[NU] History and Worldbuilding

edited June 2014 in nupocalypse
Let's get this game moving a little! Here's a space for you guys to discuss your Hx, and a little bit about what this world looks like. It sounds like you guys are interested in living in a small area outside a megacity. A small village or something. That's cool.

Ritualistic text: Your job as players is to play your characters as though they were real people, in whatever circumstances they find themselves — cool, competent, dangerous people, but real.

My job as an MC is to treat your characters as though they were real people too, and act as though Apocalypse World were real.

Some points to remember:
• Your characters don't have to be friends, but they do have to know each other, and they should basically be allies. They might become enemies, but they shouldn't start out that way.
• Your characters are unique. There are other fuckers with big guns, and some people may even call them a "Gunlugger", but Rue is the Gunlugger. The same goes for the rest of you.
• Some of you get to choose armor. 1-armor can be just about anything — a leather coat, a bulletproof vest, etc — but 2-armor is serious fucking shit. We're talking Riot gear, and platemail — it may be made from a car, but it's the real McCoy. If you're wearing 2-armor, you're walking around in a real fucking armor.
• Some of you start with oddments of barter — is this a currency you all use, or are we working on a real barter system?
• I'm not out to get you. I could easily say, "an earthquake happens. You all suffer 10-harm AP and die," but I won't... Unless I have to. :P

Some questions to start:
Cinch, You've got two vehicles you call your own. Where do you store them? How do you get fuel for them?
Rue, Even a professional killer needs a place to hang their hat. Where do you hang yours?
Robinson, You fix shit for a living, and you've got a workspace you call your own. What's it like? What have you got in it?
Thirds, it sounds to me like you've got a bird's eye view of the city. You've made a living out of navigating and scavenging the ruins. It's obvious why this group needs you, but why do you need them?
Clarity, so we know that you're rooting for the return of the ancient civilization. How do you go about preserving the little bits that you've found?
All, what do we use for barter?

Ritualistic text: Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn, answer any questions I may have asked. List the other characters’ names. On your turn, name the other characters, listing off your Hx.


  • edited June 2014
    Rue, Even a professional killer needs a place to hang their hat. Where do you hang yours?
    Yeah, a girl's gotta eat. I got a place I lay my head, there's a few others who sleep there, don't bother me none, an they stay outta my stuff. One of 'em said this used to be a church. Guess it didn't do them no good.

    My room, I got a big ole wardrobe, my gear and cleanin kit an lil bed I don't use. It's in what used to be a vestry. But I sleep onna second floor, which is more like an attic. Got a trapdoor hid in the ceilin to it, and a rope up. Laid down some wood and mattress there. Don't nobody know I sleep there. Least, none that are still around.
    Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook.
    Hey. Y'all know me. I'm Rue Wakeman. Some o' ya might've known me when Ize a raider with the Venger Crew, but they're all dead and I aint. I'm cool in a fight and a damn good shot. I mean what I say and say what I mean. I don't frak around. If I'm fightin on yer side, yer in good shape.

    I got a hell of a lot o' weapons. I know how to use each an e'eryone of 'em. Do not trifle with me. I want to be perfectly clear, cuz there are folks who misunderstand me from time to time. I don't like to repeat myself.

    Now e'eryone knows, I prefer to keep e'erything transactional. I pay you fer what I want from ya, you pay me for what ya want. I don't do nobody no favors, an I won't come beggin you for none neither.

    There is a ton o' blood on my hands, an I got a rep. Sometimes, folk come after me to get back fer who I kilt o' theirs, kin or whatnot. Some of 'em just wanna to see if they can take me down. All I can say is, I'm still here.
    On your turn, name the other characters, listing off your Hx.
    Clarity, you've fought shoulder to shoulder with me. So Touchstone, that means Hx+2.
    Robinson once left me bleeding and did nothing for me. Hey Savvyhead, take Hx-2.
    • I think Cinch is the prettiest. Driver lady, Hx+2.
    • That means Thirds, you get Hx=0.
  • Clarity tells everyone +1. Whatever Rue and Thirds tell me, I will add +1. Rue seems to care only for violence and destruction, and Thirds only for profit - I'm keeping my eye on them. Cinch's moxie and lack of despair, and Robinson's curiosity and eagerness to solve problems fit much better - I am less concerned about them. I take whatever Cinch and Robinson tell me, as-is.

    Clarity's spot is the old library building, which everyone just calls "Carnegie's." The original complement of books and such was barely around by the time Clarity "took possession," scavenged or burned or ruined by the environment. He's gradually reinforced and fixed up what he can, and he's got a room for the most fragile documents and items which is an ever-failing bulwark against decay. Clarity paid Robinson dearly to set up a jury-rigged dehumidifier/AC connected to a generator.

    I'll come up with a good pic of a small-town Carnegie library in the near future, and throw it in...
  • Cinch

    Cinch tells everyone +1. Everybody's heard a little about me and where I've been. But Clarity has ridden with me for days, in and out of the city. Clarity takes +2.

    I lean over the fire, hand open, extended in peace, "Cinch," there's a life in my smile. Long hair tied up and my eyes cool... in a calming way. Silvery goggles dangle around my neck. I'm a pretty girl but I feel more like a sister than some girl you wanna nail. Just got that feeling about me.

    "You need a brew? Smoke?" I think I got some brews in the truck, that punk back at the rise tipped me a full case that time I ran off those pig-hunters. Kid almost pissed himself when I fired the fifty... hell I wasn't even aiming.

    My rig's parked just up the hill. Locked up tight... I got a bit of a ritual when I leave her, you'd have to be pretty dedicated to bust her open. But the truth is I got friends, usually someone in most towns I can trust to keep her safe... and when I need to leave her long term I got a secret spot. This ruined... ok I don't know what the hell it was but it's totally busted. A hollow just enough for the rig... you'd never know it to look (that's kind of the point) it's kind of my place. Yeah I sleep there sometimes.

    Car Ruin

    Gas? You know there's gas under the ground... couple, three guys out by Whitehall have some of those old pumps going and they make bank. I take care of them and they take care of me.
  • edited June 2014
    You want an introduction? Meet Robinson. He’s not looking up from his work. “Sit down over there. I’ll be just a minute. Thank you.”

    He's cordial, and generally a fair person, but also scattered, intensely concerned with his thoughts and projects, and easily distracted by new ones.

    Robinson has an old gas and service station he calls home. It’s on one of the roads out of town, up a wooded hill, close enough to the village centre that it’s a reasonable walk, far enough that he’s not keeping people up when he works late into the night. Inside there’s a small front office that looks through a little service into the main workspace, which is a big skylit room cluttered with various projects—some in progress, some abandoned—and miscellany. He likes to keep it modular and adapt the space for whatever project he has going at the time. Nearest the office is a "nerve center" full of maps and drawings and notes by Robinson, which also serves as a kind of lounge. There’s an annex out back where he has a bedroom and a kitchen. In the front, or sometimes parked inside the garage, is Robinson's faithful Range Rover, which serves during trips to solve problems off-site and when hunting for salvaged materials.


    Robinson has a variety of weird electronica in his shop. The best and most useful are a series of handheld anomaly detectors. They detect unseen hazards (gas, radiation, magnetism, heat, motion) and the latest even indicate the bearing and range. The worst is what Robinson wryly calls the P.D.I.D, or "Problem Definition Importance Demonstrator," an eight-foot-long supercomputer, spectro-seismometer, ?????, and DNA-sequencer that took several years and a fortune to assemble and neither Robinson nor any of his collaborators can remember what the fucking thing was meant to do. As far as anyone can tell, the operator inputs a "beep" and 4 out of 5 times the PDID will respond with a "boop."

    Other projects: a ray-gun to kill ghosts, a dream recording machine, a device that will hard-boil an egg when you speak into its microphone (another project that lost its way), a two-way "mood ring" he made for his daughter in a distant town (he can see her mood, and in theory she can see Robinson's but he couldn't get it to work on himself so her receiver continually returns a "feelin' okay" status.)

    He has attracted some talent to his enterprise, and usually has skilled labor on hand: Adele is an artisan and skilled fabricator; Whitmont is brilliant at electronics; Nils is a bit of a naturalist and has a knack for the weird.

    Since Robinson’s workspace sees a reasonable amount of traffic and he’s usually got one or two of his partners around to look after things, it serves reasonably well as a trading post and he’s willing to accept a wider variety of barter. The fungible stuff is always better, as is material he can use in the shop.

    Clarity, you're the most strange. In that sense, we're kindred spirits. Hx+1.
    Everyone else, Hx-1.
  • I've left out some of the juicy bits. Here they are...


    I'm Clarity, an open book, but maybe the second in a trilogy. Here's the thing... there was a time when life wasn't scrounging and scratching and danger over the next hill or around the next twisted mess of a building. That time was maybe a Golden Age, maybe just a fucken Bronze Age, whatever, but it wasn't this Shit Age. I can't let it go... the past is the future. I've been out in the Ruins, I've found shit that says we can do better, be better, fucken lists of food like people could just go to a place and grab whatever the fuck they wanted, "asparagus," whatever the hell that was. Books that talk about sex like it matters more than bullets and staples.

    So, me. It used to be better. It can be better again. The past is the key to the future, and the teeth of that key lie in the Ruins. Believe me, work with me, get out of the way, or my strong arm will have something to say about it.

    My spot has a carved stone sign, "Carnegie Library." Plenty of room to crash, but do not fuck with the stuff in the dry room. I stay in a room called "Conf en e 1," don't fuck with that, either.
  • edited June 2014

    "I'm up here."

    I'm perched casually on the edge of an old billboard, feet dangling in space, back against this giant picture of some white dude in a suit and a cheesy smile. It's probably twenty-thirty feet down. A flip and a graceful dive, a moment of eyes-closed speed, and a casually capable landing into a roll before popping up. I run my hands to get the dirt out my close-cropped hair and say, "Hello." I smell like sweat and grime, but it's not stinky like BO. Just been busy, you know?

    I walk over to a nearby broken sedan, give the trunk luck a kick just so to pop it open. Inside's a duffel with a bunch of bright yellow DeWalt batteries. "Fuckers are heavy. But count 'em. All there, the right size." My voice is a little rusty what from not being used. While you're checking the goods, I'm looking all over, not like nervous, just checking to see what the what. Maybe I missed something last time I was by. I pulled the antenna off that car- I need to fix a hole in my suit, and that steel makes for decent mail. Better than coathangers.

    Robinson, you've traveled with me in the wastes. I find the stuff, you fix the stuff, sometimes I break it before or after. I got the lay of the land, you got the know-how. It's good. Hx+2.
    Rue, you sent me on a wild goose chase. It's a firing range, ripe for the pickings, you said. Like a fool, I believed you. I lost two weeks and a good set of boots, plus I got shot at. Hx-1.
    Everyone else, Hx=0.

    I have crashpads all over town. I don't like to stay at the same place three nights in a row, ha ha. I rigged a little tent-shack on Robinson's roof, sometimes I sleep by Clarity's. I keep little caches on a lot of billboards. There's plenty of room for a sleeping bag up there on those ledges, you know. Doesn't sleep two.
    Thirds, it sounds to me like you've got a bird's eye view of the city. You've made a living out of navigating and scavenging the ruins. It's obvious why this group needs you, but why do you need them?
    Don't tell anybody, but I think I'm going crazy being alone all the time with nobody to talk to. You know I once spent three months in the city and didn't see a soul? I nearly forgot how to speak.
  • Robinson, I think you're the smartest, so I add 1 to the HX you gave me.
  • edited June 2014

    So you know, sometimes I come by to crash, right? Always worth your while, share what I got with ya, no sweat. Sometimes I leave my truck parked 'round the back or something. Safe place... appreciate it.

    Sometimes I come by Rue's place... it's big enough. We don't talk much, you know she's kind of a downer... but I think she's allright. She should smile more.

    Clarity... you know he's awesome the way he talks. I pretend to listen more than I do... but it's more like music. He talks and it sounds nice, even if most of the words are bullshit. Shit age he says... well this is the age we got all right? Everyone I ever known lives here, born here... and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Now, you know I do get shot at or take a tumble from time to time, gotta go by Robinson's. He's got everything I need, you know... I can take care of my stuff but if it's real broke... like... really broke. He saved my ass that time I rolled into the 'barrows on my bike... shattered the fork... he's the man. Hey, and it's a good place to crash, too. Maybe sometimes I can leave my bike there... weeks go by when I don't ride. Yeah maybe I still owe him one.

    Then there's Three... thrice.. Thirds? Whatever. He's a trip... once I raced him cross town and he damn near beat me on foot. I don't crash at his place... don't think he's got a place.
  • In case that wasn't clear... Robinson take +2 to me. You saved me from some serious shit.
  • edited June 2014
    Alright folks! These are awesome answers! I'm already getting a good impression of the world, and the things that interest you! To confirm, this is what I've got for Hx so far:

    Cinch (Clarity=0, Robinson-2, Rue+1, Thirds-1)
    • Clarity has ridden with her for days, and takes Hx+2.
    • Robinson once got her out of some serious shit. He takes Hx+2.
    • Rue takes Hx+1.
    • Thirds takes Hx+1.
    • Cinch takes -1Hx on every incoming Hx.

    Clarity (Cinch+2, Robinson+1, Rue+3, Thirds+1)
    • Cinch, takes Hx+1.
    • Robinson takes Hx+1.
    • Rue takes Hx+1.
    • Thirds takes Hx+1.
    • Clarity took +1Hx with Rue because she only cares for destruction.
    • Clarity took +1Hx with Thirds because he only cares for profit.

    Robinson (Cinch+3, Clarity=0, Rue-3, Thirds+1)
    • Cinch, takes Hx-1.
    • Clarity, you're the most strange. Take Hx+1.
    • Rue takes Hx-1.
    • Thirds takes Hx-1.
    • Robinson takes -1Hx on every incoming Hx (except Cinch).
    • Robinson figures Cinch for the biggest problem. He takes +1Hx on her.

    Rue (Cinch+1, Clarity+1, Robinson=0, Thirds-1)
    • Clarity, you've fought shoulder to shoulder with me. He takes Hx+2.
    • Robinson once left me bleeding and did nothing for me. He takes Hx-2.
    • I think Cinch is the prettiest. She takes Hx+2.
    • That means Thirds, he gets Hx=0.
    • Robinson, Rue thinks you're the smartest, so she takes +1Hx with you.

    Thirds (Cinch+1, Clarity+1, Robinson-1, Rue=0)
    • Clarity, take Hx=0.
    • Cinch, take Hx=0.
    • Robinson, you've traveled with me in the wastes. Take Hx+2.
    • Rue, you sent me on a wild goose chase. Take Hx-1.

    Next let's turn our focus to what used to be Monroe, NY. It's an empty shell of it's former "glory", but the few people who are still around use it as a jumping-off point to scavenge in the mega-city to the south. I'm asking specific people, but don't be shy to discuss possible answers OOC. Collaboration is awesome!

    Cinch, aside from bringing people down south to the ruins, it sounds like you move around a lot. Every now and then you'll spot a familiar face out on the road, but do you make a business out of moving goods anywhere outside of Monroe? Or do you just move the people to the goods?

    Clarity, you like collecting relics — do you collect most of them yourself, or do you pay people to go out and retrieve them for you? Also, do you allow public access to your collection? Hold any major viewings/rebuilding efforts?

    Robinson, that's one bad-ass workshop. It sounds like you probably get a lot of foot traffic from whatever scavengers/traders are in the area. Tell me about food — how do you guys get the majority of your food? Is it hunting? A nearby farm? Scavenging preserved goods in the city?

    Rue, people come and go in Monroe, but it sounds like most people here get along relatively well — I get the sense that you wouldn't be around if there weren't certain rivalries that needed to be kept in line. Are most people here armed? Are they even loyal enough to this place that they'd mount a defense if raiders came in with guns?

    Thirds, that city sounds Bad Ass, and you can clearly handle yourself out there... Occasionally though, I'd imagine you land a little funny, and suddenly a bone is sticking out of your skin. It's not like there's a fully stocked hospital filled with highly-trained medical practitioners... Where do you go when that happens? What's it like?
  • edited June 2014

    I don't move goods so much, unless it's hot. Run and gun, shoot if I gotta, really.. but I'm not usually shooting to kill, more to keep heads down. I trade shit between towns, though, pick up someone's junk over here they need over there. Not making deliveries so much as prospecting... but you know. Once I pay my expenses that's all I need.

    Going South is the thing though. That's the real thing. Pay is sometimes amazing, like I can't even believe it amazing... sometimes you come come back with nothing. But it's still worth it... and I ain't gonna leave you out there, ok? I bring you in, I get you out.
  • edited June 2014

    Robinson does get foot traffic- as far as anyone gets foot traffic, these days. There's maybe seven or eight running vehicles in the area that are known, and Cinch and Robinson account for three of them, so it's not exactly a brisk trade. People have learned to be relatively self-sufficient so it's not the mundane things, but for more complex creations or more abstract problems that people will make the trip to Robinson's.


    Hunting is possible but, as it demands some roaming, it can be risky. Hidden anomalies in the woods, pockets of space that don't connect properly to the rest of the world, those things happen and are ugly for the unprepared. Hunting, then, is best done opportunistically.

    There are nearby farms to trade with, and Whitmont keeps some hens out back at the garage, and yeah: preserved goods are interesting and sometimes necessary, but there isn't much sense in making a staple of them.

    I'm tempted to ultimately not take "skilled labor" as part of R's workshop. Part of me wants to avoid having Robinson interact primarily with the NPC help; the other part of me feels it's a good idea to have NPCs around so I don't fall into the trap of the lonely Savvyhead.
  • Clarity

    The hunt is as much a part of the ritual as the find. I travel in the Ruins, alone or with others, seeking out items that have that special... glow... of relevance. Before I was Clarity, when I flailed without purpose and struck out with fists and feet at any who came too near, I didn't see like this, but now I do. Clarity. I will also trade from the others who merely scavenge, and I support myself by trading off the non-relevant.

    Although I preserve and protect, my collection is not just a collection. It is a toolkit, full of the rumors and hints and revelations that the past gives us as our wrenches and hammers and screwdrivers for building a future. A locked toolkit is useless... I invite any and all, traveler, neighbor or friend, to view and even interact (with caution) with the items I have found. I may have the vision, but I'm not the only one who can make connections and build foundations.

    A few times a year, when I have a surplus from selling off the merely pretty or useful, I make a thing of it, invite the community. I walk them through the collection, taking special care to introduce the young ones to the items I think will interest them. Afterwards, I hold a party, encouraging everyone to display their talents, however meager. There is singing, and dancing, and afterward a meal. I know that most come for the food and drink, but...
  • Thirds

    Here's the thing. Doctorin' used to be good. Then, raiders. No more Old Doc. No more Nursie.

    Supply is easy. Monroe clinic, what's left. Anything else you need? Couple days to the city. Couple more to the good pickins. Then back again.

    To Bish. The vet. Horse doctor. It's what we got now.
  • Rue, people come and go in Monroe, but it sounds like most people here get along relatively well — I get the sense that you wouldn't be around if there weren't certain rivalries that needed to be kept in line. Are most people here armed? Are they even loyal enough to this place that they'd mount a defense if raiders came in with guns?
    Yeah, there's three groups o' folks who think what they got makes them special. An sure enough, the people o' Monroe pony up fer their barter, so who'm I to second guess? They fuss an fight over who'ze the cock o' the walk, an when it comes to guns, one of 'em 'll hire me. Usually, that'll stop it. An' if not, then I put a bullet in one o' theirs that didn't hire me, an that does.

    Defendin the place is the best way fer me to get some trade. If raiders did get motivated to come in here hard an' heavy, then the big three'd be fine an' dandy fer a while, but the rest o' the folks of Monroe'd be up shit creek. An I'd be in the breeze.
  • hey Cinch, can you highlight Rue, please?
  • Sure, Rue. I guess we need to see what you can do. Be Hard.
    Rue, highlight Cinch please.
  • Well, Cinch, I want to see you be Hot.
  • I'll try.
  • Clarity, highlight Thirds, wouldja?
  • Rue, you'd better highlight Clarity.
  • I have one more Hx modifier: I figure Cinch for the biggest potential problem. That Jeep isn't gonna fix itself. I'll take +1Hx, for a total of +2 with her.

    I think. Fuck me, I still don't get Hx.

    Hey Cinch, highlight Robinson, will you?

  • Thirds, you're all about being clever and... whatever. Clarity doesn't actually trust you to do what the future needs you to do, but he thinks you might be useful in the interim. Highlight Sharp.
  • Almost. Cinch gave you Hx+2, and your -1Hx penalty doesn't affect Cinch, because you figured her for the biggest problem. You've got Hx+3 with Cinch.
  • edited June 2014
    Rue, you'd better highlight Clarity.
    Highlight yer frakkin Sharp, Clarity. Not that I care or nothin.

  • MC, please highlight Thirds?
  • edited June 2014
    Cinch, highlight Sharp.
    Clarity, highlight Hard.
    Robinson, highlight Weird (and Sharp from Cinch).
    Rue, highlight Weird.
    Thirds, highlight Cool.
  • We're ending session 1, so let's do Hx here please. During this phase, we go around the table saying who knows who better. If your name is called, you gain +1Hx permanently with the person who said your name. If your Hx goes to +4 as a result of that, you "roll over" to Hx+1 with that person, and mark experience.

    We also have a house rule that I'm quite fond of here. When you roll over Hx with someone, ask that PC a question. They must answer truthfully. This represents something your PC has learned about that character as a result of the new history.

    Hx, GO!
  • Rue, I think you know Thirds better.
  • Tough one.

    Robinson, you know Rue better.

    (if Thirds weren't a chicken....)
  • Rue, I think you know Clarity better.
  • Clarity Knows Cinch better.
  • I think Rue knows Robinson better.
  • Anyone want new highlights?
  • I'm good.
  • I do!
  • Alright, let's go around the table and do highlights. Recall: the person with the highest Hx on your sheet highlights you. If there is a tie for highest, you choose. I'll do my highlights once everyone is done.
  • Cinch, we didn't see each other first session. Highlight me? (Tied with Clarity. Sorry, chummer.)
  • Clarity, please highlight Rue.
  • Rue, highlight Sharp.

    Cinch, if you would do the honors of highlighting Clarity?
  • Thirds, be Hot.
    Clarity, be Cool.
  • Rue, highlight Cinch.
  • Cinch, highlight Weird!
  • Cinch, highlight Robinson.
  • Wow people know me well.
    Robinson I'd like to see you be hot... but if that's not feeling right then I guess you could be weird some more. Your choice.
  • Rue, highlight Hot.
    Clarity, highlight Weird.
    Thirds, highlight Weird as well.
    Cinch, highlight Hard.
    Robinson, highlight Cool.
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