Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - crash2455

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 52
RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: October 30, 2015, 05:50:35 PM »
It's not totally finished but w/e here's the enclave my playtest group is using:

The Rock


Alcatraz Island.  Following the ideas of Max Brooks, survivors decided to hole up inside a prison on an island 2000 feet from land.  As the crash got further away and more people got to the island the community expanded beyond the prison to the greater island area, making use of its 22 or so acres to set up farmland.  San Francisco to the South, Berkley/Oakland to the East Ocean to the West and the greater Bay Area to the north.


Alcatraz is a fortified installation on an island that is mostly steep cliffsides.  Nothing had to be too heavily modified to make it more defensible as it’s great at keeping people from coming or going.  Guard towers were reinforced and a greater guard force was set up near the singular port as well as some watchers around the bay to keep an eye on any incoming trouble.


Alcatraz has been maintained for decades after its closure as a popular tourist attraction in the Bay Area.  When the Crash went down, everyone with a boat immediately went for the island and struggled to make camp until a carrier who didn't report a bite turned vector and wiped the whole place out.  The place was written off until some new settlers came with a few months more wits and experience about them and cleared out the remaining casualties on the island.  These second founders would not make the mistakes of their predecessors, and this time security would be valued above philanthropy.  Alcatraz screens all potential comers for what they can bring to the community and keeps all new migrants in a separate section of Little Alcatraz until such time that they would have turned.

Top Exports

  • Guaranteed Casualty-Free Travel (Surplus of boats) - the one thing every survivor that reached alcatraz has is a reliable motor boat.  Moving up and down the coast is considerably easier at sea than it is over land.
  • Courier / Delivery Service - since the time of the crash the enclave has been able to rig up some barges and make use of their existing boat assets to move freight along the coast.
  • Whiskey aged in gunpowder barrels (We call it Firebomb) - grain surpluses go bad, so they take the rest and ferment it in a submarine still and age it for a short time in old gunpowder kegs.  It’s an acquired taste but one that has caught on in the Bay Area.

Top Imports
  • Fuel - Lots of boats and lots of travel means everyone is consuming fuel at a regular pace.
  • Water - Ironically despite being surrounded by water the enclave has little access to any that is good for drinking. Water reclamation methods were experimented with in the early days (rain barrels, condensation methods, desalination) but none were efficient enough to be sustainable and ultimately it was easier to trade for water shipments with the surrounding enclaves.
  • Weapons / Ammo - Alcatraz has an arsenal but it was cleaned out when the place became a tourism destination in the late sixties.  The place has solid walls but residents only had weapons allowed by California’s highly restrictive gun laws

Competition / Neighbors

Drone Town USA (UC Berkeley)
Brief History
Started in the nearby California Memorial stadium, a huge structure with good sightlines and very few entrances and exits to block off.  Expanded out slowly to the university campus (originally a very soft target with no walls or fortification), took advantage of the experimental silicon valley alternate energy solutions, pretty much sustainable from an energy perspective thanks to solar and wind power and kept surveilled by a big swarm of robots
Exports: Biofuels, Engineering Expertise, Food
Imports: Weapons, Water, Building Supplies

Treasure Island (Coast Guard base at Yerba Buena / Treasure Island)
Brief History
Military installation, well armed and easily defended with plenty of sea-faring vessels on-hand.  Survived initially through internal water reservoir, weaponry and training as well as access to boats.
Exports: Water and Guns / Ammo, Delivery Service
Imports: Food and Fuel probably, Delivery Service

Truck Stop (inland, closer to concord)
Truck Stop was (and I guess still is?) a former service repair center.  It boasts a massive 30 truck bays, spare parts, an on-site gas pumping and storage facility, in addition to storage of numerous shipping containers, and a water reclamation center literally next door.  In the wake of the Crash, its incredible repair services and stock of tools made it highly valuable to a number of automotive and big rig owners who used their vehicles and skill to establish a safe zone inside the area.  As the carrion economy bloomed, Truck Stop has slowly grown into a major shipping and transportation hub.
Exports: Water (houses a major reservoir), and mechanical expertise, supply chain stuff
Imports: Food, Fuel, other supply chain stuff

Chevron (Richmond Refinery 37°56′32″N 122°23′43″W)
Oil Refinery in Alameda that was quickly abandoned during the crash (dead weather there was severe).  In recent years some enterprising engineers have taken it back and gotten it working, working with the millions of crude barrels still on-site and importing what they can from SoCal.
Exports: Gas, plastic, synthetic fibers, motor oil
Imports: Pretty much everything else

Social Structure

Structure: Representational Compromise by way of a leadership council.  Leadership also works within the Enclave as there’s just not enough hands for them to do desk jobs (We ran some numbers and found that at its peak efficiency, all of the farmable area on the island can only sustain about 270 people tops, so Alcatraz only has about 175-200 people).
  • Security - A dedicated guard and watch team maintains a killing field near the singular entry point.  Regular watch is kept over the rest of the island but since most of it is cliff face they’re mostly just looking for anyone who would be climbing the cliffs.
  • Farmers / Brewers - A sizeable percentage of the population tills the acres of farmland (mostly grain / soybean rotation patterns).  Surplus is distilled into Fire
  • Bomb Whiskey which is sold off.
  • The Boat Men (Ferrymen / Couriers) - Trade and transit is one of the chief exports of the enclave.  Boat drivers are the second largest labor force on the island and are second to takers in terms of risk.
  • Fishermen - Technically part of the Boat Men but a different variation.  Supply the rest of the food for the enclave.  Some go a little ways out into the bay area to fish but never too far.
  • Takers - They go out and take things.  You know what these guys are.
Economy: Communalist / Collectivist.  The community is small enough that resources are shared around as needed.  Anyone who doesn’t want whatever part of their share is can barter it off or sell it to others in the loss for things they do want.


Neighborhoods are defined and owned by the different factions of the social structure.  Largely these all coinhabit different floors of the Alcatraz prison as it has capacity for about 300 prisoners and is in the best shape on the island except for the museum.  Other blockhouses have been converted to fit necessary purposes of the workforce.

Latent Ghetto is a small settlement on Little Alcatraz connected by a bridge, immunity is on a sort of “don’t ask don’t tell” scheme and the island doctors are expected to maintain their confidence.


Work-in-Progress, but one representative from each of the major work groups (excepting the Takers) is part of the council and stays back at the island doing logistics work and sometimes farming.
Boat Leader: Ahab

RPGs / Re: Road Trip Actual Play Recordings (FINISHED!!)
« on: October 01, 2015, 12:08:41 AM »
We salute you, fair Gamemaster.  You have succeeded where the rest of us have failed.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: October 01, 2015, 12:07:35 AM »
So the job in the game I'm running tonight involves competition from DHQS, and the players have taken to calling them "the dicks" to make conversation faster.

Not necessarily inspiration, but it was a thing I enjoyed that came out in play.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 28, 2015, 03:47:08 PM »
Yeah, I found if players don't know their success chances they will only ever spend the base point to roll and just kinda hope for the best because they're afraid of wasting points.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 28, 2015, 12:40:34 PM »
Not really an inspiration thing so much as a thing I did for personal sanity.  I mapped the success probabilities in a grid because the core mechanic felt too arbitrary even though speaking realistically it's not that much different from any percentile system.

You can look at it here

This was useful for playtests as it also allowed me to explain to my players that probabilities are not as uneven as they appear and also give them enough resources to know how spending extra points for a bonus on a roll can help.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 25, 2015, 06:06:02 PM »
That does bring up a thing that has so far not come up (and ideally will not need to): These rules are great for PvE but similarly to GUMSHOE they don't really work so well for PvP.  The system is designed as a zero sum system but you can't do that for PvP because the system now becomes completely symmetrical and it's not designed for that.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 24, 2015, 04:09:20 PM »
Running a game in a coastal setting made me think about chumming in a new way.  While pulling large groups of casualties away from enclaves is good, what's better is probably leading them into the ocean.  It's mentioned that they don't have the coordination to swim and so luring them into the water where they get tossed around by the tide and ideally into something hard or sharp repeatedly (some kind of garotte line or something) would be an easy enough way to remove 40 or 50 at a time.

Through boredom at work I thought up the best/stupidest way to accomplish this plan.  Lone taker who goes by "Piper" pretty much exclusively takes jobs for transport, transit, and casualty chumming across the west coast, all thanks to his Aquada.  For chumming jobs, he puts in his Miley Cyrus cd and blasts "Party in the USA" all the way to a marina where he just pulls in and switches his car to boat mode until the Cs stop putting their hands up while he plays their song.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 23, 2015, 05:46:09 PM »
I've mentioned the idea of adding NPC fixers to the game so groups that want to focus on the jobs can cut down on the negotiations and scams. The idea of a reverse campaign, where the players are fixers, is interesting.

The main thing would be managing NPC groups of takers - you would have to ensure they get home and don't waste their paydays on useless shit instead of gear for the next job - also do you help them retire or try to keep them in hock to you?

And also getting your cut / managing enough groups and being references to enough people to make a profit yourself or sending one group against another group that never paid their dues.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 23, 2015, 03:32:58 PM »
A couple of my players wanted to try just running a game where they're a taker dispatch / negotiation service and all they do is negotiating and scams.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 23, 2015, 10:29:11 AM »
Yeah I've started finding it best to break it into at least 2 games: Early stuff, negotiation, travel time as one game and then job site stuff as a second game.  I always think the job site is going to be way shorter than it is because I only have like a paragraph written and yet it still can easily stretch into 3 hours.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 20, 2015, 10:26:12 PM »
Kinda disappointed they didn't enter into mannequin town.

How long have your games been taking, anyway?  I have yet to run a contract that takes less than 6 hours in total.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 19, 2015, 11:50:48 PM »
Were the M&Ms also counters

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 18, 2015, 12:29:55 PM »
For what it's worth my group was just rolling our usual D10s (Though I did buy a new pair of red and black just for this game!) and I don't recall us running into any probability shenanigans. I think the only crit rolled at the table was the Neo-Nazi that tried to shoot Mal in the head.

The first 2 playtests I ran had an insane number of Critical Failures (well, half of the second playtest used and showed expected result distribution).  The first playtest had at least 15 critical failures and maybe 5 crit successes.  The third playtest had an equal number of critical successes and failures but pretty much only one player rolled crit failures.  One round he made a full attack and managed to roll crit failures on both rolls (spent a will to turn one crit fail into a regular fail) and then crit failed the next round to run somewhere.  I remember at some point his character got so tired of his shitty gun jamming that he just threw it in the back of the delivery van.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 18, 2015, 01:28:57 AM »
Ran another playtest with player-made characters this time (except one player played Alpha pretty much exclusively because he had a dog).  Anyone interested can look at the character sheets here.

First playtest I ran where takers succeeded in 2 networking checks.  Alpha found a job to retrieve rubber for a slingshot maker, and Triage a job to deliver food from one enclave to another.  After about 40 minutes of back and forth where they tried to figure out how to do both jobs, they decided to take their chances at the food delivery job.  Some research revealed that the enclave, Jackson Street, was a former gang stronghold that utilized its abilities to keep out police and swat teams in the crash to stop casualties and vectors from invading.  It's an anarchocapitalist society occupied mostly by the members of the Jackson Street gang, but the de facto leader (not elected, everyone just kinda looks to him for leadership) opened the enclave to anyone willing to work their share and help keep invaders at bay.

On their way to the enclave they saw a black chopper heading their way, trailing smoke and crashing in a wooded area a bit away.  Recognizing this as a DHQS chopper (passed Meme test), the takers decided to investigate in order to reap some good loots.  They found the chopper surrounded by a dozen casualties already with more on the way.  Alpha was able to use the siren to successfully chum the Cs away long enough for them to scavenge the crashed chopper for whatever they could find quickly.  Valley picked up a mostly-empty SMG and Scrapper got a broken surveillance drone before they decided to cut and run.

As they approached Jackson Street, they found a large apartment complex with the first floor more or less gutted and filled with cavalry traps baited with raw meat, designed to attract and disable incoming casualties so that the goons can clean them out on a daily basis.  One of the fence guards sees the takers coming and lets down a ladder to let them in.  Alpha meets with Train Jumper (or TJ) and they get down to negotiations.  Through some atypical scamming (Triage did some work in the hospital to talk to some people who had info, Valley worked in the kitchen to talk to people, Scrapper went through TJ's trash), they uncovered all of the job spots; the most troubling of which was the Tough Spot, where they discovered that Jackson Street has lost contact with Bread Basket, and the true nature of this job is revealed to be scouting and re-opening / re-negotiating trade routes (and maybe teaching Bread Basket not to fuck with Jackson Street).  TJ Played 2 Spots at once with a Weak Spot and a Gift Spot, but Alpha managed to negotiate to 100% markup.  The completion price for the job came to 97 bounty at base.  Negotiations complete, the takers headed off to the site.

Leg 1:  Inner-city.  The takers hear the sound of clicking against the pavement, and Valley calls for them to hold back, looking out and spotting a small herd of Pronghorned Antelope.  A breeding group escaped from the local zoo years ago and given that the only thing that can outrun and catch them is a cheetah, they have expanded and flourished in this new landscape.  Valley (a chef at heart) can't turn down the offer of a few hundred pounds of meat for the cost of a bullet, and quickly puts one of the bulls down.  As the party approaches, one of the antelope jumps over a car and sets off its alarm, drawing out casualites from the nearby buildings.  Valley isn't going to let this go to waste and proceeds to skin and start butchering the antelope in the street as her partners shoot down a wave of oncoming caualties.  She gets 2 meatbags (made from antelope pelt tied off) and then runs off, letting the remainder of the carcass draw the remaining casualties to cover their escape.

Leg 2: Inner city.  Takers pass a hospital.  They recognize quickly that a hospital is a major source of potential bounty by way of patient records, but also that hospitals quickly became vector incubators during the Crash and are subsequently full of casualties and pretty much devoid of any light sources due to a major lack of windows and no remaining power to the building.  They decide they're already making a big enough profit on the job, mark the location on a map and continue onwards.

Leg 3: Inner City. Derailed train blocks the road.  As the takers look for a way around, they notice a mob of casualties surrounding one of the overturned boxcars and Alpha overhears some banging from inside.  Alpha, much to Valley's regret, hands Intern one of the meatbags to chum the Cs away and keep them distracted for a bit.  The takers find that there's a guy inside the boxcar and that also the hatch he entered through was constructed oddly and cannot be opened.  Triage, ever the humanist, decides to take the hatch apart to get the man out.  Valley hops on top of the boxcar to get a lay of the land and spots a delivery van approaching from the distance.  When she relays this info to the group, Alpha realizes this is a mantrap and the van is driven by slavers.  Valley takes no chances and blows the driver away with her sniper rifle, causing it to crash into a nearby building and drawing out some more Cs.  A small gunfight later, the takers have felled the slavers and distracted the casualties with a Duck Bomb out of alpha's bag (burned one haul to have a small useful item that makes sense), Triage backs the van out and down the way (burned 1 will to stunt drive the van out of casualty zone with a blind luck roll since no one took driving).  The party noticed that the train had a long line of fuel cars and that the slavers had attached a line to one of them to refuel their slave van on runs.  They also took along the man, exhausted from a day in a hot box with not enough water.

With the van they finally approached Breadbox (based on Garfield Conservatory Park), immediately noticing that there were no guards posted in the towers along the fence.  A closer examination showed some casualties and Alpha heard a human and simultaneously inhuman scream from within.  The place had been hit by an outbreak and a few vectors were left in the wake of it.  The party taps a resource to call up Rose, an enclave planner that can get maps to propsective enclave layouts, and start thinking about a way to address the situation.  They spot a big hole in a part of hte fence that piled through a garden and into the interior, and opens a path towards the storehouses (since they need to get food still), provided someone wants to sprint through a huge field full of casualties and potentially soem vectors.  Triage agrees to be the sprinter and gets Valley and Scrapper to cover him as he makes a break for it.  3 rounds to get to an unbreached building.  Triage manages to juke around casualties at full speed, but then suddenly the concentration is interrupted by "HELPHELPMEHELPMEHEEEEELPEMEEEEHURTSHURTSHURTSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH" as a vector runs through a hole in the wall towards Triage.  Valley and Scrapper make good on their promises and Valley drops it with a good headshot (14/1 roll on a called shot), allowing Triage to get to the door. 

The room entered appears to be no better as casualties dot the entire area and the others have been called in by the vector screams and are pressing at the doors.  Triage continues the sprint unabated and now without any cover while the rest of the party decides to casually walk towards the motorized gate to the east.  Running through the area, Triage hears another telltale scream and picks up the pace through the door to the storage area, hearing the metal and glass ripping apart as the vector continues pursuit.  Silenced pistol already out, Triage goes for broke and manages to score a headshot on the approaching vector before running off towards the gate.  Triage hits the button to open the gates up and is greeted by the terrible grinding sound of the gate slowly opening.  Knowing that stealth is already fucked, Triage whips out his assault rifle and starts unloading into vectors trickling out of the cornfields and the rest of the greenhouse.  As the vectors start to outnumber the amount of fire he can put out, triage does some hardcore parkour to jump and roll from the catwalks on the fence and out the gate (5 endurance spend) as valley and scrapper get to the open gate to pick off more approaching vectors while he reloads.  They clean out the vectors with automatic fire and now just have to deal with a few dozen casualties moseying on forward. Alpha manages to distract the majority of them with the dog siren while they break open the storehouses and throw food into the delivery van. 

As scrapper comes out with the last crates of food on a Gator just outside the storehouse, the crew is alerted by one final scream coming out of the greenhouse heading straight for Scrapper.  Just as it reaches the vehicle it is again cut down by a swath of automatic fire and scrapper nervously drives up to the delivery van where they dump the rest of the food and drive off.

Between the job and some scavenged gear (sold off at upkeep price), the group made out with 119 bounty.  Alpha decided to take the short share and they then sorted out the stuff offscreen.

Long combats between casualties, vectors, or any combination of the two is interesting as the fight either ends with everyone walking away unharmed or the entire party destroyed.  I also realized the vectors were too easy because I forgot to apply their murder modifiers to the rolls.  That said, the players were rolling crits left and right (except for scrappers player who rolled an inordinate number of critical failures).  For the sake of fairness everyone was using to generate perfectly random numbers between 1 and 10 for every roll just to get the question of unbalanced dice out of the equation.  I don't know how or why but this game likes to break probability.

RPGs / Re: Red Markets Inspiration
« on: September 14, 2015, 09:20:25 PM »
I tried using that setup with my IRL playtest to mixed results.  Some of the players liked having a physical tracker of their stuff and others were kinda "egh, I have to set up 40 counters?  can I just take tallies?"

I think the best moment of the physical tracker was when players decided to swap weapons for an encounter and decided to trade piles of tokens as well

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 52