Actual Play 10: Apocalypse World II, Black Diamond Session 7

Players: Joe, Megan, Timo Todd, Tom

Our next session of the Black Diamond AW campaign. Playbooks are changed willy-nilly! Violence breaks out all over! Lennox goes to Burger King, the person, not the restaurant! All this and crazy, crazy Goldie!


New Black Diamond logo from our listener Graeme who drew the pleasebirds at the top of the webpage, btw. Check it!

Thanks Graeme!

Black Diamond Love Letters

Hey peoples! I’ve had a couple of requests now to post the love letters that I wrote for Black Diamond back in… session 2? 3? Who remembers, these days. These aren’t the best I’ve ever written, and when we used them in play I found myself regretting the fact that some of the miss conditions only would have happened had someone missed. With more time, I’d rework them to integrate the miss condition stuff a little closer, maybe make them part of partial miss conditions.

Anyway, Here are the letters. Enjoy!

Hi Lennox,

How you doin’ girl? You’ve had a busy three weeks, that’s for sure. After Goldie let you go off with Wedded, you headed out to the city with him, Foster and a small crew. The trip out was cold, but what happened when you got to the city is what’s really important. Tell me the most memorable thing about the city and then roll +Sharp for me.

On a hit, you came back with something that you wanted. Choose (Sharp 10+ choose 2, 7-9 choose 1) then tell me what it is:
• It’s in working condition.
• It’s easy to carry.
• You know how to use it.
Of course, nothing comes that easy. Choose (Same roll 10+ choose 1, 7-9 choose 2) and I’ll tell you the details of what happened:
• You had to take it from the brainers
• Wedded didn’t make it
• You guys got lost coming back
On a miss, oh man. You found something alright, but it’s not helpful to the holding. You just really, REALLY need to have it, like a burning need, so bad you lied to Foster and the rest to make them think it’s good for the holding. Tell us what it is, tell us what the lie is you used to convince the others it was worth taking, I’ll tell you which of above is true.

Anyway, Foster’s going to tell me a little bit more about what went on otherwise on the trip, but I’m glad you got something out of this little field trip. Let’s hope Foster can get you back safe and sound, and never mind the fact that you keep thinking you can see someone following you way back there. I mean, if what you were seeing is true, then they would have to be completely naked, 10 foot tall, have both breasts and a penis and spend every night screaming at the moon. Which no one else seems to have noticed. And that’s just silly.

Hugs and Kisses,

Your MC

Hi Foster,

Look, I know. You didn’t think you were coming out here: you’ve a kid to look after, and Goldie isn’t exactly untouchable right now, and Rolfball seems on the brink. But here’s the thing: When you were tucking Levi in one night, there was a note under his pillow in Tai’s hand, and all it said is “you need to go,” no signature, nothing else.

So you went, and Wedded lead you out to the city. The trip out, nothing bad, you could probably make it out here again. And once you got there, Lennox found something that should help the holding really good, you already heard about that.

But like you know, anything you want doesn’t come easy. Turns out the brainers that have taken up residence in the city have gone a bit weird around the edges. Well… weirder. Well… a shit ton fucking weirder. Like “taking over the brains of the weak-willed and using them as drones” weird. Like “taking those drones and surgically turning them in to bombs/marauders.” Crazy. You had to shoot H and Abondo because they turned on you while you were helping Lennox get his new toy. And then they all knew your name.

But you got away! Roll +Cool and tell me how cleanly (10+choose 1, 7-9 choose 2):
• You lost about half your crew, some of them going over and some of them killed in

the retreat
• You were surprised by some guy who should have been dead, and he sunk his mouth (now with a complementary set of glass-shard teeth, hooray for brainer surgery!) in to your shoulder. You took 2 harm ap, partly shrapnel in your shoulder, partly whatever is now causing the infection that Lennox just can’t seem to get rid of (he needs you in a quiet, safe, warm place).
• You guys ran out of ammo in the fight: Ever since it’s been clubs, knives and axes.

But here’s the thing: Tai was right. You needed to go. Because otherwise you wouldn’t have followed that girl who looked like Gams (it wasn’t, even though at the moment you could have sworn…) and just before everything went to hell you wouldn’t have seen where the children were being taken in to that heavily fortified old skyscraper.

You wouldn’t have realized that you recognized some of them from Black Diamond.

And you wouldn’t have known just how much protecting Levi really needs.

Hugs and Kisses,

Your MC

Hi Goldie,
What’s up chief? Enjoying the position of power? Foster and Lennox have been gone for a while, they shouldn’t be back for another week. In that time, you’ve managed to set up two new raiding leads: Tum-tum has stood up on one side, and there’s Whimsy on the other. Tum tum knows the lay of the land around here better than anybody, and given that he’s methodical, knows his place and is colder than even the goddamned ice, it’s been better. Plus, you’ve got a gun pointed at his head: Costars is in thick with Tum tum, and on your word he’ll put him in the ground. All you have to do is give him Mirth in return.

Whimsy is the other raid leader, a roly-poly little dude who wears dentures and only has half an ear, but he’s someone recommended to you by Forged, and the one raid he lead so far came back with few survivors and a nice load of goods: hand-made blankets, couple of milking-yaks, and 5 wheels of cheese.

….actually, he might have just gone shopping and whoring with his group in Dumptruck. But since you didn’t have to pay for it, what’s so bad about that?

Let’s find out how things have been while they were gone, hrm? Make me a cool roll to show me just how you much you’ve managed to keep it together here, especially in light of the whole Roflball thing. 10+, choose 2, 7-9 choose 1:
• Pamming managed to rework one of the gliders so that it runs on gas. It’s loud when running, but it means you can scout further out and see more of what’s going on in the surrounding areas. More raiding and better defense, all that jazz.
• New group of people came in from the cold, willing to trade service for safety and warmth. Tell me what skill they offer you that you need, and what you’ve got over them.
• Wicker has word of a really juicy target, something bigger and better than anything else. It’s candy from a baby: Tell me what you need, and I’ll tell you what it is.
On a miss, well, wow, on a miss, choose one:
• Mill is dead, her throat ripped out, her eyes pulled from their sockets, and her ribcage left open and dripping in to her favourite plants. Levi, who she was looking after, missing.
• You know how Roflball had been cheating on you all these years? Well, not really. I mean, you thought he was, but it turns out he never actually went through with it: Last minute he always turned back. So he never actually broke faith with you. You found out by talking with Foster about it from Levi, who said he had heard his mom and Rofl. And he just found out about Frost: you slipped up, and he came upon you and frost at it like rabbits in your quarters.
Neither is pretty, but the choice is yours. Best of luck!
Hugs and Kisses,
Your MC

Hi Frost,

That thing with Parcher! Man, that was really awesome. By now you’ve heard about Goldie’s deal, so that’ll tell you a little of your situation. But beyond that, I’ve got something of a deal for you.

I want to get to know you more! I feel like we haven’t really connected, y’know? So here’s the deal: Tell me three people (named or not) you cannot do without in the holding. Choose the reason why from the list below, and tell me a little more:

• You love them
• They know something you have to find out
• You desperately need to protect them
• They’re blood to you
• They know something about you, and the only way to stop it from coming up is to keep them safe
• You saw them in a true dream
• They remind you of someone you can’t let go of
• They are part of why you really came here
• If they go, things will get much much worse.
• They’ve seen your true face
• Sex with them is… unimaginable.
• Because they honestly don’t want anything from you
• Because before they die badly, they need to know exactly why they deserve it.
• Because they love you.

Now that that’s been sorted, here’s my end of the bargain: you get 3 hold. Spend that hold to have someone just dead: call it fate, call it happenstance, call it Parcher getting goddamned jealous and just up and killing them. Whatever it is, right there, right then, you name an NPC and they die, no questions asked.

So what do you say, friend? Do we have a deal?

Hugs and Kisses,

Your MC.