Nestled up to the mountains north of Phoenix Arizona lies an enclave known as The Waterhole. Made up of a former Hollywood Wild West set-turned actual ghost town-turned interactive amusement park and a gaudy, low-effort water park, The Waterhole has grown into a powerhouse of supply for central Arizona. But its economic stability is undermined by political infighting, as sins of the now reflect all too harshly the sins of the past. It is here that a small Taker group known as The Mavericks have formed up with the hope of pulling the greatest score in history: Operation Stop Gap. A score so grand it will bring sustainability to all in the region, while setting The Mavericks up for life, of course. But first they have some capital to build, and with the heat of desert summer fast approaching, surely it is only inevitable for one to praise the sun. . .
David gathered the players of the Grapevine campaign together to discuss the series, and to answer listener questions. Find out what they learned about playing Red Markets and more about the Grapevine setting.
As Tiburon reels from the events of Episode 7, a new horror of the Loss presents itself. One thing that we’ve seen in smaller doses is that the loss of Humanity leads to cracks and crumbles in sanity, but we’ve rarely seen the final break. In this episode, we see the effects of that break and the shockwaves it leaves among friends and family, coworkers and colleagues.
That said, we hope that you enjoy the final episode of Grapevine as our team pursues the Tontine. Toy Store!
David’s Notes: Thank you all for listening, and thank you for your kind attention. We all hope that you’ve enjoyed, and we’re going to do something a little different in the wrap-up- please consider this note to be your invitation to ask any questions to Tiburon Unlimited, the Market, or any Grapevine NPC’s (living or dead) and we will answer in the campaign wrap-up episode.
Also, here is the text of Cross’s final letter to Tiburon; we are sharing because it is far too good not to. Click below to read it:
“Daddy’s dead? *ear-piercing cry* “Anyone who steps across that line gets an assfull of lead!”
“You want my help or don’tcha?”
“Always assume the Market has a dark plan for you.”
“Fuck you, Johnny Scissorhand!”
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The teeth that bind, the claws that *crack*”
“Who boobytrapped this place, Kevin McCalister!?” “I’m going to take s haul worth of roses. Because they’re pretty.”
And now, the exciting conclusion to the job: Power Circuit
Wherein Dutch’s family finds out that he’s not coming home, and the team finds a new employer who is less heart-of-gold and more heart-of-stone. Now that Alice is part of the party, how will the team adapt to having a Latent? Will they manage to make the marathon run with resources intact? Tune in to find out!
David’s DM Notes: This job was an experiment on my part in how a longer job could play out if it was a marathon instead of a destination. I split it into pieces to see how it would work out for the team, and it was more labor intensive than anticipated; it took more time, so this is a two-parter.
Also, Pennyworth. He was my concept of the man whom nobody would try to take down because he was too useful; he who controls the electricity is indispensable to an Enclave that uses power. Hence, justified paranoia and a luxurious office/suite where he can stay reclusive.
Tiburon rallies from the loss of both Doris and a party member, giving chase to the assassin. Along the way, they meet a mysterious stranger who might help them in their quest; will they subcontract the mysterious stranger, or leave her by the wayside? Will Tiburon manage to do their roaring rampage of revenge, or will they come up short?
David’s Notes: When making new foes like the Abhorrent in Part I, it can be hard to gauge the balance of the encounter. Rules for the beast will be posted in the forums this week.
Also, building a boss battle in a bunker can be baffling. Tricks, traps, and troublesome architecture can (in theory) soften up the group, *but* if they are cautious enough the whole thing might just be a resource drain. Which is also good, as they’ll have less to use on the boss(es) later…. unless your group gets really lucky.
Episode IV of Grapevine, wherein things get real. After an unexpected development, our intrepid team Tiburon Unlimited set out to do a job where the motivation is more than bounty- it’s revenge!
Can they survive the trip? Will they get paid for this job? What will The Market hit them with next!?
In this episode, I managed to motivate the team with the incidents of the opening to the point that my players didn’t even LOOK at the other jobs. Sometimes, it’s a payday, but this time it was personal; I chalk it up to my players giving the NPCs more than just two dimensions, and engaging with them enough to really paint some depth.
Also, a big belated Happy Birthday to RPPR fan Ian Weeber! For his birthday, Ian asked if I could kill off an NPC with his name, and… well, if you give it a listen, you’ll hear it.
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…
Tiburon Unlimited returns for a second job. Despite the setbacks of the first job, our crew continues to move forward. A second faction receives a highlight, and a new employer hires the crew for a goods run. Will the ammo be easier than last episode’s milk run? Will it cost an arm and a leg to succeed? The suspense is almost unbearable!
David’s DM Note: I tend to reward ingenuity and thinking on the fly. The crew pulled a few plans out of nowhere, and thought well on their feet; because of this, I offered a Faustian Bargain near the end: Pay With Pain.
Welcome to Grapevine, a Texas megamall turned Enclave. In this episode, we meet our Taker crew Tiburon Unlimited and follow them on their first job. Like all good jobs, complications abound. Welcome back to the table with Shaun and B-sides alum Greg, and welcome new players Kristi and Adam!
David’s GM Note: I played with a variation on the complication, where each job’s additional twist was dictated by the success of the negotiations. Here we see the first effects of my house rule “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”