Huge molasses tank explodes in North End. 11 dead 50 hurt. Giant wave of 2,300,000 gallons of molasses 50 feet high sweeps everything before it. 100 men, women and children caught in sticky stream. Buildings, vehicles, and L structure crushed. Search for more victims during the night. No escape from gigantic wave of fluid. Headline, The Boston Post, Thursday, January 16, 1919.
Hi, and welcome back to Tabletop Garden. It’s 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. Thank you so much for listening. If you’re enjoying the show, please talk about it to your friends, post about it, retweet the announcements I post on Twitter @gregoryweir. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.
And if you want to get the next episode a week early, which will be particularly relevant for the dramatic cliffhanger at the end of this one, you can go to patreon patreon.com/GregoryAveryWeir and if you support me at any amount, you’ll get episodes a week early, and then a post mortem episode for this campaign where I talk about how I planned it and so on. I did one of those for Ego Driver. I think I like a lot how it turned out. And I plan to do one for this season as well. And if you already support me, thank you very very, very much.
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 that Melissa and myself created. We’re Future Proof Games and you can get more information on Rosette Diceless at rosetterpg.com. 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. Now back to Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to our second session. How’s everybody doing?
I’m okay. I’m good. I’m still functioning I think. I haven’t actually checked to… checked in with anyone to see how I am. But I’m told I’m fine. When… at last report. A little while back, and I have no reason to disbelieve it. So…
Do you have a ticket in?
Yes, yes, I put a ticket in a while ago. And they said that it was… it’s according to the status report, it’s in process right now. So apparently, once once QA gets back to me, then they’ll let me know if I’m truly okay. But apparently, thus far, my systems are functional.
I’ll just say I’m doing fine.
How are we feeling about the campaign so far? You’ve had a week at this point to reflect on our first recording, any thoughts? Anything we want to do to adjust the contract we discussed? Anything like that?
I reviewed it when you sent it out and it seemed fine to me.
Yep. It seems good to me.
Thank you, by the way for clarifying about the situation in the contract with the animals. For some reason I’d gotten into my into my head that it was the same as we were doing for children, which is that they can be present. But just we don’t have any harm come to them. For some reason, I thought animals could also be present. But then when you sent it back through and also, of course, you know, when we went ahead and we corrected it right at that point. And that was absolutely cool. I just for some reason I had come away from that conversation thinking it was the one way when in fact, it was the other. So thanks very much for clearing that up. I appreciate it.
I’m happy that I noted that down just sort of serve as a as a contract. So that’s the sort of… Not I mean, not as like a… I think we say social contract. But I don’t think that we’re like intending it to be like a legal contract in that sense. But having something written down helps to like us to be able to refer to it and all that.
So last time you all were in the middle of a disaster on the north at the north end of Boston in 1919. Harmony, Sam and Lorenzo were all in this neighborhood when a big, enormous tank of industrial molasses storage burst open and within the first few seconds washed over this neighborhood and reduced much of it to rubble. You all did your best to stay out of immediate danger yourself and help people but you’re still in this field of rubble and sticky molasses that is that is still sloshing, viscously around. And we are in the middle of a conflict scene. Your goal in this conflict is to save as many people as you can. And the consequence if you get defeated in the conflict is that the three of you die. So the current situation is that…
We’re getting our asses kicked?
Lorenzo is in a different place than the two of you. He’s in the back of the firehouse which the top two floors of this three storey firehouse have fallen and crushed somewhat the first floor. So the first floor is very low and filled with rubble. And Lorenzo has has helped some people out but has gone back in and is currently supporting a beam with his shoulder and standing over Patty Driscoll who is a fellow firefighter who kind of… Lorenzo’s giving them a pep talk. But he is pinned under some some rubble.
Harmony and Sam are both at a partially collapsed bar that’s a little ways away from the from the where the tank was at the edge of the playground. Harmony has tied herself to a piece of metal, and Sam is sitting in a broken window. And below them, the cellar is slowly collapsing under the flow of this molasses. And you can tell that there there are some people kind of in the rubble in the in the bar, and there’s definitely someone down in the cellar who’s who’s calling for help. One of the bar staff.
I think that each of you have two Afflictions. And the adversary currently has the affliction Diverted. And you’re also dealing with an obstacle, which is that that collapsing cellar, which is an expert, an NPC serving the adversary that I’m controlling. You’ve got an expert that is Confinement, that is the situation that Lorenzo is in. And then Lorenzo is also dealing with the victim that he’s trying to help. So it is Harmony’s turn. And I think, Lucy, I’ve got a note here that you wrote down a plan in your notebook.
I do and I have deciphered it.
Already. I’ve been working on that. Although I do have one question. It’s possible that maybe you will need to edit this out afterwards. But I cannot figure out for the life of me. Why I have written down the date January 15 1999.
1919 is probably what you meant to write.
Because it is January 15, 1919.
Okay, okay. Okay, that makes sense. I made a… Cuz I was staring at that. And I was like, why would I have written that? Okay, thank you.
Um, so, currently, um, Harmony is us… has… is using a piece of clothesline that she had found in all of the detritus floating around in the molasses and tied herself in her weird raft situation. To this pole? Or part of masonry?
Yeah, it’s a bit of a bit of middle support for a wall that the masonry has crumbled off of.
So what she wants to do is, um, use her current lodging, and shout some orders to the folks who are down in the bar. And her goal is to try and use the clothesline and the people to get to the person who is down in the basement and try and pull them out. So, um, I don’t know exactly what it looks like here, but I’m imagining she could try and toss the clothesline, maybe to Sam first and then to another person. And maybe from her vantage point she can say like how it needs to be positioned. To try and get… maneuver this person out. My attack is going to be boosted using my skill at logistics and organizing people. And I think that I would have an edge of Field Work because I have literally jury rigged the situation previously.
Yeah, that makes sense. So this is a mind attack coming in bold.
Yes. At an eight.
Okay, that absolutely works. So Sam, are you are you kind of helping coordinate this?
Yeah. I’ll… The reason I was smiling is that I also have the skill coordinating people. So…
It works. So yeah, I’ll grab on and then help pass it around. or help help get it where it needs to go.
We’re just a couple of coordinators.
So you call out to some of the people that are within the the main part of the bar, which is at the ground level. And one of them sort of stumbles, still a little dazed, out and you… Sam, they’re, they walk to the window, and you have no idea who they are. They say, “Sam, Sam, what’s… what… someone needs help?” And you can’t recognize them because they are just covered in molasses.
They’re just coated head to foot in this brown sticky liquid. And yeah, that’s dripping off their face. And so you just can’t see them. You can’t see any distinguishing features. They say, “Yeah, we can secure it around around this!” And they sort of get it around a bar, get the rope around a barstool and pass it back out the window, down into the to the hole. And you’ve now got this pretty well secured rope that’s stretching from Harmony to the barstool and then out the window, past Sam, and down into the cellar. And you see a form just struggling through this goop down there. But it’s like, you know how hard it is to wade through water. Now, if this was just the stickiest stuff, they’re they’re clearly like breathing heavily and having a really hard time just even making any sort of headway. But you’ve now got a rope down to them that they’re agonizingly slowly managing to pick up and kind of pull taut so that they can use it to help themselves get out.
I’ll try to encourage them in a calm way. Like, “You can do this. One more step. Just a little bit further, come on.”
And the obstacle that you’re combating is going to attack. As as they’re pulling on this and as this person is kind of added their, this the person upstairs helping you has added their weight to this side of the bar, you feel just a little bit of like vibration and shifting underneath you, Sam. And this rope is on the edge of the window sill and a piece of masonry on the window sill, you hear a cracking noise from it, and it falls out into the cellar and you can feel that this whole side of the building is starting to tip. So this is an attack, a bold attack boosted with Unstable against Sam’s Vigor. So that is an eight. And it has a… it has a an edge of drama.
It does have an edge of Drama.
Or should I just target your affliction? You’ve got…
Oh no! No.
You don’t have any you don’t have any good afflictions to target.
Okay, so that’s an eight on my Vigor. My Vigor is a four; I cannot boost it to an eight. So I’m at least going to take stress and or… well, stress. That… I can’t… if I take a third affliction, I am out of the conflict. Correct?
If you take a third stress you’re out of the conflict.
Okay, so I just can’t take any more afflictions once I have three afflictions.
Okay. So, important thing now is blocking the Edge, which would generally happen with the aid of a resource.
Yeah, you need to have some way of blocking the… kind of the dramatic… the narratively dramatic situation, since that’s the edge in use.
Yeah. And I don’t think I want to sacrifice either of my two remaining resources, one of which is a pocket knife or multi tool. So that would be the most likely one. I don’t think I want to cough that up. So I think I will take a stress and an affliction. And the affliction should be… So I’ve got shaken, resigned, and what now?
How many open stress boxes will you have left after this?
Okay. So something pretty severe would make sense.
Yeah, hmm. What about…? So am I at risk of falling? or?
Yeah, I think you’re at risk of falling into the cellar yourself or of this this part of the building collapsing.
Afflictions can be hard to come up with sometimes! I’m just trying to come up with the stuck between a rock and a hard place joke, but it’d be like stuck between a wall and a sticky pool and it just doesn’t roll off the tongue.
Are you imbalanced? Do you end up clinging? Do you…?
Hmm. I think I like clinging.
Or or or grasping, but I think I’ll go with…
Yeah, I’ll go with grasping. Oof, y’all. This is… This is bad. For me.
So what does it? What does it look like? What’s your… What happens to you?
So with this, the the wall of the building is starting to kind of buckle, basically. And we’ve got home skillet down in the cellar, really struggling. And luckily, the rope I’m holding is molasses free, I think? So I’m not like fighting the slippery…
Decreasingly, yes, but…
But yeah, it’s still… it’s still got enough traction.
Yeah. But I think that I’m like trying to find anything I can brace my feet against to lessen the weight that I’m pulling on the wall. So I’m trying to brace myself. I’ll even take a hand off the rope and brace against something if I can, like anything to like, reduce the pressure of this tug of war to give the wall a chance to stay stable. Because if that comes down, the roof is coming down. I don’t even… Is there a second floor? If so, it’s coming down, like things are gonna go very bad if this wall comes down. So, yeah, I’m just trying to like, hang on by my fingernails basically, and keep the situation static.
So from from Harmony’s vantage point, she can clearly see that you’re kind of braced against like, some parts of the foundation that are still part of the ground and not attached to this crumbling building. But you probably don’t look like you’re in too secure of a circumstance.
But it is your turn, Sam.
So from this precarious-ass position. Looking down into this this roiling cellar of of goop. With more pouring in. You’re seeing this person slowly managing to pull themselves forward. They’re now directly under you. But they now have a molasses slick rope and are… They’re just this mound of brown goop. Like…
They’re completely coated. They’re almost unrecognizable as human and are trying to pull themselves up but they’re already weak. And every bit of pressure they put on that is more weight that’s being put on the wall.
They probably weigh half again their own weight on account of all the molasses they’re coated in.
I bet none of us are ever gonna want to eat candy again.
That is not true. Oh, do you mean in character or out of character?
Yeah, I mean in character. I’m sure I’ll be fine out of character.
Yes. I’m so used to playing games where I have sci fi and or magic that I’m like standing here with this rope in my hand.
Is there anything Harmony can see from her vantage point that might let her give a tip to Sam?
I think you just need to stay the course Sam. Maybe we could, just to keep us our our spirits up and our focus, let’s just recite you some poetry together.
Okay, thank you. Yes.
Well, okay, let me think about how I want to set this up.
Does this has to do with your profession?
Yes. I have the skill rigging, meaning rope usage. So I want to burst into a recitation of… Hmm, who’s a good poet for a good like, rhythmic, you know, work pattern of figuring out you know, of, of work.
Molasses to the right of them, molasses to the left left of them, molasses before them, roiled and slid.
Is this an established poem, or are we making this up on the fly?
I’m trying to do Charge of the Light Brigade with molasses, but I’m not really sure it works.
Well, I am not particularly well versed in a wide variety of poetry. So unless anyone has any suggestions, we’ll just say I pick a good poem? I don’t know. And so I’m looking at this rope. I feel like I got to get the Swiss Army knife in here somewhere, my multi tool.
You could use your tool as a as a piton in a more stable part of the wall.
To kind of anchor it in and then put the rope around that.
Yeah, if there’s any kind of trees around or any sort of like, I don’t know, any kind of anything I can use.
Yeah, you’re in a very…
That’s what I figured.
Built-up thing. Area.
And you’re, you’re not able to go very far.
Because you’re still clinging to this wall.
So yeah, let me let me try that. Just to like, basically, the goal is to distribute the pressure, right, so that it’s not all just like, set on this, this one part coming through the window. So that is going to be I think, a body attack, maybe? Using Rigging with an edge from my multi tool, and that is going to be a six. Bold.
Alright, I think that this obstacle that you’re attacking is going to boost using its Slippery and Sticky skill. So you kind of put this you put this piton in, you wrap the rope around around it, and slide it down into the, into the rope. But unfortunately, as we’ve established, Vake would not like this situation. And you’ve got this, this rope better secured, you’re a little stable, you’re hauling on it, because you’re… You know, you’re a sailor you’re good at… You probably have only done a little bit of work on tall ships.
Given this is the early 1900s, but you probably hauled rope on one before.
Sure! Rope’s always useful.
But this person in the basement has does not have much experience climbing rope and is a very in a very bad situation. And so you’re lifting and you like lift them up a few feet, and then their hands slide down the rope and they plung into the molasses and have to struggle to get themselves back up. And it’s just this this Sisyphean task trying to get them up out of this situation.
So did it all end up being blocked?
Yeah, so, so…
No, you don’t you didn’t use your edge up. Because you didn’t hit with the attack. But bits and pieces of this masonry are falling and you hear a clatter from inside the bar as another part of it collapses, collapses, and someone else someone cries out in pain.
And now it is the turn of the flood.
Harmony, I think I think you’re gonna want to clear out of here.
I’m gonna get you up here first, Sam.
This, this wall is about to come down.
And with that, the wall comes down.
So the flood’s gonna be doing just a standard attack against each of you. Using its… we’ll use Horrific as the skill it’s boosting with. So this is again going to be a body attack of 10 as first the wall that… Actually, I’m going to be targeting afflictions here.
I knew it. I knew it!
So this, this edge is Drama, the adversary is targeting afflictions which means that it’s automatically going to hit, and it’s only doing one point of stress because it uses up one point targeting the affliction and then it needs an edge do a second point. So with the edge of Drama from the adversary this time, the flood… Sam, you’re grasping at that wall, which then collapses under your hands. What happens?
I think it as it falls, it lands… like, I lose my footing completely. I fall. And it… It lands partly on me. It lands around me. There’s just, you know… there’s there’s dust and stickiness everywhere.
Are you down in the cellar? Or are you like on the lip of this but covered in stuff?
I think I’m on the lip but covered. I think it would… I think it is a very precarious position. I think it would not take much to tip me in. But I don’t think there was… just thinking vaguely about the physics of it. I know this is not quite that sort of game. But I don’t know that there was much push. Seems as though something was kind of tipping over onto me rather than necessarily shoving me down the hill or whatever. So yeah, I’m on the I’m on the edge of the of the cellar.
And that incapacitates you, right?
If it only does one stress then no, because it just consumes the affliction.
Oh, well… it’s it did… it consumes the affliction and then it’s got the edge of drama.
Then after the affliction, it’s doing one stress.
Okay, then yes, I am incapacitated.
Alright, you’ve got the rubble on top of you. Harmony. You…
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
You see this happen and then the rope pulls free from the barstool and gets… is caught on that piton. That’s that stuck in the wall. And that weight pulls the rope down. And the rope is pulling completely taut. And the piece of metal that it’s tied to bends and you’re in danger of plummeting into the to the cellar on the on your makeshift raft.
So… off if on the stress, I know what… Are you targeting my affliction, too? Which is exposed?
Yeah, I think I’m… I think I’m targeting moored, I’ve got noted down?
Oh, moored, okay.
Is that, Is that the one that that?
Yeah. Because you’re you’re kind of depending on this attachment you have which is now unstable.
So I’m still exposed. But um, no, but this will hit moored.
So my question is, since it takes off that affliction, I know I have to take the other one. Do I have to take it as stress? Or can I take a third affliction?
Yeah, I think for player characters, if you have a slot for an affliction you haven’t used this turn, you can. You can put an affliction in it.
Sorry, that you haven’t used this conflict.
Right. So I’m gonna take the new affliction Panicked.
While I try to scramble up the crumbling masonry, in order not to fall into the basement.
Alright, so you’ve got Inner Peace, so normally, you wouldn’t panic at all. So this is a notable thing.
That’s true. Well, here we are. My friend, my friend is molassesed and I’m in danger of going into a basement I guess my my training didn’t prepare me for this.
Sam, you can… you’re still conscious, right?
I am, I at least went down like reciting good poetry, I guess.
But that’s this is maybe the first time you’ve seen Harmony show any sort of negative like ever, ever see sign that she’s scared or worried.
Anything other than a very Zen like demeanor.
So I, um… “Harmony, Harmony, you have to calm down. Harmony, calm down and you can get out of this.”
And Lorenzo, you’re still kind of holding up this beam that’s sort of supporting a lot of the ceiling above some of your companions, your compatriots. And something shifts. And previously you kind of had a good stable footing. But now you’re kind of having to shift slightly where the… where the beam is and where your feet are. And you’re… you’ve been Pummeled already. You’ve been hit with rocks. And so now you’re… the beam is right where a piece of… a big brick hit you and your leg where you got, where you.. where a bit of debris swept past and scraped it up, it’s now taking some pressure. Your affliction is targeted. And what what what happens as this as this weight shifts on you.
This is a good question. So I think that as the weight shifts, you can see there are like bricks and things starting to fall down a little bit around me. And yeah, I think that a, the the beam that I’m supporting gets slammed with something.
From above, and is going to, it’s going to come down and I’m going to be falling, falling face first into the molasses.
The upside being I’m no longer supporting the beam. The downside being that molasses is pouring in a little bit a little bit more. And I’m now covered in it. So… I’m wondering if… We just said we can take we can take afflictions instead even if we just lost one right? Yeah.
So I’d like to take inundated.
Oo, good word.
As an affliction there.
All right, so you’re just coated in this, face planted face first, you’re covered in this stuff, it’s in your eyes, you’re… you have to like swipe it away from your nose and mouth to be able to breathe and you’re, you’re, you have boundless endurance, right? So…
You still got an an additional slot for afflictions if you need it, but you’re still in kind of a rough situation. And it is now Confinement’s turn, which is your… this this very situation is now going to be attacking you. And we’ll… we’ll attack with Obscured. So you’re now having trouble seeing. There’s still rubble and stuff going past you, there’s now like bits of of ceiling plaster and stuff that’s that’s settling and falling because of this beam collapsing. And you’re having trouble seeing where where Paddy is. And so it is attacking a… making a body attack against your Vigor boosted with Obscured and using the Concealment edge as you’re, like, just not able to see what it is you’re trying to avoid. You’re you’re at times having trouble making… like, which, where do I have space that I can go to? Where can I avoid hitting my my limbs against things? Um, so that is a six against your Vigor. Boosted. Or, bold.
So that is going to hit. I think what we will do here is… Sorry, just looking at my stuff to make sure there are no things I can pull out here. I was looking at the thing on resources and apparently I have to sacrifice a resource if I want to block the edge and I… yeah. Oh, I see. Wait a minute. So if you can block one with a resource if the resource is set up to do it without having to sacrifice it, but in order to…
Use it for off label purposes, you have to sacrifice it is that right?
Off label, like a good like a good antidepressant.
Props to Wellbutrin. Theoretically, a smoking cessation aid, I think is the on label purpose?
Name an antidepressant that isn’t honestly, like…
I think some of the new ones are
Well, unfortunately, I can’t think of any way that I can use a fireman’s pick to a sacrificial way in this situation. So I’m just going to be stuck chewing mint leaves for now. So I think what I’m gonna do is, yeah, I’m just gonna take the I have to take the stress, and I will take another Afflection. Which I actually only bring me up to three since you just cleared out one for me. Very, very thoughtfully.
Yeah, you’ll need but you still… that slot is still used for the conflict.
Oh, it is?
Yeah. Because otherwise, you could just keep letting target your affliction and…
…cycle through endlessly.
That is good to know. Okay,
We’ll be posting an errata and clarification to that whole set of rules when the companion book comes out.
Nice. Excellent. Okay.
We take the stress, and then… I’m sorry, go ahead?
A related question to this. So I have the trait sharing personality, which means they can spin focus to allow someone to use my resource, one of my resources, and they can choose to sacrifice it. I’m not in the conflict anymore. Which means I don’t have actions in the conflict. Does that mean,I also am only sharing with the person in the cellar as opposed to my friends?
I think you could still share. It does… one of our agenda principles is to be story focused, so it has to make sense that you’re able to share that resource. But…
Yeah. I don’t…
Yeah, you could still use that.
And we’re not we’re not near each other. So nevermind. But yeah, I…
Do we want to have a quick flashback where you hand me something, would that…?
Oh, oh. Huh. So we used the pocket knife so it can’t be that. The other the other resource I have is experience with commercial shipping and hauling and I don’t think…
I mean, that that could certainly like that could be a, “Oh, I remember, Once Sam mentioned a story about what to do when your boat is flooding or something.”
When your ship is flooding.
Yeah, like I was. I was helping helping you with some with some rigging reel at one time. One time real quick just…
When we were…
And we were always sharing stories and and shit about our about our various experiences. So yeah, I always think of this as happening during one of the… is it VFW meetings? If I have those letters in the right order?
Yep, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Yes, thank you. And but yeah, yeah, helping each other out hanging out and just sort of talking about, I don’t know, maybe the differences between commercial work and military work even. And so yeah, I will spend my Focus. And you can have the common resource of Experience with Commercial Shipping and Hauling that you can feel free to sacrifice. Just use that to block the edge.
I think that makes sense to like, what, how do I deal with a high pressure flood with a bunch of stuff around, that makes sense to block to block…
Yeah, I’m just sort of, I’m suddenly remembering a time when Sam was telling me a story about the time one of one of his trips was taking on water, and one of the methods that they used when there was stuff in the water and one of the methods that they use to sort of clear stuff out and try to get your bearing when you’re awash. And I realize, wait a minute, no, you turn… you turn up instead of down when you’re floating this way and the way you determine that is by moving your limbs out to the side and you figure out just sort of based on the resistance where which limb has least resistance is the one you want to aim for.
So I do that and I start moving in that direction and hopefully block that edge.
Cool. So you’ve just got one stress coming your way are you taking it in a box or are you taking an affliction? A new affliction.
Hmm, I think when in doubt take afflictions, I feel is a good motto. Whether or not it’s in fact a good motto I guess we’ll see. So I will go ahead and take the affliction Tired as I figured this is gonna wear me out.
Okay, how about since this is your fourth one, how about exhausted?
We can we can parlay that into exhausted, sure! Although, I… wait a minute, I have… The trouble is I don’t know if that would work with Boundless Endurance.
That’s right; you have Boundless Endurance, which says you never get tired.
I never get tired so I can’t actually do that. Wait no we can we can figure something else out my affliction is…
I have a… What is a…. What is a good adjective for covered in molasses?
Mired. Excellent. Good word.
Gooped is not a good word.
Alright, so you’re both inundated in the sense that you’re like covered and flooded and and can’t see…
A lot of things are coming at me.
…and you’re also Mired, which is like physically confined by all this stickiness.
Yeah, yeah, there it is.
Alright, so with all that in your… as a terrible situation you’re in. It is finally your turn to act.
You’re covered in all of this. You’ve got you’ve got Paddy, kind of… You’ve you’ve gotten your bearings a little bit thanks to that trick that Sam mentioned to you. But you’ve you’ve got Paddy, like, right next to you, because he’s kind of what who you came in to help. Otherwise, you’ve got all the dangers of the flood, the flood does still have the affliction Diverted thanks to your your actions, kind of freeing up a place for it to flow. So that’s a potential thing that you could target.
Okay. And remind me how many things are there to target right now?
I think the things that make sense for you to target are: the Flood; Confinement, the you know, you being trapped in this place; and Victim, the, Paddy, who is who’s who you were trying to help.
Okay. All right. And the only one of those that has had anything happened to it thus far has been the Adversary, correct?
Yep. Yeah. Both both Confinement and Victim are unstressed.
And this is a hard conflict. Is that correct?
Yes, this is a conflict that it was very likely that you were going to fail.
And I am aware we’re doing very poorly. But how many boxes have we gotten?
You’ve done four points of stress against it out of 12. And it’s it’s spent some more to create the experts.
Yeah. So we’re, we’re actually doing great. You got this, Lorenzo.
Let me see here. So I feel as though it’s going to be very difficult to do anything without addressing the things that are immediately in front of us here. And it’s… if I remember the way that experts work, it’s going to take time to tackle the experts, whereas the… Which buys the the, the adversary more rounds to destroy us. So let me see here. All right, yes. Okay, I’m going to use my Resourceful ability, I think, to grab a rare resource here that will, will perhaps help. As we are looking for ways to deal with what has been going on. Is there anyone else still in here with me besides Paddy? Or is it just Paddy?
Yeah, there, there are a few people that are pinned by debris further in. But they’re… Probably your fireman instincts would say you should get the person you can reach to safety first and then think about helping others.
Gotcha. Okay. All right.
Anyone who’s mobile got out, thanks to your earlier efforts.
Okay, cool. Cool. Cool. All right, that said. So I think that the resource that I’m going to come across as I’m kind of, sort of reaching around for stuff in here. I’m imagining that there’s a piece of equipment, and I, I should have looked into this really, before doing terribly too much. But I am imagining there would be some kind of, yes. I actually, I think I’ve got an idea for one. I was trying to think of a way to fashion a thing not unlike a grappling hook.
I mean, you probably have grappling hooks.
Yeah, I think we do we see that’s the thing is we might, we might actually have like ropes, like rope and grappling hook type deal thing around.
One of the things that was a was a earlier method of fighting fires was to literally collapse buildings to prevent the spread of fire. And so you’d have…
Even if it’s out of date, at this point, you’d still have the stuff lying around.
Wow, they would collapse the building?
Yeah. Yeah, or at least sections of it to try to keep the fire from getting further.
Especially in places that didn’t have like high pressure water mains and you know, before they had fire suppressing chemicals, it was just, if a building was on fire, you probably weren’t gonna be able to put it out. So better to to create a fire break.
So I want to take advantage of… let’s see, the fact that… Yeah, okay, good. Good. Sorry. I’m just working with we’re working with what I got here. So, attempting to work quickly, as I sort of am you know, reaching through the molasses and I can, you know, my hands will close around this. This, this grapnel. I want to grab hold of it, as I sort of am sort of shouldering shouldering through, moving one end of the rope over to Paddy. Get him to hold on to it.
So that it’s going to be the two of us. I’m kind of wrapping it somewhat around around us a little bit, but we’ve we’re gonna have to we’re gonna have to rig this right.
He’s like, “We got this, Renzo. We got this.”
“Okay. All right. All right, here we go.” And I’m essentially going to… I am imagining now that sections of building have collapsed in I am going to find a piece of sky. And in an effort to to quickly to quickly get up and and away in an effort to sort of move around this thing. Yeah, I’m gonna actually have to… Now, thinking about it. I can’t directly attack its… It’s like, if I attack its Vigor, it’s going to… it’s not it’s not going to… It’s still going to give us trouble.
You can definitely, if you attack either Paddy or the Confinement, that will, that will be taking away boxes that the flood can’t recover later, so you’re still making progress.
Yeah, I mean, that’s fair. I guess we’re going to I’m going to probably try and attack the Confinement in some way here. We’ll see how it… how we do here.
Since the hook is rare, it’s boosting, it gives a boost already, and still does Wear, and it serves as an Edge.
Awesome. And so that is that’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to basically find a piece of guy, throw it up there, get it hooked around and start yanking us up and out.
Okay, so what’s the number on your that’s presumably body against Vigor?
If it’s a… if we’re going Body versus Vigor here, unless I’m like trying to shout the confinement down somehow. It’s gonna be it’s gonna be… if it’s boosted it’s a six.
Okay. The confinement is going to be able to just barely block that. But you’re doing Wear against it. So it’s boosting with Tight.
So you have not used up that resource yet because you didn’t hit with the attack. But it’s now got Wear on its Vigor which means that it will be easier to hit it next time. And you toss that hook out this this kind of the probably the opening in this in the back where he kind of where you came in. You hear it clatter and hook onto something so you’ve got this this anchor that you got this this… slick, but but this one’s like built for grip. This is not a clothesline, this is a fire person, firefighter’s rope. So you’re able to pull but you’re just you’re pulling and pulling. Now, Paddy’s… is working with you. And you feel kind of some of the debris on you shift. Paddy cries out in pain. You… I don’t know whether you’re stuck… if you’re just stuck or also hurt. But you’re not yet able to pull yourself free. But you do have this anchor point now.
So let’s take a quick break here and chat about I guess both one of our agenda principles and also the weirdness of history.
One of our agenda principles is for for Rosette Diceless is to make your play story focused. We want to enable story, simulate interesting conflict, and make sure the story continues even if you fail. So so Rosette Diceless is not a like a physics based simulationy system. It’s a system about telling interesting stories. And here we’re telling a historical story and a story about a disaster. And I’m interested in hearing yells thoughts about sort of the spectacle of history. We take these events that happened to like real living people like y… like us. And we sort of mythologize and make this make these stories about them and tell things like this Great Molasses Flood, this weird historical event where the molasses attacked people. Which, hearing the story initially, you’re like, “Ha, that’s weird, and kind of cute!” But in the moment is not at all this this spectacle that… it is not this fun story. Are there any thoughts about telling those sort of stories telling them through role playing?
I wrote down what you said last week, which was thinking about the past as a foreign country. And like, as something… I mean, I think it’s something that you often do when you’re taking a critical approach, right? You take your common places, and you try to make them not your common places, you try to really examine them from new perspectives. So I think that’s akin to what we’re doing, is thinking about a historical period, from a new angle, I guess, maybe with a different perspective. Which I think is is is definitely an interesting thing to do.
Yeah, and I can’t help but think about like, like the way these things are ca… are even named, right? Like the Great Molasses Flood. Like, this was not great. It was not great. Of course, they mean great in scale, not in not in fun time. But even when we talk about depressions and recessions, and like we label these things, as if they are magnificent, because they are important.
The Great War?
The Great War.
It’s just finishing up for our characters.
Exactly. And it even if it’s even if it’s not explicitly romanticizing, which I think it is, because colonialism and capitalism and all the things, even if it weren’t, it’s still… When abstracted as we as we must abstract it, because we do not have access to the nitty gritty. That’s the label we have. We either take it or we subvert it, right? And in either way, we’re interacting with that label. And I just can’t help but think of what, like role playing games, oh, I don’t know 40 or 50 years from today are going to look like when they’re looking back on… Let’s say, I mean, let’s say 2008 forward? The massive recession of, of the Obama era plus plus this pandemic. What will this be called? If they call this the Great Pandemic, I’m going to be very upset. This is not great.
And so, you know, we’re playing in this space, but it’s still playing. It’s still such an abstraction. Nor could we simulate it. Again, we one, don’t have access to those details, and two… ah, I think I’d rather do something else than live the flood. But I think it’s I think it’s tough. I think we have to ask ourselves what we want to get out of it, what our objectives are. If we’re especially, you know, if we’re looking to take a critical look at things, what do we… What’s our lens? You know, so.
Yeah. Well, yeah, and that’s entirely what I was thinking too is that any adaptation of any historical event you do, is always going to be done through the lens of whatever present day society is doing. It’s, it’s impossible not to unless you are a time traveler. It’s, it’s your perspective from present day society, or unless you’re very sheltered and have been around for a while as there are a number of us who are, it seems.
I, I saw, I saw a Kickstarter not too long ago, that made me slightly angry, and I won’t talk. I won’t go into detail right now. Because I have no desire to give them airtime. But perhaps perhaps afterward, we’ll have a little chat about that. But the the question of how long after an event, is it okay to mess with it? Right.
In a fictional sense.
…is one that sometimes I had to ask myself in the past. It’s one that I had thought about for a while. And the answer is going to change constantly. Because it’s always going to be through the lens of what is okay and not okay in present day. And that value is going to shift in the future. It’s, it’s entirely possible that 20 years from now, there are things that we do now that are going to be entirely unacceptable, or things that we think are… of as unacceptable now, that suddenly will be amongst a lot of people.
This is something this is something I’ve experienced a little bit firsthand, as I’ve been around for a little while. But it’s it’s… so for those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, oh, have you got so much to look forward to. Because it’s gonna shift, it’s gonna shift. I don’t know in what direction it’s going to shift. But it’s going to happen. And so I think that sometimes if you try to set up a hard and fast rule in your head of what do you feel weird playing with? Or not? I think for a lot of people, it’s probably things happen… that happened before you were an adult. That’s probably something that they have in their heads. But always how you approach it is really going to be with an eye toward how th… or should be with an eye toward what is going to be responsible to do now.
Well, also, though, I mean, maybe just even the word play is sort of a tricky term, right? Because…
As a game designer…
Well, yeah, I wasn’t even gonna say anything about serious games. But
I do feel…
We have to cut this.
Well, but I mean, when I was really thinking about is, you know, just how, like, play is serious business for small children, as an example, you know? Children learn through playing. Like, just sitting in the dirt and messing around with things, and you figure out how things work and operate. And so, like, I think, when we think about play, we can mean a lot of different things. But one of the things that we can mean is just sort of, instead of… That we’re tinkering with something, right? We’re experimenting, we’re testing the edges of a thing. And we can undertake that with the same like, empathy, and kindness and love that we approach, you know, our work? Whatever we’re calling work. Or our relationships. And so I think it in many ways, I mean, the way I think about it, it maybe has less to do with, like, how far or close away we are from the thing historically and more the way we’re thinking about the thing, you know, that we’re approaching. Because, um, you know, I don’t think play in itself means that we can’t be critical or kind or, you know, whatever other things we value and think are important with that particular topic or subject.
Yeah. And I think I think that that idea around what play is is something that, I don’t know, maybe this is something roleplayers, every roleplayer learns over the course of their life anyway. But I think that that growth is the maturity of a role player, right? Like, I didn’t start doing role playing games until I was in college, which I think probably makes me a little old to have to have joined this, this hobby. There’s D&D 3.5, so that dates it. And playing with a bunch of college kids, we are all pretty callous. We just just very callous. Just haven’t really figured out empathy yet. And so play meant cutting loose, it meant the freedom to say racial slurs, it meant the freedom to do whatever because it was playing. And having been through a variety of games now, play means something serious, even when it is still, you know, cutting loose, which no longer includes those things, I feel like I should say. But but the the 36 year old equivalent of cutting loose. So yeah, I think I think that’s a really good point about play is that, you know, it’s the lesson I wish I had learned younger, is that play should be considered and consider it. So yeah,
I think that, that you go through a similar process when you’re doing history. When you’re like, there are definitely people who… I think that I’m not going to paint all historical reenactors with this brush. But I certainly think that there are people who do historical reenactment as a form of play, in a sense to explore the things that are forbidden in our current era, maybe for a good reason. And I think that you can do that very uncritically. You can probably do it critically, but I think that’s a that’s a thing that I think historians run into, like, mythologizing war in a way where they’re fascinated with the details but not necessarily approaching it with with with empathy.
Yeah, there are plenty of people over the knee who never grow out of it. Out of that, see. You actually matured!
I know folks who did not.
And it’s Yeah, so it’s really a it’s really a question of trying to actually pay attention to the world.
Yeah! Line up your intentionality.
You can always start anytime. There were some things discussed there that I am very excited to see what y’all think of how this… where this campaign is going. So we will get back to the middle of this disaster.
So, Lorenzo, you are covered in this muck. You’re you’re tasting this this sweetness, but it’s not… This is not table molasses. Even molasses is a kind of a funky sweetener. I don’t know if if in real life you’ve had much of it. But it’s it’s a pretty pretty funky… got kind of a bitterness to it, a… weird weird undertones. But this is this is industrial molasses. This is after you’ve taken everything edible out of the sugarcane you keep going and pull out stuff that humans wouldn’t want to consume. So this is just funky and and there’s a sweetness to it, but it’s also just just not… All sort of weird after tastes and scorched flavors and just nothing pleasant but with this weird cloying quality to it. And you’re you’re pulling on this rope with Lorenzo kind of helping and bracing against you. Or no… sorry, with Paddy. Lorenzo is pulling, Paddy’s helping. And you kind of feel him him his grip shift a little bit and he looks at you and he says, “Hey…” What does he call you? Renzo? Renz?
Hey, Renzo. Look, I sure… I sure do want you to buy… what was it, drinks, lunch? Both? That, that…
I think I was gonna cancel our debt.
He was gonna cancel his poker debt.
He says, “I sure, I sure do, I’m looking forward to that debt being canceled. But hey, listen. I’m trapped pretty good right now. So maybe, maybe… I think I’m good for a bit. Maybe you should leave me here and and you know, go get some more help?” This is an attack. He is taking advantage of the fact that he is injured. Does he have an edge here? I think he’s got an edge of obligation. I think that he’s he’s done things for you that that that would make you likely to trust what he’s saying. And he’s kind of trying to get you to leave him behind. So this is an attack of six, bold against your nerve.
Okay, I have a good nerve. It’s taken a little wear, but it’s still… I… But I can still do a thing to help it out here. I can fork in either body or charm here to boost my nerve to a seven.
But I just need to figure out which thing I want to use. That’s really mostly all we were talking about.
So a skill, a quirk, a tie, you could highlight your secret, you could say… You could remin… have your secret brought into it.
So a skill, a quirk, or a tie. Okay. Yeah, the one that’s going to come to mind here that I think I can go ahead and knock out is… I think I’m going to make use of, of my Family Person Quirk. And the, in invoking, well, you’ll see how I invoke it. I just sort of look, and I just sort of shake my head and say, “Paddy, Paddy, what are you doing? We are brothers. I do not leave a brother behind.” He says, “Now stand up. You’re embarrassing me.” And I will come down and I’m trying to help him and help him even though he’s probably probably not necessarily in a position to get to his feet. I’m sort of like reaching down and I’m trying all the harder to to yank him closer to me as we’re moving as we’re moving toward the place that I have hooked currently.
Yeah, as you’re, as you’re pulling, he’s clearly… so he’s his his legs are pinned so he’s… Clearly this pulling is hurting him. But he he kind of laughs and he says, “If you’re my… if you’re my brother, then my ma’s got some answering to do, but I appreciate the sentiment.” And you’ve taken wear on your nerves. So it’s, it’s lower until you you get hit on it. But you’re good for now.
And Harmony, you are kind of clinging to the edge of this of this pit, you’re scrambling up kind of using this increasingly molasses-slicked rope to to keep yourself up. And you can see Sam pinned across this this hole from you and the this this mire this that’s that’s in the in the cellar with this person struggling to get out who’s increasingly… The molasses is rising and rising on them. And they’re now at the point where they’re having trouble breathing. What do you do?
That’s a good question.
You’ve got this, this person in the in the pit. I’m calling the pit an Obstacle. And then you’ve also got the flood which is currently still diverted. In that case, that was that’s an Lorenzo’s area. But we can you can still tagret the affliction. And you kind of have it be a dramatic narrative thing.
And that’s the only affliction?
Currently? Is diverted? Okay, so a resource I have is this clothesline. So I’m thinking about how to use that somehow. I think what I want to do is try and use the clothesline, and maybe try and wrap it around some part of Sam so that I can try and haul Sam, up with me.
Okay… I’ve been envisioning Sam as being on the other side of the pit from you. So in that case, I think the attack would be getting to Sam.
Because I think you’re kind of on the street side and Sam has been up against the building. So you’ve got this pit between you and him.
All right, then I am going to attempt to get over to where Sam is so that I can do something.
There. And can you use our resource as an edge? Or is it only for blocking?
That’s that’s mostly what they’re for. Resources give you edges or block edges.
Okay, then I think I want to do this and boost with my Tie with Sam.
And I’ll use the clothesline as an Edge. I… yeah. I mean, ideally, I would like to be taking a witty approach at this endeavor of crossing the pit instead of a physical approach.
Because I am much wittier than I am vigorous.
So you’re targeting the flood here?
I think so.
I think so.
So what how are you being clever or charming? In how you do this?
I don’t think it’s charming, but I think I could be taking a clever approach to crossing. And I’m certainly not being fast, because I can’t be. So I’m probably taking a very measured, thoughtful approach. Maybe I’m gonna use the clothesline to… hmm. Yeah, like I could use it to… I’ve already got it tied to something. So I can try and… ugh, it’s still gonna be difficult.
I mean, it’s gonna be difficult.
So you’re panicked, right?
So So this careful thing might be just kind of like, very slowly, like just frantically making slow progress, but frantically like putting your foot one place and having that bit collapse, but, but finding another place to plant your foot and just just scrambling… It would probably would look very, very awkward and nerve wracking, as you’re just picking your way across sending rubble everywhere.
Yeah, I think you’re right. Like it’s very sporadic looking. But it’s probably actually a sort of process of, “Okay, where is a place where I can land? Okay, let me not panic. Here’s a place I can land. Let me not panic.” As I try to get over to where Sam is.
So that attack is… what?
Okay. So against the flood’s Wits that absolutely hits, it’s not going to bother trying to block. You did boost.
…with the tie and so it will take one piece of stress from just the fact that it’s an attack and then it will absorb the stress from the edge by taking Quieting. As you’re moving you’re noticing that the buildings are have stopped actively crumbling. There’s no longer a strong flow of this molasses. It’s sort of settled where it is. The sparking power lines have stopped sparking. Just things are, things are now more stable than they have been. The person down in the basement is still having trouble but but it looks like it’s stopped filling for now or or slowed to a slow enough drip that they’re able to kind of take a more measured approach down there. And you managed to pick your way across this clothesline to get next to Sam. Sam, you can see, like, Harmony’s taking some risks to try and get to you.
And, and I say, “Sam, rage rage against the dying of the light.”
And at that moment, the rope has been strung… was strong from that metal support, kind of through some stuff in the bar. And over to that piton and then down into the pit that this has half collapsed. The person down in the pit does one big haul on that rope. Just because they… I mean they can’t really see what’s going on still. And it risks both being yanked out of your hand and also that extra pressure might just pull you down into the cellar, Harmony. So this is an attack with the Daunting skill with the edge of Impact.
Just sheer the sheer force involved here. So that is an attack of eight, a bold attack of eight against your Vigor.
Oh, okay. Just an eight. So…
With an edge.
Alright, so I am going to have to take it definitely. I’ll just let go of the clothesline. And I think that is like sacrificing it to block the edge.
Pretty pretty literally.
And then I think I have no choice but to take another stress.
Okay. And where does that put you?
That puts me at only one open stress box left.
And full afflictions.
Where do you end up physically? There’s this mostly collapsed bar with Sam at the edge of the pit.
Yeah, I wind up precariously balanced at the edge of this pit. Still panicking, still exposed, and things are not looking good.
Okay. And the edge of the pit underneath you is still slick and slippery as as this this… You know, it’s it’s no longer a flow, but it’s still just like, hard to get a grip on because everything is coated in this thick layer of molasses. And the flood is going to attack. It is Messy and has an edge of Molasses. So this is a an attack of 10 on your Vigor.
It just attacked with an edge of, “It me!”
So I think that…
I guess there’s no appealing to the molasses. Us messy bitches got to stick together!
I think that’s… I think that’s it for you, right?
I think it’s it for me.
So what happens as you’re struggling to keep your grip on this ledge?
I fail to keep a grip on the ledge and slip off of it into the pit.
Sam is just like frantically trying and failing to to grasp or reach or something to keep her from falling.
Do you manage to grab for a second and then slip away? Or can you just not reach at all?
That sounds delightfully dramatic.
Yeah, I think we, we we grasp hands for a moment. But our, our palms and fingers are so slick with molasses that we can’t hold on. And…
Do you just splash into the cellar full of molasses?
Well, so I splash into the pit of molasses. And I try to keep my head above the molasses. But I can’t. So I’m going to like just kind of disappear into the molasses. Although I’d like to have a sort of poetic line to say before I go beneath the surface. How about this, Sam? “And then my heart with pleasure filled and dances with the daffodils?” burble
Oh, no! “Harmony?!”
And Lorenzo. You are still pulling on this and you’ve you’ve chosen to stay with Paddy. And as part of that you’re still just… What is… what… Actually, maybe maybe you can tell me. What is… how is this messy molasses threatening you with a 10?
Okay, so I have I have two stress boxes left. And so my thought is it’s time to begin sacrificing resources if nothing else, or continue sacrificing resources because I already sacrificed a resource a moment ago. But I think that the the level is starting to bubble up. It’s starting to actually, there’s more molasses getting in from somewhere there was more structural damage to the building than we thought. And it’s starting to rise inside the firehouse and so it’s coming up. It’s coming up on us and so maybe if it was… if I was… If it was up to my up to my thighs at this point it’s up to my waist and it’s starting to rise higher at a faster rate.
Is that a song that people used to sing in Sunday school?
There is a song I think that is related to rising…
Rising like floodwater?
Rising liquid, you know… rising flood water. I can’t rem… there are… There are a couple of… There’s also a Johnny Cash song, I think, that had something to do with, like, “X number of feet high and rising.” I remember that song as well.
I might be thinking about the Anaconda song about getting eaten.
Could be, could be.
I don’t know that one.
I thought about Sir Mix-a-Lot at first. I was like, “Really? That’s a weird, a weird pull.”
So are you like propping yourself up with a fire axe and…
…in the process like rendering it unusable?
Yeah, so the way so what’s happening is that as this is rising, I am basically leveraging underneath where Paddy is to try to get him unstuck. So he so I can pull him along with me. I’m already tied to him by this rope. And so I’m… I jam the fire axe down and and use it to move one of the fallen beams. And in so doing I can’t get the the… It’s the the pick, the fireman’s pick, rather. I can’t get it back up, out and out. So I have to leave it there. I think as we are trying to move now we have to move up and we have to move fast.
All right. You’re struggling to move up. And as that’s happening, you’re you’re realizing that kind of this space that you’ve been working your way through with the with the rising level of the molasses and sort of this this… you increasingly kind of getting more entwined with Pady’s situation. Your confinement is growing more and more dangerous and it shifts as part of your your levering. And it’s threatening to, to trap your leg in a more, more serious way. So this is an attack from the confinement, it’s crushing. It’s using its edge of Pressure and attacking your vigor with a six. Bold.
Okay. So all I can, the only move I have left is to at this point, assuming I’m reading this right is to sacrifice the rare resource that I just picked up, which I believe means I would succeed at the at the challenge. Is that correct?
Okay. So I think what I end up having to do, as this confinement is crushing, I’m like, I need to make a big enough opening for us to start trying to climb up out of, and we’re currently blocked by something. And I like, I just shake my head and I’m like, “Ah, hell.” And I yank on it mightily and a big chunk of a big chunk of what’s in front of us…
I assume, I’m imagining we’re sort of coming up through sort of a corner of the ceiling or something like that.
That makes sense, yeah.
As we’re sort of trying to get up on tables and what have you. And a big chunk of it comes out as it does so, splashing back down. And I’m able to pretty much keep us together. And we might be able to climb from here, perhaps. But the the hook that is that is on the end of this rope is no longer with us.
I think it I think maybe the the, it’s gonna either come off the end of the rope, or I’m gonna have to just… We’re gonna have to do something to untangle ourselves as we as we proceed, but we can’t use it as a hook anymore.
So with that rare resource sacrifice, you don’t take Wear from that attack. And I am going to have the flood, reabsorb your Confinement and I’ll say you are no longer confined. But it will… since you’d never actually did any stress against it, it will take that stress back. But it is your turn. Unbeknownst to you, both Sam and Harmony are unable to do much. Somewhere across this this neighborhood. But you still have Paddy that you’re trying to help who’s mostly out but still kind of is badly injured. And then you’ve got the flood still as a as a problem.
Okay, so real talk here for just a second. The flood has, how many boxes left right now?
It’s got five boxes.
You got this. You got this!
I don’t think you’ve got this mechanically.
I… no, I do not. I have one stress box left. So what I would like to do if I may, perhaps engage in a tiny bit of narration?
…is I think that my final attack action is going to be helping with Paddy. I’m actually going to focus on Paddy.
And I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to climb our way up onto the roof and see that we are freaking surrounded with nothing to gain purchase on outside of this building. The molasses are actually coming up to the point of the roof. And probably you know we’re looking up and maybe there’s there’s more pouring down from somewhere that’s very clearly going to get us. And in the position we’re in, we are… We know that there’s a wa– another little wave coming and it’s gonna get us.
So as I’m just sort of looking around, and we’re both sort of up there on the roof, looking around, I’m just going to kind of look around shaking my head. Seeing that there’s, there’s no way out of this. And I just sort of turned to him and seeing how he is I’m like, “Hey, come on, man. Let’s sit down for a sec.” And I’m gonna pull out like… the maybe it’s like somewhere somewhere in concealed in one in my jacket pocket I’ve got like a couple of cigars. Maybe very occasionally smoke cigars. And it’s like just like after… And there the rule is you don’t do it until after. You don’t smoke the cigar until the end of the mission. Right? And just sort of sort of, “Hey, come on, come on, come on, sit down, sit down.” And as we’re sort of sitting there. Because I’m trying to take his mind off the fact that we’re both about to die.
And he takes a cigar. And it’s probably ridiculous at this point because those cigars are not at all flammable anymore. They’re just they’ve got to be soaked, right?
Yeah, probably. Yes. Yeah, definitely. They’re there. They’re definitely soaked. And like, “Well, here we can at least…” And just sort of… So he takes it and sort of is like almost pretending to puff on and he’s just like, “Ah, well. You remember… Remember the other night when when you beat my ass at billiards?”
And we were we were…
Not just the other night!
That’s true that that’s true. We were both drunk off our asses and… Remember we tried to impress those, those ladies we saw at the entrance of the bar with our… with our inestimable singing skills?
Hey, my… I… my singing skills are plenty estimable!
I really, really? You got it? You got it? Come on here. I’ll start, I’ll start.
It depends on how many I got…
(singing) We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay…. Come on, don’t leave me hanging here!
And he sings along…
We could hear the voices singing… they seemed to say…
And there’s… you see drips and drops of molasses coming down.
No, don’t go away…
And I think the the camera just pulls back out. And we see the full devastation of this neighborhood. Buildings collapsed. And then we hear kind of a splat and a crumble as the firehouse settles just a little bit more.
And we fade to black.
And then the three of you open your eyes. And you’re sitting in…
At first you think you’re sitting in a garden. You’re on a bench, sitting side by side. And there’s grass underneath you. Just the most beautiful, bright green grass. Just lush, but also completely manicured, like, like on the lawn of a mansion. Like just every blade the same height. No patches of dirt at all.
And you can smell the the the harbor, you think? But it’s… it smells nicer. Like it doesn’t… The harbor usually just smells like sewage and, and, and like chemicals and stuff. But it smells like the sea. And your initial, like, just looking around, you realize that you’re sitting, like, in a park on the edge of a of a what looks like a baseball diamond. And all around are like buildings, they’re weirdly tall, like huge. You’ve seen skyscrapers before. These are enormous like it’s like an entire city of skyscrapers. And you see a hill ahead of you.
And there’s a there’s a person that initially probably just in this overwhelming event, you’re kind of glancing past, who’s who’s standing in front of you all. But gradually you recognize the surroundings. You’re on the north end of Boston. You are in the same place where you just were but it hasn’t been destroyed. You’re in a park, a nice park. A really really nice park. And there were cars on the street outside the park and they’re like no cars you’ve ever seen. And there are boats out in the in the harbor and they are strange. They’re completely alien. You see a plane flying overhead but it’s strange and silver and and just completely differently shaped than any plane you’ve ever seen.
And standing in front of you is a person. It’s a person that you recognize, Sam, because you’ve seen them before. They’re wearing those weird blue… trousers? …that, again, they look like work overalls. They look like they’re made of that heavy blue denim cotton but they are they only go to the waist. They don’t have the overall part. They’re wearing this bright red like hooded sweater. And they’re just like taking off this weird orange vest they had over it. That has the shiny strips on it.
And they look at the three of you… Yeah?
Hold on. Describe the pants the situation again. Because I’m unclear if they’re just wearing blue jeans.
They’re wearing blue jeans.
But you’ve never seen blue jeans before in your life.
…and they look at you… Yep. And they look at you and they say, “Well, hey folks. Welcome to 2019.”
The good old days.
Next time on Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.
There’s this group of creatures. We’re calling them the Cut-Up Men. We think they changed what was supposed to happen.
What trick is this? How’d you… how’d you do it?
We’re at a news stand. So I see that that’s the headline of the paper and that’s where it sort of registers.
So anyway, like, how do you go about founding a religion?
Where are you on January 6, when you read that Teddy Roosevelt is dead?
Rosette Diceless was created by Future Proof Games and can be found at rosetterpg.com. Our theme song is “Great Molasses Disaster” by Robin Aigner and Parlor Game, available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial sharealike 3.0 license. You can find more on tabletop garden at tabletop.garden and you can support my work and get episodes early at: patreon.com/GregoryAveryWeir
Transcribed by https://otter.ai