Monday, October 29, 2012

Apocalypse World Actual Play: Session 2
Fol Chen is detailed in October Songaday Day13 (use the music tab at the top of the page for easy access!), and this is a song I was going to link but decided to save for here. A lot of Fol Chen's lyrics have a distinct post-apoc leaning to them (with the entire band concept being from an alternate world), and this one, In Ruins, is the most explicit about it. The video has some great imagery, and the song is really good! Maybe a bit upbeat in tone for Apocalypse World, but hey, even Apocalypse World has nice days.


Today's game features:
Kris as Life the Maestro D',
Luke as Bones the Gunlugger,
Kenny as Hide the Skinner,
and Ego/Max as MC.

We left off with Life making calls and such and Bones and Hide prepping to invade Rolfball's home and retrieving something for Life that Rolfball is holding. We started with Bones and Hide, with the two of them acing all sneaky-like outside Rolfball's mansion. Rolfball's mansion is: "The west wing is entirely blown out, and the guards are obviously watching it. Bones Reads a Sitch to find the best way in and finds that it's the windows on the east side if you come through the wilderness. Watch out for all the snipers and the mounted machine gun out front, and try not to get caught on the barbed wire! And them heading off is where we end."
Because I forgot we already did, Bones did another Read A Sitch, pulling off his scope from his rifle and usign it like a single binocular, or I guss like a telescope. He found the way in, and knew to watch out for the sniper up in the tower extending up from the house. They snuck around to the side window, using Act Under Fire to not be seen, and got through just fine! They stealthed into the house to find an office, a pretty posh-looking place, but it's covered in dust. There's a desk, and some shelves with some old probably-unreadable books, and two doors, on the map I doodled there was one on the bottom wall and one on the right wall. Bones opened his mind to the psychic maelstrom to try and find the correct direction to the necklace they were hunting (a large blue diamond one!). He kinda got it, looking through his scope again, this time channeling his mind through it, using it to narrow his perceptions to a small window and opening that window to the universe, and he pointed himself out the bottom door. They went out the bottom one, and walked through the hall until they found a door to the side and ducked into it.
Jump to Life. Life is back at her club (dubbed The Erotican by Luke, spinning off the Vatican. It's blasphemous, it's entertaining, it implies a reverence for the sensual pleasures, it's perfect), mostly just doing general bookkeeping and stuff for the place, having made her calls about Luke's girl last time. She's going about her business when Lamprey, her best regular and a government-type (working under Rolfball, though not particularly loyal, though also not particularly ambitious right now). He's a big Russian, and a real polite fella, who came to ask Life to look into a local issue. There's been rumors going around about this guy named Rex out in the wilderness who's been pulling people together and might be planning something. Knowing about all her connections, he asks her to look into it and figure out what exactly this Rex guy is up to and who he is. Lamprey doesn't have a location, but Life accepts. But how's she gonna fins him? She goes back to her office and locks the doors, turns out the lights, strips, and takes a special cocktail of drugs to ease her mind open into the psychcic maelstrom. Her efforts are met with some success, and she gets this hazy vision of a shadow-y figure interacting with some big black bikers and striding into their camp - Life recognizes the bikers as Nuzulu tribe members. She comes out of the trance and begins to get ready to head out to the Nuzulu tribe's camp (they're nomads), because she knows how to find THESE guys.
Back in the mansion, Bones and Hide tucked inside the room to find a bathroom. This place is really disheveled and dirty, but more noticeably, is awful bloody, though most of it's dry. In the bathtub, filled with ice water, is a body. They're holding the place down and I think one of them made a Read a Sitch roll to try to figure out stuff, but blew the roll, and I revealed that the guy in the tub wasn't actually dead and while they weren't paying attention, his eyes snapped open and he groaned, grabbing for his shotgun and Bones Went Aggro to blow the guy's head to smithereens. He aced the roll, spraying the tiles with a fine mist of crimson droplets, his magnum smoking in his hand. It's important to remember that Bones was given a no-kill instruction on this mission from Life, and he definitely just broke it. The guards a few rooms over heard the gunshot though, and started rushing over. Bones decided to Open His Brain again to try to figure out what to do, but blew it. His punishment? Well, he dropped right unconscious! Poor Hide is now in a room with an obviously dead man, an unconscious partner, and guards stomping down the hall to him. We talked for a few about how maybe he'd try to disguise Bones's body as dead and hide himself, and made the Act Under Fire, but was only able to hide Bones's body. When the guards opened the door though, they were met with a surprise; Hide carving up the dead one, skinning it right there. Hide turned the situation into using Artful and Graceful, with the enemy guards as the audience. As a Hot expert, Hide won the roll and the guards all tossed down their shotguns to him ("gifts") in fear of this grisly display of horrible beauty. They ran off then, and probably not to their posts. With the threat gone, Hide turned to Bones's situation - he couldn't wake up the psychcicly unconscious man. He made a Read a Sitch roll and found what was valuable to him - some medical supplies still in the old cabinets. Using some tubing and an opening he made himself, he injected the med cocktail he made into Bones with an Act Under Fire roll, waking him up but dealing 1 harm in the process from crazy drugging and arm slashes. Bones grabbed the three shotguns and they left the bathroom. As a side note, Hide still had 1-barter worth of meds left.
Life is now at the top of the cliff road that winds down to the tribe in the valley. She has Vincent with her, and is in a gothic-themed covered wagon, with horses pulling it - she doesn't have a vehicle. Vehicles are rare - Nuzulu has a pretty decent monopoly on them. She's stopped at the top by a pair of bikers, screeching their motorcycles's tires as they block the road. These Hounds pretty much interrogate her as to why she's here, but eventually they relent and allow her down to see Warlord Usimog, as long as they turn over their guns for now. They agree and are escorted down. Pretty sure rolling happened here, but it was a while ago, sorry.
Back at the house, Bones and Hide go back to where they were before in the office, since that other hallway they now know leads to the main room, which surely is filled with guards. They run along through the other door and move along the hallway to find the staircase to the second floor, which takes them to a landing with a door on the right and left walls and two on the bottom wall (they came in from the top) with a ladder on the left wall. They set up a tripwire trap with a couple shotguns at the stairwell before Bones tries AGAIN to open his mind, again not succeeding - but he used his scope again, so no unconsciousness. He didn't get anything, but those other guards must have alerted the rest of the force, and people are coming again - they also hear the sound of the guard in the tower up the ladder there! Hide tries to trap the guard up there by slicing up the ladder, and makes an Act Under Fire roll, succeeding partially. He hacks up enough of the ladder, but now the guard is staring down the hole shooting with his rifle! Hide takes harm, and Bones responds by chucking a grenade up top with the sniper, Going Aggro. He mostly gets it, but has to drain himself of grenades to do it. The explosion is very noticeable; both stealth and pacifism are toast. Hide and Bones duck into the left and right rooms to look for the necklace. Hide, on the right, comes out into the top of the utterly destroyed wing, in plain view of the ground soldiers, and ducks back in. Bones, on the left, finds a mostly barren room. They're moving into the bottom-left room when soldiers come up the stairs, but the trap triggers and keeps them at bay a little longer.
Life is confronted with Usimog, and they have conversation. Apparently, Life was the one who introduced Usimog to one of his many wives (the only white one, in fact), so they're on speaking terms. She tries to bargain with him for info on Rex. It seems Rex has partnered with the Nuzulu tribe in their endeavors, and are working together. Life is pretty sure these guys are gearing up for an offensive, but isn't sure and it isn't explicitly said. In the end, a Manipulate roll becomes a Seduce roll, with her "promising" (it was a 10+) him oral sex for a location and a piece of advanced tech to present as a gift, because Rex loves anything sufficiently advanced. Rex is based out of an old salvage yard, and they have a spare nitrous injector for one of their vehicles that Life can take. She promises to come back for that blowjob and is on her way with Vincent, getting their weapons back.
Bones and Hide are in a lush bedroom, all sorts of nice things around. They start digging around, and Hide decides it's his turn to Open His Brain, but I'm said to say I don't remember how he did it. I think he may have borrowed Bones's scope to try it out. He succeeded though, and found his way to the necklace inside a drawer. They start to head back out of the place, Bones shooting the hall and stairwell clear, and they're running and are at the office room again, across from the window. Guards from the bottom door are aiming with their machine guns, and Bones Acts Under Fire to make a run for it, and make it, vaulting out the window. Hide is right behind him, making the same roll, and only partially succeeding. No bullets, but he tripped and is now behind the desk. Bones provides covering fire with an Act Under Fire while Hide makes a diving roll out the window, making it and the two of them escaping into the woods, leaving a blasted mansion full of bodies and bullets behind them.
Life is riding into the scrap-yard, and is moving the wagon along as bunch of figures encircle her and Vincent. She calls out that she's here to see Rex, and a figure, silhouetted agains the sun, climbs over the top of the trash heap declaring "I'M Rex. You were looking for me?" as the session ended.

All in all, it was a ton of fun. I had a hard time with Life being separated from the others the whole time, and Kris also felt that it was a bit weird for his idea of Life to be venturing out of the Erotican herself, but a reactive-only sit-around character is kinda lame, and he knows that. Bones' and Hide's adventure was awesome, and they're going to have a LOT to answer for when they meet up with Life. Why is the necklace significant? Who is Rex? Will Life survive the scrap-yard? When will the two groups reunite? Will Daniel ever fucking show up to a session again? The answers to these and more in the next Actual Play of Apocalypse World! (which I already can do and just have to write it - I can already tell you, the answer to that last one was "no")
It's great stuff. I felt a lot more relaxed running it this time through, and I think it showed a bit. I had a lot of fun, and so did the players. Especially exciting for me was all the Brain-Opening! I fucking LOVE that move, and its variants in the other Apocalypse-Powered games. Whenever I play, I Gaze Into The Abyss, Spout Lore, and Open My Brain like crazy. They seemed to find it really cool as well, which I'm glad about.
I actually invented the Rex thing on the spot, and having already played the next session, he's my favorite. I wrote up his front a few hours before Session 3, and will post it up soon. I'm so psyched for this faction - Toyota and Usimog and Rolfball are cool, but damn if Rex isn't the best thing around for me - he has a bit of a sci-fi element, so that helps I guess.

See you next session!
End Recording,

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