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Black and white clip art depiction of audio being turned into a transcript. On the left, the sound is depicted by a pair of headphones with an audio wave going between the two ears pads. A simple black arrow goes from left to right. On the right, the transcript is represented by a stylized typed document.

 

For maximum accessibility, each transcript has four formats: an online post for access convenience, a word document with a low-vision friendly font (Veranda), a pdf with a dyslexia friendly font (OpenDyslexic3), and a low contrast blue on black pdf for people with migraines (Veranda).

 

Collaboration 4 Chimera: Friendship Is Music

Note: Content warnings are listed at the bottom of this transcript.

 

[Happy, bouncy, electronic music plays.]

 

Fay:

This is a special collaboration episode created for International Podcast Month. This diverse and inclusive event is all about building community and sharing our love of podcasting. I highly recommend checking it out by searching for International Podcast Month on your favorite podcast catcher or by going to InternationalPodcastMonth.com.

 

[The bouncy music fades]

 

[IPM Theme Music]

(Enthusiastic swelling orchestra)

 

Intro Stinger:

Welcome to International Podcast Month or IPM. IPM is brought to you by the organizational team Cole, Tess, and Therin. A very special thank you to all of our participants, without whom this event wouldn’t be possible. And now, onto the episode.

 

[IPM Theme Fades]

 

 

[Character Creation Cast Promo Music]

(Peppy electronica)

 

Ryan:

Character Creation Cast is a discussion podcast where Amelia Antrim and myself Ryan Bolter create characters in multiple roleplaying games with prominent guests from the games community.

 

Amelia:

Each month Character Creation Cast examines the character generation process in depth for a different game with new guests each series. Character Creation Cast always takes time to reflect on the game, its designs, and what guests have to say about it. Think of it as sitting in great session zero every week.

 

[music fades]

 

[October Jones & Fish With Legs Promo Music]

(soft synthwave)

 

Fish with Legs:

October Jones & Fish With Legs! Podcast-best-friends-super-ultimate-listening-experience.

 

October Jones:

Oh…kay. It’s a buddy comedy adventure about me, October Jones-

 

Fish with Legs:

The brain!

 

October Jones:

…and Fish with Legs.

 

Fish with Legs:

The legs!

 

October Jones:

As we tried to save the world from being eaten apparently.

 

Fish with Legs:

With the power of friendship we face wacky situations, whimsical new locations, and the dangers of colonialism. All with the mature but family friendly appeal.

 

October Jones:

Listen to October Jones & Fish With Legs on Spotify, Apple, or anywhere else.

 

Fish with Legs:

And for exclusive secret content visit us at October and Fish dot ca! (octoberandfish.ca) Ding!

 

[Writing Alchemy Promo]

 

Tobi:

It’s more like she’s gonna cut in front of you in the lunchline [laughter] and pretend nothing happened [laughter continues]

 

Fay:

Writing Alchemy is a storytelling podcast that centers intersectional characters. Including a fairy tale series that combines humor and magic with serious topics, and a tabletop roleplaying series about the adventures of disabled and mentally diverse heroes.

Check out Writing Alchemy at writing alchemy dot net (writingalchemy.net) or subscribe on Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play.

 

[Redacted Files Promo Music]

(tense staccato/plucked strings)

 

Aser:

Shadowy conspiracies, ravening beasts, the cold embrace of the void. These are just some of the dangers awaiting those who stand between the innocent, and the multitudes ready to destroy everything we believe in. And the way our heroes roll, whether in Warhammer 40,000, Delta Green, Numenera, or any number of other games we’ve tried… they’ll probably encounter these dangers sooner rather than later. Join us at the redacted files dot com (theredactedfiles.com)

 

[Music stops]

 

[Soft piano fades in]

 

Ryan:

Welcome to the IPM 2021 Chimera actual play episode everyone. I am very excited to present this session to all of you. Chimera is a Powered by the Apocalypse, PBTA for short, RPG that allows you to blend multiple genre modules together to create your own unique world and characters.

 

PBTA works by talking through our story, narrating our actions, and letting our actions determine whether some moves trigger or not. Which usually prompts a roll of some sort. If you’re not too familiar with the system, there will be some mechanics discussion throughout the show, so don’t worry.

 

Our group blended fantasy, superhero, and magical girl genres. With a heavy dose of the musical micro genre. What you are about to hear takes place in a world we created in our session zero. Each of the characters is a blend of two playbooks, called archetypes, picked from dozens of available archetypes, to create a unique group of characters that you will meet in the episode.

 

Check out our extensive show notes for full credits too as this episode is packed with musical and sound effect goodies. Thanks so much for joining us. Take your seats and enjoy the new hit musical sensation called Friendship Is Music.

 

[Piano fades]

 

[Optimistic orchestra music starts]

 

Ryan:

The lights die down in the theater as the curtain rises. Upon the stage we see a view of a solar system. In the middle of this view is a planet sized disc, shaped like an old LP record, but where the hole in the middle would be there is a large plug. The camera zooms in on the record as the orchestra swells. The grooves turned into valleys between mountains, the sky a bright blue. We travel over some forests, across lakes and rivers, and finally, into a small city.

 

It is mid morning in the city and the streets are empty, for a moment before the music kicks into an upbeat tempo with a generic beat and citizens of the city come out of their houses simultaneously and dance through the streets.

 

[Music shifts – energetic whistling with peppy tone]

 

These people are all various varieties of anthropomorphic animals, in all shapes and sizes, and they are singing about the city and their life in it. The song details how life has just become easier now that the corporation’s are planning on harmonizing with what are known as the four chords. An almost sacred piece of music to these people, that runs everything in their lives.

 

We see you into a few households, and people are singing to their toasters, which then makes the toast. Or humming a tune to help heat up their bathwater. Music, the song explains, is a source of magic here. And the corporations are helping make music even more magical with their exclusive amplifiers made for the common folk to help do extraordinary things with technology with just a song.

 

The scene shifts to the streets once again, and we travel down it quickly. Spiraling around the groove of the planet size record. We dip down into the ground and eventually appear on a darker side. The city looks roughly the same as the camera right to itself. But, instead of street lights, there are neon glowing lines everywhere.

 

[Music shifts – drum and bass style electronica]

 

The music changes tone to something harsher and unconventional. The dance moves of the few on this side are much more freeform and chaotic. The lyrics of the song detail the joys of freedom, and lack of corporate rule, happiness and joy in the diversity of song, compared to the life on the other side of the world.

 

In this area known as The Echo. They sing about the corporation’s plans to encroach their four chords agenda into this mirror world and disrupt the freedoms they enjoy. The camera then takes us back through the street back into the light side of the other part of the world.

 

[Music shifts – energetic whistling with peppy tone]

 

And the music is once again upbeat, and generic. The dancing settles down as we see a storefront coming into view, a music store. The doors open for the camera and we step inside. The music dies down to the going ons within the store. Some customers are looking through record stacks, but more importantly, our protagonists can be found here.

 

Welcome to IPM, everybody. And welcome to my players to this wonderful world that we have created all together. I would love if we could introduce ourselves and then introduce our characters afterwards. Who wants to go first?

 

Liz:

Hello, I am Liz Nyveen, I guess I’ll keep the last name, I use they/them. I’m one of the co-creators of October Jones and Fish With Legs which is an audio drama. It’s a fantasy comedy adventure quest.

 

And I’m also a guest player sometimes on Natural Toonie, a D&D podcast set in Fantasy Newfoundland, very Canadian. My character is Markus Martes slash Ghostwriter. [Ryan chuckles] Ghostwriter uses she/her and Markus uses he/him

 

Vincent:

Hi, hello, I’m Vincent MacElroy. I use they/them pronouns and I am visiting in from Heroes in Progress Podcast. It is a Open Legend’s TTRPG podcast but it’s styled like a radio drama. So episodes are about 40 or so minutes with sound effects and music and the lovely, lovely voices of my co talent who join me there. Today, I will be playing Cyrus Wright who uses he/him pronouns.

 

Fay:

Hi, my name is Fay Onyx. I use ze/hir pronouns. And I’m here from Writing Alchemy. And- oh, Writing Alchemy is a podcast that, at least currently, focuses on doing tabletop roleplaying game oneshots where disabled players play disabled characters. But soon, well, soon in the podcast world anyway [Ryan chuckles] I’m working on a longer game series. And I’m playing Rose who uses she/her pronouns.

 

Jonn:

Hi, I’m Jonn, he/him. I am on the Redacted Files podcast; about secret agencies, cultists, basic horror genre. I’m also on Tabletop Comics, which is a one to one player podcast, where when the player plays a hero, in each session, it’s a issue of their comic book.

 

You can also find me on Vibrant Legends on the Dicey Amazon’s twitch stream.

 

 

Liz:

Cool!

 

Ryan:

Very cool.

 

Jonn:

I’m playing Carpenter, they/them.

 

Ryan:

I will be the genre moderator for this evening. My name is Ryan Boelter, he/they pronouns. I’ll be playing everybody else in the world, but you can find my work, I am a co-host on Character Creation Cast, which is a show where we explore different roleplaying games through the lens of character creation.

 

I also do the sound design and editing for A Horror Borealis, which is a Monster of the Week actual play, and I do the dialogue editing for The Broadswords, which is a D&D actual play podcast.

 

Liz:

In the music store, a song begins. It’s one of those stage musical songs that starts kind of simple and quiet. A drab, nerdy looking platypus in plaid trousers suddenly looks toward the fourth wall as the other lights dim, and everyone else in the music store freezes in a tableau.

 

[piano slowly fades in]

 

He sings without much showmanship, seeming just slightly pathetic. And what he sings is that he’s from another world, and he’s stranded in this one without a way home. But no one knows that. He was doing research on the space between dimensions, he got lost for a length of time he daren’t mention.

 

While he tries to find a way back, he’s hiding. Using his shapeshifting abilities to remain unseen. But he’s made some friends here in a music store. Let him tell you what he means. And then there’s a montage, the people you’ll come to learn are his teammates go about their store tasks as they work in the store. While he stands in the middle.

 

Flipping, using shapeshifting, between a bunch of different nondescript civilian identities changing with the beat, which has grown slightly jauntier. He’s been fighting crime! [Vincent chuckles] Well, not him exactly. With these people who he’s come to care about. If you spend enough time in strange new places eventually you run out of new faces, and sometimes [singsong tone] you join a team of magical girl fantasy superheroes and become friends with them in your civilian life, but they don’t know who your two halves are.

 

[normal tone] Markus, now an otter, smiles mysteriously, takes three big steps to stand behind the curtain. An organ plays like a holding tune, keeping the tension up as there’s large obvious, quick change rustling from behind the curtain [players laugh] And then Ghostwriter bursts out!

 

Smiling grandly, singing boisterously in a throaty voice, a big band blasts horns alongside her. She’s a white speckled colugo, a kind of lemur, in a glamorous red dress. She dances around and with the employees who continue doing their tasks unaware of her presence there. She loves these people, and her mask helps hide her from the corporations.

 

There are lots of twirling dance moves, and the lights get a little jazzy. It ends with a big flourish and then everything comes back to reality, with the nondescript platypus again. And if we were doing a cast recording, this song would be called Nice To Meet You, parenthesis, Again.

 

[soft jazzy music]

 

Vincent:

[tap dancing] You hear him before you see him. Tap sounds coming from the back of the record store. Turning the corner you are met with a short and young looking bearded dragon, in an oversized sweater with sleeves rolled up, and tight pants, repairing broken players. When there is a moment of silence, you know he’s done it [tap dance stops]

 

Cyrus pumps a fist into the air before picking up the fixed player and dashing out to the front of the counter. He’s alight with a warm smile but as the customer approaches he shrinks a little and diverts their attention to his coworker so he can slip away. Hiding behind a shelving unit, he takes out his fidget cube and centers his breathing for a few moments.

 

[tap dancing] His feet step out a small rhythm as he taps his way back again. He checks his phone to see a chiding message from family but ignores this and once out the back turns back to working on a different bench with gadgets and trinkets. This is The Cultured, The Innovator, and sometimes a little anxious, Cyrus Wright.

 

[piano music]

 

Fay:

From Cyrus, the camera zooms outside the record store and we see a 19 year old chicken woman with reddish brown feathers [co-talent chuckles], wing-like arms, a short puffy tail and a spiky red comb on her head. She is wearing a torn black shirt with the word resist spray painted in dripping white paint and a short black skirt that has one large pocket on her left hip.

 

She’s putting up a row of black and white posters for an indie band on the outside of the wall of the record store. The young woman establishes a rhythm as she slaps the posters onto the wall and the electric guitar comes in.

 

[Music shifts – electric guitar and bass music]

 

As the music picks up she adds dance moves in between putting up each poster. She is barefoot and as the dancing gets more intense, we see her large yellow chicken feet as she does a backflip off the wall.

 

This is Rose, she grew up on a small struggling cooperative farm. Now Rose is a guardian devoted to and empowered by Harmony, a powerful creative force that is seeking to protect and restore the balance of notes, melodie,s and chords that sustains the world.

 

Rose is all about connection and community. So she is event-coordinator for the record store. The dance number ends with a long electric guitar flourish as Rose throws a stack of fliers out into the inexplicably crowded street in front of the record shop [co-talent chuckle].

 

[electronic bass music]

 

Jonn:

A strong beat starts as an EDM song plays. The beefolk with two headphones held up to their head, bouncing to the beat with a big smile on their face? That’s Carpenter. A three foot tall, tightly wound coil of energy. That seems perpetually at a moments breath from breaking into dance. Their wings and forearms poke out through a bright red zip up hoodie, and they sport an impressive pair of black shades.

 

But Carpenters’ more than meets the eye, an anomaly and exile, a Vocaloid drone, created in a corporate lab to be a musical weapon. They were a harbinger, meant to bring the pasteurized, homogenized, and corporatized uniformity of Side A to the Echo. After a accident left them stranded in the Echo. Carpenter found that they love the people. They love the music. They loved everything about the Echo.

 

In the Echo you could dance to the beat of your own drum. As Carpenter heads- head bops to the music. Their shades slip down revealing happy emoji eyes. The pixelated emoji spreads to the nearby electronic displays. Carpenter pushes the shades back into place as the lights flicker. When the lights come back on, everything has returned to normal.

 

 

Ryan:

As the introduction songs settle down. We see two customers take center stage from the front of the store as their conversation is overheard by all including the audience. One is a cat-person with black fur, and one is a badger-person with gray and black fur.

 

(Ryan) Cat-Person:

I just heard the Four Chord Harmonization Con-Celebration begins tonight.

 

(Ryan) Badger-Person:

Wow, really? They’re finally finishing The Plug today, expanding the harmony throughout the groove?

 

(Ryan) Cat-Person:

Yeah, they- they say you’ll be able to use technology anywhere in the world once the central amp is turned on. It’s too bad about the Echo though, but we can’t worry about that right now. What are we gonna wear tonight to celebrate?

 

(Ryan) Badger-Person:

Oh, good question. This is a big event. Maybe we should go check with the stores right now before the big rush!

 

Ryan:

And they hustle their way out of the store. Leaving all of you here, by yourselves.

 

Fay:

Rose is scowling. She is very concerned about this.

 

Ryan:

And I would say, Rose, you probably understand that the corporations have been trying to capitalize on this whole Harmony thing as propaganda. That Harmony is on their side. But I think Rose knows differently.

 

Fay:

Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Rose is connected to Harmony and Harmony wants balance in the music, not four chords to dominate.

 

Ryan:

Mm-hmm.

 

Fay:

So I have a quick question. So you said something about turning the central amp on?

 

Ryan:

Mm-hmm.

 

Fay:

Okay, what do we know about that? That’s not something I recall hearing about.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, The Plug at the center of the world is something that was constructed by the corporations.

 

Fay:

Right.

 

Ryan:

And it’s finally finishing construction today. And if it finishes, apparently, this was not completely public knowledge until recently, The Plug will act as a central amplifier to the four chord magic to spread it throughout the world. And there is a thought that when that happens, the balance on the side that is known as the Echo will basically become eradicated.

 

Fay:

So it’s going to eradicate the whole Echo?

 

Ryan:

It’ll do something bad to it. Possibly conform it to just the four chord magic so any other music would probably lose it’s magic.

 

Fay:

Hmm. Now that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal.

 

Liz:

That’s so bad [chuckles]

 

Ryan:

So what do you do? You’re all at this record store. It’s mid morning right now.

 

Fay:

Rose is scowling and she’s been very concerned about this for a while. The Plug in general but the recent announcements about the amp have grown, I would say- I’m gonna say that they’ve grown increasingly alarming each time there’s new- a new announcement. And she’s going to… I’m guessing Carpenter is the one that’s like out with her on the floor? And she’s gonna turn to a Carpenter and say…

 

(Fay) Rose:

That’s it. We can’t- we can’t let this happen. That- It’s- it’s so dangerous.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter

That- that’s bad! We have to do something about that. What- We can’t let him turn that amp on. That’ll- that’ll ruin everything.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Yeah, we- uh… [breath] let’s get Cyrus. We- We need to. This, I think this calls for drastic action [Vincent chuckles]

 

Jonn:

Before you finish the sentence, the Carpenter takes off because Carpenter does not like sitting still. So soon as the register in their mind that “the go get someone” [co-talent chuckles] Basically started going.

 

Liz:

And I guess we’re like, together.

 

Vincent:

Yeah, I like to imagine that Markus is out the back with Cyrus and Cyrus is possibly showing him a new gadget that he’s been working on.

 

Fay:

Yeah. Do we have like one random other store employee that is like the one person we always leave the store to whenever we rush off to do stuff?

 

Ryan:

Oh there’s gotta be! [co-talent laugh] Let’s- let’s define this person who is the- who’s the one person that you leave behind to run the store?

 

Liz:   (crosstalk)

Dan.

 

Fay:   (crosstalk)

 

Jonn   (crosstalk)

Yeah, I feel like your adult. They’re, they’re the only adult in the store [everyone laughs]

 

Ryan:

Somebody- somebody in their, like, 30s or something like that. Yeah. Did I hear the name Dan?

 

Liz:

Yes.

 

Vincent:

They’re voiced by Jack Black. I can’t imagine it as anything else [more chuckling]

 

Ryan:

Alright, so Jack Black-esque, 30s maybe 40s lifetime music aficionado. They don’t make it like they used to [Vincent laughs].

 

Vincent:

Love that. Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Alright, so yeah, Dan – I almost called him Jack – So Dan is, is probably like reading something behind the counter at the front of the store.

 

Liz:

What invention are you showing me?

 

[intimate harp music]

 

Vincent:

Cyrus has put on a component that looks like it would belong to a sleeve set maybe. And he’s pressing a couple of buttons on this, and just sort of is muttering away, excitedly.

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

And-and-and the idea is that if you press it in a particular sequence, you’ll actually get a wonderful little device, which could in turn-

 

Vincent:

And then accidentally depresses the button that shoots off like a very Halo-looking-shield in front of him [electronic hum]

 

(Liz) Markus:

Ah god, Cyrus!

 

Vincent:

[laughter] And he just…

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

[stammering] Uh well, that! That is what would happen.

 

Vincent:

And he curiously looks at it and seems surprised that parts of the shield is actually phasing through some of the items and then touches this with his hand. And you can see that there’s like a force there that he can’t push past and he just…

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Uh… Well, it’s- it’s- it’s not supposed to be doing that?

 

Vincent:

And you just see a couple more button presses as the shield [mouth fshwoop noise]

 

(Liz) Markus:

Oh god… [electric hum stops] I mean, that was interesting. Are you- was it supposed to do that? Are you okay?

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Oh- uh- Yes. So the idea is, is that if- if you’re in trouble, or just need to create some space, you can just, you know, [pause] force field uh… that was the idea?

 

(Liz) Markus:   (crosstalk)

Are you expecting to be… in trouble soon?

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Uh… umm…

 

Vincent:

Cyrus starts nervously tapping his feet as you think of a very natural way to segue into this, and I would love if Carpenter just comes in at this exact moment. [laughter]

 

Jonn:

Yep, Carpenter comes in.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Whoa! That’s so cool. What is it?

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Ah, yes, Carpenter. You’re so right. I need to get into the front of the store right now. Sorry, Markus. I’ll have to answer your question later.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Oh, yeah, we definitely have to get into the store. There’s a- there’s an amplifier that’s going to get turned on and then the Echo is not going to be here and then we won’t have a home. Or we’ll have a home, but it won’t be the Echo would be more like another place like a Side A or Side A-B?

 

(Liz) Markus:

Side double A?

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Yeah, double A? Well there won’t be a Echo-

 

(Liz) Markus:

That’s bad.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

And we’re probably using the same four chords and that’ll be the only source of magic, that’s really a problem. At least I think, Rose thinks so too. Oh right! Rose said to come get you.

 

[Vincent and Liz laugh]

 

Vincent:

I love them so much! [more chuckling]

 

Vincent:

Cyrus very quickly follows behind Carpenter with a- with a new spring in his step.

 

Liz:

I’ll let them talk. I’m used to, you know, tactfully absenting myself so they can maintain the secret.

 

Ryan:

You two walk past Dan, who I’ve decided is a Panda.

 

Fay:

Okay, so we’re all huddled together in, like, a little alcove where- I’m kind of imagining this alcove as maybe even half having a little thing where Markus can sneak up and spy on them, but like, where-

 

Liz:

Like an overhang?

 

Fay:

Yeah, like, yeah, yeah, like a little overhang or something. But it’s otherwise kind of isolated from the rest of the store. Okay, and Rose is gonna be like…

 

(Fay) Rose:

[stage whispers] We have to do something about this amplifier thing. What? What do y’all- What do y’all think? What’s our best approach? We- we’ve kind of destroy it right? Because if they turn it on, I mean, we can’t let them turn it on.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Yeah, that would be really bad. We probably should do something soon.

 

Jonn:

And Carpenter kind of keeps checking their glasses to make sure that they’re all the way covering their eyes around Rose.

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Uh would… Hmm. Well, with the event that is supposed to be happening. Would we want to try to just de…stroy it before then? Or maybe- maybe we could just destroy the amplif- Mmm.

 

Vincent:

And Cyrus starts tapping a little bit.

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Uh- Game plan? Shall we try to sneak in before the event? Or make a big show of it at the event?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Well, the most important thing is destroying the amplifier. So I mean, the event might be a distraction, but I don’t think we want to go to the event so much as destroy it while they’re distracted. Like, if they know we’re coming, they can do more to stop us.

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Yes, good idea. Got it. So where is the amplifier?

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

It’s a concert. There’ll be a lot of people there.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Oh, yeah, we absolutely have to protect them and keep them safe. But honestly, if they turn that amplifier on, all those people, like disrupting the balance of the Harmonies so much as to only have four chords? That could make everyone there sick. The consequences could be enormous to the audience.

 

Do you think- do you think we need to get the audience… What if we get the audience to sing along or..? Or sing some other chords?

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

So, I wonder if the concert’s using the amplifier?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Now that’s a good question. Maybe we need to go there and learn more.

 

Vincent:

Cyrus nods.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Yeah, once we learn we can produce our own concert. I mean, after we learn, we need to do our concert, which-

 

(Fay) Rose:

Counter-concert.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

We will- we’ll do our own concert, right?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Oo, I like it. Counter-concert.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Preemptive concert.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Preemptive counter-concert. I like it.

 

Liz:

[chuckles] I’m fondly eavesdropping. [co-talent laugh]

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

So we’ll- we’ll check the place out?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Yeah, yeah, I think we should go do- do some, some recon. See what’s going on. Learn some stuff. And then we can plan our counter-concert. So I think we need to travel fast.

 

Fay:

Do we have a method of travel?

 

Ryan:

We have 1980s and 90s technology; traveling around by trains, buses and cars. But you can also hop on to those giant needles.

 

Fay:

Right.

 

Ryan:

That hover over the world as the world record spins and gets you into certain areas quickly.

 

Fay:

Yeah, we have to use a needle.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Are we gonna sneak- sneak in The Plug? Because we still have to be able to get… I mean, I assume we’re gonna have to get through The Plug to get to the amplifier in… in theory the concert’s actually it.

 

Fay:

Yeah. Where is the concert?

 

Ryan:

You can recall that the concert should be near the center ring.

 

Fay:

Okay, cool.

 

Jonn:

So is it on Side A?

 

Ryan:

On Side A. Yes.

 

Fay:

And we’re currently on Side B with our free record store?

 

Ryan:

I think we’re all on- Oh, that’s a good question. Are you on Side A or Side B? I assumed you were on Side A. Running a like…

 

Fay:

Yeah. The record store is supposed to be a cover. So it would be on site A. Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. And I know you have a hidden base as well. I think I remember discussion of the hidden base being below the record store [co-talent affirms]. But is there a portal to a Side B record store and that’s your hidden base?

 

Vincent:

I would love that. I think that’s so cool.

 

Fay:

I do like that.

 

Vincent:

Super cool.

 

Fay:

Yeah. Into it.

 

Ryan:

Awesome.

 

Liz:

It’s in the employees only area, like a break fridge or something.

 

Vincent:

Yeah!

 

Jonn:

Oh, the break fridge, yes. I love that [Ryan and Vincent chuckle]

 

Ryan:

You’ve got two fridges, the break fridge and the portal break fridge. [laughter]

 

Jonn:

This is, like, not for food. There’s like a sign.

 

Vincent:

Yeah! [chuckling]

 

Ryan:

Out of order is on the fridge.

 

Jonn:

Yes!

 

Liz & Fay:

Yes!

 

Fay:

Out of order fridge.

 

Liz:

For Dan.

 

Ryan:

So I mean, I mean, really, you’ve got a couple of options, you could go as your civilian selves through a needle, it would be very easy to get a ticket to the center for this concert under the guise of going to the concert. You could also have to Side B, and there you have more modes of transportation available to you via freeform music magic.

 

Jonn:

There would be a entrance into The Plug from Side B?

 

Ryan:

I mean, The Plug itself goes between both sides.

 

Jonn:

Okay.

 

Fay:

So I guess the question is, are we doing more the magical girl thing? Where we’re kind of messing around in our civilian identities as long as possible until we have to transform sequence into our identities? Or are we doing more like the superhero thing where we kind of suit up and go? [Liz and Ryan laugh]

 

Jonn:

Oh, I think I like that we’re going to go in our regular identities.

 

Fay:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

Keep it magical girl style [team affirms]

 

Ryan:

Yeah, I like that too.

 

Liz:

Say that we just had a big musical sequence, you know, let’s give time for the impact.

 

Vincent:

Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Okay. So I think we should grab a needle and go in civilian- civilian style.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Alright, sounds like a plan.

 

Vincent:

Cyrus gives two thumbs up for that.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Hey, Dan!

 

(Ryan) Dan:

Yeah?

 

(Fay) Rose:

We got uh… important things that we got to do. Thanks for covering!

 

(Ryan) Dan:

Yeah?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Bye!

 

(Ryan) Dan:

I gotchu! [team laughs]

 

Liz:

I’m gonna quickly scurry out of my eavesdropping hole and-or in the front of the building and just casually walk by as I see they’re about to emerge.

 

Ryan:

Is there anything you want to do? Before getting to the needle? Otherwise, we can- we can do a stage wipe to the needle landing? I don’t know how these needles work exactly. Did we say they beamed you up?

 

Liz:

They dropped.

 

Ryan:   (crosstalk)

They drop? Okay.

 

Liz:   (crosstalk)

Yeah it’s a needle drop.

 

Jonn:   (crosstalk)

Yeah, like it doesn’t quite touch the ground?

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

Yes. Like a little stairs that just flip out or something.

 

Jonn:

Alright, I imagine it like a zeplin or something like that?

 

Ryan:   (crosstalk)

Oh, yeah.

 

Fay:   (crosstalk)

Can it be a ramp?

 

Liz:

Oh yeah, sure, totally. A ramp with railings.

 

Fay:

Or whatever was kind of like, you know how you have the whole musical scale thing. But like, if you turn it, it’s like a ramp.

 

Ryan:

Oh, yeah.

 

Fay:

And it kind of just spirals down?

 

Ryan:

I like that. So we cut to the needle coming down into place. And we see a close up view of this ramp, spiraling down [musical scale notes]. And the three of you are, we see your- your footsteps, walking down and then you get to the ground level, you’re at the center of the entire disk.

 

Fay:

What are we seeing? What’s going on here?

 

Ryan:

Alright, you see that there is people everywhere beyond the departure platform. So you’re on this platform, it’s up a little higher, because you don’t want the needle touching the ground. And then you see beyond that, crowds, thousands of people are just gathered. You hear the cacophony of people just chatting away.

 

There’s- there’s people playing guitar, some people are singing, there’s just a lot of like, almost like a Woodstock-y sort of vibe to it. But it’s all four chords specific stuff that they’re playing. A lot of generic stuff, a lot of pop stuff that’s like out there right now pushed out by the corporations. And you can see The Plug in the distance.

 

So you’re at the point now, where you’re on the center ring around the hole, The Plug itself is gigantic. It towers up a bit, it’s probably at least a couple hundred feet above the surface of the planet.

 

Fay:

Oh wow.

 

Ryan:

And, you know, from the propaganda videos that the corporations have put out it mirrors itself on the other side as well. I don’t know what color it is?

 

Jonn:

Orange.

 

Ryan:

Orange? It’s an orange plug. It’s just this giant structure. It almost looks like a wall that is like a cylinder of sorts from this angle.

 

Fay:

Sure.

 

Ryan:

And there is a very large stage set up a little ways away from the wall of The Plug. But that’s kind of the main stage that they’re going to be doing the presentation of turning on the central amp.

 

Liz:

Okay, is there any sort of scaffolding or anything?

 

Ryan:

There are entrances. It’s like a building. It’s not just a plug, it’s a building itself as well.

 

Liz:

Okay so there’s like a thing and then the big-

 

Ryan:

Mm-hmm. So like, if you look a little closer, you can see that there’s like windows and stuff.

 

Jonn:

So since this just got finished, is there any scaffolding left from its completion or…?

 

Ryan:

There is some. Yeah, there are some bits of scaffolding here and there because it is just finishing today.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

So they still haven’t cleared out all of that stuff around everything. The area directly near the stage. That’s all pristine and well presented, but like off to the sides, you can see some remnants of construction and whatnot.

 

Fay:

Cool. I’m kind of thinking this might be an opportunity to use some basic magic, or cantrips, to kind of see if we can detect this amplifier.

 

Ryan:

Okay,

 

Vincent:

Oo! I might have something for that.

 

Fay:

Oh, yeah?

 

Vincent:

The innovator has a move called This Looks Important, when you study is seen in search of clues roll Use Your Sense with Logical. Regardless of the outcome, ask “What is the most technologically unique thing here?” On a miss, you are so engrossed in studying it.

 

Ryan:

Oh, I love that we’re triggering this. Yeah. So I can definitely, yeah, let’s trigger this. So we’ve got a Use Your Sense roll, we’re using Logical and if I look at your character, your Logical is 2d8 currently.

 

Vincent:

2d8.

 

Ryan:

Now for the audience. Chimera is a Powered By The Apocalypse system. But instead of 2d6, plus or minus stat, we have two different dice ranging from d4 to d10 assigned to every single attribute. And we’ve got Logical as one of those attributes, and 2d8. So roll, go ahead and roll 2d8 for me Cyrus and we will see what we get.

 

Vincent:

[amused] Oh no. [team chuckles] Oh no, I got a 1! So that is a total of 6! [chuckles]

 

Ryan:

Oh, okay. So this is a good chance to utilize a mechanic called the Fellowship Pool. There is an assist move in this game called Assist Your Allies. And if you are able to narratively help out, you can add one point from that Fellowship Pool into Assist Your Allies. And then you can go ahead and spend that point Cyrus, in order to do various effects.

 

You can select something more than once. So if you have 1 point, and you can add plus 1 to your roll, if you have 2 points, you could retroactively take advantage, or remove a disadvantage, or add another plus 1. So if you have 3 points in the pool, you could add plus 2 total.

 

Fay:

And how much Fellowship do we start with?

 

Ryan:

You start with 1 per person, per player character. So you have 4 in the pool to begin with.

 

Fay:

Well, Rose can definitely help Cyrus out. I’m kind of envisioning Rose kind of pulling Cyrus aside a little bit to where there’s a slightly calmer eddy in the crowd, and kind of humming a little calming focusing song that’s kind of there to help Cyrus kind of have a little bit of a bubble so that they’re more able to focus.

 

Vincent:

Mm hmm, that sounds really good to me.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

Do you just want to add one to make it a success? [laughs]

 

Vincent:

[laughing] Yeah.

 

Ryan:

And make it a 7? That’s perfectly valid. Perfect. So you got to 7 to 9 on your Use Your Senses. So on a 7 to 9, ask one question from the following list and you gain advantage the first time you act on this information. So what can I use to blank? What is their attitude? What impression do I get of blank? And how can I take control of the situation?

 

Vincent:

I feel like there’s sort of one of two options here with either what can I use to get to the amp, like locate it, and know how to get to it. That one makes the most sense to me. Yeah, I’d say that would be- that would be my question and how I envision this looks because I totally didn’t ground Cyrus in an action there.

 

But I like the idea that we have gone there with this directive with wanting to find this amp and so Cyrus has, as low key as he possibly can has, put on his tech visor and is kind of using that to try to scan around and I like the idea that in doing that was just so overwhelmed with “Oh my gosh there’s so much going on here!” And then with Rose coming in to kind of help soothe, and calm, and sort of give a bit more direction it’s centered that enough to be like, “Okay, what can I use to get to this amplifier? How do we get there?

 

Ryan:

Awesome. And I think with your- your innovative know how as well you can you kinda have a logical sense of where this amplifier would kind of need to be too, structurally. So you kind of hone in on that general area. And off to the side. There is kind of a, it’s like everything’s obvious, except for this one spot.

 

Fay:

Hmm.

 

Ryan:

It’s suspiciously mundane [Fay laughs] as an entrance into The Plug itself. So you kind of hone in on that and think that has to be the entrance to the central amp, because they would want it to be kind of just nobody will see it – as hidden in plain sight so to speak.

 

Fay:

Is it employees only backdoor sort of thing?

 

Ryan:

Effectively, yeah.

 

Liz:

Out of order? [Jonn and Vincent laugh]

 

Ryan:

So- So you see that -[laughter]- And you also get the question of through This Looks Important, what is the most technologically unique thing here? Which is such an interesting question. Now I have to think [Liz laughs]

 

Because the central amp is like, you know, the obvious answer, but I don’t want to use that as the obvious answer. There is, in addition to like- you’re- you’re focused in on this- this mundane area, but you get like a little… if it looks like a little glitch through your visor [intermittent static].

 

Vincent:

Oo!

 

Ryan:

But you’re like, “That- That can’t be right.” And then it glitches in a certain way [intermittent static, tech warble]. That triggers something in your mind saying, “This is not just a central central amplifier. It has some sort of technology built into it. That is going to do something more than what they say it’s going to do.”

 

Vincent:

Oh, I like that.

 

Ryan:

You’re not sure what, but you just know that there’s something extra built into it.

 

Vincent:

Yeah, there’s something underfoot that we need to be aware of.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

I like that. Cyrus will relay to the team the entrance point. And there’s a slight bit of hesitancy because he can’t put his finger on what is going on. But as he dissapperates the visor, he offhandedly adds in-

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Um… there is something about this Plug that isn’t- [stammers] it isn’t exactly… I’m not sure what it is. But we need to be careful. I get another sense that there’s more under here.

 

Ryan:

And I want to cut over to Markus. What’s Markus up to?

 

Liz:

Getting a corn dog [team laughs] Just, very nondescript, very mild manneredly sort of doing his own intrusion, I suppose. Sort of keep an eye out for people who might be ready to stop trespassers or anything like that. You know, muscle from the corporations.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Liz:

I think if Cyrus is using the visor Markus probably isn’t like right there with them; just came in on the same needle. So I think Markus is a, like a marmoset or something right now, he doesn’t look like the platypus who is the Markus that the team knows is their civilian friend.

 

Ryan:

Are you nearby at all?

 

Liz:

Yeah, I think we took the same needle, I just sort of shadowed them.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Liz:

So they’re on my radar, but I’d also like to sort of, like, just, you know- cuz there’s definitely gonna be some trespassing happening soon. I just want to make sure there aren’t people waiting in the wings to attack all my friends basically [Vincent chuckles].

 

Ryan:

This is a Use Your Senses that you’re doing.

 

Liz:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

But if you want to play it towards A Most Dramatic Entrance, we could- we could add a little bit more to get that one rolled. Otherwise, we could roll Use Your Senses to gain some information on the scene.

 

Liz:

[chuckles] Oh my god.

 

Ryan:

It’s like you’re surveying the area, you’re looking at where the muscle is, and all that sort of stuff. But you’re also like keeping in mind, like, “Okay, if things start breaking bad, or if I need to come in, what’s the most dramatic way I can come into the scene?”

 

Liz:

That’s- that’s excellent. Actually, I thank you for clarifying that. I don’t need to enter right away. Yeah, so I will use that one and what um…

 

Ryan:

So this is- Yeah, so you’re Using Your Senses in order to find the best way to join a scene. You may ask one of the following questions in addition to normal result, even on a miss, so you’re Using Your Senses. And you were looking around it was- you felt kinda Relaxed in the moment. So Relaxed might work well for it, but also, you were being kind of diligent about your- your observations to try to figure out the best way to protect people and, and jump into the scene. So maybe Valiant would be another possibility.

 

Liz:

I think… I think I’ll go with Relaxed because nothing has really happened yet. Things can go sideways fast, but they haven’t… yet! It’s very preemptive.

 

Ryan:

Perfect. So your Relaxed is 2d8. So go ahead and roll 2d8. And let’s see what you get.

 

Liz:

[dice roll] I got 8.

 

Ryan:

Oh, perfect.

 

Liz:

Two 4.

 

Ryan:

So we’ve got Use Your Senses, on a 7 to 9, you get to ask one question from that list, and you gain advantage when you act upon it. So what can they use to blank? What is their attitude? What impression do I get of blank? How can I take control of the situation?

 

Liz:

Okay, I would like to ask how can I take control the situation? And then for my dramatic entrance question I’d like what is the entrance point that is easiest to get to undetected?

 

Ryan:

Oh, I like it.

 

Fay:

A big crowd like this in a musical I feel like starting a musical number about- with the crowd would be the best way to direct things [laughs].

 

Liz:

Big dance number.

 

Ryan:

That’s brilliant. [Fay wheeze laughs] Yeah, starting a dance number which, by the logic of musicals, everybody around you will choreograph with your dance number is the perfect way to take control of the situation by Taking The Spotlight. You can take control of the situation here.

 

Liz:

Awesome.

 

Ryan:

And then for your question, what is the entrance point that is the easiest to get to undetected? It has to be that mundane looking spot off to the side.

 

Liz:

Got it. Thank you.

 

Ryan:

There’s like a little bit less light there. And it’s- it’s really blah, looking. There’s like a little- there’s some construction boxes here and there.

 

Liz:

It’s a duller orange [Vincent laughs].

 

Ryan:

Yeah, it’s just like, “Hey, don’t look here. There’s nothing interesting over here.”

 

Liz:

And if I just like cast an eye over my companions; so they look like they’re about to move? Like would this be a good time for distraction do I think?

 

Fay:

I think we’re all looking at that door and kind of talking and kind of like glancing around at the crowd. That’s kind of what I imagine Rose doing anyway.

 

Jonn:

Yeah, Carpenter, the moment there is a second where they feel like they’re waiting, they pull those flyers for the concert from nowhere and immediately start darting around handing them out [fast whooshing] and coming back right before any- anyone looked back to see that they went anywhere.

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Are these flyers for the counter-concert?

 

Jonn:

Yes. [Liz and Vincent laugh]

 

Ryan:

That’s amazing [team laughs]

 

Liz:

Carpenter has a printer somewhere in the chassis.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

The counter-concert we’re still planning. Yeah, okay [giggles]

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

Awesome.

 

Ryan:

So I want to say that this is kind of a State Your Case, you’re trying to convince the crowd to come to your counter-concert. So let’s go ahead and roll State Your Case for- for Carpenter here. This feels very Energetic.

 

Jonn:

Yeah. Yeah. Let’s do that.

 

Ryan:

So if we’re good with that, your Energetic is a d8 plus a d6.

 

Jonn:

[dice roll] Alright, so that is a 11.

 

Ryan:

Oh, lovely!

 

Vincent:

Oh, wow.

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, perfect.

 

Fay:

These are good flyers.

 

Ryan:

They’re very good flyers. Because for NPCs on a 10 plus, they are convinced. So yeah, you just convinced a bunch of people to attend the counter-concert.

 

Fay:

Amazing.

 

Liz:

Well now it has to happen.

 

Jonn:

But most importantly, did anyone- did either of my two allies notice that I got distracted and flew off at any point while being out here. [whipping whooshes] Because I went to that to have happened, and every time anyone looked back, Carpenter was standing there, patient- looking impatient but there [team laughs].

 

Ryan:

So you’re just zipping off every now and then. As everybody looks away.

 

Fay:

I think Rose and Vincent (Cyrus) are probably pretty focused. So I totally would believe that thing of like, every so often looking up Carpenter standing right there. Okay, cool. We’re good [team chuckles]

 

Ryan:

Okay, yeah. And I think that they actually start, like, the people that you hand these flyers to, they start talking to their friends that they’re with and their friends start talking with the people next to them and, and so on. So the word’s starting to spread.

 

Liz:

Viral word of mouth advertising.

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

I- I- I guess there’s nothing to it, but to do it, right? Shall we try to get inside?

 

(Fay) Rose:

Yeah, you’re right. We don’t have much time. Let’s do this.

 

Jonn:

Did Markus create the distraction yet?

 

Liz:

I would like to start the dance number and it’s called, “Flash Mob Distraction”. [team laugh]

 

Ryan:

Amazing.

 

Liz:

So is there like a music move, maybe?

 

Fay:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

So there is additional rules: at any point during a musical you can invoke a musical number, describe or perform what starts to happen, you now Have The Spotlight. At any point, you can ask other players tag in, either by sharing the spotlight or passing it on entirely.

 

[Percussive music starts]

 

Liz:

I’m going to work off of Carpenter’s success with the counter fliers and start like, you know, talking to people, and then like sort of like bobbing a little. And then they also like bob along with me, and then it kind of like spreads. And you get like an aerial shot and the bobbing is like spreading through the giant crowd. And then if there’s any like people, like who are really affiliated with the corporation, they like don’t get infected by the bobbing so it becomes clear if there’s anyone standing in the crowd that is like a nasty.

Fay:

Cool.

 

Ryan:

Yeah and I really liked the thought of them like, you know, stage whispering to each, “the counter-concert, the counter-concert”

 

Vincent:

Yeah!

 

Fay:

Does that form a rhythm to where like the whispering and then like, periodically people will shout a word. And then it’s like back to the whispering.

 

Jonn:

And they keep mentioning things that were never mentioned at all about the concert like, “this is supposed to be there. I heard this, I heard that.”

 

Vincent:

Yes! Oh my gosh, yes!

 

Liz:

And they’re, like, stomping their feet. And I’m like, kind of, the pattern shifts a little, like in a circular fashion and the same people who my friends would like to avoid, if any, again, don’t move with the patterns they become really obvious and easy to avoid. And they’re kind of like looking, if any, I’m just assuming there are corporate goons here like because why wouldn’t there be right?

 

Ryan:

Oh, yeah, there’s- there’s definitely corporate goons here and you notice I mean, the corporate goons, as we have established are super villains on the clock, and just regular people off the clock. And so the- the corporate security are these mass ne’er do wells that you know, have various power sets and whatnot.

 

Jonn:

Various capes.

 

Ryan:

various capes, yeah. So, so you recognize a few of the security forces, quote unquote, that are- they stand out pretty easily.

 

Liz:

Okay, so I guess I’d like to, like, it feels bad because I am avoiding them. But in this moment, I want to distract them and sort of draw their attention into this like flashmob distraction musical number.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Liz:

So my companions can sneak in the back.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

I had an idea.

 

Liz:

Yeah. What is it, Fay?

 

Fay:

You know, like, when people do dance numbers, and you can have like, the one person supporting the other person. You could do a thing where the civilians are, like, hanging on to the corporate people, like while they’re spinning around and stuff and like, kind of like using them for supports to dance off of that might be distracting? [chuckles]

 

Liz:

Yeah, like the pattern moves and it’s getting more and more circular like this sort of spiral thing. And then some of them grab villains like by the hands like start like grapevining with them. And then there’s like the couple like cheerleader style dancers, one of them vaults off the shoulders, and like front flips, and then starts breakdancing in the middle, and everyone around is like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

 

Ryan:

It feels like you are Engaging Your Enemies, utilizing the flash mob.

 

Liz:

I think so.

 

Ryan:

Which is brilliant. Okay. [laughter] So what- what attitude are we using for this maneuver?

 

Fay:

Sounds pretty Energetic.

 

Liz:

En-er-getic?

 

Ryan:

[team laughs] Yeah, sounds very energetic doesn’t it? And Markus’s energetic is a d6 plus a d10.

 

Liz:

Volatile.

 

Ryan:

Yes, so let’s go ahead and roll that. We’re Engaging Our Enemies in a musical number. You have an advantage with this because you Have The Spotlight.

 

Liz:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

So now you can bump that d6 up to a d8. So now you’re rolling a d8 plus a d10.

 

Liz:

That’s like the best one.

 

Ryan:

Second best, with advantage you can get 2d10.

 

Liz:

Oh, cool.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

[dice roll] Oh, 10.

 

Fay:

Solid.

 

Vincent:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

Oh perfect. Yeah, that’s- that’s great. So when you Engage Your Enemies roll with narrative attitude on a hit, you are both affected by the conflict. So you and the security forces are affected by the conflict, but on a 10 plus you get to select 2 from this list; you can avoid emotional backlash, give an advantage to whoever engages next, shift the emotional landscape of the conflict, take something significant from your target, or leave a lasting emotional impression effect on your foe.

 

Fay:

Is the distraction thing that would be giving us advantage? Right?

 

Liz:

I think we could play it that way for sure.

 

Ryan:

I mean you could also argue, narratively, you’re shifting the emotional landscape of the- of the conflict right now too.

 

Liz:

I think I’ll be, like, I’ll still be a little nervous that I’m pulling this really flashy move in my civilian identity. It’s kind of- kind of foolish. So not avoid emotional backlash, I think. Because, like, if you guys, let’s just theoretically, if you guys just had to sneak in, you’re not really engaging with these villains.

 

Ryan:

Right.

 

Jonn:

No.

 

Fay:

So the sneaking past them would also be kind of a conflict, shall we say, with them. Okay.

 

Ryan:

And depending on the selection here, you might not even have to roll to sneak past them, right?

 

Liz:

I think you guys are very competent. And I rolled decently well. So I’m gonna trust that you can survive the sneak and take shift the emotional landscape, because I just have to, that’s what I’m doing.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

And I’m going to take something significant for my target.

 

Fay:

[gasp] Oo.

 

Ryan:

Okay, what are you going to take from them?

 

Liz:

Maybe, like, a key card or something? Something that like they have because they’re working for the corporation that could help me.

 

Ryan:

Okay, I can see that working very well.

 

Liz:

Like a pickpocket sort of during the dance move like, ha-cha-cha!

 

Ryan:

Yeah, absolutely. [team laughs] So you do that, and then, you didn’t avoid emotional backlash. So you said that you sounded like you were going to be a bit nervous during this because you’re doing it in your civilian form. Would that translate maybe to an Anxious condition?

 

Liz:

Yeah, I think Anxious is more appropriate than Leery. So I’ll check Anxious.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, so you can go ahead and put a checkmark next to Anxious. So what that means now is when you have to roll something for Optimistic, you get disadvantage for all those roll until you get rid of your Anxious.

 

So to get rid of a condition, another team member can Help You Out, some playbooks you’re able to get rid of conditions yourself through various special moves. But there’s also narrative ways to get rid of conditions. So on the last page of the basic move sheets, there’s a clearing conditions section for Anxious if you openly refuse assistance and accept a failure, you can get rid of Anxious at the end of the scene.

 

Yeah. So that resolves that move. And now, narration continues, you Have The Spotlight, Markus. So at any moment, you can choose to pass on the spotlight to another person or a group of people and whoever has the spotlight during this musical flashmob number, gets to roll with advantage, but all eyes are on them at that point. So if they fail, it’s extra bad. Right?

 

Liz:

Right. Okay, well, that makes sense. I’m gonna pass the- the fourth wall spotlight to the other gang. Can I pass it to them as a group?

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

We can share the spotlight. Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, the spotlight can be shared. Yep. So you three, you have the spotlight. You see this flash mob moving to a beat that they started themselves. I almost want to say it like- it like radiates out like a like a wave pattern.

 

Fay:

Yes!

 

Ryan:

Which would be really cool. And you can see that the- the guards, the guards are very distracted by this. So if there was ever a time to sneak by, this would have to be it.

 

Fay:

I’m kind of envisioning Rose grabbing Carpenter and Cyrus and getting them to kind of move along with the flash mob, you know where you’re kind of like, the mob is moving so we’re we’re kind of like, just on the edge of it moving along with it and just kind of peeling off right at the door. And kind of-

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, I like that. Yeah, I think you just do that. And you get to that that mundane section. And it’s- it’s more quiet there. The the music that was playing during the flash mob dance, kinda subsides. As you get to this, this quiet, mundane looking area with a like a dull orange door, leading to the interior of this brighter orange plug.

 

[music dulls down]

 

Fay:

Cool. Well, I’m feeling like Rose is kind of the one in the lead right now. So I think she’s gonna look around in that sort of way where it’s kind of exaggerated and you would do it in a musical where she’s looking to see if anyone’s looking and then she like opens the door. Does the door open?

 

Ryan:

I’m going to say that the door doesn’t just open [laughter] There is a device on it. That looks like that it is a lock. So you get to the door. The music is still faintly playing in the background from the flash mob, but yeah, you’re- you’re at the door.

 

Fay:

I think Rose is gonna kind of gently nudge Vincent (Cyrus) towards the door as the tech person.

 

Vincent:

Oh, I see [laughs]

 

Fay:

Unless Carpenter- how techy is Carpenter?

 

Jonn:

I have techno-possession [team laughs]

 

Ryan:

I mean you can’t get much more techno than that.

 

Fay:

Ok so we’re Rose nudges both of them towards the door and kind of stands sort of in front of them kind of vaguely mimicking the flash mob motions.

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Jonn:

So I would like to chat up the door to make it easier for… for uh… Cyrus to open it [big laughter]

 

Ryan:

Are you Stating Your Case with the door?

 

Jonn:

Yes [more laughter].

 

Ryan:

Alright. What does this look like? ‘Cause I’m totally into this.

 

Jonn:

So I think Carpenter would act like they’re trying to get a better look at the door. And so making sure that they’re facing completely away from Rose because it’s very important-

 

Ryan:

Yeah, Rose has- has her back to the group like making all these motions and whatnot. So…

 

Fay:

Trying to make it seem like we’re still part of the flash mob.

 

Jonn:

Yes. Like, I lift up my- lift up my shades and as I start- start talking like I’m trying to figure out what the door- what’s going on. But then it’s like…

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoing] Hey, if you wouldn’t mind it’d be really helpful if you opened up. I can get you some- get something for you if you want? Anything?

 

Ryan:

[team giggling] Now roll State Your Case. [laughter] I think this sounds Optimistic? But I could be persuaded otherwise.

 

Liz:

It’s optimistic, alright.

 

Jonn:

I think Optimistic is fair [big laughter]

 

Ryan:

2d6 for that one.

 

Jonn:

[dice roll] I rolled 11.

 

Ryan:

Oh, wow! That’s amazing.

 

Vincent:

[laughing] Oh my god.

 

Ryan:

Oh, that is amazing. You hear back…

 

(Ryan) Door:

[echoing] Hello. I have never talked to anyone before? Uh, hi?

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoing] I’m Carpenter. My friend Cyrus is going to help you open, is this- You know, anything you want. Oo, I know! I made this mixtape. I’ll give that to you.

 

Fay:

Aww.

 

Jonn:

And I transfer the music into… [digital noise]

 

(Ryan) Door:

No-nobody’s ever ever talked to me before this is…

 

Ryan:

And you hear the music playing in the circuitry.

 

[electronic music starts]

 

(Ryan) Door:

[echoing] This is… This is amazing.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoing] It’s better than that Four Chord crap, isn’t it? [laughter]

 

(Ryan) Door:

[echoing] It- Why haven’t… Why haven’t we been broadcasting this? This is- Yes, of course! It’s fairly easy to open, all you have to do is, knock off this panel. And there’s a- there’s just a couple of wires you need to move around.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Thank you. Yeah, wha- Well, if there’s anything else you want, I can come back and help you. Did I say? I’m Carpenter. I don’t know if I said that already. I am.

 

Jonn:

And then I was like…

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoing] Well, I- thank you, I’ll talk to you later. [normally] I can’t figure it out Cyrus! [Vincent laughs] I think it has something to do with this panel, but it’s- it’s too hard!

 

Vincent:

Oh my gosh! I love them so much! Cyrus- Cyrus clicks on that visor, takes out some gadgetry tools from their pocket [tool rustling] and pops off this panel and gets to work right.

 

Ryan:

Alright, yeah, it’s pretty easy to figure out and and for some reason [electrical static, sparks] as you are looking at the wires there’s like- like little sparks that are like, not dangerous sparks at all, but like they’re sparking in like a like a dubstep sort of-

 

Vincent:

Oh my gosh, yes! [laughter]

 

Ryan:

And sparking on the right ones that you’re like, “Oh yeah, if I move that wire to this other open port, then it should it should open.”

 

Vincent:

I love that. That’s amazing.

 

Ryan:

So yeah, you hardwire and the door slides open. And as it’s sliding, like the vibrations from the door are also mimicking that that sort of dubstep [chuckles] music.

 

Fay:

Nice

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

[stage whisper] Rose. Rose!

 

Vincent:

And I gesture for you to follow in.

 

Fay:

I think we all duck inside.

 

Jonn:

Before Carpenter leaves they stage whisper, “Goodbye Orange Door.” [team chuckles]

 

Ryan:

You get the impression that, like, if a ghost in the machine can be just grooving to music with headphones. That’s kind of the imagery that you’re getting.

 

Vincent:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

Awesome. So as you three enter the facility, Markus, what are you up to?

 

Liz:

Is it possible for me to just like duck out of the flash mob and just like bloop in?

 

Ryan:

Let’s say you get into the door as it’s closing?

 

Liz:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

So the doors closing back up and you slip in undetected.

 

Liz:

Nice. That’s good.

 

Ryan:

And are you still in your undercover persona right now?

 

Liz:

Yeah, well, I haven’t done my transformation sequence yet. So it might be time, for me at least, to transform.

 

Ryan:

Oo! I like that. What does Ghostwriter’s transformation sequence look like?

 

Liz:

Oh, I wrote it.

 

Ryan:

Oh, please.

 

Liz:

I’ve got a paragraph here I’m gonna read out for you guys.

 

Vincent:

Let’s go! Yes!

 

Liz:

Okay, so I’m doing the move from my playbook called Transformation Sequence. So Markus opens the first button of his shirt and tugs at a necklace, snapping the cord.

 

[piano music starts]

 

A piano begins to play. The pendant lets out a burst of sparkling smoke that engulfs him, hiding him except for his eyes which open and start to glow. Shining ribbons of musical staff enter the cloud and remain visible, wrapping around his limbs and bursting into new items of clothing, long asymmetrical gloves, boots, leather pants, a chunky belt.

 

The smoke thins revealing a glowing silhouetted torso and head and the pendant is placed to the center of the chest where it sinks into place. The piano shifts joined by an electronic beat.

 

[electronic beat enters]

 

More staff bursts from the pendant to encircle the torso in a sleeveless turtleneck, and with a twist, a sleeveless hooded coat bursts out and flares behind. She raised her arms, wrists crossed and motifs of piano keys appear across her costume. She draws her wrists apart to materialize a long thin scarf, which wraps itself around her neck.

 

Ghostwriter! A white lemur with gray markings and still smoking eyes summons a musical note between her fingers and winks.

 

Fay:

So cool.

 

Ryan:

Lovely. And as you have your- your pose out of your transformation sequence the door slide shut fully [door slides closed] And you are in this facility. The three of you are a little ways ahead. Probably outside of sight of Ghostwriter now.

 

And it was just a long hallway, kind of dimly lit, the same sort of orange motif is an accent color on the inside against a stark gray wall colour. The floor is like that metallic mesh floor that kind of echoes very slightly as you walk across it. [echoing footsteps]

 

And it goes for a while before it starts making a turn around the perimeter. And it goes on this way just for a little bit. And this is where we find yourselves walking down this dimly lit hallway.

 

Fay:

Well, I can definitely tell you that Rose is extremely tense as she’s walking. She has some pretty intense prey instincts from being a chicken and being in such a confined environment and a new different sterile environment is definitely putting her majorly on edge.

 

Vincent:

I think Cyrus is almost, also a little anxious and you can hear the beginnings of some tapping before he realizes, “Oh wait that might alert- that might alert everyone” and instead, he pulls out a different fidget cube from what he had before. A much quieter one for him to play with in his hands while he’s walking, looking around nervously.

 

Jonn:

So I think the much less nervous Carpenter will see, well I think they will notice that nervousness, and with their three foot body, squeeze in between both of you and grab a hand [Vincent and Fay aww] and start pulling you along.

 

Liz:

That’s so cute.

 

Jonn:

For support, and because they’re impatient they don’t want to wait anymore [wheeze laugh, everyone laughs]

 

Ryan:

I almost want to say that that’s a Comfort Your Companions roll there.

 

Jonn:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

So when you Comfort Your Companions by providing emotional support, roll with a narrative attitude. What one are we thinking might fit here that- I mean Optimistic could fit.

 

Fay:

Kinda seems like Energetic to me.

 

Ryan:

Ener-energetic does work. Yeah, you are doing this with, like, we got to get moving. We got to move fast, sort of outlook, I think Energetic, but also you’re taking the lead is valid in a very dangerous unknown situation. It could be Valiant as well.

 

Jonn:

I haven’t used Valiant yet, so… and that is one of my, I think that is my highest.

 

Ryan:

It is your highest, yes.

 

Jonn:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, let’s go ahead with Valiant. A d6 and a d10.

 

Jonn:

[dice roll] I got a 10.

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

Wonderful.

 

Jonn:

I wish I rolled like this all the time [team laughs]

 

Ryan:

So on a hit, they may remove one condition, or add 1 XP if they express their feelings to you. So Cyrus and Rose, you can remove a condition, or if you want that XP, you would have to express their feelings to Carpenter in the situation.

 

Fay:

I think Rose would express her feelings. There’s not a Fellowship Pool option here?

 

Ryan:

Oh, yeah. On a 10 plus Carpenter may also clear a condition or add plus 1 to the Fellowship Pool. You don’t have any conditions right now, Carpenter.

 

Jonn:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

So you could probably default to adding a point to the Fellowship Pool if you want.

 

Jonn:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

But for you Rose, and Cyrus, you can either clear a condition and you don’t have to do anything else. Rose, I don’t think you have any conditions right now. That- in that case, you could express your feelings towards Carpenter and gain that experience point. And then Cyrus, yeah, if you do express your feelings, you could gain an XP as well.

 

Fay:

I love this, it’s so sweet. Yeah, I definitely think Rose is gonna start out by being like…

 

(Fay) Rose:

[echoey] Thanks, Carpenter. This is- this place feels so wrong. This is- this is a lot. I really appreciate- I really appreciate you, Carpenter.

 

Ryan:

Very nice, go ahead and mark an XP for that one.

 

Fay:

[chuckles] Is Cyrus gonna follow?

 

Vincent:

I think Cyrus will, I’m just thinking on best way to convey that… mmm…

 

Fay:

Song and dance number? [team laughs]

 

Vincent:

Lowkey was kind of like… mm maybe?

 

Ryan:

Because if you want to make it grandiose, we could push it into the I Want move from the Musical Genre. When you share your desires, goals, or driving force for the first time.

 

Vincent:

I mean, that could almost be a duet between like, Rose and Cyrus which is like, “I want to protect my friends.” Like, and “I want to find this amplifier so we can keep Carpenter-” and his like, Cyrus, he wants to make sure that Carpenter and like everything they have that they hold precious in the Echo is safe.

 

So I kind of like that idea, if you’re into that-

 

Fay:

Yeah!

 

Vincent:

Rose if we wanted to have a duet of, like, expressing our emotions, and also like this musical moment of, like, look at this three foot Beefolk we want to- we want to protect them and help them. So I’m down for that if you are.

 

Ryan:

I love it. So resolving the Comfort Your Companions move, I think that counts well. Cyrus, you can mark an XP. And then let’s, let’s go ahead, you’re doing a duet, you start the musical number. And now you’re in this darkish, long hallway. You don’t know what’s in front of you, you don’t know what’s behind you.

 

Fay:

I’m definitely kind of envisioning that sort of thing where they start out sort of like whispering, and then like, the singing just becomes regular full volume singing. And then by the end of it, it’s like back to whispering, and there’s a sort of, like, imaginary thing-

 

Vincent:

Yes!

 

Fay:

-where like, we’re kind of imagining them being quieter than they actually are as singing.

 

Vincent:

Yeah, no, totally. You just use that dynamic range to really like amp up the emotional stakes, but in- in actuality, it’s like this dark hallway,

that no one can hear or see this, but it’s for us to express our emotions.

 

Fay and Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

Oh, I love that. Yeah, I love it starting on this kind of quiet, slow, very anxious sort of beat and then building up the further along we get.

 

[soft ambient, hopeful, drone music]

 

Fay:

I definitely can imagine Rose singing about how being a chicken, and about how everything scares her, and she gets scared so easy, and then singing about her determination to protect people and how important that is to her.

 

Vincent:

Nice, I think Cyrus’s verse, Cyrus doesn’t categorically sing. There are moments in the number where Cyrus sounds like he could go into like a belted note. But he really pulls it back. And it’s much more of a rhythmic- rhythmic kind of song talking.

 

And it’s that kind of, yeah, it’s that kind of rhythmic song talking, where he’s singing about being in this place with these people, and being so scared to make the wrong choice, but knowing that the right choice is to be here with Carpenter and Rose right now. And to stop the bad guy from getting just anything they want. They have to stop this, they have to protect the echo.

 

And it’s this kind of rhythm- rhythmic song talking that kind of builds and builds and builds and gets faster and faster. And just as you’re meant to get this belted note, there’s kind of that [catch breath] “But I’m here and I’m with the right people. And I’m making the right choice. And I’m going to make the right choice now.” And that’s kind of his verse, if you will.

 

Fay:

Yeah, I’m definitely kind of envisioning this being a little bit more Cyrus’s thing and Rose is kind of more of the mentor for this sort of thing.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. Absolutely. So Cyrus, I would love it if you go ahead and roll plus- roll plus narrative stats. So what- what stat… what attitude are we going?

 

Fay:

Could see Valiant or Optimistic?

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

Yeah, I like possibly going with Valiant as this, like, it’s an attempt to step into that kind of lead, like make a conscious choice to do the right thing.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

So I’m a little in love with that, if we’re cool with that.

 

Ryan:

Okay, so let’s go ahead and roll Valliant, that’s d10, plus a d6 for you.

 

Vincent:

[excitedly] I got a 15! I got a 9 on the 10 and a 6 on the 6.

 

Ryan:

15!

 

Vincent:

Cyrus is being Valiant! [excited noises from team]

 

Fay:

On a 10 plus, you get a golden opportunity to help you achieve your goal.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, so on a hit your message carries across and leaves a lasting impression on the audience. So now you get to roll with advantage when you need it the most to achieve your goal.

 

Fay:

And you’re going to get the golden opportunity.

 

Ryan:

And you’re going to have a golden opportunity to achieve that goal. [excited noises] Also, which is lovely, you also triggered a Share A Moment of Intense Emotion by doing this duet between the two of you.

 

Fay:

That’s true. Yay!

 

Ryan:

I am so thrilled for.

 

Fay:

Okay. Let’s do this.

 

Ryan:

So… Cyrus, when you share a moment of intense emotion with someone, tell them why you are so passionate about your art, and then ask if they think your art can change the world.

 

Vincent:

Oh my gosh, this game! Oh my gosh! Ok [giggles] Alright, I think this is going to be… I love that this is with Rose as well, because Rose is probably the only other person who may be even slightly clued into this.

 

[piano music starts]

 

Cyrus doesn’t really talk to his family anymore. And there’s a reason for that. He was being pushed into being a singer. And he didn’t want to do it. He had that moment where he realized that there’s too much homogeny and he was just playing a part of that. And so his first big decision was to askew that entirely and go into tap dance instead. And take on a more percussive, very beat based, very, very jazzy direction with his life.

 

And so I like the idea that Rose, having a bit of that context, knowing that Cyrus came from a family unit and no longer really talks about them anymore. As he’s singing about being with the right people and making the right decision, there’s this moment of, did I make the right decision? Can I really do this…? At first he goes to almost say, “Alone,” but thinks again on the fact that he has you and he has Carpenter here.

 

Fay:

I think Rose like, so like, there is this kind of like going into that intense thing. And I think Rose like holds up the held hand with Carpenter and, and kind of with this, kind of like, we’re all holding up our held hands.

 

And I think she sings about how you’re already making a difference and already changing the world. [Liz awws] And we’re gonna do this together.

 

Liz:

It’s so cute.

 

Vincent:

Oh, that’s wonderful.

 

Ryan:

It sounds like yes. When you receive an answer for the Moment of Intense Emotion question. [Liz laughs] If they say yes, gain 1 experience point and give them a tool, worth 2 hold for the Right Tool For The Job.

 

Vincent:

[whispers] Oh my gosh!

 

Ryan:

So the Right Tool For The Job is your secondary signature move. Now Rose has a tool, whenever you describe it Cyrus, that can do a variety of cool things from the Innovator Playbook signature move.

 

Fay:

And it’s- she’s got 2 hold on that?

 

Ryan:

Yep!

 

Fay:

Okay, I imagine that it can do two things.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. So-

 

Fay:

That’s cool.

 

Ryan:

The options are, gives you a better understanding of your surroundings with Use Your Senses; which will give you advantage. Packs an extra punch against an opponent with Engage Your Enemies; gives you advantage. Offers enhanced mobility. Helps you get past a barrier. Prevents others from following you.

 

Fay:

Wow.

 

Vincent:

Cool.

 

Ryan:

So you can do two of those things at any time with whatever device.

 

Fay:

Sweet.

 

Vincent:

Oh, I love the idea that Cyrus gives you like- Cyrus picking up on like, “Oh, even you get nervous too.” Hands you what looks like a really inconsequential fidget cube.

 

Fay:

Okay, it looks like a fidget cube. I love this.

 

Ryan:

Oh, man! [Vincent chuckles] Okay, Rose, when you share a Moment of Intense Emotion with someone, ask if they believe you are more than just a voice for your source.

 

Fay:

Okay, so we’re doing this duet thing. I think I’m kind of imagining this moment where we’re going into this kind of doing it together. And I think Rose will maybe start singing a little bit about her source, and how her source is helping her. And then maybe that will shift into like a minor key moment, where she’s like, kind of like asking questions. Or like expressing doubts. And how does Cyrus respond?

 

Vincent:

I like the idea that it’s this kind of minor key. And there’s this almost like a call and response. So it starts quiet. And it starts with Rose being sort of like the louder voice asking these questions of insecurity. And like there are these quiet sort of like answer responses from Cyrus that gets more confident with every question until it kind of hits this head with Rose asking, like, “Am I am I more than this? Like, can I- can I be more than just this one thing? Is this all I have?”

 

Before Cyrus kind of properly interjects in with a, “Yes, you’re so much more than that. You’re like the Rose I met at four years old who like just confidently moved through the world and ever since has never stopped. You’re the Rose that, like will, despite all this fear, jump right into battle. You’re so much more than just this one vessel, you’re every facet of yourself on top of that.” I like to think it starts in that kind of place and results there.

 

Ryan:

Lovely.

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

So when you receive an answer for that Moment of Intense Emotion question. If they say yes, add plus 1 to the Fellowship Pool. And if you relax in one another’s company, you both clear condition. Which, of course, you don’t have conditions right now.

 

Fay:

We don’t really have time to relax either. So [chuckles]

 

Ryan:

Yeah. [Vincent laughs]

 

Fay:

That works. Okay, so…

 

Ryan:

Perfect.

 

Fay:

Cool. I’m happy adding 1 to the Fellowship Pool.

 

Ryan:

Yep, we’re up to 5 now.

 

Fay:

Yes, very good, very good. Feeling good about this very emotional duet thing we just did.

 

Ryan:

Amazing. The music for the duet comes to an end, and you get pulled off screen. And then the next shot that we have is this large chamber, that this hallway kind of mazed itself into.

 

In this chamber you can see there is a lot of different equipment in here. A lot of it looks like, you know, like, peak of the 1980s future-tech. Like if the 1980s made a movie that took place in the year 2000.

 

Liz:

Retro futurism.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, this is the type of technology that you see in here. There’s like green screen monitors all around. There’s like those old clicky-clack keyboards. There’s the whir of servers in the background. And it’s a bit cooler in this room as well. So that this is what you see, the perspective from Ghostwriter’s position. I assume you have been tailing them this whole time [Fay laughs] Which is pretty easy to do when they’re having an emotional duet with one another.

 

Liz:

It’s not difficult [team laughs] And I’ve got like, limited flight as one of my abilities. So I think I really like just hiding in rafters. Yeah, I think that’s a big personality trait of Ghostwriter. So…

 

Ryan:

And I think in future versions of this that we made alterations to instead of Limited Flight, it’s Impossible Offscreen Mobility.

 

Fay:

I love it.

 

Jonn:

[chuckling] That’s amazing.

 

Fay:

It’s so good.

 

Liz:

Question for my group, my group of pals here. Does Ghostwriter know your guys’s civilian identities? Or is that a secret?

 

Jonn:

Carpenter makes no attempt to keep any secret other than their…

 

Liz:

Carpenter is just like one person.

 

Jonn:

Right.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

None of this half and half shit [Ryan chuckles] Cuz I could just hop down in front of you guys and be like, “Hey,”

 

Vincent:

Yeah, I’m cool with you knowing both. I think Cyrus would be ignorant to the fact that you are both but I’m cool with Ghostwriter and Markus knowing.

 

Liz:

Okay.

 

Fay:

Yeah, we could- we could go with that.

 

Liz:

Yes. I’ll just, you know, I’ll join- I’ll hop down from whatever high point I’ve been like waiting at [Vincent laughs] Dramatically. My dramatic entrance. Hop down in front of you, you know, the coat goes like [mouth fsshh noise] and like, settles.

 

Fay:

Yeah, I think we’re just busy trying to be like, “Oh, we’re just ordinary people.” I think that’s the thing with Ghostwriter is like, because like our civilian personas end up in all of these places. But it’s like, “Oh, yeah, no, we’re totally still civilians right now. Just took a wrong turn, I guess.” [Vincent laughs]

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

[echoey] Oh Carpenter it’s you and your two random civilian best friends. That you like to go places with, that you shouldn’t be.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoey] Hey Ghostwriter, when did you get here? We- we should fill you in on the plan. Since this is the first time we saw you. But-

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Yeah [Vincent snorts]

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoey] Wait, why are you here? Do you have a plan already? Maybe we should use your plan. Your plan might be better than our plan. Our plan is just to come in here. And I think that was the end of our plan. What’s your plan?

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

[echoey] My plan is, blow shit up. So… tsk. It’s not that much better than yours.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoey] Well, if we combine our plans we’ve already done part one of the plan-

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

[echoey] We’ve done your part.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoey] We just need to do your part of the plan.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

[echoey] I’ll just do my half. Exactly.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

[echoey] We make a great team.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

[echoey] We do. We should get these civilians out of here though. What are you doing in here? [Vincent and Fay wheeze laugh] It’s dangerous.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Oh [clears throat] Just- Yeah. Um, the oh, just there was a flash mob and an open door and just seemed really cool in here.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Hmm. Well, you can find your way out, right? It’s- You really shouldn’t be in here it’s…

 

(Fay) Rose:

Oh.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Stuff could happen to you.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Yeah, totally.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Ghostwriter I need to investigate- I probably need someone to lift me up so I can look in this corner, can you come with me and- [laughter]

 

Jonn:

And I pull you along.

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

Bye! Bye, normal people! [team laughs]

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

Ok! Be safe!

 

Fay:

I guess we’re going around the corner?

 

Vincent:

Yeah, we totally just step outside of the room like, I- we should probably transform [laughs, Jonn wheezes].

 

Fay:

I guess [team continues laughing]

 

Liz:

I absolutely go with Carpenter. I lift them up; anything they want. I’ll just do it. We can zip up there.

 

Vincent:

You’re playing along [laugh]

 

Ryan:

That’s amazing.

 

Fay:

Is there anything dramatic that’s going to happen at this moment or? Cause like, I’m kind of imagining Rose and Cyrus like just literally around the corner of the door like…

 

Ryan:

Yeah, no, this is perfect [chuckles] As you go further into the computer room, you get into- you go around this one stack of servers that is just kind of a whole row of them. And you see, as you turn the corner

there is four individuals, they look probably in their early 20s, very flashy outfits.

 

And you recognize these four as the 80s style boyband called the Four Chordions. [Liz groans, Jonn chuckles]

 

Fay:

No.

 

Jonn:

[good humoured] I hate them. They’re my arch nemesis now [Ryan and Jonn laugh]

 

Ryan:

They are um- they are currently working on one of the servers. And I think one of them catches a glimpse of you as you cross into that hall area.

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion Member:

[echoed, robotic voice] Hey, you’re not supposed to be here!

 

Ryan:

And points dramatically at you.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Shit, Carpenter! Come on! Battle music! Battle music!

 

Liz:

I think like personally Ghostwriter is just kind of aggro. You know, there’s a lot of frustration in her civilian life that’s hiding that she can only get out as this version of herself. So I think she’s going- I’ve got an ability Summon Weapons. So she summons these like, music note shaped shuriken things.

 

Fay:

Oh?

 

Liz:

And just like tosses a handful [fast whipping air] down at the villains.

 

Ryan:

Oh, yes. Are you attempting to harm them or distract them?

 

Liz:

[sigh] I mean, I guess I’ll just- I need both but I’ll harm them.

 

Ryan:

Okay, so your- your intent-

 

Liz:

Sorry Carpenter.

 

Ryan:

-is to effectively Engage Your Enemies here.

 

Liz:

Yeah, I’m doing that; I’m still Anxious.

 

Ryan:

Yep. So we’re gonna have to do an Engage Your Enemies roll with narrative attitude. This is probably Energetic or Valiant.

 

Liz:

I think I picked Valiant intuitively.

 

Ryan:

Okay, so, perfect, so…

 

Liz:

Apparently I’m Energetic but that’s not the vibe.

 

Ryan:

I’m very happy that you chose a- one of your worst stats. A d6 and d4, so the highest roll you can get on this is a 10.

 

Liz:

Yeah, it’s not good guys [team laughs] I got a 1! I got two 1s.

 

Jonn:

No!

 

Fay and Ryan:

Snake eyes.

 

Liz:

It’s, like, snake eyes with a pointed eyepatch or something I dunno.

 

Ryan:

Oh, wonderful.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Liz:

It’s as low as it can possibly be [Vincent chuckles]

 

Ryan:

Yeah. Okay, so what happens is your musical note shurikens, the throwing stars, they just go past them [metal impacts] and the Four Chordions kind of fold to the sides [Liz groan] as they go past [accordion chord] And-

 

Liz:

Like an accordion, you mean?

 

Ryan:

Yes [team laughs] Like an accordion.

 

Fay:

Harmlessly into the wall huh?

 

Ryan:

So they are kind of like folding to the sides. And as they do, they- they kind of-

 

Liz:

Go whoo-whoo.

 

Ryan:

-belt out this, you know, four chord equivalent of whatever an 80s boyband would would say in this moment [Vincent laughs]

 

Liz:

Well, Ryan? [Ryan laughs]

 

Jonn:

We’re waiting.

 

Liz:

Let’s hear it.

 

Ryan:

Oh, goodness. Okay. So they- they go into this kind of like…

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion:

[sing-song robotic] We’ve got to stop them.

 

Ryan:

And…

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion:

[sing-song robotic] Protect the servers [team laughs]

 

(Liz) jokingly as Four Chordion:

[sing-song robotic] Girl.

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion:

[sing-song robotic] Girl. I’ll get you! [Vincent laughs] No more throwing those notes.

 

(Jonn) jokingly as Four Chordion:

[sing-song robotic] Your notes are out of sync.

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion:

I’ll show you in sync [team laughs]

 

Jonn:

Don’t fix that in post please.

 

Ryan:

No [team laughs]

 

Vincent:

It’s perfect. It is so perfect.

 

Ryan:

So you get that and the- the servers start whirring louder.

 

[Server ambience builds, mechanical whirring]

 

Fay:

Uh-oh.

 

Ryan:

And they start, you know, that mechanical old floppy disk sound of the rre-rre-rre [team mmhmms] that starts happening throughout the server room to a beat.

 

Fay:

Oh no.

 

Jonn:

Oh no, is it Attack on Titan?

 

Ryan:

It’s- it’s like the four chords server chorus happening right now, creating this like unpleasantly bland tune that strikes up like a battle chorus so to speak. And it’s very disconcerting.

 

Jonn:

So I think at this point, Carpenter would do their magic girl transformation.

 

[poppy electronic music]

 

Ryan:

Yes! But what does that look like?

 

Jonn:

Carpenter’s Magical Girl transformation is just as impatient as everything else [Vincent laughs] So it looks like there’s an entire eight minute sequence except for it happens in like a minute and you ever hit fast forward on like a VHS tape? [tape whirring] And this looks really weird.

 

Liz:

It’s really, like, high pitched. Fast.

 

(crosstalk unintelligible)

 

Fay:

Sound.

 

Ryan:

Oh, that’s amazing.

 

Jonn:

So it’s like the- this transformation. They basically take their glasses off, the glasses start to pixelate and that pixelation goes down that one arm and spreads all over the rest of them. And as it un-pixelates, it’s like, a gauntlet forms on one hand, and then slowly it comes down over the head where a helmet forms with a visor, completely opaque visor instead of the sunglasses.

 

And a breastplate forms, like- like kinda like a scifi-ish fantasy looking breastplate. And then like the first leg- the first leg these like this unnecessarily large boot kind of like Megaman. And it passes over their abdomen- bee abdomen has like armor over part-portion of it.

 

And it’s like the transformation complete-completes and they kind of do like a pirouette and then those- like with both hands like- like you’re getting pumped.

 

Ryan:

Nice.

 

Liz:

I love the pose.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Jonn:

But all that happens with the fast forward sound happening so…

 

Ryan:

Yep. [team laughs]

 

Fay:

Is it, like, vaguely rhythmic?

 

Jonn:

Yes.

 

Fay:

It’s like a really fast-forward rhythm thing.

 

[piano music]

 

Ryan:

Oh, that’s so good. I think at this point, the Four Chordions, they stand up, they’re back into their regular shape. And they kind of all like flex a bit and they’re like high fiving each other and they’re like…

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion:

Alright, let’s dance.

 

Ryan:

And they start running towards you two.

 

Liz:

Oh no.

 

Fay:

I think this is maybe time for Carpenter to do something since Carpenter just transformed.

 

Liz:

It’s true.

 

Jonn:

M-kay. One of my moves is Bet You’ve Never Seen This Before. Like when you utilize your anomalous abilities to catch someone off guard roll with Logical and a hit, they weren’t expecting that. And you create an opportunity for an ally to capitalize on.

 

And so with me, with like one of my powers as an Exile, is that I have both dimension and time, magic. And so what I think I would do is this like, like every anime movie in a fight scene where the person is- I kind of like, does that little squiggly line and disappears.

 

Vincent:

Yes!

 

Jonn:

And then like four copies of Carpenters are there [digital phasing/whirring]

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Jonn:

And then there’s- it’s straight up like Naruto and they all do the same finish part in a pose where they like, get pumped like…

 

Vincent:

Aww that’s excellent.

 

Ryan:

That is.

 

Jonn:

And they’re just like…

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

It’s on!

 

Jonn:

And based on sorry- It starts playing part of a- the type of like, simple, cheesy kind of beat to a line dance. As they start this dancing in unison, they’re- they’re accordions. So it starts to wobble because I think it’s funny that the accordion people do a wobble [team laughs].

 

Fay:

Very nice.

 

Ryan:

So go ahead and roll with Logical. A d4 and a d10.

 

Jonn:

So I thought about it like they’re accordion, they would be terrible with the wobble [Vincent laughs]

 

Liz:

That’s good.

 

Jonn:

[dice roll] I got a 8.

 

Ryan:

Wonderful. Okay, so that’s a hit, they weren’t expecting that. You create an opportunity for an ally to capitalize on. So they run towards you. And you start this, you split into four, and you start this counter dance against them. And through the logic of musicals, they start dancing with each of you. So it’s like it’s the traditional West Side Story, battle of dancing, dance fighting, so to speak. [finger snaps]

 

Jonn:

Line dance fighting.

 

Fay:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah so how do you want to like offset the beat of these servers that are…

 

Jonn:

I imagine that it’s stomping type thing, they’re stomping and clapping? They’re not actual, like, electronic music yet?

 

Ryan:

Okay. Perfect.

 

Jonn:

This is before the beat drops.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

Yes.

 

Ryan:

Alright. Yeah. So you have them distracted in a wobble sort of dance. And that- that allows your allies to capitalize on that.

 

Fay:

Nice. I think this might be the moment where Cyrus and Rose kind of come out of that fear frozen moment. [Vince m-hms] And I guess since Rose is a little bit more of the ro-role model here. She can jump into her transformation sequence.

 

Ryan:

Yes, please.

 

[low orchestral music]

 

Fay:

Okay, so her transformation starts with smoke that spirals in around her as she starts to spin. The smoke tightens around her, forming an egg shape. Suddenly a golden flame burst out [fire ignites] The flames rush over her body as she spins, lengthening her feathers into long, dramatic orange and gold plumage. Her tail grows gloriously, impractically long with diamond shaped tips on each feather.

 

As the fire passes over her torn black shirt, it becomes a shimmering asymmetric crop top. Her short black skirts sparkles and lengthens in the back, forming a ruffled train that flows with her long tail. The comb on her head becomes larger and spikier.

 

As the sequence ends, she strikes a strong pose with her fists on her hips while fire and smoke swirl around her.

 

Ryan:

That’s amazing.

 

Liz:

Yes.

 

Fay:

So that’s Rose’s transformation.

 

Liz:

Hype!

 

Vincent:

Oh, that’s so cool.

 

Fay:

Phoenix Rose. She’s now Phoenix Rose.

 

Ryan:

Phoenix Rose. Is it time to see Cyberet?

 

Vincent:

Yeah, let’s- let’s get into it. So, Cyrus seeing this is…

 

(Vincent) Cyrus:

(echoing) Oh, yes, of course!

 

Vincent:

And immediately steps into a starting pose, thinking of it like filmic-ly, there’s like a snap of his fingers and it goes dark [finger snap] There’s a spotlight centered on classic black and white tap shoes that start to tap out a little beat [tap steps]

 

And as this happens, there are like very like astral glowing footprints that kind of predict where the dance moves are going and as Cyrus starts to step on those moments, the camera widens out and we start to see the outfit, affixing itself to him proper.

 

It’s a combination of like a very gender-mixed cabaret, jazz tap outfit, with tights into shorts, and just a really ostentatiously large tux coat with long coat tails. The underside having this very cyan-blue kind of color, which matches the visor that affixes to- to masquerade Cyrus underneath.

 

For this is not Cyrus, this is Cyberet! [laughs]

 

Fay:

[chuckles] Yes!

 

Vincent:

As he steps out this tap, there’s a lot more flourish to it, you can see that there’s just this growing grin that starts to appear on him. And as the outfit finishes out, we start to see that there’s actually more hidden underneath the sleeves of the tux coat which gets a- a cheeky little like tug down to see the beginnings of somewhat looks to be cyber-sleeves underneath.

 

You know, this man possibly has a few tricks up his sleeves. He finishes out with a lovely little pose, giving another little tap tap [tap, tap] followed by two single claps [clap, clap] with his hand. And a big smile.

 

Liz:

Ah!

 

Ryan:

Amazing [Vincent laughs]

 

Liz:

Can I kick one of them in the head?

 

Ryan:

Absolutely [team laughs]

 

Liz:

While Carpenter is dancing with them?

 

[energetic battle music, heavy horn instruments play]

 

Ryan:

Yeah. You know what, uh- this, you have the perfect opportunity for this. You do that. What’s your intention here to knock one of them out? Or?

 

Liz:

Yeah, I just want to like, get a few. There’s four of them, you know?

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

I want to make sure they don’t, like, because I feel like they’re gonna try and do something. Like with the servers or something in the room. So I just want to start mowing them down.

 

Vincent:

Wanna start dispatching them.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, so you- you’re able to do that to just one of them. So they’re in the middle of doing this- this dance with the four Carpenters. And he is very distracted. This is, gosh, I wish I would have given them individually names. Like each of them has one of the one of the chord names.

 

Vincent:

C, D, E, G, they’re all very popular major chords.

 

Ryan:

C, D, E, G. So this is- this is G. So you, you kick G in the side of the head. And as your foots approaching, they say…

 

(Ryan) Four Chordion G:

[sing-song robotic] Oh no, this can’t be happening.

 

Ryan:

And then they go flying.

 

(Liz) jokingly as Four Chordion:

Ah-ah-ah no!

 

Liz:

And then I’d like to, like, double high five, the Carpenter that was dancing. Like one going up and one going down with the two arms on one side of Carpenter [team laughs]

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Liz:

And then we can do a little pose together. And then it’ll be someone else’s turn for something.

 

Fay:

Well, since we just had recent transformation sequences, I think it’s time for our newly transformed heroes to come into the room. I think Rose is gonna fly in using her Limited Flight which works so well for a phoenix chicken.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

Since chickens have limited flight naturally [laughter] I think she’s gonna use stunning magic, which is one of her Guardian powers. I’m kind of envisioning this kind of like fireworks.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Fay:

So like, like she flies into the room and like a blast of fireworks comes out of her outstretched hands towards [firework explosions] I guess D. Now we’ll see what happens.

 

Ryan:

Okay, so let’s go ahead and you’re using your abilities, want to say that with the discordant sort of server noise slash music quote unquote music all around you takes a bit more focus. So I want you to roll to Embrace Your Chimera for this one.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

So this is a basic move, when you Embrace Your Chimera by trying to do something with your abilities that is outside your normal comfort zone.

 

Fay:

Okay, sure.

 

Ryan:

Roll with narrative attitude. This feels pretty Valiant to me?

 

Fay:

Yeah. That’s fair. I’d say Valiant. Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. So that’s a d6 and a d10.

 

Fay:

Cool. Okay, see how we go. [dice roll] Oh, 9.

 

Ryan:

Nice. So on a hit, the move is successful. And on a 7 to 9, you get to select one from the options below. So your options are either yourself or someone around you get hurt.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

Brace yourself if you are the target. Something important breaks in an unintended way. The situation escalates. The effect is only temporary or unstable. Or there is a price to pay for success.

 

Liz:

Oo!

 

Fay:

Well, I’m thinking that either it should escalate the situation. Or that it should be temporary. How many do I have to choose?

 

Ryan:

Just one.

 

Fay:

Oh, let’s go with escalating. I feel like we- we’re in this is a big climactic battle.

 

Liz:

(whispering) Es-ca-late! Yes!

 

Ryan:

Yes it is.

 

Fay:

Let’s escalate the situation.

 

Ryan:

And I know exactly what happens. The- the server whirring comes to like a cacophony of sound. And then it all stops. [whirring stops]

 

Fay:

Oh, no.

 

Ryan:

At the same time. And then you hear

 

(Ryan) Robotic Voice:

Countdown to Harmonization beginning [Fay gasps]

 

Liz:

That’s not good.

 

Ryan:

Over loudspeakers.

 

Fay:

Oh, this is not good.

 

Liz:

Oo.

 

Ryan:

But yet you- you completely distracted the- the now trio, the Three Chordions so to speak [Vincent laughs]

 

Fay:

Mm-kay. So the fireworks went off in their face and they’re [firework explosions]

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Fay:

Briefly stunned and distracted. Okay. This might be a good time for Cyberet.

 

Vincent:

Cyberet. Yeah, I was thinking it wasn’t the intended construction. But I like the idea of Cyrus using the power armor from before as like a force field push to like, push the Three Chordions back depending on if successful.

 

And knowing him he’d say something cheesy like…

 

(Vincent) Cyberet:

(echoing) Might I cut in?

 

Fay:

Yes!

 

Vincent:

And then just taps across a lovely flourish while tapping the, the buttons underneath their sleeve and pointing this out in a very like Iron Man style way for it to just like shoot out and try to push them back [whirring, blast]

 

Ryan:

I love that [clapping] Okay, let’s see here.

 

Vincent:

What would that be?

 

Liz:

Are you defending us?

 

Ryan:

Yeah, I think this is a Defend Your Friends.

 

Vincent:

I love that.

 

Ryan:

So there’s a direct threat to someone near you, and you wish to defend your friends roll with a negative attitude. And on a hit good things happen.

 

Vincent:

Okay, so…

 

Ryan:

So what narrative attitude are we looking at here?

 

Vincent:

This feels kind of Logical if I remember the attitudes correctly, like it’s like- it’s a pretty tactical thing to do.

 

Ryan:

Yes.

 

Vincent:

So I think that’s…

 

Ryan:

Yeah, I can- I’ll accept that. Logical sounds great. So roll 2d8 for that one.

 

Vincent:

Oh, a 13!

 

Liz:

Oh my god.

 

Ryan:

Heck yeah. So on a 13 you get some really nice thing. So on a hit, you defend your target, but turn their focus on to you or it takes an emotional toll on you. On a 10 plus, select one. On a 13 plus, select two instead.

 

So your options are, avoid attention or emotional backlash. Reciprocate against the threat. Or add plus 1 to the Fellowship Pool if your friends stand by your actions.

 

Vincent:

My thinking is possibly like, avoid attention/emotional backlash, and maybe add to the Fellowship Pool mostly as a, “yes and…” Like this pushback is an opportunity for someone to kind of capitalize on that moment, if that makes sense if that suits?

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Vincent:

So that’s my thinking. Yeah, I think this- this forcefield works possibly even a little better than Cyrus really thought it would [laughs] And it kind of prov- provokes this opportunity for someone else to yes and off of it. So I’ll go with avoid attention or emotional backlash, and I’ll add plus 1 to the Fellowship Pool, if my friends stand by my actions.

 

Liz:

Yes.

 

Ryan:

Alright. Do your friends stand by?

 

Liz:

Of course.

 

Fay:

Absolutely.

 

Jonn:

Yep.

 

[laughter]

 

Ryan:

Perfect. So now you’re up to 6 Fellowship Points and the Three Chordions go flying off the side and crash [bodies slam] between a couple server racks and a computer monitor goes toppling off one of the tables.

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

And the CRT kind of shatters on the ground [glass break]

 

Liz:

Oh, it’s a CRT.

 

Jonn:

Oh man.

 

Vincent:

Yes!

 

Ryan:

So we get that image of the- the Four Chordions kind of knocked off to the side and it looks like it’s going to take them a moment to get their- their- themselves put together again. At this moment, you four are standing tall while- Well, seven at this point, right? [team laughs] Are standing with one another.

 

Liv:

Carpenter, someone, Carpenter, someone, Carpenter.

 

[laughter]

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Ryan:

You can see that this- this server room that you’re in is not just one level, it goes upwards, as well. And you can see beneath the grate that you’ve been standing on this whole time, it also goes downwards.

 

Fay:

Oh.

 

Ryan:

So it’s like this- this shaft of like servers, and different levels, and- and above you is like catwalks across the thing. No railings, of course.

 

Jonn:

Okay, that was gonna be the question I was waiting to ask [team laughs] So it’s not OSHA compliant.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. It’s definitely not OSHA compliant. And there is more servers and stuff up there. But Cyrus, or Cyberet actually. Cyberet-

 

Vincent:

Yes.

 

Ryan:

-with your visor, now fixed, you have technical readouts of the things around you. And as you glance up, you notice that that glitchiness happening again [digital warbling, static] straight above you on one of the upper levels of this area.

 

Vincent:

Okay. Yeah, I’ll definitely convey that to everyone. As as we kind of take a moment to victory pose, I think we get the classic like Cyberet raising a hand to the visor to like, click through the different screens that they can see, and he just looks up for a prolonged period of time before saying…

 

(Vincent) Cyberet:

(echoing) I think it’s centered up there? That’s what it- I think I’m- [grumble]

 

Vincent:

And there’s kind of a mild frustration as he’s trying to, like, see if he can get more information but it’s just glitching out. But he looks to the group of you.

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Sounds like we should go up.

 

(Fay) Rose:

Let’s do it.

 

Fay:

Do we all have mobility stuff? Yeah? We got two people with limited- or one person with Limited Flight, one person with Offscreen Mobility.

 

Ryan:

Yep [chuckling]

 

Fay:

Carpenter can fly, and Cyberet?

 

Liz:

Do you need a lift?

 

Vincent:

I think I also have Limited Flight due to being the Cultured.

 

Fay:

Nice.

 

Vincent:

So I should be able to just do my illogical leaps up [chuckles]. The classic.

 

Fay:

Ah, yes. Rose does- does chicken fly hop things.

 

Ryan:

Nice.

 

Vincent:

Yes!

 

Liz:

I’m gonna do jumps that like just go a bit too high. So I get to do this like cool landing each time. Like, kind of edgy [chuckles]

 

Ryan:

Amazing. So you hop your way between catwalks and platforms up here, you climb your way to the top. You get up to this area, and that- that glitchiness in your visor [digital warbling, static] Cyberet is very prominent, it looks like something is here and not here at the same time.

 

And it’s like kind of at a certain frequency is like kind of blipping in and out of reality is the best your brain can kinda wrap itself around.

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

And Ghostwriter-

 

Liz:

Does this look familiar to me?

 

Ryan:

-this looks very familiar to you.

 

Liz:

Shit.

 

Ryan:

It very much, because you are seeing it, like, more in reality. Like without the visor, you probably wouldn’t notice the- the frequency modulation of this thing like vibrating between realities.

 

But you see this device that’s attached to a computer system that very much looks like unlike any other technology on this world first of all. But very much like the technology from your world specifically.

 

Liz:

[inhale] Okay, does it look like it’s about to blow? Can I- can I use Knowledge Is Power?

 

Ryan:

Absolutely, please.

 

Liz:

Which is a fantasy genre move in this Chimera game.

 

Ryan:

It is fantasy. Yes. Yep, so every genre includes two extra basic moves that anyone can utilize. And Knowledge Is Power; when you try to remember specific knowledge about a location, history, or creature roll with Logical. Yeah, I’m trying to remember if you have any sort of…

 

Liz:

There’s nothing in the Knowledge Is Power, right?

 

Ryan:

Right. I’m wondering if you have any sort of advantage on this roll.

 

Liz:

Uh, yeah, I have things that have to do with my home dimension.

 

Ryan:

Yeah.

 

Liz:

I think My Home Is Always With Me is the best… one.

 

Ryan:

Yeah. Let’s go ahead and roll that one. Because I think that might fit. So when you draw on your home culture to help tackle a problem- problem, describe what tradition, stories, practices, etc, you draw upon, then roll with questions. So it sounds like you come from a very, like, technological world, that- that dabbles in time slash dimensional technology.

 

Liz:

Yeah, well, specifically, Ghostwriter in her home dimension was like a researcher on dimensional portal technology. Which is still a very experimental science in her home timeline. But she comes from a world that is not shaped like a record. Or maybe it was a Taurus. I’ve also been very excited about the idea of a Taurus anyway. So things are very different there.

 

Like the timelines diverged way, way back at the planetary formation point. So it’s quite different there. It’s not as musical either. That was an adjustment period. Coming here. Her research back there was on this exact sort of anomaly, which is how she got stuck between dimensions and popped out into this one in the first place. Does that help?

 

Ryan:

Yeah, I think so. So let’s roll with questions. Okay. Do you feel accepted for who you are by all of your present companions?

 

Liz:

I feel that parts of me are accepted.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Liz:

Yes. I think I feel accepted to the extent that I’ve allowed them to accept me.

 

Ryan:

That’s good enough for a yes. Do you have a place amongst your home?

 

Liz:

What does that mean?

 

Ryan:

What do you think it means?

 

Liz:

Oh, I see. I see. Oh. [Vincent laughs] I think… I think my- I think my home is still the Taurus, the Tuxedo Taurus. Like I’ve been here so long, and I love the people here, but it’s- it still doesn’t feel natural that I’m here. So my current place is not amongst my home. No.

 

Ryan:

Okay. Are your obligations to both worlds aligned?

 

Liz:

Yes.

 

Ryan:

Perfect. So you start with 2d6, for every yes, you get to step up a die.

 

Liz:

Cool.

 

Ryan:

So you can go with 2d8, or roll a d6 and a d10. And I can tell you, the curves on these.

 

Liz:

I like the volatile option.

 

Ryan:

The d6 and the d10 will be a lot more swingy.

 

Liz:

I like swing [Ryan chuckles]

 

Fay:

(whispers) Yes!

 

Liz:

Oh god [gasp]

 

Vincent:

Oh no?

 

Liz:

I rolled two 1s again.

 

Vincent:

What? No!

 

Jonn and Ryan:

No!

 

Jonn:

On different dice?

 

Vincent:

Oh my god.

 

Liz:

Yeah, totally different dice [Ryan laughs]

 

Fay:

Oh no.

 

Jonn:

Oh man.

 

Ryan:

Okay.

 

Fay:

Do you need help? Do you need someone to help you out?

 

Ryan:

So…

 

Fay:

Give you a reroll.

 

Jonn:

Give you all six Fellowships [laughs]?

 

Ryan:

There is a possibility.

 

Liz:

I’ll just fail. It was only to figure out, like-

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Liz:

-how to tackle this problem. I’ll just fail.

 

Ryan:

Okay, so you go ahead, you fail and you have also rejected help.

 

Liz:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

And accepted a failure. So at the end of the scene, you get to clear anxious.

 

Liz:

Excellent.

 

Ryan:

You’re trying to think about the stuff back home, that your technology back home, your research, all that sort of stuff that you so long ago, were deep into. And as you are thinking about that, we start hearing some metallic clangs from the lower level sounding like somebody is ascending the large shaft that you all ascended.

 

Fay:

Uh oh.

 

Liz:

I’m just standing there and I’m like…

 

(Liz) Ghostwriter:

Wait, no. Wait-wait-wait. I got this. I… No. I’m gonna remember, one sec, one sec. [laughter]

 

Ryan:

And then you- you hear over the- the loudspeaker…

 

(Ryan) Robotic Voice:

Harmonization process, phase one activating.

 

Fay:

No!

 

Ryan:

And you hear some mechanical whirring from the facility. And it almost feels like you are moving a little bit like it feels like the facility is maybe rotating. [low mechanical whirring]

 

Vincent:

(quietly) Cool. (normal tone) I mean, not cool for us, but like… cool descriptively. Very, very cool descriptively.

 

Liz:

Cyrus in character, “Cool”

 

[laughter]

 

Jonn:

Would Carpenter be able to do something to try to disrupt the harmonization at least, stall it, if anything else.

 

Fay:

Please.

 

Ryan:

You have Techno-Possession. I think you have the ability to do something about this. Yes.

 

Jonn:

Okay. So yeah, I have Techno-Possession, Energy Manipulation and Mimicry.

 

Ryan:

Yes.

 

Jonn:

How I envision it is Carpenter between all that ability is somewhat manipulate time and dimension. Carpenter can, on the fly, change the rhythm of the music? I don’t know, I keep going to Naruto, because that’s what I like- I like Naruto. And I’m just imagining like how Kakashi is able to, like, mimic someone else, while they’re actively doing that thing. And I’m thinking that this’ll be something different, like I can actively create the remix, while the song is playing. It’s trying to create some sort of premix.

 

Ryan:

Oh I like that.

 

Liz:

Do like a phase pulse or something? Like cancel it out?

 

Jonn:

Yeah, definitely. Because I think I understand what’s happening and understand what I could do to solve it. But I may not necessarily have the strength alone to do it.

 

Ryan:

I love this.

 

Jonn:

So yeah, so I would call out to them that…

 

(Jonn) Carpenter:

(echoey) We have to destroy the harmony or change the harmony, but I can’t do it alone.

 

Fay:

Okay.

 

Ryan:

Amazing. So this is activating the magical girl genre move of the Power Of Friendship. So once per session, when you rally the team for an ultimate full team attack against a common threat, you become the initiator for this move.

 

If you have 2 or more points in the Fellowship Pool, each other player in the scene will describe how their abilities combine with the rest of the team finishing with the initiator, we remove points from the Fellowship Pool equal to the number of characters participating down to a minimum of zero.

 

And then you will roll with Valiant, Carpenter. So who wants to start the- the chain?

 

Liz:

I mean, I could go first. So Ghostwriter will take off her scarf, and kind of like whip it out in front of her [keyboard trill] and it’s sort of like hangs in midair and thrums. And she slaps a hand along it and the piano motifs from her clothes, lift off the costume and enter the shape of the scarf hanging in midair [team oo-ing] And then she starts to play, and a piano line rings out for the team to join in with.

 

[solo piano starts playing]

 

Ryan:

Amazing.

 

Vincent:

Super cool.

 

Ryan:

Alright, who’s next?

 

Vincent:

I do love the idea of Cyberet coming in with- with the, again that percussive element, it’s very much bolstering that- that sonic experience with very energetic, slightly frenetic, but in a- in a fun-loving kinda way tap dance. And um, it’s a lot of like slapping the knee, clapping the hands. It’s very, very like all body inclusive, percussive instrumentation going on here.

 

[tap dance/percussive sounds enter as piano continues]

 

Ryan:

Nice.

 

Liz:

Nice.

 

Fay:

I’m kind of imagining Phoenix Rose as kind of a singer sort of thing.

 

Vincent:

Yes.

 

Fay:

I think we’re going to kind of go with that kind of slightly percussive type singing. Where it’s a little more kind of notes. But I think, like, as she sings, it’s probably like, like golden fire. Kind of. Like yeah, like sparkly and kind of shimmery like coming out.

 

Ryan:

Amazing. Alright, bring us home, Carpenter.

 

Jonn:

Okay. So with all of this happening, Carpenter’s taking in all the different frequencies, processing it, trying to find the right sound that’ll blend it all together and destroy the harmony. And then they kind of, for a moment, look at Rose off at the side of their eyes, knowing that they didn’t want their secret to come out but they definitely didn’t want it to happen this way.

 

And- but they take their glasses off, and revealing like what equalizers that are filling both eyes, they’re going with the music and it’s slowly starts to spread around every like display. Somewhere that’s the beginning but this same sound and slowly those- This sound start to change, that some of them start to change until it becomes something far different than that four chord sounds.

 

 

Ryan:

Oh amazing. Give me a Valiant roll, Carpenter. That’s a- that’s a d10 and a d6. And I am removing four points from the pool.

 

Jonn:

Hopefully this will be… [dice roll] Oh, 7.

 

Ryan:

Alright. So no matter what the attack succeeds, on a 7 to 9, choose one from below. They escaped defeated. There is a price to pay for success. You cause collateral damage or unintended harm. Your actions will have consequences down the line.

 

Jonn:

I think the price to pay seems like the most appropriately narratively one.

 

Ryan:

Oh, thank you for picking that one. [laughter] Thank you so much for this gift you have handed to me.

 

Jonn:

You’re welcome.

 

Ryan:

All of that happens, the harmony changes, the devices start doing the opposite almost of what they wanted to do. And you can see, like, the camera shot comes up and pulls out and and pulls upwards and we see all four of you from above.

 

As this happens, the- the Four Chordions are, everything’s almost in slow motion at this point. The Four Chordions are like jumping upwards, and they’re getting closer as you’re doing this. [digital warbling] And all of a sudden, the harmony that they were trying to produce in this facility breaks. There is like a shattering silence. [sound stops]

 

And then this scene around the four of you shifts…

 

[ambient drone music]

 

…as this device pulls you and The Plug somewhere else.

 

Fay:

Oh no!

 

Jonn:

Oh no.

 

Ryan:

The whole plug is now elsewhere.

 

Fay:

In a new dimension.

 

Jonn:

In the Tuxedo dimension, of course.

 

Ryan:

The camera- the camera staff stays in this world, we see the hole in the record, we see hints of the Echo. And we see an absence of this Plug. And this like radiating sound of not the four chords starts breaking out amongst all the people.

 

[electronic music starts]

 

The people are starting this counter concert themselves against the four chords. There’s people from the side of the Echo, that are coming to this side through the hole, and joining in on this counter concert.

 

And then we see the camera pulls out. We see the Record, we see the sun shining on the Record. And then the camera cuts to a Taurus world. With a plug hanging above it.

 

Fay:

Oh no.

 

Ryan:

And we fade there, ending the musical as you save the day. But there was a price to pay for success.

 

Liz:

My turf now, suckers. [laughter]

 

Fay:

Well, we took it to a place where it wouldn’t do the same kind of harm.

 

Ryan:

Thank you so much all of you for playing this amazing game with me my godness.

 

Liz:

This was so much fun.

 

Jonn:

It was. I enjoyed this a lot.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, goodness. Chimera does some wild things. And this has been an absolute joy to run this game for you all.

 

Liz:

Play Chimera!

 

Fay:

I love the musical micro genre in addition to having mixed genres, it’s just so cool.

 

Vincent:

Yeah.

 

Ryan:

Yeah, so much fun. So let’s do our sign offs one last time for the International Podcast Month audience. Thank you for joining us everybody on this journey. Liz, do you want to start us off?

 

Liz:

Yes. I am Liz.

 

[laughter]

 

Fay:

Social media handles and uh podcasts?

 

(unintelligible)

 

Liz:

You can find October Jones and Fish With Legs an all ages fantasy adventure audio drama, with short, easy to listen to episodes online. We’ve a very distinct username. Go to our website, October and Fish dot ca for special bonus content. Thank you.

 

Vincent:

Hi. Hello. This has been Vincent McElroy. Thank you so much for joining us on this wonderful journey. This has been so, so cool. As another reminder I was visiting in from the Heroes In Progress Podcast, a modern fantasy, circa 2004, Open Legend TTRPG game styled like a radio drama. So please pop on over there if you would like to join Reese and Jordan as they solve mysteries around their school.

 

All while, well, you know, trying not to let on fully that they are doing that. It’s a little bit like this game we just played [team laughs] Thank you so much, everyone. If you want to check that out, we are at H_i_P_Podcast or just type in heroes in progress podcast. We’ve also got a website that’ll direct to everywhere you need to go. Thank you again!

 

Fay:

I’m Fay Onyx. And so I’m so happy to have been doing this and you can check out my work at Writing Alchemy dot net. And so I have the Writing Alchemy podcast. And again, that’s heroes who are disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, being played by people with disabilities as well.

 

I also make a lot of resources for representing disability that you can also find on my website. And I’m pretty active on Twitter, writing_alchemy, lots of other stuff which you can all find on my website including my own game system, Magic Goes Awry and a bunch of other stuff.

 

Jonn:

Hi, i’m Jonn you can find me on twitter as Sleypy, S-L-E-Y-P-Y. You can find me on the Redacted Files Podcast and Tabletop Comics. You can also find me as a guest on Vibrant Legends on the Dicey Amazon’s channel on Twitch.

 

Ryan:

And I have been Ryan Boelter, your genre moderator for the evening. You can find me online at Lord Neptune. You can find my work for Character Creation Cast at Creation Cast on Twitter.

 

You can find this game on twitter at ChimeraRPG and we also have this game available for purchase in itch.io at play dot Chimera dot games. So if you go there, it’ll go right to our itch page.

 

This has been an absolute joy. Thank you International Podcast Month for- for allowing us to present this very special story of our musical shenanigans. [Fay and Vincent chuckle] It- it is something that I will never forget. So…

 

Liz:

And thank you, Ryan. It was great.

 

Fay:

Absolutely. Thank you so much.

 

Jonn:

It was.

 

Vincent:

Yes, seriously. Props to Ryan. There were some excellent descriptions in there that were just like chef kiss. Like gorgeous.

 

Fay:

Yes.

 

[Internal Podcast Month music]

(swelling piano, orchestral track)

 

Ryan:

Aw thank you. Alright. Well, thank you everybody, for joining us, and we’ll see you next time. Bye.

 

Team:

Bye!

 

Outro Stinger:

The intro and outro music for all IPM episodes is composed by Benny James. Our graphic art and logo are by Matthias Shkreli. You can support international podcast month by sharing and talking about the event and you can even buy our team members a coffee.

 

Links are in the show notes. Follow us at PodMonth on Twitter. Head on over to International Podcast Month dot com for the month long blog and for more information about the event.

 

International Podcast Month. Celebrating creators; sharing listeners.

 

Content Warnings

  • Story Content: Bee-person, mild violence, mild language.
  • Sound Effects: Flame burst, fireworks, violent crash, explosion.

 

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