Gregory Avery-Weir 0:00
In the year 2050, the 13 white ships of the Subaltern Constellation arrived in Earth orbit.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:08
In response, Earth’s governments launched their entire nuclear arsenal. The Constellation was destroyed, and the atmosphere was poisoned.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:19
12 Terror Engines fell to earth and are now the only power sources capable of supporting civilization.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:28
In 2113, the Earth is a wasteland.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:35
The only people who live away from the Terror Engines are mutants, bandits, and the Ego Drivers who battled the inevitable.
Gregory Avery-Weir 0:44
When the world is your enemy, the only thing you can fight for is yourself.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:24
Welcome to Tabletop Garden, an actual play podcast where we collaborate on short, self contained stories about interesting characters, and we do it with an agenda. With us today is Jim.
Greetings. I’m Jim. I am a writer and podcaster and streamer, recently. My pronouns are he/him and you can find me online twitch.tv/otherdoc that’s otherdoc and jimyesthatjim.com .
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:52
Hi, I’m Lucy. I’m a teacher and a writer. My pronouns are she/her and I blog online at intertextualities.wordpress.com.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:06
Hi, I’m Ben. I’m an engineer. My pronouns are he and him and you can find me online at orangevoodoo at yahoo dot com.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:15
Hello, I’m Zoë. I work in renewable energy. You can find me online very occasionally at feetbird on Instagram. FEETBIRD. And my pronouns are she/her.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:32
And I’m Gregory Avery-Weir. I’m a game developer and your host. My pronouns are they/them and you can find me at email@example.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can support the work I do at patreon.com/gregoryaveryweir.
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:49
Is everyone familiar with the concept of the X Card?
Gregory Avery-Weir 2:53
All right. Well, the X Card is a way for us to, if we run into anything that you don’t want to play, if something comes up, if something’s added to the world you’re uncomfortable with for any reason, whether it’s just distaste or anything, then you can just say, “X Card” or “Let’s X Card that” and we’ll just immediately edit it out. We’ll just pretend that it was never added. And you don’t have to justify yourself, we don’t need to discuss it, we’ll just move on with a different plan. So that’s just to keep us safe, keep us happy, keep us having a rewarding experience.
Gregory Avery-Weir 3:27
Today we will be playing Ego Driver. It’s a campaign that is, I guess, post apocalyptic vehicular combat using the Big Eyes Small Mouth third edition system. We’ll be talking about the system a little more amongst ourselves, but it’s created by Guardians of Order, now owned by White Wolf, and it’s designed for supporting anime games but the reason we’re using it for this is because it’s got an incredibly, perhaps overly, detailed item and vehicle system.
Gregory Avery-Weir 4:03
As always, our agenda will be to honestly portray diverse characters, pursue healthy play practices, and craft story with social responsibility. Additionally, for this campaign, we will we have a specific agenda. The first item is, “save yourself.” The world is your enemy. Be ruthless. Even your allies are expendable if it means fighting for another sunrise. “Make it look good.” Be dramatic and cinematic. Never do anything boring when you could go over the top instead. And, “live like you’re dying.” Don’t be afraid of failure. You’re not going to last long anyway, so don’t waste a second being cautious.
Gregory Avery-Weir 4:40
So you have each created characters and each of you have a tie to the world in some way that’s going to come up during play, but we can let those be a mystery for now.
Gregory Avery-Weir 4:53
And on a brief note, we had some issues with Zoë’s recording the session but we’ve got it worked out for future sessions so sorry about that, and bear with us.
Gregory Avery-Weir 5:09
We open on a dusty road in the middle of the wasteland surrounded by crags of rock sticking up out of the ground.
Gregory Avery-Weir 5:19
There’s a road runner on the blacktop that’s cracked and dusty and there’s something wrong with its wings. They’re twisted or or deformed in some way from the radiation. It’s surrounded by a group of snakes, various sizes and species, one of which is two-headed, and they’re making snaps, lunges at the at the road runner and it seems like it’s just about done for. And then we hear a growing roar in the distance and a hawk with five eyes suddenly swoops down and plucks the two headed snake up off of the ground. That leaves an opening and the road runner darts away and an instant later the snakes vanish beneath the tires of a speeding car.
Gregory Avery-Weir 6:04
We pan up to the driver’s seat of the car where there’s a man in a black leather jacket with a whole lot of extra buckles and zippers on it than is truly necessary, and the man is saying, “Fuck Fuck Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!” And Ben: how do you attack this man?
A rumbling monstrosity barrels down at a speed you would not think safe for something clearly designed to travel underground as a mole machine manages to carreen along with the rest of the vehicles, additional armor plating threatening to shake off of it at the speeds it’s moving at. As the one of the side panels unrolls, an old man with shoulder length blond hair pulled back in a, with a ball cap leans out, smiling nervously, as he lights a stick of dynamite off the cigarette in his mouth before tossing it enjoyably in front of the car he’s next to. “Hey! Ya left this on the road!”
Gregory Avery-Weir 7:09
All right, I will roll defense combat value. So for each attack you’re all going to be rolling your attack which is based on your attack combat value and any modifiers that show up from the attributes and and your weapon and then the defender rolls their defense combat value and you are trying to get higher than their… higher or equal to?
If the target role is equal to or higher than the target. The task will succeed.
Gregory Avery-Weir 7:35
Yeah, attacker wins ties. Okay, so you toss this this explosive right in front of the tires of the car. It explodes, just engulfing the car in in a fireball. And there’s a loud scream and this character’s armor is nowhere near enough to to take all of that damage.
Gregory Avery-Weir 8:00
And so what emerges from the other side of this explosion is just a single tire on fire rolling down the road beside your vehicle for a moment before it settles to the ground.
Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!
Gregory Avery-Weir 8:15
We slide back and we see another car. Similar make and model as the as the first raider’s. It’s kind of beat-up, clearly has been modified and and improved and maintained over decades. These these cars were made long, long ago. And someone in a very similar outfit is driving and looking very nervous as Vake comes close to them.
The car that they are driving, is it like a sedan or a race car, or what kind of vehicle?
Gregory Avery-Weir 8:50
It is a sedan. It’s it’s sort of it’s not like a fancy muscle car but it’s like the cheap muscle car that like like the cheap car that kind of looks cool, doesn’t necessarily have a nice engine inside of it.
A extremely bizarre looking vehicle sort of suddenly slides out of one of the dust clouds. And it’s basically a mini tank, but it’s sort of composed of sort of a series of interlocking shells, like metal looking shells. It was very difficult to see before it got up behind this car, and suddenly the aperture pops open on top of the weird looking vehicle and a figure comes out of the top of it, and it really looks like a mummy. It’s just a figure sort of shrouded in dirty looking linens and materials all around their body, including their face, except for also a sort of giant pair of goggles that are very dark on this person’s head.
And they get their balance on top of the tank, hold up their hand, and there’s a pole, which is maybe about three feet long. They hold it up. It snaps to probably twice that length and size. They basically gesture toward the ground. The pole, kind of, it’s like an Olympic sports situation. The pole hits the ground, and they flip acrobaticly through the air to land with a Batman-like thud on the hood of the sedan. So it’s kind of like one of those fast moving mummies. I’m pretty sure there’s a movie that I can reference here.
Gregory Avery-Weir 10:47
Are you doing a leaping attack here?
I would like very much to do that.
Gregory Avery-Weir 10:51
Uh-oh, alright. So so in this case, you missed. You rolled a 10 and they rolled a 13 so because you were doing a leaping attack your miss means you’re thrown off for a bit. So you’re at a… I think it’s minus three?
I’m at a minus three for defense.
Gregory Avery-Weir 11:07
…to defend. So you come down with this pole and as you’re landing the raider turns his wheel and is like weaving left and right and you’re thrown off as your foot hits the, it hits the hood and you’re able to sprawl and kind of not fall off the car but you’re now clinging to the hood of a car that swerving left and right.
Gregory Avery-Weir 11:28
Strangely their little tank is just continuing on perfectly well, not going off the road. It’s keeping pace. It’s doesn’t seem to be acting like you’d expect for a car that has just lost its driver.
To be clear, I am clinging to the hood of this vehicle.
Gregory Avery-Weir 11:45
Yes, you’re clinging to the hood of the enemy’s car.
Gregory Avery-Weir 11:49
We move back down the road behind this pair of vehicles and we see another raider who is cocking a shotgun. Karloff, you are chasing a third raider.
Seeing what just happened, and that Vake is now clinging to the hood of the car of another raider, I just sort of am like, “Grr, we haven’t got time for this.” As I am, I quickly sort of turn on a little targeting system inside my vehicle, which is basically a big sort of black painted converted converted Humvee with skulls painted all over it as well. As you look in through the window, you see a heavily scarred gentleman in a flapping leather overcoat.
He has a mechanical arm. He’s wearing he’s wearing shades. With his free hand, he reaches down and you see these little red cross hairs center on the vehicle immediately in front of him, and he presses a button turning the wheel sharply to the left is he does so to start heading toward the the other raider that is giving Vake a problem but in so doing he has targeted the the one he was chasing with a magnetic mine that is going to shoot out from it and attempt to cling to the that vehicle. And so I guess I should probably roll the thing in order to determine if that happens or not.
Gregory Avery-Weir 13:23
Yeah. Wow! All right, you rolled a 22 and they rolled a six.
Gregory Avery-Weir 13:30
You beat by more than 12. So your final damage on this is doubled and you are already doing an enormous amount of damage.
So this this little middle projectile, the spherical projectile fires out from underneath the Humvee. And it just sort of goes “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me!” Homes in, just locks on to the the underside of the vehicle, and after a few seconds, it detonates.
Gregory Avery-Weir 13:56
And there’s just this enormous shower of metal and flame and smoke and probably more than a few body parts fountaining up into the air as that that raider’s car is completely destroyed. Further back another raider in a car is watching this and going, “Oh no oh no oh no oh no!” and looks in her rearview mirror to see Comet pulling up.
So with the windshield wipers on, perhaps wiping off a quarter of an arm or whatever happens to have blown down stream we see a… maybe used to be white, but a light colored late model Volvo that’s been heavily modified with some off road tires, lifted ram bar, and then a light rail on top and painted to crudely resemble an ambulance complete with a loudspeaker mounted on top that’s currently… you can hear “wee-oo wee-oo!” but it’s not an actual siren. It’s just a person making that sound inside the car.
Yeah, if you guys were to look in your rear view mirrors, you’d see a petite young woman with sort of scraggly wispy pink dyed hair cut into a mullet, big celebrity sunglasses, and a way too large denim jacket, sort of grinning a toothy smile with a mixture of adult and baby teeth. And in this car, I think we really have got to save the best for first. I’m going to try to get this this raider with my lance weapon.
Gregory Avery-Weir 15:46
So when I’m about, you know, 20 feet away or something like that, I’m going to try to stab into the back of the car with this lance on winch. 18. Oh boy!
Gregory Avery-Weir 15:58
Defence is a 14. So is this like coming out of a harpoon gun?
This is coming out of a harpoon gun mounted on the hood of the car with a winch attached to it. I guess it… I guess it hits into hopefully a passenger compartment of some sort. It should be at about that level. And upon hitting, I guess the car is tangled, excellent. The lance is attached to a cable and the car in front of me now can’t go as fast if there’s any car left.
Gregory Avery-Weir 16:32
Gregory Avery-Weir 16:33
That lance punches straight through the back window and straight through the driver…
Gregory Avery-Weir 16:38
…who coughs up a fountain of blood and slumps forward on to the steering wheel and the car starts to list off to one side with that cable still attached to it and still attached to the to the launcher on your vehicle.
Gregory Avery-Weir 16:55
All right, you have handily taken out most of these raiders except for one, but behind you there are more. There are four more of these raider cars running along the road. Not in formation, but sort of in a block, and then behind them is a much fancier car. This one actually was a hot rod. It’s well maintained, if clearly kind of patched together still, the parts have been replaced but very carefully color matched and molded to look like they belong. It’s bright red and it has something attached to the back trunk, some sort of electronic device that has some lenses and and mechanisms on it.
Gregory Avery-Weir 17:42
And at the wheel of this car is a man who is wearing a different outfit than the than the rest of this group. He’s not wearing the kind of the standard uniform of the Jacko Gang. He’s instead in a red leather jacket with a with a zipper on it and a high collar and he shouts out “You better leave while you can!” As he guns his car into higher speed and is following up his raider underlings.
Gregory Avery-Weir 18:14
So it is now the raiders’ turn. The reader who has who has Vake on his hood takes that shotgun that he was cocking and leans out of his driver’s side window so that he’s not having to fire through his own windscreen and takes a bead on Vake and fires.
Gregory Avery-Weir 18:42
And you’re also at a minus one…
Gregory Avery-Weir 18:44
Because there’s a shotgun… the shotgun is spreading. Oh, and a minus three from defending. Yeah, so that’s… the raider rolled a 15 to hit you. You rolled a 12 minus four is eight. He didn’t crit but he did do 29 damage. Now, you have you have a force field on you. What is it generated by? And what does it look like when it gets hit?
Uh, it’s technologically generated. So it’s run off of a little device that’s attached on a belt, but that’s not visible due to all of the flapping material. And when it gets hit, it I mean it looks like static the, I guess buckshot bounces over in it and it kind of goes (STATIC HISS) and sparks fly off of it and a static sound.
Well, I don’t think this would be… this will be more of a cinematic moment than something that any of the other PCs would hear, but Vake says to them, “Bring it.”
Gregory Avery-Weir 19:55
Cool. So your force field has dropped a little bit to 16 but the rest of the pellets bounce off of whatever armor you’ve got under those tattered rags. You do have armor on you and not just the car, right?
Gregory Avery-Weir 20:09
Let’s see… okay, so you do not have personal armor right?
Gregory Avery-Weir 20:14
Alright, so, nine of the 29 damage for the shotgun goes through and hits you personally.
So that gives me one CP, I think, to spend?
Gregory Avery-Weir 20:26
Alright. So Vake has something called Damage Conversion, which means that when they take damage they are… they get character points that they can then spend on stuff that makes them better.
Because if I can wait I’ll probably wait until my next turn to decide how to spend it.
Gregory Avery-Weir 20:44
Yeah you can wait.
Gregory Avery-Weir 20:47
The front two cars of the four regular raiders are going to try and overtake and pull past Comet’s ambulance. They seem to be getting trying to get to the cars ahead of you. And they’ve each rolled driving and I’ve gotten a 14 and 15 including their specializations. So roll… do you want to stop them?
Yes. I would love to stop them by going faster.
Gregory Avery-Weir 21:10
Alright, so roll me your driving, it should be on your sheet.
It’s under skills.
Gregory Avery-Weir 21:16
Oh yeah. Handily.
I got a 20
Gregory Avery-Weir 21:20
So they pull up but you’re able to kind of stay ahead of them and not let them get past you. And in frustration they both… their side windows have long since been broken. And so they they aim their their shotguns out the side of the of each of their cars, one of them across the passenger side, and shoot at you. So the first one is going to shoot just in general.
And I just roll regular DCV?
Gregory Avery-Weir 21:50
Mm-hmm. Alright, so they fire and you’re able to, as part of the jockeying for position, you swerve, and their shot just goes wild. The other greater is going to try and shoot also. Rolled very low. I’m not even sure you can roll this low on your defense. So that’s an eight from the second raider and you rolled a 14 so that that shot also goes wild. Oh, something to note: Do you… you don’t have Extra Defenses, do you?
No, I don’t.
Gregory Avery-Weir 22:18
Okay. So each time you defend in a turn, your roll drops by one. So you rolled a 14 but that was a 13 and you’ve got two more that are coming up on your tail moving to try and wear you down because there’s only just… there’s only so much swerving and attention you can pay to multiple attackers in in a short amount of time.
Gregory Avery-Weir 22:43
So each of them are also going to shoot at you. The first one rolls another eight so your this is your second attack. So you’re at a minus two. So you rolled a nine.
Gregory Avery-Weir 22:55
You just barely avoid getting hurt by that and the fourth raider that’s shooting… you’ve just got like shotguns going off all around you at this time.
Gregory Avery-Weir 23:05
Vake, there is someone making loud siren noises and then a whole lot of loud explosions coming from behind you on the on the highway.
I’m trying to find a meditative state… clinging to the top of this car with a shotgun aimed at me.
If you can meditate under circumstances like that you can meditate anywhere
I can’t! I can’t meditate under circumstances like that!
Gregory Avery-Weir 23:33
The final raider attacks with a nine on Comet and Comet roles an 18, which ends up being a 15, which is still high enough. So you’re just hearing these… you’re swerving out of the way these blasts, some of them are kind of catching you in in non damaging ways as pellets bounce off of you. And you’re still dragging this extra car behind you with with your lance which is stuck through its driver.
Wee oo, wee oo!
Gregory Avery-Weir 24:04
And in the back of all of this we’ve still got the person in the red car, who fiddles with something on his dash and the front grille of his car slides down and coming out of that grill is a very large machine gun. It looks like it was once like a crew fed machine gun but it’s been repurposed into something that that’s automatic, run by the car. And shooting down the road between his allies he just opens fire with this machine gun at the back of Comet’s car and that is a 17 to hit. And you roll the 14 which…
Gregory Avery-Weir 24:43
Let’s see, how much does it fail by? So you… This is the fifth attack you’ve defended against so it’s a minus four so you’re at a 10 so he beat you by seven. Which means that because this is an auto fire weapon it hits you three times. So that’s 35 and I’m going to, especially since all of your armor is so high, I’m going to assume that this is all… that when it hits multiple times they add together for purposes of armor…
Gregory Avery-Weir 25:11
So that would be 105 damage hammering into the back of your ambulance. So…
I think that I don’t have that much. That many hit points. …I think that I’m at negative one.
Gregory Avery-Weir 25:30
Yep. So you’ve got 34 armor and your HP is not quite high enough.
I think that I… set up my my weapons are too much and my HP is not enough.
Gregory Avery-Weir 25:44
You have relatively low armor for this group.
How about something cinematic she angles the car that she’s tethered to to take some of the damage. I know it’s out of turn, but it’s cinematic.
Gregory Avery-Weir 25:57
As this machine gun spray passes over your car, the first kind of burst of it hits the chain that’s connecting your lance to the vehicle and snaps it in two. And this dead car finally gives up the the ghost and and turns sideways enough that it starts tumbling and one of the raiders has to kind of swerve aside and pull back as it goes rolling off to the side of the of the road. And only two of those shots hit you which would be a total of 70, which would be reduced by your armor, so that would be… your armor’s 30…?
46 points of damage. No, 36. Yeah. Cool. That’s that’s better.
Gregory Avery-Weir 26:50
As this car tumbles away… is Comet actually hit by any of these bullets or is it just damaging your car?
I mean it’s coming from behind and I don’t have any roll the windows down stuff. I could I could take a take a bullet or two on the shoulder, I guess, but I think most of its absorbed by the car.
Gregory Avery-Weir 27:12
All right, so we see several bullets rip through Comet’s shoulders and then other kind of important looking stuff is getting busted up behind her and that car that that she destroyed rolls off the side of the of the road. And we see for a moment that gang lieutenant in the back grinning as he guns his car and then we cut away to a desk on which a folder is sitting and someone opens the folder and at the top as a heading is “The Jacko Gang” and then there’s a picture of that lieutenant and below it is “Code Name: Beat It.”
Oh no it isn’t.
Gregory Avery-Weir 27:55
And then we are back to Jones. Ben, what do you do?
So a question about the road
Gregory Avery-Weir 28:04
Are we fundamentally on a straightaway, is the road doing some weaving back and forth?
Gregory Avery-Weir 28:10
This area’s pretty flat so the roads pretty straight it’s sort of has some very gentle curves to it. On either side of the road there are these stone spires and and big stone chunks of rock that are heavily eroded. But this road itself is an old world road and it’s just continuing on for a while.
Looking over, it looks like Vake is having fun over on the car there, so I’m going to pull off and slow down a little bit, so I’m probably more in line with… somewhere right between Karloff and Comet.
Gregory Avery-Weir 28:42
So you’re kind of just off Comet’s passenger side, just in front.
Yeah, I figure passenger side that way in case Comet wishes to unroll the window and and yell something at people, that works too. I will fiddle with one of the dials and the machine makes a very angry black cough as something gets turned on and a billow of black smoke starts pouring out the back of the engine as I will use Environmental Influence: Smoke to create a smoke cloud.
Gregory Avery-Weir 29:17
All right… this probably has a similar effect to, like, a Sensory Block some people might also have that as a as a power. What what size of cloud is this going to be doing or is it just kind of a column of smoke behind you?
It’s mostly just the column I mean it’s 10 meter 10 meter area.
Gregory Avery-Weir 29:40
So the raider that is flanking Comet’s passenger side is now just completely obscured in in smoke and the one kind of back and to the to her right is unable to see much out in front of them thanks for the smoke.
That’ll work that should give a little bit of cover.
Gregory Avery-Weir 29:55
Now Vake, you are on the hood of the car of the raider that beside your tank, which is still driving along just fine. So you have the Easily Distracted defect.
Gregory Avery-Weir 30:07
Is this… is the noise that’s going on back there with the… well I guess I should ask, is Comet still making siren noises?
Probably after taking a hit she turns off her speaker.
Gregory Avery-Weir 30:17
So you’ve you’ve got a little bit of peace, Vake. What do you do?
Okay. Yes, it is slightly less problematic with the siren under control. I can see we’re going to have to have a conversation at some point. What I would like to do is Dukes of Hazzard style, slide through a window. Somehow get into the car.
Gregory Avery-Weir 30:46
So the driver was leaning out the driver side and I think I’ve said that the side windows are… they’re not bothering to fix so you can definitely clamber around and slide in the passenger window.
That sounds ideal. My overarching goal here is to slide through that window and then hit them about the face and torso and and make them stop with the gun.
Gregory Avery-Weir 31:09
Okay, so you’re using your pole.
Yes, I have rolled an attack of 15.
Gregory Avery-Weir 31:16
And he rolls a 10. And since your pole is Flexible, that’s even lower than that would be but it doesn’t matter in this case. It’s not going to be quite high enough to crit, but you do do 36 damage.
And while I am pummeling them with my pole, I’m saying “Shh! Shh! Shh! Shh! Shh! Shh!”
Gregory Avery-Weir 31:42
Every time you hit him and hush him, he’s like going “Ow! Ahh, Ahh! Stop! Oh, god!”
Gregory Avery-Weir 31:51
So because you’re hitting from inside his car he doesn’t get his car armor so he only reduces that 36 damage by four, so he takes 32. So he’s able to to stay to stay in the fight even though you you hit him pretty hard. So Vake is now in the passenger seat berating this driver.
I’m really more offering suggestions for future behavior.
Gregory Avery-Weir 32:14
Strongly-worded requests. Karloff, you can kind of see this going on ahead of you. Meanwhile to your to your right, Jones’s vehicle is emitting smoke and you’ve got a whole bunch of other Raiders behind you.
Looking and seeing that Vake seems to have the vehicle ahead in hand, I’m going to then focus my attention on the vehicle that is closest.
Gregory Avery-Weir 32:38
So I’m going to pull a little bit in front of it as I do so. I’m looking both of the road in the rearview mirror as I quickly turn a little crank that that wheels the harpoon gun that I have to turn around so that it’s facing the back. A little little hatch opens in the back window so that it’ll… it’s probably had like one of the little… it had multiple windows at one time and now it’s just sort of a thing that can be opened. I’m going to fire the harpoon gun at it and attempt to take it on a merry ride.
Gregory Avery-Weir 33:12
We see a a harpoon fly past the driver side of Comet’s vehicle as it launches towards that raider behind Karloff. Right, so that’s a 15 to hit and it will try and get out of the way and roll a nine. So no, that will absolutely hit.
And that too has tangle, so it’s… I’m now dragging this vehicle behind me.
Gregory Avery-Weir 33:36
All right. Excellent. So that’s doing 52. It’s reduced a bit by the armor of that car so it only takes 32… which is still a decent amount. When the harpoon stuck into the hood of his car… Her car. Something started bursting forth with steam, and an awful rattling sound is coming from it and she’s furiously shifting and trying to get her her car to function again and is unable to do anything this round.
Gregory Avery-Weir 34:04
And Comet, you’re pretty surrounded, there’s smoke to your right, and there’s that giant drill machine up ahead to the right, and then Karloff has a harpooned car to your left, and there’s still more cars behind you.
I’m going to fall back a little bit. So that, well, just a little bit. If any of my allies are in range, I’m sorry.
Gregory Avery-Weir 34:27
I would like to roll up the window.
It’s an area… it’s an area of three, which is 10, a 10 meter radius. So that’s not that bad.
Gregory Avery-Weir 34:40
I think I can get them all out of range. But I would like to maximize the number of bad dudes that I get.
Gregory Avery-Weir 34:46
All right. So yeah, I think you can get the three that are nearest to you. One of the Raiders that was following you pulled back to let that dead car pass, but you can get three of them in your cloud.
So I’m going to, yeah, I’m gonna yell, “Take this, you fuckers!” and activate my… well, I don’t have a better name for it, but my energy blast stunner. So I’ve got a… some kind of future device inside my car that puts out an area attack, that puts out a big energy blast. And the targets have to make a Body Stat roll at a 12 or be stunned for a minute.
Gregory Avery-Weir 35:22
Alright, so you’ll roll once, and they’ll each roll defense to see if they can swerve out of the range of this.
Not a great roll, but we’ll see.
Gregory Avery-Weir 35:31
All right, so you got a 13. So first, the the stunned one does not avoid it. The one in the cloud does not avoid it. And the one kind of back behind you in the cloud who just sort of saw you suddenly pull around the cloud and then immediately this pulse come out from you also does not successfully defend.
Gregory Avery-Weir 35:54
So this this stunning energy rips through each of their cars. The one who had previously been injured, and is currently tethered to Karloff’s car, electricity courses over their instruments. And there they start bleeding and collapse.
Gregory Avery-Weir 36:12
Yeah. The other two take a decent amount of damage just from the force of this, this energy. And then they have to make those roles and they’re going to make body roles in this case. So the guy in the cloud roles and 11 which fails and the guy behind you into the right who’s not in the cloud does succeed. So he’s not stunned, but… you can’t see what’s happening, but the driver inside the cloud is is currently stunned for a while by this this force.
Is it really a minute?
Gregory Avery-Weir 36:47
I think so. Yeah, it’s based on your level of Incapacitating. And so since your Incapacitating is three it lasts according to the duration table.
Gregory Avery-Weir 36:59
And it’s now the raiders’ turn again. Vake, you’re at the front of this column, this convoy of battle, and you’re sitting in the passenger seat, and you’re hushing the driver. He does not seem to be getting the message as he pulls his shotgun around to point at you point blank range and pulls the trigger and it is very, very loud.
Regardless of whether it hits or not, I clap my hands to my ears and screech at him.
Gregory Avery-Weir 37:34
Excellent. So that was a 14 to hit.
I rolled an eight.
Gregory Avery-Weir 37:38
All right, so you take 29 damage pretty point blank. Your force field takes a decent amount of that, so it’s reduced by 16, okay so 13 damage to you.
Gregory Avery-Weir 37:54
And your force field drops to 12.
I think I am going to go ahead and assign those points to armor.
Gregory Avery-Weir 38:07
Okay. So is this… is anything like physically happening or you just like getting angry?
Well I mean anger… I mean, emotions are complicated. It is more of a psychological state than it is… there’s nothing technological that happens because of it.
Gregory Avery-Weir 38:26
Okay. So keep track of the armor you’re building up, and… The car that was in the cloud…. probably Jones is the only one that can see this at first. It’s drifting off to the side of the road and it’s now solidly in the dusty gravelly dirt and and slowing down as a result of that. Is the… is your stunning pulse, Zoë, is it affecting the driver or is it affecting the car?
I had intended it to affect the car because it was going to be like a… “shorts out electronics.”
Gregory Avery-Weir 38:58
Okay. So this driver is is swearing and hammering on his dashboard and like trying to start his car. Like even as it’s still rolling, his engine is stopped, and he finally like hits the brakes and throws up a big cloud of gravel and dust and very quickly is far behind you as he’s no longer at speed.
Gregory Avery-Weir 39:18
The car behind Karloff is just just sort of dangling there. There’s a car that’s kind of right off of Comet’s right rear bumper. It got hit by the shock but didn’t get disabled and I think that it is going to try and jockey Comet’s vehicle by bumping it kind of back behind its tire and try and throw you off and push you further back in the line so you’re you’re further away from your allies. We’ll do some contested drive checks here.
Ooo. So I’m just rolling Drive?
Gregory Avery-Weir 39:47
Yep. Alright! So the Raider rolled a 14, you rolled a 20. You’ve both got specializations which bump those up by one. So it bumps into you but you’re able to easily kind of maintain the stability of you’re driving and not get knocked away.
Gregory Avery-Weir 40:04
The car that is behind you and to the left is going to pull forward while you’re while you’re busy with this and pull up alongside its its dead ally. And the driver of that car leans out his window and points a shotgun at Karloff and fires.
Gregory Avery-Weir 40:25
So I’ve got an 11. All right! So you just barely get… you got a 12 and the attack was an 11, so the shotgun blast goes dangerously close to getting through your evasive maneuvers and your your armor and so on, but while you hear the rattle of the of the shotgun pellets, you are not damaged
And I glance back and I’m like, “(scoff)”
Gregory Avery-Weir 40:51
Now it is Beat It’s turn. He guns his engine and pulls forward a bit, not really enough to to make much of a difference, just to reposition for a better angle. And he is going to use that machine gun to spray in an arc across Karloff and Comet and Jones. He’s going to be at a penalty for this because he’s he’s using his his auto fire weapon as a spray and then Karloff has some some defense from the car behind him and that that he’s towing along and Jones has some some cover from the smoke. So you’re each going to have a plus one to defend. I think his is a minus three on his attack. And then Comet, you will need to roll your normal defense.
Yes, I do need to roll.
Gregory Avery-Weir 41:38
So that attack was a… rolled a 13, but it’s actually going to be a 10, so you’re all fine. Jones got a 15, Karloff got a 12, and Comet got a 15. You hear the whizzing of those bullets going by. They might be ricocheting off of some of your less vulnerable armor. But there’s no active damage. And he says, “Fuck!” and slams his fist on the steering wheel.
Gregory Avery-Weir 42:03
Jones you are currently trailing smoke behind you. The car that you are actively smoking out has has gone off the road, and you’ve got three live raider cars around, one of which has Vake inside of it. And you’ve got Beat It rolling up on you from behind.
I’m not actually sure what the roll on this is, because I didn’t build an attack for the vehicle in itself hitting somebody.
Gregory Avery-Weir 42:30
I’ve got a smoke cloud and somebody who’s following me far closer than the appropriate braking distance will be with that poor visibility.
Gregory Avery-Weir 42:38
Yeah, they’re… they’re really irresponsible.
So I’m just going to you know, tap the brakes.
Gregory Avery-Weir 42:42
Okay, then I think this is a contested Driving roll. I think your smoke is going to give them a pretty big penalty; they’re probably a minus three for this. And then I think you’re just going to do crash damage to each other. The fact that you have higher armor is going to help a great deal. All right, let’s say that the difference between your driving checks is going to establish the relative speed and that will… there’s a table on page 157 that has the damage for each increment. So give me a drive check!
Sounds good. You only die once, right?
Gregory Avery-Weir 43:16
All right. So you got a 16. He got a 14, which drops to an 11, so you beat him by five. So that’s we’ll say that’s two increments, so you hit him at 30 kph which would do 20 damage. So I think that just is absorbed by your armor.
Gregory Avery-Weir 43:33
I think that in his case… I think that this is an attack which bypasses his car’s armor. I don’t think his car is designed to be able to withstand this. So I think that damage will will translate directly to him. He does not have enough health left for this. So he’s driving along, kind of peering through the smoke, paying more attention to Comet since he was trying to run Comet off the road. And then he suddenly turns and looks and out of that smoke comes just the enormous rear end of this of this industrial vehicle which is probably just like a bunch of like ladders and and hatches and stuff on the back of it…
No, the rear end would be a backhoe.
Gregory Avery-Weir 44:12
Which, visually, I would love for him to have taken the time to tilt out the bucket so the tines are what crashed through the front windshield.
Gregory Avery-Weir 44:21
Okay, so he he kind of turns in time to see a shape come out of the smoke, and then the first thing that he can make out clearly are these these tines of this this backhoe bucket that punch straight through the windshield and hit him in the face. And the camera cuts away to a respectful distance as we see Jones’s vehicle come out of the back end of the of the smoke just carrying this other car on its backhoe and taking a bit of the heat off of Comet.
I may upgrade this to actually have a tangle attack. That does… everyone seems to love the tangle attacks and that seems cool.
Gregory Avery-Weir 44:59
It’s… they’re they’re pretty cool.
I don’t know if it’s actually, like… I think that mine is set up wrong so that it just destroys the car instantly. Is that something I’m going to have the opportunity to tweak before next time? Because I really didn’t think that through.
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:12
Yeah, we can we can adjust those numbers. You can… we can have a mechanic scene where you’re making it so that hopefully you’re not just immediately destroying cars you hit with that harpoon.
Because the linked the linked parts the fun part. That’s…
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:27
All right, Vake, you are sitting in the passenger seat. This guy is not looking particularly well. He’s also being still being very noisy. He’s saying, “What the fuck! I hit you with a shotgun blast point blank!”
I’m going to attack again.
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:44
I have rolled a 12.
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:46
He rolls an eight. So you hit solidly. Are you jabbing forward like you’re spearing at him?
Yes. As hard as possible.
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:54
And this pole is short at the moment, right. It’s it’s kind of shrunk down?
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:57
It has retracted.
Gregory Avery-Weir 45:59
So it’s like you’re kind of shoving at him with a with a with a long baton. You crack him solidly in the face. His head falls out of the of the driver side. Are you just gonna keep pushing and push them all the way out of his car?
Yes. Ideally, that would be great.
Gregory Avery-Weir 46:13
Alright, so you you shove and he goes tumbling out onto the road. Karloff can look out his driver window and see this body rolling out of the lead car.
Oh, I like him much better now.
Gregory Avery-Weir 46:28
And are you staying in this car?
Yeah, I guess I will take over the wheel and… try to drive this car.
Gregory Avery-Weir 46:35
And your tank is just still kind of keeping pace.
Are we sort of at the front, then?
Gregory Avery-Weir 46:40
Yeah. So so your tank and your car at the front of the of this pack. There’s Karloff who’s dragging a dead car behind him and has another live car gaining on him. And then Comet and Jones are pretty near each other near that… well, that cloud of smoke is probably dissipated and gone behind you at this point. And then Beat It is gaining on them from behind.
And I may need to wait to do this. But I’m going to try and slow down a bit.
Gregory Avery-Weir 47:10
Yeah, I think I think probably here just taking over the car takes up all your kind of move-y stuff.
Yeah, I think so too.
Gregory Avery-Weir 47:17
But you do look ahead of you. And there’s a looming highway interchange up ahead. It’s a big cloverleaf, and it looks like there is some sort of rubble blocking this highway, just on the other side of the cloverleaf.
Gregory Avery-Weir 47:34
So let’s pause here and chat a bit out of character.
Gregory Avery-Weir 47:47
So we’ve got a set of principles for this campaign. The first of them is Save Yourself. The world is your enemy. Be ruthless. Even your allies are expendable if it means fighting for another sunrise. And I think we’ve seen enough of your characters to know that, I mean, you don’t seem actively evil, but you do seem to be having fun killing these people.
Gregory Avery-Weir 48:10
There’s a weird amorality, often, to role playing. Like, even the good characters in a role playing game often are like the old joke of them being murder hobos, or they have very lax attitudes towards killing in a… your traditional D&D style game. And then there’s another stage that often happens, which is to have an all out evil campaign where your characters are being bad. And I don’t think that this is necessarily that, but this is definitely at least a hint of the anti hero, which is a popular trope in in post apocalyptic stories.
Gregory Avery-Weir 48:44
What do you all think about playing characters, which are decidedly not good, and aren’t making the ethical choices that you’d make on the real world?
Wait, we’re not supposed to do this stuff in the real world?
I do love smoking people out with my… with my diesel engines sometimes, but it’s not usually on purpose. It’s just fun when it happens. Okay, that’s, that’s a good question. I guess that’s part of the, the fun of role playing, right? You don’t, you don’t have to be a bad person. But you can still explore that part of your, your brain in a in a safe environment.
I also I mean, I don’t… my character doesn’t particularly enjoy the violence that they are inflicting. So I don’t know that it’s fun. But I mean, it is kind of cathartic in some ways. I guess for me as the player
I think it’s a comfort to me that I can just be playing this character who is nothing like me. I just can go crazy and have fun with this cartoon of a post apocalyptic trope that I’m playing right now. And so that’s a lot of fun. I have played characters, quite recently in fact, that are closer to me in personality and that can get into more bleed and other things that can sort of happen psychologically as a result depending on what happens.
Gregory Avery-Weir 50:09
Where you kind of start identifying with them closely?
Yeah. And I don’t think there’s any danger of me doing that with Karloff.
Gregory Avery-Weir 50:16
Yeah, he seems pretty pretty distinct from your day to day.
Yeah. And actually, as far as he’s concerned, even here, he’s not as personally involved. He’s just doing a job.
From my character’s perspective a lot of this is is, you know, retaliation and getting revenge on friends and family that that he knew this gang has hurt and killed in some times, so he’s definitely not doing it for the quite the right reasons but he’s got that sort of, we need to get rid of these guys and law systems take forever. So if there’s just no body then… Well, the problem’s solved.
Gregory Avery-Weir 50:56
Gregory Avery-Weir 50:58
It’s not, it’s not the sort of ethical system we like to think we operate on but it’s certainly a very, very understandable motivation.
Especially in in the more post apocalyptic world. And, and him being more on the outskirts of society. I can definitely see the whole wasting time with people talking in rooms when we could just be out doing things and I think the character in this scenario has actually been given a chance to escape the limitations even his normal world apply to him.
There’s there’s no one around telling him he can’t, you know, just go punch the people who are being jerks in the face.
Do you identify with some part of that, Ben?
Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t have people at some point in time in their life that they love to just be able to go over and deck? I mean, we’ve all had antagonists in our personal lives.
Gregory Avery-Weir 51:59
So for all of you. Do you think that there’s some, like… obviously, there’s some responsibility. What level of responsibility do you have when you’re portraying these characters who are at least willing to, you know, aggressively kill people, whether they consider it justified or not? What level of responsibility do you have in portraying this story in a way that reflects your real life values, or is this just escapist?
Oh, I’d say one of the fundamental things you have to remember is, this is a game.
And if if your ability to tell the difference between your game and your game personas and your reality personas, you need to stop playing and probably get help.
Gregory Avery-Weir 52:46
Yeah, but at the same time, like there are… I think all of us have stories that we would not want to play through in a setting like this. So like, how do you decide what the line is between what is ok to portray and what isn’t?
I had an interesting thought about it last night, actually, because I’ve been playing Undertale again. One of the things you can do in that game… I mean, you can fight and kill all of your enemies, or you can figure out other ways to get through. And so I’m trying to play completely through the game without killing anyone. And I was thinking about this game and about, like, how much possibility there feels like there is to to play that way. And I thought, Okay, well, it doesn’t feel like that there is a way to play it. Although, I mean, that’s probably a lack of imagination on my part.
Gregory Avery-Weir 53:50
I think I think it would definitely like… I don’t know that your characters could at this point, say, “No, you know what, what we’re doing right now is wrong, I’m just going to stop.” Like, that probably wouldn’t result in a cessation of this conflict.
I do feel as though as someone playing a game, though, I do at least have a responsibility to make sure that, as best as best I can, nothing that I do with my character is going to be something that’s going to be triggering or harmful to any of the other players or anybody else listening. I do try to keep that in mind as I’m portraying the character.
Gregory Avery-Weir 54:28
I think it’ll be interesting to see how our thoughts about, like, our characters’ motivations and and why they’re making their decisions… I’d like to see if those evolve and change over the course of the story. But thanks for chatting with me about that.
Gregory Avery-Weir 55:05
We will resume with you all heading towards this interchange that’s up ahead. It looks like with the highway blocked, this main highway blocked, the crossroad doesn’t look particularly intact. But the ramps themselves do, so you have a chance to to redirect your travel and avoid just crashing into the the rocks that are that are ahead of you.
Gregory Avery-Weir 55:34
But you don’t have to worry about that for a little bit, until the top of the next round. Karloff I believe it was your turn. You see Vake ahead of you is is stable in that car. You’re dragging a car behind you and then kind of back and to your left over your left shoulder you can see another raider who’s got her shotgun out and is pointing it at you.
Okay, well the driver with the shotgun has actually made it easier for me to do the thing that I was going to do. So that’s going to be interesting, or at least we shall see. So I’m gonna pull, I’m going to tighten the cable up just a little bit on the car behind me and I’m going to pull forward in front of the vehicle driven by the shotgun wielding gang member and just pull up just a little bit maybe slow down just a hair as I tighten the cable once more. And then I’m going to release the cable and speed up.
Gregory Avery-Weir 56:33
Alright, so you’re just trying to drop this car right in front of them.
Yeah, basically just trying to cause the this car to slam into the car being driven by the shotgun wielding gang member.
Gregory Avery-Weir 56:43
All right. This sounds like we should do some contested drive rolls.
All right, I have drive…
Gregory Avery-Weir 56:49
They rolled an 11, you rolled a 19. You’ve both got specialties in your respective cars. You pull forward and drop this chain. Is your harpoon pulling out of that car are you detaching it on your end and letting it…?
I think I’ve just got more harpoons.
Gregory Avery-Weir 57:05
Okay. So this this chain drops and drags along the ground. The driver that has been chasing you is swerving left and right to kind of try and get a little more space and a little more resistance against this crash. But since you beat their roll by eight… so they’re going to slow down a bit but not enough and they’re pulling back and pulling back almost even with the fancy hot rod driven by Beat It. And that dropped car, which, the engine is stopped, nobody is driving it, slams into the front of their car and deals… at that increment, 30 damage. So they are smashed hard. The driver looks like they’re not dead but they definitely are stunned by that impact and are pretty much out of the fight at this point because they’re very very hurt.
Gregory Avery-Weir 58:03
And their car is is pretty much dead. So that was Karloff. At this point, Comet, your only opponent left is Beat It. They’re driving in that souped up car.
Well, I am going to try to get behind… sorry not behind, in front of one of my allies that’s larger and more heavily armored than I am and keep one of them in between me and and Beat It.
Gregory Avery-Weir 58:29
I think the best choice at this point… if I have enough movement speed I’d love to get closer up to the front.
Gregory Avery-Weir 58:36
Yeah, you could do a drive roll to try and pull ahead.
Gregory Avery-Weir 58:39
Alright so 16 or 17… oh so got a 16, so I think that you’re able to pull ahead a bit. You can definitely kind of put yourself up ahead of Jones to kind of get get his armor there.
Gregory Avery-Weir 58:55
But I think that Beat It is is still keeping pace with you pretty well.
Works for me.
Gregory Avery-Weir 59:00
I will I guess try to shoot at him with my light machine gun.
Gregory Avery-Weir 59:06
That’s mounted on a turret type thing on the top of my car that I can control from inside so I’ll do that.
Gregory Avery-Weir 59:13
All right and he’ll roll defense. So you did an 18 to hit he rolled 12 on his defense. So that means that you beat him by six so you hit three times.
Cool, and I also ignore 12 armor.
Gregory Avery-Weir 59:27
Yeah. So… you’re doing a whole lot of damage with this and penetrating. So you riddle his car pretty thoroughly with bullets. You’ve hit him kind of through the the windshield but in not in any vulnerable places. Not not in any vital place. He’s not immediately dead.
Gregory Avery-Weir 59:48
He’s He’s you can see that he’s bleeding shoulder he may have like gotten a gut wound but he’s not like immediately out. But he’s looking very very upset at his current situation. And his car is smoking and has dropped in speed somewhat. You’ve hit something important in his engine area. He raises a fist and like beats on the the seat next to him hard.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:00:16
And out from the back seat a younger looking gang member sits up and stands up through the sun roof of the car and pulls out a very large rocket launcher.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:00:34
Next time on Tabletop Garden: Ego Driver:
Rockets that have been concealed in the undercarriage will suddenly burst forth and fire, lifting the vehicle!
I don’t need to impress upon you the importance of this adjective choice: is it slick or is it sticky?!
You guys just shrugged off all that damage like it was nothing! You gonna give me some pointers!
Well, sir, I’m looking for some some nice cigarette tobacco so I can roll some up myself.
Hits cost double.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:01:05
Big Eyes Small Mouth third edition was created by Guardians of Order.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:01:10
The theme music for this campaign is “Wasteland” by Phantom Elite, available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivatives license.
Gregory Avery-Weir 1:01:20
For more Tabletop Garden and to subscribe to us visit tabletop.garden and to support the work I do visit patreon.com/gregoryaveryweir
Transcribed by https://otter.ai