[Snowpocalypse] Table Chatter

edited January 2014 in Snowpocalypse
Post your out-of-character stuff here!


  • So, what are people thinking of playing? My first choices would be Savvyhead or Brainer.
  • @Kaillan, I'm not a fan of Beastmaster, really. I hope you don't mind.
  • edited January 2014
    What's everyone thinking of? I usually like weird playbooks.
  • Any big ideas on the apocalypse?

    I'd like something fun, but not totally whacked. I want it to be on Earth, and not so far off that remnants of our culture aren't still around.

    Also, I don't want the technology to be reduced to a medieval state (it's a rut I've been falling into lately with other games, want to avoid it here).
  • So, first idea, zombification? We can have it be drugs, radiation, mutation, virus; there aren't many geekdoms as large as a zombie apocalypse. It explains a whole social and economic collapse without losing technology such as Dies the Fire.
  • The idea that there's broken, changed, horrific once-people out there is cool. Whatever happened to them to get that way.
  • I'm not averse to something based off The Last of Us. Not canon, but close?
  • Set on a similar timescale, or perhaps a few more decades after the incident? The Last of Us was very government-centric, and I'd have more fun in something like Book of Eli; lawless, wasteland filled with urban cesspools, emerging idioms and rituals, etc. Too soon and the story is about establishing a new world order, not living in one.
  • Maybe a spore-based infection? Something environmental that got really bad before people realized what was happening. Maybe it's worse near water, or anywhere plants are growing... you need to be really careful where you go, protect yourself at times.
  • @Kaillan: Agree, further after is better, we live in the apocalypse and for the most part nobody remembers before.
  • "Worse Near Water" is horrific and amazing, I love it.
  • One question would be how the Maelstrom would be incorporated into this idea of a spore-delivered mutation. Perhaps it's the psychic residue, left behind when these once-human minds are warped together? Like, hive-mind dross.
  • FYI - before we get too far into a plant apocalypse. I'm running a Hangout Game of AW with some friends overseas and they're also talking plant apocalypse. I am a little leery of overlap causing my brain to go sideways.

    Can we talk a few other options before we go too far down that rabbit hole? Sorry.
  • You're the one who mentioned Last of Us! Haha.
  • Hi guys! I like the train of thought so far... Especially the thematic selection of the Last of Us. I like the idea of walking through parts of civilization that are largely overtaken by wilderness, and seeing the changing seasons — the general flow of time.

    I'm a fan of things like small, spread out pockets of civilization (where you're more likely to spot a few people living alone than in large groups. Solar storms wiping out satellite telecoms and leaving massive auroras visible even in the day. Maybe even the need to buckle down at night for fear of what comes out... I also really like hard scifi — so the more realistic things seem the better.

    In terms of playbooks, I'm interested in trying either a Sharp or Hard based playbook. In no particular order: Savvyhead, Solace, Driver, Chopper...
  • @Kaillan - I know. I suck. I was riffing, then realized oh crap, I'm overlapping!
  • edited January 2014
    It's OK @Rich, I think limitations are probably more useful than directives in a space as large as the apocalypse. We've almost got too much to work with. @Adam: I love it, thematically, it all sounds like the sort of world I'd like to play in. We could go just a little cheesy, maybe just a wink and nod, and have some sort of pseudo-vampiric plague? I don't think it'd be too silly, more like The Last Man On Earth, but set in the far future.

    I'm thinking renewable energy and a scarcity of other fuels. I'm thinking towns and shanties built out of re-purposed scrap, the hulks of automobiles, wire fences. I'm thinking barter isn't gold, or jewelry, or ink-stained sheets of cotton, but something a community needs to survive.

    I'm going to settle my playbook on Gunlugger now, as nobody else is mentioning him as their choice, and he sounds like he'll be useful in a wasteland with things bumping in the night.
  • Some say the world will end in fungus...

    I like weird solar radiation. The psychic maelstrom could be the howling of gamma rays bouncing off the ionosphere-- usually it's just static, but sometimes you'd swear you could make out voices. There could be strong day/night cycles where you need shielding to be out during the day, but at night things get seriously weird.

    Just to throw some other ideas out there:

    Computronium/Grey Goo: A nanotech weapon got out of control and started replicating itself out of all available materials. The psychic maelstrom is old subroutines running in dead software on the distributed computer made of The Dust. You've got to be careful. That stuff gets in everywhere, and when enough of it piles up, things get weird.

    Too Cold: Someone did something drastic about global warming. The ruins are still there-- crumbling chimneys that once stood a mile high, pumping reflective dioxide crystals over the troposphere. Staying warm is a constant challenge. I don't know what the explanation for the maelstrom is in this one, but I bet you can tap in best while you're freezing to death.

    Too Wet: A lot of things didn't used to be underwater. Now they are. It's always damp and muggy and you'd better know how to work a boat, or know someone who does. Also, that red mold starts growing on anything that sits still long enough.
  • I like your idea of the maelstrom, @Transcriptase. Maybe the Voices whisper louder to some, than others, and everybody is keeping an eye on everybody; we've all heard too many stories of a friend of a friend, startled awake, with a knife hilt deep, between the fourth and fifth ribs, as his wife whispers, "You first."
  • Alright, lots of ideas floating. This is great!

    Trends I see that I like:
    * scarcity of people, smaller, scattered settlements
    * weird solar radiation
    * dehumanizing infection as a threat ("zombies", The Last of Us)
    * significant landscape change (snow-pocalypse, swamp-pocalypse, tree-pocalypse)
  • I think I'm going to like this group.

    I'm all for the "Too Cold" deal. I've always wanted to try a snowpocalypse, and I also don't even mind the "pseudo-vampiric plague" idea — I think it could work really well. So long as we don't get too deep into caricatures, I'm game.
  • The one thing about Snow-pocalypse is that I like my AW sexy, and the idea that everywhere you go, you're always completely bundled, that won't work for me. As long as folks aren't going to go all hard sci-fi on me when there are at least warmed areas with scantily dressed folks, I'm good with snow-pocalypse.
  • I think you've got it all, @Rich. And the snowpocalypse is the most appealing of all the landscape changes, to me at least. As for the zombies, consider this as an option: a psychic ailment that rides on solar winds, causing neuron damage or chemical imbalance. It might give the weird playbooks something to work with; maybe some custom moves, when interacting with Those Who Heard The Whisper; but on the other hand, it might seem to strike too randomly, too viciously, for us to construct a proper narrative around it.

    But there's no reason Those Who Heard couldn't be mad with rage, ignore harm, driven to every sick, twisted, base instinct rattling around in their head-cage, giving us something to truly loathe and fear.
  • edited January 2014
    This probably isn't related to the infection or anything, but a frozen world makes me want some kind of expensive and addictive drug you can take which protects you from the cold. Like... only a few people would do that to themselves but it makes you all crazy good in the freeze. Turns your eyes blue or something and you roll outside all day in your sexy battlebabe shit where everyone else is dressed up in arctic jackets.
  • @Rich — Google Sexy Snowboarder (probably a good idea to turn safe-search on). Even winter has warm days!

    @Scott — Nice! I like that idea. It also makes people willing to take the drug something to fear, because they don't mind waiting out in the snow for a few hours, or possibly even days, for a payoff. "Icewalkers" or something.

    @Kaillan — Nice! Someone needs to play a Hocus!
  • @scott, I almost feel like that should be a faction, with @Adam's coining of the term "Icewalkers." A group of drug-and-risk-taking nomads, cooking their special brew, and trading it for food, fuel, and bullets. In their wake, they leave the addicted, prompting many level-headed settlements to shut their gates.
  • @kaillan - I like that, but it's something really rare and risky. Like, you're fucking crazy if you do that shit crazy... and it's really rare at least "around here" maybe something I'll use for my PC. I like being a little crazy.
  • Heh, yeah, I was gonna say to Google 'snow bunny', but same idea.

    Oh, and that Whiteout shit is nasty, sure it means you can run around naked in the sub-z, but it does that by running your metabolism so hard you visibly age every time you suck on a cube of it.

    I can't get the White Walkers out of my head with all this zombie talk.

    Oh, and FWIW I strongly prefer to NOT know what the deal with the Maelstrom is when we start. Maybe hints and notions, but discovering the full parameters of our own particular hell is a big part of the fun of any given AW arc for me.

    If this is where we're going, I wanna be the Chopper, roaring around with my gang on our chopped-out snowmobiles: "Fuck, it's the Ski-Dos, get the kids inside!"
  • Jim, in one fell swoop, may have won the thread with that.
  • A Chopper with a snowmobile gang is awesome. Do it.
  • @leftahead - visibly age every time you suck on a cube of it.

    Don't care for that, don't want all these old semi-naked people and as Rich said, hot sexy dangerous people is a thing. But some terrible side effect? Psychic related? Makes it harder to stay where it's warm... where sane and normal people go? Your blood runs cold and you freak everyone out?
  • Chopper gang is awesome!
  • Maybe you actually burn people when you touch them? Or freeze them? Does the drug make it so you run super hot so you can resist the cold, or super-cold so that it just doesn't bother you?

    Anyway, I like the idea that it's some kind of crystals you suck on, like an altoid or something; as delivery devices go, the conditions aren't conducive to injecting or smoking.

    And there's certainly plenty of space for Icelandic steam vents and hot springs and stuff where we can loll around starkers; they'd be coveted real estate to fight over!
  • Where do we want this to take place? As in, originally, where was this? I like to use current day maps to get me a vibe on the underpinnings.
  • What do these Ski-Dos look like? Tough bastards on snowmobiles? Do they use the drug?
  • I think US, for familiarity, and contrast; no sense placing a snow-pocalypse in a location where you could already freeze your balls off. How about somewhere near Chicago? You've got the frozen Great Lake, and a City for flavor.
  • Chicago could have some really neat possible set pieces. Wrigley Field, the L, nice.
  • real quick - any lines of veils for you guys?
  • Sure: any traumatization of children. I do find stories of parents struggling against the odds touching, whether it be novelization (the Road) or the aforementioned Last of Us, or even non-post-apocalyptic stories (of which there are many). But when they fail, if they fail, I'd prefer the conclusion off-screen.
  • Yeah, I'd prefer if things didn't get too rapey. Even if it's handled well, it goes places I don't really want to go while gaming.
  • I'm good with whatever comes up, as far as I know.
  • May go without saying but let's keep sex non-graphic. It can happen but keep the language tasteful.
  • How are we for swearwords? I saw Adam and Rich using Battlestar G. terminology in other threads; will people mind if I don't?
  • Swearing doesn't bother me. Alternate words are just there for color, I think.
  • Yeah, swear away.
  • I'd appreciate if people don't say G*d D*mn. Otherwise, I say lots of bad words.
  • I am in agreement with everything said so far, and have no other blinds/veils that I suspect we will encounter. I also swear like a sailor, so no worries there.

    Also: don't feel obligated to read the other game threads. :P

    I will try and hash out a character concept over the next day or so.
  • edited January 2014
    I have a very wicked awesome names list compiled from brands of snowboards and snowboarding tricks. One hundred eighty six of them.

    Feel free to choose your own name for your PC. I'll list up the custom Names List in the People of Note thread once we get closer to first session.

    (they're so keen)
  • What seems more fun. I'm debating an ice-blooded battlebabe, or some kind of weird (maybe also ice blooded) brainer perhaps.
  • With Gunlugger, Chopper and Faceless being discussed, Brainer might be an interesting niche. But I love how you play Battlebabes, too, Scott.
  • For posterity's sake:

    Scott and I have been discussing character ideas together, and we're toying with the idea of being twin sisters. He's mentioned here wanting to play one of the "ice bloods" that wander the snow drifts drugged up on that metabolism spike, and I think it would be interesting to play someone who compliments that: someone who doesn't take the drug, and generally leads a straight life.

    I know there are already two "Hard" playbooks taken, but I think I'd like to play a Faceless... I like the idea of being this normal person most of the time, then throwing on a mask and wandering the snow drifts as something of an urban legend. "That faceless drifter that nobody knows by name" kind of thing.

    Plus it means I can play nice with the Chopper, Gunlugger (and possibly Battlebabe) by night, and play well with the Savvyhead by day!
  • I love the idea of a Faceless whose mask is a balaclava.
  • Kabuki mask. :)
  • The idea is something like a balaclava, actually — a combination of scarves, winter face-masks, and ski-goggles.
  • edited January 2014
    You sure, Adam? It's functional, but not terrifying. Is she the kind that blends in and just happens to be badass?
  • I'm not looking for terrifying immediately. I'm looking for innocuous. What she does is terrifying!
  • Might come in handy: first-person account of nearly freezing to death.


    Some cool stuff about adaptation, too:

    "Were you a Norwegian fisherman or Inuit hunter, both of whom frequently work gloveless in the cold, your chilled hands would open their surface capillaries periodically to allow surges of warm blood to pass into them and maintain their flexibility. This phenomenon, known as the hunter's response, can elevate a 35-degree skin temperature to 50 degrees within seven or eight minutes.

    Other human adaptations to the cold are more mysterious. Tibetan Buddhist monks can raise the skin temperature of their hands and feet by 15 degrees through meditation. Australian aborigines, who once slept on the ground, unclothed, on near-freezing nights, would slip into a light hypothermic state, suppressing shivering until the rising sun rewarmed them."

    Also a cool bit about revival: You can be saved by the fact that your metabolism slows down enough to prevent brain damage.
  • Thinking a bit about the city setting. Which would you guys prefer

    PROS: lots of pics of it cold/ covered by snow, some neat locales in the city
    CONS: already seen as a somewhat cold city, so not as drastic of a change, the Cubs (jk)
    St. Louis
    PROS: further south, not a terribly well-known large city, the archway frozen would be interesting
    CONS: not many locales of note, not on a lake
    PROS: has an underground, which is very cool, lots of neat locals, would be very different as a frozen city
    CONS: not on a lake
  • Just to point out, Adam mentioned Seattle and:
    - You have a ton of landmarks: space needle, cathedrals, bridges.
    - It's surrounded by water.
    - Plenty of skyscrapers.
    - Quite a bit of snow images, unless Google is lying.
    - Its Underground is apparently a thing.
  • He did. I am concerned about Shadowrun mental overlap. Let me stew on it.
  • Ah. OK, failing that, I'm still sold on Chicago; you can always toss in an Underground, as the Dresden Files did. (The Winter Court of the Fae is held in the Chicago Underground, according to Jim Butcher)
  • Chicago feels good, the lake, a little "older" city. Seattle feels strangely modern and even "optimistic" to me.
  • edited January 2014
    Chicago it is then.

    Chicago's underground consists of numerous freight tunnels.

    More info about the underground of Chicago.
  • Hello! Forgive my lateness- I'd had my birthday Friday and my brother's wedding Saturday. Playing catchup with the virtual world.
  • Okay, I like the idea of the snowpocalypse. (I better, right?) Caveat: I live in New Orleans and have effectively only a comic book level understanding of snow/ice, so bear with my ignorance.

    I'm very keen on massive solar radiation effectively killing all radio/satellites.. Maybe we're back to telegraph-level long distance communication, and giant bulky non-portable AM radios that will maybe go a few blocks and constantly overheat.

    The one time I played AW, I was a Hard Holder. I'd like to do something different.

    I don't have a problem with R- to NC-17 rated stuff, but I prefer to keep outright porn out of gaming.

    I hope we have Wendigos of some variety.

    I like the idea of the Great Lake frozen solid, with a thriving ice community that has burrowed down deep enough into the ice to where the water is still liquid and fishing is just barely possible. Lotsa weird lights and voices in the ice tunnels, maybe there's a half-sunken cruise ship that factors into things...

  • edited January 2014
    @Mischa. I'd be surprised if we even have that level of long distance communication but the unreliable short distance radio sounds interesting. If we have a savvyhead so anything goes with enough effort, right?

    What the heck is a wendigo in this context? Snow critter?

    The under-the ice tunnels and stuff sound awesome!
  • @scott
    I meant telegraphs for across town, certainly not much further. May maybe Chi-town has those old-style pneumatic tubes, so only a few places actually physically *can* be telegraphicable.

    It *really* appeals to me to have very unreliable distance communication- it underscores the isolation of winter. (I'm re-reading the Shining right now, so that's creeping into my mind.)

    Re: Wendigo- if we want weird to 11, giant ravenous snow beasts worse than yeti. As I understand it, it's a Native American legend as relates to cannibalism... which sparks to me that it's the evitable danger of the Icewalking drug- too much and you're gone.
  • Living in the lake is something beautiful, yet horribly isolated, dangerous and fragile: image

  • The Underground freight tunnels of Chicago could totally connect straight into an Underlake community.
  • FYI - probably not going to turn the Weird up to 11.

    (Space Marine Mammal and Marmot can go die in a fire)
  • @Kaillan I think we're on the same page.

    @Rich Didn't think so for this game.

    I feel like making a character from the Underlake, so we'll see more of it. Confirm that I can't choose Savvyhead, Brainer, Gunlugger, or Faceless? No schtick-stepping in AW, correct?
  • Confirmed. Only one playbook apiece in the game.
  • Also, Underlake is awesome.

    I watched a bit of The Colony (2013 movie with Bill Paxton and Larry Fishburne) today, just to see a movie version of a snowpocalypse
  • @rich Any particular imagery or takeaways from it we should share?
  • @scott

    The Colony lives underground, has some hydroponic gardening and a small batch of animals that they keep in cages and use to keep the colony going. Lots of great imagery for how trapped they are, how trapped and confined everything is.

    Sickness is a huge HUGE threat for the group in the movie. The flu is very dangerous. This was fascinating, as if medicine was pretty much gone. I notice we don't have an Angel PC. Hrm...

    There's a bit where three characters are crossing a suspension bridge over a huge ice chasm, and the bridge is barely holding it together. Not sure if I'd use it, but some tense moments there.

    I only watched the first half hour. I want to watch it again.
  • How do people dress at home? Is it still cold enough even indoors that you have to cover up? Is there anywhere actually warm? Is that an enormous luxury?
  • edited January 2014
    I like if there's warm pockets, mostly a side effect of some kind of industry (people huddled around the warm exhaust from the generators) but the fact that we live in a frozen world is unavoidable. You can't spend all day in a Hawaiian shirt.
  • @scott gives new meaning to huddled around the radio. Imagine this great hulking thing the size of a Volkswagen, the community around it. Maybe it gets hot enough there's actually a risk of fire.
  • Who are the other members of Silica and Ross's family?
  • What do our generators run on? Where do we get our food from?
  • @Kaillan, if you don't mind. Only ask questions if you've got ideas or suggestions for answers. We'll hit lots of this in first session.

    Straight up asking questions is my job. :P
  • I thought this was sort of the first session, sorry!
  • Sorry @Kaillan. This is pre-game. Once @mischa has a PC, we'll kick it off. This is like the thread title says, Table Chatter. Out-of-character talk.
  • edited January 2014
    As for suggestions, food: fishing from Underlake; roving bands of cannibles; and enough animals, or semi-stable agriculture to support lone or small bands of survivors in forested areas. This seems to put the Undercity in a precarious position.

    For energy: sustainable is preferable for larger settlements, where as smaller bands can make do on more erratic, unreliable sources (it depends on timescale here, fuel-siphoning would grow less and less effective over the years); solar-winds instantly come to mind, though I like the element of risk mentioned above for generators - if not a fire, then perhaps the reverse, where the generator shuts down. Why not emphasis the threat of freezing, rather than adding the threat of burning to death?

    Edit: No worries @Rich, just wanted to spark some OOC discussion with questions that were on my mind, without being too aggressive by instantly focusing on my own ideas. Wasn't intending to step on toes.
  • Rossi do we still have family? Maybe fathers still around. Not sure I'm happy that he is.
  • @Kaillan I wasn't "offended", just thought it might be good to hear ideas along with questions. Glad I pushed for them, some good suggestions, there. I wonder how one fishes "sideways" (in Underlake), or how that works.
  • I'm drawn to an Operator, running gigs back and forth between Underlake and the Underground. I could be Silica & Ross's older brother, maybe? Rope us all in together.

    I want a Zamboni but don't want to be the Chopper.
  • edited January 2014
    Maybe fishing in the Underlake is very similar to mining, with all the risks of collapsing tunnels that follow. Maybe the machinery used to fish does generate that heat mentioned earlier, and this compounds the risk, causing tunnels to grow slick with melting ice and destabilize faster. People lose their lives fishing the Great Frozen Lake, but more die from starvation if they don't.

    Edit: this sort of has an industrial vibe, which gives a sense of scale. This could imply that fish are both food and barter.
  • edited January 2014
    @Mischa: what about the Driver, with a Zamboni, who could eventually get a gig working the freight lines between Underlake and the Underground?
  • edited January 2014
    @mischa. how about a lover or ex to one of us instead of a brother? I dont want to exclude possible romance from too many pcs
  • @Kaillan Not really feeling the Driver, but you gave me a great idea- fishing *is* like mining- of course you can actually get live fish way way down deep, but you can also tunnel along in the lake to find the schools of fish that were flash-frozen alive when the sun turned, the radios died, the steel birds fell, and the snowpocalypse happened.
  • @scott Why not both? :)

    But good point. Now that I'm thinking Operator, I can easily tie myself to any of the other players.
  • Hey @Mischa, if you were the Operator, would you keep an ear to the long distance radio chatter?
  • Just so we're clear, @mischa:

    from http://www.zamboni.com/about/fun-facts/:
    "In April of 2005, Road & Track magazine performed a “road test” on the Zamboni Model 500 ice resurfacing machine. They determined the machine’s top speed to be 9.7 mph and that the machine would go from 0 to ¼ mile in 93.5 seconds."

    Not that there can't be a heavily modified one. What would you do with it? Or what would you want to do with it?
  • @Kaillan I'd think so. I imagine transit between Underlake and Underground isn't exactly regular, reliable, or easy. I'm thinking something like the Postman, someone who can move about between communities and bring news, deals or trouble.

    @Rich I like the idea of a reliable ice-travelling vehicle. It might not be an off-the-shelf Zamboni.
  • edited January 2014
    Sorry, Zamoboni as transportation seems silly to me. There's all kinds of awesome outdoor snow vehicles. Snowmobiles, tracked trucks and vans, snowcats.
  • edited January 2014

  • edited January 2014

    I have no idea what those are, but I want two of them.
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