AW AP, Session 2: Ways to Control People Other Than Money (And Sex)

We were missing Amelia and Shari last night, so their characters were stuck in the lab, and out on hippie spirit journey, respectively.

We meet our, well not heroes, but survivors maybe, a week after the events of the first session. Wolf and Frost have had time to heal up. I’ve made my fronts, and come up with some questions to ask the players here or there, or questions just to pose to myself and see what happens.

One of those is “Will Frost sleep with Jarvis?” Jarvis needs to give Frost a gift worth 1 barter, so he does- and hands over a snowflake pendant, and sort of nervously asks Frost to come to bed with him. Frost reluctantly agrees. Now we get to apply sex moves- not just Frost’s Skinner move, but Jarvis has a sex move too: Can You Live With Yourself in the Morning: If you have sex with Jarvis, take -1 forward. The players love it.

Other leading questions: I ask the chopper who’s maybe planning on usurping the hardholder how long he’s been screwing Abe’s wife (since I got into town), and the Battlebabe who’s bounty he’s trailing (no one, I’m the bounty that someone’s trailing.) I think it’s interesting that the player rejected my hook that I offered and instead countered with his own- certainly good for player agency, but it meant I had to step back and evaluate it, and the potential of a bounty hunt was shelved for at least a session while I had time to rethink the situation. Tim’s battlebabe was fairly parched for direct bangs for the night- he was offered a fairly simple job by Jarvis, which he did. He spends most the rest of the session wallflowering.

Frost complains of a headache to Marsh, and wackiness ensues: Marsh assumes Jarvis is a brainer and is screwing (mentally) with Frost. Frost puts his arm around Marsh while they go for a walk (to get time and intimacy for fascinate), blows his fascinate roll, and made the mistake of giving time and intimacy to the brainer. Marsh blows his brainer roll for whatever he was doing, and deals harm to Frost. More headaches.

Marsh: “Frost, Jarvis is a bad man. He controls people. And I don’t mean with his power, or money, or influence.” (Pause) “And not with sex either.”

Meanwhile, Abe has Shit Head the Chopper pull Wolf the Gunlugger in to speak with him, and decides what he’s going to do with her for killing Char- and decides to make her Shit Head’s responsibility. Shit Head and Wolf go off to another hardhold, Mercer, to find some missing traders. Along the way, Wolf wanders off to find supplies, gets horribly lost, gets ambushed by a cannibal family at a Big Boy Burger restaurant, knocked out, and taken in for meat. Shit Head goes off alone to find her. He kills the whole gang, but not before they put him to 10:00 on the harm dial and he finally passes out. Later, Wolf recovers, and drags them both back to the gang, where she’s now acting as temporary leader.

(This is going to lead me to create a free custom move for the Chopper: When you put another character in charge of your gang…)

People see Frost walking around town with his arm around Marsh, so people assume they’re a couple (especially given Frost’s employer’s reputation). Later Marsh attunes to the psychic maelstrom, and gets a vision of the slaughter at the Big Boy Burger from the perspective of one of the ferals (and presumably sees his friends die), and cries. A lot. Frost learns how to open his brain (from Winkle, the 80 year old ecstasy cultist), and learns Mercer is bad news in a big way. Wolf finds Vinny the trader, who says Mercer is bad news in a big way.

Marsh goes in a truck with 2 of Abe’s enforcers to rescue the gang, blows his read another roll, so I ask him (as Lugnut) “what does your character wish I’d do?” Marsh’s default answer is “touch my hand.” Lugnut is understandably creeped out. Frost and Beastie steal the local NPC savvyhead’s truck (yeah, he’ll be real happy about that) and take Winkle with them. Somewhere along the way, pretty much everyone meets up, and Sunny, Lugnut, and Winkle split off to search the Big Boy Burger for clues, Wolf sends some of the gang to scout out Mercer, and everyone else goes back to get Shit Head medical attention.

Other fun quotes:
“So, is there any chance that one of Shit Head’s gangers has a medkit and knows how to use it?”
“Ha ha ha ha, no.”

“Tim: I want to read Jarvis. What does he intend to do?”
“Oh, he’s looking for muscle so he can overthrow Abe. (As Jarvis): Yeah, it’s just bouncing work to start, but if you take to it, maybe there will be growth opportunities.”

Also, I learned that a small gang can seriously screw up 2 PCs, even fighty ones (Chopper and Gunlugger)


10 thoughts on “AW AP, Session 2: Ways to Control People Other Than Money (And Sex)

  1. Len M says:

    Hey, Shit Head was trying to be all hero like and rescue Wolf, and while he did save her day, he also really got his arse kicked. Also, our creepy Brainer, (Marsh, played by Abram), some how has “convinced” me, by accident mind you, that a year has passed and Wolf now leads my gang. That should lead to an interesting next session!

    Len was checking out the combat rules. Now I know better than to be out and about by my self.

  2. […] here: AW AP, Session 2: Ways to Control People Other Than Money (And Sex …   No […]

  3. Sabe says:

    What’s a “front”?

  4. Willow says:

    A ‘front’ is a collection of ‘threats.’ A threat is anything that isn’t a PC and that has enough agency to want something.

  5. oberonthefool says:

    Is it just me, or is each game Vincent puts out more obtuse than the last? This “narrative” is nearly incomprehensible to me. I am coming off a holiday weekend, though, so maybe I’m just dumb.

  6. Sabe says:

    Probably just that it’s difficult to recap. It’s got more through-line than In a Wicked Age, seeing as you keep the same characters and all.

  7. Abram says:

    I don’t think it’s even that it’s difficult to recap persay.

    The main barrier to understanding is the language used – terms like ‘brainer’, ‘hard hold’, ‘chopper’, ’10:00 on the harm dial’, ‘worth 1 barter’ and the like don’t make that much sense on their own.

    I didn’t start reading APs of AW until I played it, and they were all pretty understandable.

  8. Len M says:

    Aye, unless you understand the terms used, its not easy to understand. Kind of like trying to read an AP of Dogs when all you have ever played is D&D 4E… Some elements would be lost and not understood, but a general sense of what was happening could be derived.

    Looking forward to the next session!

  9. Willow says:

    I think it’s probably the most understandable Vincent game to date, actually.

    It’s all about complex relationships and building the world. In IAWA you might have 4-6 NPCs with any kind of agency, in Dogs probably about a dozen or so in a big town. I’ve probably got at least 30 named NPCs so far, and we’re just getting started.

    (Playbook=Class. Angel=Healer, Brainer=Creepy Psychic, Chopper=Gang Leader, Gunlugger=Gunslinger, Hocus= Cult Leader, Skinner=Sexy Charmer)

    Essentially, we’ve got all those folks in a town, interweaving relationships established as part of chargen (the Angel and Skinner are in a relationship, the Angel refused the Gunlugger medical attention, and the Gunlugger is (was?) in love with the Skinner. Pretty much all the drama from the first session came out of that triangle. In the second session, we start to see the rivalry between Abe and Jarvis, the resident Hardholder (leader) and club owner, and how the characters’ relationships with those two men effects them. Oh, and there’s some stuff with Mercer, a ruined hospital settlement, which apparently has some shit going down in it.

  10. oberonthefool says:

    Yeah, I suppose it could just be a jargon-barrier more than a mechanics barrier.

    30+ NPCs, huh? I could never keep that much stuff straight @_@ One reason I tend to run games with non-NPC-heavy settings.

    Sounds like you guys are having fun, though, and that’s what counts.

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