Bite Sized Actual Play - February 2014

edited February 2014 in Actual Play
We playtested my occult western game The Devil John Moulton again last night. This time was still great fun, and less gratuitously evil than the prior playtest. This time, nobody got their ear cut off.


Well, nobody who was still alive when it happened.

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  • edited February 2014
    Playing Dungeon World--The adventurers arrive at an elven village, deep in the Great Dismal Swamp, and former home to the party's elven druid and elven bard. While the characters have been away, men have encroached upon the elven territory and have built a trade post/tavern at the edge of the village. It is named 'the Swamp Hag'. Simultaneously, both elves say to the other, 'they've named it after your mother!'
  • Last week's Eternal Lies session was long and full enough that if I start quoting the more serious bits, I'll never stop. So, just some thoughts from our heroes, who've had a very, very trying time of things, as they retired to a bar in New Jersey for solace. (It's 1937, so Prohibition is over.)

    Mescal! When the other liquors make fun of Tequila, it goes back and gets its older brother, Mescal!

    Since we had 8 shots, we're safe. Time for mixed drinks!

    I like a scotch old enough to order its own scotch.

  • Played in Psi*Run via Contessa 2014/Hangouts this weekend. Our crash started in the top floor of a 30 story mega-mall as the hover transport plowed into a posh eatery. We left a trail of destruction as a touch only mind controller, pyromaniac android (cyborg?), a vomit-mancer, a quantumly unhinged girl (?), and a psychically invisible boy race though a future as envisioned in the 80's. Only two of us made it out of the building.
  • World Wide Wrestling from last week - the Monster "Mammoth Marco" mammoth-stomps his challenger right to hell; the Hardcore "Bruto" gets a huge win over fan favorite Perdition in a Backstage Brawl match (with a well-placed low blow, no less); and then doubles up with the High Flyer "The Angel" to take on the dastardly Mechanix in a hardcore tag match. Backstage, tho, Bruto's actions are drawing the wrong kind of attention, while Marco tries to figure out how to keep his ongoing feud with the Mechanix afloat and the Angel basks in the short-lived glow of success...
  • Kenishi struggles to find footing on the mountain, taking on the task with three other ronin he does not know. He is from the clans far to the North, and has done nothing to bring his people honor in his privileged life. Now the last of them, he knows he must redeem himself somehow, and the money from killing the Mountain Witch will begin that task.

    Until... just as they move through the forest, they fall off the path and encounter the most beautiful woman he has seen. He quickly learns she is the daughter of the Mountain Witch. Perhaps he can prove himself to her, and with her breath life back in to his blood-line. And a marriage to this powerful sorcerer is sure to secure the honor of his people.

    Quickly his thoughts turn from assisting the others; he begins to plot their demise, earning their trust and then offering them up to the Witch's servants... when the cold realization that the others could be doing the same sets in.
  • ... deep in the Great Dismal Swamp...
    Carolina World! ;)

  • In my Masks of Nyarlathotep group, Father O'Connor helped his friends slip away from the Guided Tour of an archaeological dig so they could poke around by asking the most annoying questions he could come up with.

    Father O'Connor: So, this sad we're brushing away -- is it regular sand or historically significant sand?
  • "So, this sad we're brushing away…"
    Best accidental poetry
  • It's cuz my n-key sticks. But, I'll gladly accept it's accidental poetry.
  • Last week, on World Wide Wrestling: the triumphant return of the Antihero, Keystone! He's about to defeat his local opponent when Bruto runs in! The match is restarted by General Manager C. Colten Craig as a Hardcore match, but even with the chains in the ring Bruto can't tame the Mississippi Gator, and he ate a Rattlesnake Bite right in the middle of the ring. "Mammoth" Marco faced his adversaries The Mechanix in a two-on-one handicap match IN A STEEL CAGE, and even tho he botched the finish (the Mammoth Tusks), the crowd loved it.
  • Paris, 1943.
    An ancient butler opens the door to the journalist Marius and asks him to wait while he checks if the doctor can see him.
    While he's waiting, another player says "I bet the butler is Sachs." (Sachs was an unfortunate fellow whose partially reanimated corpse two of the Investigators discovered in the doctor's basement the day before - but Marius wasn't there.)

    Up until that point, it was just an elderly butler who might not be real. But after that, yes, of course it was Sachs.

    Arguably this was a bit of a cheat on my part, but it ended up creating a creepy scene with flickering torchlight in a basement and lots of confused shouting, so it worked out all right.
  • edited February 2014
    We playtested my occult western game The Devil John Moulton again last night. This time was still great fun, and less gratuitously evil than the prior playtest. This time, nobody got their ear cut off.
    Reservoir Devils?

  • In Psi*Run, it turns out that one of the runners is an astronaut that has returned from a stay on Mars. Where he somehow forget that his brain had gotten scooped out and replaced with an alien nano-machine cluster.
  • So, what, the previous game was Reservoir Devils?
    Reservoir Dogs is in the list of inspirations for the game, as it is a sordid, unwholesome affair of hyperviolence, morally ambiguous characters and questionable decisions.


    The prior ear cutting off was because of a ghost and cannibalism. One PC had been starving in the desert, found another wanderer and killed and ate him. Ever since he'd been haunted by the ghost of the slain man. The PCs had accidentally stumbled onto the slain man's nine year old son, who had sold his soul to the devil to get his father back. The father had promised that he would return to his family, no matter the cost. So when the PCs found the family, the eaten guy's ghost manifested as a poltergeist trying to kill all of them.

    (There's a separate bite sized story in here about time travel and the murder of a small but not innocent child, but it's not relevant to the ear.)

    Finally, the cannibal decided that the only thing to do was to return the ghost to his family. Since he had eaten the father a long time before, his flesh was fully incorporated into his own. So he had to simply take a piece of himself and remove it and leave it behind.

    So he cut his own ear off and set it on the parlor table. This made such a messed up, disturbing sort of sense that of course the ghost settled down when it saw that.
  • Final tally of the PCs in my horror game last night:

    My PC bled to death in the back seat of a car.
    One PC died in seconds of a disease that should kill in months.
    One PC became the pawn of the zombie hive-mind.
    One PC got torn to shreds by one of the many hideous maws of the Lovecraftian elder god we summoned.
    The last PC realized that she had a shard of the god lodged in her soul and became its earthly avatar.
  • To win his heart, he sends 99 servants carrying paper cranes, paper tigers, and other lavish, temporary symbols beauty. As he, the 100th, arrives with folded peacocks, he finds the previous 99 have all lain in ecstasy, and he alone is turned away.

    Such are the appetites and fates of the Warrior Poets.
  • Akkiloki's arrows punch holes the size of fists into the iron golem's chest, thanks to a magical golembane scarab he's been carrying for months; Akkiloki, drunk as usual, doesn't realize he's being magically enhanced, and just assumes he's the best archer in the world.
  • edited February 2014
    In a spur session of Dungeon World, Morwen the Mage of the Lack of Emotional Affect has decided that she will prepare a cheat sheet of emotional states, with a goal of hitting several of them by the end of the day. Luckily, the adventure provides a bonanza:

    "Schadenfreude! Excellent! Sexually awkward moment! I'll get through most of this by dinner!"

    Back in the main continuity, Morwen in dragon form has captured the mostly Big Bad, who was trying to marry Lance the Paladin's boyfriend. Having interrogated her, Morwen decides to tell Lance the results. She crashes through the wall of the room where Lance and Jonathon are busy trying to consummate their recent marriage. (Hey, they were all set up for a wedding anyway.)

    *CRASH*

    "Hello, Lance. Hello, Jonathon."

    "Morwen...Jonathon and I haven't seen each other for a while..."

    Morwen glances over. "Don't worry. Jonathon won't be ready for sexual intercourse for...several minutes."

    Jonathon, softly: "I was..."
  • Last night, ran one of my infamous Risus one-shots (methodology: smash 2+ genres together, ask a lot of leading questions). The genre was (over the hill) heavy metal romcom.

    Joneztown Mazzacre is:

    Dirk St. Allen, over the hill frontman
    James Jones, emo bassist prodigy
    Barbie Graham, lead guitarist, radical punk feminist
    Morbius, drug dealer and drummer
    Michael "Chops" Jones, manager, hopelessly in love with Dirk, sporting a fake Australian accent
    Cravus Jones, demon driver who may or may not be in league with Satan
    "General Badass" Lee, old wise roadie who has All The Drugs

    Highlights of their last gig, at a high school gym in Poughekeepsie (Go Racist Nicknames! That's uh, the team name; we got sued.):

    --Dirk St. Allen taking a shower in the girl's locker room while Chops watches
    --Barbie seducing a gym teacher
    --Barbara and Lee's long-lost daughter, Belladonna, seducing James Jones
    --Cravus instructed by Mephistopheles to kill James, but failing after a superb bass solo breaks his resolve
    --Morbius dealing to all the burnouts
    --General Lee setting up the shop class with their own Breaking Bad kit and then hiring them to be his new roadie crew.

    Afterwards, they break up. James and Cravus start an electronica jazz group that's huge in Germany. Dirk hosts "Make my house Metal" on TLC. General Lee becomes the roadie for Jeruzalem, the Christian punk metal group. Barbie and Bell's mom's form a poly lesbian triad, and she goes on to do some projects with Melissa Etheridge and the Indigo Girls.
  • (Apocalypse World game over play-by-post)

    Short interlude scene between NPC Jester riding in a car with Rossi the Faceless, listening to the radio.
    Jester flips the dial over to pick up the staticy voice of Quiksilver, who fancies himself a DeeJay. He's telling some tall tale about some guy who was stuck in a big tower with raiders coming in to steal all the jingle, and this guy, he was a fighter, so he killed some of them one-by-one. All the time, the guy's chatting up some fat dude watching from outside. The story goes on for a bit, the guy's number one girl is being held by the raiders, and the guy ends up running over broken glass, but finally, at the very end, the guy shoots the leader of the raiders and saves his girl.

    Now Jester, he eats this right the hell up. He's rooting for the guy, and jeering the raiders and screams, "Yippie Kai Yay! " right along with Quiksilver. At the end, you're maybe a half block from Condom Nation, and Jester says, "I bet you that guy got seriously laid that, night. AmIrite?" He elbows you and chuckles.
  • (Apocalypse World game over play-by-post)

    Quote from Lemma the Savvyhead
    "Yes. This is why we go into dead strange machines in the dark... things like this."
  • Delta Green. ATF Special Agent Morgan has been detained without charge overnight in the police rec room.

    "I don't feel like a valuable witness, Colorados. I feel like a guy locked in a ping-pong room."
  • In an otherwise annoying session of Pathfinder, this exchange:

    [Omnicidal villain explains she will kill all the humans and elves in the world]

    Mercy the sociopathic bard: I guess Half-elves are okay.

    Master Tordin the dwarf: Actually, remember that part about how she said she would eat them?

    Lem Doyle the halfling: She overlooked the halflings.

    Mercy: Everybody overlooks the halflings.

    Lem Doyle: And here is where it pays out.
  • In Eternal Lies, Martin Locksley explained his plan which included his knowing a great deal about what is going on. To demonstrate this, he opened his coat which was lined with papers containing his notes in his own, personal "creepy ass" shorthand.

    As we absorbed this disturbing news, one of the other players pointed out, "You do understand that his coat is noe a mythos time."

    We have dubbed it The Locksley Overcoat.
  • Wow, typos R us. I meant "now a mythos tome".
  • We finished our three-session Apocalypse World game tonight. Things got weird as I took "barf forth apocalyptica" pretty seriously, with a pain addict doctor grafting faces and arms on himself and a pack of wild dogs getting much too smart for the world. Everyone's story was sad.
  • edited March 2014
    Statesville Mike's story was not sad!

    Oh wait yes it was.
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