Author Topic: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End  (Read 15861 times)

Jace911

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Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« on: July 17, 2016, 09:00:00 PM »
Now that the preview packet has been released my friends and I from the Hooverville Crew (Minus one who is still at uni) are preparing to record a Bust-mode campaign of Red Markets set in our home town of Elk Grove! And I get to play for the first time because I'm not running it! :V

We sat down for enclave and character creation on Sunday and we've been tirelessly spamming our GM Tom with additional ideas over the week. Here's what we've come up with:

Name: The End

Location: A shopping mall perched on the stark border between the concrete and asphalt suburban maze of Elk Grove and the rolling green and brown farmlands of the Central Valley. In the real world this shopping mall sits abandoned and only half-built, but in the near future of Red Markets the city finally got the contracts to have it finished, furnished, and filled with consumer goods just before the Crash.

Defenses: A wall of semi trailers arrayed around the mall's parking lot and turned onto their sides, with plenty of scrap metal and wood to fill the gaps and cracks. A well-equipped and trained militia of Fencemen and women, many of whom are former EGPD officers, who keep the Wall clear of Casualties and patrol the surrounding land to discourage raiders. Good sight lines all around, especially to the south where there is almost nothing but empty fields. Speakers mounted on the outside of the Wall lure Casualties away from the gates to allow travelers to come and go.

History: During the twilight days of the Crash, when it became clear that the cities were lost to the Vectors and even the military was being overwhelmed, local and state authorities launched desperate evacuation efforts to save as many people as they could from the tidal wave of flesh eaters sprinting out of urban centers. One such effort was organized by the Elk Grove Police Department and surviving city council members, who directed survivors to gather at the Elk Grove Promenade Mall just off Highway 99. The mall was chosen as a staging area for evacuation because of its size and distance from Sacramento--it was quite literally the last major landmark between Elk Grove and Galt, miles to the south and rumored to have already fallen. The local government had been reassured by state authorities that a military convoy from Travis Air Force Base would arrive to escort them to a safe zone in the east, but as the days passed and no convoy was forthcoming the truth dawned on the huddled masses: they'd been abandoned. Their fears were confirmed when Gnat, the leader of the hackivist "Moths" who jumpstarted UbiqNet, revealed that the military was withdrawing to the east behind the Mississippi River. The refugees hiding in the mall knew they couldn't possibly reach the border before it was closed, so they chose to hunker down and try to weather the storm. Sometime later they were joined by a convoy of truckers hauling trailers full of additional refugees from Folsom; those trailers and many others lying abandoned on 99 would become the Wall that now surrounds and protects the enclave whose inhabitants have taken to calling their home "The End".

Top Exports:
1. Wine. The land immediately south of the mall is home to several wineries and vineyards, and when they began trading with other enclaves the people of The End quickly realized that booze--being in critically short supply--would fetch a high price. The equipment from the wineries was salvaged and moved to one of the wings of the mall, and sections of the land surrounding The End were enclosed in a chainlink fence to accommodate their own vineyard.
2. Knowledge. The Barnes & Nobles in the mall was unsurprisingly spared from looting as people were desperately stripping sporting goods stores and supermarkets bare during the Crash, and when it became clear that the Department of Education wasn't interested in reaching children who were all declared homo sacor the collection of nonfiction novels and textbooks became one of the most valuable sources of education in the area. For a nominal fee visitors can access a respectable collection of reference materials on how to grow crops and dig wells, or attend classes on first aid and other essential skills.
3. Trade. The End is ideally-located to serve as a trade hub between the farms and ranches to the south and the other enclaves to the north in Elk Grove, and they tax just about everything that moves through their open-air marketplace.

Top Imports:
1. Medicine/Expertise. Commercial pharmaceuticals expired years ago and the producers still making them are thousands of miles away on the other side of the Mississippi, so medicine and medical knowledge are at a premium in most enclaves. Some people grow select plants for herbal remedies, but those are a far cry from a bottle of painkillers or antidepressants.
2. Building Supplies. The Wall that surrounds the enclave is over a mile and a half long, the parking lots have been turned into shanty towns, and department stores weren't originally built to be used as apartment blocks. The End is always in need of building materials for renovations, expansions, and repairs for its many residents' homes.
3. Ammunition. It doesn't matter how militarized a police force is, after five years of fending off raider attacks and mobs of hungry Casualties, the officers of the EGPD are just as starved for bullets as everyone else; perhaps even more so due to the number and quality of the arms they need to feed.

Competition:
1. Hawk's Nest. The largest and most successful single enclave in the Elk Grove area is the former community college campus to the north. Its proximity to a number of major hospitals and popular nursing program meant that the survivors who holed up inside included quite a few trained medical personnel, and the Blue Line light rail station on campus still provides them access and trade with any number of enclaves in the Sacramento area and as far away as Folsom. While their library and school system puts The End's to shame, they rely on the crops traded by farmers in The End's marketplace and avoid competing with them if they can.

2. Jeffersons. Taking their name from the State of Jefferson movement, this combination cult/political movement believes that cities and other dense gatherings of humanity are simply repeating the mistakes of the Crash. A thousand citizens are a thousand potential Vectors, so to prevent another catastrophic outbreak mankind must disperse and scatter into smaller and smaller villages, tribes, and family units. While the Jeffersons aren't notably violent like raiders they often harass travelers and enclaves. More than one town has thrown a Jefferson crier outside the fence, and everyone has heard the stories of enclaves being sabotaged by radicals.

3. The Prosperous. In California, the raiders rob you with a smile and an eerily-sincere "God Bless". The followers of a local megachurch took their survival through the Crash as a sign that God was with them, and that was practically a blank check for them to do as they pleased. If they needed someone else's food, they took "tithe" from their neighbors--at gunpoint. If they needed "donations" or "volunteers" they helped themselves to those too. After a while enough people got together to burn their church to the ground, but all that did was "prove" to the Prosperous that they were the righteous persecuted minority, and they became a nomadic enclave traveling from tentpole revival to tentpole revival, collecting "donations" from anyone they come across.

4. The District. More than one of the many schools in Elk Grove sheltered large groups of students during the Crash, and over time these orphaned survivors formed their own near-tribal society. Because they survive by trading salvage collected from the Casualty-infested suburbs around their enclaves, the student body of the District celebrates and promotes personal combat prowess over all other traits by competing in regular fighting tournaments. Each school is led by a Principal who earned their position by proving themselves the strongest, and the District is ruled by a Super who proved themselves the strongest among the Principals in an annual Hunger Games-esque tournament in one of the many parks of Elk Grove.

5. Farmer's Guild. The isolation and self-reliance of the homesteaders outside of town saved their lives during the chaos of the Crash, but even they needed to band together from time to time to survive mutual threats like raiders and mobs of Casualties. They value their freedoms and privacy and will happily leave you alone if you give them the same courtesy, and The End is as far north as most of them like to travel for trade. Most of the Jeffersons are members of the Guild, though only a fraction of the Guild's members are Jeffersons.

Social Structure:
Originally the survivors in the mall were subject to and accepted the martial law imposed by the city council and EGPD, and as the years have passed this authority has morphed The End into a sort of benevolent but still feudal society. The original alderman who survived the Crash make decisions for the good of the enclave, which are enforced by the Fencemen. For the most part these decisions have been made with the will of the community in mind, but the fact remains that the alderman wield ultimate authority through the Fencemen. The majority of the enclave consists of poor "consumers" who work in the vineyard, a crowded and stressed middle class of "producers" who sell their wares in the marketplace and provide other services, and the landlords who own the vineyards and control a large share of the enclave's GDP.

Latents are allowed inside the enclave, but permanent residents can only stay in the shelter: a refurbished hotel on the very edge of the property, covered in graffiti and filth.

Neighborhoods:
Most of the consumers live in North Lot, West Lot, or South Lot: one of the three parking lot shanty towns inside the Wall. Each is a sea of tents, RVs, and corrugated metal shacks packed with people, much like the Free Parking ghettos of the Recession. Despite their small size each Lot has its own character and history like any neighborhood in America.

If you're a producer you probably live in one of the three big box department stores converted into cramped apartment buildings: Macy's, Sears, or Target. Office cubicles, sliding walls, curtains, and other makeshift dividers separate the open floors of these huge buildings into living units for the struggling middle class of The End.

The landlords, with all their riches, live almost as well as the average American family did before the Crash. They've been able to turn some of the smaller, nicer stores into private homes for themselves and their families where they can host modest parties to show off their success and wealth, earning the envy and ire of the lower classes.

The Century theater in the heart of the mall is now used as a town hall and center of government for the aldermen.

The food court is still home to hot dog stands and taco trucks, but as scarce as ingredients are nowadays these are now considered "pre-Crash" delicacies that only the landlords and producers can afford.

The small but once-lush courtyard is now a bustling hub of trade and commerce for the enclave. Merchants hock their wares, farmers offload their crops, and Takers buy gear before setting off on one job or another.

Important NPCs (WIP):
An Archivist who runs the library and school due to being the only actual teacher in the enclave. Because of this and the fact that nobody knows Dewey Decimal like he does, most people overlook how many times he has to  told not to lecture the children on the fleeting existence of man and the immortality offered through the written word.

The unofficial leader of the trucker convoy that helped build the Wall around the enclave, a down to earth woman with a strong following among the consumers. With one of the major swing voters among the alderman dying of cancer many have suggested she take his place, though she has avoided speaking about the subject to avoid seeming crass.

A harried Latent social worker who runs the shelter on the edge of town and also teaches (Very carefully) classes on first aid at the school for some extra bounty to keep the shelter going.

Our Taker crew is called "Blacklight", and consists of:

Rufio (Sara)
Weak Spot: Untouchable
Soft Spot: According to Need
Tough Spot: Immune
A former member of the "student body" of the District and the wild child of the crew, Rufio was originally a member of the Lost Boys Taker crew until she was "rescued" by Galavant at her father's behest. After being reunited with her alcoholic father in The End, and out of guilt for her part in Galavant turning Latent, she decided to join Blacklight and earn the money to buy their way to a better life.

Galavant (Brett)
Weak Spot: Disillusioned With The Law
Soft Spot: Justice Always Prevails
Tough Spot: Latent
In another life Galavant was a respected member of the EGPD, a Fenceman of The End, and an Immune. He is now none of those things after suffering an errant bite while on a rescue mission for a desperate father in The End and receiving an injection of Supressin from his fellow officers to "save" him. Now people cross the street when they see him coming and he is forced to live in the run-down Latent shelter on the edge of town while he eeks together enough Bounty to get himself and his uncle, another retired officer, to a safe zone.

Silver (Jason)
Weak Spot: For The Greater Good
Soft Spot: Don't Get Attached
Tough Spot: Steward
The traveler who calls herself Silver claims to be a Taker who hopped the Mississippi to find work so she could feed her family in a Free Parking ghetto, but in reality she is an agent for an unnamed corporation that wishes to plunder the Loss for its own gain. Her only dependents are her mission handler, known by the callsign "Black Friday", and her fellow Takers.

Gutshot (Derek)
Weak Spot: My Family Needs Me
Soft Spot: Children Are The Future
Tough Spot: Carbait
Hailing from a DHQS settlement on Terminal Island in LA, the rookie Taker named Gutshot snuck into the California Loss to make enough money so that he, his husband, and their adopted daughter could have themselves smuggled into slightly less repressive and authoritarian conditions in the Recession. Despite technically living in the Loss for five years, the safety and security of the DHQS-controlled Terminal Island means that he is woefully unprepared for life as a Taker but he's determined to give it a go for his family.

The prologue enclave generation episode and first job are up on Soundcloud, give us a listen! Sorry in advance for the wurbly audio quality, we're amateur recorders working with cheap/free equipment and software right now.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 11:20:01 AM by Jace911 »

clockworkjoe

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 01:47:37 AM »
Great writeup! I really dig the detail you went into.

Jace911

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 11:22:03 PM »
Great writeup! I really dig the detail you went into.

To paraphrase Caleb, we've spent our entire lives imagining what we would do if Elk Grove was overrun with zombies. Now our thousands of hours of daydreaming can finally be put to good use. :V

Jace911

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 01:13:11 AM »
As the downtime between sessions stretches on (New episode this weekend hopefully!) we were shooting around more ideas for competition enclaves in our area and we came up with a good'un. Pending GM approval:

AppCenter, or "Center"
A distribution and customer service campus for a major electronics retailer before the Crash, AppCenter is now the technological hub of the South Sacramento area. With a large office space, three warehouses, and an enclosed parking lot the enclave is reasonably defensible and strategically located on the intersection of I-5 to downtown and Elk Grove's main boulevard. There is enough land nearby for them to grow their own crops, but the enclave makes most of its Bounty thanks to the large pool of skilled technicians, engineers, and mechanics who took refuge in the secure campus during the Crash and after--as well as the huge stock of electronics and tools still stored in the warehouses. The two major political factions in the enclave are the Darwinists, founded by a group of CrossFit instructors, and the Transhumanists. The Darwinists believe the human body is the best and only tool for survival a person should rely on, while the Transhumanists embrace the advantage technology can give a person out in the Loss. Each group has their own sponsored Taker crew: the Transhumanists have the Neuromancers, while the Darwinists have Apex.

Tomsawyer

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 09:26:51 PM »
Sure I'm cool with that enclave.

Also We should be recording our next game this Saturday barring something interrupting us.

And for my notes for the first job BlackLight took.

DHQS Job

Employer Jeudi Blanc, Aka White Thursday

Job Someone stole a shiping container find it and burn it and its contents to the ground.

Complication: VECTORS!!!  The shipping container was filled with hundreds of bounty's worth of medical supplies and whoever stole it contaminated all of it with the blight and toxins. Fortunately or unfortunately whoever they sold it to had an injured person who went vector and infected all of the other buyers mere hours before the takers arrived.

And on a side note for every available job for our fist sescion I rolled 14 bounty payouts   :D

Tomsawyer

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2016, 01:40:09 AM »
We finished the second game tonight.

The takers learned that nature sucks, Private Military Contractors suck, and that crazy self hating Cultists can be pretty reasonable if you are polite to them.

Galavant also learned that just one Casualty can be pretty fucking dangerous when you are out of rations.


All in all they earned 50 bounty and after their expenses had around 5 bounty each in profit.

Jace911

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2016, 09:12:41 PM »
Here is the link to the second episode on Soundcloud! I also have some more thoughts on Bust mode:

Small groups have less Upkeep to eat away at the group's bottom line, but they also have fewer Scams to run during negotiations in order to drive the price up. Last night Rufio spent hers to scare away the competition on our job so they wouldn't undercut our price, while Galavant spent his to get a client's Soft Spot for Silver to leverage during negotiations. That was all we could get with our limited group size without sacrificing our Humanity-healing vignettes, which we needed, and because of it the most I was able to push for was Labor (I almost made Hazard Pay but the dice fucked me over at the last second). This was exacerbated by Tom dropping another Gift Spot for a free +1, which I couldn't resist.

As simple as they are to kill or avoid in the right circumstances, Casualties are still really fucking dangerous if you end up in tight confines with them. Galavant found that out the hard way when a flash flood caught him and Silver out in the open and swept them away with just two biters, which tore the hell out of his arms before he could shoot them.

High Stakes Haul makes all resource expenditures risky--you don't know for sure if you'll make the Foresight roll to replenish charges--but nowhere does it sting more than when everyone is completely out of rations, Gassed and exhausted, and one by one fail our Foresight checks. That was in Leg Two of Three.

Interludes are a lot of fun for roleplaying--we rolled randomly on the table to see what our characters talked about while licking our wounds in an old Quickloans, and we had an interesting and tense conversation about the nature of the Bounty economy, District blood sports, and life in the Recession.



Finally we came up with our first score, which we will be going after in our next episode:

Name: Meals on Wheels
Goods: Unexpired MREs
Economy: The Food Court restaurants of The End
Wholesaler: Ramsey, former Chevy's cook and the Food Court's leading Gourmand
Job Site: Save'N'Store converted into an emergency supply center by FEMA during the Crash
Rumors:
Silver--the storage facility is being used by the Prosperous to stash all the loot they earn by robbing people at gunpoint
Rufio--the area is lousy with wild animals from the Sacramento zoo: wild boars, alligators, tigers
Galavant--the roads were choked with abandoned cars during the Crash, and some probably still have Casualties inside

We won't know what to expect until next time, but since Tom rolled an equilibrium of 15 Bounty for the goods we stand to make 90 Bounty on this job; if we can salvage a car on the way there we could score as big as 195 Bounty.

Jace911

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 01:53:51 AM »
We finally found a window to record the score, and boy howdy did we hit the jackpot this time. Recording up in the next couple of days hopefully, but in the meantime here are some highlights:

-new player John joined the crew with his survivalist Taker "Mongoose", was a big help
-our enclave has a dance club literally named "Unst! Unst!"
-more thrilling coworker bonding!
-fucking rivers are the bane of our existence
-Punished "Venom" Gator (no context)

Jace911

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 11:14:29 AM »
I realized that of all the threads I was keeping updated for this game I had completely forgotten about this one.  :-[

Have a binge dump of episodes!

Episode 3: "Meals on Wheels"
Joined by the survivalist Taker Mongoose, the Blacklight crew decides to strike out on their own and chase their first score: a forgotten stash of MREs stockpiled by FEMA during the Crash. To earn their pay they'll have to load their packs with as much of the preserved food as they can carry, but there's more than one reason nobody else in the Loss has claimed this treasure trove.

Episode 4: "Initiation"
After making money hand over fist on their wildly profitable score, the Takers of Blacklight accept a contract from a Black Math cultist to escort a group of young acolytes on their initiation, where they will kill their first Casualties (Or be horribly eaten). It would be a terrible idea to get attached to their charges, so the Takers waste no time doing just that!

Episode 5: "Home Sweet Home"
When Mongoose leaves the End for greener pastures, the Takers are forced to hire a "carbait" rookie from a Los Angeles settlement for their next contract, a closure job offered by a soon-to-be wealthy heir in the Recession. Finding and killing one specific zombie in a major metropolitan area is a daunting task even before you factor in stampeding Casualties, bloodthirsty raiders demanding tribute, and the fact that two Taker crews have already disappeared on this job...

Flawless P

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Re: Red Markets Beta Campaign: Taking The End
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 12:46:21 AM »
I know this is a weird place to put this, but I've shopped in your enclave.(Or rather the shopping area that used to have the bookstore.)

I went to High School in Galt and currently work in Sacramento.

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Red Markets Beta Campaign Taking The End
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 07:37:41 PM »
Hunter grinned as he her the female voice greet him. He continued to grope and squeeze the Little Sisters ass, some other members stopping to look at them. How are you? Im Hunter, by the way. And you are? he grinned.