Red Markets Beta: The Brutalists episode 11

rm-zedNews: The Red Markets Kickstarter is live! We have just reached a full color hardcover offset print run for the book. The Loss has never looked so good!

Synopsis: Attempting multiple jobs at the same time has pushed the Brutalists to their very limits. As their supplies grow low and the challenges pile one, they must face hard decisions. At what point do they walk away, knowing inaction could cost innocent lives or profit? Trying to keep a conscience and a net profit may be mutually exclusive…

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  1. Red market Randians are even more dicks than in real life!

  2. Man, its really too bad Tom was out this session and the last because the set of obstacles desperately needed Malleus. He would have had spotlight time out the wazoo.
    -at the plane
    -over the bridge
    – definitely the pick over Mauve to throw a bomb
    -pretty much the perfect guy to stand in a hot truck shooting casualties with his un-silenced rifle and a make shift spear
    Even just having a couple extra haul would have been incredibly useful.

  3. Those Randian really brought out my inner murderhobo. They really ask to be murdered. Not because you want their stuff, but because killing them is easier then paying dealing with them.

  4. I was surprised Kowloon didn’t bond with the Randians over ARCHITECTUUURE!

    “scary little girl” isn’t quite my favorite trope, but any excuse for anything involving brain plasticity tends to win my over. because it’s the coolest thing. I don’t get why the Steeler was keeping the moth alive, though? making smart zombies vindictive seems…hrm. a little anthropic. the only thing I could think of was that converts would try to keep humans from dying any non-blighting deaths that they could, so it was hoping that they’d eventually be able to break in and infect her. but presumably it could just have scrubbed a little blight into the food or water it was giving her, then?

    still the image of the starving woman and the distinct knowledge it was the Takers’ fault was chilling, and while the setup image seems silly (now you go over there and put on your harness, Steve, now I’ll hook you in…) the cone shell zombie strap trap is horrific. we were a little less economic horror this time around and more hardcore physical horror.

  5. @Crawlkill:

    I think she being kept alive (and supplied with a working keyboard and wi-fi connection) because she could be used as a lure for other Takers. I guess you could call her the flame to gather more Moths. 😉

    In General:

    Goddamn that lead up to the mass attack of the settlement was tense. If I had been sitting down, I would have been on the edge of my seat. The gradual reveal of the horrific trapdoor set-up that Steeler had put together had me hooked, but when everyone realized where the horde was going was the sinker. It was like “That Moment when you realize that the Casualties Have Got Their Shit Togther, and you are Truly Screwed” leading to “Oh, Thank God, it’s JUST An Aberrant” which goes to “That Moment when you realize that those Casualties Are Going That Direction For A Reason.”

    The only was it could have been better would be if Ludwig had lured the entire horde to the Randian operation, while chirping “SIC SEMPER HOMO ECONOMICUS.” Of course, this kind of righteous comeuppance would probably end up killing the quote-unquote-employees.

  6. Author

    Randians have terrible taste in architecture. For one thing, they hate Brutalism as a style.

  7. Author

    Also, Kowloon viewed architecture as a field of study to help and serve the population. That’s why he loved the zombie slaughterhouse – reclaiming the Loss with a building. Before the Crash he was studying how to convert shipping containers into homes. Randians see architecture as a way to impose their singular view on the rest of society “Fuck everyone else, this is what pleases me.”

  8. The entire time they were dealing with the Randians I was thinking “Man, it’s a shame they gave that footage to the Moths. They totally could have bartered with Mr. U to have all those R-holes murdered in exchange for the footage.”

    Fucking Randians.

  9. This, this session in conjunction with the last 4 or so sessions has just been a cinematic ride as a listener. That moment when the abberants are revealed I some how always go “Ffffffffffuuuuuuu….” in the best kind of way.

  10. I am infinitely entertained, and perturbed how David the First is able to play the moral rationalization for all the horrible things this character does. I don’t know if it is David (non?)apologizing for his character or if David is just is that cold. The world may never know.

  11. Also, the Kyle HR decision is so totally not going to come back and bite the group in the Ass. At least you can trust the Randians. Never work for DHQS. I don’t trust them at all. I see Kyle storming the walls of le corbusier in the bloody finale when they come to take back chicago from the Casualties. (And by casualties i mean the Enclave).

  12. @William

    The key thing to remember is that this is an RPG, a role playing game. The Mauve Hand is a role that I play. He is a cold, evil bastard. Every time I sat at the table, David went away and I took on the persona of the Mauve Hand.

    If he weren’t a cold, evil bastard he would have died a long time ago. Remember, his story (told in snippets here and there) is that after the crash, he and a group of other survivors holed up near the border. He eventually managed to get the majority of those people rescued, but the four who held the line the longest ended up trapped in the crash. By this point, the options are clear- get tough or die. Harden your heart and make the difficult calls, or get eaten alive by casualties. Make the wrong call, watch someone you know get eaten alive by casualties instead. He’s lasted this long by being cold; it’s also a part of why he’ll put himself in danger to save his teammates.

    Be it shoving a comrade through a set of stairs and running towards a safe room and blowing up a DDJ at just the right moment, shooting the vector at the right time to kill it so it doesn’t kill your teammate and thus attracting the attention of the other one, shooting a corrupt cop so that he doesn’t kill a cornered comrade, volunteering to blow the bomb to kill an Abhorrent so that the teammate with the fucked up legs doesn’t have to dive to safety and hopefully outrun the freaky-fast abomination, being the first to roof-hop on storage bins to get to a half-crazed fully-starved stranded Moth, or climbing on the roof of a semi to throw an improvised napalm bomb before shooting at the Abhorrent before she can command the now burning swarm to army-ant their way to the top of the truck and rip him to shreds… I kinda think Mauve’s done a lot of good.

    Keep in mind that part of this is the fact that the dice have been somewhat good to me on those self-control rolls. He either goes slowly insane like everyone else, or he just chalks up more bastard points; either way, I’m a horrible person.

  13. oooh can’t believe I forgot to throw a +1 for Kyle, man that was fucked up. I was thinking like Ross, “if you send the practical sociopaths instead of the hardcore psychopaths into the DHQS…maybe…that will undermine them?” that was definitely a thematic highlight there.

  14. @David
    I get that it’s your role, it’s just that you are so damn method, and as a player you defend every character you play like a mother would defend her child. It’s a dedication i have never had for my most evil of characters. I always break character and apologize cuz I’m so affected by the bad things my character does to make believe people and other players. Oddly i don’t do this as a GM.

    I agree. Mauve is hands down the bravest Brutalist. He’s a great combo of total monster and total hero with 9 lives. His facing down the Aberrant on his own was among my favorite moments and i love his vignettes the most with his strange little family.

    The kyle scene was great but it feel like a greek tragedy. It was a classic moment of Hubris. DHQS is coming for le corbusier. I know it. And it wont be pretty.

  15. Man, the amount of rationalization players will do when they make morally dubious decisions is astounding.

  16. I always approve of references to “Girl With All The Gifts”. There were numerous moments when I had to put the book down and mutter “fuck you, fuck you, fuck you” in the direction of the writer before continuing, it’s damned good.

  17. Wow.
    That was amazing. Thanks guys…
    I can’t believe none of you looked into what Antigone was doing more closely, she terrified me.

  18. @David
    My heart swelled when he bought the starbucks for his family. Fantastic RP.

  19. I have honestly come around with regards to Mauve. When he shot the kid it was a rather cold move and I thought “how is he going to regain the group’s trust over this?” and thats just it, he seems to have been repenting for it since! He is often cold and dark with his decisions but he also has this human side when it comes to his family and team, doing his best to make them comfortable and defending them even at the cost of his own life. I think David may have said previously somewhere, but it’s really just that he’s a broken man, seemingly hiding behind his fatalism more than believing in it.

    It’s been a very interesting character arc.

    And I mean of course the others have had similar struggles of character and development.

    As one other but certainly not the only other example, I.P.’s naive childlike personality surviving through so many terrifying jobs but fraying and even tearing and in the latest episodes maturing some or becoming more experienced in the ways of this devastated and grim world while still retaining his identity, even gaining more confidence in himself when faced with possible disaster (LIONS!).

  20. I love the amount of shoot the messenger in this session.

    “Hey yaknow those warnings about the atypical hord if zombies that turned out was lead by an aberrant that almost ran over our enclave that you killed and pervented the eventual distruction of us all?


    “We think you set it all up for convoluted reasons for unknown goals do Fu– You.”

    Honestly you woulda been better driving away. May have to take similler humanity tests but whats the point saving a town full of ungrateful A’holes.

  21. well. I spose it’s the whole “not having the convert come to YOUR enclave next” thing. kind of an existential threat.

  22. Two things:

    1. The Randians are absolute trash people. I mean U’s a monster, but he owns it so much I sometimes smirk at his bull. Every time the Randian guys spoke, I wanted to throttle them.

    2. That Disney rant by Kowloon was seriously underrated and I loved every second of it. I predict that there’ll be an AP by some podcast somewhere called ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ set in a Disney Enclave.

  23. What a fantastic session. Well done surviving all of that without Malleus.

    Pretty terrifying all around. The Randians and their “employees”. The Steeler and the mind-blowing deathtrap of a building. The trapped lady. The coordinated attack on Cahokia. Then the fucking Starbucks scene. Great work, Caleb, and great acting from the cast.

  24. I adored “The Girl With All The Gifts” (although it doesn’t tell you it’s a zombie story starting out, so I think that was a little bit of a spoiler. Oh well.).

    That’s not where my mind went when the Convert came into play, though. I don’t normally find zombies very scary because, in most zombie fiction, they’re more of an omnipresent background threat that’s an issue more because of endless numbers and persistence rather than because they’re all that dangerous individually. But there are two books that really made them frightening to me: Brian Keene’s “The Rising”, and “City of the Dead”. In those books, anyone that dies immediately rises as a zombie. But these zombies are intelligent, have all the skills, faculties and knowledge they had in life and absolutely hate humanity and want you to suffer before they kill you to add you to their numbers. They’re really fond of zombifying loved ones and then using your most intimate interactions to fuck with your head. And of course, they can use tactics, shoot guns, etc. Moreover, if you kill them, the animating force can come back in another body and carry over everything it knew from before. As you might imagine, the survivors in those books are super fucked. (He also wrote another zombie novel called Dead Sea where the zombie virus was jumping species at a rapid clip, closing with a few desperate survivors clinging to an oil derrick as fish and seagulls started to become infected. That’s not so much scary zombies as total extinction scenario, though.)

  25. incidentally, the Drunk and the Ugly ran a Fallout game that was almost exactly “if I ran Disney Land as a settlement”

    minus the princess gladiatorial fights

  26. @Ross
    Have you read ‘Bulgar’s Guide to the City’? Ken and Robin recommended it on their podcast. For those of you who haven’t, its a book about how burglars look at architecture and how to exploit it. Reading it and listening to the playtest has given me some interesting ideas for jobs.

  27. “Less is more” I like it.

  28. Author

    I am aware of that book and it’s on my to-read list. Looks very interesting!

  29. Oh, also, the Randians were super irritating, which is to say, completely authentic.

  30. I kinda didn’t like the Randians, because they seemed very much a blockade to getting the plot done, but then again, that’s sort of how it goes in RPGs. it was more constant pleading and die rolling to get anyone to do anything, Caleb needed a success to let it go on, but the players hadn’t much to work with, aside from lose the bounty they were promised…of course if they had just asked to rent the truck , I think that’d have worked out MUCH better.

    I loved the game overall, and I hope the ‘TPK potential situations’ mechanics made it into the game, that was some GREAT feedback.

  31. Were I a player in this scenario, my character might have tried to get the DHQS to drone strike the Steeler-controlled stampede. Sure the DHQS doesn’t give a shit about the people in the loss, but you don’t want this thing to snowball out of control (which it would). Out of any aberrant, these need to be stepped on…hard.

    As I player I know this probably wouldn’t have worked, but I think any character I would have played would have tried.

  32. Great episode (finally got around to listening to it.) Listening to the Brutalists flailing about in negotiations with the Randians and getting screwed was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. I’m surprised at the amount of restraint shown by the group, and didn’t try staging a slave….er, “employee” revolt or just open the warehouse full of casualties in the middle of the night.

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