Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tres Leches Fear & Loathing

Herein is the final chapter in this the first playtest of Fear & Loathing in Fat City for Fear & Loathing USR.

The next day found the PC's ripping it up on Horse Mountain and role played their way into losing Carol on the backside of the ski resort in gnarly out of bounds terrain. Peachy and the Dude followed her tracks out but got caught in an avalanche. Finally they reached a forest road where it looked like Ross got picked up on a snow mobile and was gone. This royally pissed the duo off and before they could decided what the hell was going on the headlights from a couple of more snowmobiles illuminated Dude and the Peach.

They were angling for a ride from the two strangers but when they pulled guns it became evident they weren't there to give our PC's a ride. A hilarious, accidental on cue “I thought you had the gun!” back and forth between Peach and the Dude allowed an initiative roll where Peach managed to draw the .32 they took off of Latin and get a shot off first. Dude went for the mad grapple on the other hired gun and managed to tie him up long enough for Peach to point the gun at him after blowing away hired gun #1. Hired gun #2 gave up at that point and the PC's were able to get the sordid details out of him. 

Seems Curtis Ross Sr. is running for sheriff and if it is found out his daughter has been living trans-gendered all these years, and recently underwent a sex change operation Curtis Ross, real estate magnate, would kiss his political career goodbye. He would also see Carol's sports franchise goes up in smoke overnight. Somehow Bishop, the Ross's managing editor, had come up with Carol's medical file. In good faith the eager journalist confronted Mr. Ross about having to release a story. That would affect his boss, and his employment. But you know, what are we going to do about this… ? Ross didn't get rich being indecisive. He stove in Bishop's face right before his daughter rolled into town. Of course this left Mr. Ross with the hassle of hiding his murderous act. I sure didn't know what the middle-aged millionaire should do.

When the PC's showed up and started being super helpful and all Ross decided the PC's had to go. Carol could see the wisdom in dad's thinking too. The PC's just know too damn much. Maybe take them out skiing? Get them into some technical terrain? Accidents happen in the backcountry all the time. Just to be sure have a couple of reliable hands keep an eye on things, tie up any loose ends.

The PC's were once again caught wondering what to do. “What do we care, what's in it for us?” they asked themselves and me. 

Good questions and one I didn't have a good answer for. Stalling for time I asked the PC's to go through the cast of characters they had encountered, or not, so far on the adventure. In a round about way we got to the Environmental Cowboy who lived in a mountain cabin not far from where they were at. He had come up in the narrative earlier. He was a trust-funding law school grad who was leading the charge to have Carol's televised alpine descent canceled. He has a court injunction until an environmental impact study can be completed. Carol says it is all just sexist bullshit. But either way he is a (m)NPC they haven't interacted with. The PC's commandeer the snow mobiles, take all the guns and leave hired gun #2 with his dead buddy on the snowy road determined to find Environmental Cowboy's remote cabin. Upon arriving they are greeted by barking dogs and Roger Kinrock, an independently wealthy and fiercely independent outdoors man.

This was the two and half hour mark and not only did I not have a handle on this NPC I did want to get some feedback from my players before we called it a night. I told them as much. It was kind of a shame. We had hit the perfect spot for the game's climax, but I confessed I didn't know which way I should go with Kinrock. Instead of forcing a poorly improved ending I wanted to use what time we had left to critique the rules, the adventure and our overall play.

Being awesome they agreed and provided a frank bull session on some of the fun and frustration to be had with a “modern” rpg campaign. The good news was the adventure delivered on genre expectations. The PC's felt it wasn't lack of interesting events popping off to engage, but wondering what was the next move was part of the role playing challenge. I was also concerned about how the inherent “off-color” content of the genre would play. Having sensitive real life topics such as racism, sexism, transphobia as mere plot elements in a game may generate play which inadvertently offends someone at the table. I only had to mention this as one of my initial concerns during this critique because I was fortunate enough to play the session with grown ups. The PC's were able to discuss content and play, as it came up, resolve any issues of what was appropriate for entertainment and what wasn't and the game moved on.

I really only brought it up so as to honor their excellent skills. Remember these two players had never met, let alone play this game with some clearly loaded content, and they breezed through it and kept the loose improve heavy game session on track.

So yeah I confessed I didn't know if I should go all horror, death trap in the woods with this guy, or he is for real and knows who they can trust in Fat City… and that I really wanted their thoughts on the matter. Having the guy turn into a mad serial killer would of worked for them it seems. They didn't think it would have been over the top. I don't know, I thought it was a little cliche. I can't remember all their good feedback. It was spot on, that I can tell you. I think they even resolved the Environmental Cowboy nicely for me. I can't remember. It was late. But Fear & Loathing USR delivers what it says on the tin, Player Approved!

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