Saturday, January 28, 2017

We're Really Not in Parcher's Anymore... (Apocalyptic Dispatches from Parcher's Pt. 4)

A photo posted by Zack Schwartz (@thatwordyguy) on

Look what came! Not in time to run our fifth session of Apocalypse World, but still, it's a gorgeous book, though after running Apocalypse World off of print outs and tablets for the last two years it'll be an adjustment to run from a book, but a good adjustment.

Oh god. I really do apologize for this post, it's... it's not going to be a great recap. About an hour into the session I said out loud, to the players "Shit, I'm not taking any fucking notes, I am a shit GM" and then before I write the session up on Monday while it was still more or less fresh in my head, my wife and I got the stomach flu, probably from Gimli, the apoca-baby (whose arrival heralded the end of the first Apocalypse World game I ran for this group). So yeah, I'm trying to put this all together on like five words of notes a week after the fact through a haze of several days of fever dreams. I can make no claim that my recollection is actually what happened... Apologies.

So what maybe happened last time? Let's maybe find out!

So, as I said in the last dispatch we opened with Pinky, Thirteen and the gang chasing Man, Bolts, Ludo, Pup and Rothschild, who had gone into the Canyons to retrieve supplies from the bunker (discovered in the 1st session) that Rothschild had opened. Much to my admitted disapppoinment, there was not an intra-PC ROAD WAR, with none of the PCs attempting to stop the other group by violence. Instead Man dropped back on his motorcycle to chat with Pinky and Thirteen who told him that Rothschild was the Alpha of the Wolves of the Maelstrom who hunt Thirteen. This information didn't do much, as Thirteen hadn't spent much time telling Man about the wolves or their danger. Seeing that the PCs were content on just letting things ride, I decided it was time to toss in a quake from one of the other fronts.

The quake separated the motorcyles and the van, though for a moment Ludo's mask was knocked off and Man, Pinky and Thirteen all saw Didymous, but then Ludo quickly recovered and put his faceback on. Together again, Ludo asked his mask what to do. The mask told him to protect Pup but then Pup whispered that Ludo should kill Rothschild. I pulled Ludo's player out so that the other players didn't get to hear what Pup wanted Ludo to do. Another aftershock and Ludo ended up thrown out of the van with Pup, as did Rothschild. Up ahead, Bolts saw a pack of Drifters (basically zombies, inspired by the High Plains Drifters of Sandman Slim). The drifters were shambling aimlessly down the canyon, away from the bunker. Rothschild threw back his head and howled, and Bolts and Ludo heard at least one howl return from the far end of the canyon. Rothschild then just walked through the drifters, who parted ways for him. After a few moments of confusion, Bolts eased his van through the drifters, who likewise part, so that he, Ludo and Pup can follow Rothschild, which they do until the van comes to a part of the canyon which is too narrow for it, at which point they got out and headed into the bunker to follow him.

Meanwhile, Pinky got her bike, with the sidecar for Thirteen, over a rock fall in the canyon that had blocked them from the van, as well as a half-dozen of her gang and Man. They got to the drifter pack, saw that it was mostly docile and Pinky, impetuous now even though she had resisted sending her massive gang to rip Rothschild from the van earlier, decided to test that and shot a drifter. Unfortunately for her, that set the zombies off, and they entered a blood frenzy, attacking all around them. Pinky pulled her pack alpha move and ordered her gang to attack the drifters but didn't quite make the show and chose "they fight back over it" and "you have to make an example of one of them" and so she had to shot Larry (I'm pretty sure it was Larry...) in the back of the head then and there to make the command stick. The drifters meanwhile, had dragged Thirteen from sidecar, but then Man threw a grenade into the thick of them and between that, Man's Gunlugger badassdom and Pinky's gang (reluctantly) entering the fray, they made quick work of the zombies without much (or any) injury (aside from Larry, #riplarryifitwaslarry).

Ludo rushed into the bunker with Pup, while Man was more cautious and they were quickly split up. Then Ludo was split from Pup, and found himself face to face with Rothschild as he attempted frantically to work an electronic keypad to a massive containment/quarantine style door. Rothschild attempted to shoot Ludo as he charged, machete raised. In the end Ludo quickly put down the alpha wolf, but not without cost. Meanwhile, Bolts ran into Rothschild(!) as he moved down the stairs, exchanging gun fire, but when things looked like they would go poorly for the Savvyhead, Ludo arrived hearing the scuffle from below, as did Pup who launched himself at this second Rothschild, tearing out his throat. Bolts and Ludo realized that beyond the containment door was thirteen cloning tubes, three that were empty and ten which seemed to contain more copies of Rothschild.

Man, Thirteen and Pinky arrived down in the bunker at this point, as Bolts attempted to get the door open without success and Thirteen realized that Pup, whose face was dripping with blood and gore, had also broken open the skull of one of the Rothschilds and was eating its brain. Ludo pulled Pup off the corpse, the PCs gathered up the supplies they could load into the van and drove back to the Hardhold formerly known as Parchers...

...where they found barricades waiting for them and were told they were exiled by Dremmer's orders. To rub salt in the wound, when Man looked up to his (former) tower he saw Dremmer standing and watching with another Rothschild. Man took a shot at this third Rothschild, but didn't manage to get a killing blow and then players decided to leave rather than attempt to attack the well armed and fortified hardhold. So next time, we'll open with our intrepid PCs wandering the wastes as they will definitely not be in Parcher's anymore.

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