I consider running a “modern” rpg one of the genres I have the least experience in running in any satisfactory manner. I'm not even sure if I have a good grasp of reliable adventure design elements to ensure staying on genre “point” while handling this new type of setting. I created Fear & Loathing USR in an attempt to improve my modern role playing game mastering skills. Modern in this case means gonzo journalism an politics in early seventies America.
With your appropriately brief USR custom rules set and my initial untested adventure module Fear & Loathing in Fat City, two great gamers sat around the virtual table top with me and we gamed an insightful and rewarding session around tricky subject matter and highly improvisational plot hooks.
Peter arrived first and had a Fascist, an office worker and amateur boxer from Denver named Abel Peachy. His car broke down on the way to Fat City so he hitched a ride with Carol Ross, local celebrity athlete coming out of hiding to perform a controversial ascent up Capitol Peak. She wants to stop at her father's newspaper office to pick up some media tickets. She thinks it would be fun to come see Abel Peachy's performance at the Celebrity Fight Night. Maybe even find time to grab a drink at the Rank Elk before going in to the venue.
Peachy is frantically trying to figure out how he is going to fit in getting a drink with this delightful angel before he has to suit up for his fight when Carol lets out a hysterical scream. She has come across the body of James “Jim” Bishop, the young managing editor of the Fat City Juggernaut. He is lying out on the floor near a desk, his head stove in and bloody. The weapon, an editorial award Jim won back as an intern in college, is on the floor near the body stained with hair and blood.
With a call to the sheriff it isn't long before Peachy realizes he won't be making his fight and he won't be making any money for tonight's efforts. Around midnight he is finally released from questioning. Nothing left to do Peachy walks into the Rank Elk Inn and heads to the bar to watch TV and get a beer. Some slick looking hombre pesters Peachy with many questions on what was going on with the police over at the Juggernaut office and offered Peachy a ride so he could, obviously, keep on wheedling him for information. Peachy told him what he knew and the slick guy seemed satisfied and he let him out at his hotel.
The next morning Peachy was back at the Rank Elk trying to choke down breakfast and trying to think of what to do next when Bret the Hippie Snowboard dude comes on in and asks what is uuuuuuuup! Our second PC of the night has arrived!
(to be continued...)