Red Markets Beta: The Brutalists episode 8

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Synopsis: The Brutalists get a new job to clear out a building of undead. Another group has already failed at the job though and the Brutalists are now subcontractors for it. No one knows why the first group failed, all the more reason for the Brutalists to dread it. However, they first have to get to the job site before they can even try. The takers have made enemies, who want revenge. There’s also another cult between them and their destination, a group of medically trained fanatics known as the Crusaders.

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  1. you guys were teasing me for like 15 minutes over whether you’d take the aberrant job or not! I WANNA SEE AN ABERRANT AMG

    as noted on the Facebook group, WHAT THE FUCK THE CRUSADE WHY IS EVERY CULT WORSE THAN THE LAST and by worse I mean even more amazing I mean seriously the Epicurus antivaxer dudes are fuckin nothing compared to Black Math who are fuckin nothing compared to this human monstrosity

    it really ties in with why I said last time ’round that I like this particular plague. got JUST A BIT of an eldritch angle to it without going full-on explicit about it. I just relistened to Lover in the Ice and at least there goin crazy from knowing too much was called tome rot? that might be general Delta Green nomenclature nobody actually uses, I dun remember. but I immediately thought of tome rot when I hear study sickness! DO NOT LOOK TOO CLOSELY AT THE THERMODYNAMICALLY IMPOSSIBLE GERM OR IT WILL LOOK INTO YOU.

    it is an honor and a privilege to back this nonsense

    incidentally, what happens if, like, two PCs (or even just one) retire while the rest of the group isn’t ready yet? it seems like any replacement PC they ginned up they wouldn’t take as seriously, as one imagines -that- PC will be behind on retirement numbers, and–y’know. revolving door. I think on GDW group retirement funds were mentioned at one point? it speaks to my faith in this project that I suspect this has been handled and handled well. I also loved that there was both a penalty and an expendable benefit to getting a milestone. I COULD LEAVE. I COULD JUST LEAVE. it sounded like those came from a list?

    I’m going to stop talking now because I like too much of this stuff to enumerate it all but I could keep going HIT LOCATION-PRECIPITATED DRAMA AAAH YES quiet you

  2. @Crawlkill I gotta agree with you, the seemingly eldritch yet still engimatic nature of the Blight is what appeals to me for a zombie origin, it’s just really fresh to me. (much like my first run in with “REC” or “Pontypool”).

    Also gotta say this is probably my favourite session of “The Brutalists” campaign. Not to say the other sessions weren’t any less fun or thrilling to listen to (far from in fact) but between Kowloon’s actual name reveal (and most of the vignette stuff this session), The combat sequences and the consequence that followed (I think Caleb’s NPCs get more awesome as this goes.) and the final breakdown of everyone’s favourite Documentarist, it was just a really solid ride for me.

    My only real complaint is this wasn’t longer and we haven’t reached the part with the Aberrant! (With you on this again Crawlkill, I wanna see these Aberrants so bad!!!)


  3. I actually cut out of my comment (believe it or not I edit these microessays) that I spaced out while the Kowloon name conversation was going on and then backtracked and was so glad I did

    and I completely forgot to celebrate the incredible acting job that was CousinFucker, I have exactly one worry for Red Markets and it’s that the game can never feel quite as alive as it does when K’Lob is the Market. prove me wrong, Ross, I hear I’ve got preview APs coming in when this Kickstarter ends!

  4. Oh yeah! @Caleb, I have drawn it up, it is in my computer now, expect that Political Cartoon soon.

  5. Why is it whenever shit gets real in this campaign IP is right at ground zero?

    “God is an otaku” has to be the best line of the campaign thus far.

  6. I think the crusaders are the only cult I feel sorry for. They’re just trying to do the right thing, you know? That being said, I really like that studying the Blight gives you Tome Rot…err…I mean, “Study Sickness”. I love that vaguely Lovecraftian feel it gives off.

    It’s just the right amount of Lovecraftian, you know? It’s not like it’s heavy handed, and that’s what the games about. I mean, the game is still about Economic horror, but it’s still nice to know that it’s, even very indirectly, is caused by “something that should not be”.

    It reinforces the “some things are out of your control” aspect of good horror games, but is distant enough that it never truly feels that way. Thus, keeping the Economic horror alive, and the driving factor of the game.

    Basically, I think the Blight is really cool Caleb. You did a good job with it. It’s definitely better and more original, than “because Zombies”.

  7. Every episode brings something fresh. Man, what a way to sell the Kickstarter! I’m digging the Crusaders hugely. And that emergent narrative gameplay — hitting the Crusader leg right after all the damage from the gunfight. This is what I love about random tables.

  8. Excellent session as always. Can’t wait to back the game when I get paid.

    The Crusaders are creepy as shit, an very sympathetic to boot (even if you aren’t feeling very sorry when they find out that you’re immune).

    And as always – Poor IP.

  9. Starting to wonder if there is something between Mauve and IP. How many times has Mauve thrown himself into danger to save IP? This is the third time he jumped in front of casualties for IP, and the other two times were vectors- who would do that for a coworker or friend? Anyone else think there’s UST?

    If not, damn Mauve! You really don’t care if you die, do you?

  10. @Jace

    Well, for one thing, Aaron’s dice luck is improbably poor.

  11. How much inspiration has Red Markets drawn from the game Unhallowed Metropolis? I’ve noticed a lot of setting, thematic, and mechanical similarities between the two. UM is set in a post-zombie apocalypse world where the struggle between rich and poor is more central than the actual undead, focuses on the misery that is impoverished life both in reality and with the added horrors of the setting, and even has professional undead-hunters called Undertakers. UM also uses a “roll 2d10 for everything” mechanic, and has a single type of half-undead who doesn’t have to worry about zombie bite infection bu is still socially shunned, the Dhampyr. UM’s zombie lords are also similar to Red Market’s abominations. The big difference is that UM is quasi-steampunk, but written by people who know the actual Victorian era, with its viciously unchecked capitalism, while Red Markets is set in a near-future, and uses economics jargon as its gaming terms and in-setting slang.

  12. @ByronClay

    I’ve never heard of Unhallowed Metropolis until you mentioned it, so any similarities aren’t intentional. That said, I’m far from original dealing with these themes, so I can understand how we might have covered similar ground. The zombie is a myth that represents the cultural zeitgeist; an interaction with economic concerns is what the structure does best, IMHO

  13. UM is, in fact, the only other zombie setting I can really stand. can’t tolerate steampunk, bored by zombies, but stuff them together with some serious alternate history and a society that staggers on and suddenly they work for me. there’s definitely some conceptual similarities between why I like UM and why I like RM; “more is happening in the world than just a bunch of cannibals and total social breakdown,” mostly.

  14. truly we are all laced to the office chair of capitalism

    oh hey DeviantArt has social media sharing features when did that happen

  15. @Crawlkill have you read Deadwardians? I don’t know if Dan Abnett has read UM but he got a lot of it in that comic.

  16. I can’t think of a human being more different from Caleb than Jason Soles. For one thing, I don’t think Caleb could be Gary Oldman’s stunt double in the Fifth Element. Interesting that they’d make games with similar themes, but I’m guessing Red Markets is down about 300% in pretentiousness. I enjoy some of his work (primarily Warmachine and Hordes).

    As to the AP, this may have been the most nailbiting, cinematic “oh god it’s all gone to shit” session I’ve ever heard outside of the end of A Very Thorough Murder. Great job all around, gentlemen!

  17. The car chase across a post-zombie-apocalypse Illinois reminded me a lot of this bizarrely high-production-value PSA, mostly because it’s, well, also a car chase across a post-zombie-apocalypse Illinois. Which, as someone from Illinois, I can say looks pretty much the same as pre-apocalypse rural Illinois:

    And, yes, a state in the tens of billions of dollars of debt, currently closing universities and laying off teachers, spent money on stunt drivers, professional actors, and pyrotechnics for this PSA.

  18. Gee whiz…and that’s episode 4 out of how many? Illinois tax dollars well spent!

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