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RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: October 27, 2016, 09:22:25 AM »
Apologies for the lack of updates, my wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the world, so gaming has been put on hiatus for a bit. Although not for too long, since it's probably best to get those gamer urges planted early into a young, growing mind...

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: September 09, 2016, 02:53:05 PM »
Score #1 Big Dogs Don't Die

After four days of traveling through blisteringly hot scrubland, Team M.E.N.S.A finally arrived at their destination: White Sands Missile Test Range. Expecting the place to be completely deserted, they were surprised to see a middle aged man, clad in dust covered tactical gear, steadily chain smoking a seemingly endless stream of cigarettes, as he leaned casually on the entrance gate to White Sands. As the team approached, the man waved, introduced himself as Tucker, working for the DHQS, and asked if the team would like to discuss a lucrative opportunity to make some easy bounty. His affable and pleasant demeanor immediately set the team on edge, but they agreed to talk, and entered the periphery of White Sands.

The job Tucker proposed was an easy on, he assured them. He pointed out a squat, heavily reinforced, concrete structure that could just be seen, far in the distance, and identified it as the main control and research building. Somewhere in there, he told the team, there was a project that the DHQS would like shut down. All the team had to do was take the provided shutdown codes, find the project, plug the codes in, record what happened, send the video to a specific ubiq address, and easy as that, Tucker would be waiting at the gates of the facility to give them 40 bounty. It seemed like an easy deal, which spurred the team's paranoia into overdrive, but just to make sure they didn't get completely screwed, they negotiated for 15 bounty up front, the rest payable on completion of the job. Tucker agreed and handed over 15 bounty and the deactivation codes for the project, before walking off into the desert, leaving a trail of cigarette butts behind him. With no other leads to go on as to where to find valuables within the facility, the team started walking towards the command building.

As they approached within roughly a quarter of a mile of the structure, an automated drone launching mechanism activated, firing one of its observer drones into the air, where it began circling in slow, lazy circles around the team. Everybody on Team M.E.N.S.A pulled weapons out and waited tensely, but after a few minutes, nothing else happened, and they continued on their trek towards the command building, noting that clearly, some things in the facility were still getting power from...somewhere. Unfortunately, as they approached the large, reinforced steel doors of the command building, they could clearly see that the door's control panel was dark and unpowered, so Leopold got to work with the electronics tool kit, attempting to connect a large battery to the door controls to give them enough juice to work.

It was at this moment, that a low, droning air raid siren began blaring throughout the compound. The team tensed, unsure of what would happen next, and a voice suddenly began speaking from the loudspeakers dotted around the area. The voice stated that they were in violation of a laundry list of statutes and regulations, and if they did not vacate the area immediately, lethal force was authorized to be used for their removal. As the rest of the team provided cover, Leopold continued working on the door, managing to get enough power to open in about an inch. Without warning, the team saw six massive German Shepherds stalking towards them across the heat baked ground. Some of the dogs wore the tattered remains of tactical harnesses, and all of them looked battered, bloody, and really pissed off. They advanced on Team M.E.N.S.A, lips curled back, growling threateningly, when a strange thing occurred. The growling seemed to synchronize in pitch, and as the team watched, the movements of each dog began to exactly mimic that of his fellows, until they were moving in unison, and with singular purpose.

From out of the blowing dust loped the most monstrous canine the Takers had ever seen, built like a bull mastiff crossed with a german shepherd. It took up a position thirty feet behind the advancing dogs, and issued a choked, gurgling howl from its rotted lips. The team saw that one of its shoulders sported a gruesome, ragged wound, and wriggling black blight sinews squirmed beneath the skin of the beasts chest and leg. It made a noise somewhere between a bark and a cough, spitting thick lumps of glistening black goo onto the ground, and the rest of the dogs sprang into action simultaneously. Three of them dashed off to one side, flanking around the team, who were bunched up in the doorway of the command bunker, and the other three charged directly ahead.

General Oswald was prepared for their charge, and shot one as it leaped through the air at him. Though wounded, the beast clamped down on the General's arm, and the only thing that saved him from losing it was the integrity of his chainmail. Whisky Jack, however, fared far less well, his reaction time somewhat slowed by the realization that the monstrous dog-beast barely forty feet away was clearly an Aberrant, and it was staring straight at him. Too late, he saw the second guard dog leaping through the air directly towards him, and felt a searing pain and the animals jaws clamped down on his face, the flesh tearing and splitting as the weight of the dog dragged him down (Rolled 9 killing damage to the head after a failed dodge roll). His screams of pain roused the rest of the team to action, and the area erupted with gunfire.

General Oswald was able to take down the animal clamped onto his arm, while Whisky Jack, spraying fire wildly, gunned down the animal that had just destroyed his face. Cinema 19 ran to the door, and with a supreme effort of will, heaved it open several more inches, while Leopold's mcguyvering finally got the door open far enough for people to begin squeezing through. D.B. Cooper put down the remaining guard dog, before taking aim at the Aberrant and shattered one of its legs with a well placed pistol burst. The monstrosity howled in pain and began dragging itself away from the takers, as Team M.E.N.S.A ran headlong into the darkened interior of the White Sands Control Building, stopping inside only long enough for Whisky Jack to apply bandages to his face.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: September 01, 2016, 12:35:53 PM »
Score #1 Greed is a Great Motivator

Discouraged by the paltry take home pay from their last job, Team MENSA networked around town and hunted the LifeLines boards, looking for their next potential payday. All the jobs on offer within New Eden were small time, and the team wanted a big score to fast track their retirement plans. They were able to dig up rumors that White Sands Missile Range, far to the south, had been abandoned during the Crash, and had supposedly gone un-looted for the last five years. Putting their heads together, they came up with the following plan: The would cut a deal with one of the rising members of the Citadel's elite, go to White Sands, acquire a pile of weapons and abandoned pre-Crash military tech, and sell everything off through their new friend, who would be able to take credit for the find and use any goodwill gained to leverage his way up the ladder of command. Everything sounded easy, until the team did the math and found out that, considering the collective haul between them, the unit price for this score would barely get them more bounty than the last job. They needed some wheels to make this trip worthwhile.

A quick trip to the Citadel's motor pool introduced them to Clutch, the chief mechanic, who had a few vehicles on offer, for prices well above what the team could afford. There was talk of getting a loan, but nobody wanted to discuss or even consider what might happen if the job was blown and they defaulted, so instead they haggled with the only thing of value they had that interested Clutch, their mechanical knowledge. In exchange for rental of a flatbed, the team signed a contract agreeing to replace the vehicle completely, plus upgrades, if it was lost, broken, damaged, or returned in any condition assessed to be less good than when they took it, and they would put in time working in the motor pool servicing and upgrading the available vehicles. The team agreed, begrudgingly, and piled into the truck towards a lucrative payday.

It wasn't until they were outside of New Eden's walls that they realized the truck only had two charges of fuel in it.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: August 14, 2016, 12:22:13 PM »
The First Gig, Go Time

The team forced open the door to the warehouse and was greeted with a tangled morass of collapsed shelving units, overturned forklifts, and smashed and looted storage boxes. Contact was made with Twitch, a shaky, emaciated young man, who wore a lab coat and looked like he had recently been involved in a nasty fist fight. Twitch claimed to have the supplies the team wanted, but his prices far exceeded the twenty bounty they had on hand, so they started haggling. The final deal: in exchange for everything Twitch had brought, the team would trade their twenty bounty and the wagon full of guns, ammunition, and body armor they had accrued on the way to the job site. Twitch was hesitant, unsure how he would disappear so much stuff before making his way back to OSB Biopharmaceuticals, but eventually he agreed.

Unfortunately for all those involved in the deal, the StopLoss Asset Recovery Team, who had been monitoring Twitch and the Takers since both parties had arrived on site, made their presence known, smashing through the warehouse doors with a portable battering ram. The presented the team with a simple choice: Turn over Twitch along with any StopLoss property they had received and they would be free to leave, or they could be shot where they stood.

With scarcely a seconds hesitation, the team sprang into action, unwilling to let their first job go to hell. Leopold grabbed Twitch, who immediately began begging to be saved, and shoved him towards the exit at the back of the warehouse, while D.B. Cooper and the rest of the team engaged the StopLoss employees in a vicious, close range firefight. Cinema 19 was wounded in her flight towards the exit, a bullet grazing her ribs. General Oswald gunned down two of the StopLoss employees with a machine gun, giving Whiskyjack a chance to close distance with the StopLoss leader and engage him in hand to hand. His first attack, trying to smear a handful of his own infected blood into the operatives mouth, failed miserable, and he was rewarded with knife stab to the face. Abandoning that tactic, Whiskyjack drew his axe and gave it a mighty swing, missing completely and burying the head of his axe in the concrete floor of the warehouse. General Oswald was able to capitalize on Whiskyjack's melee distraction, moving into position and firing a machine gun round which sheared off a large chunck of the StopLoss commander's head, rendering him unconscious.

The team reconvened at the back of the warehouse, and struck a new deal with Twitch: his stash of supplies in exchange for safe transport and a life in New Eden. Twitch readily agreed. The team headed back towards the parking lot, to grab their wagon full of extra potential bounty, and found that their firefight had attracted, at a conservative estimate, thirty casualties to the area. They decided to mark the area, hopefully to return at a later date to reclaim their goods.

After paying upkeep, each member of the team took home about six bounty, which came as a bit of a shock, but they quickly rallied, eager to look for the next job. In the meantime, having successfullymade their first forray into the taking game, the team decided to name themselves M.E.N.S.A, or the Military Enforcement and National Services Association (hoping to capitalize on a PMC angle in future negotiations), and named their tontine The Scholarship for Higher Living.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: August 05, 2016, 01:04:32 PM »
The First Gig, At the Job Site

The Takers arrived at their destination, a nondescript lump of suburbia, which featured stretches of strip malls and abandoned parking lots extending to the horizon in every direction. The loot that they had accrued through the legs had been placed in a refurbished Radio Flyer wagon, which they had appropriated back in New Eden, and they had been dragging it behind them ever since. Upon their arrival at the warehouse complex where they were supposed to meet their contact, Twitch, there were several groups of casualties milling about, so the decision was made to stow the wagon full of guns, venom, and potential bounty, securely under one of the abandoned cars in the parking lot, safely hidden until the job was over. Unfortunately, as Whiskyjack and Cinema 19 stealthily made their was across the parking lot, Cinema 19's foot glanced off of a broken piece of headlight, from some long forgotten collision in the lot, which subsequently went skipping and bouncing, noisily, across the lot, the sudden sound of which was loud enough to alert the nearest mob of casualties that there was food nearby.

It was at this moment that the team realized that between the five of them, they had only two silent ranged weapons, the rifle D.B. Cooper had picked up in the snake juice shed, and Whiskyjack's bow. Thinking quickly, Cinema 19 ran to the wagon full of death, which Whiskyjack had just slid under a nearby car, grabbed a rifle, and leaped back into view of the advancing casualties, but rather than fire on them, knowing that sound of her weapon would likely draw more casualties in the area, she stood, stone faced, staring the casualties down, daring them to come get her, and using herself as chum while the rest of the team maneuvered into position. The next few turns saw many failed self control checks as the casualties inexorably advanced towards Cinema 19.

Concurrently, it was then that Our Lady of Blessed Dice Probability decided to call in all the markers that the players had accrued in the past five years, as round after round was poured downfield by D.B. Cooper and Whiskyjack, all to know avail. Whiskyjack, meanwhile, continued his stealthy approach to the warehouse door, to flank the mob approaching Cinema 19, but stepped on a long abandoned squeak toy that someone's dog had left behind in the chaos of the Crash, and the second pack of casualties was alerted to the presence of the team and started advancing. Despite the tension in the air, and their focus on the casualties, some of the team caught a brief glimpse of what appeared to be a flash of light, high up in a tall building some blocks away, but they were unable to waste precious seconds thinking about it.

D.B. Cooper was able to whittle the mob approaching Cinema 19 down to one casualty by the time it reached her, and summoning up all her strength, she savagely beat it's head in with the butt of her rifle. Whiskyjack, having grown tired of waiting for the rest of the team to find advantageous positions, decided to drop his bow, draw his axe, and charge, headlong, into the remaining mob. Given how the gods of chance had been feeling that night, probably not the best idea, as he promptly buried the head of his axe deep into the pavement of the parking lot, while the casualties tore chunks out of his chest with their jagged teeth. General Oswald, who had been moving into a flanking position, leveled his machine gun at the mob and took aim, just in case the worst possible outcome befell the team's Latent.

Finally, in a last, desperate push the kill the casualties, Whiskyjack wrenched his axe free and crushed the skull of the nearest casualty, while D.B. expertly dropped the remaining two with well placed rifle shots. Running low on ammunition, the team approached the warehouse, looking for their contact.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: August 05, 2016, 09:34:47 AM »
The First Gig, Part 2

Our group meets on Wednesday nights, and we all work pretty ridiculous schedules, so we only get to play for two hours or so, and we don't run things as tight as the RPPR group (someday, maybe), so the team started walking to the first job site, hoping to snag more than the 55 bounty the job was going to earn them.

Leg 1

A plume of smoke curling from the top of a small hill led the team to the sight of the aftermath of a battle between the Ablest Brigade (a mercenary company that were well known in the Loss for enthusiastically replacing their limbs with advanced prosthetics, and using their now infection-proof limbs to engage casualties at close range). Six of the Ablest, along with the smoking remains of their APC lay in what appeared to be a fifty foot diameter pool of congealing blood. Closer inspection revealed that the substance wasn't blood, but rather, something else altogether unidentifiable, and that it had active blight sinews wriggling around in it. The source of the pool seemed to be several raised mounds of congealed substance, dotted around the site of the battle. Despite the obvious danger, the decision was made to loot the bodies of the Ablest, as their weapons and armor seemed to be intact. Several hours and spent rations worth of canteen water later, the team was in the possession of three damp, but intact, kevlar vests, half a dozen rifles and pistols, a first aid kit, and a handful of charges to spread between their new weapons.

Leg 2

Walking along a highway following the foothills of the Sandia mountains, the team came upon partially overgrown footpath leading into the denser foliage, partially obscured by a makeshift camouflage net. Sending Leopold's recon drone down the path, the team found a dilapidated barn, with a faded, hand painted sign proclaiming "PREMIUM SNAKE JUICE". Unsure weather it was some hillbilly snake milking operation, or some hillbilly moonshine operation, the team proceeded with caution and carefully approached the structure. Knocking on the door produces no answer, so it was kicked in, and the team deftly avoided the outpouring of hungry, pissed off, venomous snakes that came pouring out of the structure. Skillfully navigating the around the snakes remaining in the barn, the team was able to pick up a silenced automatic rifle, and a few jars of snake venom, which they were pretty sure would turn a tidy profit from any medical professional they sold it to.

Leg 3

Hoping to avoid casualties in the low lying areas en route to their job site, the team pressed deeper into the foothills of the Sandia, and suddenly found themselves surrounded by dozens and dozens of dogs, all of varying breeds, sizes, and description. Though they were not behaving aggressively, the presence of so many large canines was a bit disconcerting to some members of the team. A few moments later, they heard the faint sound of a woman singing nearby, and smelled wood smoke. A friendly voice called to them through the trees "Don't worry about the dogs, they won't hurt you, as long as you're not jerks. They seem to think you're ok, so come on over to the fire and have some food." Approaching the fire, the team was greeted by legendary taker named Alpha, who fed them some delicious fire roasted squirrel, and offered to give them a small puppy, if they promised to take care of him. The team agreed, and over a relaxing dinner, they pressed Alpha for any information she might have had about their job site, the local area, or any rumors she might have heard recently. Conversation stretched long into the night, but eventually, Alpha took her leave, collecting her enormous pack of dogs and heading out into the Loss, leaving the small fire for the team, and telling them that the area should be pretty clear of casualties, as the dogs had gotten most of them.

I do love me some random roll tables, and the one for generating travel legs is pretty great!

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: July 25, 2016, 09:38:30 AM »
The First Gig

The Takers (they don't have a name to call their group yet), burdened by the ever present need to get the hell out of New Eden, and the Loss in general, entered into a tontine retirement pact. Nobody would leave until they all could leave, though there was some disagreement within the group about what "leaving" actually meant. Low on funds, they decided to kick things off by looking for a job.

Two opportunities presented themselves (there were a lot of networking crit fails in the first session): Cattleprod, leader of the Butchers, was looking for a group to do some clearance up in the nearby Sandia mountains. A notoriously cagey and secretive individual, the crew was unable to determine exactly what had to be cleared, where exactly they would have to go, or how much Cattleprod was paying (more crit fails), so they decided to go with option two, which was helping Dr. Moreau restock the New Eden Chop Shop.

The clinic was critically low on supplies, effectively empty of everything useful, and the good Doctor was going to be be in hot water with the powers that be if he didn't get it restocked ASAP. The doctor had found a contact, working for OSB Biopharmaceuticals, who was willing to sell, the only problems being 1) Dr. Moreau isn't a taker, and is loathe to venture out into the Loss, and 2) OSB Biopharmaceuticals is currently operating under the "protection" of StopLoss, and StopLoss does not take kindly to its subcontractors making deals on the side.

Still, through some deft scamming, the crew was able to substantially beat the doctor up on his price, and with a stack of bounty in hand to purchase the supplies, they ventured forth into the Loss.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:15:24 PM »
I know, right? And they did character creation together, as a group. I am excited!

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: July 21, 2016, 09:30:57 AM »
The Takers

Taker Name: Leopold Fitz
Player: Pete

Weak Spot: Pedantic
Soft Spot: Can't We All Be Friends?
Tough Spot: Steward (in training)

A mechanical engineering student from Scotland, caught in the US on a work-study program during the Crash. Actively being scouted by the DHQS.

Taker Name: D.B. Cooper
Player: Chris

Weak Spot: Stubborn
Soft Spot: Truth Above All
Tough Spot: Steward (propaganda sub-group)

A former news correspondent, turned field intelligence analyst by the propaganda sub-group of the DHQS.

Taker Name: Cinema 19
Player: Tegan

Weak Spot: Head in the Clouds
Soft Spot: Waste Not, Want Not
Tough Spot: Scavenger

A young woman with inherent skill at making things out of other things, who has become a bit of a scavenger, and a massive hoarder, since the Crash.

Taker Name: Whiskyjack
Player: Jazz

Weak Spot: Obsessive Risk-Taker
Soft Spot: Latents Are People Too!
Tough Spot: Latent

A latent, who is very, very pro-latent rights. Works as a taker to keep his immune brother hidden from the DHQS. Also fond of asking non-latents and non-immunes how fast they think they can run.

Taker Name: General Lee Oswald III
Player: Krista

Weak Spot: Vain
Soft Spot: Sense of Honor
Tough Spot: Believer - The Military Knows Best

A military commander during the Crash, the General saw some shit that broke him, and broke him hard. He has since fallen back on his fervent belief in strict military discipline and esprit de corps to see him through the horrors of post-Crash life.

RPGs / Red Markets Campaign: No Place Like Home, the Reboot
« on: July 19, 2016, 09:29:18 AM »
My group and I are just about ready to start our Red Markets campaign, and I figured I would post it here for public consumption. We do record our games, but I chickened out when it came time to send Caleb the APs for the beta test, and I'm not terribly tech savvy, so who knows where, when, or if the audio will ever see the light of day, but I do have aspirations!. In the mean time, I figure I'll just do session write ups and post them here.

The players chose to keep the enclave they made during the beta, as we only got to play through a handful of jobs, but decided to create new characters, as we've had a couple of new folks join the game. Here's the enclave write up, PC bios will follow once everybody gets their characters done.

Red Markets Enclave

Enclave Name:
New Eden

Location: Walled off section of Albuquerque, New Mexico, containing Albuquerque International Airport, the attached Kirtland Air Force Base, and a nearby public zoo.

   -Tiered walls with twisting switchbacks and dead falls, designed to corral any casualties that wander towards the city.
   -The wall is capped at multiple points with reinforced pillboxes, several of which have large freight elevators that travel up and down the wall, which are the only entrances and exits to New Eden.
   -Pre-Crash Albuquerque boasted a large community of hot air balloon enthusiasts, and the military units from Kirtland AFB were quick to capitalize on their abandoned supplies, deploying balloons as high flying, tethered, observation posts. At least two brightly colored balloons fly above New Eden at all times, acting as a beacon in the Loss, and allowing observers to see for miles in every direction, while safely flying a few thousand feet above the ground.
   -Between the military, international airport, and copious salvage within the city, New Eden has an extensive internal communication network made largely of reclaimed I-pads and laptops located in public terminals throughout the enclave. This communication infrastructure is largely powered by the near-ubiquitous rooftop solar panels within the enclave.
   -As a final emergency measure, should casualties ever enter the city, one of the subway tunnels beneath the airport has been excavated out to the Sandia mountains which directly abut the city limits, providing an escape route which bypasses the enclaves cargo elevator bottleneck entrance.

   In the early months of the Crash, military units stationed at Kirtland AFB did their best to protect and defend citizens, flying medical personnel in and evacuating people to safety. Sadly, despite their noble efforts and intentions, they were on the wrong side of the line. Rather than turn rebel, the command staff decided to stand fast, fortifying what they could, giving themselves, those under their command, and the large population of civilians in the area, the best chance of survival until rescue came. Thus was New Eden born, a beacon of hope and safety in the Loss.
   Lack of food supplies necessitated the recruitment of several local ranchers and farmers into the community, and a local zoo was turned into pens for food animal containment. Those few zoo animals that had survived the Crash were assessed as to their ability to be bred in captivity and if they required more than a modicum of effort, they were quickly eaten to make room for easier to raise domesticated farm stock.
   A schism soon began to develop between the established “benevolent” military dictatorship and fledgling meritocracy, culminating in a short, violent rebellion which was quickly and ruthlessly put down by well trained military personnel. Wanting to avoid another rebellion, the military bloc installed figureheads in a puppet government over the main sources of export production within the enclave, and an uneasy peace between the various political blocs has been maintained through fear, coercion, and corruption.
   New Eden, once a place of hope and safety, has become a cesspool of corruption, it's name spoken with derision and scorn. However, given that the only other choices for living spaces are the barren desert, or the casualty filled streets of nearby cities, New Eden continues to see a steady stream of people joining the ranks of its working and lower classes.

Top Exports:
   -Animal Products: Meat, sinew, hides, etc.
   -Medical Knowledge and Treatment: The veterinary facilities at the zoo have been modified and stocked to accommodate both human and animal patients. Kirtland AFB was host to numerous medical first responders during the Crash, so there are at least a dozen medical professionals on staff at any given time.
   -Potable Water: Albuquerque sits above a massive aquifer that has been referred to as “an underground Lake Superior”. One of the first priorities of the founders of the enclave was to get as much pumping equipment up and running as possible.

Top Imports:
   -Food Crops: The few fruits and vegetables grown within the confines of New Eden are used to feed the cattle and other domesticated herd animals. Virtually all other forms of nutrition have to be sourced from outside the enclaves walls.
   -Medical Supplies: Reserves of medical supplies needed to carry out complex operations and basic sterilization practices ran out early in the Crash, and a constant supply is needed to allow the medical professionals to keep doing their jobs.
   -Ammunition: Everybody needs gun food, and very few have the skills, equipment, or raw materials to make it.
   -Energy: Solar panels provide almost enough power for basic needs during the day, but a different source is needed for night time, or when the weather is more than slightly uncooperative.
   -Entertainment: As a work or die enclave, with only a small artist commune, residents of New Eden are desperate for anything to break up the crushing monotony of everyday life, and voraciously devour any books, movies, drugs, performance art, etc, that gets brought into the city.

   -Narcofarmers: A small commune of grow houses in an abandoned skyscraper on the far side of the city, producing a number of chemical products that were less than legal before the Crash.
   -Raiders: Former super-max prison inmates that escaped during the Crash, and weren't eaten by casualties, have banded together into a roving pack of violent raiders.
   -OSB Biopharmaceuticals: Roughly thirty employees of the biotech giant managed to barricade themselves inside the company's production facility, and were subsequently rescued and forced to restart production by StopLoss, which now provides for their protection and basic food needs, and holds the work contract for all their produced wares. Any trade with this OSB has to be kept secret, lest the wrath of a private military corporation be brought down on any interlopers.
   -The Absolvers: A reclusive religious group who believe that God made people into casualties because of their sins, and through toil their sins will be absolved. Rumors abound of lush, verdant farms in which casualties are used as beasts of burden, with teams of them yoked to plows, wagons, millstones, and other pieces of farm equipment, and the humans that drive them rely only on faith to assure their safety.
   -The Gargoyles: A rival taker group within New Eden, made up exclusively of latents. They live a few fuselages down from Whiskyjack in the Playground.

Social Structure:
   New Eden is a military dictatorship, with a puppet oligarchy installed and run by the former military, which itself has become more of a mafia than any branch of the armed forces. The various group are all fairly insular, and there is almost no upward mobility for the common citizen.
   -The Unit: Remnants of the armed forces which had been serving at Kirtland AFB, now the true rulers of New Eden.
   -Caretakers: Collective title of the governing council made up of the heads of each social group within New Eden.
   - Butchers: Those who control the production and slaughter of livestock.
   -Whitecoats: Doctors, EMTs and other medical professionals.
   -The Voice: The middle class, those responsible for actually working and producing.
   -Stock: Derogatory term for the teeming masses of underclass, those who responsible for cleaning up the messes made by the production groups, or clearing out the dead fall pits of slain casualties.
   -The Family: Underground movement violently opposed to the military rulers and their puppet oligarchy.
   -H.A.S.H: Small hippie and artist commune within New Eden, known for staging large, non-violent protests against the upper and ruling classes, usually consisting of elaborate pieces of performance art.

   -Citadel: Military HQ of the Unit, known as Kirtland Airforce Base, pre-Crash.
   -The Farm: Territory of the Butchers.
   -The Chop Shop: Salvaged veterinary facilities in the old zoo, home of the Whitecoats.
   -The Green Zone: Common living area of the middle class, so called because every flat surface that doesn't contain solar panels has some sort of garden for growing animal feed or subsistence agriculture.
   -Transfer Station: Trash strewn slums, home to the lower class.
   -The Playground: Latent quarantine zone. A fenced off runway at Albuquerque International Airport, with some hacked up airplane fuselages to provide living accommodations.
   -The Solarium: Artists district, home to H.A.S.H

   -The Commander: Leader of the Unit, actual name unknown.
   -Dr. Moreau: Longest practicing, and thus de facto leader of the Chop Shop.
   -Cattleprod: Head of the Butchers. Thoroughly enjoys is work. Rumors that he makes hefty bounty on the side by disappearing dissidents are completely unfounded.
   -The Smiths: Leaders of the Family. There are always two, a man and woman, no matter how many times they are arrested or killed.
   -Foreman Michaels: Speaker for the needs of the middle class, appointed by the Caretakers.
   -Salvador Vangoghsso: Avant-garde performance artist, and nominal leader of H.A.S.H.
   -Delight: Madam at New Eden's Den of Delight's, and a skilled information broker.

I'm trying to come up with a better title for the campaign, but am having trouble. I was thinking something catchy like "No Sale Left Behind", although that might be a bit copyright infringey.

General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« on: June 28, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »
I just started Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey. So far, it revolves around a nameless, injured, combat veteran protagonist, trying to cope with PTSD, doing a two year stint in a space-lighthouse, alone. So far, it's good stuff!

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: May 24, 2016, 09:18:57 AM »
I remember back during the beta test, there was some question about how near future the game was going to be set, and how advanced of a replacement prosthesis could be reasonably used. This seems like a good place to put this:

General Chaos / Re: Kickstarter: Cool Stuff
« on: November 18, 2015, 04:39:40 PM »
Joel Hodgson is going to be making more awesome!

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Beta Playtest Campaign: No Place Like Home
« on: October 29, 2015, 09:51:58 AM »
What do you do with a crashed DHQS transport train after you've killed everything living, and unliving, that fell out of it when it jumped the tracks? Loot everything that isn't bolted down!

Rummaging through the remains of the wreck, the members of Hazard Pay, LLC found a large supply of recently produced MREs, several laptops, and ubiq specs, which were quickly appropriated, as well as three locked cabinets filled with guns. Major and Whisky Jack hauled the lone survivor out, but not before Major gave her a blood test and discovered she was an immune. Eager to have another candidate able to supply him with blood for his research, Major decided to see if the Ablest could give the survivor safe harbor while she recuperated from her severe injuries.

Also of note, while scouring the train, Whisky Jack found a sizable amount of bounty, which he kept hidden for Major and himself, as well as some sort of ledger, which contained numerous pages that seemed to him to be written in an indecipherable code. Major took one look at and recognized immediately that it was a DHQS transit log, containing the manifest of the trains contents, as well as destination sites for the immunes and casualties on board, which were almost certainly DHQS black sites, giving him a potential lead on where to start searching for his lost research data.

On the drive back to New Eden, the team set up a meet with the Ablest to transfer the train survivor to their care, and they also bartered some of the loot from the train for a favor, to be redeemed at some point in the future. The remaining long, monotonous miles back to the enclave were passed with a serious discussion about outfit loyalty between the latents and non-latents of Hazard Pay, LLC, with some amendments being made to the company charter.

Back in New Eden, the take for the job was collected, and despite several broken pieces of equipment that needed replacing, numerous medical bills for the latents, and higher equipment upkeep, the members of the team managed to still put a couple of bounty towards their individual retirement plans.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Beta Playtest Campaign: No Place Like Home
« on: October 14, 2015, 11:41:22 PM »
The Transcontinental Repurposing Job, Part 2

Continuing through the legs of their journey, Hazard Pay, LLC ran into a group of the Ablest Brigade drawing in and engaging a large group of casualties in melee combat. All members of the Ablest possessed at least two, if not more, heavily customized prosthetic limbs, which were equipped with anything from crushing vise jaws to captive bolt pistols. The Ablest made quick work of the casualties, then formed a defensive perimeter around their APCs and waited. After a few tense minutes, the members of Hazard Pay were spotted and asked who they were and what they were doing. Not wanting to run afoul of twenty plus heavily armed military types, the team approached and introduced themselves.

The Ablest were courteous, but they made a point of saying that their time was short. When pressed for more information, they hinted that there was something in the area that was bigger, or at least, far more deadly, than a vector, and they were hunting it. They offered to pay the team for any information passed their way, and freely gave what little information they had about their prey. Double Tap inquired about possibly getting some prostheses for his dependent, but was told that sadly, with her spinal damage and complete loss of the use of her legs, the prosthetics would be of little use. Some of the Ablest hinted that they had voluntarily given up meat limbs as part of their sign on deal, though most had been amputated as a form of battlefield triage to prevent infection.

The groups parted ways, but not before Major was able to convince the Ablest to give him blood samples to begin his new round of research. The Ablest left the team with a radio as a means of contact, though its range was extremely limited without a repeater nearby.

The final leg of the journey was supposed to be a dead drop to pay off Whisky Jack's reference for earlier help, as well as a final chance to scrounge up some extra bounty. Things went downhill when the truck Major and Whisky were driving, Roadhaul (appropriated from raiders in the No-Fly Zone Job) set off a landmine near the drop site. Though it was an indirect hit, Roadhaul went flying through the air and landed roughly, causing significant damage to itself, and its passengers. Cursing his reference for what he suspected as a double-cross, Whisky left the payment, and Major attempted to stop so much Latent blood from leaking out of the pair of them. Roadhaul still ran, though extremely poorly and likely not for much longer, so the team sped away from what was apparently a minefield in the middle of the New Mexico desert, now even more desperate to get their payday.

The job site was a nondescript stretch of desert, which had half a dozen rail lines running through the same area, all roughly parallel to each other. Despite the injuries, the damage to Roadhaul, and the lateness of the day, the team put in some time pulling railroad spikes and loading the first few haul worth of tracks into the transport truck. As the sun went down, they came to terms with the fact that they would all be spending a night in the Loss, virtually alone, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the thin canvas walls of the transport truck for protection. Tensions between the team were running high, as the non-Latent members were now avoiding the Latents, who both had fresh wounds which still occasionally bled.

The night was uneasy, but passed uneventfully, and in the morning, the team started breaking down and hauling track sections again. This went on into the afternoon, with the team toiling away in the blistering heat. Unfortunately, for the team, it turned out that the DHQS was still using rail lines and diesel-electric locomotives for moving across the Loss. Doubly unfortunately, one such train came hurtling down the tracks, hidden by blowing dust and heat mirages until the team could feel it shaking the ground beneath their feet. In a blind panic, the members of Hazard Pay ran to their vehicles and were able to frantically drive a short distance away, before the train plowed, full speed, into the area of removed track. It was a horrific wreck, with chunks of twisted metal and flying through the air, and gouts of burning diesel erupting from the trains fuel tanks.

At least one of the train crew survived the wreck, as moments later, Major's radio picked up a frantic distress call warning people out of the area, and gunshots could be heard from the far side of the train. The radio cut out as a blood drenched, and partially chewed and clawed vector leaped on top of on of the ruined train cars ran straight towards Major and Whisky Jack. Double Tap wasted no time jamming the transport truck into gear and speeding away from the scene of the crash, with Cranberry in tow. Whiskey stomped on the accelerator and Roadhaul gave one final, mighty surge of speed as it slammed into the vector in its headlong charge. The resulting impact left a vector shaped dent in the front bumper and the vector began clawing its way over the hood of the now ruined truck, with most of its entrails hanging out.

As it reached the cab, Major cut one of the deployed airbags off the dash and jammed it down over the vectors head, before leaping out of the truck. Whisky took the opportunity to fire at it point blank, before the things fists connected like a hammer and sent him flying through the driver's door. It was at this moment that the rest of the surviving casualties that had been in the train came shambling into view. As the vector continued to crawl forwards, Whisky Jack frantically emptied his pistol into it, putting it down for good.

Double Tap had turned the truck around and was headed back towards the rest of his team, and between the four of them, they made quick work of the remaining casualties, despite several weapons breaking and requiring repair. Major had climbed up on the train during the battle, and began searching the wrecked cars for anything useful. The first car held a jumbled pile of crates which would need more thorough investigation. The second car held thirty people, or, rather, the pieces of thirty people, who had been chained to the walls prior to the crash. Despite the noise of crackling diesel flames, Major heard a weak voice saying "Please, help me..." and saw a hand among the pile of bodies, feebly moving its fingers.

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