Author Topic: Red Markets Alpha Playtest  (Read 237800 times)

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #120 on: August 05, 2015, 02:32:26 PM »
We generated our playtest Enclave last night. It's based on a fictionalized version of a bridge connecting to a huge island off the coast of Washington state, near were we game.

1 ) Name
Deception

2 ) Location
Deception Pass, Washington State on the connecting island of the Deception Pass Bridge


3 ) Defenses
Built on an island. Spires were raised prior to the Crash on the island which were repurposed for broadcast and vision. Bridges have had fortifications and gates built onto them.

4 ) History
Founded by a group of non-commissioned officers and enlisted from the military base on Whidbey Island left behind during evacuation. They assumed the military would be back for them but after a few months began broadcasting for aid. A group of millers and a collection of fishermen eventually responded, bringing much needed food and supplies to build up the island into an actual Enclave.

5 ) Exports
Raw wood and lumber and specialized knowledges

6 ) Imports
Building materials (nails, glue, tools) and medical supplies

7 ) Competition
South Whidbey: Founded by the naval enlisted who split off from the marines it was later reinforced by a local yacht club and the ferry operators. They have salavaged a few of the state ferries and are one of the only options for moving large amounts of gear around the sound. There is a deep rivalry between the South Whidbey enclave and Deception.

Hospital: A collection of surgeon and farmers manage a small enclave which produces food, medical services, and burials. Located on Whidbey Island itself.

The Carvers: An enclave in the port city of Everett run by the workers at the wood and paper mill. They are supported by the engineers for the train system who have directed the tracks and trains to serve as mobile zombie defenses and distractions.

The Free Market: A protected bay in Anacortes managed by the wealthy citizens of the town and the US customs agents from the border patrol with support from the forest service.

Steel Wheels: An enclave with the ability to produce metal goods in Mukilteo. They are also the only enclave with a professional made distillery.

North Point: The military base, originally abandoned by both the marines and navy enlisted has been reclaimed by the Recession as a Settlement. Insult to injury, many of the officers at the settlement are the same ones originally removed from the base. North Point presents navigational difficulties due to their tendency to fire on ANY ship that comes within their sights and range.

8 ) Social Structure
Tribunal rule with the head of each of the groups sitting on a council. Individual disputes are brought to the tribunal and majority rules. The exception is matters of enclave security which must be resolved unanimously.
Due to the marines having been left behind while their officers were saved the adage "don't call me sir, I work for a living" has been enshrined into law. This attitude has spread even to the non-military citizens and a general dislike of military officers and of anyone in a "command" caste is common to citizens of Deception.
Everyone works in Deception. You do duty or you do labor. The enclave hates the idea of leaving anyone behind (see above) and will find work for anyone in normal circumstances. Exceptional circumstances sometimes result in exceptions but people are sympathetic and will allow others to "donate" to supply someone unable to work. Willful violation of a duty is a capital offense punishable in one of two fashions, determined by the criminal. They are either allowed to leave via the bridge road on the condition that they do not make any attempt to come back or they are set adrift on a non-millable section of wood.

9 ) Neighborhoods
The Spires- The bridge spires where intel and technical individuals live and work.
The Road- The bridge itself has become a no-go zone. Only The Watch, the military responsible for manning the gates, is allowed to stand on the road. Anyone who steps on the road and gets noticed by The Watch is forced to work a full 8 hour shift by weight of tradition (this was intended to discourage kids from wandering around but has become a game, trying to dodge the Watch and walk the road without getting caught).
Up Town- The wooden shacks built high on the island, under the bridge itself. They are the most protected from the elements and the most comfortable. The upper class lives there.
Down Town- The majority of the settlement, quickly built wooden housing, often in long house form with a dozen or more people in a single "home".
The Yard- A protected pool and work area used by the millers to float wood and do the rough cuts before refining the trees into building materials.
The Dock- Across the island from the Yard, the dock is the rough port, a pier that sticks out from the island to provide some shelter for the boats. Some of the fisherman live here.

10 ) VIPs
The Tribunal (also known as Top, Chop, and Slop)
Top, military leader Sergent Gibbs
Foreman, lumber leader George Foreman
Cap'n, fishing leader, Tanelle

Gun and weapon quarter master Rodriguez

Master of the intel spire Vlad

Corporal Robert O'Nell, in charge of the falconry program

Salty, political extremist and isolationist who is attempting to built a fence in the ocean

Dr. Nathan Simms, former oceanographer turned bootlegger who has converted his research vessel into a refinery. He's gone more than a little crazy but the brew he makes from seaweed is basically rubbing alcohol which is actually useful to the enclave so he is allowed his oddities.

Muckscraper Jolly Buccanon, phobia of heights, he cannot live in the main city and lives in a wrecked boat pulled onto the rocky shore.

Former botanist (and former companion to Dr. Simms) Dr. Herbert Olivia, attempting to breed crops to survive the harsh environment of the islands.

The Red Horizon Cult- A practical joke that got out of control, this cult believes that they can undergo vision quests, like the native americans, by fasting an entire day and then drinking the alcoholic mixture that Dr. Simms creates in his lab. They are called the Red Horizon because they believe a new disaster is approaching, something as bad or worse than the Crash, and want to forewarn the others. The enclave thinks they are harmless enough but is somewhat concerned that their practices could result in a self inflicted death of the members aren't careful. Dr. Simms is viewed as a prophet by the cult but the doctor himself isn't a member and doesn't even seen to be aware of the cult's practices.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 04:59:34 PM by Tadanori Oyama »

Ezechiel357

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #121 on: August 06, 2015, 02:13:15 AM »
I would like to throw in my little contribution.

Since RedMarket is all about scarcity of goods, here is some figures to take in consideration when generating settlements and enclaves.
All figures are in metrics, but they are easy to convert.

How much food to I need to feed my settlement?
Depending on the farming practices, skills, lands and weather, a grain crop (typically wheat) will yield between 1.5 to 8.2 ton of grains per hectare (1 hectare = 2.5 acres). Current EU and US yields are around 7-7.5 ton/h.
Considering a calorie intake of about 2’000 kcal/day/person (a bit less for woman than for man) and that a kilo of grain supply 3’270 kcal (it includes moisture content and indigestible fibers), one hectare of grain producing 7.5 tons of grain can support the calorie intake of 33.5 persons for a year.

But that’s the best case scenario: it requires good lands, capable farmer, adequate supply of fertilisers and good seeds. It is very reasonable, in dire circumstances, to see this value divided by 5 to the lower end of the spectrum so 6 persons will be fed per hectare.
For a settlement of 1’000 persons, between 30 to 170 hectares will be needed. That’s  300’000 sqm (550x550 m) to 1’700’000 sqm (1300x1300 m) (to convert, keep it simple 1 meter = 1 yard).
Keep in mind that with this serving of calorie, considering mostly physical work, the population will very quickly become “lean” (for physical work, the calorie intake can climb easily to 2’500 or even 3’000 in harsh condition like winter). Five years after the beginning of the Blight, being overweight will be a clear sign of wealth.
Also, this diet on grain is not balanced and will be missing several micronutrients unless multiple crops are grown. Finally, potatoes field can feed about the same quantity of person as the same field of grains.

Additional points to consider, a large proportion of American grains are from Monsanto. These grains are sterile, which means that contrary to traditional practices, the farmer cannot save some grains to seeds his field for next year crop: he has to buy new grains.  Those facilities manufacturing such grains are out of order (only a few are on the right side of the Mississippi), so unless there was some old grains left by an institute or some organic farmers, once the stock is depleted, nothing will grow.

If seeds from old crops are used, do not expect the same yield. Very likely, they will be sturdier and less fragile than the one coming from GMO and selective breeding, but they won’t be as performing. And worse, they might not resist the latest Round Up version, which have been specifically engineered not to harm Monsanto seeds, but might could very well burn other crops…

We are not bird, we are meat-eater !
Not for long my friend, unless you belong to the 1%...
To grow one kg of beef meat, 7 kg of grains need to be spent.

Hold on, we don’t need to give grains to cows, they can graze!

Sure my friend, as long as you have ample grass growing. And you need much more land to grow pasture to feed your cow that to use grains. And considering that grains will be used to feed people, feed cattle and manufacture biofuel, there is not much chance that a fertile patch of land will be left for grazing.
Other figures that can be useful: 4 kg of grain for a kilo of pork meat, 2kg of grain for a kg of poultry meat and a bit less than that for a kg of fish.

Idea for an Enclave:
I would not be surprised to see some huge mall being completely sealed, filled with water and converted into giant fish farm. Hint: uncontaminated dead bodies are an excellent source of protein. Cremation is such a waste of precious resources when you can convert them into fish…

trinite

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #122 on: August 06, 2015, 11:25:44 AM »
A lot of those modern estimates, though, are dependent on heavy equipment (i.e. tractors and combines, etc.) for maximally efficient plowing, sowing, and reaping.

Maybe a better source of metrics would be pre-industrial subsistence agriculture. Here's what seems to be a pretty good table of average yields during the Medieval period in Belgium: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thelemur/ars/mundane_background/General/medieval_agriculture.html

After a few seasons of trial and error, I suspect Loss farmers would be able to do a little bit better than that. We do have a better understanding of fertilization and soil chemistry than the Medievals did, and also tech like steel plows that make farming easier but don't depend on cheap fossil fuel inputs.

As for animal husbandry, it will probably only be done with marginal, non-plantable land, as was the pre-industrial norm. Also, with the decline of human population density and livestock grazing, wildlife populations will likely return to higher levels, meaning hunting will probably be a significant source of meat for enclaves (at least in areas with relatively low casualty density).

P.S. I started a new thread to collect together all of the Red Markets inspiration material in one place: http://slangdesign.com/forums/index.php/topic,1946.msg43929.html I'm gonna cross-post this there.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 11:28:04 AM by trinite »
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The Lost Carol

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #123 on: August 06, 2015, 01:01:36 PM »
I'll cross post here. It seems like a few of us want to be part of the beta, but don't have groups / groups don't meet regularly/won't be receptive to play testing something. We don't just have to limit ourselves to proofreading. We can band together and play via Skype or Google Hangouts. EDIT We're all set, but if you want to make up a group there's hopefully more people who'd be willing to play with you.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 11:29:46 PM by The Lost Carol »
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clockworkjoe

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #124 on: August 06, 2015, 03:33:39 PM »
I would think that farming productivity wouldn't be as low as medieval ages because of improvements in agricultural knowledge, weather forecasting, satellite imagery (still available thanks to Ubiq) and the sheer amount of available machinery for looting. Keep in mind, takers are still very busy 5 years after the Crash - there's still loads of goodies available for the taking out there. One drone combine can do a tremendous amount of work, after all.

Ezechiel357

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #125 on: August 06, 2015, 05:41:36 PM »
I would think that farming productivity wouldn't be as low as medieval ages because of improvements in agricultural knowledge, weather forecasting...
Completely agree.
The main evolution are selective breeding, knowledge and agricultural practices. Heavy duty equipment allows one man to do the work of dozen, if not hundred. But otherwise, there is no need to dig deep or do things that a man cannot do with simple tools. Especially hundreds hungry men. Technology allows to go faster.
The lowest range of the output correspond to third world country without much equipment ( and definitely no heavy duty machinery) and difficult weather conditions. I believe it is reasonable to take that as the lowest limit baring extraordinary hostile conditions.

So if a settlement want to grow crops on the roof of some building, a typicall 20x20m building (enough for 2 to 4 average flats per story depending the number of rooms) does only provide enough for one man, with high performing farming practice. If he is not so competent, with limited fertlisers, he might need four rooftops to sustain himself. Hard to see a large community only living on rooftop crops for example.

trinite

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #126 on: August 06, 2015, 08:40:02 PM »
I would think that farming productivity wouldn't be as low as medieval ages because of improvements in agricultural knowledge, weather forecasting, satellite imagery (still available thanks to Ubiq) and the sheer amount of available machinery for looting. Keep in mind, takers are still very busy 5 years after the Crash - there's still loads of goodies available for the taking out there. One drone combine can do a tremendous amount of work, after all.

Sure, we keep all the advances in knowledge, but we lose virtually all of the high-density energy inputs.  That means no gasoline for your drone combine, unless you find a huge supply somewhere. Also no industrial-scale fertilizer production, and no targeted pesticides and herbicides (and GMO crops tailored to using those chemicals. We certainly should be above Medieval yield levels, at least after a few years of adaptation. But we won't be anywhere near modern Western yield rates.

But the biggest difference will be the amount of manpower needed for farming: ploughmen, reapers, manure-spreaders...there's a reason why 30% of the U.S. population worked on farms in 1920, while less than 2% do now.
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vthings

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #127 on: August 15, 2015, 02:54:10 PM »
I think I'm a little late to the party, catching up on RPPR episodes now that I'm commuting again, I would like to give the playtest a go if that's still going on.  I've been really interested in the ideas behind Red Markets and have talked over with some of my players about it and they seem intrigued.  I'm in the process of finding some new players here in the Portland area but I just took a a job at an IT place so I think my seats will probably fill up pretty soon.

What I would do with the rules is go over them myself first and then present them to my players.  If I can close the sale with them we'll do a one-off to familiarize ourselves with the nuts and bolts.  From there I'll have them make characters and we'll do a multiple session game and give the tires a good kick and other mechanical analogies.  For Caleb's sake I'll be doing rather a lot of note taking and record our sessions.  I've got a decent setup for that so the audio quality won't suck balls.  I'll record an after-session analysis with everyone to get their thoughts about the way the game went.  Unless they just argue like idiots.  I'll load up Audacity and cut the BS out ahead of time.  I have a feeling Caleb has better things to do than to listen to nerds he doesn't know bitch at each other about dumb crap in and out of character.  So if I can't get everyone off their cellphones for longer than five minutes I'll just hand in notes.

I don't really have any character or enclave concepts to post at this time.  I've been purposefully avoiding that thought exercise with the idea that I'm going to be the one running the game and I'll let my players do that.  I want to keep my own expectations a blank slate so they can take the reins on that and I don't want my stupid ego getting in the way.  Good luck with the writing and looking forward to backing the Kickstarter.

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #128 on: August 16, 2015, 08:07:19 PM »
Just a quick suggestion after reading the beta and listening to the APs:

The Scam system seems quite entertaining, but it might need a little "cheat sheet" or template to guide new Markets and Takers.  Since it uses non-linear time, maybe setting up a cheat sheet as a storyboard-type playmat might be useful. 

This isn't an "official" reply to the playtest questionnaire because it might be something useful to add to the current playtests to see if it helps.  Along those lines, a similar three-column image showing what rolls are free, what needs to be bought, and what charges to use might be useful.

I love it so far, though. :) 

michfigs

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #129 on: August 17, 2015, 01:08:17 PM »
Fairly new to the podcast (I heard of Ross Payton through the BAMF radio podcast a while back) and have been following since then.

If possible, I would like to give a go to the Red Market play test. I have a few players who might be able to swing a few short scenarios.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 01:10:04 PM by michfigs »

jefimeyerhoff

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #130 on: August 17, 2015, 03:34:17 PM »
Yeah, I'm new to the forums too.  I've got ~20 or so episodes of podcasts and actual plays under my belt.  I'd be happy to help with the Red Markets beta.  I don't have an active play group but I can proofread if another set of eyes would be helpful.  If not, no sweat - guess I'll just buy your book  ;D

KillItWithFire

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #131 on: August 19, 2015, 02:53:50 PM »
Long time lurker, first time posting.

I finally broke down and made an account, and would like very much to get in on the alpha playtest of Red Markets, if it's not too late. I have a weekly group that would devour this game and demand seconds.
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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #132 on: August 26, 2015, 03:53:33 PM »
Same as KillItWithFire, this finally got me to make a post. I'd love to read the beta, and, if my group isn't too flaky, give it a run and record it.

Daegan

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #133 on: August 27, 2015, 10:55:18 AM »
Redundant post with the old Gencon one, but what they hey?  Home group's interested in playing Red Markets.

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Re: Red Markets Alpha Playtest
« Reply #134 on: August 28, 2015, 10:43:50 AM »
I have a new group of players, primarily employed or previously employed by... let's say we all work in the field of taxes. When I described the concept of this game, there were cheers.
If it's not too late, we would love to sign up for a beta playtest!