[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Third Session Report


Wolfie and Rutherford have been knocked physically into the Psychic Maelstrom, which appears to them as a chaotic storm of wind with no sky or ground, a white space of boiling, churning currents of thought.  The shock of it hits Wolfie and she lets go of Rutherford, falling off into the storm and letting go of the metal cube she’d found in the alien-space.  Not being able to navigate the maelstrom as Rutherford can, she is carried away by the battling currents.  As she falls, she sees, in the storm, a single fixed point of light: she tries to swim toward it, but only manages to attract the attention of one of the beings that live in the maelstrom.  It detaches from a current and comes toward her.

Apocalypse World Maelstrom Creature

(The creature, a Maelstrom Wyrm.  Wolfie seems to have all the worst luck running into the beasties.)

Cassa, still in the loop, heads north looking for Wolfie and Rutherford.  She’s calling out for them as she goes.  Reaching the dry riverbed, she keeps going, and soon comes to the alien-space bubble that Wolfie had encountered earlier.  Rather than taking the risk of going inside, she skirts around its edge and continues North at a slow pace.

Pallor, fresh from gaining instructions to kill Zuto, returns to the library, where she hears that Ruby has gone off with the kid and hasn’t yet returned.  She asks after Zuto, but none of the remaining girls have seen hir.  Recalling that she’d seen Wolfie and Cassa heading north into the loop earlier, she decides to head that way to try and meet up with them.

Doc fixes up Zuto’s gun wound, made complicated by a shattered bullet and a shard positioned next to an artery.  The procedure goes without a hitch, however, and Zuto is soon back to hir full strength.

Wolfie pulls a fire extinguisher from her pack and fires, hoping to harm the creature and also to propel herself toward the fixed light.  She succeeds, hitting the beast in the face and pushing herself toward the light, which, as she nears, she recognizes as a person — Zuto.  She emerges from the Maelstrom and into Doc’s lab, appearing from a corner of the room and tumbling to the floor, spraying the opposite wall and ceiling with the fire extinguisher.  Doc grabs the extinguisher just as the wyrm follows her into the room.  Wolfie jumps out of the way, but the beast latches on to Doc’s side and begins shaking hir like a rag doll.  Zuto grabs hir chainsaw and runs to help Doc, slicing the beast’s head off.  Doc goes flying into the wall.  Miraculously, no one is hurt in the process; Doc’s heavy surgical apron took the brunt of the attack, and sie hirself is pretty sturdy for someone that old.

Pallor catches up to Cassa.  Neither of them has seen the person the other is looking for.  Pallor explains why she needs to find Zuto, and Cassa agrees to help her.  They head back toward the South Loop.

In Doc’s Lab, Rutherford appears, following Wolfie out of the Maelstrom.  Rutherford is still a nine-foot-tall toucan-beaked doughnut shape, and is excited enough to have found Wolfie that he begins prancing about the room, knocking over some of Doc’s equipment.  Wolfie calms him down, but Doc still requests firmly that she and Zuto take Rutherford outside of the lab, telling her that she’s free to stay while she recovers from her ordeal.  After their gone, Doc turns hir attention to fixing Fauna’s alien-fungal growth.

Returning to the South Loop holding, Cassa and Pallor chance to meet Wisher, one of Cassa’s followers, who introduces them to Egg, a new “convert”.  Apparently the Cassa’s commune has picked up a few new members, which is stretching it’s food supply a little too much.  Pallor volunteers some of the garden produce at the library, in exchange for word on Zuto’s location if any of the commune knows anything.  Afterwards Cassa and Pallor check at Wolfie’s den in the museum campus grounds, but find it unchanged since Cassa was there that morning.  By now it’s well into the afternoon, and Pallor’s time is running short.  She opens her brain to the psychic maelstrom and searches for hints of Zuto’s location.  She gets a vague sense of healing, which leads her to believe he may be at Doc’s place.

As Shigusa works on the sedated trilobite-thing, and Mox checks on Zuto and Wolfie, Doc works on Fauna’s fungal growth, using up some stock from hir Angel Kit.  As sie cuts into one of the growths with hir scalpel, it explodes, splattering hir arm, while Fauna begins bleeding copiously.  Doc has a choice to either save Fauna’s life or to clean the fungal ooze off hir own arm and avoid getting the infection.  Sie chooses to save Fauna, and ignores the  splatter while sie sews up the wound and finishes the procedure.

Mox finds Zuto and Wolfie trying to figure out how to play a game with a deck of cards.  He asks if they need anything, and they realize they’re quite hungry.  Though Mox would probably be willing to share some of Doc’s food, Wolfie says they don’t want to impose, and they leave to find something to eat.  Rutherford goes with them, and as they scrounge they play fetch with him, which involves throwing something small, like a stick, and receiving something large, like a lamppost.

Passing through the center of the hard hold on their way to Doc’s place, Pallor and Cassa are noticed by a group of four militia, who stop to question them and to harass Pallor.  Pallor tries to implant a command into one of them, but hurts him instead, leaving him catatonic.  He pitches forward on his face, and the others draw their guns; it looks to go ugly, but Cassa manages to intimidate them into backing off, hands where she can see them, making no sudden moves.  Continuing on they are met by Rutherford, whom they don’t recognize in the new form.  He bounds over to Cassa (who has the seed-pods that calm him), and by the time he reaches her he’s shrunk and rotated back to his smaller monkey form, and leaps onto her to dig into her bag for the seeds.  Zuto and Wolfie walk up soon after.  Pallor explains that Clarion wants Zuto dead, but she has a plan: they need to find a corpse to put Zuto’s mask on.  Zuto explains sie’ll need a new mask, then.  Sie asks Wolfie if she might know where to find one.  Wolfie remembers that the ruins she searched earlier were a rich source of salvage, so there might be a mask there.  They decide to go check.

To be continued…

*Custom move for entering the Psychic Maelstrom physically:

When you physically enter the Psychic Maelstrom, immediately Open Your Brain.  On a miss, take 1 Ψ-harm.  If it’s the first time you enter the maelstrom, take an additional +1 Ψ-harm whether you miss or not.

Hx given this session:

  • Zuto to Doc, +2 for healing 2-harm and +1 at session’s end (Reset; Doc knows Zuto Hx+3)
  • Cassa to Pallor +1 (Reset; Pallor knows Cassa Hx+1)
  • Wolfie to Zuto +1 (Zuto knows Wolfie Hx+1)
  • Pallor to Cassa +1  (Cassa knows Pallor Hx=0)
  • Doc to Zuto +1 (Zuto knows Doc Hx+1)
Experience marked this session:
  • Zuto: +2 (reset). Total: 0 (Seizing by Force, Acting Under Fire)
  • Wolfie: +2 (reset). Total: 0 (Acting Under Fire, Reading a Situation)
  • Doc: +4 (reset). Total: 0 (Acting Under Fire 3 times, Hx with Zuto)
  • Cassa: +2. Total: 2 (Towering Presence, ??)
  • Pallor: +3 (reset). Total: 1 (Opening her Brain, In Brain Puppet Strings, Hx with Cassa, )

Character Improvements this session:

  • Wolfie took +1 Cool
  • Zuto took +1 Weird
  • Pallor (will choose before next session)
  • Doc (will choose before next session)

[World of Darkness: Oracles] Werewolves

Here’s the next World of Darkness Oracle, this time for Werewolves.  A couple example entries for you:

Q of Clubs: The werewolf, searching for his parents’ killer, is granted a vision from the Moon-spirit, revealing the murderer’s identity

4 of Spades: The young girl, her mind being consumed and replaced by the spider-spirit, and her concerned parents, who take her to the hospital to run a series of tests

World of Darkness: Oracles – Mortals
World of Darkness: Oracles – Vampires

[World of Darkness: Oracles] Vampires

A while back I mentioned I was working on a series of Oracles (as found in Vincent Baker’s In A Wicked Age) based on the World of Darkness pre-chapter fiction. I posted the first, for Mortals-based games, back in 2011. At the time I was starting a play-by-e-mail World of Darkness game, but it dissolved (as most play-by-e-mail games seem to do for me, unfortunately), and I forgot to post the rest of the oracles I’d made. Since my Apocalypse World game didn’t meet this week, here’s the Vampire oracle to tide you over. More to come.

[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Second Session Report


Doc lives in an abandoned hospital with Mox and Shigusa, hir assistants. As the session opens, sie and Shigusa are preparing to dissect an alien trilobite in the basement. Mox comes downstairs, calling for Doc. He explains that the militia are upstairs with an injured woman. Doc heads up to see them. The injured woman is Fauna, whom Doc recognizes as one of Pallor’s girls. She is unconscious, with some form of growth (alien and fungal) on her upper back, shoulder, and neck. The militia soldiers, Guinness and Tank, are here because they know Doc is interested in cases like this: they want barter in exchange for bringing the girl. Doc tells them the growth is contagious and gives them a vial of “antidote” as payment. Mox and Shigusa carry Fauna downstairs.

Meantime, Pallor, taken into the bowels of McCormick place, is thrown into a tiny cell with bloodstains on the wall and a filthy, overflowing bucket in the corner. The door is closed. Time passes.

Wolfie investigates the flash of light she saw before. Crossing the dry riverbed she reaches the point where the light had been, only to see another flash another ways up the street. She follows, and realizes that she’s about to enter a zone of alien-space; these are pockets or bubbles littered around the area where reality does not work as it should — the alien reality is superimposed on our own. As she enters, light seems to reverse itself: everything appears as in a negative, colors now the opposite of what they should be. Placing Rutherford in a harness and leash so that he won’t shift in size, she advances. Rutherford suddenly stops and scurries back a short way, then ducks behind a pile of debris and tugs on the leash. Wolfie joins him and starts digging at the rubble, uncovering — something, a cube of some sort, obviously alien in origin. She puts it in her pack just as Rutherford starts to panic: there’s a flash of black as a enormous creature, like a cross between a bear and a worm with a round short proboscis of rotating teeth, lumbers near them. Wolfie makes a run for it, and the creature, spying her, gives chase.

Alien Creature (The creature.)

Cassa pauses on the stairwell to the subway, glancing up at the tops of the building and isolating the location of her attacker. There seems to be only one. Using the rubble scattered between the buildings as cover, she dashes for the building and emerges on the fourth floor (which is open to the sky as the rest of the building has long since collapsed), where her would-be assassin is stationed. As she bursts through the door, the sniper starts to turn his gun, but Cassa has hers already trained on him.

Zuto, by the riverbed, encounters the two militia men that Shazza sent after hir. Charging them, sie takes another bullet, which sends hir collection of eyeballs flying into the dust and rubble. Before another shot is fired, though, Zuto closes the distance and lops off both of hir assailents’ heads. Sie pauses to collect their eyes, and then heads toward Doc’s hospital, thinking to trade the eyes in exchange for some medical attention.

Eventually, the door to Pallor’s cell opens and Clarion comes in with a guard armed with a gun. Clarion tells him to shoot Pallor if she tries anything. He and Pallor talk. She tells him that Zuto was acting on his own, and that she had nothing to do with the death of his militia. He says that’s not good enough: she tries to seduce him again, but he slaps her in the face. This gives her the opportunity to grab his arm, and implant an order to let her go. When the guard steps forward to shoot her in the face, Clarion grabs the gun away and orders him to back off. He gives the gun to Pallor and tells her he wants Zuto’s head on his doorstep by nightfall, or the militia will be coming after her and her whores. Pallor agrees, and is released.

Wolfie freezes as the creature charges her. Rutherford *rotates* somehow out of his harness, shifting in both size and shape, the constraining harness disappearing, the end of the leash connecting invisibly to something beyond sight. Rutherford is now 15 feet tall, with a toucan’s head and a large doughnut shaped hole in its body*. Wolfie jumps on, and Rutherford charges to meet the other creature, attacking with his beak, which opens into a rainbow-colored portal. The beast rears up to attack, and Rutherford opens a wide gash in its belly, into which Wolfie immediately fires with her shotgun. The beast shrieks, and rolls, dead, into Rutherford, striking him and causing him to rotate — with Wolfie — out of three-dimensional space.

Cassa’s attacker, Bruce, drops his gun, and she interrogates him. Apparently he disagrees with the message of hope and human progress that she’s preaching, believing instead that the time for humanity is over and that the remaining survivors must embrace the alien future. Cassa gives him a choice: drop his gun and leave, or die. He chooses the former, scurrying past her and disappearing down the stairwell. She pauses to retrieve his sniper rifle and then sets off to find Wolfie.

Zuto sees two more militia (Guinness and Tank) leaving Doc’s hospital, but lets them go as they don’t seem to be interested in hir. Sie knocks on Doc’s door and sie answers. Doc agrees to take hir in and look at hir wounds in exchange for the eyeballs, and to hire hir on as the hospital’s body guard.

To be continued…

Hx given this session:
Zuto to Doc: +1 (Doc knows Zuto @ Hx+3)
Doc to Zuto: +1 (Zuto knows Doc @ Hx+3)

Experienced marked this session:
Zuto 2 (Go Aggro x2 (Hard); Total: 3)
Doc 1 (Total: 1)
Cassa 3 (Indomitable and Go Aggro x2 (Hard) ; Total: 0)
Wolfie 2 (Scavenger and Read a Charged Situation; Total: 3)
Pallor 2 (Seduce, In Brain Puppet Strings; Total: 3)

Improvements marked:
Cassa: Followers + “Fortunes”

*While Wolfie’s player seemed to follow everything that was happening with Rutherford (we’d discussed his true nature a bit outside the game), the other players were looking pretty baffled. After the session, I wrote a detailed explanation of what is happening in this scene.