[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Final Session Report

[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Final Session Report


Because Cassa and Pallor are too wounded to drive the motorcycles, Shigusa takes Pallor on one, and Prim takes Cassa on the other.  Visage will walk back to the hospital.  They reach it without incident; Prim takes Cassa to the front door, while Shigusa takes Pallor to the back, to his own lab.  Zuto carries Cassa into the hospital, and Doc is awakened by Mox.  Doc patches Cassa up and gives her some Narco stabs, despite her struggling in her delirium.  She should be all right, but sie’ll need to keep an eye on her for the next few days to make sure she’s all right.

On the other side of the hospital, Shigusa straps Pallor onto a slab.  She’s barely conscious but awake enough to suspect that maybe healing her isn’t his full intent — since he’s touching her, she implants a command in his brain, to simply heal her and nothing more.  It works — he starts tending her wounds.

Wolfie shows up at the hospital now, and is understandably worried about Cassa’s state (unconscious and bandaged up).  Prim explains what happened to her.  Wolfie asks where Pallor is, and they realize that Shigusa must have her still.  Doc gets worried, and takes Zuto and Wolfie with hir to check Shigusa’s lab.

Ruby, Duke, and Chack sneak toward the hospital, reaching it without being seen by the militia.  The northern sky is glowing and shimmering now, and they worry it might have something to do with the aliens.  As they enter Doc’s lab, there’s only Cassa (still unconscious), Prim and Mox there.  Duke tells them about the sky.  Mox heads for the other part of the hospital to fetch Doc.  As he leaves, the trilobite-alien that Doc had been dissecting earlier awakens. It starts shimmering as well.  Duke walks over and blows it away with her BFG.

Doc and the others burst into Shigusa’s lab.  Shigusa still has Pallor strapped to the table, and is injecting her with something (a narcostab).  Doc gets him to back away.  Zuto picks her up to carry her back to Doc’s lab.  As they turn to leave, they hear a shot from the other lab.  Hurrying back, they find Mox in a hall between the labs, ducking and covering.  He was on his way to find them when he heard the shot.  He tells them about the state of the sky; Zuto gives Pallor to Mox and they all race back to the lab to find the trilobite blown to pieces and Ruby and Duke.  Rutherford starts eating the seedpods from Cassa’s pockets.  Zuto finds the trilobite’s eyes (his mask-tentacles have an incandescent sheen afterwards).  Pallor awakens, and is greeted by everyone.  Like Cassa, she is mobile but still in pretty bad shape, and Doc wants her to stick around for a couple days to make sure she’s okay (and that Shigusa hasn’t tried anything untoward).  Noting Chack, Pallor has him tied up, and Duke and Zuto comply.  Cassa awakens.  The group deliberates as to what they should do.  Pallor opens her mind to the Psychic Maelstrom.  She sees Clarion and Parcher gathering troops.  Parcher is in the alien-space bubble, which is rapidly expanding.  He’s drawing the creatures of the alien-space to him.  Pallor reveals this information to the others, and explains to them how to open their brains to the maelstrom.  Zuto goes next: sie sees that many people are in the alien-space with Parcher, drawing power from the Maelstrom.  Duke opens her brain, and is able to discern their plan: they’re using the power they draw from the Maelstrom to replace Chicago with a section of the alien dimension.  Doc opens hir brain next, but the Maelstrom strikes back at hir, stunning her and cutting hir off from it temporarily.  Wolfie goes next.  She sees that the people with Parcher (Parcher’s alien-worshipping cult, one assumes) are drawing and focusing their power through a cube-shaped object.  Perhaps like the one she lost in the Maelstrom?  Cassa checks on Clarion, sees that he’s approaching in force from the East.  Finally, Ruby tries to investigate the alien’s greater purpose in colonizing earth, but is repelled; their intentions are antithetical to human comprehension.

In the debate and discussion that follows, Wolfie decides to take Rutherford and find the cube she lost.  The others decide to sacrifice Chack and disguise him as Zuto in order to make peace with Clarion.  Chack is not a fan of this plan, but Zuto takes him into another room and kills him with Cassa’s machete and beheads him.  The others get Doc to sew Zuto’s old mask on Chack’s face, though sie has misgivings.  Pallor takes the head and she and Cassa take the motorcycles to go meet Clarion. Visage finally returns, and reports that the militia is nearing the hospital.

Ruby goes to the roof, and looks around.  From the top of the hospital she can see for quite some distance in all direction; to the north, in the depression where there was once a highway, she sees a large force of militia troops, including a tank.  To the east, (the direction Cassa and Pallor took) there’s another, smaller force.  As the tank gets in range, Ruby takes aim and shoots its gas tank.  It explodes, taking several nearby soldiers with it.  The other soldiers take cover on the side of the highway’s incline.

Wolfie tries to communicates to Rutherford what they’re looking for.  He returns to his large toucan-headed form, and indicates that she should climb on.  She does, and they rotate into the maelstrom.

Pallor and Cassa meet Clarion’s force coming from the East.  Clarion sends one of his soldiers to retrieve the head.  The soldier brings it back to him, and Clarion inspects it.  He puts it back in the back.  “So we’re even, then,” he tells Pallor.  Cassa steps forward, draws his attention to the color of the sky, and tells him that Pallor’s brother is trying to send everyone in Chicago to the alien dimension.  Clarion agrees to help.

At the hospital, the troops from the north are starting to open fire.  Unexpectedly, they suddenly stop, and Duke and Ruby see that Cassa and Pallor have made peace with Clarion to the east.  He’s radioed the northern troops, and they’re standing down.

Rutherford, misunderstanding what Wolfie wanted, takes her directly to the cult in the alien-space bubble.  The cult, who worship aliens, is awed by his sudden appearance.  Wolfie tries to hide behind Rutherford’s head, but Parcher sees her and tells he to come down.  She tries to get Rutherford to get the cube, but he can’t understand her and becomes agitated, which the cult interprets as threatening. Some of them back away, while others offer themselves as sacrifices.  Rutherford grabs Parcher in his beak.  Parcher is shouting at the cult to attack Wolfie.   Wolfie again tries to get Rutherford to go back to the hospital, but instead he snaps Parcher in half.  The cult is shocked.  Wolfie explains to them that she is the chosen voice of the aliens, and that they must obey her.  They want proof, so she has Rutherford grow — he does, becoming an enormous golden dome that covers everyone.  The cultists believe her and deliver the cube to her.  She tells Rutherford to take everyone back to the hospital– instead, he kills all of the cultists, wiping them out completely. Then he shrinks back down, and takes Wolfie through the Maelstrom.

Arriving back at the hospital Wolfie gives the cube to Doc, and the two of them and Pallor study it, and discover how it works.  Doc finds the solution, and reverses the expansion of the alien-space bubble, saving the city.  The glow in the northern sky disappears, and the remaining pieces of the trilobite fade and turn to dust.  As do Zuto’s mask tentacles.


  • Ruby goes on a journey to find and kill the assassin who killed her father.
  • Wolfie becomes a bigger part of the community, helping people find things, etc.
  • Cassa keeps spreading her vision, doing what she’s done before, only with the friendship of all the Hardhold now
  • Pallor goes back to business, getting closer to Clarion and, by extension, nearer to Shazza
  • Doc holds onto the cube, though it too has stopped functioning.  Sie works to resupply the lab, and for the first time in years, sie leaves the hospital.
  • Duke works for Pallor as a bodyguard, and helps Doc as well.
  • Zuto offers his services to Doc, who agrees ( if only to keep hir out of trouble).  Eventually, sie goes into the woods to “finish some business.”  Eventually, sie’ll try to go after Shazza.

Hx awarded this session:

  • Zuto to Doc: +1 (Reset; Doc knows Zuto at Hx+1)
  • Duke to Ruby: +1 (Reset; Ruby knows Duke at Hx+1)
  • Doc to Pallor: +1 (Pallor knows Doc at Hx+2)
  • Pallor to Wolfie: +1 (Wolfie knows Pallor at Hx=0)
  • Cassa to Doc +2 (Extra because Doc healed Cassa.  Reset; Doc knows Cassa at Hx+1)
  • Wolfie to Pallor: +1 (Reset; Pallor knows Wolfie at Hx+1)
  • Ruby to Zuto: +1 (Zuto knows Ruby at Hx+3)

Secrets learned this session:

  • Duke has a major beef with Clarion, and her face is scarred because of him
  • Biologically, Zuto is both male and female; sie also hates Shazza because sie raped hir sister
  • Before Shazza came to power, Cassa and hir worked together killing people
  • There is a reason that Wolfie can communicate with Rutherford.  Her grandmother was an oracle in a village long ago, and it’s said that she glowed

Experience marked this session:

  • Duke: +1 (Read a Sitch. Total: 2)
  •  Wolfie: +5 (Opening brain, Entering Maelstrom, Communicating with Rutherford. Reset; Total: 0)
  • Ruby: +3 (Read a Sitch, Act Under Fire, Reset Hx with Duke. Total: 3)
  • Doc: +2 (Reset Hx with Zuto and Cassa. Total: 4)
  • Pallor: +1 (Reset Hx with Wolfie. Total: 1)

Improvements Taken this Session:

  • Wolfie took +1Weird (Total +2)
  • Cassa took +1Cool (Total +2)


[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Fifth Session Report

Zuto's New Mask
(Zuto's New Mask)


Pallor, Shigusa, Prim, Visage, and Cassa scramble down a rusted and rotting stairway to get off of the elevated train platform.  Fleeing westward, they hear the sound of motorcycles in pursuit of them.  They dodge turn down a cross-street to take cover, but Prim stumbles in the middle of the road with the cycles bearing down on her.  Cassa and Pallor go back for her, as Shigusa and Visage take shelter.  Pallor tries to order the cyclists authoritatively to leave them alone, but is answered only by gunfire.  Cassa snipes one off a bike, which rolls into a nearby building and explodes.  The leading biker shoots Pallor in the torso.  Pallor throws a knife and sinks it into his shoulder.  Cassa shoots and misses; the biker runs her down, ramming her with the cycle.  Pallor throws another knife, hitting him in the throat this time — the other biker misses her.  She tries to attack the remaining militia biker psychically, as he tries ramming her — something snaps in his brain, and the bike veers past her, though he manages to shoot as he passes, .  Cassa, badly wounded and tangled in bike and dead rider, just manages to reach her rifle and hits the final rider through the back of the head.

Meantime, Ruby Honeytree and Chack, the kid, have spent most of the day lost in the Blight Forest.  They found the sobertree early on, but the Mist rolled in from the lake and they only now find their way back to the hardhold.  She’s headed for the library, not realizing that it has been taken over by the militia.

At the same time, Duke, a gunlugger, is returning to the South Loop hardhold after several months away.  She’s worked with Pallor in the past, and has heard rumors that Zuto and Pallor have had a falling out.  So she’s hoping that leaves an opening for a bodyguard.  The library brothel is dark as she approaches, but she enters anyway; only to find a dozen militia soldiers pointing their guns at her.  She and Clarion strike a deal; he’ll give her several months’ food and board, and clean her gun and sharpen her knives, if she’ll help them bring in Pallor, Ruby, Zuto, Cassa, and Pallor’s other girls.  She exits, only to see Ruby approaching.  She signals a warning to her, but it’s seen by one of the militia soldiers, who exit to see what’s going on.  Duke tries to sell them some story, but the guard calls bullshit and heads back inside to get Clarion.  Duke takes the opportunity to flee to where Ruby is, leaving her knives behind in the hands of the militia.  She fills Ruby in on what she’s seen in the library, and they decide to look for Cassa’s people, particularly Matilda, who they hope can tell them Pallor and Cassa’s current whereabouts.

Wolfie had intended to take Cassa, Pallor, and Zuto to the Sears Tower ruins earlier, but had a bad feeling that something was amiss with her hoard.  So she let them go by themselves and spent the day making sure everything was in place.  Emerging in the evening, she heads back toward Doc’s hospital.  On the way she sees Corderoy, one of Cassa’s followers, who warns her that he has heard gunfire from the west side of the hardhold.  She continues on, cautiously.

Zuto and Doc recovered from their respective surgical procedures.

To Be Continued…

Hx given this session:
Pallor to Cassa +1 (Cassa knows Pallor Hx+2)
Cassa to Pallor +1 (Pallor knows Cassa Hx+2)

Ruby knows Duke at Hx+3; Duke knows Ruby at Hx+2 (Note: Duke and Ruby gave each other +1Hx at session’s end)
Zuto knows Duke at Hx-2; Duke knows Zuto at Hx+1
Wolfie knows Duke at Hx=0; Duke knows Wolfie at Hx=0
Cassa knows Duke at Hx=0; Dukes knows Cassa at Hx+1
Pallor knows Duke at Hx+2; Duke knows Pallor at Hx-1
Doc knows Duke at HX=0 ; Duke knows Doc at +1

Experience Marked this session:
Duke: +1 (Read a person; Total: 1)
Cassa: +3 (Acting under fire; Seize by Force; Go Aggro.  Reset; Total: 1)


[Apocalypse World: Xenoformed Chicago] Fourth Session Report

Xenoformed Chicago - Cassa


Doc’s fungal growth has not yet advanced, but is not improving.*  Sie decides to have Mox and Shigusa remove it surgically before it has a chance to take deeper root.

Having gotten a map to the Sears Tower ruins  from Wolfie, Pallor takes Cassa and Zuto and heads back into the loop to look for a replacement gas mask.  Unfortunately, without Wolfie along they don’t find what they’re looking for.  Hoping to figure out some direction, Pallor opens her brain to the Psychic Maelstrom, and sees a glimpse of the churning storm of thought that Wolfie earlier experienced first hand.  Focusing on the idea a gas mask, she finds that she can follow the thoughts of people who are thinking about them — Zuto, of course, and Clarion…but also, in the ruins of Millennium Park, she finds Bruce (the man who tried to snipe Cassa earlier) and two people she doesn’t recognize, preparing an expedition into the Blight Forest.  They have gas masks to protect them from the mists that sometimes comes in off the lake.

Meanwhile, Shigusa and Mox are helping Doc remove the fungal growth from his arm.  Shigusa fills a syringe with the fungus, and Doc realizes that he’s about to stab it into Mox, infecting him with it.  Doc is pretty drugged up for the procedure, but he manages to talk Shigusa into delaying by promising him a lab of his own in another section of the hospital.

Pallor and the others approach Bruce’s group, who are making final preparations near the mangled remains of the Bean.  Zuto and Cassa stay out of sight while Pallor crosses the street to speak with the group.  Cassa covers her with the sniper rifle she took from Bruce earlier.  As they notice Pallor approaching, Pallor hears one of the group say something about “…his sister!” which she takes to be a reference to her missing brother, Parcher.  Bruce and his companions (Splash and Silvia) are understandably skittish, but she convinces them she comes in peace and just wants to trade for a gas mask.  They settle on a deal, but as Splash hands her the mask she brushes her finger against his skin and implants a command in his brain to tell her “everything about Parcher.”  Splash starts babbling.  Parcher is the leader of a group of people who worship the aliens, who believe that the time for humanity is over and that everyone must embrace the new form of the Earth.  Bruce and Silvia are shocked by his babbling; they pull their guns on Pallor and tell her to get the fuck away from them.  Cassa sees this but holds back from sniping at them, as they appear to be more concerned with Splash than Pallor.

They head back to Doc’s hospital, avoiding the militia.  It’s getting late, so Pallor negotiates with Doc to allow her and her girls to stay at the hospital overnight, so they can take Zuto’s mask (and a head from one of the militia soldiers he’s killed recently) to Clarion in the morning.  Doc agrees, and Pallor and Cassa leave to collect Pallor’s girls from the Library.  Doc sends Shigusa with them; then sie and Mox work together to give Zuto a new mask.

Cassa and Pallor reach the library and gather everyone together, but as they’re about to leave they see Clarion coming up the street with fifteen of his militia soldiers.  Pallor hurries everyone to the other side of the library, where they exit through the northern doors and climb onto the old El tracks.  To the north, across the loop, they can see an odd green glow from around the area where they’d encountered the alien-space bubble.  But there’s little time to reflect on that; Clarion’s troops are rounding the building, and Pallor hurries her people down the orange line track toward Doc’s hospital.  Pallor takes point, followed by Shigusa, Prim, Visage, Frankie, and then Cassa.  As they’re crossing near the hardhold’s territory, they’re spotted by a militia patrol — the first shot hits Frankie through the head, just in front of Cassa.  Everyone hits the deck; Pallor sees the patrol on the ground, using rubble and building ruins as cover.  She leads everyone down the opposite side of the El, westward, and hopefully to safety.

To be continued…

*The advancement (or lack thereof) of Doc’s fungal growth was determined by this custom move, pretty much a recasting of Vincent’s mudfish parasite move used as an example in the AW rules:

The Xeno-fungal Infection

Once you’re infected, roll+weird at the start of each session.  On a 10+, your natural immune system has fought and killed the fungus.  You’re no longer infected.  On a 7-9, you’re fighting it, but it’s still there.  It simply doesn’t advance anymore this time.  On a miss, your infection advances.

(The infection advances as per a countdown, which adds affects each time it moves forward.)

Hx given this session:
Doc to Cassa +1 (Cassa knows Doc Hx+2)
Pallor to Cassa +1 (Cassa knows Pallor Hx+1)
Cassa to Doc +1 (Doc knows Cassa Hx+2)
Zuto to Pallor +1 (Pallor knows Zuto Hx+3)

Experience marked this session:
Pallor+4 (Opened her Brain, Read a Sitch, Read a Person, In Brain Puppet Strings; Reset; total: 0)
Doc+2 (Do Something Under Fire x2; total: 2)

Advancements gained this session:
Doc: +1 cool (from last session)
Pallor: New move: Towering Presence (Touchstone playbook; from last session), and New move: Direct-brain Whisper Projection