New Playbook: The Traveller

  • 29 Replies
Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 10:19:37 PM »
I also have this model tablet. It is very good.
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Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2011, 01:24:35 PM »
My life is boring as fuck, so gimme an e-mail and I'll send you the Marmot. XD

Ah! In reply #5, up above, I noted I'd already received the Marmot!
I'm sure it really can't be that boring, but if you haven't got a story, you can play a game of AW with me (though this may not be realistic, I dunno where you're from!) or else offer me something you made yourself.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2011, 01:25:59 PM »
...the tri-fold is in draft and I plan on sending it out to everyone as soon as it's done.
How goes the tri-fold?  I'm excited to check it out!

I need to send an email off and check, but the last I saw, it was pretty spiffy! I need to write the damned gear/barter section. Funny, that's the one vexing me the most!

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2012, 02:04:55 PM »
A good friend of mine (the kind you'd let live in your compound when the zombie apocalypse hits) called me several years ago asking for a lift. He was calling from some bumfuck little burg out in the boondocks of Massachusetts (I live in New Jersey) and wanted to get to Greenville, NJ, where he was moving in with someone for a few months. This was shortly after we all graduated college, so most of my friends didn't have cars yet.

He was in a bind and we had previously been roommates, so after much grumbling I agreed to drive him and his stuff. I got there relatively early on Saturday morning, basically not sleeping (much) the night before, and it wasn't too long until we were off.

Now, I'm not great company in the best of times. I can only imagine that I made somewhat of an ass of myself during the trip. The fact is, we spent most of the trip in silence, as it's a fair stretch (three hours and change) to Greenville, NJ. We took a few rest stops, as I didn't want to get too cranky and I figured we had plenty of time.

When we got to Greenville (a part of Jersey City) we had real trouble finding the street. Eventually my buddy gives his friend a call, only to find out that it's Greenville, PA, that we have to go to. For those without a map, Greenville is literally on the other side of Pennsylvania from New Jersey, four hundred miles of mountains.

It took over six hours to get there. I ended up sleeping the night, then driving back on Sunday. Essentially the whole weekend was shot, but I didn't feel that I could say "Hell No" after already saying "Yes" to the initial drive. I mean, I can't just drop a friend onto a street corner in Jersey City with all his luggage.

People think I'm too picky now, when they ask me for lifts and I want to know exact addresses of pickup and delivery before agreeing to it. But I've learned my lesson.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2012, 05:12:24 PM »
I was travelling across Europe as part of a month long study abroad, skimming the artistic highlights of each city for a couple days before moving on to the next.

When we got to Athens, our teachers led us to a a posh little hotel in a nice part of the city, and started up with the guy behind the desk as we crowded the lobby, our overstuffed suitcases and day bags and sweating bodies filling all available space. An hour later, our teachers returned, red-faced. They had lost our reservations. But they had found another hotel. We had to hit the streets again.

We walked for what felt like miles, though it might just be the length of the day and desire to have someplace to rest our heads. As we walked the town got less nice. By the time we stopped, it's fair to say that it was the worst part of any city I'd ever been in.

I dragged my bag to my hotel room and tried to rest, but my gut protested. The art history was only half of the reason I was on this trip. Maybe less. Really, I was travelling for the food. I headed down to the lobby, hoping to see someone else from my class with the same idea. Soon, the teachers returned, holding foil-wrapped gyros. I asked where they got them. I was told to walk two blocks down from the hotel, take a left, and get to the intersection where people are doing heroin.

I bit my lip.

Heading back up to my room, I did everything I could think of to make myself look like someone not to be fucked with. I had no idea what such a person looked like. I put on the raincoat I had brought for London. I took the cigars I had bought from a shop in Charles du Galle airport. I took off my glasses. I decided my name was Carlos Gigante, and that I was a drug dealer from California. I took everything out of my wallet except for twenty euro and put it into one of my boots.
I headed outside the hotel, walked down two blocks, took a left, and found the intersection where everyone was doing heroin.


I took a deep breath, walked into the gyro shop, crowded with customers and loiterers, and asked the man at the counter for a pair. I handed him my money, he gave me my change, and as I was putting my money back in my wallet, a man came up to me.

"Hey, where you from?"

I was afraid, but at the same time, I was secretly excited I got to bust out my fake backstory. "California. My name's Carlos Gigante."

"Cool, cool. What's it like there?" He peered at me, and I squinted back.

"It's... not bad." I hastily shoved my wallet into the pocket of my coat.

We made awkward small talk for a few minutes, and I was sure I was going to get stabbed, so when the gyros were passed to me over the counter, I cut off the sentence immediately and walked back to the hotel, as quickly as I felt I could without drawing attention.

As I unwrapped up in my hotel room and bit into it, it was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted. I looked up, enraptured, and realized that I looked like an idiot. Looking back, I realize I was an idiot. But goddamn, what a sandwich.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2012, 03:20:22 AM »
1) Tell a story here about a time you went somewhere, temporarily or permanently. It needs to be, you know, a story, not just "One time, I went to New Mexico.".
I love this as a form of payment for a Traveller play book. Bravo.

After I'd been out of college for a couple of years, a buddy of mine and I decided to jump into his van and drive around the United States, and I do mean "around." We started in the SF Bay Area and headed to Seattle, drove east across the top of the country. We saw what we figured out only after staring for a long time what must have been a very faint but visible Aurora Borealis when we were in the Dakotas. Spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out what goddamned city would be north of us and big enough to make such a light show. Funny.

As we eventually headed down the eastern seaboard, I became increasingly depressed and homesick. The adventure had been fun but as the weeks went on (we were on the road for six), the grind of driving driving driving and two guys living in a van, pull out the sleeping bags, stuff the sleeping bags, anything you wanted to get out of a box meant digging for it and displacing other stuff, eating pounds of lunchmeat and turkey jerky. It was wearing a bit thin. By the time we were in Washington DC I was about ready to buy a ticket home and just be done with it.

However, I stuck it out with one concession: we'd beeline from Virginia to New Orleans, cutting off our planned dip into Florida. I was by this time fairly uncommunicative and spent hours staring out at the passing landscape, wishing I was anywhere else than this monotonous slog. I was really down.

So when we hit New Orleans, my buddy was fired up to get out (and probably away from me) and hit a cafe, do some writing, see the city for a bit. I let him take off and I slept most of the afternoon in the van. It was raining a bit (it was November) and he was gone for a few hours. When he returned, he found me in a bad way, and I actually broke into tears. He helped me through that and then said exactly the wrong thing: "Hey, I met a couple of Canadian girls and I told them we'd meet up with them for dinner and maybe dancing. I need you to come with me - one of them is really cute and I want to spend some time with her but she has a friend. Are you up to it?"

Was I up to it, a social night with women I didn't know in a city I didn't know trying to make up bullshit conversation? I'd spent the last four days as a depressed automaton, threatening to hit the next Greyhound station for home, and my eyes were still red from crying. I think I would have rather stripped naked and lay down in the gutter water outside the van. But I looked at my friend, who had been so patient all these days and miles. He was depending on me for this, for some enjoyment at last after all that I'd put him through. I said, "OK, dude. For you I will do this. I will come and eat dinner, I will be nice, and I will return to the van when I can and sleep for 48 hours. I will do this FOR YOU."

We wound up staying in New Orleans three days longer than our original itinerary.

The sum of it is - despite, or maybe because I was in such a "nothing to lose" mindset - we hit it off with the Canadians. Not in a fratboy's dream kind of way, but in a real way, real conversations and connections and truly enjoying the mutual chemistry that the four of us created. We went to dinner and out dancing and on a riverboat and just walked and saw sights and talked and had a great time.

The cute girl that my buddy had his eye on turned out to be much more my style than his and we've been friends ever since, pen pals even when that's dorky to do now. I've never been back to New Orleans since, never seen the Canadians since but I found someone there who I know I will always care about. And I almost didn't find her there... it was just that close.

It's easy to interpret such things as fate bringing people to a place to meet and I'm sure someone reading this will think that's so. Me, I'm not sure either way about that but I do know I feel incredibly lucky I didn't throw a tantrum or sulk or demand we just get moving again, even though I considered each of those options in those crucial seconds before saying yes. And because I said yes, I have this now, this person who is a part of my emotional pantheon, and without whom I would be a smaller man.

So there's my tale. Hope you like it.


Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2012, 04:10:15 PM »
Me and a friend were biking from Sweden to Paris last summer. It was a good experience because it taught us that using a compass and very basic or no maps at all can get you places in the planned amount of time. Also, cities are awful mazes that will trap you for half a day or more.

Asking for directions is vital. Locals will warn you of obstacles not obvious on maps and  advice you on places to sleep, eat and drink well and cheap. My friend doesn't like bothering strangers and I don't know a shred of french or german so whenever we were lost I'd walk up to a local and speak nonsense language while flailing my arms till my friend was so embarassed he had to come over and talk.

Duct tape is the solution to everything. Ripped bags, tents and even broken bikes can be fixed with it. In a hilly region in the north of france the cog disc things on my back wheel came loose so there was no traction. The nearest settlement was a couple of hours away, all around were rolling wheat covered hills as far the eye could see. We rolled to a hazel bush and with two branches as stabilizers and lots of duct tape my bike worked again (and four more days). My friend flew home earlier than me from Paris. When I was going home I figured I'd sell the bike instead of taking it on the plane so I wrote a sign saying "€15" (the real worth was somewhere closer to €100 but I wanted to get rid of it quick) and went out with it. Before I even left the hotel a guy wanted to buy it. We didn't share any languages and he didn't have even change so eventually we settled on €20. To make sure he wasn't gonna feel cheated or anything I pointed out how the rear disc things were broken and my primitive fix and that now the highest gear didn't work at all. "OK, OK" he surrendered and gave me €50.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2012, 04:13:13 PM »
These stories are a hoot!  Thanks for taking the time to write them down.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 03:44:54 PM »
This one time I drove from DC to Toronto and back in two days to go buy someone's D&D collection. It was a blast.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2012, 05:43:55 PM »
Hallo Antisinecurist.
I'm not a great traveller, however I'd like to help here.
I'd like to receive a copy of the Traveller playbook. In exchange, I'll turn it into a trifold for you.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2012, 09:58:08 PM »
I almost shot a man once.  Not a man, just a kid, but you find out fast there's not much of a difference between the two; maybe we just invent this middle ground to inhabit...  Anyway, the story.  We had blocked the road, and and my job was to keep everyone coming down the road from going past me.  "Sit down, take a break, can't go down the road just yet," is what I told them. I hope I did, at any rate; our only common language was that of fear masked with anxiety and angry stares.

But I digress.  The story:  An hour or so goes by, and everyone is tired, angry and restless; they just want to go home after a hard day's work, you know?  Same as I did.  Anyway, after some time goes by I realize there's a kid missing, and I scan the distance looking for him.  He doesn't take long to find; he's just a kid, skinny and brown and running pell-mell across the dried-out river bed.

I'll never forget what a human looks like as a target.  But hey, I said I almost shot a man.  Instead, I let him go home for both of us.

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2012, 01:59:58 PM »
So I was in Hong Kong for a summer, and some classmates and I decided to take a weekend trip to Beijing. For whatever reason, we were on different flights, but I promised to give them a call on the cell phone once I got in so I could discover what hotel they had arranged.

Unbeknownst to us, mainland China does not share Hong Kong's cellular phone network. I arrived in the airport with a phone that was nonfunctional. Having no way to contact them, I tried various technical shenanigans. Fortunately, one of them had an international phone and was able to get a text message through to me with the address of the hotel.

By now it's late at night. I get a cab to the hotel. As I step out of the cab, there's a woman standing by the front door of the hotel. She rushes up to me and starts babbling at me. It takes a moment, but I eventually understand her incredibly broken English enough to realize that she's a pimp, trying to sell me the services of a young woman for the night. Exhausted, and a bit freaked out, I refused and went inside.

That's when I discovered my classmates had decided to already depart and hit the Beijing night-life (they were veteran partiers) and so I got a room myself and crashed.

The next morning I noted the condoms on the nightstand, and the strip of "massage parlors" along the side of the hotel. Apparently my traveling companions had chosen a location where tired foreigners could stay and get some local sex-on. The hotel had also, apparently, been recommended to an American high school sports team (I forget which sport) who were all gathering in the lobby that morning, some looking a bit bewildered. I wondered how many of the teenage boys were... tempted by the advertised wares...

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2012, 09:38:37 AM »
I owe ya'll playbooks!

I'm gonna go back and read everyone's stories - thanks! I really appreciate those - and I'll work on getting an email out to everyone I owe.
I've been so air-headed and forgetful the past year or so.

I'm terribly sorry!
If you see this and I haven't sent you one (I'll try to start on them tonight), please send an email to aedsoftware at the gmail, just put Traveller in the playbook and I'll get it to you.

Gah! Sorry, everyone!
- Alex

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2012, 02:39:02 AM »
When I was a kid I always daydreamed about living in a big city. I watched the Fat Albert cartoon on Saturday mornings and imagine myself exploring the alleyways with Rudy or keeping Donald and Bucky from getting into trouble.  The fact that I was a suburban white kid living in semi-rural Wisconsin didn't make me think that I would be out of place there, but then I was as naive about city living as my background suggested.
I moved to Chicago in August of 1999, a few months before I turned twenty-three and when I arrived it was everything I wanted it and hoped it would be. The elevated trains were noisy, the people were constantly rushing from place to place, and whole streets of the city seemed to have been spray-painted with a grimy gray lacquer that had evaporated and dried up. I lived in a huge apartment block where my window faced other windows and nothing else, and when my neighbors cooked food I could smell it. I was a block away from the train so every time the express roared past I could hear the metal clacking and groaning. It was everything I dreamed it would be!
What it wasn't, and what I was in complete shock to discover, was fucking expensive! Just to eay regularly seemed like a small fortune. My diet quickly turned into a staple of ramen noodles and generic off-brand macaroni & cheese boxes as I looked for a job. It was all of my savings later when I finally managed to snag a minimum wage job and keep myself from failing to pay rent.
The job was really boring and I felt it sucked my day away, it was my first experience as an adult and hating my workplace. But my co-workers were great, and I was suddenly in a place where I didn't see the same people every day. I made friends all over the city and this added to my financial woes as my free time ended up taking me to all sorts of exotic neighborhoods where there was always a new restaurant to try out, a bar to go get drinks at, or a new club to go dancing in.
By the time I decided to retreat some place more affordable I had developed a new and more realistic appreciation for city life. It was a great experience but there were a lot of things missing from it that seemed impossible to replace. This was in the days of internet infancy, so it was very hard to find a regular gaming group, and having to rely on the altavista search engine was not always the best way of searching for one. The best gaming store in the city had closed and gone out of business in the summer before I arrived, the only place I knew of that sold games only carried Magic cards and didn't have a RPG section, and this was before the days of google too so even if I had owned a computer I probably wouldn't have been able to do much more than find game stores with net-savvy employees or Vampire LARPs (because in 1999 it seems like every Vampire LARP had their own website).
I don't live in a big city anymore, I live in a big college town that lies to itself about being a metropolis. I play games regularly, I hear new music constantly, and I can always afford to pay my bills. But I still miss being poor and gamerless in Chicago, it was a fun time!
Looking for a playbook? Check out my page!

Re: New Playbook: The Traveller
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2012, 06:57:02 PM »
May of '12 My wife and I ventured from just south of Boston, MA to a B&B 2 hours west of Richmond, VA. We made the trip in 6 days, 2 of which were spent at the B&B. Here is an account as detailed by my digestive tract.

Nathan's Hot Dogs in Coney Island tumbled a bit at the freak show. Sheppherd's Pie from a hole-in-the-wall pub in Atlantic City held position with the aide of a few beers, which carried us around the board walk for a few hours. A greasy spoon diner breakfast held us over til we could check out a building shaped like an elephant.

A Ferry and some fistfuls of Goldfish Crackers landed us in Deleware, where we drove south while filtering various candies and junkfoods into our systems. A stop at a Stuckeys in Virginia with a debit machine that ran on a 56k modem reloaded our snack supply and we made a pit stop at Sonic for shakes.

We braved the 17 mile bridge-tunnel to Virginia Beach. Best damn waffels we've ever tasted that next morning at the Pocahontas Pancake House. 2 hours west to Richmond to check out the Fine Arts Museum and scope out some tasty barbecue. On the road again as we braved a torrential rain and thunder storm, we arrived at the B&B to watch peacocks frolic and sit down to home made pie. The next morning brought bacon, grits, greek yogurt, and fruit salad. We took the "brew ridge trail" tour, which consists of 4 brew pubs all littering the same winding mountain high way. We spent the day drinking house-brewed beers and munching on pub food.

That evening I had a bowel movement that felt like my asshole had been naughty and Krampus was kicking it straight back to last Christmas. We are talking strain, tears, tearing, lurching, and little payoff. Not being able to sit comfortably, and not being able to sleep at all (aided by the half dozen black wasps we'd spotted in our room and the creaky old farmhouse that was the B&B) It was all we could do to pound some coffee in the morning and hit the road again.

We drove as far as my bereaved behind could take before finding a CVS to get some store-brand Hemorrhoid topical and then dragging our asses to Baltimore. We stopped at a restaurant next to the aquarium and both ferociously masticated some salads to offset the punishment we'd put our bodies through that week. We watched the fish for a while and then drove north until we were tired.

We stopped in Chester, PA and shacked up in a room with a hot tub. This grass-poking-through-concrete, half-urban Philly offshoot was an odd comfort as it reminded us quite a bit of the garish town we live in. We stomached some more diner food and the next morning we picked at the mediocre buffet the hotel provided and again headed North.

Our last stop was in Connecticut, a little place called Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center. Our stomachs ripe with more junk (this time from a McD's) we checked out Wild Bill's collection of posters, records, movies, toys, and memorbelia in his cozy storefront plastered with hand painted murals. We peeked at the funhouse out back before heading back home.

The moral I learned is this: Eating junk for a week while sitting on your ass nearly full time is a good recipe for destroying your colon for life. Did I earn a playbook yet?