Red Markets: The Grapevine – Episode 3

After the last misadventure, Tiburon Unlimited decides to solidify their brand awareness by going back to their first employer, the chain-smoking food court queen with the heart of gold, Doris. The job is a proverbial needle in a haystack, and our players find more than they bargained for.

David’s DM Note: Near-future settings are wonderful playthings for the technically minded among players. 3D printed food is almost viable technology now, so what possibilities does the future hold? Can we make it work without actually slaughtering hogs? It intrigued my players enough that they took this job.

But this session’s surprise is more a question of who the villains truly are…


  1. I do have some thoughts about this one, so needless to say, SPOILERS.
    Doris actually seems to be a pretty decent sort, I kinda like how earnest she is, also loving Valerie, but of course anytime Shaun is playing, he always has a very committed character. I know a bit about Cross, but I’d love to see more RP heavy moments from the rest, to get a better sense of character (of course the vignettes are the best way to do this, so perhaps in time I’ll get a grasp on them better)

    Leg 1: The gameshow idea was fun and horrifying, it was practically its own game. Naturally the first room was rigged, so there was no win condition, which is fitting. I’m curious how many more rooms there were that could’ve released casualties, because I’m wondering what would happen if the cameras were shot. Now, for door 2, I have a mechanics question. Do you have an amputation boom rule? Standard game rule suggests that the moment it touches the bloodstream, he’s either going to turn or not, so I’m curious if you have something hashed out for amputation. We were discussing this on the forums, and the idea was that if you can do so but the timing needed is immediate. If Taker A gets bit in the arm, Taker B had to already have his melee weapon out, and within range to take the arm, right then and there. Now, my thought about this was that the patient was either not bit or immune. I think this also could’ve been averted if anyone used a blood test kit. Door 3 was handled as well as could be done, but they did leave the patient behind, which might’ve triggered Kristi’s soft spot.

    Leg 2: A nice somber cooldown from the madness before. Vicki being respectful to the scene was nice.

    The Job Site: Kristi smacking into signs got pretty funny. Now here’s where my concern comes into play. I’m kewl with the idea that the pork vats could be a possible blight origin, heck, nobody’s touched that idea in any game, and every idea is just as valid as the next, but I felt a bit frustrated for the players, (and Shaun seemed to have the same feeling), when the Moths show up and know everything about everything. Vicki didn’t even get to make a deception roll against them, they just knew, then they also already just knew what info was found. It was implied there was a Moth drone in the area, but I think when Vickie asked to copy that info, that you might’ve wanted to call for an awareness check to spot it before that idea was just ruined. I think maybe incorporating some knowledge that the Moths were already in the area might’ve helped strengthen the narrative, but Vickie needed that Deception check chance to do her thing.

    Overall another day in the life of Tiburon Unlimited. See ya next game.

    1. Creating NPCs that your players will relate to is a difficult challenge for any GM in any game. In Red Markets, making a job giver that actually feels like a genuinely good person is a real challenge; I hope Doris has that vibe.

      Game Show is the first leg that I’ve created as opposed to simply rolling the dice and pulling an encounter from the book. There’s still a few questions to work out, like “How many trivia rooms can I throw in before it becomes tedious?” and “Can they actually save the guy with the bite?” Truth is, the Host game the option of cutting off the infection because that’s what some folks in the Recession who’ve never seen a Casualty would think. The infection spreads with the bite, and once it’s in, it’s in; Cross’s actual options were 1) test blood, figure out if the guy is natural Latent, Immune, or is going to turn regardless 2) mercy kill without testing 3) Suppressin. Removing body parts to save the life was a red herring option- all it would’ve done was made the eventual Vector less limbed. Alex might’ve wanted to take the patient along, but with the dude going Latent the options for the “How?” were extremely limited.

      Yes, I do think they handled the scene well. Vicki showing respect to the scene was a bit of a surprise, because Tyrant, but overall it was a nice moment. I thought that it was a decent palette cleanser after You Really Bet Your Life.

      Kristi is going to keep smacking into signs and breaking math. At this point, she has Awareness at 3, so she *should* make most of those rolls; as long as it keeps being funny, she’s going to keep finding signs with her face.

      What I sought to do with the final encounters here were to make the DHQS feel more like beleaguered bureaucrats doing a hard job (mostly by remote) and not the “I will murder you, your friends, your family, any house pets you may have, and any gods you might worship!” DHQS we have seen in the past. To that end, the one functionary actually gave the players a chance to explain themselves and an accurate countdown until the building exploded.

      What Moth?


        And yeah its refreshing to see the DHQS as a non ‘card carrying villain’. I’m guessing you’re wanting to turn a lot of standard concepts on their head with the campaign, and I look forward to it. Heck, I was just posting on the boards the other day about the idea of having a contract turn into a score due to outside events, you had a similar idea with this contract.

        You know, it occurs to me that I don’t recall ever seeing a ‘pay per kill’ contract yet. Sure there’s scavenging, but the idea of the contract being something in the middle of scores and contracts where you only get paid per raider or vector killed, would be most interesting!

        1. A standard closure job is get paid for A kill, but I could see one for an organization.

          “All of my Fraternity, Etta Beta Pi, were out in the Loss. Only two of us made it out, so I need you to put the rest down. Three bounty for every patch like this one you bring me.”

          Then you find a wrinkle, in that the last one standing pledged in a bunch of prefrosh and turned them into raiders…

          I *did* have a few closure jobs written up, but those were some of the jobs the party never looked at. It has to be said, having three jobs per game means two never see the light of day

          1. well I meant more of ‘each V you kill gets you 3 bounty’ and you have to earn your way up the chain. So its not so much meeting with clients as it is just trying to get the kills.

            More of a score style than a job, but I could see the concept being used as a closure job.

            Anyhoo, lookin forward to the next one as always!

  2. I’m going to have avoid looking at the comments section until I’ve listened first. Good stuff but spoilers are no fun!

  3. Apologies, Aston.

    I tend to answer questions and take feedback in the comments, and the vast majority of those involve things that happened in the recording. For this campaign in general, I’ve tried to hint at the job in the show notes and then the comments get into the specifics. In general, though, I suggest going for the episode before the comments.

    Hope you’re enjoying so far!

    1. Thanks David, will listen before comments. Did you post on LifeLines that you’re making this RM Campaign and APs?

      It would be most welcome news.

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