Author Topic: Technical Difficulties Gaming Podcast: Red Markets Beta Campaign: The Reformers  (Read 50411 times)

The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2016, 09:57:25 PM »
MR. JOLS: [REDACTED] PART TWO

This episode was purely combat. Our heroes made it out alive, but not unscathed. All three took some damage, as did Anton, but they made it out alive. Highlights:

The truck Deaddrove the Casualties towards the building. Our heroes recognized three Vectors and promptly took them out. As the DCA got closer, Freebird was able to recognize them, and learned that all five were leaders in the DCA: Abrams, Bradley, Eisenhower, Goodpaster, and MacArthur, with Bradley being the one who destroyed Davion's hand! Elder also realized, to his horror, that one of the trucks had a burned flag of his old Mormon enclave, Adam-ondi-Ahman.

They managed to take out one of the two pickups, and the DCA made it out on foot to break open doors. They managed to all but blast off Bradley's head, and realized that he was a Latent. After that they called shot'd his head and killed Bradley. After trading fire and injury, they used Bruno to 'Dead Run' the remaining Casualties away, and managed to inflict heavy damage on the truck and its occupants. As the four remaining DCA members attempted to flee after the driver got precariously close to bleeding out, Elder got one final shot and managed to destroy the truck, flipping it over in flames and killing everyone but Goodpaster.

Elder and Pixie ran out to the truck, Elder demanding to know what happened to Adam-ondi-Ahman. Apparently the DCA, kicked out of the Four Seasons and with their reputation ruined, decided to try to sack Adam-ondi-Ahman, but the presence of a couple of taker groups (Mayhem and the Archivists especially) drove them off and shattered the moral of the remainder of the DCA, leaving only the leaders to try to take their vengeance on the Reformers. After saying some Spanish and Hebrew, respectively, the heroes left Goodpaster to scream racist things as he burned to death in the wreckage, and our heroes regrouped to continue their search.

MARKET TICKER

This combat was amazing and amazingly fun. I'm glad I gave them some NPCs so we could get into some serious combat. They made it out pretty good, and destroyed their prime enemies.

The thing I enjoyed the most is having to come up with the opponents' tactics on the fly. It's fun when I'm playing myself, but it's also interesting to have to plan what these enemies would realistically do. After being heavily wounded they began to argue about fleeing, but vowed to keep fighting, to their deaths.

We have posted the first episode in the Community AP thread, and Ross moved the file so it should be uploaded any day now. We'll hopefully wrap up Mr. JOLS tomorrow and then we're one - three sessions away from the end. Stay tuned!
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trinite

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #61 on: February 11, 2016, 04:57:48 PM »
It was fun. We're still using the beta rules straight as-written, so legs are still the primary form of armor. But the combat nonetheless felt dynamic and tactical. It was a good change of pace to be on the defensive rather than on the attack. And I felt that we worked a little bit harder to more fully employ the combat rules, using options like called shots and full offense to good effect. And I did get to scrounge together a Molotov and drop it on some zombies, which made me happy. :D

We had to improvise some rules for damaging vehicles, which I hope gets addressed in the final published rules. Sorry I sound like a broken record, but vehicles need their own section. Giving them Damage charges on one line and Fuel charges on another might be a good solution, and help make them more expensive to use too.

TLC, once we finish this job, I'll be very interested to discuss how the secret rolls during our Score design session influenced how you put together this job site. Assuming we survive whatever's down in the basement.
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #62 on: February 11, 2016, 10:14:44 PM »
Normally I let my thoughts on the session stew before I post the recap, but I have quite a few, so fuck it, we'll do it live:

MR. JOLS: BLOOD HARVEST PART THREE

After eliminating the DCA the heroes searched the third floor of Gregor Agriculturalists, where they found president Barry Valentine's office... with him dead in it. His diary indicated that something was in the basement, and he had a crisis of faith and ultimately took his life, with gun that had one last bullet. After loading up the box truck with everything valuable outside of what they came for, the Reformers and Samuelsson went to the basement.

At the guard kiosk they found a fully loaded Rifle and with a crit success Freebird found a hidden cellphone with one contact: Benjamin. Also on the phone was a pdf that had truncated maintenance plans for the vertical farming equipment, as well as a second model that was an enclosed tank. After checking the empty bathrooms they went into the main lab, which had the vertical farms... and to their horror (and Pixie's delight), containers that were growing organs. Hearts. Lungs. Intestines. As well as a final container that had a completed digestive system, fully functional. Freebird cracked and vomited his guts out before leaving the room. The others followed.

Once he regained his composure, they checked the other room in the outer hallway, which was the maintenance room, containing the maintenance records. Freebird then insisted he would be fine and ran into the grow lab, where he noticed black strands hanging from the ceiling. Elected to check the room opposite the side with the strands, they found a seed and stem cell library. As they elected what to do Pixie made the last Sensitivity check necessary to realize that Samuelsson was hiding something, and he came clean; he is a DHQS agent. His crew had been occasionally coming to Gregor to maintain the equipment and reverse engineer it so they could safely transport everything. He also knew that 'something' was in the waste room, but they left it to its devices.

The Reformers did not elect to do so, and used Freebird's Molotov and used the forklift to secure the door. After barely making his Athletics check, Freebird tossed the Molotov right into the hole leading to the offal / waste tank, and heard an inhuman roar. They moved the forklift in time and then fled the building, leaving the thing to its fate. In exchange, Samuelsson let them take 6 of the vertical farming tanks and the schematics for the organ growth tanks; combined would be more than enough Bounty to be a satisfactory Mr. JOLS. Samuelsson's CO, the aforementioned Benjamin, came back an confirmed the 'thing' was killed and that the building and tanks are fine.

In the aftermath (and during as well,) Samuelsson explained himself. His crew was taken off the Gregor job when it was discovered that Jeff Carnavan was printing fake Bounty. Samuelsson was implanted with the Reformers to study them (since while they had spent the fake Bounty their records were otherwise clean,) while the rest of the six person squad studied Jeff's City to locate where the ID printers might be located. The DHQS was split with how to deal with the situation. Samuelsson's bosses wanted to find a way to deal with Carnavan and / or disable his ability to print, another faction wanted to just sack Jeff's City and let God take care of the rest, and the final, horrible group wanted to devalue Missouri Bounty... which everyone else realized would eventually lose people's trust in Crash Bounty, rending it void, which would likely render Recession US currency void, and the whole economy of the present and former United States would collapse.

As they saw it, Jeff's main enforcers and scavengers of the materials were the DCA. By taking them out, Samuelsson sent a threat to Jeff, and he should be taken care of. The Reformers were shown two options; they could help Samuelsson's squad infiltrate the facility where Jeff was storing the Bounty printers and disable and/or destroy them, permanently rendering him incapable of printing fake IDs. They could also steal his legit Bounty and be truly made for life, and with no printers and no Bounty Jeff would be ruined and his collapse much more peaceful. Or if they just took the money and ran, they could, but without the DCA Jeff might have a more violent fall, especially once the nearby Enclaves realize what Jeff's doing. The fall of Jeff's City in this fashion might have consequences for the Four Seasons. After the additional prize of having the DHQS fly them back to the Recession, claiming they were 'survivors found in a bunker' (common parlance for personnel brought back by DHQS,) not only could the Reformers return to civilization, they could also have their full lives back. Both tempted and worried for their soon to be former home, the heroes elected for a second Just One Last Score...

MARKET TICKER

This session went very well, although there were certainly things that could have gone better. I did kind of shoehorn in the final boss (SPOILERS: it was an Aberrant called The Fisher of Men. Caleb didn't want corpse gestalts, so I made an organ gestalt.  ;)), but the players agreed that although anti-climactic (since they beat it without fighting it,) it and the confrontation with Samuelsson were good as climaxes. Since they thought I was going to throw a final boss at them I thought I should, but my frustration were not knowing what Aberrants really are meant to be. The Fisher of Men used the black strands to move around and would attack with the organs, using bone marrow as armor. However, since it's covered in organs it was a glass cannon as general gunfire and especially actual fire would be effective against it. My only other thought was the strands in Bradley regrowing his head (as nothing but black strands and making an Aberrant like that,) but I knew especially with the Candyman I was likely stretching the limits on Aberrants in the setting. I didn't want to go too far, which I feel with the Fisher of Men I did. I love the concept, but wasn't 100% behind it because I didn't want to go to far off the reservation.

They also didn't fight him, but that's the thing with non linear narratives, but also a thing I like about role playing and investigation. They found all the clues that intimated something was down there, and using their trademark caution they came up with the plan to burn and leave on their own, and naturally chose the waste room to search last. Another issue is that I feel the batttle against the DCA could have been a successful climax on its own, but since we only play in two hour bursts I felt like a climax was needed in this episode as well. In a standard four hour session just the DCA might have sufficed. Also, they could have failed their rolls to make Samuelsson spill the beans, but Pixie made the first roll and used the Will she earned to make the second, which made him tell the truth. They could have made it out of the lab and not known about the DHQS plot against Jeff Carnavan. This was how I wanted the MR. JOLS to end, but in this way it might have been anti-climactic and kind of a low note.

With the MR. JOLS rolls, Pixie FAILED that it was Vertical Farming Equipment. I didn't know how to implement that fail, but it came with a later roll. Elder SUCCEEDED that it was in KC, so it was guaranteed to be there. Elder FAILED DHQS interest, and Freebird SUCCEEDED that they were interested in the bioengineering aspects. With these four rolls, my narrative was that it would be in KC. The vertical farming equipment is a prize, but the real prize is the organ growth tanks (the stem cells would be entered into a 3D printer in the top, which prints the organs. Since they are real organs they would grow, decay, and rot, which meant the bottoms had to be used to suck out the dead organs.) The DHQS was interested, but was no longer their primary objective due to the situation in Jeff's City.

Some of the rolls were contradicting (the fail on the vertical farming equipment but success on DHQS interest in bioengineering aspects, but failed that they were interested.) It made it hard to make all four rolls important, but I think I made it work.

I had to force it into the narrative, because I laid enough hints to not do anything, but not enough to satisfactorily do it at this stage of the game. My plot was that there was a mission in Branson that would have let them find the DCA HQ and given them more intel on Jeff's City. The plan was also that the DCA would just be rivals, and not intrinsic to the meta plot, but my failure and giving them too much Bounty after the last mission meant I wanted to wrap up the DCA in a bow since it's the faction they had the most experience with. Also using them was a satisfying Final Boss without demanding that they deal with the Jeff's City stuff; they could've just taken the money and ran. The stuff in Adam-ondi-Ahman was also thrown in because with both I wanted Elder and Freebird to have some sort of closure for their stories as we had set up some stuff in game. With Pixie I wasn't sure how to do it, as most of here meta plot was surrounding her relationship with Sarge and not with external factions. I feel bad and like I should have done more with her character, but I wasn't sure where to go.

However, it's one of the chief things I'm learning about GMing; my love of Whose Line is not in vain. Improv is key. They make too much money? Come up with a way to make it work! It might not be 100% what I or they want, but so long as it works and can be fun, that's the best I can do, and I shouldn't sweat my worries of "Is this stupid? Are they going to hate this?". Work on making a good narrative. It won't always work, but nothing ever does.

But ultimately, my players had fun, there was some narrative satisfaction, and in the end we will give the send off to the Red Markets Beta with my original concept; a 'storming' of Jeff's City. Will they stealth their way in? Charm their way in? Just use the DHQS and sack the place? (nah) We'll find out soon! Next time it's

RED MARKETS BETA: THE REFORMERS FINAL MISSION: LEGAL TENDER
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2016, 09:47:42 AM »
Episode one is live! Thanks again to smalltowncinema for all his hard work. Enjoy the ride!

http://community.roleplayingpublicradio.com/blog/2016/02/13/red-markets-beta-the-reformers-episode-01/
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 09:49:31 AM by The Lost Carol »
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The Lost Carol

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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2016, 11:48:18 PM »
SERIES FINALE PART ONE: LEGAL TENDER

After our heroes informed their loved ones of the plan they made their goodbyes and left the city to the helicopter that would evac them to the Recession. The loved ones (including the kids) were handed clipboards that had NDAs that were 50 pages long. Freebird made a successful sneak check to hide a gun on Davion, whereas Elder failed to hide one on Sarge. The gun was tossed in the luggage but not left behind. After a tense fly off hoping they made the right choice, the Reformers and the DHQS left for the Horseshoe Bend Brewing Company to plan in their side room.

The DHQS determined that the likely building housing the ID printers was the Truman Building across the street from the Governor's Mansion. The Truman Building was the former home of the DMV and was used as both a meeting place for the public and a HQ for the security squad. After doing research they agreed to pretend to be starting their Mr. JOLS of getting the vertical farming equipment for Jeff's City, and to pitch it to Connie Mercer first so that if things go pear shaped an appropriate person could take the fall. They left for Jeff's City, and spoke with her. Pixie critgted her Leadership check, so Connie fell hook, line, and sinker. She agreed to get Jeff in on the deal, and he gave them a tour of the building.

They rode an elevator up to the roof and found it had solar panels and was flat enough to hold a helicopter in case they needed an emergency getaway. Down to the sixth floor they found a keycarded room where the reader was recently added and a few armed guards. Elder successfully stole a guard's keycard. Down in the basement they were only shown the entry way, where one half is electrical and maintenance, and the other is closed off, rumored they heard to be a secret prison. They tried to get supplies out of Governor Carnavan; a fail meant only ammo and no guns or explosives.

Freed from the meeting, they met with References. Elder met with his old friend Julio, who confirmed there's a secret prison, which no one leaves (making the heroes afraid there's Casualties to dispose of the bodies), and that the security squad's HQ isn't always full up as it isn't their barracks. Freebird met with his friend who works the walls, and coerced him into giving him a brick of C4. Finally, Pixie made a new reference in Jessica, a maintenance worker at the Truman Building. Pixie got her drunk (on their shitty, piss-like beer) and Jessica spilled that the second floor has a torture/interrogation room, and that the sixth floor seems special, but she keeps her head down enough to not ask questions. Pixie took her home and swiped her keys and a keycard. With all their recon in tow, the Reformers asked for two DHQS to man the helicopter in case things go hot, and had Anton and Bruno man the pick up for another quick exit, leaving the three Reformers and three DHQS in addition to Corporal Samuelsson to give one last hurrah to save the city from itself and save the country from Jeff's City, as our campaign rushes to it's conclusion...

MARKET TICKER

This session Google Hangouts and/or my internet HATED me. I dropped like crazy.

This was an interesting and refreshing take on Red Markets. I'll mention it in the hacking thread but after this session and listening to the Drunk and Ugly's Leverage mini-campaign I think a heist hack of Red Markets could easily work. It was fun to see the players plan as I had the building set for their discovery. I hope they'll enjoy what I have in store.

It's also a good design challenge because I didn't want to necessarily make this a boss fight. This could easily be a siege, but I wanted to design it such that it is possible for them to stealth it and even leave the city with Jeff none the wiser... or they could go live and have to fight everyone as well as destroy the printers. We'll see how it goes! One more to the end!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 11:50:38 PM by The Lost Carol »
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trinite

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #66 on: February 24, 2016, 03:29:26 PM »
This planning session was super fun and really has me hyped for the big operation. I also have the added fun of being personally acquainted with the real-world building we're using for the assault. Can't wait.

Also, the final dependent vignettes were really touching. Freebird and Davion carved each others' names into the two 8-balls I found during the last mission, so that we can find each other again if we're separated in the Recession.
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Alethea

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2016, 05:40:46 PM »
This was an interesting and refreshing take on Red Markets. I'll mention it in the hacking thread but after this session and listening to the Drunk and Ugly's Leverage mini-campaign I think a heist hack of Red Markets could easily work.

Personally I was pulling from my Shadow Run experience and that was high-quality grade bullshit I spun for that tour :D
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #68 on: March 04, 2016, 01:23:00 PM »
Episode 3 is live!

http://community.roleplayingpublicradio.com/blog/2016/03/04/red-markets-beta-the-reformers-episode-03/

My (personal) apologies for the delay on the finale. My car broke down last Thursday and my mother had surgery this week and I'm helping take care of her. Shit happens. Depending on her needs we should be good for the finale next week. Trinite ran what sounded like a bitchin' COC game last night.

Also, alethea has been talking about her projects and also talks about her perspective on our games, both as a player and writer. Check it out!

http://www.laurabwrites.com/stuff/2016/2/28/scheduling-difficulties
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The Lost Carol

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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #70 on: March 15, 2016, 01:38:56 PM »
Series Finale! Hit the music!

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>


As our heroes entered the Truman Building, a failed stealth check meant they had to run into a side room to duck away from the patrols. Pixie 'luckily' found the torture - I mean, interrogation room, and self control checks were made. After the patrol left they ascended to the floor they estimated the printers were on.

In the DMV, they noticed that there were cameras overlooking the floor. Freebird went to look and scope out the room... only to crit fail his sneak check on the way back, walking right through the cameras. They had moments to act, and used a pincer tactic to take the patrol hostage. After that though, the rest of the crew came down, meaning combat started.

Again with much limb favoring, our heroes and the DHQS took out the guards. They did find the printer room, and used Freebird's C4 to blow it, only for the DHQS agent to have failed his initial explosives check. Once they ended combat by taking everyone hostage after sufficient damage, they reset the C4 and after destroying the printers (and taking some Bounty,) our heroes called in the helicopter and made a break for the roof.

However, Carnavan and the security force were outside waiting for them, meaning we had one last negotiation phase. On the final roll of the campaign, Pixie crit succeeded the second to last round while revealing that the Bounty printing scheme was putting not just their Enclave but the whole nation at risk. Enraged, his own security force went Brutus on his ass, ending Carnavan in an ultraviolent revolution as The Reformers fled to the wall.

The chopper landed in Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, a former VIP airport turned military base. After reviewing and signing the NDAs, which were airtight contracts ensuring that they could say nothing about their time in the Loss other than it was 'In a bunker with occasional trips out, and were found by the Heroic DHQS (C)', the Reformers and Anton (who was picked up outside of Jeff's City,) were taken to the Cleveland Clinic to ensure they were Blight free.

Anton obviously failed, and was given two choices, to go to Put In Bay, an island in Lake Erie (with lax security) or to become a DHQS agent. He opted for the freedom of being a DHQS agent, and left Bruno in Pixie's care as he was about to be a daddy.

The Reformers were given their families and their plane tickets, and made their goodbyes.

Elder and Jesse flew to Baja California, Mexico, safe but fully in the Cartels' control. Elder reunited in his family, and 'retired' into social work, ending with Elder and Jesse enjoying authentic Carnitas.

Freebird and Davion stayed on Cleveland, opening up his pool hall / gun shop. As father and son grew and enjoyed their peace, we leave them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at the Lynard Skynard exhibit, 'Freebird' playing in the background.

Pixie, Sarge, Eliza, Sheba, and Bruno flew to DC, where after meeting Pixie's parents, Sarge looked after the puppy raising business while Pixie was left back in school, enjoying the droning on of a biology professor.

As the sun sets on the once United States of America, a military man took over Jeff's City, leaving it's fate uncertain. But the Four Seasons is thriving, and our heroes retired in comfort, after surviving -

RED MARKETS BETA: THE REFORMERS IN: LEGAL TENDER
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #71 on: March 15, 2016, 03:13:33 PM »
MARKET TICKER

The finale was a blast. I wrote it such that they could have stealthed it... but no one had stealth. Once they got to the roof, I felt ending the campaign with Combat Negotiation was the right choice.

The inspiration for the campaign came from two sources; trinite's write up of Jeff's City as an Enclave, and one of my favorite B-52's songs, 'Legal Tender'. Using an economic crisis as the meta plot just feels natural to Red Markets.

After playing an 18 session campaign, while the rules will change for the final game, Red Markets stood up. It was a lot of fun to play and GM. While I made some mistakes (some bigger than others,) it was never the system's fault.

We will continue to play and post. We're gonna do trinite's Civil War scenarios before starting an EP campaign, and maybe a college hack of Monsterhearts. I really lucked out when I made the post to do a forum goer campaign. Alethea, Trinite, and smalltowncinema are excellent players and people, whom I'm glad to count as friends. Thanks again to Caleb; I can't wait to hold the book in my hands.

And you. Thanks for listening / reading along. In the immortal words of Jane Lynch "If you had half as much fun as I did, then I had twice as much fun as you." B-52's, roll the end credits!

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 12:08:12 AM by The Lost Carol »
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trinite

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2016, 10:56:16 AM »
Ah, the forums are working for me again! Woo!

I thought this was an excellent conclusion to the campaign. We used all of the tricks and skills we'd learned throughout the previous sessions, including combat tactics and high-pressure negotiation. And in classic fashion, I failed a ton of Stealth rolls despite having the highest skill in the party.

The mission was satisfying, and the epilogue vignettes were solid endings to the characters' stories.

And now I'm looking forward to the Kickstarter, and eventually playing another campaign with the completed rules!

And who knows...maybe writing Red Markets: Black Death.  ;)
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2016, 12:05:05 AM »
BTW, our links are down due to the Community AP Podcasts being shut down (hopefully not forever, but still a reality.) We're working on a solution in making our own site. Should be up within a week or two, and I'll post the new links. Sorry for any delays, but this has been quite a crazy few weeks, especially for Ross. Glad it seems we're behind the worst of it.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 12:07:29 AM by The Lost Carol »
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Beta Listener Campaign: The Reformers
« Reply #74 on: April 11, 2016, 12:40:31 PM »
Well, the Reformers crew now has our own website, and podcast! Technical Difficulties Gaming Podcast has Red Markets Beta: The Reformers, and more coming soon! Stop by to listen online, or listen on iTunes or Stitcher!

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« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 06:29:10 PM by The Lost Carol »
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