Hello, everyone, and welcome to the final episode of Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood. It has been a journey and thank you so much for taking it with us. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done here. I think this is a great conclusion. And definitely stick around after the story finishes because we do a real good run through of our stuff for closing out a session of Rosette Diceless that are included in the book. And it serves as I think a really good player post mortem.
And if you are listening to this on the main feed and not the Patreon feed, which gets things a week early, right now, there should be–fingers crossed–a post mortem by me out. It’s going to be I have to say at least an hour. I’m planning on running through my initial inspirations for the campaign. I’m going to go through actual statistics for the various adversaries and extras and experts that were used. I’ll talk about how I think it went. I like the way it went for Ego Driver. I think that you’ll like the way it goes for Great Molasses Flood. So you can check that out at patreon.com/GregoryAveryWeir, GREGORYAVERYWEIR. There’s a link in the show notes.
I would really appreciate your support. And I would appreciate you sharing this around! A finale is a good time to be like, “Hey, there’s a whole thing of this thing. It’s not too long. Check it out!”
And in other news… let’s see. I think we mentioned at the end of this episode that the Rosette Diceless Companion should be out. That was overoptimistic. We have sent off proofs to the printers. So what that means is that Rosette Diceless Companion, the the supplemental book for Rosette Diceless, with extra options, and so on is… It’s done. We’ve done, we’ve done it, we’ve finished everything. But we need to make sure to get back books to make sure it prints okay, that there’s nothing weird that happened in that translation process. And then we’ll be able to put it on sale. So my hope is that, you know, within a month? after this comes out to everyone that that will be available. So you can keep up with that at rosetterpg.com. Or by following Future Proof Games on twitter at playfutureproof.
Finally, if you’re wondering what we are doing next, on Tabletop Garden: it’s a really cool campaign. I’m excited about it. And it’s… we’ve recorded much of it. We’re not done recording yet, but it will start coming out. We will see how that goes. But we should get a preview in the main feed. Let’s see two weeks after this goes. So a week after this comes on the main feed, you’ll see bookkeeping post where I remind everyone that the postmortem is available and so on. And then a week after that, I’m pretty sure I’ll have the preview for the next campaign. And it should be super exciting.
So with all that out of the way: thank you very much for listening this far. And I now present the conclusion of Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood.
So here’s the situation. You’re all currently on the north end of Boston, you’re under the shadow of this huge molasses tank. You have organized some people. You’ve talked to dock workers and have organized them to to do a strike on the weekend when you’re expecting the big molasses tanker to come into town that would finish filling the tank to its maximum volume, capacity, which you think was is partly responsible for the for the disaster.
You discovered that basically the the tank itself is not built particularly well. And that probably, from what you can tell, what happened is that just the pressure and weight of the molasses within, combined with some environmental factors that you’re not entirely clear on, would have caused it to burst. So you’re kind of you’ve got this primary plan of causing a strike. Lorenzo has also revealed that his brother is a saboteur, an anarchist and has arranged… made the arrangements… this, the sabotage isn’t happened yet, but has convinced his brother to sabotage the outflow of the tank so that the tank… they cannot stop the tank from leaking into the harbor. And so that that even if they do manage to fill it, it won’t be able to to hold molasses until until they do extensive repairs.
Lorenzo and Sam are currently behind the Block and Tackle bar, just kind of under the shadow of that stained glass window that was brought over from from a historic pub in in Dublin. And Harmony is currently standing off against a Cut Up Man, the one presumably the one that has been going by the name Ronald Reagan. And he has already like violently swung at her with just like a hand chop that seemed to like, part the air between them. And she managed to do a very cool dodge out of the way of that.
Anything that I left out of the situation? There’s increased police presence. There’s… there are guards, there are Pinkertons. Things are things are pretty tense here, politically and and kind of in the relationship between authority and the folks who work and live here.
So Sam, you’re behind the bar, you’re within earshot of Harmony. She hasn’t like called out, you’re not aware of her situation yet, but you could be. The investigation is real close to being completed. So you’re you’re very close to achieving your goal of stopping the Cut Up Men’s plan. But I think I’m going to say, If you do so, and the Cut Up Man himself is still like on the board–still, has still not been incapacitated, then he will stick around after the conflict is done. And you’ll have to deal with with that in some way. It’ll probably be looser. I don’t think we’ll be doing it in forms of attacks. But…
Why only Lucy? Why not everybody?
What do you mean?
You said, “It’ll probably be Lucy, but not in the form of attacks?!”
“Looser.” Like not in combat rounds…
…not in conflict rounds.
Congratulations on studying the Boston accent. Apparently they do put Rs in in different places like that, so that’s entirely…
Okay, you’re good. You’re back to good.
So, Sam, you’re up. And essentially, I think that y’all… If y’all want to chat a little bit OOC to figure out what the best approach is, you can go straight to the the investigation. Its afflictions are networked, in the sense of like, you’ve got an Information Network unstable, in the sense of like, politically unstable, and it has been sabotaged. But if you go for the investigation, and if you take it out this, this turn, your… on your turn, then the Cut Up Man will still be around and threatening Harmony.
Do Do you want me to somehow alert you to the presence of the Cut Up Man? Because…
I could definitely say something loudly about trickle down economics.
Which don’t exist yet.
I could say something prescient…
Yes, please alert me in whatever fashion you wish to.
This whole molasses thing is a metaphor, I tell you!
So this strange paper man is like, standing off with you still, like… Has just just taken a swing at you and you just dodge out of the way.
I’ll say, “Hey, Sam, Lorenzo… I don’t know if you’re in hearing range. But I’ve got an alliterative friend.”
Alliterative friend. All right…
That’s a poetry reference. You should get that, Sam.
“I do, thank you.” Hmm, okay, how far away are they?
A block? You could you could be there real quick. It’s kind of around the bar and then down the road a bit.
And you could come… you could basically come down the road that’s the frontage road to a lot of these smaller industrial buildings and shops. Or you could go around the back, like the playground side. Because she’s in an alley.
All right. Huh! I have multitasker. I could do a split attack.
Take care of this whole sitch. Alright, so…
It’s a real good trait.
Yeah, it’s uh, I don’t, I’m not in the practice of thinking to do split attacks. And so it’s it has been less useful in this particular mini campaign as it is it could have been. Thinking about how to do something like a physical attack without a resource. I’m accustomed to using a weapon or something, right? Lke, that has…
…that provides an edge. I could just pick something up, make an attack and just not get an edge from that, right? I’d boost using something else, and then…
And you can also you can also gain an edge in that circumstance from something that’s not a weapon.
Right, like, I use drama, or…
Something gave you the element of surprise or something.
You could you could use a resource that wasn’t a physical object, too.
Oh, okay. Okay. So um, so this is the this is the bar that the first part of the story came from, where I stood in a similar location and we lost that fight. I’m not going to do any se… anything terrible to this beautiful window here. But I do want to grab something. I’ve never hung out in the backs of bars, but I assume there’s some sort of dowel or like some sort of thing I could use to hit someone.
Sure. Yeah. I mean, there could be it could be boards from from crates. There could be… there could be a crowbar, there could be an old pipe.
Yeah, they’ll pick up something metallic. I don’t know that we want to get too graphic on that. I’ll grab a crowbar and then haul ass down the street.
Towards where where Harmony is.
So you turn the corner and you see her facing off against this man. Again, he… His suit is made of newsprint and is a little weird and out of place. Like he probably seems like he is dressed almost like a dandy, in the sense that, like, he’s… Out of character, he’s wearing clothing from a few years from now. So it just looks a little weird. And his face is like papier-mache that’s moving like flesh. And you can see that he is sort of standing in front of this brick wall that has this this collage on it that that has a hole in it the shape of him.
Oh, interesting. Okay, well, it’d be cool if it… or this would be… This would be neat if it weren’t about to cause a lot of trouble.
Watch out! He’s ripped!
You are in fine form today.
Okay, can I do a useful split attack here?
Keep in mind, if you do a split attack and they block your edge, then they’re not hit at all by the attack.
Okay, I will just go against the Cut Up Person then.
So I think I’m gonna do kind of a, instead of squaring off and, you know, taking a more formal approach to a fight, I’m just gonna fight dirty. Like, I’m just gonna keep mo– Like, I’m gonna run in. Like I will have not stopped running. There’s no, no hesitation, no, like, “Oh, hey, let’s talk it out.” Just like full on bull rush with a crowbar. So I don’t know what in the world I’m going to boost this with. Um, maybe my tie with Harmony?
Since this is sort of a protective matter. This is not poetic, necessarily. But it definitely…
I can recite some poetry if it will motivate you.
I mean, I think just the… your relationship is is sufficient justification.
Yeah. And I’ll get an edge… I mean, this might count as drama. This is…
That makes sense. Yeah, coming in running.
Yeah. From around the corner. Which makes this a body attack of six with an edge.
Alright. Are you… is this versus vigor? Because it’s physical? Is it versus wits because you’re coming in fast?
Yeah, probably bigger. Or nerve, if you’re inclined to get scared, because…
Nerve, I feel like, is less… Given that your end goal is to whack him…
As opposed to just… yeah, shake him. Yeah.
So he’s… So his two skills that he has left are recuperation and anti paradoxical.
I do not see a way… I could really stretch recuperation and have it be like, you know, “Yes, you hitting me was what I wanted all along.” But I don’t think that actually works. So you’re running up and he is going to use his resource of prescience.
And you’re like, you’re like, “I’m going to catch him by surprise!” But he just like turns if he’s expecting you. But it’s still not enough to keep your crowbar from just like, hitting him in the face?
And he just tears. He just tears like…
Like he’s made out of paper.
Papier-mache and paper.
Yeah, you just open up this big rip down the front of him. And he just falls to the ground like an empty cicada coccoon.
That’s got to hurt when I hit the ground right afterwards.
Yeah, you, I mean, you probably were braced for for striking in…
…for the impact. But instaid you… I don’t know. Do you? Do you fall down? Or do you just like run past? Or how does that look?
I don’t know that I want… I think Sam is physically coordinated in many ways… that do not include bull rushing people gracefully. So I think I think he he stumbles and skins a knee or something. Like, it’s not a it’s not a graceful exit out of that maneuver.
Oh, Sam, be careful. There’s a wall there.
Oh, shit. Thanks. Thanks. Ugh. I’m definitely too old for this.
I mean, you looked really fierce coming around that corner.
I’m glad you were on my team.
Well, thank you. Thanks. That’s, uh, thanks. These old bones can still do it.
Yeah, I’m definitely more of a poet than I am a fighter of history. Or future. Or… anything?
I mean, you did all right. You held your own.
And as you’re kind of standing there chatting over this, this torn man on the ground, the wind picks up a little bit and it’s cold, right? It’s… it was warm on the 15th, but it’s still just freezing here. So this cold wind comes through, and like bits and corners of the newsprint on his suit, get picked up and and pulled at by the wind and start to peel free. And then you hear… no, there wouldn’t be a plane, would there? Because it’s 1919.
Are you thinking a commercial plane?
Yeah, I was thinking like a like a plane dropping leaflets. But instead, I think you hear like a kid’s voice shouting and saying, “Do what’s best for you! Got to know which side your bread’s buttered on!” and shouting things like that. Kind of just walks past the alley, not even noticing you, holding up pieces of paper, like a big stack of paper. And this is not mimeograph paper. This has been professionally printed. And he’s occasionally just like tossing pieces of paper into the wind and letting them carry. He’s like handing it to people. He’s stuffing in in letter boxes. And you the three of you can see a few other kids around too. Some of them are yelling in very heavy Italian accents. Some of them are clearly from from a few neighborhoods over.
But they’re all passing out these pamphlets that are when… When one blows by, you can see they’re just like classic anti union, pro capitalist, pro work, talking about how, “You need to keep things going. We stuck together for the war, we need to stick together for the recovery. Companies like Purity Distilling are going to take us forward into the into the next decade. The 20s are going to be great. We’re going to have a golden age and an age of prosperity that’s going to last through the century.” And this is a… I think this is a direct attack. This is a nerve attack from the investigation using the labor oppression skill to boost.
I don’t like that.
And with an edge of propaganda. So this is definitely mind based. It’s not particularly charming. So this is a six against each of your nerves, and I am targeting Sam’s fatalistic and Harmony’s doomed.
I think both cases where you could easily be discouraged or put off by just this… This is a clear display of like, “We’ve got money. We’ve got more control over the situation than your… y’all’s organizing.” You know, just the added eye… like this adds risk to the to the to the fact of sabotage.
So when you do that, that means I have to take the box of stress, right? Like I can’t block the edge?
If you’ve got a slot left for an affliction you can take an affliction but yes, you’ll you’ll take one stress total that you’ll have to deal with that’s coming at you. Because when I target afflictions, you… it automatically hits you.
And that affliction is now crossed off but it still occupies a slot on your sheet.
So the one with the big the big decision to make is Lorenzo because you’ve still got… you still have a chance to block this. It’s a six against your nerve.
Okay, so given where we are with things I believe that the adversary is down to one box, is that right?
Yep, one box left.
And a lot of afflictions.
So I think I can use a resource probably to to to bring in one of my one of my other stats here to up my up my nerve.
If you sacrifice the resource, it’ll let you boost. Yeah. And otherwise it could lead you block the edge.
All right. So I think what I yeah, I think what I’m gonna go ahead and do then is… I may as well, since this is the time to use this. I have a resource of a favor from a city official.
A favor from a city official. So I think this is where I’m going to go ahead and burn the resource. And I, I have no idea who the city official is, we never figured it out. Never took the time to figure it out. But apparently, I helped save somebody that was important to… to them at some point, maybe. Maybe I just happened to know somebody, just kind of in the city.
You brought the mayor’s nephew out of a burning building?
Yeah, something like that. So it could be easily like that. So I’m going to I think what I’m going to do, is I just sort of I take a look at this. And I’m like, “Okay, that’s enough.” And I’m going to I’m going to just basically go turn around, go into the firehouse, go to the phone, and and call in, and just essentially ask that they they kill this this leaflet campaign because it is… they’re putting… They’re papering the dock right now. And it is a fire hazard. And I would very much appreciate it. If we not burst into flames anytime soon.
This is definitely a sacrifice of that resource, right? Because it’s not like, “Oh, remember this thing I did?” It’s now like, “I’m the heroic firefighter that saved your nephew. And I’m telling you to turn down business and money making for the city of Boston?” Come on.
But the mayor’s like, “Fine, fine. I’ll call the marshal. We’ll… Even before you get the call from him, you’re all welcome to clean those up and to stop it. Y’know. Be nice to the kids. Let ’em try on hats or something.”
Oh, sure. Absolutely. We can do that.
Make sure this doesn’t become a story.
No, certainly. Tha… and thank you, I appreciate it. It’s… just… This puts me at ease.
And you… You’re able to get the… Like, not all the people in the firehouse are… think, understand why you think this is important. But they’re like, “Oh, well, you know, the mayor says so. I guess I guess so.” And and you’re able to kind of go around and be collecting these these pamphlets and like a lot of them are laughing at what’s on them, right? Because this this sort of propaganda, even if it’s effective, is never particularly genuine feeling. And so you’re you’re minimizing the damage by this campaign.
So that boosts my nerve to seven.
Excellent. So you take no stress, but you do take wear. Harmony and Sam, what’s what’s your situation?
Ah, I think for Darmony because, um, you targeted her feeling of being doomed… She just is very angry and upset and just basically, like, draws mustaches on all the flyers.
The big picture of Arthur Jell on there being like, “I’m a good capitalist!”
Yeah, she’s she’s drawing devil horns and mustaches on those pictures in a fit of pique.
Okay. So is that…
In an unproductive fit of pique.
And you’re just taking the stress then?
Yeah, I did. I took it.
I’ve been struggling over what, what the word or label for the affliction is that I want. And I want to have that kind of like the class solidarity that ends up being pro capitalist. That’s like, “Well, yeah, we do need to stick together in the war, like screw these big companies, but also how else are we going to get through, right? We have to stick together.” And so I was thinking of like, this is this is bad, but like star bangled or like something that’s like a post war sort of like, thing. Camaraderie.
Just take the affliction nationalist?
Ah, okay, I gu– Double thunk.
Populist rage… populist… I think I’ll go with populist.
Ooh, that’s good.
Okay. I’m going with that.
You just kind of standing here seething, watching this as like, firemen are scrambling about collecting pamphlets up.
Yeah, I’m like, I’m torn where, like, my idealism is in conflict with with the practicalities of like seeing the people around me. Like, you know, folks here do have to get through it but also, this is wrong. So just just yeah, just that. Just life.
Paddy Driscoll walks into the alley where where you’re still standing, you’re seething. Kind of gives you an idle nod, not really seeing you, and kind of looks down at the husk of the Cut Up Man and, and says, “Huh. Some kid making a toy or something?” and just like started balling it up and into this big wad of paper and carrying it off.
I’ll help, in part to keep it from all ending up back in one wad. Just in case.
Okay. Just in case it reforms?
…it reforms. Yeah, I’ll take a leg…
…part of the torso.
All right and Harmony, you’re going around painting mustaches and, and things on the pamphlets that have survived or have managed to get pasted up. And it is your action. The investigation is nearly complete.
You still have afflictions and they are timelined, networked, and sabotaged?
Timelined has gotten hit. But there is unstable left.
Like politically unstable.
Okay. I think once Darmony has been able to draw a sufficient number of devil horns, where she feels through, she’s worked through her emotions. She’s not feeling doomed anymore. So that’s great news. So she decides to call Jack Tully, the lawyer who owes her a favor and say that maybe a firmly worded letter threatening some sort of vague legal action over children being endangered by molasses would go a long way toward like, stabilizing the situation. Although I just said the word… yes, stabilizing, because I am targeting politically unstable there. And I think this is a mind attack? And I think I do not need to boost it since I’m targeting your affliction. Is that right?
Yup, that’s correct.
And I am using the edge of my favor with Jack Tully.
Alright. So what is… what sort of… So he says, “I mean, you understand Harmony, we can’t…” Or, would he call you Harmony? Or would you call you Miss…?
Miss Wright? Probably Miss Wright.
Sure. Miss Wright.
He says, “You understand, Miss Wright, that we need… We need to be… It’d need to be on behalf of someone with with with standing. Like I don’t know that you can… Are you wanting…? Are you you taking case as a resident here, or…?”
Well, I mean, I am a resident here.
Alright. So it’s on behalf of the residents of the of the area… and what what…
And you don’t need to, you know, spread it around. But I mean, I am a property owner.
I don’t… I don’t understand why you’re… You never want us to talk about that. But I mean, that certainly is relevant. What What do you want them to do?
I want them to… I want them to do a complete safety inspection of the molasses canister, that silo, and refurbish it.
Alright. Well, tell you what. I will put that together. I can probably have it over to them tomorrow or so.
Why not today, Jack?
I suppose I can rush it if you think it’s that important.
I think it’s that important. Jack.
What’s… are things really that that bad down there?
Things are dire, and you won’t believe this. But someone is spreading fliers around encouraging workers not to strike even though they deserve equal compensation and fair working hours and wages.
Whatever you say Miss Wright. I’ll have that all that put together and sent over to their offices and get them to… We’ll see if we can get them to to budge.
Great. That sounds perfect.
And that deals the final point of stress to the investigation. So I think as as, as firemen are, are wandering around collecting, collecting fliers and like giving lollipops to kids who are like yelling at them about how they were going to be paid 10 cents for this job. And there’s still rumblings on the dock. You all still can’t throw this feeling that you felt before that like, this isn’t the way that things were supposed to go. Like, something about this situation is just not the correct path, not the path that was going to happen just a week ago.
In a in a bad way.
Up to you whether you think that’s bad or not. But it’s definitely… something isn’t on its proper course. And at this point, just… You don’t know how things could turn out. So you have achieved your goal of stopping the Cut Up Men’s plan. What happens next? You’re you’re in a situation that is, I think, is kind of unmoored from history. I don’t think the the tank gets filled. I think that… So, does the strike happen? What do you think?
I’m pro strike.
Yeah, I’d like for it to.
Alright, I think it’s relatively small and sort of organized fast. So I don’t see this being like a really long term thing. But presumably, they can get some conc… Like, this is this is an era in which this sort of strike happens and gets concessions, especially if it’s in a, in a city like this. Does the… The sabotage probably goes off, right?
Yeah, yeah, I guess the order of operations is, the question is, does the refurbishment happen? And does that take take us past the the time of the of the flood? Or is it a thing where it’s like the sabotage happens? And then that helps give the people doing the refurbishment or a thing that will make it take longer? Or do they finish the refurbishment early or before the flood? And then then then right, then that’s the sabotage and then they’ve got to go back and do it again. Any number of possibilities there.
I think it could be that the sabotage happens, like… I get, we can talk about where that sits during before, during or after the strike. But with the sabotage that sort of gives the refurbishment an excuse for them to go, “Oh, this tank needs more work.”
Right? Because there had been inspections and repairs and so on that where people could tell that stuff was wrong. But with a sabotage, they can be like, well, since we have to swap it out anyway, we can now admit that this tank needs work or needs to get torn down.
I think a lot of the political situation, the the political outcome of the strike will have a heavy influence on like, does this does the sabotage happen and then the strike, does it happen during the strike, or does it happen afterward? In terms of like, public public attitude towards the strike is going to shift a lot depending on what order that happens in.
I think to an extent that actually is going to end up falling to Harmony, because Lorenzo is just going to like, “Can you get this message to Sal?” So the timing is gonna fall down to whenever Sal decides to do it.
Well, Harmony wants to organize things in the way that will best help the laborers and will help them achieve their goals. So I think that would probably be strike, then concessions, then sabotage? Or…?
Or if you want it to be kind of manipulative about it. You could frame the sabotage as something that was an additional danger to the workers.
Yeah, that’s what we do. That’s exactly what we do. So we use it for more leverage for the workers.
I love it.
All right, then, I think that the big visual that persists of this time is not this this ruined neighborhood coated in molasses. But it’s the shot of this molasses pouring out of an industrial plant that was insufficiently protected, exceptionally maintained and staining the Boston Harbor brown, just like it had been stained brown hundreds of years ago, as there’s a strike on the dock of these workers trying to fight for their rights and fight for better conditions.
I like it.
Hang on, let me reboot my character brain, hold on. I thought the credits were rolling. Hang on, I have to come back.
It’s shwarma time, baby.
Yeah. Yeah, what’s up?
Yeah, I mean, Sal said, um, that he’d be interested in meeting up if you’re interested.
I don’t know. I don’t know. Especially after something like this, but…
You know, he was he was there for you when you needed him.
It was an extreme circumstance.
Extreme times call for extreme people.
Yeah. Maybe it’s time.
Come on by the house. We’ll, we’ll turn the kettle on. And you two can chat.
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I think I’d like that.
Do we want to do like one last shot or a very short scene for each character playing over the credits?
This can be immediately afterwards, years and years later…
Oh, huh. Let me do a bit of research to determine a date for something.
Just to make sure. And then, and because I think I have a scene.
I think I have one too but I’m still like, I just need a minute.
All right, I’ll go. I think Lorenza does, basically, go and covertly will go and see his brother, and they will have a long conversation. It will spread sometimes into an argument. But eventually, I think that is the start of what will, in time, within say about a decade or so, lead to a point where, when maybe their parents are older, and maybe one of them’s not doing quite so well as much, Salvatore will finally show up at the door, and Lorenzo will welcome him in.
And I think that’s all we see of that.
I love it.
Harmony is gonna call a meeting of everybody who lives at the house, essentially — and this is maybe within a week or two after the events of this story — and say, “Listen, everybody. I know this is gonna be hard for you to hear. But in light of some things that I’ve learned about the flow of history and time, and the dangers that face us as a community, I just want you all to know. It’s dinner time. I’m rich! I’m so sorry I haven’t told you the truth all this time. I hope that you’ll give me the opportunity to make it right. I, I want to put the names of anybody who wants to be on the deed for this house on the deed, like, I’m just gonna, like, here’s all of my money.” And she’ll just start stacking it on the table. “Do with it what you will! You know, no rich person can pass into the kingdom of heaven. So I figured it’s time for me to get my life right.” And that’ll be that for Harmony.
So I think Sam… This will be just a couple days. This is as his ship is getting ready to head back out. His leave is pretty much up. And he’ll be back at that cemetery on the hill with a couple of other sailors from the ship. And they’ll be kind of looking over the the harbor and and Sam will say like, “You see that… That big old tank here? And, and all all the stuff that’s been going on the last few days?”
And they’re like, you know, “Yeah, it was weird. That was… kind of put a put a damper on the party time.”
And he’s like, “Well, that was weird stuff. I think I did… Think I did good work. When I get back on the ship, you better have a bottle of something and I’ll tell you the story. Once we’re once we’re away from the coast.”
And they’re like, “What are you talking about, man? Like, it’s… just some tank full of sugar water or whatever.”
He’s just like, “No, no, no. Give me a couple drinks and I’ll see tell you a tale the likes of which you have never heard.”
And they’re like, “All right, man.” And they, they get down the hill and, and board the ship.
And I think that Sam kind of keeps the cycle he’s had of being on the ship most of the time, coming off, hanging out with… hanging out with Lorenzo, a little bit of time with Harmony… Like this sort of like comfortable life cycle. Until… until the ship disappears.
In 1925, the SS Cotopaxi goes missing and is not heard from again. The wreckage is found decades later. And just like a normal cargo run. But that is that is his life for those next few years of just like companionship and, you know, the mixture of a job that hates you and a job you love. And the freedom of being away from the problems on the coasts… There’s no strikes on ships, like… Well, you know, not that sort. And, and I think he’s all right. I think he’s all right.
I think probably there are at least some people who have heard his stories over the years who still tell each other that, based on what, what happened in 1919… There’s no way that he ended up in that wreckage.
Oh, yeah, no way. Of course.
That man from the future must have taken him away. Just at the last moment.
When was Ronald Reagan president?
The wreck was discovered in the 80s. Surely not during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. But it is entertaining.
I mean, he was in a bunch of movies before that…
[talked over] …president… …in the 80s.
Governor and so on. But who knows in this world.
In this timeline he never met Bonzo. Bonzo was a chimpanzee, I believe. It’s an old movie. I haven’t actually seen it. But…
It’s called Bedtime With Bonzo?
Yeah, Bedtime For Bonzo.
Bonzo. Bedtime For Bonzo.
Thank you all very much for playing The Great Molasses Flood.
Thank you for running it!
Thank you for… running a great story.
So shall we chat about how we think it went? I’m happy to to chat about any questions you have about the campaign. Let me let me say to start… It was very interesting to see where this went. Because this is definitely the example of a campaign that diverged heavily. I have in my notes that it’s almost impossible for you to stop this disaster from happening.
Ashley’s role in recruiting you was to stop this from getting reframed as this just weird disaster. Because in the real world, this was… There was a whole trial over it. It was… The the corporate malfeasance was exposed. And this is like kind of a landmark case for like corporations being held responsible for the consequences that their cost cutting has on on the community around them. And so the Cut Up Men were suppressing that part. But y’all figured out ways to stop the disaster at all. So you’ve broken history.
Yay, we’ve destroyed the space time continuum!
I’m curious to read the book you read now.
Yeah, I’d highly recommend it. It is…
I’d put off reading it because you suggested not not being too smart.
Yeah, Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Steven Puleo. I will say that I wish that it had more women with names in it. I think the number is maybe zero.
That is a very low number.
I wish that it was a little better about some some ableist stuff. There’s some sensationalism over a character that you never ended up meeting. There’s a there’s a a deaf mute character or… maybe just mute? The book is unclear about it in part, despite like highlighting him. All in all, I would say it’s very good. It looks at issues of race, it looks at a whole lot at issues of class and the ways in which like, class solidarity works or doesn’t work; the ways in which like, nationalism and loyalty to society shifts. The judge in the case, in the in the lawsuit afterwards is a real interesting thing. Real interesting character.
Like how this is… on Amazon it says, “A new 100th anniversary edition of the only adult book on one of the odder disasters in US history.” It just like… framing it as an adult book.
I mean, I know what they mean, but
Yeah, because one of the things that’s interesting about the great molasses flood is like it’s often presented as “Isn’t it weird that there was a molasses flood and it tore down some buildings?” And and there are a few like… There’s a there’s a book called I Survived the Boston Molasses Flood. That’s like, a kid’s history book.
But yeah, that’s that’s the the work where, you know, Puleo sat down and did the did the history and tied it into a lot of the stuff that was going on at the time.
Yeah. I think that the original course of this, where we were ended up helping expose the corporate malfeasance in a in a particular way, would have tied in very nicely and tightly with Sam’s backstory, which involves some industrial situations gone wrong. And so that that would have been interesting as well. I don’t know exactly how I would’ve tied those two together. But that was definitely sort of part of his his driving interest in preventing this from happening altogether. So yeah.
Yeah, I actually… I dunno, I liked the fact that we were able to change it, that it turned out that way. And because, you know, it’s obviously this is fiction. We have not, in fact, changed history.
So it’s so so the RP of this was, was still safe for the timeline. But I like the idea of not having to be precious with history when you are playing a game.
Yeah. I do like the idea of trying to get details in when one can, because that can be cool.
And then trying to you know, as… which is why a lot of times I try to, you know, research things, find dates and stuff sometimes when I’m, when I’m doing historical games or games set in particular historical periods. But at the same time, I think, you know, from the moment the game starts, it’s, it’s cool to be able to deviate from that. That’s good, not only for player agency, obviously, but also just as a, as a vehicle for storytelling. Because it’s, you shouldn’t necessarily just treat history as scripture.
With respect to that.
Especially because a lot of things about history are shitty.
This is true. Exactly. And I can guarantee you pretty much 100% of the people you’re going to be playing with are from today.
I think one thing I liked about the way we played a lot was the… I mean, you know, going, we somehow lived through like that terrible experience. And then, you know, went into the future and in the past, but I really like how it sort of bonded our unlikely characters, you know? Like…
That was cool.
I thought, Yeah, I thought we did… That was neat, the way we kind of came up with a mantra and a plan. And I liked it. I just thought it had a, I don’t know, I thought it was cool.
And I like that… Something that that I see happen in a lot of large, like sweeping epic stories, is that there has to be that thing at the end, like… I’ve only seen Lord of the Rings movies. So like that, where like, everyone is fundamentally changed by this experience that they’ve had, and then they change their whole lives, and they walk off into the sunset in a particular way and retire or whatever. And I think that, that can certainly be a thing that happens, but you can also do a cool or weird or tragic event, and then live with the consequences of that in the life that you have. Without it, you know, restructuring everything. Like who among the three of us is not going to have nightmares? Our characters, I mean. Going to have nightmares about that first round through, right? Like, it’s horrible, right? And especially all of us have our own traumas, etc. in character. So it’s not that we are not changed, but we we didn’t have to end the story by uprooting ourselves completely. So I like that. Just just some subtlety, I guess.
Yeah, that was nice.
I think there’s there’s still going to be a plaque that talks about how folks say you can still smell molasses 100 years later, but it’s gonna be… Instead of being about the great molasses flood, it’s gonna be about the great molasses party or something. The second boston tea party.
Boston molasses party.
The great molasses strike.
Boston is always having some sort of Trouble with their their water. And stuff in it.
Maybe it’s because the United States is often having trouble with their labor force.
And to be fair, their water.
That too. Twin issues from the beginning. I know I just… I guess this was one of y’all like, sent that tweet this morning because, or I saw a different tweet. Now I can’t remember. About how, you know, people want to s… act like things are new today. And they’re not. Like, everything is recurring from history. All this stuff is old stuff.
On sort of a mechanical Rosette level, something I’ve thought about over the years. But your your statement that this was maybe supposed to be harder, has made me wonder if there should be sort of something between a medium and a hard conflict? If we should treat that…
I mean, I think I think with any with any, yeah, with any system, I encourage people who are narrating or being GMs or so on, or something, to cheat and adjust numbers and…
…and add or remove boxes, and so on. And I don’t… I don’t think I think this should have been harder. I think I like I liked the arc of of that second conflict. It’s just, y’all managed to pick at just the right threads to be able to prevent the domino chain from happening, right?
Like that that ship arriving is the big is the big thing. Where once once that tank gets filled with molasses, unless you drain it all, I don’t think you stop this disaster.
But you targeting that point is means that you you hit the right moment to stop things from happening.
So kind of… on a related note, for in Rosette Diceless, we recommend that each session you have a kind of cooldown thing with with a certain ritual and tradition to it. We didn’t do that just because we’re doing recording sessions and they would have gotten split up into episodes and so on. But for now, I think it would be cool to do things unsaid, kudos, and requests for advice before we close it out if y’all are interested.
So anyone have any any things unsaid that they want to share about stuff that happened during the campaign?
I’ll just say that I’ve missed regularly role playing with y’all. Like, I don’t know if… maybe that doesn’t make it to the recording. But like it, it’s been a while. 2020 we did not roleplay for… from March until August and, really, later. And I just missed it. Like y’all are great. And it’s fun to riff with y’all and, you know, have all of our different skill sets and interests together. So… that’s all!
Is it cool if I include that in the recording?
Sure, feel free.
I think I said a lot of the things out loud during the campaign, but I do. Like, really like being able to roleplay with people who I feel a lot of trust with. So that is… that’s really nice.
Yeah, no, I miss you folks mightily. And I’m always happy whenever I get to, to pop in and game with you. My schedule gets crazy, and I’ve had medical stuff and so that’s been preventing me from doing all manner of things, but it’s, it’s nice, it’s nice. And I also just enjoyed the experience of this for a few different reasons. It’s among other things, it’s actually making me kind of want to do more actual play podcasting at some point.
Maybe. At some point.
Assuming you know there is some you know, the the the schedule deities permit that. You never know, you never know. And especially I’ve also got other other friends and acquaintances that are doing that more lately. And so it seems like it feels like a thing that’s picking back up again. There was quite a lull in it for me personally anyway, I don’t I know. Plenty of things I’m sure happened that I wasn’t aware of. Apparently, the planet continues spinning without my looking at it. I didn’t know that. But no, apparently… but… So it’s I’m quite sure there are a lot of RPG podcasts still, you know… actual play podcasts continuing out there. But there were only a few that I was still cognizant of still going that I had, you know, been familiar with from the get go. And, but just… It feels like it’s getting back into the circles of people that… that I hang out with and interact with, as well again. And so it’s kind of making me feel like yeah, maybe I should give that another try sometime. And also, the… just it was nice doing this to get in some refresher for Rosette Diceless, so that I can then take that to games that I want to run using it.
And sort of helps remind me of how all of that works. And, you know, get me to eventually stop confusing bold attacks with the things that can block edges.
Look, you’ve played four versions of this system.
Oh, maybe… okay, that’s fair.
I don’t blame you for having any one of those versions being the labeling stuck in your head.
Well, it was neat. And also, I liked the new the newer traits that the that we got to use in this. And I liked how everything came out. I just enjoyed this experience quite a bit. So thank you very much for bringing it to us.
Sure! Anyone have additional specific kudos for things they thought other folks did well?
A kudos to Jim for that final scene in the first loop.
Yeah, I was gonna say the same thing,
Which I’m almost tempted not to say because it’s gonna make me tear up. But it was… it was really, really good. So kudos.
Thank you so much. My, and I know I got the lyrics wrong. But that was kind of how my how my mom taught me…
No, no, no. Lorenzo got them wrong.
Lorenzo got them… No, no, it was it wasn’t me. Yes, that was totally in character. No. Brief fourth wall thing. My, my mother taught me that when I was very little. And I was as we were getting close to the end for that scene, I was just googling around to see okay, what are songs from that era? And I saw that “Moonlight Bay” was one of those and I was like, “Okay, I got to do it. I got to do it.”
And it was was nice. It was nice. I appreciate that. I also just want to give kudos just in gener… I want to give kudos all around but it’s… I I really loved I just the nuance that I got to see with Sam.
It was… just, you’re doing so many things on, you know, like with the subtle layers to it.
Oh, thank you.
And it was just…
It was just great. It really was.
And I I mean, I adored the the the perspicacity that Lucy brought to the… to Harmony. It was…
I like the word perspicacity.
I like that word too. I wish I knew what it meant. It sounded good at the time. No, I figured why not use that word? It seems like it’s a it’s a good word. But I just… I really liked just the… It was one of those things where it was… There was just enough of an offset that we could have a disagreement but still worke together and then ultimately that… as we had said earlier, that brought all the characters… still brought the characters closer and that was very cool.
I think we were clever to make our tie the way we did.
I think that was clever of us.
What was your tie? What was the description on your tie?
I wrote down “brother-knowing with Lorenzo”.
I just write down “community”. I couldn’t figure out a way to describe it. But, um…
I house… I house Sal.
I want to give kudos to Melissa, because I really liked that we never really… I don’t think, got a handle on what Sam’s deal is? What Sam’s queerness is? Like, we’re not entitled to exactly what Sam’s internal situation is. And that’s cool. Like we got strong hints…
All along, but…
I’m never sure when roleplaying how much to put that stuff out. Because it’s like… This is a, you know, a slice of life in a very weird way that… I dunno. You don’t get to show everything. But also it’s like, “But I made it! I put it there!” So thank you.
So do we have any… Anyone want to ask or anyone want to specifically invite advice about something before we wrap up?
So I was super duper nervous. And I know this will resonate with at least one of you. About portraying a character like this in a recorded format, where I cannot go back and rever… and erase my words, exactly? You know, like I spent I spent an evening and this is this is just a life thing that I just do and don’t… am working on as a mental health skill. Like, rem… like thinking about how I described the outfit change in our last recording session, and whether I had made it seem too superficial or too fake or something. And then it was like, “I have to let that go.” But like this whole podcast recording business is very stressful, because these words are going to go into the ether. So do y’all have any..?
And I guess with with that, I’ll say, inviting advice here is inviting advice from us. The other three people in this thing.
This is not saying people, please “at” us. No.
Yeah. I mean….
We’re not inviting advice in general. But…
Not specifically… if anyone wants to chat about it on Mastodon, not on Twitter. You can come find me. I’m interested in talking about these things. But um, do y’all have recommendations as folks who record things or teach classes where you also you really can’t take the words out back on this sort of thing?
I haven’t… I’ve not gotten really much pushback when I’ve said controversial things… I don’t know, I don’t know that I’ve said anything too awful on recording. Hopefully, if I have folks take me as I am now. I mean, I think that the… Podcasts and recordings like this aren’t ephemeral, but they are like… I think they’re, they’re more clearly in a context of, of this ongoing thing. They can certainly be clipped. But like, I think most people who are listening hear this as part of a process.
Right? So like, especially since they can hear what came before and how you came into that, it’s very easy to be like, “Oh, they missed a word.” That, you know, they forgot to say a word or they said the wrong word. And it’s easier to be to give someone the benefit of the doubt in my experience in this sort of format.
Okay. And that helps you relax and be less stressed?
Yeah, yeah, just kind of be like, “Well, they heard me go, ‘Um, this, maybe?'”
“I’m not sure if that’s exactly what…” You know, like…
Making that… making that sort of ambivalence, clearer, I think can help.
I’ll say, at least for my part that in, in things where I would record stuff that I knew I would be going back and editing later, it was less of a concern, because of course then I’m like, kept thinking, “Oh, I can edit that out.” But of course, that led to editing hell.
Because I would just… a spiraling longer and longer editing hell. Which is why I still to this day have podcasts from like, almost a decade ago that I still haven’t finished editing. I wish that were hyperbole! But the the thing, especially with podcasts where someone else is recording them, or if I’m on a stream, which you know, that’s immediate, people are gonna see it. I really, I do worry about that kind of stuff, but I try to remind myself a few things. I try to put it out of my head somewhat, in that it’s like, you know, just… There’s nothing you can do about it.
Yeah, it’s out there. It’s done.
But the best I think I can try to do is to be as authentic as I can. And to try to make sure that that is expressed.
And that’s all I can really, that’s all I can really do.
Okay, cool. Well, thank you.
Anything else? Whether it’s advice or final questions? Awesome. Well, thank you very much. Do y’all want to… do we want to go around and have a have a final introducing yourselves and saying where to find you?
This is the most stressful part of the whole podcast. Sure.
Jim, I think you you you’re probably got this down the… the best so why don’t you set an example for us?
Okay. I’ll give it a try! I’m Jim Ryan. I am otherdoc that is OTHERDOC on both Twitch and Twitter. My website is jimyesthatjim.com There hasn’t been a lot posted there recently. But I do put game signups there for times when I am doing signups for games that are on my Twitch channel. You can find most of what I’m doing right now on my twitch channel which is at twitch.tv/otherdoc. Where I do… Right now, we’ve got a couple of things going. But I’m not going to dig in because this must be fairly evergreen, I feel. So I’ll just say that we’ve done short campaigns, we’ve done longer campaigns of various systems, a lot of it indie stuff. Always appreciate it if folks want to check it out. I… also on YouTube, which I think if you just do a search for otherdoc or if you ser… do a search for like YouTube slash otherdoc or if you do, Jim Ryan, and RPG, you’ll find it. It won’t take too long. All manner of things. And I was very happy to be here. Thank you very much.
Thank you! Lucy.
Hi, I’m Lucy. You can find me @lucyreadsevery1 on Twitter. And you can also check out my blog. It’s a good follow because I don’t blog very often. But I think it’s good when I do. And that’s at intertextualities.wordpress.com and I’m a writer and a teacher and a philosopher.
Excellent. Melissa. Do you want to do the Future Proof plug or should I do it after yours?
I’ll do it. We will… well we’ll see who’s comes out better. More coherent. I don’t know why this is the hardest part. Scratch my advice question from before and change it to “how do I say my name?” So I am Melissa Avery-Weir. I’m a co founder of Future Proof Games. You can find all of our stuff– that’s Greg and my work– at FutureProofGames.com. That includes this system we played today. Rosette Diceless. You can also find another sizable product I work on called Granny Square Colors if you’re a crocheter who likes to make blankets. This helps you generate random pattern designs from your sort of yarn stash and that’s over at grannysquarecolors.com. And you can find me on mastodon at irrsinn.life. That is IRRSINN.life.
This has been Tabletop Garden: The Great Molasses Flood. The system we used was Rosette Diceless, made by Melissa and myself as you just heard, you can check that out at rosetterpg.com. And this is being recorded in February where we’re still working on it. But I’m pretty sure that by the time this episode goes out, you will be able to get the Rosette Diceless Companion, which is a supplement book containing some of the new rules we used here, some play advice, that’s a collection of writings we put on our website and then also original material that’s just in the book. You can check that out and enhance your play experience. Thanks for listening.
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