16 August 2013

No good deed goes unpunished.

I recently mentioned how I had started an Open RPG Night in my city and that each week a random assortment of gamers assemble to play an arbitrarily chosen game. Last week that game was Dungeon World and this week a group of (mostly) different people chose to play Apocalypse World.

This time around I wasn't in the GM's seat and I got to flex my player muscles for the first time in, oh, about six months. And boy did I ever flex those muscles. In less than ten minutes I had put together a chopper named Domino, a man that was best described as a greasy, overweight "leatherdaddy". What can I say? There's just something about Apocalypse World that makes me want to play a sadistic gang leader.

While I was busy bringing Domino to life, the GM had whipped up a zombie apocalypse scenario and the other two players had finished making their Battlebabe (Jayed) and Brainer (Sin). The other two players didn't have a clue how nasty a character Domino would turn out to be. For that matter, neither did I.

Domino and Jayed got off to a bad start before the game even began, with Jayed ending up with some Hx (history) with Domino that had placed them at odds in the past. Domino has a good memory and like any gang leader, he holds grudges. Jayed, on the other hand, was a wasteland hero. You know, the kind of guy that helps people out and has the everyone's best interests in mind. The kind of guy whose naivety gets someone killed. Sin, well what can you say about a Brainer? Domino and Jayed knew nothing about him and he knew everything about us.

Things started rolling with Jayed returning to town after having found a farm, a farm riddled with undead. Where there is a farm there is a food and Sunset Mall, our little community, was desperately in need of food. So where does Jayed turn to get the firepower he needs to clear out those zombies? None other than yours truly, violent gang leader and all around bastard. Domino bargained hard, but Jayed was eventually able to convince him to lend his muscle to cleaning out the farm for a sizable portion of the food. Domino fully intended to keep the farm for himself once he and his gang had occupied it, but Jayed didn't need to know that.

Come the next day things got bloody. Domino had a hard time convincing his gang to travel to the farm and leave their motorcycles behind while they moved through rough terrain. He had to crack a few heads and even kill one rebellious upstart before the gang started moving. From there it went smoothly until the gang got to the farm and Jayed decided he knew better than Domino and started issuing orders to the gang. Domino told him to piss off and Jayed ran off to help Sin.

Sin's story was happening alongside everything else. He was nearly always there, hidden and watching and someone had hired him to dive into a specific zombie's brain to find out the location of their child. That zombie was on the farm and when Jayed found him he was grappling with that zombie and about to go down. Ever the hero, Jayed jumped into save his life. Unfortunately there were too many zombies for the two of them to fight and Jayed had to call for backup. Domino heard the call, walked in, blew the zombies apart with his shotgun and walked away to continue overseeing the destruction.

Once the zombies had been cleared out the gang grabbed what food they could and wanted to head back to Sunset Mall. The farm was away from any roads and the gang wanted no part in actually controlling the farm so Domino was willing to let the farm go. Jayed challenged his leadership a few more times, demanding that they leave guards and build defenses. Neither was done and instead Domino started plotting on what to do with Jayed, who had challenged his authority one too many times.

That night Domino visited Sin and convinced him to use his Brainer powers to walk Jayed right into a trap. Sin agreed, perhaps too eagerly, and a deal was struck. The following morning Jayed was captured and beaten within an inch of his life. He put up a good fight, but on one man is no match for fifteen no matter how tough he is. The game ended with Domino dumping Jayed on the outskirts of Sunset Mall and telling him never to return.


  • I was worried that playing an aggressive character like Domino could ruin the night; however, the group I played with made it work and there were no hurt feelings. I think it helped that I didn't push the inter-character conflict until the end of the session so that it didn't distract from the other events.
  • Apocalypse World was a hit with the two players that had never tried anything beyond D&D. This doesn't surprise me, but it is always nice to see players open up to something unfamiliar.
  • Everyone wanted to play AW again and with the same characters. Jayed's player wanted an opportunity to get  his revenge, so I think we will run AW again in the near future with myself as GM and Domino as an NPC villain.


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