Solo RP, round 2, maybe a something

It’s about 10 in the morning and I just pulled into Elmwood. Word on the vine is that there’s something funny going on here but I can't seem to get any details. It’s too early for lunch so I might as well scout around a bit, see if I can get some information or, at the least, work on my sales quota.

Heading into town, I spot a house that’s obviously larger than the rest with ornate gables and a well kept lawn. Whoever owns that house has a pretty good chance of being well-connected in town and might have the money to buy a set of encyclopedias for their kids or grandkids.

Parking my car, I approach the house, knock on the front door and a few moments later am greeted by an older gentleman wearing an expensive looking suit that somehow reads as not entirely put on. His hair is scattered about like that photo of that Physicist in my encyclopedias. What’s his name… right, Einstein.

I introduce myself and get into my encyclopedia spiel, “Hello sir, if you don’t mind my taking a little bit of your time, my name is Arthur Johnson and I’m traveling this great country of ours sharing the gift of…”

“Let me stop you right there, son. If you’re here trying to sell me some story of how you found Jesus, I don’t have the time and you sure aren’t getting my money.

“No sir, I’m sharing the gift of knowledge. I have here, in my hands, Volume ‘H’ of the Encyclopedia Europa. I bring Volume ‘H’ because it includes History, both the history of our great nation and the world. Can I interest you in…”

“The history of the world is not written by men! We are merely in the interregnum between the powers before and the powers to come! I envy you, son, travelling these lands with your so-called history, oblivious to the true reality that lurks in every shadow and behind every corner. Oh that I might forget the things that I know or wake and discover it all a terrible dream.”

It’s clear that I’m not selling any encyclopedias today but there’s almost certainly something to the rumors that something’s off in Elmwood. Let’s see if I can get any more information out of this unkempt but well dressed gentleman.

I retooled and rethought things a bit since last time and have managed something that led me to the above. I'm shortcutting a bit and reusing some existing systems for the short term. My notes for the current system follow.

Rules

  1. Choose a setting
    • Once we have settings, this will be selecting an appropriate oracle, conceptually similar to a Fiasco playset
    • Write this in your world catalog and use the appropriate oracle going forward
    • We will be building out a 1960s Traveling Salesman / monster hunter Oracle as we play
  2. Create a blank character
    • All Attributes at 3, no specialization modifiers
    • All Standard Skills at 0
    • All Special Skills at nil
    • Give your character a name (in this case a pseudonym) and record in the log
  3. Using the Oracle, generate a starting location seed
    • Roll 1D6 for the General Location
    • Roll a second 1D6 for the Specific Location
    • Record the rolls in your Log
    • Record the information under “Location 1” in the Record Sheets, this will be a permanent location that you may return to later
  4. Make up when and why you are arriving at your starting location
    • Don’t actually write up what happens at the location, just the period from getting off the highway (the Interstate’s don’t exist in the 60s) to arriving at this location
  5. You’ll meet your first NPC at this location, roll them up via UNE (we’ll figure out our own thing later)
    • Modifier, Noun, Motivation Verb, Motivation Noun
    • Relationship distrustful
    • Figure out who they are, why they’re at the location and why you’re meeting them
    • Record in the log
    • Record in record sheet
    • Give them some flavor
  6. Decide on your intent for the scene
    • This will determine what skill you are rolling
    • You will have to figure out how hard it is yourself
      • Maybe I’ll come up with some guidelines in the future
      • Maybe read through Shadowrun for some standard target numbers
      • Unless it’s an opposed test, then do a different thing
      • Record anything we know about the NPC in the record sheet
  7. Roll up a first interaction (via UNE) with the NPC, have an interaction
    • If it’s an opposed test, roll their power level and record relative to your current power level
    • Something here about related knowledge
    • Record the test for advancement in the log

Oracle

1960s Traveling Salesman

Premise

You ostensibly play a traveling salesman but, in actuality, are a monster hunter. Play should feel a bit like the X-Files or Twin Peaks but without the FBI trappings; you show up in a town, stuff is a little weird, you investigate, and it’s either something that needs to be dealt with (maybe supernatural) or it’s just a weird town.

Settings should feel a bit like the Twilight Zone and a bit like Mad Men.

This is played at a small town scale but you will end up going from one town to another over the course of a campaign.

You’re from out of town, in small to medium towns, so the average person won’t trust you.

You drive a car that’s big enough to sleep in and the trunk is full of product sample cases, encyclopedias, and sample cases with weapons.

Nearly nobody is aware of the monsters, not townsfolk, not the police, not anyone. Just the actual monsters, people directly connected to / conspiring with them, and the loose network of monster hunters that you are a part of.

Secretly, pretty much all traveling salespeople are monster hunters.

Special Rules

No name, only pseudonyms

Skills List
  • Standard
    • Perception (Intellect / Judgement)
    • Driving (Physique / Agility)
    • Haggling (Culture / Charisma)
  • Special
    • ...

Starting Scene

You have just entered a small / medium town in the middle of nowhere USA. On the road, and through your offices, you’ve received a tip off that something weird is going on in this town. You will be trying to figure out what’s up, if anything, resolve the matter, and maybe sell some products or have some fun along the way.

Locations Oracle

  1. Downtown 1
    1. Post office
    2. City hall
    3. Church
    4. Bar
    5. VFW Hall
    6. Barber
  2. Downtown 2
    1. Hardware store
    2. Diner
    3. Train station
  3. Residential
    1. The biggest house in town
    2. A tiny bungalow
    3. 2BR Craftsman home
    4. Bed and Breakfast
  4. Rural
    1. Farm
    2. Residential shack
    3. Corn field
  5. Nature
    1. The Woods
    2. The Creek
    3. The Cemetery
    4. The Quarry
    5. The Sandpit
    6. The Old Mine
  6. Outskirts
    1. Motel
    2. Road into or out of town
    3. Gas station

Game Log

Choose Setting:

  • 1960s Traveling Salesman / Monster Hunter

Name Character:

  • Arthur “Artie” Johnson (pseudonym)

Starting Location roll:

  • 3 - Residential
  • 1 - The biggest house in town

First NPC UNE roll:

  • Modifier - 16 - Course
  • Noun - 3 - Merchant
  • Motivation Verb - 83 - Proclaim
  • Motivation Noun - 63 - Envy
  • Relationship: Distrustful

NPC 1:

Course Merchant, Proclaim Envy - we’re talking about a local commercial/industrial well off person, perhaps bought the largest house from the old farm/plantation owner or such. This individual feels trapped, would rather be free to roam like the PC.

First Interaction:

  • Intent
    • Sell a set of encyclopedia
  • Interaction UNE roll
    • Mood - 98 - Forthcoming
    • Bearing - 23 - Insane - 31 - Chaos
    • Focus - 2 - Current Scene
  • Test
    • Opposed Haggling Test
    • Scene R-Level - 3 - Standard
    • Opponent Power level - 23 - Comparable
    • Let’s call this a Culture/Charisma+Haggling Test and we’ll pull in Intellect/Education+History as our context related skill
    • Our opponent will also roll Culture/Charisma+Haggling and will pull in Intellect/Judgement+Business as a context related skill
      • I’m going to say being a merchant, they ought to have a bit of a buff on bonus, so I’ll give them a 2 (instead of the “Comparable” 0)
    • NPC rolls:
      • Business (5D6) - 1 success to add as die to Haggling
      • Haggling (3+1->4D6) - 3 successes
    • My rolls
      • History (3D6) - 1 success to add to Haggling
      • Haggling (3+1->4D6) - 1 success
    • Outcome
      • I fail, reality coalesces / quantum states collapse, and I cannot sell this NPC a set of encyclopedias (not now and, unless something drastic changes, not ever)
      • Failure means the result is a No, but … result
      • Advancement
      • Target 3 with 4 dice, which counts as a Hard test for the skill and attribute

Record Sheets

Player Character

Real Name
[Unknown] [Irrelevant]
Pseudonym
Arthur “Artie” Johnson

Attributes

  • Physique - 3
    • Specializations
      • Strength +0
      • Agility +0
      • Resistance +0
    • Progression
      • Hard - 0
      • Extraordinary - 0
  • Intellect - 3
    • Specializations
      • Education +0
      • Judgement +0
      • Fortitude +0
    • Progression
      • Hard - 0
      • Extraordinary - 0
  • Culture - 3
    • Specializations
      • Charisma +0
      • Standing +0
      • Resources +0
    • Progression
      • Hard - 1
      • Extraordinary - 0

Skills

  • Standard
    • Culture/Charisma - Haggling - 0
      • Progression
        • Mundane - 0
        • Hard - 1
        • Extraordinary - 0
    • Intellect/Education - History - 0
  • Special

Locations

Location 1

Rolled 3, 1: Residential, The biggest house in town

Location 2: (specific roll ?)

Location 3: (specific roll ?)

Location 4: (specific roll ?)

Location 5: (specific roll ?)

Location 6: (specific roll ?)

Non-player Characters

NPC 1

Course Merchant; Proclaim Envy

  • Physique - 3; Intellect - 3; Culture - 3
  • Skills - Haggling - 0 - Business - 2