Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.

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Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« on: September 04, 2010, 02:19:09 PM »
Padriac, J.J., K.K., Barry, Brandy, you probably should not read this.

I got home and got excited.  My buddy, Witt, was in town and we sat up and talked about gaming and life and shit.  I started asking questions about New York City, about where our game taking place just outside The City, could be set.  He mentioned Duchess County and we were off and running.

Maps, links, bookmarking shit, reading wikipedia and so on.  I'm thinking of printing out a Revolutionary War era map and marking it up with a sharpie.

The Hudson River has some fun toys.  West Point.  The Indian Point Nuclear Plant.  Spook Rock.  Crazy tides with brackish water.

I vaguely remembered how to make Fronts.  I jotted shit down.

Death Point: site of nuclear reactor and the descendants of the engineers who have tried to mitigate the radiation leakage who now fight a religious war against the fading plant's inner workings.

Landscape: Furnace
With doomsday clock that will note when the radiation entirely destroys the Hudson River.

Army Point: At first this was going to be a front, but after talking it over with Witt, we decided that the army of West Point is a myth.  Some guy in some hold was killed because he was a spy for the army.  A tank was seen in the woods by X.  That kinda shit.

Kip-town: A hold built around a bridge and lots but lots of cargo containers (the FDR mid-Hudson bridge in Poughkeepsie, NY).

Brutes -> Hunting Pack
The bastards sent from Kip-town to destroy all bridges and barges that can get across the river so that Kipsie has control of all river crossings.

Coop: Projects in Brooklyn ruled by Dog Head.  Fear of him played a prominent role in the first game.  I thought he should be among the fronts.

Warlord -> Slaver
Moving slaves up and down the river and maybe even down the coast.

So, those are the vague ideas put vaguely into Front-like shapes.  Now I'll re-read the Fronts and Threats chapter and sharpen it all up before next game.

To be continued.  Thoughts appreciated.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 02:23:14 PM by Judd »

Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 02:33:47 PM »
Awesome bloody fingerprints.

Inspired as I was after the first session, I got stuck for a bit on Fronts for a bit.

1) I found the Front sheets were not great for me for writing all I wanted to in the spaces provided.  I used them, but then ended up transferring them to notebook paper.

2) I think it's okay to have a home Front that has a bunch of threats (more than four) if you're not quite sure where they should go, and to have some fronts only have two Threats (the book says three or four).  Once I was okay with that, I got unstuck.

3) Looking forward to hearing about the custom moves you end up coming up with.  It'll be like seeing more Mu design...  Might be helpful to think about it in those terms even.  You're making your new Dictionary of Duchess Country...  :)



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 03:25:50 PM »
I see, I think I started to create 3 different fronts with 1 threat each or something.

How many fronts should we create?

Just 1?

Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 04:43:51 PM »
Army Point can be an Affliction - Delusion or possibly Custom.  The idea that it's a folk tale rather than something specifically real. There's a lot of neat condition moves you can make based on the Army point rumors and stories. 

I suggest two to three fronts, but use two actively and use the move "announce Future badness" on a lot of the third front. 

Fronts are themed by Fundamental Scarcities. They are a series of linked threats.   Here's a couple of examples of fronts, based on your ideas so far.

Take Death Point. You can take all the aspects of Death Point, and make it a single Front nased on Ignorance.  Call it "Ground Zero" or something similarly nuclear related.

Then you have the Landscape Furnace as one threat, but then also you might have one group, a Brute-Cult who worships the place, and then add in some Grotesques - Perversion of Birth who are actively trying to make the plant melt down, because they want to see it burn. (simple motivations!) That dispute could be the source of the holy war, maybe the cult treat the place like a prison, and the grotesques want to free their imprisoned God.

And then add an Affliction on top of all that, A disease Affliction of Radiation sickness.  So that's four different threats tied to the Front of Ignorance, dealing with the Nuclear Plant of Death Point.

Don't forget the Dark Future!  What happens if the players do nothing about this?  It's great because it's a direction for the fiction.

Then the finished Front looks like this: 

Ground Zero
Affliction: Ignorance
Dark Future: When the plant melts down, the entire Hudson River dies, and fallout kills the land around it. 

Death Point - Landscape (Furnace)
(some details about the landscape, and the countdown)

The Cult of the Atom - Brute (Cult)
(Put down some names and motivations)

The Glowing Ones - Grotesque (Perversion of Birth)
(Again, names and motivations.  These are still People, remember)

The Burning Fever - Affliction (Disease)
(Another countdown indicating the advancement of this disease, and perhaps some notes on how to cure it, a custom move perhaps?)

Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 05:08:52 PM »
Boo!  My warring groups are crap.  Let's make them better.

Cult of the Atom (Brute - Cult)
They want to provide the power of their God to everyone. Their God will power the machines, and bring light to the darkness, and a second golden age to the world.

The Glowing Ones (Grotesque - Mutant)
These people are afflicted by the Burning Sickness, and believe that they must keep the God in it's cage, allowing it to slumber, and not ever using the power for fear of destruction.

That's much better.  No Goatee Twirling villains in this scenario.  
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 05:14:40 PM by Glendower »



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 01:09:39 AM »

I wasn't looking for folks to do my barfing for me, more just looking for nudges in the right direction.

Thank you for the enthusiasm, though.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 03:37:32 AM »
I've been trying to have a couple different kinds of Fronts so that we can play with different kinds of threats, one conventional military one, one weird one, an affliction... I'm still trying to figure out when to make the transition from a few thematically linked threats to an actual Front, though.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 01:32:41 AM »
I am writing up the various forces that are grinding the Hudson River Valley area of Duchess County up as one front with 4 threats.  It is coming along pretty well, using the examples in the book as guidance.  I will post up the Fronts as soon as I have them.

About 3 of four are done.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 10:18:19 PM »
Front is called: Hudson River Valley on the knife's edge.

Expresses: War

Dark Future/Agenda: The valley folk scramble for control and security before winter settles in.

Stakes: Will Dog head take over Pole, thus controlling land routes in and out of the city.

Will the nuclear plant irradiate the Hudson?

Will Kispie control the river?

Threat 1 - Warlord

Kind: Slaver
Impulse: own and sell people

Description and Cast: Dog head wants to take over Pole, thus controlling land routes and trade for all city scavenging.  Ultimately, he wants to run slaves up and down the Hudson and eventually, up and down the eastern seaboard.

Custom Move:

roll + sharp
12+ Avoid patrols and choose 2 from list
10+ Avoid patrols and choose 1 from list
7-9 spot patrol...prep or flee?
Miss ambushed by patrol

  • Find 15 escaped slaved, still with collars
    Full tanker without a semi to pull it (doesn't Dog head's driver, drive a semi?)
    One of Dog head's patrols unready for your ambush
    One of Millions' scouting patrols, led by Chin, grateful to find friendly faces

00-03: Scouts and spies sent back and forth, some minor violence
03-06: Dog head begins marshaling forces.
06-09: Dog head makes a big slave sale to fund the coming feud.
09-10: First attack against Pole, a test of its defenses.
10-11: Ultimatum given to Millions.
12: Pole under siege, total war.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 10:36:11 PM »
Threat 2 - West Point Myth

Kind: Affliction/Delusion

Impulse: to dominate people's choices and actions

Descriptions and Cast: It is always a friend of a friend in some other distant hold or village who saw a tank or troops with legit uniforms or knows a warlord who killed someone for being an army spy...

Custom Move:

On a 10+ you find evidence that there is no army left at the Point and that it is all a myth.

7-9, you know it is a myth but someone now thinks that you are an army spy.

On a miss, the MC chooses someone who you are sure is a spy.  +1 forward in accusing and convincing others of their guilt.


00-03: Drunk gang thugs grumble rumors around the fire
03-06: Stories about troop movements begin to get told as fact.
06-09: A play or song or pamphlet begins to be circulated.
09-10: Newcomers are driven out of a hold for being army spies
10-11: Mission to the Point does not return.
12 Witch hunts begin in earnest, people are killed.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 10:52:24 PM »
Threat 3  - Landscape

Called: ENNE, the Radioactive Religion (Energy Nuclear Northeast)

Kind: Furnace
Impulse: to consume things

Description and Cast: Enne Point Cultists follow a complicated engineering religion, looking for a mathematician messiah who will light up the Hudson River Valley, led by a sentient radiation from within the Indian Point Nuclear Facility.

Custom Moves:

roll + weird the first time you go near Enne or have intimate contact with a cultist

10+ you fight off the radiation and realize there is something sentient and hungry at Death Point

7-9 You are reistant, start countdown at 00

Miss, start countdown at 09, lose all of your hair and your eyes glow green.

Every session you are sick:
roll + weird
10+ the radiation sickness/possession is gone, you have fought it off

7-9 the sickness stays the same, at a standstill

Miss, the radiation possession advances

The Radiation/Religion Sickness
00-03: Dreams of Enne, mild nausea
03-06: Loss of appetite, hear Enne's teachings whenever you are sober.
06-09: Hair loss, eyes glow green when you are angry, vomiting up most food
09-10: Teeth begin falling out, eyes begin to glow green, intimate contact is now contagious, lucid dreams of Enne are frequent
10-11: Bald, vomiting blood, eyes glow brilliant green, can contact Enne by opening your mind to the psychic maelstrom
12: Begin your final pilgrimage to Enne's plant/temple to become one with the radiation

The Plant's Meltdown
00-03: Plant goes into meltdown, no cultists are sure how to contain their god.
03-06: Radiation is 5 miles around the plant.
06-09: Radiation is 10 miles around the plant.
09-10: Radiation is 30 miles around the plant.
10-11: Begins to seep into the Hudson during certain tidal periods
12: Radiation floods the Hudson



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2010, 10:54:49 PM »
One more threat to get down, the feud concerning the Hudson river bridges.

I'll write that up tomorrow.

Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 07:59:16 AM »
led by a sentient radiation


"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2010, 11:31:38 AM »
I decided to consolidate what was going to be 4 fronts into 4 threats all in one front.

My main worry is that the first game took place in Pole, with the players leaving in a hurry.

So, other than Dog head, I am making a bunch of shit up, not based on the players' character sheets, just cold, outta the blue.  I'm thinking that is fine, that some threats will fade into th back for a while while others surge forward and I have the countdowns to figure out what is happening hither and yon.

I have one more threat to throw out there, the Brutes from Kip-town but any advice or thoughts (custom moves, etc.) is appreciated.



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Re: Outside the City: Crafting Fronts.
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2010, 07:28:46 PM »
Threat 4 - Kip-town Thugs

Kind: Brutes/Hunting Pack

Impulse: to victimize anyone vulnerable

Descriptions and Cast: Kip-town has a well fortified bridge across the Hudson and is seeking to control all methods of crossing the Hudson before winter sets in.

The Kipsie - the warlord, out to make Kip-town safe for his aging parents

Dancer - Kipsie's bodyguard

Custom Move:

Crossing the Hudson (not the Kip-town Bridge)

10+ you find a willing ferry-man who takes people across out of spite, hating the thugs of Kip-town.

7-9 you get across but choose one:
- Giant River Squid attack!
- Rabid Kip-town thugs.

Miss: River squid and rabid thugs and something falls into the river.
(for some reason, this is my least favorite custom move, thoughts?)