Gregory 0:00
Last time on Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.

Gregory 0:05
This enormous building sized structure has suddenly broken. And you see this just wave of dark liquid pour out of the tank. This is 25 feet tall. Stories tall.

Melissa 0:19
I’m Melissa, and I’m playing Sam Michaels. I’ll get up, maybe even drop the notebook I’m carrying, and haul ass towards the tank.

Jim 0:27
I’m Jim and I’m playing Lorenzo Calligari. I’m going to barely make it out the back. I think I’m like on the edge of the thing.

Lucy 0:35
I’m Lucy and I’m playing Harmony Wright. So it’s probably only look that she’s not killed instantly. But she gets sort of sideswiped by a piece of the tank that’s coming off.

Gregory 0:49
And now is when the smell hits you this thick, sugary scent as power lines are sparking and fizzing and falling into the muck and you just start to hear the crumbling of the remaining structures.

Gregory 1:06
Hi, and welcome back 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. I’m Gregory Avery-Weir.

Gregory 1:18
If you want to get episodes of Tabletop Garden a week early, you can support my work on patreon at: If you already support me, thank you so much, you’re making a real difference in my life. And for more information on the show in general, visit

Gregory 1:35
This campaign of Tabletop Garden is The Great Molasses Flood, a tale of weird historical fiction about a real life disaster using the Rosette Diceless system developed by Melissa and myself, aka Future Proof Games. You can check that out at Our agenda, as always, is to honestly portray diverse characters, pursue healthy play practices and craft story with social responsibility. For this campaign, we’re also working to make our play consensus-based, story-focused, and improvisational. We now resume Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.

Gregory 2:26
So this enormous molasses tank has just exploded and reduced this entire small neighborhood to near rubble in a matter of seconds. A big wave of molasses 25 feet tall, moving 35 miles an hour, has destroyed entire buildings.

Gregory 2:51
Lorenzo, you’re up first. You are kind of just behind this this this firehouse with the… The molasses has poured around it and is now kind of starting to flow in towards you. As this this initial speed and force of it has has been expended, it’s now settling down. You can feel it oozing around your ankles as it starts to flow and rise to to height.

Gregory 3:21
And in front of you, you can see that like the first floor of this firehouse has collapsed under the weight of the upper floors and is now just a few feet. You can hear, like, cries and shouts from inside. You hear one of the– one of your your co workers like shouting, to to keep the back door from getting blocked. Like, “Make sure that molasses… make sure it keeps flowing! Make sure it keeps flowing!” Because that you can see th-this molasses draining past you out into the street. And you can tell that like, there’s risk of drowning for the folks that are still inside. Some of them are… have… you know you don’t know exactly who’s survived and who’s who hasn’t. But that’s sort of the most immediate pressing issue is that that the first floor is narrow and full of molasses.

Gregory 4:18
So what do you do?

Jim 4:19
Okay, so the important thing here is to… I think we need to find a way to adjust the flow i think is what we’re talking about. So that it will, as much as we can, will not engulf the people inside. So I think Lorenzo is going to be looking around he’s going to try to… Is there is there wood or is the whole thing just completely brick?

Gregory 4:50
It’s probably mostly brick with wood framing. So you you kind of made it out the the back door just as as the weight collapsed, and so the primary place that the molasses is flowing out is probably this, like, this back door that’s been kind of crumbled and is has cross-beams of wood and you can see like bits of debris from other buildings packing up on the inside of it, carried by this river of molasses that’s running…

Jim 5:16

Gregory 5:16
…through the fire house.

Jim 5:17
And so I’m, I make sure I’ve got this in my head properly, we’re trying to prevent it from rising up to other floors.

Gregory 5:28
And also just making sure it drains out of the first floor. Because there’s still folks down there.

Jim 5:32
Got it. If there’s something that I can use to knock out either a section of the wall or windows or something that can… that’ll… without the building collapsing, that will help the molasses to get out… I think that is… Now’s the time to do that. I’m most inclined to think that the windows are probably going to be the best thing to try to do. Maybe if there are windows along that he can basically try to pick up an axe or a… or anything nearby to run, run along and try and shatter.

Gregory 6:08
Yeah, I know you have the Resourceful Trait that lets you get…

Jim 6:12

Gregory 6:13
…items. Is that something… Are you inclined to, to to get and use…? Like, I mean, a fire axe would certainly be a very useful thing here. We could call that a Rare Resource for the purposes of the scene.

Jim 6:26
A legendary fire axe!

Gregory 6:28
Is that something something you want to use right now? Well, I mean…

Melissa 6:32
Give that thing a name!

Gregory 6:33
In this situation, like, it’s it’s a device designed for helping people out of exactly this situation.

Jim 6:40
Yeah, I mean, I think that to to expedite matters, this is very important. So I think we can Yes, is if this is a rare… If this is considered a rare item in this context, then I definitely will… will see if we can get the… a wonderfully reliable fire axe!

Gregory 7:01
Or you could you could if you like, have a skill that you intend to use, you could just have your Common Resource for the for the session be a normal axe.

Jim 7:10
Oh, yeah, the the…

Gregory 7:12
Up to you.

Jim 7:12
Yeah, I have a couple of skills I could use here. Because I can see him applying his knowledge of firefighting, I can see him applying his rummaging skill to pick up an item that he needs. Actually, I’m inclined in this case to bring the rummaging skill so that he can find the necessary…

Gregory 7:34
So you’ll…

Jim 7:35
…object to to do this and find the necessary weak points he’s looking for, to basically smash and allow the the molasses to flow out so that it will, will help to clear out the building.

Gregory 7:53
Alright, so you can boost your… you can boost with the rummaging skill, which will double your your attribute for this attack. And if you also kind of use your one-per-session that everyone has of a common resource to get whatever the tool is… Maybe a an axe, a fire axe, that’ll… can be used to give you an edge.

Jim 8:14
An axe, or if I’m smashing windows maybe maybe a hook?

Gregory 8:17
Yeah. Bill? A billhook? A fire hook? Yeah.

Jim 8:20
Also tell me if this applies here. And I do have the I do have the trait Extra Quick, which means I’m always boost on challenges to move or react quickly.

Gregory 8:30
That could work too. If if you if you use your skill, you’ll you’ll be able to do Wear, which means that you’ll be able to wear away at the defense of whatever you’re attacking.

Jim 8:43
We do need to do that. I’ll go ahead and use the skill on this occasion because I think that’ll be… We got to wear, we got to cause wear on this thing.

Gregory 8:53
And you can you can know kind of the from the fact that it’s attacking so hard with Body that it’s got a high Vigor but if this is, like, Wits instead, it’s probably got a low Wits.

Jim 9:02
And I think I’m gonna try to… Yeah, I’m trying to out… to, to, I’m trying to outsmart it a little bit. It’s mostly…

Gregory 9:08
You probably don’t have to worry about Wear on its Wits, then.

Jim 9:11
Yeah, but yeah, the… yeah, that’s true.

Melissa 9:13
Perpetually just outsmart a pool of molasses. I hope that we can do this.

Jim 9:18
Although, again, my character’s Mind is not great. So if I end up using that stat, I don’t really want to couch it in the context of certainly outsmarting it.

Gregory 9:27
But you can certainly act quickly enough that you outwit it.

Jim 9:30
Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna use Rummaging. I’m boosting my, if I’m using my Body here as the the attack then that’s up to, boosts it up to six, and I’ll go ahead and use that common resource of the fire hook.

Gregory 9:43
Alright, so your your Body stat is three you’re using your skill to boost it by doubling it to six. You’re attacking the Flood’s Wits and that absolutely will hit. There’s nothing I can do to block that. Wits is Mind plus Charm minus one. So it’s got a low Mind and Charm because it’s a disaster and not a person.

Gregory 10:09
So that means that it’s… since you’re attacking with the hook you’ve got an Edge, so it’s looking at two stress coming in. And it’s going to take one of those, because it must, and then it is going to take an Affliction to absorb the other one. And what affliction is appropriate? I think, diverted.

Gregory 10:33
So from now on, until you exploit this Affliction, you know that that thanks to Lorenzo’s work and presumably other people’s work that like this, the flow of this molasses is being managed enough that that’ll give you a possible in for for doing stress against it later on.

Gregory 10:52
I think I am going to insert an Expert here. So the Flood is going to use one of its stress boxes to create an additional actor in this conflict. So this is one of your coworkers. This is Paddy Driscoll. He was right behind you. And you can see that that he… kind of as you’ve as you’ve cleared this, Lorenzo, as you’ve cleared this this barrier a little bit and there’s more molasses draining, you can see, almost unrecognizable, just coated in this gunk, you can see Paddy, and he’s clearly like, doing his best to keep his head above the… above the goop. And he’s having to like to work to do that. He turns to you and he’s like, “We’re gonna we’re gonna get out of this, right…” Does he call you Lorenzo, or does he call you Enzo?

Jim 11:46
Probably Lorenzo or Renzo.

Gregory 11:49
Renzo, Renzo. “Right, Renzo?” And this is… it is hard to give him a confident answer. So he’s attacking, he’s doing a Charm Attack. He’s boosting with Desperate and he’s boosting with the Extra Convincing– or not, he’s boosting with Desperate, he’s got the Extra Convincing Edge. As he says, “We’re gonna make it, right?” Oh, sorry. And that’s an attack of six on your Nerve.

Jim 12:14
Okay, that’s, that’s cool, actually, because I just need to bring something into it. So let me see. I think I’m going to make use, if I may, of one of my Quirks here, I think to bring in my… add my Charm to my Nerve.

Gregory 12:30

Jim 12:31
If that works. What is the word for that? I forget. Is that also boosted, or…?

Gregory 12:34
Yeah, you’re boosting, you’re boosting your your nerve by adding in your charm to it again. And quirks can be used in three ways. They can be Highlighted by saying, “Hey, I am doing the thing that is expected of my character.” You can Defy your Quirk and you can boost by doing something that’s unexpected, by kind of going against your nature in order to do especially good. Or you can Introduce your quirk, which is you can add something narratively to the scene that wasn’t there before that explains how your Quirk is useful.

Jim 13:00
I’m going to use my… the… my quirk, which I’ve I’ve put in here, which is Seeing the Elephant. It’s often a term often applied to veterans but as someone who is has seen a great deal of adversity, things perhaps people aren’t meant to see. Maybe some of us, some of us in this firehouse, also had been in wars, some of…

Gregory 13:23

Jim 13:23
if there are other veterans amongst us. I wouldn’t know if Paddy necessarily is, maybe. But if he’s asking the question, then then perhaps not, but I’ll say, “Come on, Paddy. Most of us been shot at and we all run into burning buildings. You’re not going to go out looking like a glazed ham.”

Melissa 13:39
Oh, God.

Gregory 13:41
Excellent. So you successfully blocked that, presumably? You’re able to raise your defense above six?

Jim 13:47
Yeah, that raises my defense to eight.

Gregory 13:50
So you’ll take Wear on your Nerve, which means that it’s reduced by one until something hits it. Because that was a boosted attack. And we will shift to Harmony. Harmony, you’re kind of in a similar situation to Lorenzo where you’re, you’re sort of wedged in between… it was… you were between two buildings, but now you’re just sort of beside a ragged piece of masonry, that’s that’s held together. And this molasses is swirling around you and again, threatening to to, to flow up and just sort of engulf you entirely. You can hear, like, shouts for help and various things all around. You can’t immediately clearly tell like any immediate folks that need assistance, but there certainly folks around. What do you do?

Lucy 14:46
Are there… I know there’s the bit of masonry that I am… I’m sort of using as a shield, are… I see in the the aftermath picture, there’s a good bit of debris, so I’m wondering… Is there any, are there any other bits of debris? Like, I’m thinking even parts of the tank would work, or flats, from buildings, or… What I’m looking for is for something that has a lot of surface area that I could get flat on top of the molasses. Because it’s so much heavier than water, like, something pretty…

Gregory 15:30

Lucy 15:31
Like something pretty heavy that would sink in water should be able to be on top of the molasses.

Gregory 15:38
Yeah, give me an attack for that.

Lucy 15:40
Welp. My Mind is pretty good…

Gregory 15:45
I’d say… I mean, this also seems like it’s it’s attacking Wits in the sense of like, you’re trying to find a clever way to, to be on stable surfaces.

Lucy 15:56
I think this is just gonna be a Mind attack. Without boosted…

Gregory 16:02
Okay. So you’re not, you’re not boosting initially.

Lucy 16:04
Right. But I am trying to figure out if I have an Edge that I could potentially use. I don’t remember what Enigma means.

Gregory 16:17
Enigma is is an Edge you can use if you know something that someone else wants to find out, probably not applicable…

Lucy 16:24
Probably not.

Gregory 16:24
…in this specific circumstance.

Lucy 16:26
Well, I do also have Resourceful, if I need it.

Gregory 16:31
And everyone gets one common resource anyway. So that’s also an option.

Lucy 16:35
So I’m not sure I have an edge that makes sense for this attack. So I think it’s just gonna be a mind attack… a four.

Gregory 16:46
All right. Four will hit the Flood. So I think that I will take an additional Affliction to block that stress. And I will take Settling.

Lucy 17:02
And what’s the maximum number of Afflictions you can take?

Gregory 17:05
I can have as many as the number of players.

Lucy 17:07

Gregory 17:07
So I can have three in this case. And so you you did a Stress but instead of actually marking away one of the stress boxes, it took an affliction which can be targeted later. And this is just… you’re able to find a passing, like, part of a wall, it looks like, just a big thing of wood that you’re able to climb on top of. And this stuff is… like it’s weirdly both slippery and sticky. Vake would hate it. It’s it’s it’s coated in this stuff, but it is sort of floating and you’re definitely like… It’s not stable, but it’s better than being stuck in this stuff. You’re able to climb on top of it. And you can see like, across what used to be a street there’s like a bed floating by that has people climbing up on top of it. And you’re here stable for now.

Lucy 17:59
Am I moving?

Gregory 18:00
Yeah, you’re moving kind of slowly. This… you can imagine, like, there’s this initial wave that swept out and smashed against the buildings that are on the on the street where the where the the train track is, and then it’s kind of sloshed back. And so you’re sort of in this this roiling, rocking sea of of this thick molasses that’s just kind of slowly going to and fro. So you’re kind of being swept one way and the next very slowly but but definitely still moving.

Gregory 18:32
And you and Sam can both see that that train that has stopped is is stable, but you can see a little figure has gotten out of the train and is, like, quickly but carefully picking their way back down the track, back south across the broken section. They seem to be in a real hurry. Wearing some sort of uniform.

Gregory 19:00

Melissa 19:01

Gregory 19:02
You are still standing at the edge of this this sloshing lake. I think I think we said that your your kind of boots and probably bottoms of your trousers are covered in in this sticky gunk. You’re squelching with every step.

Melissa 19:15
So what is the state of the wharf and the harbor?

Gregory 19:25
So you can see out in the… out in the harbor. So this this, we’ve focused mostly on what’s kind of happening inland from the tank. You can see that that, weirdly, one of the one of the buildings right next to the tank is almost entirely intact. Unclear how it survived. But a lot of the a lot of the flow that went harbor-ways is just immediately washed out. And you can see that there are people that got… that got swept along in it and are kind of in some molasses that’s that’s that’s roiling on the surface of the water and presumably is going to end up sinking. So there are a lot of people struggling out there. They’re, unfortunately, like across this whole disaster from you.

Gregory 20:12
And then there’s there’s two ships you can see. One’s… was docked at the wharf that seems… It seems fine. It’s the… you know that it’s the USS Nantucket. It’s a Naval training ship. And then there’s another ship that’s further out. That’s, that’s some sort of another naval ship that’s out there. You can see your ship, which is intact. It’s a little ways further down, but it’s definitely, like, there’s molasses, like in the water right around it that’s slowly sinking.

Melissa 20:46
Okay, does it look like…? It’s probably too soon for randos to have their wits about them. Is anyone moving towards that training ship to like, escape? You know what I mean?

Gregory 21:01
I mean, it’s, it doesn’t have, like a… Well. Yeah, there’s some there’s some flight that way. It’s a little bit confused. Because clearly like you can see people on the deck of that ship. Cadets and, and folks who are just just barely starting to react, just like y’all are, to the situation. But it’s, it’s still kind of a confusion there.

Melissa 21:24
Okay. I’m up here. I am looking for… I have an out of character goal and an in character goal. My out of character goal is to have at least two of us in the same place.

Gregory 21:40
That seems like a good goal.

Melissa 21:42
So with the terrible degree of destruction happening here, and all these buildings collapsing down, I probably can see what would have previously been alleys that are no longer alleys, you know, and the…

Gregory 22:00

Melissa 22:00
And that way, so. Okay. Can I narrate? Can I use Uncanny Insights?

Gregory 22:05

Melissa 22:06
Okay, I’m gonna maybe add a building in here. Over somewhere kind of towards the playground, there’s a there’s a small bar.

Gregory 22:19
Okay, so yeah, there’s this initial row of of buildings that the fire station is part of that is now almost completely wiped out and then kind of behind that there’s this bar.

Melissa 22:29
Yeah. And it’s reasonable to be concerned I think that a lunch crowd might have been there. So it’s a it’s a fair first target I think for for moving through. And I I’m thinking, if I’m understanding how Harmony’s turn went, that Harmony is probably in that vicinity.

Gregory 22:48
Yeah, she’s kind of past that bar. And you can see… you can probably see her from here climbing up onto a thing and since… You can… you might be able to recognize her. I don’t know if you can recognize her from…

Melissa 22:59
Sure, that sounds…

Gregory 23:00
…from sight at this distance, but she managed to not get covered completely in molasses, so…

Melissa 23:06

Lucy 23:06
I wandered lonely as a cloud…

Melissa 23:11
Oh, no! Does this mean I get to use my…

Gregory 23:14
Your tie…

Melissa 23:15
…my poetry skill?

Gregory 23:15
Your tie with her is, is related to, to, to culture. To poetry.

Melissa 23:20
To poetry. Okay. Yeah. So, okay, can I… Let’s see. Let me think. Okay. So the other part of uncanny insights is that it might lead to a common resource courtesy of that info. I don’t know that it does in this case, but…

Gregory 23:36
So you… it could get you area knowledge. There could be something useful kind of in or around the bar. That would be, would be useful.

Melissa 23:45
Oh, okay…

Gregory 23:47
There could be someone you know who’s in the bar who could be a resource.

Melissa 23:51
Okay. Okay. Yeah. So, let’s… Okay, how about a… I have a favor from the barkeep, because I helped clear up a scuffle that was happening in the bar.

Gregory 24:06

Melissa 24:06
The previous night.

Lucy 24:07
Is it a scuffle or a kerfuffle?

Melissa 24:10
Well, draft one I went with scuffle. I’m not sure I like it. I think revision two or three, I’m going to try a couple of other words for it. Okay, so yeah, I I’ll hoof it in that direction. and… “Harmony? Harmony?! That you? Harmony?”

Lucy 24:29
Sam. Sam!

Gregory 24:32
Do you want your attack you just be navigating this? So you’re you’re shouting across but you’re trying to get through this, this, what is currently like waist deep molasses?

Melissa 24:43
Yeah, I think that would be good. Um, so I will… I’ll boost with my tie. It’s not about poetry, but it’s about finding her. Maybe that’s not correct, then. Maybe it should be something else. What else would I boost with?

Gregory 24:59
I think you could boost with your tie just because, like, you… That you know her thanks to your poetry relationship.

Melissa 25:07
That’s true.

Gregory 25:08
So that’s that’s still that’s relevant to like how you recognize her and are able to work your way towards her.

Melissa 25:14
And my Edge will be… I might go for useless… not useless trait! Useful Trait. This is in fact a very useful trait. And have that be the uncanny insights since that is what basically led me spot Harmony. So. To spot things… debating whether that’s a mind or body.

Gregory 25:36
It could be either.

Melissa 25:37

Gregory 25:38
It could be just visual acuity would be the body and then…

Melissa 25:40

Gregory 25:41
…like attentiveness would be mind.

Melissa 25:43
Let’s go body. So that makes it a six.

Gregory 25:46
Okay in this– So since it’s spotting I guess that’s… this is still on Wits, right?

Melissa 25:50
I think so. Unless… I mean not to make it harder for myself. I mean, I’m certainly not trying to unnerve it.

Gregory 25:59

Melissa 25:59
Yeah, yeah, I think it’s Wits.

Gregory 26:01
Alright so the edge… The edge of Useful Trait is, basically: edges give you extra stress. And once per per conflict you can use a trait as an edge even if it doesn’t already give an edge.

Melissa 26:14
Oh, I should’ve… dammit. I should have done something else. But carry on. I should I should have just targeted an affliction.

Gregory 26:22
Oh, yes, it does have into afflictions that you can you can hit still.

Melissa 26:26
I even wrote them down over here so that I would remember.

Gregory 26:31

Melissa 26:32
This this works. This is good. “Hi, Harmony!”

Gregory 26:34
Alright, so so you’re you’re able to spot her and you’re picking your way towards her. And I think I think, if it’s cool with y’all, I’ll say that you haven’t made it there yet. But you’re you are able to shout and you’re shouting over a bunch of other shouting and crying.

Melissa 26:47
Yeah, there’s lots of…

Gregory 26:48
And cries for help.

Melissa 26:49

Gregory 26:50
But you’re able to pick your way kind of to the closest stable spot, you’re kind of walking along intact foundations and edges of walls and so on and able to, to kind of get… You’re looking, you’re shouting past this half collapsed bar.

Melissa 27:08

Gregory 27:08
And is there anychat you want to do immediately or…

Melissa 27:12
You doing all right, Harmony?

Lucy 27:14
“This is, uh… unsettling.” Darmony is cross legged and, you know, doing a sort of Lotus on the, whatever, wall that she’s sitting on. “This is extremely unsettling, Sam. But I am I’m relieved to see you.”

Melissa 27:42
I… are you. Are you planning on just sitting on the board?

Lucy 27:48
This seems one of those moments when living in the moment was the– was the best practice.

Melissa 27:56
Al-alright, well, I’m…

Lucy 27:58
But I am open to next steps.

Melissa 28:00
I definitely think we should try to help people.

Lucy 28:03

Gregory 28:04
And up… Harmony you can see… Sam, you’re looking away so so you could maybe follow Harmony’s gaze, but Harmony: Up on… That person who was running across the train tracks is like waving their hands wildly at something down the tracks, and you see another train coming northbound toward them. And they’re like waving frantically. And that train, you’re not sure if the train is going to stop. But then it slows and comes to a stop like right in front of them. And you can tell that if this person hadn’t like, tried to stop the train, it would have plummeted down the broken track. And probably this would have been a whole lot worse. So let’s take a pause right now and chat about something out of character.

Gregory 29:05
So we’re playing Rosette Diceless, which is exciting because it’s the game that Lissa and I made. And this is the first time that I think we’re going to get an entire play chunk online for folks. There was a there was a preview that we released a while back that that ended up not getting finished. But one of the one of the central concepts of of Rosette Diceless is that it’s consensus based. And the design of it, of the play, is that it’s it’s meant to like have different people running different scenes. To not have a unified GM and just for expediency sake, I’m kind of just almost serving a GM role here; I’m narrating. But there are still important things where, like… I have a lot of narrative control, but y’all have some too, and nothing is happening to your character without your consent. So you get to pick how these events affect your character. So for, for role playing in general, what are your thoughts on the ways in which you as a player are giving consent in different forms to having things happen to your character and to have narrative actions taken in the world that you’re theoretically all working to build?

Jim 30:28
Consent, I think is vitally important. Just… not just in games; everywhere. But when you use it in games, that I think means that you can explore things you wouldn’t normally be able to. When you give consent for, say, for example, up front, that, say, the possible stake here as my character is going to die. You’ve already you’ve already stated that that’s okay. And we’re totally free to go there and explore that death as part of the narrative. You get permission to look into these things, knowing what the boundaries are, knowing what you can and can’t look into. I think that helps you to create a much richer narrative.

Melissa 31:28
I don’t know if I should answer since I’m, since I worked on…

Gregory 31:33

Melissa 31:34
Okay. So, you know, it’s sometimes it’s hard to not be reactionary, when designing a system like this. To be like, well, I had these bad experiences, so let me circumvent those by making consent core. Nonetheless, I think that experiences in games over the years where GMs, DMs, etc, felt like their their job, or the funny part of their job, was inflicting an unpleasant amount of harm on on characters, meaning also the players, really. They wanted to hit you weren’t hurt, because the the goal mattered or something, right? And that that sort of target, I think, is pretty nasty. And it’s really a symptom of a lot of larger things, right?

Melissa 32:36
Like, I could say, there’s probably a fair amount of toxic masculinity tangled up in some of this. You know, being being a woman in these spaces with often male GMs, definitely, you know, there’s, there’s definitely some dynamics there. But, um, so, you know, I think about those experiences, and I think like, you know, I could have played in that space. I absolutely love making D&D characters. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t have, you know, like I could have, I could have definitely dove into this space where I’m willing to let a character die, to make an interesting story, and then bring a new one in. But when it becomes adversarial, where it’s someone’s fun to kill your character… It’s just, it’s just unpleasant. You know? There’s this wrestling for narrative control. And so I think, my hope is that with this system, we’ve been able to help create a culture at the table, or in the room if you’re LARPing, which was the original sort of thing, where you can open yourself up for these things in a safer way.

Lucy 33:51
I think a thing I would add to that, too, is it’s even… It’s about power dynamics, and not just in an adversarial way, but there’s often, in more traditional games, the idea of: you’re being… players are given things by GMs, right? Or DMs, right? Whether that’s pain and harm, or whether it’s, you know, fat loot or, you know, whatever, you know, treasure, booty. But you take whatever you’re given, right, and you’re appropriately gracious, too, for the things that you’re given. And that’s a sort of… that can be I think, a pretty negative cycle to be in also, just as much as sort of a, you know, desire to do harm, I guess, to players can be. Just the whole idea of “you have to take what you’re given”, which is not the same thing as exploring the boundaries of a narrative, right? And a character. So I think that there is something about… maybe Rosette specifically, but just sort of this concept kind of generally, that is somewhat less transactional and more collaborative.

Gregory 35:23
Yeah, I think that, that there’s, while any tabletop role playing is in reality, collaborative storytelling, right, it is all the people working together to tell a story, there’s sort of that assumption of… that the GM is the one that really does more of the storytelling. And that, that, that that sort of, almost part of that transaction is weirdly that like, the GM is giving story at the cost of like, at the price of their control over your character is kind of what what that concept made me think of. And like, that’s weird. I don’t know. That’s…

Melissa 36:09
But I mean…

Gregory 36:09
I think that’s, I think that’s a false, That’s a false idea of authority, right? Because players push back on GMs all the time, various ways.

Melissa 36:17
Our society uses that relationship for a lot of things, though.

Gregory 36:20

Melissa 36:20
Like if you think about the way education is done, or you have one person holding the knowledge, dispensing it in a certain way, at what cost etc, etc. So it’s not, it’s not, I guess, not surprising that we have modeled this in our, in our fun time.

Gregory 36:35
Yeah, one of the metaphors that’s often used for GMs is that they are the judge of the system, which is a very, very… There’s, there’s a lot there to unpack about authority and control and laws being immutable and important. So, yeah.

Melissa 36:54

Gregory 36:55
All right. So one thing I’ll request of y’all is, especially in this circumstance, where I’m, I think, exerting more narrative control than would be usual in Rosette, please feel free to push back. I’m going to be asking permission and having characters attempt to… characters and entities, like the disaster, attempt to do things to your to your characters. And I trust y’all to decide whether or not you want those things to happen to them.

Gregory 37:35
So, you all have had a kind of brief moment, a brief long moment of, of stability as this flood has swept over this neighborhood, sloshed back, and you’ve sort of found found places where you can be working at least for a little bit. But as as the situation develops, things are are starting to get more difficult. The Flood is going to make a standard attack now. It’s because… because it’s the Adversary it gets to attack every player at once. And this is generally just a, a situation where the things that… the… all the buildings and structures that initially were, were knocked off their foundations and crumbled and so on are are starting to settle and and have their their weight come down on new, not their original, supports.

Gregory 38:45
So, Lorenzo, you’re behind this, this firehouse that already has has had its kind of had its first floor reduced to half its height just by by getting shaken off of its foundation. And you’re you’re hooking bits bits of debris and so on and keeping this this molasses flowing out. And as part of that sort of gradual widening of that what was originally a doorway and some windows and and just the the debris that continues to flow through as you’re hearing people inside working their hardest to to stay alive. You hear above you some crumbling and cracking as part of the back facade of the of the firehouse is threatening to come down onto you.

Gregory 39:33
Sam and Harmony: You’re both next to this half collapsed bar that you know has some people inside of it. And you’re hearing rumbles and crumbling in it as you realize that this bar has a basement, has has– where kegs and stuff are stored and you’re, you’re kind of above what was once the street above it and you’re hearing burbling and cracking as stuff is flowing into the basement. And you can tell that the ground below you is beginning to cave in.

Gregory 40:10
So this is a Body attack on all of you, this is using the Implacable skill, boosting with that, and with an Edge of Collapsed Building. So this this collapsed building is like a weapon, so if you have armor-like resources that would would help protect against it. And this is a again, a 10, because it’s a Body attack, a Bold attack that will will do Wear against you if even if you block it. And this is, I think this is against Vigor, because you’re facing this thing directly sending bricks on you, or trying to send you into a cellar. I think that that’s still going to hit everyone. So, Lorenzo, do you do you get hit by these– by this debris? You get hit by the attack, which means you take stress, but what’s what’s the…?

Jim 41:02
Important question. Did I sacrifice that pick earlier? Or did I…

Gregory 41:09

Jim 41:10
…still have…? Okay, so…

Gregory 41:11
You’ve still got it. You… if you’ve used it, you’ve used it as an edge. So you can’t use it as an edge again.

Jim 41:17
Okay. That was my, that was my question. Because if… I was looking under sacrificing resources…

Gregory 41:27
You could theoretically use it in a future conflict if you still had it now, because you didn’t sacrifice it, but essentially, it only gives you a mechanical benefit once.

Jim 41:35
Okay, I gotcha. I was just, I just wanted to make sure that because I was trying to figure out the line between sacrificing the resource and just making use of the resource if there was a difference there.

Gregory 41:45
The advantage of sacrificing is you lose the resource permanently, but you can use it in a in a way that you know, that is not kind of its intended purpose.

Jim 41:52
Okay. I was looking at the thing about boosting a Defence or blocking an edge. But what I’ll do instead, I’m still I’m still using it. But it’s more it’s a prop now.

Gregory 42:03

Jim 42:04
As I’m trying to… I don’t think I have anything that that I can use here to to block the edge, which is really the only thing I’m concerned with at this point.

Gregory 42:15
Yeah, I think Resourceful would be your only option.

Jim 42:18
Yeah, if I wanted to grant but I’d have to immediately sacrifice that resource would I not? To…

Gregory 42:23
You could, you could use resourceful to get something that would that would block all edges related to something. So you could like Resourceful construct yourself some armor or something, or a prop, like a literal thing to prop something up with.

Jim 42:38
Yeah, I was thinking about that I was thinking about, well, we’re going to have to talk a little bit about the the laws of bouyancy for a moment so that I can make certain that if I’m, if I’m using this…

Gregory 42:48
I think, I think with the weight of a building that you’re talking about your I don’t think you’re going to be able to like get something that would float, but you could certainly like be resourceful enough to like find a jack that would be used to like jack up like wagons and cars, you know that there’s not many cars around, but certainly still be there. So that might be something you could scrounge up real quick and use to block this edge.

Jim 43:14
Part of me I was thinking about like a raft or a boat or something going going by possibly just just if I’m using that resourceful thing, just suddenly since we’re near a since we’re near water.

Melissa 43:26
Molasses canoe.

Jim 43:27
Yeah, yeah, essentially is what I was thinking about is in terms of like using it for that and then using that to block certain edges.

Gregory 43:35
Yeah, I mean if if you’re down for like, leaving the firehouse, right, and getting out of the way of of this stuff, then a boat or something would be would totally work. But if you want to stay here, I think you need to want to block heavy stuff from above.

Jim 43:48
Well, I guess the the question really has to do with I bought everyone enough time to get out yet. Because if that is not the case, then…

Gregory 43:54
Yeah. They’re they’re no longer in immediate danger of just drowning in molasses. But they’re still they’re still definitely stuck. And you can tell that like some of them probably have stuff on top of them and that’s going to take longer to remove.

Jim 44:07

Gregory 44:08
Thanks to the partially collapsed building.

Jim 44:10
All right. So then that being the case, we’re gonna go ahead and take it! So what’s a good word for something like pummeled? Pummeled? Is that a good word or…

Gregory 44:23
Pummelled sounds good to me.

Jim 44:24
Being pummeled by brickwork. I will take that as…

Gregory 44:31
Okay. So you take one point of stress and the other point becomes the affliction Pummeled. What’s– what are your two afflictions?

Jim 44:37
I have Pummeled and Delayed. As this…

Gregory 44:40

Jim 44:40
As bricks rain down on me I’m trying to sort of dodge to get out of the way but some of them do hit me.

Gregory 44:45
Alright, are you, with this thing kind of collapsing more, are you stuck under it? Or are you still kind of able to move around?

Jim 44:53
I think I am able to move, if I may, I think I am still able to move around at this point. But I’m probably getting… as the molasses are coming out further it is getting harder to move at this point. So it’s…

Gregory 45:04

Jim 45:05
Got it got to do something.

Gregory 45:06
And Sam and Harmony, you’re in danger of falling into this cellar.

Lucy 45:14
So I’d like to look around and see if I can find something like… I mean, something rope-like. It could be a rope. It could be clothes, it could be power lines.

Gregory 45:33
What about a clothesline?

Lucy 45:34
Clothesline sounds good.

Gregory 45:36
There’s a lot of residential buildings around, so you could definitely have like a real sturdy clothesline that’s come by.

Lucy 45:42
So I guess I’m attempting for this to be my common resource that I’m accruing for this session. And I’d like to use it to block the edge because I’m going to attempt to tie it to something stable that’s not going into the hole.

Gregory 46:04

Lucy 46:05
And then me also not go into the hole.

Gregory 46:09
Yeah, probably some jagged, like, pieces of metal and so on that are embedded in concrete and more stable.

Lucy 46:16

Gregory 46:17
So are you taking the point of stress or are you blocking that with an affliction?

Lucy 46:21
I’m gonna take the affliction. And I guess the affliction I will now take will be… Moored?

Gregory 46:33
Moored, okay, so you’re because you’re just, at this point, in order to be stable, you’re kind of tied to that that spot.

Lucy 46:40

Gregory 46:41
And your other affliction is…

Lucy 46:42

Gregory 46:44
Okay. And then Sam, you’re seeing Harmony, like, snatch this clothesline and real quick, tie one end of it and hold on to it.

Melissa 46:54
All right. I’ll mutter, “Gotta teach that girl how to tie a knot.” So there are people in the basement?

Gregory 47:04
Yeah, you you hear it’s it. You can hear a bunch of voices that are on the first floor of the bar. You hear one voice coming from the basement just like, “Help! Help!” And it looks like just the for the moment just the patch of ground you’re on is collapsing. Doesn’t look like the whole bar is in danger of falling. But yeah, there is someone down there.

Melissa 47:25
Okay. So when you sacrifice a resource, a common resource, even if it would not necessarily block an edge, it can in the sacrifice. So I would like to sacrifice the favor that I have with the barkeep…

Gregory 47:42

Melissa 47:44
…to block this edge, and I think what Sam does is… I mean, this is… I don’t know how buildings work. Maybe just climb up. Like just like sit on the window ledge. Right? Like just get off of that spot of ground and break the window in the process. That’s the that’s the unpleasant thing for the barkeep, is I’m breaking a shit. And I’ll I’ll yell at the the barkeep, “Jim, there’s someone downstairs, gott–” Sorry. Not that Jim. It’s the first name that came to mind!

Jim 48:21
It’s like, “Yes? Yes. What do you need?”

Melissa 48:24

Jim 48:29
I’m everywhere.

Melissa 48:30
You are everywhere. Um… “James. There’s someone down in the basement. You’ve got to get them out.” I know that doesn’t get me very far, but… So yeah, I can at least block the edge. Burn that favor. James has to do something. Or at least I’m commanding James to do something.

Gregory 48:57
Given that there’s so much damage around Is there something like that’s not already a loss that you can destroy as part of this? Like, is there some treasured thing that that James was, like… “I’m glad this survived the disaster” and that as part of this you’ve just destroyed it.

Melissa 49:13
Ohh… Hmm. I like that.

Gregory 49:16
A stained… like, is the window a fancy stained glass window from a church in Dublin or something?

Melissa 49:23
Oh, that’s brutal. But yeah, like so this is so this being so close to the dock, one of the appeals of this bar is that it’s like a slice of home for immigrants and so on, like folks visiting from other places. So yeah, something like stained glass or…

Lucy 49:44
A Guinness sign from Ireland.

Melissa 49:47
There we go. Yes. stained glass. Yeah, the stained glass with Guinness, like, you know, like it’s part of the the design.

Gregory 49:54
Oh, it’s from from a pub in the…

Melissa 49:56

Gregory 49:57
In the homeland, okay.

Melissa 49:57
Yeah. And I just, I mean, take an elbow to it, like, people matter more than glass but, also, Ouch. Sorry. It’s unfortunate. So yeah, I will take… I’m on the fence about whether I should take a second stress or second affliction. But I will take the affliction… So so far, I think… I mean, Sam certainly realizes that he is dealing with a disaster at the scale of something larger than he can fix. I don’t think he is hopeless about the situation, but also, “Holy shit,” right? Like, this is not this is not something that’s that’s gonna go well. So I think he has the affliction Resolute? Is that a bad affliction? Like, Resolved, maybe? Or something? Like, like knowing that this is not going to go well.

Gregory 51:02
Fatalistic? Trying to try to tilt it negative. Or Resigned?

Melissa 51:08
I think Resigned is okay. Still gonna do the work, though. Like not giving up. So yeah, we can go with Resigned.

Lucy 51:18

Melissa 51:20

Lucy 51:22
“Can you pass this to James?” I give you a tract about universal basic inc–

Melissa 51:29

Melissa 51:34

Gregory 51:36
Are you sure you shouldn’t have taken Dazed instead of Moored? You seem a little out of it.

Melissa 51:42
Now is not the time, Harmony. What were you doing before?

Lucy 51:48
If not now, then when?

Melissa 51:50
After the molasses flood! That’s when!

Lucy 51:53
If there is an “after the molasses flood”!

Melissa 51:56
This is a very big city. There will be an after. It just won’t be here.

Lucy 52:01
Maybe not for everybody!

Melissa 52:03
No, definitely not for everybody.

Gregory 52:05
And you’re… so you’re resigned and shaken?

Melissa 52:08
Resigned and Shaken. I feel like I’m failing on my Extra Composed here, but…

Gregory 52:16
Well, Harmony seems to be a challenge to that composure.

Melissa 52:19
God! Despite being inner peace. Her inner peace is messing with my composure.

Lucy 52:26
My inner peace is doing great!

Melissa 52:28
Yeah, well.

Gregory 52:31
So, Lorenzo, so you’ve kind of managed to dodge falling debris, you’re managing this this flow of molasses, out of the back of the firehouse and it’s it’s starting to settle. It looks like most of the structural collapse of the firehouse is completed. Sam and Harmony you’re you’re now looking into this this hole into the cellar and seeing someone struggle down there. One of the bar employees, a guy named Mike, who presumably was changing out a keg or something down there. But Lorenzo, you can still hear Paddy in there and I guess see him. He’s right inside. He’s clearly still struggling, but he’s the closest person to you. And then the Flood in general is still diverted and settling. So what do you do?

Jim 53:26
How is the Adversary doing right now?

Gregory 53:29
The adversary is doing great. Has taken…

Melissa 53:33
The adversary can go to hell.

Gregory 53:37
How has the adversary taken… have I missed a thing? I’ve only got one point of stress on it and I feel like I should have two.

Melissa 53:44
I dealt one.

Lucy 53:46
I was I didn’t have an edge on mine, so…

Melissa 53:49
Yeah, so mine was… mine hit. And then Lucy’s…

Gregory 53:54
Yours hit.

Melissa 53:55
…only did an affliction.

Lucy 53:56
Yeah, mine hit. It just was an affliction.

Jim 53:59
Mine also hit.

Gregory 54:00
Okay. I just didn’t record the stress from Sam.

Melissa 54:05
Jim hit as well.

Gregory 54:08
Yes. So everybody hit and… So I’ve got three stress on it. And two afflictions because Lucy, Harmony did not have an edge.

Jim 54:19
Okay, what are the afflictions?

Gregory 54:21
The afflictions are Diverted and Settling.

Jim 54:24
Could use either of those. Yes. So I would like to use one of those.

Gregory 54:31

Jim 54:31
I think that as things are starting to settle, I’m going to take advantage of that. So I’m going to attack the Settling affliction to sort of try to, sort of, wade in and start calling people out.

Gregory 54:51

Jim 54:51
I think what I’m going to do is that as things are starting starting to settle, but there’s like maybe one or two final beams that are starting to… that are dropping, I’m going to sort of very bold fashion kind of wade up to one and put my shoulder up against it. And sort of as as these firemen are trying to trying to get out. And I sort of look down: “What are you waiting for down there, Mardi Gras? Come on!” And I’m I’m trying to use the the drama edge, if I may, to…

Melissa 55:27

Gregory 55:29
All right.

Jim 55:29
…try to go along with the the the attacking of that affliction.

Gregory 55:33
So when you target an affliction, you automatically hit. But you do, you have to use an edge to do any stress. So you use Drama. It no longer has the Settling affliction. Since it’s since the adversary, it can’t take another Affliction as a result of that. So it takes a point of stress from your dramatic action. And… hm?

Melissa 56:00
I said “Yay.” That’s all.

Gregory 56:02
And you you usher several of the people, of the firefighters who were trapped in that low space, right, because it’s only like four feet tall or something, are able to scramble through the molasses past you. You’re kind of supporting this beam that’s that’s over you. And Paddy’s… kind of grabs on to your to your trouser leg and his hands are slipping in the molasses as he’s pulling up and kind of lifting himself up above the the gunk.

Gregory 56:31
And he says, “I, I would if I could, Renzo but I can’t, I don’t know some… something’s got my leg.” And you can see that like that another beam is weighing down on him and he can’t easily pull himself free. So you’re kind of a little more in the trouble than you than you were before. But you’ve you’ve rescued some people.

Gregory 57:00
And as as Paddy is trying to lift his way out. He’s you know, tugging on you more and he catches your belt. And you’re already kind of in a in a squat supporting this beam. And because because of that extra weight and then the the weirdly awkward stance you have to be in, he’s in danger of pulling you down and pull you down into the into the molasses with the with the beam coming down on top of you. So this is… I think this is his Body that he’s attacking with. So he’s attacking bold with his skill of Confused. And what edge is he using here? This might be concealment. He might be… because he’s attacking from an awkward place. Because he’s he’s kind of in cover as it were. It’s an angle that’s hard to hard for you to protect from. So that is a four on your vigor. From from Paddy coming in bold. And I think you’ve already got one Wear on it?

Jim 58:10
I’ve got aware on nerve. I don’t know.

Gregory 58:13
Okay, on Nerve, nevermind. Everything is attack your Vigor so far has hit.

Melissa 58:21
Wahh, wahh.

Jim 58:26
Okay, so let’s see. Strangely enough, I’m gonna try to use my Bargaining skill. Where… so here’s, here’s how we’re going to frame this. You can tell me if this if this holds water and or molasses. And so I’ll say, as I’m just sort of like trying to trying to sort of sort of, we’re both slipping down trying to help lift him up. I’m gonna say, “Hey, come on, Paddy. Come on. Tell you what. Tell you what. We’ll do a deal. We both make it out of this, your poker debt to me? Canceled.”

Melissa 59:01
That’s good. I like that.

Gregory 59:04
All right. He kind of, he laughs; you’ve shaken him out of kind of his his desperate scrambling. And he he says, “All right. All right, Renzo. I’ll hold you to that.” And he settles down a little bit. Are you… Have you managed to kind of keep your keep your freedom as part of this? Or are you now kind of trapped under that beam?

Jim 59:25
I think…

Gregory 59:26
You’re still standing, you’re not in the molasses, but…?

Jim 59:29
I think I am, actually. It’s it’s a thing where I’m, I’m gonna have to probably wedge myself out in a minute once once Paddy gets out.

Gregory 59:38
All right, I will add… So I’ve added an Obstacle to represent that cellar that you’re… that the other two are dealing with and I’ll add Confinement to the turn order to reflect your now kind of being back inside the firehouse.

Melissa 59:54
You’re saying we now have an extra that is the cellar?

Gregory 59:57

Melissa 59:58

Gregory 59:59
Yeah. So you’ve got, the the, the experts slash extras that are on the board are: the Victim Paddy Driscoll, the Obstacle of the cellar and the and the situation in the in the kind of bar, and the Confinement that that that Lorenzo is facing.

Melissa 1:00:20

Gregory 1:00:22
As you’re all struggling with the ground literally falling out from under you and buildings literally falling down from above, you all, each of you, have this weird… this feeling that this wasn’t how things are supposed to go. Like, obviously you’re you you’d react in a situation like, “How could something like this ever happen to me?” But there’s also this feeling of just like, you feel like there’s part of this situation missing. Like something’s terribly wrong and you can’t place what that is, but it’s just… somehow you’re all in the wrong place. And things aren’t supposed to be the way they are right now.

Gregory 1:01:11
Next time on Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.

Jim 1:01:16
And I’m going to be falling face first into the molasses.

Gregory 1:01:21
You’re covered in this stuff. It’s in your eyes, you’re… you have to like swipe it away for your nose and mouth to be able to breathe.

Melissa 1:01:27
They probably weigh half again their own weight on account of all the molasses they’re coated in.

Lucy 1:01:32
I bet none of us are ever gonna want to eat candy again.

Gregory 1:01:36
And he’s trying to get you to leave him behind.

Gregory 1:01:44
Rosette Diceless was created by Future Proof Games and can be found at Our theme song is “Great Molasses Disaster” by Robin Agner and Parlor Game, available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Sharealike 3.0 license. You can find more on tabletop garden at and you can support my work and get episodes early at:

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