AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer

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AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« on: July 16, 2012, 08:21:34 PM »
We played this at London Indiemeet to coincide with the MH release party in May, but I just finished writing up the last part. I figured I would cross-post it here as perhaps the best repository of MH AP.

Having picked skins and talked through the set-up, we decided we were in Purgatory, Nebraska: a medium-sized mid-west town with farmers, cattle ranchers, religious types, a biker gang and, of course, a high school containing:
- Raksha Jones the Chosen, who had moved to Purgatory because her father had taken a job there, and quickly adopted Scoobies Tracy and Brad.
- Eva Tinman the Hollow, an abandoned child in a foster home and also a genetically engineered construct from some illegal or secret scientific project.
- Chase the Werewolf, a scruffy trailer trash teenager from a broken home who turns into a wolf but doesn’t know why.
- Georgia the Ghoul, a love hungry goth resurrected from a car crash that killed her boyfriend.
- Logan the Infernal, an addict, chasing the latest high who’d done a deal with a Trickster demi-god (though what the Trickster got out of it was never really that clear).

Going through the backstory, we were found ourselves in quite a nice, almost Fiasco-style, starting position with everyone connected to two of the other players. Raksha the Chosen was idolised by Eva the Hollow who follows her around, copying what she wears and how she behaves. Eva was in turn stalked by Chase the Werewolf because she ‘smells wrong’. Chase meanwhile already sniffed out Georgia the Ghoul who has developed a pseudo-brother/sister relationship with him because he’s unwilling to give her the physical love she craves. Georgia meanwhile has a bone to pick with Logan the Infernal because he sold her boyfriend the bad batch which led to the car crash that killed her. Logan meanwhile is running out of bones to be picked on as he has been increasingly pissing off every single ne’er-do-well in the town, however Raksha the Chosen keeps dragging his sorry ass out of trouble because she’s convinced that he can be saved.

The story kicked off with Logan hanging out in the biker bar at the edge of town and getting himself into trouble blood-gambling with the local vamp gang. Nathaniel, Aloysius and Trevor the vamps round on him and it turns out that Logan’s in debt, pints and pints of debt.

Just as they start roughing him up, Raksha the Chosen appears on the scene (reasoning that this was just the sort of place that she’d go looking for trouble) and starts laying the smacketh down on the vamps and getting a smack back in return. Pulling Logan from the bar, she makes another attempt to get Logan on the straight and narrow. He promises he’ll keep his nose clean in the future, then steals one of the biker’s bikes and races off.

Eva the Hollow, meanwhile, has been carrying on her daily routine of stalking Raksha. Following her through a car-park, however, Eva discovers that she’s been followed herself as Chase the Werewolf decides enough is enough and goes and confronts her. Chase demands to know who she is, what she is, because he knows she doesn’t smell right. Eva, not knowing how to lie, responds truthfully that she’s Eva. Eva drags Chase into a nearby café run by Joe who is a former minor league baseball player who turned to an unsuccessful career in armed robber (yes, that was Eva’s player’s initial description of some random café owner). Chase continues to pressure Eva as to her nature and it was then that we discovered that, not only did Eva not know how to lie, she also didn’t know how to shut up!

(Eva, with her blank stare and child-like, innocent, questioning monotonic voice) “Chase, why are you getting angry?”
“I’m not getting angry!”
“Yes, you are. Why are you so angry all the time? Is it because you live in a trailer and you smell pretty bad and all your clothes are really old and torn? Is it because your father ran away when you were only a baby and now you’ve got a step-father who hits you and because your mother sleeps with a lot of other men and because you’re not very smart and so you probably won’t graduate from high school and that means you won’t get a job and have to live on the streets and let old men do things to you in alleyways so that you can get money to eat-”

At this point, Chase lost it a little and gave Eva a shove to shut her up. Eva stays inhumanly rigid as she falls, hitting the ground perfectly flat and giving Chase another hint as to her true nature. Joe doesn’t like to see a girl being roughed up and starts on at Chase, but Chase pulls up his hoodie and is out of there.

Stomping away, Chase picks up a familiar scent, that of a lust-filled Georgia the Ghoul. He traces it to the backyard of the biker bar where Georgia has picked up Harry the Biker and is just about to make his solar year. Already on edge, Chase squares up to Harry. “I hope you brought protection.” But then tries (and fails miserably) to shut Georgia down or manipulate Harry away. He reminds Harry that she’s underage, which makes him pause for thought, but a quick Turn On roll from Georgia dispels any such concerns. Harry mocks the teenage Chase and he and Georgia head into the cornfield out back. Chase loses it, his temper lost, he transforms into his Darkest Self and launches himself on Harry. Harry, horrified by the teen’s transmutation into a wolf-monster is defenceless, however Georgia is not. She went Dark, grabbed a rock and smacked it over the back of Dark-Chase’s head.

Dark-Chase left the terrified Harry and turned on Dark-Georgia. During set-up, we’d agreed that the player wouldn’t have control of Chase as his Darkest Self and so his reaction to Dark-Georgia was left to the group. He was either going to lay into Dark-Georgia or _lay into_ her. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t a close call. We drew a veil at that point, noting only that Harry the Biker was not having a good day. Having thought he was going to get lucky with a goth nymphette walking on the wild side, he ended up not only being forced to witness some punk teenager transforming into a wolf-monster, but that same wolf-monster and goth nymphette going at it hammer and tongs in a bestialphilic/necrophilic/quasi-incestuous congress until both their Darkest Selves were exhausted. And to top it all off, the only reason he was still at that bar was because earlier his bike had been stolen by some junkie kid. And this was just the third scene.

Cue the next day at school. Eva the Hollow, with a shiner from her fall the day before, was at the front of the class, freaking out the Mormon kid sitting beside her. The rest of the cast made up the back row, with Raksha the Chosen typically late, Logan the Infernal listening to his ipod and clicking his pen incessantly and, in the corner, Georgia the Ghoul cosying up to the extremely uncomfortable Chase the Werewolf who still had cornstalks in his clothes. Chase already hated his werewolf side, now he hated what it had made him do with someone who he really wasn’t into. And what made it worse was their respective Sex Moves that had a) had given Georgia the ‘sex with Chase’ hunger and b) given Chase a spirit connection with her so that as soon as she did hump someone else he’d know all about it.

Recess came and Georgia got bustled off to the washroom by the class alpha-girl who wanted Chase for herself. Meanwhile, who should appear at the school, but Harry the Biker in the company of two police officers on the quest to find the kid who stole his bike (which, as it turns out, Logan has left in the school parking lot). Turns out that in Purgatory, Nebraska, the bikers are so outgunned by the other nasties around the place that they feel perfectly at ease calling in the police to settle their disputes (and the police are so underworked that they’ll actually do something about it). Harry and the cops come into the classroom and he fingers Logan for stealing his bike, then he sees Chase, his heart freezes and he stammers out that he was involved too.

One of the cops knows Chase well and figures him guilty of something. Logan denies everything, Chase refuses to defend himself. Eva rises to his defence however saying completely sincerely “Chase can’t have stolen the bike because when it was being stolen he was hitting me!” and points to her black eye.

The cop’s eyebrows shoot up, the cuffs go on, and Logan and Chase are hauled away. Eva’s perplexed as to why her statement didn’t clear everything up and walks out of school after Harry the Biker, determined to get him to tell the truth.

Georgia the Ghoul meanwhile returns from her altercation with the alpha-girl in the washroom to discover Logan and, more-importantly, Chase gone. She feels the hunger and needs Chase, preferably Dark-Chase, back again. She’s not confident of her ability to flirt her way into the police station’s holding cells however, so she figures she needs some help from Raksha the Chosen. Raksha doesn’t play ball. Tired of getting Logan out of supernatural trouble, she’s more than content to let him cool his heels for a while. Georgia goes after the Scoobies instead, figuring if they get in trouble Raksha’s going to come after them. Tracy’s a no-go, unwilling to hack into the police computer and get Chase released. Brad the idiot, however, is far more pliable.

Eva the Hollow, having calmly absconded from school, follows Harry the Biker into a shooting range where he’s meeting up with his old buddy Joe to blow off some guns and some steam. Eva walks right down the alleys, taps Joe on the shoulder and convinces him to let her have a private word with Harry. Harry ignores her until she picks up Joe’s pistol and, without looking away from Harry, unloads the clip into the target in a perfect vertical line. This further weirdness gets Harry’s attention and, when he tries to threaten her, she calls immediately for Joe who returns, ready to defend her. Harry looks at Eva’s shooting and crumbles, and Eva leads him out of the range and back towards the police station.

Not long after, Tracy the Scoobie alerts Raksha to the fact that Georgia and Brad the Idiot are heading down to the cop shop. Sighing, Raksha decides to go after them.

And now, everyone’s converging on the police station to get Chase (and maybe also Logan) out of hokie. Of course, right then, another power intervened…

Re: AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 08:23:40 PM »
The cops yank Logan the Infernal out of the holding cell. His lawyer is here to see him. He gets shown into a private interview room and sees his patron, the Trickster demi-god, who’s here to offer him a deal.

Outside, the cavalry was coming – in dribs and drabs. Georgia the Ghoul and Brad the idiot (who had Ghost Recon’ed up with camo paint and combats), having failed to find an alternate insertion point, come in through the front door and head over to the desk sergeant. Georgia’s attempt to seduce her way past (or indeed under) the desk sergeant gets interrupted by the arrival of Eva the Hollow leading a freaked and beaten Harry the Biker, there to drop all charges against Chase.

Back in the cells, however, Chase the Werewolf is being taunted through the bars by Officer Johnson. Then Johnson starts on what a loser Chase’s father was and that finally pushes the teen too far. He charges at Johnson into the bars and then *smack* he bounces off and falls on his ass.

(To commentate here, Chase’s player was trying the ‘Uncontainable’ skin move. He’d been itching to try it out, even volunteering to get arrested alongside Logan just so he could break out. The time finally came, he rolled and failed hard – to the collective groan of the MC and the rest of the group who’d all been hoping for some awesome prison-break action. The natural course of the plot felt stymied and we wondered what justification we could have to get a second chance at the roll. Then we recalled that Chase’s trigger wasn’t really his departed-father, it was someone else closer to hand.)

Georgia the Ghoul slips past the desk sergeant who was besieged by an insistent Eva, a penitent Harry and now also Raksha the Chosen and Tracy who’d turned up to berate Brad the idiot for being an idiot. She slinks down the corridor towards the holding cells, her carrion sex musk spreading ahead of her. It fills Chase’s senses as the werewolf within smells its mate approaching. Starting to change, Chase heaves the cell bars apart and starts to reach out. A terrified Officer Johnson goes for his gun and Georgia throws herself between him and the transforming Chase. Johnson fires and Chase is splattered with blood and brain from the new hole blown through Georgia’s skull. Dark-Chase and Johnson both watch Georgia’s body as it topples to the ground. Dark-Chase howls and Johnson flees.

The howl from the cells is enough to break up the commotion at the entrance. Raksha the Chosen barrels past the desk sergeant and gets to the scene just in time to see a blood-splashed Dark-Chase haul Georgia’s dead(er) body up in his arms and smash out an exit.

Meanwhile, in the interview room, the incorporeal Trickster is pulling on Logan's strings. Having the Chosen in town is cramping his voodoo. He wants her gone with and he wants Logan to pull the trigger. Logan whines and weedles and squirms and squeals, but his dark master is having none of it. Logan is bound to take her of Raksha at his next opportunity. Just then, they hear the howl and the smashing of glass from the cells.

(At this point our timeline was a bit screwy. We played out the Infernal scene after the escape scene, however once it was done, we realised that it should have been placed beforehand - as this quiet conversation couldn't really happen as a wolf-monster was tearing the station apart. The Infernal scene ended with the camera pulling back behind the one-way mirror in the interview room to show Eva watching the exchange through the glass and mechanically drinking cop-coffee from a styrofoam cup. With the correct timeline, though, she was still tied up with the desk sergeant and so couldn't have witnessed that conversation. This can be explained retrospectively, however, by saying that Eva was using her built-in wifi (this, along with a few other surprises about the Hollow, was narrated in in the final part) to watch the conversation through a security cam or that after the station got trashed she watched it as recorded footage.)

Raksha pursues Chase until she finally tackles him just outside town. He lays Georgia’s body down and the Wolf Monster and the Chosen (who was practically her Dark Self by this point anyway) tear into each other. Both are soon bloodied and bruised and Dark-Chase opens his senses to determine his enemy’s weakness. At that moment, it arrives in the form of Tracy and Brad who’ve come running after ‘to help’. Sensing the Chosen’s vulnerability, Dark-Chase leaps away from her to attack her friends. Brad, seeing the Wolf Monster approaching, turns around, slips off his backpack and whirls back, by pure fluke catching Dark-Chase a blow around the head and giving him the condition ‘sleeping dog’.

We decided that, given he was unconscious, Chase would revert to his human form in front of Raksha and her Scoobies. Surprised to see that this slavering monster is one of their classmates, they decide they need to help cure Chase and so haul him into their Mystery Machine to take him back to school. They realise that Georgia is far beyond help and so regretfully leave her body for the police. Tracy drives the injured Raksha and the unconscious Chase off while Brad, on his bike, says a final goodbye to Georgia.

Reminiscing of her earlier seduction of him that will now never be consummated, he holds her cold flesh in his arms and embraces her. To which see replies “Just a little bit lower, honey,” and grabs his ass. Brad pulls away in surprise and sees the gaping hole in her head close-up. She smiles, strokes his crotch and says “Ah, you’re glad to see me.” Brad screams in terror and tears away. Georgia shakes her head, picks herself up, looks down at herself and thanks the unholy that bloodstains don’t show up on her goth black outfit. Through their spirit connection, she knows that her one-and-future lover is captured and headed back into town and so sets off after him.

Re: AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 08:24:25 PM »
So, Raksha the Chosen and her Scoobies are hauling the unconscious Chase the Werewolf back to school. Georgia the Ghoul, having just healed a bullet-wound to the head is thumbing a lift after them. Logan the Infernal has just been given an offer he can't refuse and Eva the Hollow...? Well, Eva was being Eva.

Having stuck behind at the police station to watch Logan through her FM WiFi strike the deal with the incorporeal Trickster to kill the Chosen, she walks over to Raksha's house in order to warn her. Finding her not at home, she lets herself in with a copy of the front door key, modulates her voice to imitate Raksha's as she calls hello to her mother, and then walks up to Raksha's bedroom in order to leave her a note:

"Dear Raksha,
Have borrowed your Bon Jovi CD.
PS Logan wants to kill you
E x"

And then heads off to see if Raksha is at school.

Raksha is - though she has greater concerns at present with a 200lb unconcious lycanthropic classmate. Unsure what to make of Chase, she chains him up in the school basement boiler room and sends the Scoobies off to hit the books to learn about werewolves while she stands guard. Regarding the ragged, superbly muscled, young man chained before her, bruised and bleeding from the wounds she herself inflicted, Raksha cannot help but be stirred by his humanity.

Cautiously at first, she reaches down and starts tending to his injuries. As her hands move across his warm, taut skin, Chase's eyes slowly open and his hand moves to cover hers - and then move further to trace the gouges his dark self inflicted on her. Raksha pulls away and starts to question him. Chase answers, grudgingly at first, explaining what truly happened at the police station and about Georgia, and then with greater candor as he realises that she is not judging him for his curse. He confesses as to the wolf started to emerge from himself over the last year, but he has no idea what caused it or how to stop it.

But someone does. Upstairs in the library, the Scoobies have found a 'cure' to lycanthropy in the form of wolfsbane. (Raksha's player having already picked up a string on Chase by using Mercy, then passed her To The Books move giving Chase the condition Secret Weakness). While it will not rid Chase of the wolf altogether, it will prevent him transforming. Excited, Tracy and Brad the idiot run off to tell Raksha.

In the basement, though, it's more than just the antiquated boiler warming the air. Guilty at the injuries he caused, Raksha has allowed Chase to tend to the nasty claw mark across her back and his hands have started to slide down around her sides. Their impending heat, however, is interrupted by a sudden cold front - Georgia the Ghoul has arrived.

With moisture droplets condensing on her chilly skin, she stalks towards the the two of them, her hunger for her 'brother'/lover igniting a terrible jealousy and wrath towards the Chosen.

"He's mine!"

Raksha, despite her momentary lapse, has no time for such pettiness and steps away. "All yours!"

Before the situation can develop further, the Scoobies burst in with their discovery of a cure and then promptly recoiled at the sight of Georgia standing there. Raksha decides to leave, taking her Scoobies with her, they bump into Eva in the hall and, as Eva starts to explain to Raksha that she borrowed her Bon Jovi CD and that Logan was coming to kill her, the Scoobies go cook up the wolfsbane.

Georgia and Chase are left alone together, but events do not transpire as the Ghoul might have hoped as Chase rebuffs her advances. She tries to provoke his darkest self, but for first time in a long time he's calm. He is about to be cured. Deep within himself, however, he feels a knot of anxiety. He feels the wolf-spirit buried deep down within his psyche, it is howling a warning. Within his mind, Chase sees two different futures - one, where he is human, only human, once more and his friends are dead and the town of Purgatory is burning to the ground - and a second, where he is the wolf-monster, but he is a warrior fighting alongside others to defend what he holds dear.

Chase emerges from the vision exhausted (Chase's player rolled a partial success in Gazing into the Abyss and chose to have lucid visions, but leave Chase drained) just as Tracy the Scooby return with the wolfsbane cure (Brad the idiot deciding to avoid the corpse-girl who turned him on). Georgia, fearful of losing her Dark-Chase lover, tries to stop Tracy giving him the cure, but Raksha restrains her. Chase at first appears to ready to take it, only to lash out with a desperate swipe, knocking the cure from Tracy's hand and drenching Georgia with it. Aghast, the Ghoul could only stand there as the wolfsbane cure infused into her dead skin.

Eva, who has spent her time building some weird object and was now reading a book about cats (or hats, I forget which), picks up something on her FM WiFi: it's Logan, come to seal his infernal deal, and - just in case a teenage ADD junkie wasn't going to have the rest of us quivering in fear - the Trickster is backing him up with a squad of vampire goons. Logan goes ahead, invites them all over the school threshold and then is carried along after the Chosen.

(This is actually where Eva's FM WiFi was narrated into the game, but - looking back - the plot makes more sense if we assume that she had it from the start.)

Logan and the Trickster head into the science lab after Brad the idiot, while the vampire goons look to take down Raksha and Eva. Eva puts down her book about hats (or cats) picks up the weird sci-fi object she built, which starts to look suspiciously like some kind of blaster gun, and points it at the vamps, and asks them to make her day. The vamps hesitate a moment and are caught by Eva's unblinking stare. They might be undead, but at least they remembered what it was like to be alive. The small girl with the strange weapon in front of them had no trace of life about her at all. With Eva holding them at bay, Raksha went after Logan and the Trickster.

(We were pushing the rules for narrative convenience here. I don't have the Hollow skin so I can't be sure what move the player was using, but I'm pretty sure - whatever it was - that if we were playing strictly to the rules Eva wouldn't have been able to do that. Anyway, we wanted a showdown between Raksha and Logan and so we assumed all the vamps had the condition Not Me First to keep the stand-off and let the story continue.)

So, the final showdown, Raksha entered the science lab, the bunsen burners on each table aflame as though they were the towers of hell. On the floor lay Brad the idiot's unconscious form and standing over him stood Logan the Infernal who was loosing his soul for the power to fulfil his bargain. Beside him appeared the Trickster demi-god who took the moment to offer the Chosen a deal. Raksha Jones would have none of it and squared up to take him down.

The Trickster set Logan to attack. His reedy voice cried as hard it could and he charged. As the Trickster watched with glee, Raksha said:

"I know a bad workman blames his tools..."

She then picked up a stool, neatly smashed Logan across the side of the head and knocked him out.

"...But your tools are a pile of crud."

She launched the stool at the Trickster who did not blink as it sailed through his incorporeal form. With a final curse, he disappeared.

That pretty much wrapped up the plot. Apart from one thing, as Raksha carried the unconscious Brad the idiot back to the library, she passed Eva. The Hollow was back reading her book about cats and hats, her scifi weapon was carelessly discarded to one side, and behind her on the wall was a new frieze displaying the shadows of seven vampiric figures contorted in agony.

Normally, Alex said, he would have had us do epilogues, but for this game he thought it would be more fun to have us treat the story as the pilot for a tv series and have us describe clips from the season that would follow. I don't remember Logan the Infernal's, but I think these were the others:

Raksha the Chosen: after a terrible battle, she and Chase take refuge together and find themselves consumating their shared lust, only to have Georgia the Ghoul watching them from outside.

Georgia the Ghoul: Dark-Chase is finally out again and Georgia has tracked him down. Ready to satisfy her yearning hunger, she allows the wolf-monster to snatch her up into his grasp, but as soon as he does the wolfsbane in her skin make him revert to normal-Chase and he pushes her away.

Chase the Werewolf: It's full-moon and Chase is chained, transforming into a monster, except this time, after the transformation, he stands up and speaks as Chase. He finally has control.

Eva the Hollow: Eva knocks open the front door of a dingy one-level house. Harry the Biker is sitting, calming his nerves in a recliner with a beer, which he promptly chokes on when he sees Eva Tinman. Eva then tells him:

"Harry, I need you to adopt me."

Re: AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 09:14:29 PM »
Just one question:

Why u no record?

Re: AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 07:27:10 AM »
Oh, and turn it into a novel, please. I'd pay $8.99 on amazon to read it, even just for the extended dialogue.

Re: AP: Purgatory Nebraska, 1-shot Cho/ Ghu/ Hol/ Inf/ Wer
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 07:57:25 PM »
Pretty much every word out of Eva Tinman's mouth should have been recorded for posterity, alas, we played it at London Indiemeet which meant that it was one of five games running concurrently in a small basement of a pub and so taping it - even if we'd have known what we'd come up with - was impossible.