[AW - OOG] Apocalypse World: Setting

edited July 2010 in Out-Of-Game
Apocalypse World is pretty much what it says on the tin - it's all post-apocalyptic. It's pretty much a pen-and-paper version of Fallout. I understand that the author hadn't actually played any of the Fallout series until really late in development, but the flavor is nonetheless right there. It has a bit of a grindhouse influence, all about guns and gore and sex and psychic mutants and whatever weird stuff you might toss in for flavor.

Generally, you play certain key individuals in a post-apocalyptic settlement - you can play a wandering band of dudes, but certain of the character archetypes focus on community. Like, if you play the hardholder, you'll literally run the town. And the hocus is basically a cult leader. This game is fairly flexible in what you can do with it, though, so long as you stay in genre. Off-the-cuff ideas:

- running a wasteland settlement, currently at fighting it out for territory with another warlord

- a group of wanderers cruising the empty interstates in a fixed up convertible, fighting off mutants and biker gangs while doing odd jobs for communities along the road

- members of a small colony of survivors in the wake of a zombie apocalypse


  • edited July 2010
    I had a thought about an urban game: everything is in ruins and contaminated, and the holdings are mainly under the city, where the poisons (radioactive ash?) don't reach. So a big, multi-level subway station might hold a settlement, connected to other such settlements by the tunnels. The subway platforms are fortified defenses, and the 'back door' on the surface is usually kept sealed. Anyone who goes out on that side can't stay out for long, and they need to go through decontamination upon their return.

    Everything's dark and cramped, and there's not enough food, but the surface is worse ... poisonous, haunted by packs of mutated dogs, and everyone's kind of agoraphobic and light-sensitive by now, anyway. Some other settlements may be friendly, but at least one is raiding for food and generator parts. Light is important, because it's the only thing that keeps back the once-human mutants that lurk in the abandoned tunnels.

    Without modification, this is a terrible setting for a chopper or a driver, though. A chopper could work out, but the driver would probably be overly constrained.
  • Later ...

    I'm not super-convinced about the tunnel setting, since it seems like it might lack variety. I pitched it out more as a starter, with the expectation that the final setting would draw from a number of different ideas, for a nice and rich setting. Mostly, those other pitches haven't materialized, though ... as mentioned somewhere above, I sure wouldn't mind hearing some new ideas from everyone.

    Regardless, I don't think I'd want to run this as a straight underground game. Probably there's still need to go out onto the surface, even if it is dangerous ... maybe people need to scrounge for supplies, and such. After 50 years picking over the ruins, replacement parts and so forth must be difficult to find and appropriately valuable. I'd like to have both below-ground and above-ground be important to play, with each having a totally different feel and totally different dangers/freedoms/rewards.

    I was going to mention how much of a home base you guys would need to have. Unless somebody takes the hardholder, a home base isn't absolutely necessary. The maestro d' has been mentioned, though, and his establishment is usually fairly established. A maestro can, however, choose to pick "no fixed location, always new venues" as part of his establishment's security, if it comes to that.

    Other playbooks: The savvyhead's workshop is generally fairly immobile, though he could probably figure out how to build it into a trailer or something. And some playbooks can acquire buildings. The angel can pick up an infirmary, the driver can build a garage ... might be others.

    I mentioned that I don't want a true wandering game, but it's ok if you end up being a group making a circuit around a handful of established locations.
  • Starting to throw out ideas ...

    Dead Air

    The world's psychic maelstrom is left totally, impeccably open to interpretation in the rulebook - it's supposed to be something that gets defined from game to game. All that is known is that it came about at the same time as the apocalypse. Whether it caused the apocalypse or was caused by the apocalypse is anyone's guess.

    Drawing in part on how I liked the static-filled radio broadcasts you could tune into in Fallout 3, I'm imagining the psychic maelstrom as a chaos of radio noise, like all the radio broadcasts, tv casts, cellphone calls, and so on of the pre-apocalyptic past are caught and reverberating just past hearing. If you're Weird enough, you can hear it ... and the 'noise' you hear can be surprisingly topical.

    Perhaps a jumble of fragmentary telephone conversations gives you insight into matters at hand, or the theme to Jaws cues up just before a stalker gets the drop on you. And some people say that there's more caught in the static than just old radio signals - that the ghosts of the forgotten past speak in white noise, and God whispers between broadcasts.

    There might be a crazy EVP cult around, recording dead air and trying to pick bits of the world of God out of the static. Very weird, but mostly harmless. Anyone want to play a hocus? Their followers can grant the augury move, which allows access to the psychic maelstrom.

    Maybe radio, as a thing, just hasn't worked since the apocalypse: you broadcast, but nothing can be heard but static. Of course, there's savvyhead move for fixing that (reality's fraying edge), but who knows who'd be on the other end of the transmission.
  • The Wasted Land

    The above-ground is dangerous, but it offers freedoms beyond those available in the tunnels of the below (the Below? the Down Below? or is it the surface that has a capitalized name, while the tunnels are just where you live?). Some don't like it ... in the fifty years since the apocalypse, a whole couple of generations have been born in the tunnels and grown up in the tunnels. Light sensitivity and agoraphobia have set in, and many don't really want to overcome these nurtured tendencies just to go out into the surface's dangers.

    And dangers there are. In Apocalypse World, when the rain falls it’s full of fine black grit like toner, and all the plants’ leaves turn gray from absorbing it. Out among the wrecked cars, wild dogs fight for territory, with each other and with the rats, and one of the breeds is developing a protective inner eyelid of blank bone. If you get too close to them you can hear the click-click when they blink.

    Parts of the ruined city are breeding pits for freakish diseases - last month, a salvage crew came back with some kind of a 4-stage parasite, and one of the stages was projectile-coughing spores and bloody spray. They needed quarantining pretty bad, and most of them didn't survive. You can't always tell when you're walking through tainted land, either - every time you come back in from a trip topside, you go through decontamination showers, whether you think you need it or not. Doubly so if it rained on you any.

    There aren't any really big predators out there, not usually, but they don't need to be big to be dangerous. The dogs are mangy and gaunt, but they run in packs and are vicious beyond belief - they know not to attack a band of prepared humans, but they'll circle until they have a chance to pick off someone alone. Some say that the dogs are bound to die off soon (what with the poisons in the air and water up there), but there've been people saying that for decades. The packs are always sickly-looking, but it only seems to make them meaner.

    The rats, too. Except they seem to have bred out line resistant to the sicknesses of the ruins - fat and lively, they are, and growing bigger with each passing year. They don't even hesitate to attack a human, even humans in numbers. There's been more than one salvage team that accidentally blundered into a nest and got torn apart by swarming rodents the size of cats.

    Weird mutations in them, too ... too many teeth, or bony armor, or whatever. Depends on the nest. Their breeding is so rapid and unrestrained that they've been adapting faster than anything else in the ruins. At least, if you discount the rumors of giant ants and intelligent cockroach swarms, and that's all just crazy talk.
  • But the wastes have a good side, if you're the kind of person to see it.

    For one thing, it's all open out there. Obvious to say, really, but shockingly true after the claustrophobia of the tunnels. Now, open is relative. Here and there are patches of blasted ground, basically level and open for acres. But then there are thickets of rubble and structural steel, twisted mazes of twisted cars and foreshortened concrete walls, and the occasionally intact stump of what was once a great scraper of the sky.

    So sure: there are places where you'll be lucky to see more than five feet or so in any direction, just waiting for the rats to swarm out of the gaps in the rubble walls. Places where even the sky above is blocked by leaning stacks of junk. But even then there's hardly anywhere in the ruin above where a minute or ten's moving and climbing won't get you to a place where you can see for miles, and there'll be nothing above you but sky.

    It's a flat sky, low and heavy, the color of a television tuned to a dead channel. But it goes on forever, and after brick and concrete it can seem bright and clear as the blue of old.

    And while you're up there, looking around, it'll be quiet. In the holding, there's always at least ten people within as many feet of you: talking, arguing, fighting, having sex, whatever. Fleece's kid is crying again, or Tum Tum's decided Norvell needs murdering, or Chack is trying to collect on a loan to Wisher and her family of nine. Even in the uninhabited tunnels you hear yourself and your companions, every move, cough, and whisper echoing back at you.

    Up top, all that just vanishes into space. And it's not like there's anyone up there, anyhow. You're there, obviously, and (unless you're stupid or desperate) you're not alone, sure. And there might be the odd encounter, friendly or not, with another crew up from a holding ... there's even the odd exile, or crazy man, alone in the ruins. But the fact of the matter is that you and your crew might be the only people you see for hours and hours, from the time you go up 'til the time you come back down.
  • Amusingly enough, the Psychic Maelstrom in the AW game I am currently running is also based around radio -- at least for one of the PCs -- and static. Is the idea that this is how the Maelstrom will be for everyone? The game defaults to having the MC ask questions about what each character experiences when they Open Their Brain, which in theory allows for any number of very idiosyncratic perspectives on the Maelstrom -- regardless of what it 'really is' underneath.
  • I will do that. Here, I've written some material to kind of provide general imagery ... it's not necessarily intended to be complete or even totally true. You might note that entire chunks, here and there, and practically cut-and-paste from the game text, or from Hatchet City. Just color. Since we're not actually sitting around a table chatting and getting on the same wavelength, I figured I'd throw some stuff out early so that there's some kind of touchpoint.
  • Makes sense. I dig the mostly-underground thing, especially the crowded claustrophobic elements, but definitely agree that we will find reasons to go 'out' -- exploring, scavenging, private rendezvous, whatever. Maybe there are other aboveground holdings (semi-mythological or practical trading partners) or the like.
  • I like the mostly-underground thing too.

    I wonder about food. Do we eat mainly mushrooms that grow between the rusted tracks in the dark tunnels, with an occasional rat for flavor? Send scavengers out to find lumpy and bulbous plants, some of them poisonous, all of them fibrous and chewy, none of them recognizable? In a pinch -- when the storms are raging outside, and the last crew to go foraging didn't come back, maybe there's a nest of inch-long ants that we raid for the crunch and the protein. Maybe the most valuable possessions in the holding are a few surviving chickens -- or what we think chickens were, based on oral history of the Golden Age -- and it's a great honor to be served eggs, whatever they are, and people are wondering what the 'bacon' of legend really was.
  • edited August 2010
    See a few posts up, where it says nothing but "The Farm"? That's all I got.

    Since nobody's even so much as mentioned being interested in the hardholder, I've been sort of tossing around the idea that this isn't much of a holding at all ... it's more, the real holdings like to keep their doors closed to outsiders, so there's this place somewhere central and connected to underground routes, like a big sewer sluiceway or the city's equivalent to Grand Central Station. And that's where people go to trade.

    Instead of a single holder or warlord, there are a bunch of relatively fractious gang bosses and tradesmen, each staking out patches and holding down their little forts. Gams, who Proper owes for his establishment, would be one such personage. The people who live around here long-term would be folks who are making big jingle out of the trade, people who hope to find opportunities, and people who just aren't welcome elsewhere.

    They produce virtually nothing, instead getting by on the thin profits to be made by buying and selling, and through services directed at visitors from the more coherent holds. Basically: merchants, entertainers, prostitutes, and beggars. Plus gangs who base themselves out of the markets, returning home after a raid replete with loot and ready to squander it. And the occasional cult.

    I like the ants. There will be ants.
  • I meant to post this earlier, but I really like the idea that we're in a kind of leftovers/outsiders/holding tank sort of area that is not particularly a hold. There's Proper's place and maybe a market (but hardly THE market, except maybe for really sketchy shit) and definitely a lot of people, but these are mostly people who can't or won't join up with some of the more well-known communities/holdings in the area.
  • edited August 2010
    I think also a lot of people who are just visiting, moving through. Like it's not really a hold, but it is inhabited, so it's just stable enough that it can act as neutral ground? So there could actually be a significant transient market, but mostly of people from other holds doing trades with each other ... a profitable line of business, but difficult for the locals to get in on.

    I also kind of like the idea that it's: none of the PCs are in charge, so nobody's in charge. If decide you want to be in charge at some point (and make the place into a real hold), that's something you could work toward.

    And then, of course, there's probably NPCs who want to take over, but that's pretty much a given.
  • I'm not a big fan of the 'neutral ground market' RPG/fantasy genre cliche. Not that there can't be some of that, but I'd rather it not be like this assumed thing. Side deals, maybe, or meetings between mid-hierarchy types, but I think if two hardholders wanted to deal on neutral ground they would pick a giant field that everyone on both sides can put snipers around, not a crowded transient marketplace.
  • Not really thinking about hardholders - not even 'meetings between mid-hierarchy types'. Just people. I'm talking about the marketplace's normal off-and-on business, not about authorities ... what? Using the transient marketplace as neutral ground for deal-cutting? I'm not clear on what you're picturing there.

    My thought process:

    You don't necessarily want to invite other people into your home in an Apocalypse World, right? But you still might find yourself needing something that might not be at home. That gang of gun-toting scavengers with the milk crate full of spark plugs might be people your hardholder wants to keep at arm's length from his holding, but if you want your sparkplugs you still have to meet them someplace.

    And a known location central to a few different area holds is a little safer than just making exchanges in some quiet spot in the ruins, particularly if the people you're dealing with aren't all that trustworthy.

    Once people started making a habit of using this one place for that kind of thing, maybe you get a few actual merchants: they'll buy the plugs from the scavengers and sell them back to you. They might even hire on gangs of toughs to make sure everything stays civil. Even better for you ... it might cost you more, on average, but you're less likely to get murdered for your boots, too.

    The merchants don't run the place, but their gangs' presences keep it marginally safer than just being out in the ruins. And the community, such as it is, aggregates around that.
  • edited August 2010
    Yeah, I don't see this as neutral ground, enforced by a council of warlords or something - I think this is just territory that isn't interesting enough for anyone to try to seize and hold, but it's geographically convenient and there's space for a market, and there's a good nightclub, and for people who don't need or want to live under a hardholder's thumb, it's just the ticket.

    Maybe it's just too porous to be held without a lot of work. Too many tunnels, too many underground warrens that someone could use to sneak in. Maybe someone tried to carve out a holding and was unsuccessful, and it's just a trade center because it's halfway between two random places that someone might want to be.

    And maybe Proper's nightclub is one of the linchpins holding it all together - because it's here, it's a convenient place to meet, and the turnip gin isn't so bad, and occasionally there's a good act.
  • Okay, yeah, I just jumped to conclusions -- if it's neutral in the sense of simply 'not being controlled by anyone or all that important,' that makes fine sense to me.
  • We're not really going to be able to sit around a table and collectively draw a map of this place, on account of having no table. But I can draw a map and upload it, keeping it updated as we play ... what should be on it? What is here?
  • We need a few subway stations and underground structures, and maybe a building basement that's connected to them with a private rail spur.

    We need a source of water - maybe an artesian well somewhere? We need a place for sewage and garbage to go, away from the water. (If we mix them, we're all likely to die of cholera. Maybe we do mix them, and it's just that some of us have hardier immune systems.)

    We need to know where Proper's nightclub is. Maybe it's in one of these mezzanines like the Westlake station in Seattle or the underground plaza part of Grand Central or Penn station. Maybe it's in a junction tunnel, or a train station with a couple of platforms.

    Which tunnel or station has the giant ant colony in it? (Or do we know?)

    What's immediately outside? If we're under a city, there must be building ruins up there. Which exit is closest to the Farm? Where are the nearby holdings, and how far away are they?

    What do we do with our dead people? Do we have a cemetery, or do we go outside for a funeral pyre in between black-rain storms?

    Are there tunnels or stations that we don't use for some reason? Unsafe roof, cave-ins, icky standing water?
  • I think a general idea of how far we can travel underground -- and how much of that is considered 'safe' -- is the main thing. Are there holdings that we can reach without going up to the surface? Are there other important places we can't get to without overland travel? Collapsed tunnels are good too, and otherwise blocked-off areas.
  • All that follows is likely to be pretty disjointed. I'm just going to start typing and see what comes up:

    I'm thinking the core of this place is a big, multi-platform interchange subway station. I'm inclined to avoid naming the city we're in, but for this purpose I'm thinking of one or two stations in Chicago, as well as the Times Square area in NYC (where you have subways operating on five or six different levels, with a few tightly clustered stations).

    Not all of the subway tunnels are safe, but the construction was good and the Apocalypse didn't seem to involve much in the way of seismic disturbance, for all the damage it did on the surface. Tunnels run off in all directions, a few of them serving as convenient routes to more defensible holds. Of course, this is also part of why the place can't be held as a serious defensible location: too many angles of approach.

    No doubt the tunnel system is fractured, though. You're at a hub, so you can get certain places without going aboveground, but if a tunnel's broken somewhere further out along its length there's probably no real alternate route - subways don't usually work that way. Maybe you can switch to the storm sewers for an alternative, but maybe there are reasons that's dangerous.

    Call it maybe three main platforms, perhaps with another couple of smaller platforms that weren't part of normal use back in the day ... a maintenance stop, say, or a much deeper platform that was abandoned at some point, or only used for special trains. They're not necessarily just stacked, since there could be a side spur or a couple of separate stations linked by a pedestrian tunnel. Each platform should have it's own character.

    The top platform ought to have a mezzanine type of thing, like mentioned above, inside of what once would've been ticket control. Might've been a bar there, a record store, drug store, that kind of thing. Mostly small places, but maybe there was a larger bar or something that goes further back and is now a key location. Proper's place?

    The top platform's feel is that it's more open to the city and surface, connected to other nearby places. Was this a big, Grand Central-style location, and the underground plaza/shopping level is still intact? Is it like that, but the actual building is still at least partially intact? Maybe the building is damaged enough that there's no safe way to actually get out that way, so you have to take tunnels off toward nearby locations to actually reach the surface, making the surface connections a little more labyrinthine.

    I'm feeling like a tunnel to an underground food court a half-block or so away, maybe beneath an Amtrack station or something along those lines. Mostly ruined, but a couple of the big train sheds are still standing.

    There's probably no 'market', as such. I reckon that the handful of real merchants who've put down roots here have each taken their gangs and staked out a certain patch of territory, and they compete fiercely. So, like, Gams' territory is the old food court or the government center basement, and if you want to deal with her you have to go there.

    Smaller traders and service providers find corners to stake out, be it something like the little former drug store on the mezzanine or just a tarp spread out on one of the platforms. Depends on what they can swing.

    Maybe the local transit authority had key offices here, so one of the platforms has a couple of doors still marked 'Authorized Personnel Only' that lead into a block of basement offices. Some kind of collapsed government building above, but this level is still pretty solid, except for the odd crack in the concrete where black-ish water is leaking down and staining the walls. Really interesting mold.

    One of the platforms should be 'the worst platform'. Infestation of inch-long stinging ants? Storm sewers broke through a wall somewhere, and now that set of tracks is almost always running with a foot or so of tainted water? Fungal formations that, while apparently edible, put out spores that start some kind of specific black lung-style coughing sickness? A little of this, a little of that?

    Someone had to have dug a well. Is it open to all? Or do you have to pay tax to use it, or settle for tainted water? If the later, who has it? It's been about fifty years since the apocalypse (though maybe not that long since people starting living here, specifically), so I imagine that some basic sanitation is in place. Still, there is no formal authorities here, so it's possible that not everyone follows the rules in that regard. Do those people get run out on the rails, then?

    A side spur of track a little ways down one of the tunnels from the main station goes off into a maintenance station with few connections to the rest of the hold. You can walk the track, and there might be a way over there through the transit authority offices, but it's pretty private. Who's taken that area over? An insular cult?

    I'm vaguely feeling out the idea that maybe one of the few big merchants has a particularly large and well-armed gang (or maybe it's not a merchant's gang, but instead a group of raiders that bases out of this place), and they might be set up back there in the maintenance station with a private armory and all. Nerve-wracking experience if you find yourself having to go out there to have words with them. And a tough nut to crack if you decide they need to be cleared out of the hold.

    Light? No PCs is particularly tech savvy, so maybe there's a slightly-crazy pseudo-savvyhead guy who lives here, maintaining the generators the station and a couple of the surrounding buildings had for emergencies. Tangles of wire taped and epoxied up along the tops of walls everywhere, makeshift and repaired lights stuck up here and there. He's always wandering around working on the wires, putting up lights, speakers, odd little transformers ... nobody questions, since he keeps the place lit somehow. What does he do for generator fuel? Do you know, and it's a concern for everyone? Do you not know, and it's a concern for everyone who pauses to think about that?

    Well, that's getting pretty long. Good place to stop.
  • I think maybe there's, say, two holds straightforwardly accessible from here? Could be more, but two or three feels about right, with any others requiring more work to get to. What are they like? How much do we want to establish about them at this point, in any case? Of course, there should probably be at least some place important that can't be easily reached.

    The Farm? What's that? An honest-to-god farm, outside of town or set up in some big city park, where they've somehow leeched the poisons out of the soil? Carefully constructed greenhouses spread out over several blocks of mostly-intact rooftops somewhere in the city? A delicate hydroponics/sunlamp arrangement filling a few miles of subway tunnel in the dark beneath the city?
  • The storm sewers are dangerous because you never know when there's going to be a sudden storm. There are probably a couple staircases that turn into waterfalls when there's a sudden downpour, and the storm sewers are ten times worse. You don't want to be outside in that black, sticky rain, so you really don't want to be in the storm sewer when it's draining.

    I like the idea of a big ruined building, offering partial shelter, but treacherous to get in and out of. Maybe the last thug who tried to claim this place as a holding built deathtraps in, because he knew he could get in and out through tunnels, and took the memory of all of them with him. Maybe the building was treacherous enough before he got to it, and he just made it worse.

    Have people built any kinds of shelters for privacy and security on the platforms, or do they just find a place to curl up when it's time to sleep?

    I like the idea of an honest-to-God farm, but that's uncomfortably like a tidy status quo. I like the idea of greenhouses. I like the idea of a hydroponics/sunlamp arrangement, especially if it depends on the crazy savvyhead.

    Frost is new here, and unless the nearby holds are well hidden, he probably came here via one of them. I don't know that that means it needs to be all that detailed, but we should at least agree on a couple broad strokes.
  • edited August 2010
    Have people built any kinds of shelters for privacy and security on the platforms, or do they just find a place to curl up when it's time to sleep?
    Maybe both. I do kind of picture an underground shantytown, but people don't have to worry about weather, at least. Maybe you have to buy materials to buy stuff off the scrap salvagers (or work up the nerve to duck outside and dig around a bit for yourself), so the newest people really do just find a corner to sleep in. If you don't look like you have anything anyone wants, they might leave you alone for a while.

    Probably the layout has mutated over the years. Some folks might actually have built up walls of cinderblock and rebar around their patches, and others might've broken through walls.

    Want to say where Frost came from last?
  • Maybe 10 or 12 miles, roughly northwest, along one of those great highways that the ancients loved to build, there's a holding, Kreider's Town. Used to be some kind of a marketplace or bazaar, very luxe, lots of glass and windows over avenues, very defensible, surrounded by well-cleared flat areas with no trees. Well, lots of glass and windows when it was built - half of the window panes have been broken and are covered with whatever the locals can scrounge up. Fortunately it's a big building, and there are lots of rooms without any windows. They've got a well somehow, and they've turned one of the wide arcades into a greenhouse, and maintained the glass in the roof there the best they could, scavenging from other parts of the building as necessary. You still don't want to go outside if you can avoid it, but as long as you stay inside, you can pretend that it's not such a hostile world out there.

    Frost thought he might settle down there. Plenty of space, real vegetables, a couple decent musicians, a big open space surrounded by plants with actual sunlight in it. Only thing is, it was run by a guy named Kreider and his pet mindfucker Smith, or more likely Smith and his pet Kreider, and it didn't take long for them to notice Frost. And, well, some of those mindfuckers, what they can't control, they want to destroy, and Frost didn't like either of those choices.
  • Mike said post on "Where" - so it's in the mezzanine. It's open enough to make it hard to defend (ie, if Proper wants to get violent with Gams about his debt - her influence probably does the heavy lifting so far as keeping rival gangs out of it), but having three walls of uncrossable junk / earth defines it as an area distinct from the cinderblock hovels and open sleeping which fills the mezzanine.

    There are probably two entrances to Proper's Vox Populi. The first and most obvious is the public entrance, the Door. It enters the joint from the mezzanine. VP itself was probably an Applebee's or anchor pub to a food court.

    The other entrance would have been an emergency kitchen exit, but it just opens out over a deep hole now. Proper's got chicken wire or chain link over the opening itself, and he keeps a few tables stacked in front of it. Woland doesn't favor the area.

    What were the manager's offices are on a second level directly above the Bar, and Proper's carved them into a bedroom (his) and a common room (a few employees on cots, bunks, hammocks). It's close quarters, but them's the breaks.

    The joint itself, when entered from the Door spills into an open area of cushioned benches along the walls (also occupied by sleeping staffers in the early hours) with defunct restrooms on either side. A few paces in is the L shaped bar, with the short arm facing someone entering the bar. The long arm faces the stage area -there're booths along the wall, and tables set on the floor with chairs (ok, more crates than chairs on the floor, but the booths are cusioned).

    The women's rest room is to an entering person's left - it also shared a wall with the stage at one point, but now it serves as a dressing/ backstage area. On the opposite side of the entry area is the men's room, where Proper keeps a few trash barrels full of rocks, sand, charcoal for filtering water.
  • Frost has found an out-of-the-way nook in the mezzanine where two walls intersect at an odd angle, where he can put the things that really matter to him and which might have value to others (his guitar and his jacket, basically) on the other side of him as he sleeps. This is about the most security he has; he carries his belongings with him when he's awake. But he's only been here a few days - as soon as he has a better sense of the land, he figures he'll work his way into a more permanent lodging or find someone who needs a kept man until he can get himself established.
  • edited August 2010
    The maestro d' has tons of NPCs associated with him - cast, crew, regulars, and interested parties, for something like between 10 and 20 named NPCs. Most of them have only been detailed in whispers, though, early on, so let's repost a bit (you may want to reconcile details about Lits):


    • Lamprey *fav* - he's like a DVR system. I let him sleep behind the aux bar. I think he actually put a couple of bucks toward his tab like, a month ago. He gets real anxious if he has to leave my joint for more than a couple of hours. Suits me fine.

    • Ba - She's ok. I like the time she decided that she'd fuck any guy in the place but me and spent an hour chatting up an old manniquin that Toyota was trying to sell me. I shouldda told him no.

    • Camo *worst* - This dude is fried. I respect that he was in the service and all, but that doesn't entitle him to free booze for the rest of his life. He tries to mark up Ba again, I think that Pavlov is gonna quick working on that trapeeze long enough to string Camo up in it.

    • Toyota - Poor kid scrounges up the most broken-assed gear I've ever seen. He can hustle pretty good for being in a wheel-chair, though.

    • Lits - She sticks to Toyota like she loves him. Probably does, because he stopped smelling like his own shit after she showed up last monsoon season. She only talked long enough to get the nick-name. Not a lot of people can do soft-palate reconstruction these days.

    Interested Parties

    • Been - I don't know what he's on about. I bet he knows Imam, that hocus from over by the tanning pits. Don't want him around.

    • Rolfball - He's a cocksucker thinks that drinking a gallon of corn-oil is a talent. Fuck him, I don't want to be partnered with that crap-bagger. He wants my torch singer to put snakes in her pussy. Fuck that.

    • Gams - I'm buying the place from her. So, I owe her a lot of money. I pay weekly to keep from adding to my scars. She brought my mother into the world and pretty regularly threatens to take me out of it. Turnip Gin and cash keep her at bay.
  • I could see using the word mezzanine, since there could be signs still around. The mean, though, would probably be vague ... there's a sign bolted to the ceiling near what used to be the entrance. It reads 'MEZZANINE' and has an arrow, pointing in the direction of most of the rest of the station.

    Speaking of signs, do we have a name for this place? The walls might well be stenciled with faded station signage.

    Union Station?

    Partial map of the mezzanine level, showing the tracks and the mezzanine. It's work in progress, and it hasn't been web-optimized at all (which is why I'm linking you to it instead of embedding it).

    I'm imagining Vox Populi to be in the penciled area in the lower left, along with one or two smaller establishments.
  • Oh, looks like I got Lits and Toyota mixed up in my post elsewhere. I mostly just wanted to nod towards existing NPCs rather than creating a new one for every made-up situation -- so it could really be any of Proper's regulars.
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