Lurk's Workout

“I'm working out and then having drinks, honey! Don't wait up!”

I close the front door behind me, not waiting for an answer. I'm still in my office clothes, and I have my workout bag, which weighs a ton. It can't be helped, with the lead lining and all. Suffice to say I work as an anonymous health care administrator in the city, but I do all right for myself. Especially after hours.

Becky still thinks I go to the gym. I still do most of the time in case anyone checks up on me, but my workouts lately make the toughest cardio class look like a stroll on the beach. I'm never sure I'll even survive.

I swipe my card at the gym and duck out through the locker room. It's a three mile run to the containment facility, and if we're very lucky nobody will ever know we were there.

I change into my workout clothes. It's harder to sneak around wearing a filter mask and lead-lined suit, but tonight I'll need the protection. Liz should be inside already, distracting this week's boyfriend. I can hear Father Cutter singing drunkenly around the corner to keep the guards busy. I pat Bulldog's head on the way by. She nods, starts mouthing the words to the Piña Colada Song, and lowers her eye to the scope, looking for trouble to eliminate with her whisper-quiet rifle.

Whisper to a Scream

Public Domain
via Wikimedia Commons
I know Teddy Roosevelt, but I'm a nobody and it's a hundred years after his death so nobody believes me. I see him when others can't, and occasionally I let him have a ride in my body. Like today, as we wait for the train to get out on the bridge.

He said he came home to New York after his death. Even dead, he's larger than life. He's brave, loud, overconfident, and he gets me in trouble. He's sill kicking himself that he didn't run for reelection. His heart's in the right place, though, and he's just a stand-up dude. Which is why we're starting something in about 2 minutes.

He tells me he can't abide seeing decent people shackled to someone else's work. He tells me we can do something. He tells me that after we free a few, they can help us to free more. He tells me he knows what to say to get them on our side.

We chose the train because the etheric detectors can't quite discern what's train power and what's raw spirit. They say the detectors will find terrorists with etheric bombs, but everybody knows that's total bullshit. They're looking for escapees and for the people who help them, like me.

The Fischer Tape

Partial transcript from FBI surveillance tape labeled “Gwen Fischer’s office, General Etheric building, 24th floor, August 8-9, 1953”. Ms. Fischer's official title at GE was "Assistant", but she was involved in the approval and development of many secret research projects for the company in 1948-53. Working on a weekend wasn't unusual for her.

Soft music plays. Papers rustling, becoming more agitated.

FISCHER: Nigel, step in please. Stop music.

Music stops playing. Door opens and closes.

FISCHER: Has R&D gone insane and nobody bothered to tell me? What the hell is this?

Nigel Cotes was Ms. Fischer’s secretary. Flagged as Communist sympathizer, but vigorously defended by Fischer and GE Legal. Interviewed but not indicted; refer to Congressional Inquiry Proceedings dated September 5, 1951.

NanoRegent, a Tiny Game of Countries

Here's the second game I wrote for the 200 Word RPG Challenge. You can download it (50K PDF) or run it directly from the text below.

This design springs from my love of Birthright and roleplaying a country using domain turns. It's roughly Fate-based, though in NanoRegent you burn Stats like Advantages. This could use a few playtests, as I think it would support episodic campaign play. I'm not sure the renewal rate for Cities is quite right - I originally had a City give +1 every 3 turns, but that could make early turns into more of a death spiral.

I bet it'll take another 20-50 words to explain some concepts more fully, but even that should still fit on both sides of an index card.

Feedback welcome!

Provenance, a Nano RPG

I blame +David Schirduan for making me aware of the 200 Word RPG Challenge he's running until Friday, 01 May 2015. If you're interested, write something and submit it, and go read the dozens of entries so far.

You can download a PDF of Provenance here (335KB PDF), or from the challenge page when it's up. I'll work on making a more useful/pretty PDF version and make it available, possibly pay what you want on DriveThru. Stay tuned for details.

The funny thing is, this game interrupted the one I actually spent time working on. It demanded to be let out first. So be it.

If you play, please let me know how it goes. I love to hear stories.

And yes, the section names are intentionally alliterative. Because I find language fun.

I blame Lovejoy.