Red Markets Beta: The Brutalists episode 3

breakdown-RMAnother day, another job. The Brutalists get some help for their latest job, a mysterious driver named Drift. They will need his skills and car if they are going to have a chance to complete this job. The takers must travel to an overrun enclave, release the undead horde inside and herd them to a slaughterhouse, where they can be disposed of and their clothing processed into grime-cloth, the only fabric available for the poor now. There’s a long road ahead and countless hazards to navigate or demolish. There’s only one solution and that is apparently quoting Fury Road. Will it work? Find out!

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  1. May he ride forever in Valhalla shiny and chrome!

  2. Hot combine action!

  3. What a wonderful day, new podcast. Ok that’s the only fury road reference I can think of.


    So glad — now — I’ve never subscribed to any monetary piece of this. I’m missing the grown-up and less-fetishistic days of Cody. Liek srlsly. I used to love this site and the people that made its astonishing ontents. Since it’s all free, I reckon no harm no foul.

    Patreon? Why, yes, I’ll accept money to deal with this sick assload of ‘culture’. Certainly, as a former whore [sex worker, for those of delicate ‘nature’], I can totally understand that superheroes and superpowers are SO… interesting? worthwhile? screwable? Oh. so! k

    Yes, yes, MAKE me subscribe, sir! Tha’ts sexy totes. Less random males facing horrifying situations and living or not; more esccapist and hateful shits building a better future without them ! SJW VICTORY!!! RPPR!!

  5. Ross, does the Patreon come with a universal translator?


    I felt like the pacing of this adventure was a little off? skipping legs before anyone’s ever really suffered really changes the feel of the game. nobody seemed to be feeling the #economichorror yet so I wasn’t sure why they’d skip em when in their experience they’d mostly be able to earn a lot of bounty on the cheap.

    but we’ve yet to see a leg go super wrong in this campaign.

  7. Author

    I honestly have no idea what that comment is supposed to mean.

  8. mine? what was confusing about it? you guys burned charges off of the car to skip three (I think?) legs, which made the “getting to the actual job” part of the game really brief. I wasn’t sure why you did, because nobody burned much (anything? I guess references) by way of resources on the first leg.

    admittedly, you did all basically fucking die at the job proper, so maybe it was still the best decision. but legs have treated you guys fairly well in the two and a half sessions so far.

  9. Soooo….former sex workers apparently have the most empathy and understanding of superheroes?

    Remember keedz, when taking krokodil, make sure to stay off the computer.

  10. I made mine late at night and deep into a bottle, so I was worried I didn’t make any sense, even though in review I felt like I did =P

  11. This thread has taken an odd turn.

  12. I think someone let that AI from the first adventure loose in here. How else do you explain the odd comments?

  13. Hey, I was just trying to make sense of Kim’s psycho babble, and the only reason I came up with for how those words could be strung together was dangerous narcotics.

    Or, it is an exsurgent vector making its first move, and now we’re all fucked šŸ™

  14. I…think it was an attempt at a Frank Miller joke? Maybe?? I hope???

  15. New David really nailed the Taker ideology with his intimidation speech where he was waving Tomahawks around on the hood of his car. I mean, yeah, he did a lot of it for humorous effect, but what he was saying was SPOT ON with what Caleb had written up in the setting information posted on the forums. That’s amazing. It’s incredible that sometimes referencing a movie can accidentally end up nailing the theme of a game you are going for. It makes me wonder if he had seen any of the setting information before hand, or if he just really likes Mad Max and got lucky?

    Either way, what he was saying was awesome roleplaying and just nailed the Taker Ideology.

    “You know what we do when we go out in the field? We own it. We take…we take everything outside these walls! Everything out side of these walls! And we make it ours!”

    Pulls out the Tomahawks, and he says…


  16. whoa. I hadn’t read that comment. was Kim the chatbot from the first adventure? or maybe the TITAN chatbot from Know Evil?

  17. Maybe he needed a trigger warning for Mad Max references?

  18. I forgot how hilarious this episode was.

    First hour is Oscar worthy. Everyone brings their gold A-game.

  19. Fun one. Somehow I missed this one from the Beta playest packet, so it was all new to me.

    It seems to me that the whole dynamic of Red Markets changes drastically when you have a car. I wonder how driveable/dangerous the roads in the Loss are supposed to be, generally? And I can see the need for some vehicle damage rules, for reasons that this session makes obvious.

    Oh, Drift. How short your time with us was, and yet so unforgettable. Shine on, you crazy diamond. And by shine, I mean glisten wetly on the blades of that harvester.

  20. Ethan, you’re pretty spot on. The Hooverville campaign has been very defined by the prevalence of working cars in Nevada–it’s essential for life and trade in that area of the Loss, since outside of Vegas and Reno the region is nothing but isolated enclaves separated by huge swaths of desert. There’s even an entire mobile enclave of cattle ranchers who live out of their big rigs and stay on the move for safety, and regular gas shipments from a SoCal enclave called Artery (Bakersfield) keep everyone’s engines firing. Consequentially this in turn gives the game a noticeable Mad Max vibe, which everyone at the table appreciates.

    As for vehicle damage rules, GOD YES. It didn’t come up until the third session but when the Takers’ car was being shot up by dronkeys with M16s our playtest group was really pining for those. Some sort of Armored upgrade for cars would be great as well, allowing the driver to spend charges to negate damage in exchange for a higher fuel consumption.

  21. Another thing I forgot to mention is that a car is a pretty major investment much the same way as a dronkey, and in addition to the benefits gained there was another bit of emergent play that I really liked. Ludwig’s architecture quotes seem to be making him the pet/mascot of the group, and in the Hooverville game the Mad Taxi quickly developed its own character as the group’s Millennium Falcon. The image of a San Diego taxi festooned with post-apocalyptic graffiti, aftermarket upgrades, and sporting a “La Cucharacha” horn quickly cemented it in the playtest group’s minds and gave it a sense of worth beyond the mere Bounty cost and upkeep.

  22. Poor Drift. We hardly knew ye.

    This is getting me super excited for the Kickstarter. I’m really loving the setting so far.

  23. I gotta say, as fun as those first two episodes were to listen to, and as epic as the conclusion of episode 2 was, I was kinda disappointed that the PCs made it through all that without a single combat. This episode more than made up for that lack. Holy crap.

  24. @Jace911

    Yeah, my players (including Ethan) lived and (figuratively) died by their truck. There was also a mission where I found no reason for there not to be box trucks as they were at a warehouse, and that was a game changer in that they were able to bring back tons (sometimes literally) of goods to sell, and made mad bank. That kinda broke the game, especially in their final Contract where they went for a Score as well and they made 200 in pure profit Bounty (though that was mostly my fault as I used Negotiation rules instead of Score rules to calculate their second objective’s Bounty total.) They also skipped a shit ton of legs, as even a five leg adventure meant they’d make it there and back in one piece. Vehicles can drastically change a campaign… but it’s a wild card, a la this episode. You live by the sword, die by the sword. If we had more time I’d hope I would’ve made missions that tested the safety of their vehicles.

  25. I’m thinking that when I run a campaign, I’ll probably push to make cars less helpful due to extremely poor road conditions, as well as extremely expensive due to the rarity of fuel and maintenance supplies. A group that has to either walk, buy horses, use rivers, or work terribly hard to arrange modern transportation is more interesting to me. I like the traveling-challenge aspect of the game.

  26. I adore the Brutalists and I need so much more of this genre.

  27. Absolutely loving the campaign so far. The world is interesting and the economics are as scary as the normal threats.

    Drift was crazy funny. Sad he went down in his first outing. Hell, the entire episode was surprisingly funny.

  28. @Ethan

    I would talk to your players about it first to see what they want; the current Mad Max flavor of the Hooverville campaign is due to A. their setting the game in Nevada B. one of the PCs building his character around his car and driving skills and C. the existence of multiple local groups (Free Rangers, 51st State) who live and die by their vehicles.

    The enclave/group creation session is a great medium for communicating player desires to the GM before they sit down and write the campaign proper. Instead of guessing what the players want out of a Red Markets game you can easily intuit based on what they vote to put in, without going so far as to let them dictate the campaign to you.

  29. Jace, you’re absolutely right. And the enclave/group creation process is a great way to work out the various desires of the group. I’m just expressing what my personal preference would be, based on my experience so far in a campaign (The Reformers) in which I’ve felt that the possession of vehicles has often made things a little too easy. I’m sure I’d enjoy a vehicle-heavy campaign just fine as long as using and maintaining the vehicles provided a big part of the challenge. And I’ve had plenty of fun anyway with the beta rules as-is.

  30. This is one of my favorite sessions of all time, for a number reasons. In fact, my only complaint is that it was not twice as long. Otherwise it was pretty much perfect.

    Caleb, as always, maintains excellent table control throughout, and it is clear here that, working with his own material, he is in his element. The system (to someone that has not read any documentation) is a bit… complex. I’m tempted to draw correlations between Red Markets and The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge) in regards to complexity but that might just be because I don’t yet have the resources to study and really grasp. I’ve been zombied out since the early 2000s batch of retreaded Romero movies, personally, and even videogames like Last of Us failed to reignite the passion I once held for the shambling undead. This setting, however, has sparked my imagination and interest like no other zombipocalypse setting has come close. I only wish I’d had the opportunity to contribute to the Kickstarter.

    So it bears mentioning, New David is my favorite new player since Caleb joined up forever ago. Nothing against any one else but David II did everything right, from having a fun character with a superfun gimmick to doing a funny voice to crit failing in the most spectacular fashion since Aaron fought the shark. Paddywhack (I’m pretty sure that was the name of his feral dependent) was silly fun, *pop* *pop*, and he did really well despite not knowing the rules (other than using his rerolls up on nonessential stuff but everyone does that). I am looking forward to hearing NeoDavid again, whether as Paddywhack or someone/thing else.

    Ross, always a pleasure to hear you play, your solid grasp of the rules and a touch of luck saved the day even if it couldn’t save Drift. Tom’s one liners and puns made me lol several times despite myself, and the vision of him skidding across a field after The Path came to its end was vivid in my mind. Aaron, oh man, it’s always great that Aaron can be depended on to be Aaron, even despite himself; clearly his bad rolls weren’t his fault, and yet… it had to be Aaron. It’s not easy playing the guy that almost get’s everyone killed and he did it with aplomb. David, ho wow, I thought that was it for the Mauve Hand, that was some quick thinking and good rolling; I mean, you had one ace up your sleeve and you used it and pulled it off spectacularly.

    Also, there were altogether too many laugh out loud moments in this AP, by which I mean it was perfect. From Drift not speaking Spanish and intimidating everyone with his tales of wasteland derring-do, to Ludwig (the clear campaign mascot and one of the best bits of flavor I’ve ever heard in a campaign)and his architectural interjections, to Aaron being Aaron, to OMG Caleb’s description of the Raiders, and the coining of ‘Mad Maxing’ as a verb. I simply couldn’t handle it when he described the Raider trucks as having Mad Max playing on the internal TV screens, a step too far man, I coughed up my coffee. Mad Maxing It deserves to be a t-shirt, right next to Latent and Proud.

    In fact, this sequence put me in such a mood for Mad Max that I spent like two hours reading analyses of the Lord Humungus character and various other aspects of the franchise. I’m gonna end up buying the damn videogame next week. And then the glorious anticlimax of Drift’s head on collision, I mean, wow, imagine Road Warrior ending with Mad Max crashing headlong into a truck… it’s too much. Insert Citizen Kane slowclap.gif.

    Seriously, this was great, I’m really looking forward to more of this campaign and purchasing the finishing product.

  31. @hapexindustries

    Thanks for the kind words! Im glad you liked the game.

    The Kickstarter for the game hasn’t launched yet. Plans are to launch I’m May this year.

  32. When Drift was doing his intimidation bit, I had an image in my mind similar to Michael Westen in Burn Notice playing the crazy extortionist.

  33. In a certain way, Drift is the fantasy of Mad Max meeting the crushing reality of a post apocalypse.

    This episode needs to be in RPPR best of.

  34. Caleb seems to be tapping into the Zeitgeist with this game — making the current Real World Red Market into a fun game

    Caleb, was one of your goals in this game to try to make economics fun?

  35. Caleb seems to be tapping into the Zeitgeist with this game — making the current Real World Red Market into a fun game

    Caleb, was one of your goals in this game to try to make economics fun?

  36. I wouldn’t say “fun,” but I did want to make it a real force in the PC’s lives. The ways in which economics informs the stories of people’s lives, and the way such a VAST and arguably total influence is ignored in games, was the primary design goal.

  37. I feel like the lack of Fury Road references in this game and the abundance of them in the Masks of Nyarlathotep finale lets us do some relative historical dating. I’m guessing this session was recorded before May 15, 2015, and the MoN finale a week or two afterwards.

  38. I certainly feel responsible for the earlier post in my name, but I’m not its author. I have a stalker.

  39. That makes sense – it read like an extremely clumsy attempt at an unflattering parody. Glimpse into the mind of madness and all that XD

  40. Man, this episode. Glorious in it’s violence and danger. Mostly just dangerous stuff. šŸ™‚

    Good thing David(I) still had one of those carbon fiber mines.

    Mad Max raiders and what happened to David(II) were epic.

  41. I am highly disappointed that no one made a “use heavy machinery” joke when Ross supercharged the combine harvester.

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