[AP] The Silo

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[AP] The Silo
« on: September 20, 2012, 05:23:00 AM »
The Silo – What do you get when you put a manipulative stripper, a sex-cultist, a ponchoed killer and a lonely mind-f***er together in a nuclear facility?

The Game:
Strongbif and I had a ton of fun playing AW at PAX this year and so he recruited a couple more players and we organized a game over Google+ Hangouts.

Since none of us wanted to take on the full MCing responsibility, we are running the game based on the co-MCing suggestions Vincent posted a couple months ago (http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2867.0).

We played our first session tonight and despite a couple minor technical hiccups it was awesome. The co-MCing worked fantastic.

The Sitch:
In the Aftermath, the bitter cold is unrelenting. The landscape stretches out an endless maze of glaciers and icy chasms. An airborne shroud of ash obscures the sun and a filthy blanket of snow deadens sound. Winter never ends.

Our characters live in one of the last enclaves in the waste. A nuclear silo, its warhead already sent to long forgotten enemies has been repurposed as a shelter against the elements.

This holding is without electricity. The residents crowd in support tunnels and command rooms while the smoke from their fires rises out of the silo’s maw.

The Players:
October (the Skinner) operates a popular passion parlor, preying on the proclivities of his patrons. He uses his mesmerizing presence to addle the audience of his burlesque show and feed his own appetite for attention and affection.

Lena (the Hocus) preaches a gospel of human connectedness. Her followers, the Family, forgo the pleasures of material possessions instead focusing their attention on sharing themselves through polyamory and the Maelstrom. She condemns October’s slick, glitzy productions and decries them for cluttering sex with distracting stages, costumes and baubles, ultimately subverting sensuality for materialistic aims. 

Toshiro (the Battlebabe) works as an enforcer for hire. Dressed in a poncho and smoking a thin black cigarillo, he wandered from holding to holding until, by chance, he attended one of October’s shows and became infatuated, not by October’s act, but by his pianist Lavender. Toshiro, himself a musician was captivated by Lavender’s skill and has stayed in the silo to watch her play.

Valentine (the Brainer) was betrayed by the Maelstrom. In hopes of psychically wooing an unrequited love, she opened her brain but the Maelstrom withered her body and left her as a skeletal, bug-eyed freak. She still craves love but now her grotesque form and bizarre personality drive everyone away.

Session #1:
The curtain opens on October’s show, to an unusually empty house. Taken aback, October dispatches a lackey to discover the reason and learns that members of Lena’s cult, led by the devout Elizabeth are protesting his performance and berating potential patrons with religious rhetoric.

Seizing the opportunity to humiliate the cultists, October moves his show out into the tunnel in full view of the protesters. Stunned, the crowd in the hall looks on as October pulls Elizabeth’s son Corey from the crown and proceeds to seduce the young man in front of the whole gathering.

As the performance ends, the cultists, Elizabeth in particular are enraged. Lena appears from the back of the crowd and begins to preach. She reminds her followers of their “truth” and manages to calm their tempers. She releases Corey from the Family.

Meanwhile, October smugly returns into his theater.

Toshiro, present in the audience, a fan of the show and a friend of October, begins to criticize Lena for her cult’s disruptive behavior. As he does this, Burrows and Gritch, two guards in the employ of the Silo’s military head (The Butcher), arrive on the scene to investigate the disturbance.

Despite their initial hostility, Lena is able to allay the guards’ anger by expounding the pleasurable possibilities implicit in the Family’s polyamorous practices. She leaves them with a kiss and an invitation to visit the Family. Toshiro’s protests are ignored.

Down in the depths of the Silo, Valentine has been using the Maelstrom to spy on the proceedings. She has developed an infatuation with October and an obsession with convincing the performer to love her. The Maelstrom reveals that while October revels in her attention, he has a twisted heart, incapable of love and intends to string her along without ever truly caring for her. Valentine is devastated by this discovery but determines that poor October needs her help in learning to love and resolves to fix him.

She goes out to the Silo’s bar, the Scabbard to drink away her sorrows.
At her entry, a wave of revulsion circles the room. A few thugs from a local gang stand up, apparently intent on bouncing her out. Panicking, Valentine brandishes a psychic weapon.

In the back corner of the bar, Toshiro springs to his feat and prepares for trouble.
The lead thug head butts Valentine and her weapon sails from her hand before she can activate it. Toshiro not knowing what Valentines device is for, scoops it off of the floor at his feet and flings it away from him.

Reflexively, Valentine grabs at her assailants face and uses her violator glove to rip his secret pains from his mind. Blood streams from his eyes and he goes berserk, drawing a pistol and firing point blank into Valentines unarmored body. She goes into shock and drops unconscious.

Toshiro, brandishing a sword in one hand and massive revolver in the other bellows a challenge to the thugs. Surprised they turn from the prone form of Valentine to face this new threat.

To be continued…

Re: [AP] The Silo
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 11:26:20 AM »
I played October. This was a blast. The opening scene made my whole day. In mechanical terms, it went like this: Arresting Skinner ---> Artful and Gracious (weak hit)--> "Corey must have my services" --> Bigs sex show finale with Corey --> Skinner Special (auto 10+ on Hypnotic) --> Victory strut.

Later I enjoined Corey to return to the Family, ostensibly because he should be with the people who've taken care of him all these years, but actually so I could have him keep an eye on fellow faithful Lion for me. Lion wants something exclusive with Lena, which goes against her beliefs, and I lust after Lion for reasons unexplained. Incidentally, we'd established during introductions that Corey was Lena's least favorite follower because he asks uncomfortable questions, but she keeps him around for his mother Elizabeth, who has been vapid and unflinchingly loyal to the Family.

So yeah, we've begun a cultural battle over the moral implications of sex.

The MC part of me can't wait to see what Valentine does next, while the Player part of me dreads it.

Re: [AP] The Silo
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 04:42:23 PM »
This sounds like an AWESOME hack. Keep the run-downs coming, very entertaining read.

Re: [AP] The Silo
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 03:18:34 AM »
Two weeks ago we left of with Toshiro facing down thugs at the Scabbard (the Silos' only bar) while Valentine lies bleeding on the floor...

Session #2:

The thugs (East Harrow, Harridan and Twice) hurl insults at Toshiro, psyching themselves up for an attack. Before they can move, Toshiro strikes, slashing open Twice's belly. Demoralized, the gangsters retreat.

Hoping to curry favor with Valentine's powerful father (the Silos' doctor, "The Surgeon"), Toshiro carries the unconscious  girl down into the bowels of the Silo to the Surgeon's infirmary. 
____

Meanwhile, October visits the Family in their lair, "The Home."

He confronts Lena about her disruption of his show but she charms him and draws him into a discussion of the Family's doctrine of contentedness. October is curious and proposes that Lena "minister" to him and teach him about true connection. Lena, in the anticipation of assimilating an adversary and acquiring an alluring asset assents. As a condition, she requests October to postpone his burlesque show for three days.
____

Valentine wakes and plots revenge.

To be continued...

Love and Infection: [AP] The Silo
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 01:03:43 PM »
Love and Infection
I'd like to elaborate on some parts that I really enjoyed.

During this session we got to see Toshiro's shiny new Visions of Death move in action, and he used it to preserve the life of East Harrow, the already-injured thug from last encounter. Then we cut to Home for my (October's) scene with Lena, and left off just before the scene where Toshiro arrives at the infirmary behind East Harrow and Twice. I'm looking forward to seeing that play out.

October shows up at Home to lay the groundwork for some revenge for the disturbance at his Passion Palace. Home occupies an entire silo level and it's wide open, with separate spaces discouraged and delineated only by flimsy curtain screens. The whole place smells like curry and is hot (by Silo standards) and cloying and maybe a little suffocating. It reminds October of the Passion Palace, but bereft of glamor: just desperate folks rutting and artlessly clinging to each other for comfort.

He finds Lena alone with Lion; they quarrel over something but quickly cease upon his arrival. October's purpose coming here has been (up to this point) to seduce another family member and Hypnotize him or her into another spy. The ensuing back-and-forth with Lena changes his approach, and maybe even his outlook.

They start with terse pleasantries, then October comes on to Lion, who just scowls back. October asks Lena why the earlier disruption. Lena responds that October perverts the true meaning of sex, to which October replies that she could have just stopped by herself, no need for a mob. She claims that she tried once and was ignored. October says "I'm listening now..." and invites the sales pitch.

Here we each decide to Read a Person and each score a weak hit, holding 1.

Lena preaches about love and connectedness, and the true meaning of sex.  For the most part, October politely listens. At one point he asks how Lena's approach differs from his own, and she attempts to explain that October's approach to love is hollow and desperate, that it would never fill the emptiness inside.

Here I spend my hold: What does Lena wish I would do?

After some thought, her player decides: I wish he would find his true self and turn away from his sinful ways.*

Super. Knowing that, I Seduce; October moves closer and obviously invites sex (to Lion's dismay) "You're right, there is something missing. Maybe your faith is the thing to fill it. Perhaps you should show me." I roll 12.

Lena (wisely) doesn't trust October, but sees a clear opportunity to advance her cause. She agrees to show him, if he first shuts down his sex show for three nights as a gesture of good faith. He agrees, saying he'll arrange for Lavender to put on that ridiculous variety show she's been bothering him about for months. Lion clenches his jaw.

Before October leaves, Lena asks him if he would ever really give up all his sinful trappings and join the family. He replies that he doesn't know (implying he hasn't ruled it out). Her player spends her hold: Is October telling the truth? Shoot. Well-played, now I must commit to something. I decide that October is in fact telling the truth. He leaves. Now both Lena and Valentine intend to "fix" October. I'm sure that will work out just fine. Also, I can't wait to see the Hocus and Skinner specials kick in at the same time.

Lena and Lion have a new argument. Lion (who wants Lena for his own despite her polyamorous religious convictions) doesn't like where this is going. She reminds Lion that the family is in serious trouble (6- on her Followers roll; wants: desertion, desperate, and disease), and that converting October would transform their single biggest recruiting obstacle into an enormous asset. Lion tries to pull away, but Lena rests her head on his shoulder.

At this point we call for a Manipulate roll. It's pretty clear she's leveraging his desire to possess her in order to get him to go along with her sleeping with October. She rolls 7+, and he capitulates after a night of one-on-one attention.

At some point during that exchange with Lion, Lena's player uttered the phrase "love and affection," which I misheard as "love and infection," which is right on the nose. We had a good chuckle.

Next week, we're picking up in the infirmary and then dealing with Lena's promise.

*(I paraphrase).