Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Solo AW session 3 - Daddy's gonna pay for your crashed car

Back to the grind, Apocalypse World 2nd ed + CRGE

Beginning of session stuff, rolled for random stat highlights, got Hot + Hard.  Farley is still a kept man, but after his success in the Globe of Death, it's more of a house arrest than being locked in the dungeon.  He even gets to go out partying with Drivebelt Tyra and her goons most nights.  They are keeping him well fed and even the odd bit of luxury (so 2-barter on his lifestyle), but he feels very much on a leash.  They treat him with an odd mix of respect and denigration. They own him, he's a curiosity. A bit like pulling out a precocious younger brother at a party, but the real fun doesn't start until after they've been sent to bed.

I consult the Loom of Fate from the CRGE:  Do we see the Red Mantis Gang at any of the parties?  16 - No, and...(no addition to the surge count).

Hmm, No, and. I've already determined through the Threats that they haven't left town yet. They don't leave until the Wildcats show up looking for them.


The Wildcats are here in Rope Blood Towers.  They are a big gang, so they've got a bit of status.  It makes sense that their leadership would be invited to one of Drivebelts' shindigs.

The Wildcats leader, Joe's Girl, is there, as well as three of their offsiders, Dremmer, Gnarly and Tum Tum.  Drivebelt introduces them to Farley, talking Farley up as the best wheel man in the Badlands.  The Wildcats don't seem to like this very much.

"No one is better behind the wheel than Tum Tum." Says Joe's Girl.  "Sorry, Farley, but looks like you're number two."

At this point, I invoke my Reputation move.  That's 2d6 +Cool. I get 5 all up, a miss. The rules say that the MC gets to decide what they've heard.

"I heard that the Red Mantis Gang took you down like a punk, sold your sorry ass. Can't be all that if those assholes can get the drop on you." says Joe's Girl. Drivebelt and a few of her gang are looking offended.  Joe's Girl just grins and continues. "I wouldn't worry about those Mantis jerkoffs anymore. They got what was coming to them."  Remembering that in the Threats, the arrival of the Wildcats spelled the end of the Red Mantis Gang.

Farley's blood turns to  ice.

"My car," he says "They had my ute. What happened to it?"

Loom of Fate: Did the Wildcats torch the ute? 86 - Yes, but...(still no surge count).

Yes, but. The ute did get trashed in the ambush, but...but what?  It's salvagable, I guess. Damaged, but not destroyed. I check the vehicle harm chart. 4-harm: breakdown, can be repaired in a garage. Or maybe 3-harm: serious damage.  If it's 3-harm, the Wildcats can have brought it with them more easily. If it's at 4, there's a good chance they left it behind.  Instead of using the Loom, I just roll 1d6. 1-3, 3-harm, 4-6, 4-harm. I roll a 2. It's at 3-harm, so they brought it back to town.

The reason I didn't use the Loom is because I only wanted a yes/no answer. I didn't see a role for and/but/unexpectedly answers here.

"Will you sell it to me?" asks Farley.  Joe's Girl smiles, Tum Tum looks alarmed and Drivebelt Tyra's eyebrows go through the roof.

"Everything is always for sale." replies Joe's Girl. "Sling me, say (2-barter) and she's all yours. Do you have the jingle for that?"

Tum Tum looks panicked. Farley turns to Drivebelt, who has her arms folded and looks distinctly unimpressed. She has already spent plenty of barter on Farley this week, and is a little embarrassed and annoyed about the way this conversation has gone. Plus she knows would have to pay for repairs. She's not keen on this deal. She sees no reason to agree to it.

"Drivebelt," says Farley "You get me that car, you won't regret it, I promise you. I'm good with any vehicle, but with that one, I'm magic. We have an understanding. It's like a second skin."

Farley rolls +Hot (and marks one xp) as he tries to fast talk/manipulate Drivebelt into helping him out. He lands a 9.  They'll go along with me, but need some concrete assurance, corroboration or evidence first.

Drivebelt wags a finger in Farleys face and says "You've done well so far, but there's a long way to go. If you win your next game, I promise to get you your precious car."

Farley nods and accedes. Drivebelt shakes her head a little. Tum Tum looks pissed (he sure does want that ute to himself. It would have been his idea to bring it back to Rope Blood Towers). Joe's Girl is clearly enjoying herself. The party goes on.

The next day, the games are on again.

This time, it's in a large, oval ring. A bit like a nascar track, or for an Ancient Roman chariot race. It's dirt. There is a 3 metre tall wall of tires on the outside, with a chain link fence above that. The crowd sit on stands behind that fence. It's a huge crowd, almost entirely drunk and rowdy.  On the inside of the race track, there is a steep ditch, about a metre deep, with barbed wire, spikes and caltrops beyond it.

There are four vehicles evenly placed in starting positions around the track. If anyone has ever seen pursuit races for bicycles, you'll know what I mean. Except there's four competitors, not two.

Question for the Loom of Fate: Is Tum Tum competing in this event? I get a 26, that's a straight No, with 2 added to the surge count.  I take that to mean that my old ute isn't here either, especially since it needs repairs.

1st Vehicle - A motorcycle. 2 people on it, the passenger armed with an smg. This is the only armed vehicle in the game.
Strengths: tight and responsive. Looks: vintage.  Weakness: bucking. Massive=0, Speed=0, Handling=1, 0-armour.

2nd Vehicle - A semi.
Strengths: huge. Looks: powerful. Weakness: slow.  Massive=3, Speed=0, Handling=0, 2-armour.

3rd Vehicle - a buggy
Strengths: offroad. Looks: quirky. Weakness: unreliable. Massive=1, Speed=1, Handling=1, 1-armour.

3rd Vehicle - a coupe
Strengths: aggressive. Looks: sleek.  Weakness: guzzler. Massive=2.  Speed=1. Handling=0. 1-armour.

Farley is given the coupe. He has the buggy ahead of him and the motorcycle behind. The semi is on the opposite side of the track.

Drivebelt herself fires off a shotgun into the air to signal the start of the "race".  Farley slams the pedal to the metal and goes.

First of all, Farley tries to catch up to the buggy ahead of him. He has a higher speed than the motorcycle behind him, so he's not worried about them for now. I use the Overtake move from the Road War rules. That's rolling +Cool, I get a 12!  Farley quickly catches up to the buggy and pulls alongside.  To his surprise, the driver of the buggy looks like a skinnier dirtier version of Mr Bean.  The buggy driver (Norvell is his name, not that Farley knows that) glances at Farley with a look of bored disdain.  Now I'm going to shoulder this thing off the track, into the ditch and barbed wire.  I roll Cool again, which is where my real troubles begin.

I get a 5, meaning that the buggy shoulders Farley's coupe instead.  That means I take v-harm. Between the cars relative massive vs handling plus my combat driver move from the Driver playbook, I just roll a straight 2d6. I get 11, which is bad. I lose control of the vehicle. The attacker gets to choose 1, either I crash or spin out.

For a moment, I'm tempted to determine this randomly, but then I consider the fiction.  These games are a bloodsport.  Norvell is not trying to get away from me, they want to take me out. I crash.

Since Farley had been trying to push Norvell into the centre of the track, he crashes the opposite way, into the wall.  I'm calculating this as a direct hit against a moving vehicle. It's the only thing I can find in the book that makes sense. That's 3-harm ap, plus the vehicles massive. Now, which massive am I using? The buggy that sideswiped me? Probably not, it's the wall I'm crashing against, it just sent me on the path.  The coupes? Maaayyybeee.  It's the vehicle making the hit, after all. More likely, though, it's the wall itself. That's what's causing damage to the coupe.  And its massive would be sizable, equivalent to the semi, at least.  That would be 3 massive, for a total of 6-harm ap. The car is completely destroyed and all harm blows through to Farley, completely filling up his harm clock in one blow.


Two bad rolls in a row, that's all it took.

This brings me to the "when your life becomes untenable" move for the game. By rights, his goose should be cooked. Even if he was alive after the crash by some miracle, as loser, Farley becomes property of Rolfball the Butcher and that means dinnertime.

I can envisage a different ending.  Perhaps, for reasons unknown (a stakes question right there), Rolfball takes this broken half-corpse and repairs him, making Farley almost entirely cybernetic, a servitor to aid him in his duties. I would choose a new playbook, likely the Angel.  Farley (if he retained that name) would still be trapped, a slave in Rope Blood Towers, but under the thumb of Rolfball the Butcher.  He would be an object of derision by the gang members, assuming that they would even realise who he was.  He would obviously not be directly involved in the games anymore, as the focus of play would shift more to the citizenry of Rope Blood Towers and the cannibalism affliction they hold.

As it stands, though, I'm happy to let Farley go to a more peaceful end. He'd rather go out behind the steering wheel than be trapped in a lab, I think.  I pick the "die" option from the list and bring this little campaign to a close.

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