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Actual Play - Misspent Youth: The Nation of Christ

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
So yesterday, in addition to making yummy stir-fry, we created our setting and characters for <B>Misspent Youth</b>. I've made a character <a href="http://innocent-man.livejournal.com/497319.html">here</a>), but haven't actually played before. We were supposed to make characters last month, but we had a change of gamers and now here we are.

The game is available for free download <a href="http://misspentyouthgame.com/see.php">here</a>. It's billed on that page as a sci-fi game, but nothing says that you couldn't do fantasy or any other genre that tickles you. The setting is group-defined, and there's a great deal of structure to doing that. And it all seems to work fine.

First thing, the games asks you to consider the Authority. The question is, what do bullies do that pisses you off? What would be anger-making in a regime? Almost immediately, the group went to a hyper-religious state (early inspiration: <I>The Handmaid's Tale</i>). I wish to point out that this wasn't my idea, although obviously I was quite happy to run with it.

Anyway, one player brought up the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull">Quiverfull</a> movement, which is basically a Christian school of thought that eschews birth control (and, obviously, abortion) because children are a blessing from God or some bullshit (just from reading the wiki: birth control is sent from the Devil to prevent children that God wanted conceived from being born. Um, OK. So the Devil <I>can</i> outfox God on occasion?). The notion that they're basically trying to do that in order to skew the nation's numbers through sheer population explosion is one I find a little unlikely, at least from the little I've read, but it's a pretty obviously sexist sect. Anyway, we kind of took that philosophy to a dark place and ran with it.

So, in our near-future, the Nation of Christ has taken over most of Texas. They're OK with technology and science in general (as long as it doesn't get into the biological sciences of evolution, because I DINT COME FROM NO MONKAHS!), and they've got some oil reserves they're using as leverage. But they're also still trying to expand, take more territory, and soon.

The quick description is "fanatical, fundamentalist theocracy in former Texas." The Vice is Absolutism (we're right. God says so). The Victim is Freedom (they prey on everything, but Freedom is the first victim). The Visage is, obviously, Religious. And the Need is expressed as: "Expand to bring on the Rapture."

The rating for our little movie of <B>Misspent Youth</b> is UR. The MPAA didn't want to hear it, I guess. I'm fine with that.

So then we get our Systems of Control. These are sci-fi-ish things that the Nation of Christ uses to keep everybody in line. Each player makes one up, so we wound up with:

<ul>
<li>The Redeemers. These guys come to your house and do "interventions" if you aren't faithful enough, and they take the guise of a helpful intervention group. They talk to you alone, and then you're pious again. No one is sure exactly what they do to make that happen.
<li>The Maidens. Young women are expected to become mothers quickly. These are a kind of elite group of young women who act as watchdogs and moral whistleblowers. They wear rings (inspired by the "promise rings" of today's misguided youth). They control their peers by shaming, tattling and siccing the undersexed, overaggressive boys of the society on people (which sometimes winds up with houses burnt).
<li>Golgotha Squares. Every community has one of these, with a number of crosses. Always an odd number, with the big one empty (or, in some places, with a holographic Jesus on it). As a punitive measure, people can be lashed to those crosses, beaten, rocks thrown, and so on.
<li>The Military. The first son of every mother is automatically conscripted. Gun ownership is compulsory. Everyone is armed and devout.
<li>A woman that fails to bear a viable child (stillbirth, miscarriage) is treating as "owing a soul" to God. That woman then has to convert someone; even if she later bears a child, she's still one under quota, as it were.
</ul>

As far as other stuff that isn't covered here goes, people are also named using two words from a random Bible passage (chosen at birth). Family names are a thing of the past, because there's too much cross-pollination going on (and everyone raises the kids). There's a caste system in place, and people who don't believe or believe in other faiths and branded and knocked to the bottom of the ladder. People who then convert are then re-branded and given a special status (more joy for the one lamb found than the thousands served with mint jelly, or something).

Now, the characters have an Exploit. In this case, it's a hacker/podcaster named 8337Z38U8 (it's a word, figure it out). No one is sure who "he" is, but he broadcasts to the youth, a small chunk of a message at a time, sometimes encoded in classic rock. He's here to help.

The characters! I include their given name (the "two words from the Bible" thing), their nickname (spot the trend! And it's not just that they all begin with "j") and other relevant traits. The characters are all smugglers and human traffickers (getting the people the fuck out of the Nation of Christ. At least some of their parents are involved, too.

<ul>
<LI>Michelle plays <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%201:46&version=ESV">Soul Magnifies</a>, or as her friends call her, Joan. She's a former Maiden whose fallen from grace. She's the face - and the Jezebel - of the group. Means: Cool. Motive: Outrage. Opportunity: Trusted. M.O.: "Hello, Daddy, Hello Mom" (Face/Jezebel). Disorder: "I wanna walk, but I run back to you." (Good girl)
<li>Jess plays Steadfast Love (can't link to the chapter and verse because Jess didn't write it down). Her parents raised her kind of off the grid, or as close as you get in the Nation of Christ. She's a CD pirate, kind of hippy, vegan. Her friends call her Janis. Means: Smart. Motive: Altruism. Opportunity: Orphan. M.O.: Hippy CD Pirate/Activist. Disorder: "My unhappy, my unlucky, my little girl blue."
<li>Mike plays <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%2022:3&version=ESV">Abraham Saddled</a>, but his friends called him Jethro. Jethro is wheelman, good at driving defensively and otherwise. He saw his brother get a visit from the Redeemers, and that was enough to piss him off good and proper. Mostly, though, he likes driving. Means: Fast. Motive: Thrills. Opportunity: Rich. M.O.: Wheelman. Disorder: "When the all-time winner has got him by the balls."
<li>Rob plays <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Peter+5:8&version=KJV">Roaring Lion</a>. He's a rabble-rouser, good at getting people fired up. His friends just call him Joey. (Rob doesn't take a lot of notes, so I'm a little at a loss here - don't remember exactly what was discussed about him.) Means: Bad. Motive: Optimism. Opportunity: Pretty. M.O.: "Hey, ho, let's go!". Disorder: "I don't want to grow up."
<li>John plays <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=judges%2016:30&version=KJV">Samson Fell</a>, or Jimi, if you like. Jimi is a tough kid. He's sneaky and he's easy to miss, but people studiously ignore him - he was branded for blasphemy. He's of African-American extraction, and wears hats (these are on the character sheet, so I mention them here.) Means: Tough. Motive: Pride. Opportunity: Sneaky. M.O.: Between the cracks. Disorder: "Kiss the sky."
</ul>

There ya have it. Next time, we'll play our first episode.
 

Robert Bohl

Registered User
Validated User
I think I designed the game so that this world could exist. I can't wait to see what you do with it.
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
So! Yesterday was the Rapture. Snerk.

No, really, yesterday we played <b>Misspent Youth</b> for the first time. I really enjoyed the game, and I'm looking forward to next session, now that we all have a sense of how the game works. If you need a refresher for the setting we came up with, <a href="http://innocent-man.livejournal.com/516349.html">here</a>.


First thing, the players each make up an Authority Figure. They came up with:

<ul>
<li>Blessed Be, the local head of the Maidens.
<li>Rev. Begotten Son, the elder/preacher/mayor of the township.
<li>Will Existed, the sheriff, who enforces the law for Begotten Son.
<li>Lift Your Skirts, aka "Big Tex," the border guard and head of the Seraphim of the Gates (who guard the borders against the unbelievers to the north).
<li>Dumas' Cross, the local judge.
</ul>

The players also ask "friendship questions" of each other:

<ul>
<li>Jethro asked Joan: "What text message did I get from you that I wasn't supposed to?" She answered: "A picture of me topless; was meant for my best friend."
<li>Joan asked Joey: "What won't you sleep with me?" Joey answered: "I don't like Christians."
<li>Joey asked Jimi: "Why did your dad give me a car rather than you?" Jimi answered, "Because dad's a dick, and he's pissed I got caught and branded."
<li>Jimi asked Janis: "Would you lend me your original music CDs?" Janis answered, "What would you give me in return?"
<li>Janis asked Jethro: "Are you mad about what happened between your brother and I?" Jethro answered, "Yes. He'd never have been caught if you hadn't taken him there."
</ul>

<B>Scene One: What's Up.</b>

Rob (Joey's player) sets the scene, and chooses Big Tex as the authority figure. The clique is driving to the border. They've dropped off some refugees, but this last girl (named Will Counsel) refuses to get out. The van is headed back to town, and they see Big Tex' SUV behind him. The girl just keeps repeated "Whither thou goest, I will go with you," but they aren't sure why.

Jethro spins the wheel and drives off-road; Big Tex tries to follow and calls in air support. Janis throws out caltrops and pops his tires. Big Tex pulls out a rocket launcher.

Jethro spins the wheel and drives into the drainage culvert, and they look like their about to get away. But as they emerge, Joey sees Big Tex driving toward them (his tires have an automatic re-inflate) and he panics. He smacks Jethro, who loses control and crashes the car. The characters scatter, leaving Will Counsel behind.

(Joey rolled and lost, and his Disorder - "I don't wanna grow up" - is what did it.)

<b>Scene Two: Fighting Back.</b>

Jimi's player sets the scene, and picks Begotten Son as the Authority Figure. It's the next day, and the characters are looking at a poster saying that Will Counsel is missing. They know what happened to her (they think), but they aren't sure if she's in trouble. Joan has heard rumors that there's an older sister who "owes a soul" (that is, had a miscarriage) that they keep locked up in the house, and the characters' strange ally 8337Z38U8 seems to confirm that something is off at the house.

Joan has her mom bake a casserole and goes with Joey and Jethro to the house to investigate. Jimi and Janis wait in the car. Who opens the door but Begotten Son himself?

The Struggle is mostly conversational, as Begotten Son tries to get the characters to admit something. But eventually, Janis, from the van, rolled on Joan's "Trusted" Conviction and called in a false tip through the Maidens. Begotten Son leaves, and the characters win - they get time alone with Will Counsel's older sister.

Joan talks to her (the older sister, named Whither Thou Goest) and realizes that she has the same odd-colored eyes as Begotten Son - she and Will Counsel are his illegitimate daughters. This, of course, is our first Beat. The Question for the episode, then, is: "Will the secret daughters be revealed?"

<B>Scene Three: Heating Up.</b>

Janis' player sets the scene, choosing one of the Friendship Questions: The one from Jethro to Joan (about the text).

Scene opens at church. Joan is going in to choir. Janis is hiding in the attic (she's off the grid). Jimi, Jethro and Joey are outside with the other folks, waiting to go in. Everyone's phones are buzzing with this indecent picture of a girl with her top off (no face, though). Jethro recognizes it - it was on his phone, but he lost his phone in the van crash in Scene One. He's horrified, but there's not much he can do.

Joan sees it, too, and confronts Jethro. There's nothing they can do, though - the service begins and Begotten Son has the guards bar the doors. He explains that if the woman responsible doesn't want to step forward, he'll have the women who "owe a soul" photograph all of the suspects in town until they find who was responsible.

This gets started up, but Joan steps forward and confesses. This still could have ended better, but Janis' player rolled and lost. Janis tripped the fire alarm, hoping to get everyone out quickly, but Begotten Son had the situation in hand. He sentenced Joan to a night on a cross in Golgotha Square. During the night, someone - a woman - came and slit her shirt open, leaving her exposed until morning.

<b>Scene Four: We Won.</b>

Jethro's player set this up. He chose Joey's question to Jimi (about the van).

Scene opens with Jimi's father telling Joey about a van for sale. Turns out to be the same van that got wrecked in scene one. The characters go out to see it - it's outside of town, and the crotchety old dude who owns the property is away. It's the same van, all right, and they look around for clues. They also hook up the van to their van ("Hey, it's ours anyway"). Getting near the house, they hear someone crying in the basement. And then they see Big Tex and some Seraphim on bikes coming toward the house.

Jimi kicks in the door, tromps downstairs and finds Will Counsel, locked up. He frees her, but the Seraphim are coming in. Joey's player rolls and loses, but doesn't want to lose this fight, so he sells out his Optimism Conviction to Cynical.

"Fuck it," he says. "We're screwed anyway." He released the coupling on the damaged van and it slides down the slope, crashing into the motorcycles. The Seraphim are taken out, and Big Tex stops pursuing the characters to pull his boys out of the wreckage. The characters have won, and they flee with Will Counsel.

She tells them that the old man pulled her out of the van after the crash, and took her to his house and prayed with her, but wouldn't let her go. She says she wants to leave the Nation of Christ, but not without her sister.

<b>Scene Five: We're Fucked.</b>

I set this one up. Yay! I chose Will Existed, the sheriff, as the Authority Figure.

Back in the township, Begotten Son addresses everyone via newscast. The youthful offenders who kidnapped Will Counsel earlier, it seems are actually terrorists from the north. Now they've killed two Seraphim and injured a third. The clique splits up - Janis and Jimi hide Will Counsel at Janis' secret hideout, Joey and Jethro start heading home in the van, and Joan walks home.

Joey and Jethro get pulled over and questioned. Jethro (Rich) tries to bribe the cop, but it doesn't initially work ("Not today," he says). Joan, meanwhile, is also stopped and recognized. Her player rolls and fails, but sells out "Cool" to "Trendy." Talking like a perfect Maiden, she convinces him that she's doing nothing wrong. The cop withdraws, and the one talking to Jethro takes his money and indicates that if there's more money to be had, he's not entirely loyal to the Nation.

The soldiers are going house to house, though. They find Whither Thou Goest trying to run, and when they catch her, she calls Begotten Son out as her father. They quickly snap her up and take her to the Redemption House - which is where they take you when the Redeemers can't break you using their normal methods.

<b>Scene Six: Who Wins.</b>

Joan's player sets us up, using Janis' question to Jethro (about his brother). Turns out the "there" in that question was the Redemption Place; Janis was just sticking it to the man, but Jethro's brother got caught and Redeemed.

The characters agree that they need to break in an get Whither Thou Goest before she's Redeemed or outright killed. They sneak up there, and, while talking about their plan and what happened when Janis was here before, Janis reveals that she didn't bring Jethro's brother there for sex - his brother is gay. Before this can get discussed further, Begotten Son shows up with two guards. They overhear him say something about "sending her on to God," and Jimi pops up and calls him out.

The guards spot the characters and start shooting. Joey runs to cause a distraction, and he rolls successfully on Jimi's "Bad" Conviction. They start a riot, as the townsfolk rebel against the hypocrite Begotten Son and free Whither Thou Goest. The clique wins the episode.

<B>Scene Seven: Dust Settles.</b>

Joey's character sets us up. Joan's question to him - "Why won't you sleep with me?" - is the focus.

The characters are taking Whither Thou Goest and Will Counsel to the border. There, they meet Joey's girlfriend, who is Jewish ("I don't like Christians"). As they're leaving, though, they hear helicopters - the Seraphim, out for blood.

Jethro drives down into a canyon where he won't kick up dust. The Seraphim look for them, but accidentally cross the border and are almost shot down. This is an act of war - and a good setup for next time. The clique wins this scene (on Janis' Smart Conviction, if memory serves).

<B>Aftermath.</b> The characters convert the Redeemers into an Exploit. The former Redeemer headquarters is wrecked, and now a good base of operations for the Underground Railroad. Next time, we'll see how the characters use it.
 

MalaDicta

Retired User
This sounds really awesome. I'll definitely give it a download and try it with my group when we wrap our current game.

I really like the world you've built. It's well thought-out, logically and historically consistent, and completely terrifying. It's really hard to find that in a setting, fan-made or otherwise. I am jealous of your players.
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
This sounds really awesome. I'll definitely give it a download and try it with my group when we wrap our current game.

I really like the world you've built. It's well thought-out, logically and historically consistent, and completely terrifying. It's really hard to find that in a setting, fan-made or otherwise. I am jealous of your players.
Thank! I have awesome players. :)
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
First thing, the players each make up (or pick, since we now have some to choose from) an Authority Figure. They came up with:

<ul>
<li>Blessed Be, the local head of the Maidens.
<li>Ten Plagues, a Curator (that is, someone who collects bans books for archives) and a co-worker of Joey's father.
<li>Will Existed, the sheriff, who enforces the law for Begotten Son.
<li>Lift Your Skirts, aka "Big Tex," the border guard and head of the Seraphim of the Gates (who guard the borders against the unbelievers to the north).
<li>Little Children, a federal agent tasked with investigating the riot and the border crossing.
</ul>

The players also ask "friendship questions" of each other:

<ul>
<li>Jethro asked Jimi: "Why'd you sabotage the van?" He answered: "Because it should have been my fucking van."
<li>Jimi asked Joan: "Why did I find naughty pics on your phone addressed to Will Existed?" Joan answered: "Because he agrees to let me out past curfew in exchange."
<li>Joan asked Janis: "How are we related again?" Janis answered, "Second cousins; our mothers are first cousins."
<li>Janis asked Joey: "How did I introduce you to your Jewish girlfriend?" Joey answered, "Your best friend's wife is Jewish, and that's my GF's sister."
<li>Joey asked Jethro: What did we see on the hayride as kids that your dad paid me to keep quiet about?" Jethro answered, "One of the chaperones fondling my older brother (Pillar of Salt)."
</ul>

<b>Scene One: What's Up.</b>

Janis' player sets the scene. She chooses the question from Joey to Jethro about the hayride. We're in the van, heading back from a dropoff. Janis and Jethro are talking (Jethro driving, Janis riding shotgun). Everyone else is napping. They talk about Jethro's brother (revealed to be gay at the end of last session). Jethro asks, and Janis says that she was there acting as lookout for Pillar. She didn't see the sheriff (Will Existed) come from the other way.

About now, the engine starts to knock. The van fails (oil light! oil light!) and the characters see a dust cloud approaching from the north. The Struggle begins. They start trying to move the car toward the canyon, and the dust cloud fires mortars. They manage to get the van off the road, though (Jimi wins the Struggle, rolling on Jethor's "Fast" Conviction) and the mortars miss. They still aren't sure who was shooting.

In the canyon, they find a cache of supplies, unlabeled. They fix the car and head home, wondering what happened. The Kickoff here is: "This story is about what happened to Pillar of Salt, Jethro's brother."

<b>Scene Two: Fighting Back.</b>

Joey's player sets the scene, and chooses Ten Plagues. Back in their base (formerly the Redeemers' base), they find a puddle of oil and a drainage cap. Someone sabotaged their van. They argue about this for a few minutes, and then a young man (Will of the Saints) comes running up to say there's an adult snooping around.

Joey, Jethro and Jimi go to investigate, with various blunt instruments. Joey confronts him, and the man - Ten Plagues, who carries a load of books in a duffel bag - hems and haws. Finally he bolts, and the characters give chase. As my stakes, I say they kill him, which had exactly the reaction I wanted.

Jethro stood up and lost. He runs forward and grabs the guy, pushing him over. He bangs his head on the concrete, killing him. The YOs freak out a bit, and Jimi drags the body to a car and burns it. This, obviously, is the first beat (Catastrophe).

The Question here: "Will Jethro end up like his brother?"

<b>Scene Three: Heating Up.</b>

Jethro's player sets our scene, and picks Little Children as the Authority Figure. The characters are eating lunch in a diner a few days later, talking quietly about nothing offensive. Cop cars pull up, and Little Children gets out with the officers. They block the exists, but Janis hides. She walks in and starts using a little handheld device to scan fingerprints. They bust one guy at the next table, and then approach the YOs.

She scans Joan, but that goes fine. She tries to scan Joey, but he distracts her, as does Jimi (by smearing ketchup on the screen). As he does, he wins the Struggle by selling out his Pride conviction (becomes Arrogant). She scans Jethro, but his brother pops up instead - with a red banner that says "Calgary." This isn't anything they've heard of, but it's the best lead they've had on finding him.

Little Children notices that there's an extra malt here (Janis'), but Jimi says it's for God. Little Children leaves, but it's clear she knows these kids.

<b>Scene Four: We Won.</b>

Jimi's player sets the scene, and chooses Will Existed. We start off following Will Existed late at night. He leads them to a compound out of town, with a chain-link fence surrounding it. This, they figure, must be "Calgary," and they silently pull the van in after Will Existed's SUV.

There, they dodge a couple of detection points, but then Joey accidentally opens the back door and falls out. He panics and yells, and the place lights up. Jethro floors it, and they bust through the chain-link fence, leaving Joey behind (Joey's player rolled and lost).

As they drive off, though, they grit their teeth and resolve to get him out.

<b>Scene Five: We're Fucked.</b>

I set this one up. Yay again! Obviously, I chose the question from Jethro to Jimi about the van.

The characters wind up back at their base, and Jimi and Jethro fight about Jethro killing a man and leaving Joey behind, and Jethro accuses Jimi of draining the oil from the van. Jimi admits to it, but pretty much states he did it because fuck his dad anyway. The characters argue for a while, but then realize that they need to get Joey out. Jethro suggests they steal a garbage truck and use that to get in.

They drive out, with Jimi driving and Joan riding shotgun. Jethro and Janis hang on to the back. They get in without incident, but then they see Joey pressing his face against a window and yelling for help. The guards go to sort him out, and Jimi (deliberately) drops a dumpster to act as a diversion. Jethro gets into the facility and starts looking for Joey.

Joey stands up and rolls...and loses. He sells out Bad to Perverse to win. He has made a weapon from a bedspring, and savagely beats the guards. He runs and pulls the fire alarm, and there's a mass breakout.

Of course, most of the men are recaptured or shot. Pillar of Salt winds up on the back of the truck with the YOs, but as they get away, he looks back at the facility - and there's a bloom of red on his side. Second beat: Reversal (Pillar of Salt is shot). Question: Will Pillar of Salt survive?

<b>Scene Six: Who Wins.</b>

Joan's player sets us up, using Janis' question to Joey (about his Jewish girlfriend). We start off back in the canyon, just after escaping Calgary. Pillar of Salt is dying, and they realize they need to get him to a doctor. Joey's girlfriend (Susan)'s father is a doctor, so now they need to send word to him (which is the Struggle). They get the truck back to the base (barely) and start trying to send messages. They get a message from 8337Z38U8, who says he got word from Susan but the message was garbled (more or less). Finally, Joey wins the roll on Jethro's Rich Conviction, and piggyback's Jethro's uber-phone on Janis' pirated phone to get a clear message in. The message comes back to meet by the train tracks.

They do, and Susan's father is able to save Pillar of Salt. He also gives the characters some medical supplies, but offers them passage north. They refuse (they have too much to do), but Jethro finally gets to talk with Pillar about what happened. He says to tell dad that "Lot was wrong, too - he'll know what I mean." Janis apologizes for missing the sheriff sneaking up, and asks what happened to Pillar's boyfriend. Pillar says he doesn't know. One day, the boy just vanished from Calgary.

Susan, her father and Pillar go north, and the characters return home.

<b>Scene Seven: Dust Settles.</b>

Janis' player sets us up. Big Tex is the Authority Figure. He's trying to sort out what the hell happened at Calgary, and is sorting through computer records of the people there. But Janis and Jethro have planted back doors, and Big Tex trips one of them. Joan wins on Janis' Smart Conviction, Big Tex deletes the files entirely. (Joey may still have issues from this, but we'll resolve them next time.)

Little Children enters and notes that her authority supercedes Big Tex'. So I'm sure we'll see them both again.

<b>Aftermath.</b> The characters now have computer access using Big Tex' passwords, so they can hack into the Nation's computer systems with greater ease. I'm sure that'll come in handy.
 

Robert Bohl

Registered User
Validated User
Hey Matt,

Loving the summaries of your games. In particular:

As my stakes, I say they kill him, which had exactly the reaction I wanted.
I love that tactic. Had they been super hardcore so far? I also like to make my objective "fuck this dude up" with AFs that I think might have some third dimension to them that may not have been on display yet.

The Question here: "Will Jethro end up like his brother?"
This is great. I often find myself wrapped up with Questions that are plot-centric, but making them character-centric would make them a lot easier to come up with and a lot more resonant, probably.

He says to tell dad that "Lot was wrong, too - he'll know what I mean."
This gave me chills.

Great stuff, and thanks for posting it.
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
I love that tactic. Had they been super hardcore so far? I also like to make my objective "fuck this dude up" with AFs that I think might have some third dimension to them that may not have been on display yet.
They haven't been especially hardcore (I did mention after the game, though, that it was something you'd mentioned in the book to use for that purpose). It was just that in that instance, with an obviously scared dude running from them and the guys chasing him with pipes, that was the worst thing they could do. So, y'know. My goal. :)

Oh, and we burned through this episode in about 2.5 hours. I love how quick this game is. Had time to finish before cooking everyone dinner.
 

Robert Bohl

Registered User
Validated User
They haven't been especially hardcore (I did mention after the game, though, that it was something you'd mentioned in the book to use for that purpose). It was just that in that instance, with an obviously scared dude running from them and the guys chasing him with pipes, that was the worst thing they could do. So, y'know. My goal. :)
Absolutely. Good fucking call.

Oh, and we burned through this episode in about 2.5 hours. I love how quick this game is. Had time to finish before cooking everyone dinner.
I'm so grateful to hear that. It's also hilarious to me, because my local group told me that equating a session with an episode was unreasonable, as you'd never finish on that schedule. (It's just that we're a scandalously chatty group.)
 

BlackHat_Matt

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
As before, first thing is Authority Figures. We wound up with:

<ul>
<li>Big Tex, as before.
<li>Little Children, as before.
<li>Dumas' Cross, as before.
<li>Arise Lazarus, a freelance bounty hunter tracking down 8EE7Z38U8.
<li>The Van, Arise Lazarus' tricked-out surveillance vehicle.
</ul>

And then, questions:

<ul>
<li>Joey asked Joan: "What did you buy in Shreveport that you didn't let us see?" She answered, "Birth control. I provide it for the Maidens."
<li>Joan asked Jethro: "Who's your secret crush?" He answered, "Treasures in Heaven. She's older. I knew her from high school, and then saw her again - she was a guard at Calgary."
<li>Jethro asked Janis: "Where's my weed?" She answered, "I smoked it."
<li>Janis asked Jimi: "What are those explosives doing in the garage?" He answered, "I'm getting tired of dodging the border patrols."
<li>Jimi asked Joey, "Was that bald spot there before you got captured at Calgary?" He answered, "No, it wasn't."
</ul>

<B>Scene One: What's Up.</b>

Joan's player starts up off. We're at mandatory Bible summer camp! This has the YOs mingling with kids from their own town, and nearby towns as well. In a weird twist, they'd heard that all cell phones were going to be confiscated, but just before camp it was revealed that they were mandatory. Anyway, the question for the scene was the one about Jethro's weed.

Janis, because she's off the grid, isn't at summer camp. Rather, she's there, but just comes out to the edge of camp and meets with folks. She's supplying weed and brownies to the YOs, who then provide them to the kids at camp. Jethro is on kitchen duty, and Joey is older, so he's a junior counselor. They sneak out and meet Janis. Jethro asks for his weed, and Janis reveals that she thought that bad was a thank-you for her help with her brother, so she smoked it.

About then, the YOs hear an approaching ATV. They scatter, Janis hides in a shed, and Joey makes a distraction to escape. They win the scene (though offhand I forget which Conviction), and head back to camp, wondering how the guards were tracking them.

<B>Scene Two: Fighting Back.</b>

The first beat is obvious from the last scene: The guards have devices that can track the students' cell phones. The YOs aren't going to take that shit lying down, so they have Janis get word to Joan in the girls' dorms - tonight, they steal cell phones and plant them around the camp, taped to cars and ATVs, buried, stashed in bathrooms, etc. They do that, and despite some close calls they manage to win (again, which Conviction? Don't recall). Big Tex is the chosen Authority Figure, but he only shows up insofar as he's coordinating the guards that night.

The Question becomes: "How are the YOs different than the other kids?"

<B>Scene Three: Heating Up.</b>

Janis sets the scene, and chooses Little Children as the Authority Figure. Breakfast the next morning, and the YOs note a pile of cell phones on a table with a note that says that if your phone is here, you should see the camp director (Little Children, this year) in her office. She herself is drifting through the mess hall, talking to kids. When she gets to the YOs' table, Jimi dumps juice on her shoes.

Apparently, Little Children is just not fucking around today. She has two big dudes drag Jimi into a room and strap him into a chair, and tell him to make a fist. I name as my stakes that he cracks like an egg and spills on his friends. He names as his stakes that he ODs on the drugs and has to be hospitalized (jesus, never shit a shitter). Joey rolls a success on Jimi's Tough Conviction, pulls the fire alarm and causes some mayhem. Jimi gets abandoned with the drip running and slips into a coma. The other kids get to watch him taken out in a stretcher.

<B>Scene Four: We Won.</b>

Jimi's player sets this scene, and chooses the question about Jethro's secret crush. Following Jimi's OD, parents have come up to camp, concerned about their kids. Little Children intends to pull rank and send the parents home (this camp is <I>mandatory</i>, after all), but in the meanwhile, Jethro sees Treasures in Heaven and goes to talk to her. He flirts a bit, and then the YOs set the stakes - if they win, Treasures in Heaven is sympathetic and agrees to pass information along. If I win, the YOs are on double secret probation for the rest of camp.

They talk a bit about how Jimi OD'd and what he did to deserve it. Joan raises the point that strapping kids down and drugging them isn't cool, Treasures in Heaven kind of agrees. Finally Jimi's player rolls (not actually present, but making his influence felt through flashbacks of the incident in the mess hall) and wins on Jetro's Fast Conviction. Treasures in Heaven agrees to pass along a message to Jimi, and seems troubled by the whole thing.

<b>Scene Five: We're Fucked.</b>

I set this scene. I choose the question about Joan buying birth control as the focus (whereupon Michelle says, "Why do you pick on me?"). Little Children is having a big ol' bonfire and confession circle. She explains that the kids can throw things into the fire that represent their sins, and Jethro goes first, burning a condom and saying he's had impure thoughts (and then giving Treasures in Heaven a look. What balls).

Now, I may have aimed a little high, here. I named as my stakes that the YOs were "outed" as providers of weed, condoms and other such things. They said, in a stakes-setting that I thought was brilliant, that if they won their circle of influence would expand, since there were more kids here.

Anyway, Little Children asked Jethro where he got the condom, and he named Ten Plagues (you know, the guy he accidentally killed <a href="http://innocent-man.livejournal.com/526534.html">last time</a>). And the confessions went on.

A girl stepped forward with a condom to burn, and looked at Joan as though about to expose her. Joan went forward, took her hands, and prayed with the girl. Little Children joined them and asked Joan to confess as well. Joan rolls a failure. But she sells out her MO. "Hello Daddy, Hello Mom" becomes "It's Cherry Bomb!". She confesses to using pictures of herself as currency to Will Existed, which of course provokes gasps and scandalous comments - but the kids were looking to Joan afterwards.

They won the scene, but afterwards they're rounded up and Little Children puts them (Joan, Joey, Jethro and a couple of other troublemakers) in the special dorm, where they can be watched carefully. This is the second Beat (Complication), and the Question is revised: "Will the YOs follow the crowd to avoid suspicion?"

<B>Scene Six: Who Wins.</b>

It's Joey's scene, and he chooses Arise Lazarus as the Authority Figure. Jimi has come back to camp, but is still a little spacy. Arise Lazarus is in the office, calls in Joey. He shows Joey pictures from Calgary, including one of Janis (!), and asks who she is and what's going on with the other folks. Joey, of course, denies everything. Stakes: If I win, Arise becomes convinced that Janis is 8EE7Z38U8 and devotes himself to hunting her down. If they win, he decides that 8EE7Z38U8 lives north of the border in the USA (and thus beyond his jurisdiction).

This went pretty much like every other scene today - the YOs rolled a success quickly. Joey talked with Arise, but pretty much convinced him that Janis was nothing to do with 8EE7Z38U8 (again, can't remember which damn Conviction it was - I should write those down). But the Authority lost. AGAIN.

<B>Scene Seven: Dust Settles.</b>

And back around to Joan. She picks the Van as the Authority Figure. Last day of camp, and the YOs see Arise Lazarus loading stuff into the van. They decide to break in and see if they can't find how they got those pictures from Calgary. The stakes: They win, they steal the van. They lose, their conversation before they approach the van is recorded.

They approach, break in...and Joey rolls a failure. <I>Finally.</i> Joey stood up and rolled a failure, but sold out his MO: "Hey, ho, let's go" became "I wanna be sedated" - his rallying cry became less punk and more drill-sergeant. He had already mooned some people and started running, and now he'd doubled back and collided with Arise Lazarus, who was walking to the van. Jethro got the van running and drove it far enough that Janis could pick it up, and then hightailed it back.

<B>Aftermath.</b>

So this was a total shutout. Didn't win one scene. But got two MOs sold out, so all is not lost. And the YOs got a sweet new van with lots of gadgets and info that they didn't have before, and a wider circle of influence. And this session, BTW, took all of about 2 hours. The players all agreed that it was paced just right, the scenes flowed organically, and I had time to cook dinner afterwards.
 
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