting lost.
* you don't see anything disturbing (take -1ongoing until you get clear of the place).
* you scavenge oddments worth 1-barter.
* you find something useful.
* you learn something interesting.

New Gear:
* stillsuit (worn hi-tech valuable)
This full-body suit lets you pick one extra option when you roll a success when venture onto the Big Dry or cross the Burn Flats. If you fail the roll, you might break the stillsuit.
* tourist map (valuable)
This ancient tourist map of Las Vegas is colorful, detailed, and informative - keeping in mind that its information is more than fifty years out of date. When you go to Lost Vision, you can choose an extra option on a success. If you fail the roll, you might lose the map.