Author Topic: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share  (Read 594 times)

The Passerby

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Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« on: July 31, 2020, 06:37:51 AM »
To start with, I am going to share two Tough Spots I came up with and worked shopped through the Red Markets discord. With thanks to Ethan, Laura B, Gehenus, Drew, and Salt Robot. Also some archived fluff that I posted to the Red Markets Facebook group as Steve Miner. Note, the Nolo tough spot is still unpolished and unfinished I feel. It seems powerfully narratively and a roleplay challenge, I am unsure what it's positive aspect should be. So for now I will default to Drew's suggestion of it giving a +1 Will.

Please feel free to give comment, as well as suggest alternative takes and implementations.

Tough Spot: World Class
You could have been someone, you were someone, none of that really matters now. Even as the social stratification and calcification set in pre-Crash there were always people like you. Olympic Gold Medal Winners homeless in their cars. Poor kids willing to break themselves for a chance at that scholarship, a chance for that draft pick. Adrenaline junkies that didn't mind risking their lives on mountaintops or in million dollar sports cars. Top performers, paying off their MD plate one brain surgery at the time. Generational duties, earning berets and qualifications by the fist full.

The Crash happened and people like you died by the cart load...and now, there are a few like you still around. Still dragging themselves out, on the backs of full commitment, natural genius, or sheer bloody-minded determination...

+Practice Makes Perfect: Ten thousand hours? A Hundred Thousand Hours? A Lifetime. You have spent your whole life building this skill, committed your life to this skill. Whether it be throwing a baseball at over a hundred miles an hour, being able to fast walk a tight rope twenty stories up, betting the farm on a hand of poker, or sticking your hands wrist deep and holding their still beating heart in your hands, you are one of the best. Perhaps one of the last best. The Taker must choose a Specialized Skill they have at character creation, They gain a Will Point pool equal to that skill only usable on checks for that skill. Market may narratively allow use of this will point in other instances if a case can be made. This Will Point pool does not refresh during session play, and can only refresh at the beginning of sessions.

-And Perfect Must Be Paid For: This world class performance is an investment that can swallow up a life. You got to keep sharp, you got to keep on top, you got to keep moving, doing, being. A thousand quick draws a day in the mirror before dawn, six hours running through every kata you know, tele-classroom time keeping up on your perishable knowledge, the best conditions to practice only. This skill of yours will still bring you riches, but it reminds you have what you already paid...and what you must continue to pay. In order to refresh this Will Point pool the Taker must do one of two things. Either they must pay a Bounty fee equal to the level of the Specialized Skill or use a Work/Life vignette in service only to this skill to represent the incredible cost of being one of the best out there.Potential Balance Point: To Refresh the standard Will Pool and the World Class Will Pool between jobs, the Price or Work/Life Scene must be paid.

Cultural Note: The can often be referred to by slang and names. Examples include Action Jacks or just Jackasses. Action Jills. Hollywoods. Senseis, Stars, Specials. Because they are weirdos, and they are spending valuable time and bounty on their skills. Sure, it may be fun to snicker at the man who decided to carry a katana or that woman who can twirl a pair of revolvers for the kids, after all who does that? They do, because they think they're samurai or cowgirls or still playing for the league or working out of an actual hospital..but remember. Six hours a day, eight hours a day, ten, twelve, sixteen. That man with the katana? He swings that thing ten thousand strokes per technique. That woman? She has kids throw a hundred clays each and can hit all twelve of them before they hit the ground. It may be easy to snicker...but never forget there were hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of fools that did the same. Those people are long dead and moving, these folks? They're still here, still doing their fancy ass bullshit.

Meta Commentary: This tough spot is to represent the outlier performers people in the top 1%. Sure you may have Specialized Skill: Sword, but this Taker? She nearly took the Gold at the Venice Olympics 2032, hell she probably took the fucking Gold. These are your former MLB pitchers who still pitch in the triple digits or former NFL top 5 Draft hopefuls that you dare not think goes Vector. Expert parkourists who were risking their life every day before the Crash even happened. Former Hollywood Stunt Drivers playing Mad Max for real now. Teir 1 operators who hold on dear to their specializations. Speak with your Market on how to bring these characters to life. Anyone could have been World Class in anything. The State Drone Racing Champion can pilot their drone going 120MPH through a hole the size of a breadbox and make it out the other side...probably. A World Class Cheerleader in some podunk little town who can land on her feet from a two story fall and then do a triple backwards sommersault over a five foot tall bar. It doesn't necessarily mean that a World Class person is known that way, there are a thousand thousand undiscovered prodigies and geniuses after all, and who knows perhaps they became World Class growing up in the Loss.

Tough Spot: Nolo Contendere, AKA Nolos:

You know what they did, they know what they did, but no one talks about it...because it can't be talked about. It's too raw, it's too impolite, it's the thing that is going to get some fool killed. People know what happened, and sometimes that's got to be enough. Nolo refers to a person who did something incredibly horrible in the Crash and never did hide it, but never accepted the guilt. They pled to responsibility and acceptance, but they never paid for it. There is no Guilty verdict to hang on them. To those in the Recession, Nolos are the hard men doing hard things...but those in the Loss know these people are just men of meat and bone. Sometimes...that's all that matters...sometimes that's what's most important...all the time, it hangs around neck like a collar. Pulling you to parts unknown.

-They know what you did: Maybe a detonator was triggered. A door locked. Or maybe you just decided there would be no Wait and See. There are a million stories like this, of the dark things people needed to do to survive...but yours? Yours is out there. Yours is out there and there is no ever taking it back...and that is just how it is. Maybe your picture is what they put in textbooks in the Recession. Maybe during the establishment of your Enclave you did something that no one can agree rightly was right or wrong. Either way, no one is going to put a bullet in you for it. Because after all...there are a million stories like this. The Taker creates a permanent Negative Rep Spot for themselves, Crew members may be given lesser penalties towards checks due to their association with a Nolo. This Rep Spot cannot be removed without Approval from the Market.

+But at least they know you:There are a million stories like this, like yours...and stories have power. They are the bedrock of our experiences. What you's going to be a part of you forever...but it is a part of you that showed you what you are in the dark. Maybe you wish you never did it. Maybe you made yourself better from then. Maybe you would do it again in a heart beat. A Nolo Taker, hardened by the experiences of their past deeds and the reputation that hangs around them has +1 Will. Temporary Stopgap.

Cultural Notes:Most Enclaves have one Nolo. Maybe they're the quiet man living alone in their shipping container home. Maybe they're the local leg breaker cashing in on their rep. Most have more in common with the first than the second. The term sprung up and caught fire by chance. A clip of a lawyer during the end of the Crash telling the world her client pleads Nolo Contendere for their actions. A military officer blew up a tunnel that may or may not have had Vectors inside, but definitely had people still inside. It allowed the escape of many more, it was what it was, and someone had to pay for it. But hell if they were Guilty. Nolo Contendere, convict me, but dare not call me guilty. Lifelines took the term from there and it became another term in the Loss. Not all Nolos have such heavy deeds, or so far reaching, but their actions do and have touched the wider community. Either because there was direct consequences or their story has become one of the fables of the community. The high school teacher that locked down and locked out a whole class to save the school and the rest from the Vectors charging down. The doctor burned down their own hospital because the halls were stacked with infected. A army medic saving their unit from a Wait and See massacre by picking up that rifle and doing it. The difference between them and a Nolo is that everyone knows. Everyone knows. Maybe it's a video on Lifelines. Maybe it's because everyone from the Enclave is alive in part of what they did. Maybe someone is going to take that shot one day...

Meta Commentary: This Tough Spot is sort of a hard mode sort of RP challenge. Like a Negative Rep spot that can be played in scams, or come back to haunt you narratively individually and as a crew? That is a heavy burden, and one that can present narrative possibilities. Like, Latents and Immune also have this narrative weight to their existence. There is also some gameplay challenges that come out over the actual mechanical benefits. So it's a question of what paying that heavy cost of a Negative Rep gets you. I don't really have a good idea. In the Red Market discord, those I have cited above and thanked have tossed around the ideas like the following: Perhaps you auto-suceed a check like Criminality or something along those lines like how a Hustler can always auto-succeed Networking checks...but a Hustler only has to pay 1d10 bounty for that. Perhaps you get a +2 or other flat bonus in negotiations to price to start with. Maybe it affects what sort of jobs you can take, or what sort of jobs just come. People might seek out a Nolo for being that "hard man" because they have a "hard job". In any succeeding a check doesn't seem in flavor for it, but also just a bonus that works in negotiations seems too narrow even if it can be powerful. Like, this is a pretty heavy thing...I welcome any thoughts.

Creative Fluff for Games:

Sticker, Carder, Stick Man/Woman, Jukebox, Card and Chill, _______:

Bandwidth is a premium, but power is not at times, how do we distribute MP3s? MP4s? Media, new, and old? You become a Stick Man or Stick Woman, someone who pays a premium on USB sticks and SD cards and uses them to distribute media. Maybe you run it out a old station wagon and rent out a TV to the local watering hole when they've got the juice, maybe you set up a stall and let people down load and copy off your stick or if you're lucky an SSD bank...Maybe you are a bad person and installs all sorts of malware on people's devices. Maybe you're a Steward looking to install a little bit of spyware on the Homo Secor...

To be one of these people is to be someone who needs trust. Sociologically to be a Sticker is to fill the niche of personal entertainment. You aren't a busker. You are a merchant. Musicains, dancers, entertainers of all sorts are valued to Enclaves that have the time and space allotted to make them work. Without a little entertainment, people would go mad. So sure, there are former choir members playing birdie at the local hooch still. So sure that clown renacting a puppet show can get work. The difference between you and them is that you don't have to go out there every day and do it over again.

Inspired by a picture, reportedly, of a Mexican music stall.

Nostalgia Bubble:
People want to forget. People want to forget and pretend that it's better days. Imagination and fantasy on sale. It's always been on sale. Little podunk Wild West ghost towns where you pan for gold in a salted stream. Great big conventions where all your characters are brought to life. In the Loss it is no different, and people see that market niche. Nostalgia Bubbles are attempts to create facimilies and experiences that feed on the nostalgia of an Enclave's population. Perhaps it is the boutique "coffee" shop with a cover charge. The windows done up with frozen faded pictures of a normal street, the music on tinny Bluetooth speakers on repeat, where the teenager behind the door will tell you that the order for Brian is ready. Even if the place only really sells tea, the muffins aren't for sale, but pound cake is, and maybe you'd like a joint instead? Another option is a more full experience. A private room with channels that work, playing reruns and commercials, and a bed that has working springs. There's room service and perhaps a companion. They'll talk to you about your day, you both can pretend and you can be. And the Loss isn't outside. Some richer folk recreate better things for the upper class. Perhaps the top floor of that skyrise enclave still has a janitor, perhaps the local loan shark gets some real whiskey flown in from the Recession.

Common Example:
A Coffee Shop that does its best to simulate the experience with a cover charge, but no policy on customers having to keep character.
Sports Bar with a rerun playing on the still and the acknowledgement that was just this week's big game and to keep Keyfabe or be kicked out.
A repurpsed classroom where you are given just some quiet time, it's twenty minutes before the bell, everyone is early...relax.

To be "Noss'ed" is to also be given this effect, but on a smaller scale. Someone gives you a jar of honey, it's the first real sweet thing you had in a year or two. Someone hands you an ice cold beer.

A Bubble Burster is usually what you refer the person that commits a spontaneous act of violence in a Nostalgia Bubble for no apparent reason. You aren't a Bubble Burster for getting into a fist fight about how that recording isn't what was advertised, or if they snotty nosed teen behind the counter called it, to be a bubble burster is more similar to a spontaneous My Way Murder. A phenomenon in Asia where people may be randomly murdered because of the Frank Sinatra song My Way.

Playing House:
The act of trying to maintain a illusion that the Crash did not happen. Can range from basic delusion, to massive efforts to create a space where you cannot tell the Crash occurred. Differs from Nostalgia Bubbles, as those are usually commercial or recreational simulations...though those that over indulge can be insulted by being told they are "Playing House". To go to a Nostalgia Bubble is like going to Disneyland, Playing House is like trying to build a Disney Castle and live in it. "Hell you spent four bounty Playing House? I hope it was worth it."

Playing House at a minimum requires that an illusion be made that the Crash does not occur. A child who grew up in an isolated farm compound and knows nothing of the outside world can be said to have Played House, their parents definitely Played House. In deeper cases where mental derangement is present, perhaps it is a new form of Delusional Disorder or cult behavior. It is potentially a psychosis of a high order in any case, a detachment of reality. Sometimes the person or persons suffering from this delusion cannot comprehend the Loss. Sometimes they will strike out at those attempting to break the illusion. Sometimes these people get up to dark fucked up shit that outmatches any LALA.

Finding LALA Land:
Some people online think it means going nuts, thinking the weefees and the bees and the crystals are all right and the neo-lizard people from Voltron 3 are here to take our mojo.
And sure, it means that usually...usually being the key word. People find LALA Land all the time, from a small deserted no name town full of mannequins to parking garages turned into death traps to strange shrines to the god damn unspeakable.

There are whole new lands out there, just waiting, just waiting to swallow you up and spit you out.

Finding someone Playing House can also be said to be Finding LALA Land.

Grid-Boss, E-Bankers, Cable Men/Cable Women, Glowbugs, Sparkys:
Refers to a person who owns an electricty/power for sale business or is in control of such infrastructure. If it is a successful commercial venture, they tend to gather followers interested in their product.

Battery Bunnies/Buckies or Outlet Ornaments:
The social phenomena of people that form up the base of groupies, hanger-ons, and entourages to people that have regular access to energy. Can be used in various ways, and various levels of negative or positive ways depending on context. Usually there is a mild negative connetation that implies the person is a follower or hanger on to the person with power, but it can get as nasty as being suggestive that a person is prostituting themselves for a phone charge.

Chargers, Peds, Stations, States, Treads, Millers, Engies:
Refers to a person whose job is to power a battery bank, usually by pedaling a stationary bike or other repurposed exercise equipment. Can also refer to a person providing the replacement to an engine, such as working the tread wheel of a medieval style crane.

Shiny Syndrome:
People that become obsessed with finding "mint-condition" still in the box items are said to have Shiny Syndrome. Where in they ignore perfectly serviceable floor models that only need light refurbishment or some work done in favor of "perfect" condition models. This can affect Takers and non-Takers equally, though being a Taker with Shiny Syndrome can kill you if you're not careful. Non-Takers with Shiny Syndrome tend to just have hard times bartering or trading, if they have the money to spend on thing that can have "Shiny". They rather buy the factory sealed tablet rather than the working model with scratched up screen and case.

Binge, Binging, Binger:
Not referring to binge eating, but referring to people that must surround themselves at nearly all times with Pre-Crash media. Whether it be listening to old podcasts and songs on repeat all day no matter what, or sleeping to a track of old commercials, or for more rich people, having a TV that just plays and plays seasons upon seasons of their favorite shows. Being called a Binger can mean that people think you're lazy, or frivolous, or obsessive. Some business, particularly Nostalgia Bubbles, will often enable this behavior to draw in repeat customers.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 08:35:12 AM by The Passerby »
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain


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Re: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 07:18:32 PM »
I love so much about this its hard to know where to start.

Though I personally like the world class background and will probably have to use it for one of my solo runs later to give it a test drive XD.

I can see nostalgia bubbles being some peoples retirements, and playing house in particular has me feeling two ways. so its a good plot point you can work out some real solid stories from.

Im looking forward to re-reading over this better during lunch XD.

thanks for sharing.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2020, 03:06:44 PM »
I need some balancing ideas for the two things, and Nolo still needs some work on its core premise.

Like, feel free to suggest something or playtest it or whatever. It's all in good fun.

Still working on other things.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain

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Re: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 09:48:13 AM »
Leg: The Holiday Steward

The Takers see working Electric Lights out in the Loss miles from local respites and other such small Enclaves. It is a Hesco Barrier encampment approximately two hundred meters square around the remains of an old Gas Station with a solar power pump shade.A small earth mover with a DHQS emblem is parked in the parking lot, along with an up armored HUMVEE. There is also parked a regular pickup truck next to it. A man can be seen on top of the gas station in a little sand bag emplacement.

A LED sign: Vacancy Open flashes above the entrance.

Research/Networking Check will reveal that this place is actually what it appears to be, including the DHQS decals being legit. A woman by the name of Kilo Baker operates a small road side fortified inn sort of deal to make side money and from what people understand, she is quite open about why she and her team are there.

It is a dead-end pissant job in the middle of nowhere as a "forward radar detection" station for "hostile air power". She and her "boys" appear to be a collection of either aged federal agents or twitchy fuck up Air Force trained teenagers run what is ostensibly a radar station in the Loss. Though she isn't the only woman there, she refers to them all as her "boys.

Of course, there is no one out there flying anything anymore, and if there was hostile air power, NORAD and what's left of American Satellite assets would have caught it. Theoretically, they could be a part of a net against low altitude drone smugglers, but there are not enough similar bases and not enough equipment to differentiate the difference between a flock of birds or a multiple delivery drone.

GM Notes:
Kilo Baker and her team are just running down the time on their deployments, and while policy is that Homo Sacor are to be avoided, or shot if deemed "mission necessary", they're still people stuck out in hostile country with no real mission other than to waste time. If the Takers are peaceable and approach without any active known "Warrants", they can each spend a bounty to heal an amount of humanity damage to represent either staying at the "Roadside Inn" for the night or doing some trade for Recession goods out of the soldiers rations and care packages.

Kilo Baker, while willing to make a buck, is still a DHQS steward. She is all too willing to just shoot people that seem like trouble, and as with most DHQS operations or Recession Corporate forces, they have an Immune hunting remit. So if the Crew does wish to stay the night they will have to risk a blood test.

Leg: The Burn Pit

The Takers stumble across an abandoned DHQS Forward Operating Base in the middle of nowhere. It seems like a substantial effort was made to clear out a two hundred by two hundred meter square encampment with Hesco Barrier walls. The Hesco Barrier walls remain, along with DHQS decals plastered along the sides. There appears to be nothing actually remaining inside the camp itself, though it seems obvious that there had been some temporary tents and a mobile generator had been set up given the tracks inside. 300 meters away there seems to be a large mound of blackened earth or asphalt. This is a large five meter by five-meter pit that appears to be where the DHQS forces burnt their trash.

GM Notes:
Aside from the walls themselves, there is nothing else left inside the walls except camp litter and an overturned portapotty. Persistent takers might stumble across graffiti or little messages from some conscripted teenagers from the New York National Guard that foreshadow campaign rumors. The Hesco Barrier bags themselves are worth a bounty a piece, but dumping them out and folding them back up for transport will probably take more than a week. Treat this knowledge as being worth 1d10/2 bounty if the Takers think of selling them.

Research/Networking/Reference checks will reveal that the camp had been a known factor in the area and the last anyone saw or cared to post about the place was about a week ago. The purposes of the base are unknown, though most speculate that it was probably in support of some DHQS operation in a near by urban area. It was in operation for a little a month.

The Burn Pit approximately 300 meters from the DHQS camp is where the Takers might find profit compared to the camp, and while there probably isn't much worth there, DHQS trash is still probably salvage worth something to someone. Used MRE bags, "broken" equipment, etc. If the Takers wish to engage in this Leg without engaging with the NPCs, they probably can make some stealth checks or scavenging checks to investigate the bit.

Possible Results:
A somewhat still usable "large tent", the canvas not fully burnt because of the haste to leave. Treat as 1d10/2 bounty for 1 haul, higher value just means it survived the fire much better.

A collection of blood-spattered and shot through police officers' uniforms and equipment, though without guns. They find three pairs of pants, and some skeletal/burnt remains. Salvage either 1 completely fine Kevlar vest, or two damaged but still usable Kevlar vests. Also, make available one set of "Finest" police credentials if Takers bother to ask for them. Humanity tests if necessary.

Several semi-burnt and water damaged, but still "good" packages of base supplies. Treat as being worth 3 bounty per haul, goods include misshapen and now grody toilet paper, food containers with damaged labels and "broken seals", "damaged tools and consumable goods" such as packages of unused zip-ties. Cause humanity damage based on Bust/Boom rules due to the thought that people would throw away such "precious" stuff.

Critical Failure, a casualty had fallen in sometime before the Takers get there and was concealed by some of the ash. It attacks the Taker making the Scavenging check.

Leg: Are You Missing This Person?

The Takers encounter a lone man and a team of dronkies, he is a stranger to the local area, but his dronkies are quite distinctive. A cloth throw over each of their sides say "Hoover Groover and the Groovy Train". He waves the takers down and seems to be a some sort of wandering trader or scavenger. A research check towards the dronkies indicate they belong to a man named Hoover Groover, some trader from "mostly out west".

He is willing to trade, and will restock 1 refresh for 1 bounty on the condition that the Takers "read some of his pamphlet." Takers can also buy common items and upgrades from him mid Job. Another pistol, or a melee weapon, perhaps some carpet armor. Nothing as major as say a Dronkey or a Rocket Launcher.

GM Note:

Hoover Groover is a Shepherd with a twist. While he is an honest trader, he is a Shepherd working with a group searching for "lost family". He will hand a Taker a tablet and ask them to look through a gallery, he doesn't expect a Taker to look through all of them, but he does expect the Taker to look through a good amount. Enough to spark a humanity check as the sheer amount of casualty pictures he has suggests there is a herd out there with quadruple digits. Or perhaps it is because the pictures are given "filters" to make the Causalities more presentable and it makes one uncomfortable compared to just a straight up normal picture.

If a Taker is willing to spend the time to look through an entire "pamphlet" of 100 pictures, Hoover Groover will give that Taker a discount or a "token for the effort". Examples being a single bounty, or a small useful item like a Everlight Flashlight. The Taker will have to take 1/3 Detachment Self-Control check after looking over 100 pictures of posed casualties.

On a critical failure the Taker recognizes a dead relative.

On a critical success the Taker recognizes an old enemy from the "first year".
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 10:20:11 AM by The Passerby »
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain


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Re: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 08:59:55 PM »
Is this available in a Google doc or will it go onto a future supplement?

Love the Stick person distribution.

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Re: Homebrewed Materials That I Wish to Share
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 08:33:12 PM »
There's a facebook thread on the Red Market Facebook Group and some stuff in the Red Markets fan community discord.

I am not associated with the writing team or any official writer types. I am just writing for creative expression given the times.

More materials will come later as I find the need to write. I am still trying to get a couple more spots working, a job line for a dead rich eccentric, and a job to introduce a spot.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain