Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session

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Drez

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Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session
« on: March 02, 2013, 06:42:38 PM »
The Adventure: "Black Friday"

I wrote "Black Friday" as a short introductory adventure, so my players could basically just screw around with the moves and understand how the game flows. The adventure begins mid-fight, where the hunters have a master vampire on the ropes. In desperation, the vampire flees out into the streets and ends up blending into a crowd of people being let into a Walmart for a Black Friday midnight opening. The players had to find the vampire and stake him before he was able to feast on some hapless shoppers, then escape. In my fiction, the vampire's powers were limited from all the fighting before the adventure began, plus his injuries; he needed blood to recharge.

I had four players: an Expert, a Flake, a Spooky, and a Professional. As is often the case in "Powered by the Apocalypse" games, the history/Hx/bonds system immediately leapt out as a a very useful, effective game mechanic. In just a few short minutes, a room of four near-total strangers were friends, and had characters with a vested interest in each other. Brilliant!

Right off the bat, I should not have allowed the Professional. As soon as the vamp entered the Walmart he went straight to the manager and tried to get the Walmart shut down and cordoned off by police. I did "turn his move against him" by having the vampire use his mesmerizing powers on the manager before the Pro could get to him. The vampire made the manager think that it was the Pro who was the threat, and the police should be called on HIM! So when the manager saw the Professional, he starts screaming bloody murder and goes for the phone. The Professional tries to grab for the phone; I ask for a "Cool Under Pressure" move and be blows it, with a 2.  I have the manager pull a thing of mace out of his pants pocket and spray the pro. Just one of many darkly hilarious moments this afternoon!

Anyways, why I shouldn't have allowed him is because the main dramatic tension of this scenario was supposed to be tracking down this vampire in a crowded store of innocent bystanders. By allowing someone in the game with civil authority I threatened to let the whole store get evacuated, changing a tense vampire hunt into essentially a fight in a department store. It worked out in the end, and there are a number of ways to handle this other than simply outlawing the Professional, but nevertheless the next time I run this, I won't allow the it or any other class that may have the authority to shut down a Walmart!

The other problem with allowing the Professional is that he immediately mitigated what could have been an excellent complication: the police! If the hunters had no authority figures, then it could have looked to the Walmart shoppers that the hunters, not the hunted, were the bad guys! But, after a few "Cool Under Pressure" rolls and a Luck point, the police were instead working with the players instead of against them, helping cordon off the building.

In the end, however, it was a great adventure, and everyone had a great time! I'll write more about it later; right now, it's dinner time!

Yum yum yum...linguine and clamp sauce. Now, a few more thoughts:

-I love how some of the play books cab organically play off of each other. For example, the Spooky and the Expert. The player of the Expert didn't know exactly what he wanted to be an expert in. When the Spooky decided to use him as a mentor for her history, it just suddenly made sense to the Expert to be an occultist so he would have knowledge to help the little girl with her powers!

-Not a fan of the Harm rules. Didn't like them in Apocalypse World, don't like them here, either. I much prefer Dungeon World's hit point system; it's smoother and simpler than having to remember the rules for harm AND having to try and narrate the damage. I understand some people like it; more power to them! Just sayin'.

-To play more Cthulhu - esque, gritty realistic campaigns, I would love to get together a bunch of "normal" classes. You know; play books for characters like a doctor, a journalist, etc. I know this game does have some options in its current form, but some of those classes (like the Snoop) are tough to find. I also realize that Sean Preston is currently working on a "Cthulhu World" but until then, I would love to see Monster of the Week be your one stop shop for all your horror-game needs!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 09:20:11 PM by Drez »
All my posts (unless stated otherwise) are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.

Re: Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 07:26:36 PM »
Cool write-up!

I wouldn't worry too much about moves short-circuiting a situation - that's what they're for, after all. Don't think too much about what you think will happen, just set up the situation and how to deal with it.

Also, remember that just because the Professional might have some kind of authority, the local police might not like being overruled! Evacuation is not going to provide an easy out, either, unless the hunters had some plan for detecting the vampire pretending to be just another shopper.

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Drez

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Re: Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 09:26:29 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Mike! I think it's really awesome that you worked so hard on this game, and then moderate this board on top of it to talk with us "little people." If you ever need a play tester or someone to bounce an idea off of, you can count on me!
All my posts (unless stated otherwise) are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.

Re: Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 12:31:59 AM »
There's no little people here, I'm just another gamer!

Re: Black Friday: A Monster of the Week AP Session
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
Thanks for the write up, it sounds like a fun game!