[AW] In Which a Party Breaks Out

edited August 2010 in In-Game
Ok, so.

Proper, things aren't so great. Too much cash and jingle's gotten away from you this week, and you're not going to be able to make Gams the usual payment. Not your fault, really ... you've been focusing on hiring some new acts with these open mic nights, so you haven't been able to put on any big show night to rake in some extra rich, like you'd usually want to do.

Still, it wasn't nothing you'd necessarily worry about, except for that you had to go to Rolfball four, five nights ago to get Yip-Yip's foot stitched up. She slipped during practice which, normally, not such a big deal, since the wire was only a few feet off the ground, but she landed on a bottle some jackass'd left on the edge of the stage. Baker says Bix, but Bix denies it and who knows?

Rolfball's getting old and don't like being woken up, and he's been charging you a little extra when he thinks he can get away with it, but who else around here can you trust to know how to clean up a tightroper's foot? So that eats into your margin, and then someone throws shit, literal shit into your water filters? You've got fifteen, twenty people to watch for, a lot of them basically athletes, and you can't afford to be paying well tax to keep them in water.

You've got Cindy on trying to clean out the set-up, but you still don't know who's responsible.

So, no scratch for Gams, or not enough. You can take her some gin out of your supply, you know she likes that, but you're figuring numbers in your head and, yeah, that'll more or less clear you out. You'll have to go down and barter for some of that vodka they distill at the end of the platform downstairs, just to keep the drinks flowing until you can resupply on Madame Blavatski's. Where do you get that stuff, anyhow?

But the vodka's going to be out of pocket ... Vox Populi can't afford another hit to the coffers. So 1-barter, which leaves you broke, which means you can't be sure you'll be able to pull off that show night you were planning in a few days. That kind of thing needs some up-front jingle, just to kick off.

Unless you want to try and convince someone to spot you the booze? You have fingers in a few pies, so it may be that there's someone out there who would float you something potable on reputation alone.


  • Actual shit. The flinger, if I find out who it is, will probably go out my Back Door. Or get to cuddle with Woland.

    I'll stick in my thumb and see if there's a plumb under the pastry.

    Right now, I'm buying Blavatski's by the barrel (equiv to 150ish .75L / 'fifth' bottles - or 26 cases of bottles) which should be lasting at least 3 weeks, unless business is picking up. I get it pretty regular from a group of scavs or raiders -usually picking it up myself with Cherry and Woland, but they've been making me nervous lately. I wanna try a different avenue if I can.

    Do I flesh out what I'd _like_ (ie, NPC name and some circumstances) and roll to see how good my Fingers attempt goes?
  • You'll need to put the word out and see what comes. Roll +hot as that comes together. Brink knows who to talk to, and you could speed things along by talking to someone who might know how to spread the word for a friend. Horse is here tonight, so there's that. Under other circumstances, Gams would know people, but you might find it wise to let her sit for a bit.

    Where are you while you're stewing on this stuff, Proper? Up in your office? Down on the floor, behind the bar? Brink's hot about that new face on the platform. You know the one: Frost. But he's coming on last, and that's it for fresh blood tonight, so you could probably get away with showing up later in the night.

    Horse, your girls are flush tonight, and they're handling that as they usually do ... by sharing a cut with you, then blowing half of the rest on an epic party. ( I'm curious. Where did all this jingle come from, anyway? Your girls must have some income beyond what you pull down as an information broker. ) And where else to celebrate the moment than at Vox Populi?

    People know where to go when Horse's ladies are throwing around jingle, so the place is booming, the party spilling out onto the mez (largely to do with how Lala and Shan keep ordering up rounds of drinks to be sent out to the proles that Cherry bounced). A storm just broke up top you understand, so a good chunk of the crowd is composed of scavengers come to wait out the rain, the smell of chemical showers covered up by the incense Proper keeps burning these kinds of nights.

    Who's idea is this? Your girls would be partying anyway, you figure, but are you stoking it up, or are you just along for the ride and letting your girls run the show tonight?

    You're holding court from one of Proper's booths, and the noise is like a solid wall out beyond the shadowy, cushioned depths of the booth. Twice is with you and making sure your needs are met, mainly by harassing Baker about your drinks and trying to feed you this bowl of Cheetos she bought off some scavenger on the way up here. You see a lot of Li, too, since she keeps coming back to you out of the crowd, looking for jingle to pay her drinks. She's just as rich as the others, you know, but she has a hording reflex you've never broken her of ... when you found her, she was nine-tenths dead of starvation, and that stuck to her hard.

    The others, though, you're only partly keeping track of. The noise, the crowd, and the shadows make it hard to watch the club, and the girls are out there acting like queens and enjoying the freedom of more-money-than-they-need-right-now. You catch sight of them often enough in twos and threes, dancing with one another to some snatch of circus music, or teasing the locals, or alternately cheering and heckling the acts as they cross the stage.

    Frost, you're 'backstage', such as it is: an old restroom, with the walls knocked out of all but the last of the stalls. The toilets are dry, with mismatched seating bolted down to them to make seats. In between peeks at the crowd, you're sitting on the cracked pleather of an ancient car seat (just the seat, no back), maybe checking the tuning on your guitar?

    You've been able to spend most the evening to this point out in the crowd, though maybe you're not as mobilely mingling as you'd like, assuming you want to keep your guitar with you. You've met some of Horse's girls by now, certainly ... Twice hasn't left the big man's side long enough for you to run into her, but most of the others haven't been able to resist checking out the new pretty. Do you know who Horse is, yet?

    Either way, his ladies sure know how to throw a party, and they show plenty of interest. Even odds you might be able to make a little on the side later tonight, if they keep throwing around the jingle like they are. To be sure, they're flirting with most the scene, with little regard to age, gender, or extraction, but you're confident you have more going for you than the vast majority.

    The acts have varied mostly between mediocre and 'interesting', with open mic participants interspersing in with what you take to be the establishment's usual performers. The tightrope act is shaky, you think ... there's a couple of good performers, but they don't have it together tonight. The show's headed up by this girl, Puck: she's nothing if not a prima donna, and there doesn't seem to be anyone on stage who can reign her in. So the rhythm's off, and it looks like the act might be down a performer, anyway.

    There's this projectile vomiting act that comes up after the concertina, and that's special in it's very own way. Horse's girls cheer the man on (is Barf his name? or just encouragement?) more than anyone, but you figure that has to be just perverse delight.

    There are higher notes, but you figure you won't have much trouble topping the show so far. The noise is going to be a problem, though, since the party has been cranked up so far that at this point the stage acts are little more than background color. You'll need to make sure to get everyone's attention, if you're looking for serious employment.

    But yeah, right now you're in the ladies room peeking at the crowd while a clown and a man in a bear costume lean against the sinks sharing a spliff (they offer to share). A moderately lethal-looking knife act is winding up on the stage, largely ignored by the carousing mob. You don't see Proper's whites, but you're not sure if that's because he's not there, or if he's just lost somewhere on the other side of the dense crowd.

    You're getting a weird vibe, though, like note of tension just entered the room. Horse, you get that too, and you realize you're not exactly sure where all of your girls are. You've got Twice and Li right here, and there's Jeanette and Shan together at the bar, but that's only four. Not unusual for a night like this, but there's that feeling ... is something wrong?

    I think the situation might be charged. Anyone want to read a sitch?

    Anyhow, Proper. You think you can make your thing work. You haven't missed a payment yet, and it's not like you don't have most the pay scratched together. Well, a good cut of it, at any rate. If you get off your ass and take a couple bottles of turnip gin over to Gams tonight (as a taste of a full delivery tomorrow), you think you can talk her around to letting you slide a bit, while keeping her in good humor about it.

    It's going to require face time, though, and you can't put it off any longer - tomorrow will be too late (you know her moods pretty well), and she going to be closing her doors pretty soon here. You'll have to leave Vox for a bit, simple as that. The crowd's thicker than usual, and maybe a little rowdier too, but Brink and Cherry can probably keep a lid on things until you get back. It'll only be, what? An hour or so?
  • edited August 2010
    The playbook says the followers have jobs among the local population. Horse told the ladies when they rolled into town that they'd need some jingle to cover expenses, and he mostly doesn't care where it comes from unless aggro comes with it. They are supposed to obtain his approval before fucking anybody else (he requires theirs as well) and he's encouraged them not to whore themselves out just to get by, but if somebody they want to make time with anyway is willing to spend for it, more wine for everyone. Horse finds the cheetos to be delightfully decadent, as I'm presuming they're rare. He's stoking the party, since he loves a good surplus, but not particularly trying to run the show. It's no secret he is flush at the moment, so he could be helpful to Proper if the other pie-fingers come back empty, assuming a suitable arrangement could be reached. He's excited about the new act that's supposed to cap off the show. He's been around enough parties to pick up something of their moods, so to make sure this one isn't going sour, he'll try to Read the Sitch, with his +1 Sharp. Do I mark experience for that, or only if he makes the roll?
    Did it wrong. Let's try this:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • Looks like I get one question, so I'll go with:
    What should I be on the lookout for?
    Since it seems to be the most applicable one.
  • Frost gladly accepts a drag on the spliff. He might be working with the clown and the bear, so might as well start making friends now. He's spent the evening trying to figure out who he needs to impress, either to get a job with Proper, or to find someone with enough coin to pay for private entertainment.

    He picks up the guitar, strums a few chords, checking the tuning one last time, then walks over to the door. As he takes a look out from backstage, he's trying to read the situation - but he's more interested in figuring out how to impress the crowd, who he needs to impress most, that sort of thing. Unless he's in physical danger himself, he doesn't really care about the prospect of violence breaking out.

    So, reading a situation: #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • It seems the spliff was much stronger than Frost realized, or perhaps adulterated with something more interesting.
  • edited August 2010
    Horse, you're seeing some gang colors you wouldn't normally expect - armbands and headbands made of torn strips of red-and-white stripe cloth. That's Partridge's gang, and they don't normally hang out around here ... some of the smaller groups of raiders hunker down in the mez when they're in from 'work', but Partridge has a big, well-organized outfit with its own boltholes.

    From the looks of their gear, they might be a scouting party. Must've been the storm that drove them in here. If they got caught out away from home there aren't that many other places that'd tolerate their kind, and Vox Populi and the mez would be better than crouching in some sewer until the black rain blows over.

    Problem is, from what you've seen the few times they've wandered through here, they're a bunch of fucking jackals. Back wherever Partridge's base is (you've heard somewhere up in the north loop), they get to live like kings, and they don't seem to lose that swagger when they get away from home. You can see a couple of them right now - one of them you've seen once before, name of Grome, but the other you don't know. They're practically going out of their way to piss off anyone else who stands out in the crowd, which is kinda ... well, most folks who live here are used to this treatment. They just reflexively hunch down a bit and back down, all beta male.

    Your girls, though, they stand out more than anyone, and you know they don't like playing the victim - not anymore, they don't. Watch for that. If a couple of them get into a confrontation with Partridge's boys, they might well escalate instead of backing down.

    Take +1 when acting on that, and yeah, mark experience (you do that whenever you roll, succeed or fail).

    You still can't see three of your girls ... they're probably together, since they usually run in clusters, but they're lost in the crowd somewhere.
  • edited August 2010
    The clown definitely did roll up more than weed in his papers, Frost ... you feel your heartbeat pick up and your tongue go pleasantly numb. Coca's popular around here, so maybe that. (By the way: introductions. The clown is Bix and the bear is Larc.) Could be that's why you overlooked Partridge's scouts, or maybe you just didn't think anything of the sight. You're from up northwest, at last port, and Partridge's red-and-white is more common up that way.

    So you're just standing there in the doorway being pretty (you can hardly help it), when one of Horse's ladies steps out of the crowd. You're retrieving her name (Lala, it was - she bought you a couple of drinks, earlier), when she snatches your arm and whirls you into the crush of the crowd. There's a sort of a sharp-toothed grin on her face as she does so, which she schools into something more sedate as she pulls you to a stop over near the aux bar.

    You instantly realize you've stepped in on the middle of something. Two more of Horse's girls are there, whom you remember as Sun and Ricarra, as well as two men whom you vaguely recognize. The one is Rum, one of Partridge's lieutenants. He's a scout, and you move around a bit yourself, so you've passingly encountered him before. Rum's tattered and bony, the left side of his face pocked with shrapnel scars, and his sidekick - Norell? Norwell? - is a slab of meat, eying the girls with a hunger.

    The men are working up a head of rage, it's obvious to you, and while the ladies don't act like they notice (it's all smiles and flirting there), they have a sharp glitter in their eyes that belies their innocence. The crowd around you, too, is a touch quieter and a touch looser. Sun greets you like she'd been waiting for you, and Lala introduces you to Rum and Norvell, while Ricarra shows solidarity by draping an arm over your shoulder and leaning into you with familiarity that you would have no reason to expect.

    She informs the men: "Frost is going to be performing for us later, you know. Aren't you, honey?"

    Technically, yes, in just a few minutes, though the inflection she put on that suggests she might have more in mind. Rum's scars stand out white as his face goes a shade darker. How long have the girls been fucking with these two?

    What do you do?
  • Proper stands up from behind his desk on the second floor and socks his fist against the wall.

    Dammit. There's a very thin bag of jingle for to pay Gams. The party below seems like it's rocking, but an accounting won't happen till the rat-crowd drops. All his people are slinging drinks and trying to stay atop the wave.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 ) to read the stitch. Knowing he'll have to fill a couple bottles to take to Gams, but needing to know what's up in his joint before he goes. Proper goes to the window overlooking the floor below.
  • Horse is tense. He'll fight if he has to, but he'd rather do it together, and those missing 3 are worrying him. He'd like to Open his Mind to the Maelstrom. Is this acting on the situation as read, or does that imply more direct action?
  • Frost smiles broadly at Rum and Norvell, and offers each of them a handshake, pulling away from Ricarra to do so. He wobbles a little as he does so, hinting at being a lot more impaired than he actually is. "I think we ran into each other a couple of times in Kreider's Town, yeah? Anyway, yeah, I'm supposed to be on stage in a few minutes, I'm sure you two can help take care of the ladies while I'm busy." He winks at Rum, suggesting that there's more to taking care of them than buying them drinks.

    Seduce or manipulate, targeting Rum: I'm not a threat, I'm not trying to compete, focus your lust and rage on the ladies and not on me. #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • (Actually, considering: Frost don't have much leverage here, unless Rum wants to have sex with him, which doesn't seem like it's currently the case. So it's more like he's trying to make it clear that he doesn't want to get involved here, that he'll just completely step away and not compete with Rum or Norvell. On the other hand, if there's something Rum wants from Frost, this is a perfect time for extortion.)
  • edited August 2010
    As written, you're really acting under fire, Frost. It's not the men who are keeping you here, god no ... they don't really want to see any more of you. It's the girls, Ricarra most specifically, who are amused to keep you here. Are you cool enough to slip away without making a scene? Well, as is, only kind of - it'd be a mixed hit. Want to offer sex, a threat, a promise?

    Horse, go ahead with the +1. It's a little borderline, since you're looking to expand on your information, rather than acting on what you already have, but what the hell, right? Quick question while you're doing that, though: the maelstrom. What's that like for you? How do you perceive the maelstrom?

    Proper, you poor bastard. This just isn't your night, is it? Your people have noticed what might be turning into a situation, and they're keeping an eye on it. But Brink catches a glimpse of your whites up in the window, and she's read your expression (not happy, but they don't know why) and thinks you're signaling for her to do something about it. She grabs Woland's collar, just in case, and flags Cherry, who starts making his way toward Rum and the girls.

    You spot that from above, but you can't see what's going on, exactly. Gimme a minute while I see what Frost is doing, for sure. Mark experience for using Sharp, though.
  • (Fair enough. No more posting before coffee for me.)

    So take that as acting under fire - I'll give Ricarra a chaste, almost brotherly, peck on the cheek and say, "Come find me after my set, and you can introduce me to this Horse guy you mentioned and any of the girls I haven't met yet."
  • Are we going with the idea of the maelstrom being radio-related? If so, Horse hears the "motivational" broadcasts played for the workers of his birthplace. (Anyone who's played the Fallout 3 expansions think The Pitt Broadcast, but less uplifting.) If we're not doing the radio thing, he hears the voices of people who have died in front of him. Helpful ones would be friends he lost before he left his first home, less helpful ones would be people who have crossed his group a little too far since then.

    Rolling +2 Weird, +1 for acting on the read Sitch, gives us:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
  • Also, if Shit begins to Go Down, is the crowd a mob that can be frenzied, or are they too disorganized for that?
  • edited August 2010
    Right then, you slip away pretty clean, really - the girls are all smiles and suggestive eyes - but yeah, you're totally the target of some ire. Well, Norvell looks pretty one-track, glad to see you go and returning his attention to the girls. He seems to have a particular thing for Sun, which you can understand ... she's tall and dark, coffee skin and big black eyes. Sharp eyes, too - intelligent and aggressive.

    Rum, though, his eyes are on you as you go. You're probably pretty carefully nonchalant at this point, heading back to the side of the stage (the knife act is just now taking a bow), but you can feel his gaze boring into your back. It's like that when Cherry gets up to the scene, puts his hand on Rum's bicep, and suggests strongly that Rum should take his boys and go tour the mez.

    Frost and Horse aren't really where they can see what's going on there, so it's really just you, Proper: Cherry's gone up to some scavenger or something, you assume he's looking to do his job and bounce the guy. But this guy, he fucking flips out or something, and you see him pull away from Cherry and reach into his tattered greatcoat, and fuck, Proper, he's got a gun, like a 9mm or about that.

    You're there thinking, abstractly, you'll have to have words with Cherry about letting a gun slip onto the floor, but then there's *BAM* a gunshot and Cherry's falling back into the crowd.
  • edited August 2010
    The maelstrom can be radio-related, but it can also be individualized to each of you. So ghosts, eh? Your former master ... what was his name? As the gunshot goes off and the crowd explodes into panic, he's hissing at you in a crackle of, like, static: "You're not cut out for this, boy. You let your servants run loose, you don't know how to impose order on your surroundings. Look at this! Chaos, nothing but chaos."

    And the crowd's moving away from the aux bar, where the altercation is taking place, smashing up against the stage and crowding the exits (onto the mez and into the kitchen). For a moment, the crowd slams up against the booths like a solid wall, but then, suddenly, Horse, you can see enough to make out the rest of your girls. Shan and Jeanette are already joining Baker (the bartender) behind the bar, but Sun, Ricarra, and Lala are right front and center.

    You recognize Rum, largely because your profession requires a certain facility with faces, and the voice in your ear squeals "See?!" and goes silent, and you realize that, fuck, you're not sure whose eyes you were looking through just then, but they weren't yours. You, Li, and Twice are mostly walled into your booth by the surging crowd, though you could probably put your weight to good use and shove your way through if you wanted.

    The crowd counts as a mob. I'd say that Rum's gang and Proper's people aren't part of the mob, though, since they're already acting with purpose. Remember to speak truth, if you try to inspire a frenzy. Also remember that telling people to quietly go back to their lives uses up 1 hold.

    And, right, so there you are Proper. Already the worst night in recent memory, and you haven't even left your office.

    Frost, you're just about to the stage when you hear the gunshot and the crowd slams you forward. You manage to avoid smashing yourself or your guitar against the edge of the stage, and glance over your shoulder to see Rum looking in your general direction. You meet eyes, and, yeah, it looks like he decides you're a decent target of opportunity. He brings up the gun, though there's enough people in the way that he might well just put a bullet in a bystander.

    What do y'all do?
  • edited August 2010
    (Oh, in for a penny, in for a pound. Might as well make this spectacular.)

    Frost sets his guitar onto the stage, and jumps up onto the stage with fluid grace. He turns to face the audience, slowly taking off his jacket. He's had this effect on people before, something about the tattoos, he thinks.

    (He's an arresting skinner -- exempt are Sun, Ricarra, Lala, Shan Jeanette, Baker, Cherry, Brink, Bix, Lark, Proper, Horse, Charmer, and Kite, if they're here.)

    "You know," shrugging off one sleeve, "I was supposed to go on next," shrugging off the other, "and an old teacher of mine told me that you have to get the crowd's attention first." Setting the jacket down carefully - the implication that this isn't over yet. "Otherwise," starting to pull off his T-shirt, "it doesn't matter how good you are, if the crowd can't hear you." He folds the T-shirt and sets it down next to his jacket, then stands up and stretches. There's more clothing that can come off, but he's really hoping that somebody does something about Rum and that gun pretty soon.
  • Can we comment on other players' usage of their moves? If so, awesome using of arresting skinner. If not, I didn't say that. Anyhoo, Horse would like to point out that:
    Is he acting under fire to do this? I'm assuming that since he's now acting against the advice of the maelstrom, there's no more +1 from the read sitch, but let me know if I'm wrong.
  • Also, question about acting under fire. Since a lot of things in AW seem to generalize, is a character acting under fire if they're not specifically in danger, but something or someone important to them is? A gun pointed at Sun's head isn't going to phase Horse the same as a gun pointed at his own, but it's not something he'd be super casual about either.
  • edited August 2010
    Do that under fire, Frost. With a gun pointed at you and a mob surging against the stage, it seems like it'd be tricky. More the getting clear of the crowd part than the taking off clothes part.

    I don't think you're really under fire, though, Horse. You're still in the back of a booth, nice and safe with your girls. No +1 from your read, but that's not because you're acting against the maelstrom. It's just, your read told you you should watch out for one of your girls escalating the situation. The situation has changed enough that that's no longer particularly helpful advice.

    Acting under fire kicks in whenever you're doing something that is making it difficult or complicated for you - the 'fire' is any kind of serious pressure. The gun pointed at Sun's head might qualify, but I doubt that it would always qualify. Often, the deal with that might just be: if you fuck up whatever you're doing, her brains are going to be all over the wall.
  • Okay, here's an acting under fire roll: #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • Beautifully done.
  • All right, let's see if the crowd heeds:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • Well fudge. That's trouble.
  • Beautifully done. (c:
  • Is Proper shouting distance from Cherry, Woland, Rum?

    If yes -I'm tempted to sic Woland on Rum (going Aggro? this under fire?)

    If no - I'm to the ground floor. My barrel of Blavatski's is down there anyway. Cane in hand.
  • Let me know what Horse has in terms of options. I'm guessing it's a little late to Manipulate someone, but if he can Go Aggro Under Fire to try to make his way out, that's a likely course of action if the crowd is focused on him. If their ire is directed at the court as well, he may have to stay and fight. Any bottles he can smash over people's heads for bonus harm? Can we seize consciousness by force rather than life? How about seizing an escape route?
  • Let me make my moves after Proper's, and then we'll see.

    I don't know. It's your place, Proper ... are you within shouting distance?

    You'd be seizing by force, actually, but are you quite sure? Woland isn't a particularly surgical weapon, and there are people around Rum. The crowd is giving him as much space as possible, but it's a small establishment, relative to the size of the crowd tonight. Also, three of Horse's girls are down there. You'll remember that your crew does count as a gang, though, and you can use them as a weapon when seizing by force or going aggro.
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