On Friday, February 19th, 2016; I ran Apocalypse World (that cool tabletop RPG by D. Vincent Baker) using the 2nd edition Kickstarter preview pages alongside the copy I have of the first edition of the rules. If you haven’t heard of this game before, go check it out. Or you can just keep reading. This post is long as heck and broken into two parts: [Characters and the Apoc] and further down the page [Session Proper].
Characters and the Apoc
We had (3) Players for this first session (more people will be joining most likely); so we had the Maestro D’ (played by Isaac), the Faceless (played by Maria) and a Quarantine (played by Chet). While we went around making character together and connecting those dots, we talked about what were stuck with in the dirt.
We ended up going with St. Johns in Newfoundland, Canada. We came to this conclusion, not because we knew a lot about Canada, but because Newfoundland is a cool name and Google Maps proved to amuse us. St. Johns is a city, sitting in ruins and currently being reclaimed by nature; buildings are draped in vines and are barely being held together by the green. So, nature is reclaiming civilization, dense forests sit around scrapers and the city itself.
Then we brought up the Quarantine. A soldier cryo freezed in a secret gov facility in a certain mountain in the Avalon Wilderness Reserve, he saw the fall when it happened then is around to see what happened later, but he missed the in between (so shock was probably a part of defrosting). He had awakened alongside a fellow soldier, Jackson (Tammy, M.) who was not shielded to the effects of the Psychic Maelstrom. A bright flash of light, and Jackson saw something that Jon (Quarantine) didn’t see. Jackson becomes paranoid in the time after defrost in the stasis facility with Jon; couple days later she starts babbling incoherently and strikes out at Jon. A brief altercation occurs and she is thrown over the railing, she plummets into the dark below of the facility and Jon is left to wonder. Jon runs off and wanders towards the city, wandering into a parking lot with a parked food truck; owned by Smoky (Maestro D’).
Smoky has a respectable establishment and a smart setup. He owns a shawarma truck called Gyropa where he sells shawarma, coffee, and hookah. A stocky barrel of a man, Smoky makes rounds with his truck, stopping in various lots across the city within/nearby settlements for a couple days; you can tell he is coming by when you hear the loud Arabic rap music blaring from the stereo (he doesn’t know what it is or means, but it IS his heritage). You hear that sound, and you know kindness, and delicious shawarma is nearby. You can’t be sad when you are eating good food, and you can always chat while you eat. So how would Smoky react to Jon J. Johnson? With some hot food and a job. Jon acts as security for the truck along, but Rastl (Faceless) bounces them off if needed.
With a scary as all heck mask, Rastl is as scary as he is big. He looks like a pile of shredded tires, chains, and scrapped metal; he is a terrifying mass of armor (also he has a machete). Rastl is a mothfro who comes at you charging ready to rip you to pieces, you can shoot him up but he’ll just keep coming at you. But he isn’t just that, he used to have a gang, he used to lead a pack. But that petered out and he had to move fast; he needed some cover and Smoky was there. Rastl (pronounce as Rast-il) visited Smoky and liked that shawarma, they became buddies and Smoky helped him out in his time of need.
So that is who we got for now, but we also have the Psychic Maelstrom which ripped apart Jackson. We discussed this briefly and came up with tears in the sky that demons come through. That’s where we are with it right now, and what else comes for it depends on what happens later. Just calling them demon sky holes for now.
Specialist Johnson, Jon J.
Quarantine played by Chet.
Stats: (+2; hightlighted)Cool, (+1; highlighted)Hard, (+0)Hot, (+1)Sharp, (nil)Weird.
Smoky Hx+2, Rastl Hx-2
Moves: Combat veteran, Leave no one behind, Eager to know
Stasis: Emerged from stasis a few weeks ago, which is securely hidden in the wilderness reserve.
Stasis Facilities: Armory (6 assault rifles, 6 suits of military body armor; he is loaded at the base),
Gear: assault rifle, 9mm sidearm, military body armor, fatigues and scrounge, no jingle, and a sweet mototrike (two wheels in front, one in back, a military motorcycle that is a beefed up version of the motorcycle from the bat-tank from the new Nolan movies).
The Maestro D’ played by Isaac.
Stats: (+0)Cool, (+1)Hard, (+2; highlighted)Hot, (+1; highlighted)Sharp, (-1)Weird.
Jon Hx+2, Rustl Hx+3
Moves: You call this hot?, Everybody eats, even that guy
Establishment: Easy food (shawarma), coffee, drugs (hookah)
Gear: heavy tanned leather apron kind of deal, oddments worth 2-barter, and the traditional knife. Oh, and of course the food truck.
The Faceless played by Maria.
Stats: (+1)Cool, (+2; highlighted)Hard, (-1)Hot, (+1)Sharp, (+0)Weird.
Smoky Hx+2, Jon Hx+0
Moves: Rasputin, Juggernaut, As one
Without the mask: Afraid and Irresolute.
Gear: A brutal machete, heavy armor (2-armor), oddments worth 2-barter
Smoky has set up the Gyropa in the parking lot of a ruined Tim Hortons (where the only thing that still stands intact is the sign). Jon is patrolling the area directly around the Tim Hortons to make sure it is still safe and secure. Meanwhile, Rastl is leaning up against the back of the truck; looking cool as heck.
Toyota (Smoky’s best regular; 15 years old, male, black) is sitting on a bench with a hot shawarma in his hand. Smoky notices that he has barely nibbled on his food. Rastl and Smoky see that Toyota is sitting in a guarded position, closed and obviously distressed.
As Jon is returning from his patrol, Smoky starts speaking to Toyota; trying to get him to open up.
- They learn that Toyota has a girl that he is sorta-kinda interested in.
- Toyotas mother, Camry, is pushing him to hand over his car (it’s a Toyota). The reason being he says is a salesman came by; but he thinks it was some kind of pusher.
- That he impresses his friends with his car. It’s what makes him feel cool. He worked hard to get this car to work, the spoiler was especially difficult to find; but it was worth it because it makes the car go faster.
“You know what they say Toyota, you can be sad before you eat and after you eat. But while you eat… well, no one can be sad.”
-Smoky to Toyota
Since it is later in the day, Smoky starts to close up shop so that the group can have a chat with Camry about the salesman. The group follows Toyota to where he lives; Jon on his mototrike, and Smoky and Rastl in the Gyropa. Which blasts Arabic rap music over the loudspeakers.
On the edge of where the vines in the city go from loose density to heavy density, there is a small building that is partly collapsed which is held in place by the vines. The group parks in the parking garage beneath the building. Up the stairs, there are apartments crammed with people and makeshift homes, with clothes lines in the wide hallway.
They enter Toyota’s place. He calls for his mother, Camry (older, stiff hair filled with product, slightly wrinkled face), who enters the room and has a brief mention with Toyota about surprising her with guests then welcomes Rastl and Smoky (Jon stayed down stairs to protect the truck).
- Tells Smoky that Mimi at the other community is jealous that the food truck hasn’t come by there setup lately. Everyone sits down, Smoky onto the couch which is made of piled up down jackets.
- Smoky says he wants to move the truck, but that there are rumors about bad people about. And that he asked Toyota what he has heard about this (Camry says he got his smarts from her). Camry is in disbelief that there are dangerous people and says this place is wonderful and no bad folks are about. Rastl reads a person (gains XP; full success) and holds 3; asks at the moment “what does your character intend to do?”, response was that Camry is trying to convince the group that there is nothing wrong here and that Toyota is lying about the problem.
- Smoky convinces Camry to speak about it, she leans in to whisper, saying that she can’t talk about this topic right here otherwise Toyota may hear (loud music blaring from his room). Smoky was not concerned that Toyota would even be able to hear it. Rastl spends a hold to ask another question, “how could I get your character to tell us about the bad people?” response: you need to take her somewhere where no one could overhear the conversation (the walls are thin). Smoky offers a bit of hookah and invites her down to the truck.
Jon finds some Clues
The scene changed back to Jon down in the crumbling garage, it is getting dark but light pokes through the cracks in the concrete. Jon has had time to poke around the place while on guard and takes notice of some motorcycle skid marks (3 to 4 sets) that look like some kids with bikes just peeled out of the place. As he paces around he walks close by a garbage can with a broken flap, he notices a slight shimmer of something reflective coming from within. He looks and finds a greasy cloth (lubricant) wrapped around a bloody pistol (a sharp and cool looking gun; super shiny).
- The pistol is loaded, 1 in the chamber, safety off. Jon flicks it on.
- The gun is covered in blood and definitely has a bit of meat and hair on it (like if someone pistol-whipped a guy upside da head).
- Jon puts the gun back where it was in the garbage can (he picked it up carefully leaving no marks).
The group meets up. Smoky takes Camry to the food truck, and Jon gestures discretely for Rastl to come take a look (without alarming Camry). Rastl sees the gun, Jon points out the specific incriminating elements. The first questions that come to Rastl’s mind are: where is the body? And why hide the gun? The gun is placed back where it was, Jon and Rastl then proceed to investigate the parking garage.
- Rastl checks out the other garbage cans, tosses around the garbage he only finds (of notice) cigarette butts and a bottle of black liquid (a “spit bottle”).
- Kicking around the rubble there isn’t anything solid, no bodies.
- A blood trail is found starting at the skid marks then leads to the stairs. Jon asks for Rastl to keep an eye on Smoky so that he can run upstairs and investigate.
Camry talks about the Salesman
Rastl looks in on Smoky and Camry as they smoke that sweet hookah. Camry tells Rastl and Smoky about the salesmen who wore a dark blue jacket and wanted to talk about some sort of insurance.
- The salesmen said that he was from one of the settlements. That some kind of hoodlums have been going around wrecking places up, and that he had polaroids (pictures) of rooms that were completely destroyed and implied that the hoodlums do this kind of thing to people like the nice people here.
- He offered that if all the residents pitched in and paid monthly that they would be guaranteed a new place to live (furnished, pretty and everything) if anything happened to their homes.
- Smoky sees that Camry is about to cry and attempts to calm her down using seduce or manipulate (big miss), she says that she was handling the situation just fine and doing right by her boy. She says the way to peace is to just get the rest of the money for the next payment.
After Camry leaves Rastl fills Smoky in on the gun situation.
Jon follows the blood trail up to the same floor as where Toyota and Camry live. He walks down the hallway and passes by where the what looks like the last of the residents are set up. Along the walls hardcore rap and rock posters are setup (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson poster and a young Will Smith poster). A kid hangs around the corner, he blonde hair black tips with a sleepy eye stare looks to Jon (who sees that the trail continues past him).
Jon sees spray paint on the walls, more posters, and a large wire spool setup as a table with boxes and stools for chairs. The kid says that this is where the kids hang out and that Jon can’t shouldn’t be here. Done with this punks sh!t, Jon rolls going aggro (gains XP; rolls “okay”) with a stern face and the kid backs off calmly around the corner.
- Looking at the table Jon sees that blood is on one of the chairs and that with the motion, it looks like someone could have been shot in the leg sitting down. The gun was missing about four shots, so there’s one (possibly who got whipped too).
- Tossing over papers and some rank rags, Jon sees in the wall bullet holes at odd angles. These shots were fresh. And they look like someone shot wildly as they turned around to escape or while fired while swinging the gun.
- A silver flip liter is found on the group beneath the table, scratched deep into it is a hashtag symbol (or pound sign; “#”). The liter is left where it was.
“Jeeeeez, what a skeever…”
-Punk Kid as he backs off from an Angry Jon
Done there, Jon heads back downstairs and bumps into Camry and say their farewells and talk to you laters.
Gathered and Stuff
Smoky is preparing the truck to move as Jon walks back to the truck. Jon while looking in all directions tells Smoky and Rastl about the den; that a struggle occurred and a blood trail leads all the way down to the skid marks of several motorcycles that left in a hurry.
A sharp clank is heard as the door to the stairwell closes and a surprised Toyota is seen. He says that he has come down to check that he locked the car, glancing back to the group he says that he did lock it before, and he leaves going back upstairs. It was kind of suspicious how he wasn’t facing the direction of his car when he walked out the door; he only started to the car once the group saw him.
The decision is made go to the address Camry gave for the insurance salesman’s office.
The group drives down the streets heading to the address Camry gave them. They pass by a short building (one floor) that has windows that are boarded up with wooden fencing; only slight flickers of light can be seen through the cracks. In front of the building is a bunch of motorcycles parked in front of the dive bar.
They continue forward, Jon pulls up to the side window and gestures towards the bikes “Do you know anything about them?”. Rastl saw while they passed that most of the bikes had bent nails on the handlebars (for putting your fingers between as you ride through the apoc like a B.A.).
Coming to the address there is a building covered in vines, big thick roots crack through the concrete, the glass windows shattered but the doors still intact. It was an upscale clothing store (more like tailored suit place) couple years over 50 ago. Broken bottles and intact empties are all around the floor littering the corners of the store floor. The counter is the only thing without broken glass or mess on it like it was wiped off purposely, there is a stack of papers on the counter which read like very badly written contracts that were penned by scammers wanting guns, ammo and money. A blue suit sits folded up on the chair behind.
This place seems pretty empty currently. It’s a middle address (come here, not our hideout). So Smoky heads up a couple floors (six story building) looking through the rooms to see if anyone lives here. Not finding anything though.
Drunks and Bikes
Jon is watching the truck in the side parking while Smoky is upstairs and Rastl on the base floor. They hear the squealing of tires and the hooting of some riders. Jon pulls out his rifle and stands watch crouched behind his bike.
Four bikers ride up to the building, most in leather, one with studded metal knuckles (like, studs on the hand), another has a chain over his shoulder, one with a spike on a helmet. They yell out into the building and two drift then drive their bikes through the glass doors. One has a chain to swing and the other with a pipe, they are coming towards Rastl. But Rastl runs forward like a huge mothfro and swings his machete at them (rolls a miss; so harm is exchanged). Smoky is back on the base floor as Rastl gets hit by a chain and pipe (but he is terrifying so that damage is weak), the two bikers are knocked down but the fight must continue!
The guy with the chain has it wrapped on a part of Rastl’s warped metal armor and is pulling. The other guy is on the ground with one arm cut off, blood sprays all over and Rastl’s machete is drenched.
Jon, who is behind his bike taking cover, can see what is going on through where the glass used to be. Opening fire Jon hits the chain guy in the chest, he flops to the ground and a squealing noise is heard as air escapes his chest. Two bikers with guns stand in the doorway, Rastl runs to them flailing his arms and machete in the air. They don’t want to fight on but Rastl wants to! Shotgun guy is on the ground pleading and pistol guy flees driving off on his bike freaking out.
-Freaking out Biker who flees
The guy on his knees pleading says he will chat when Rastl, the crazy mothfro, is away and on the stairs. Smoky comes close to the guy to chat as Jon flicks on his laser sight to be directly on his chest.
Smoky says he can go get an iron from the stove, heat it up and cauterize the wound. The guy with the lost arm passes out on the ground. Smoky introduces himself as the owner of the shawarma truck Gyropa; he brings shawarma to the guy who had the pistol.
Smoky offers to kill the squeaking man or let him kill him. He says he’ll do it, leaving the gun on the ground he walks over and lifts his foot (which on the back of the heel has a spike-knife, like a spur) and backs the heel into his buddies skull. Takes a bite of shawarma. And drops the rest on his now dead friend. They then have a quick chat.
- Gang confirmed. These guys were drunk and riding and are gangers. This guy only runs around places, hasn’t heard of the insurance bit really. He’s just muscle. But there is a guy who bosses them around who wears a tie and takes pictures.
- These four weren’t the only people in the gang. The leader “Pretty Bill” likes to have a ton of people around.
- The guy says he can lead everyone there on his bike. He mentions his name is “Dix” and doesn’t do anything about passed out and 1-arm; he honestly doesn’t give a shot about him.
That is where the 1st session of our Apocalypse World campaign ended. At the time of this posting (starting writing it after I ran it), we have already played session two. Hopefully next weekend I’ll have the next play report up.
The game was pretty awesome and fun. Everyone enjoyed it! So yeah, shweet.