Warning: The following contains some explicit as well as racist language. Our intention is not to offend anyone but rather somewhat accurately represent the culture and society that was present in the deep south during the 1930’s. One of the main themes we wanted to explore in the game was the role race plays in the events as well as how the characters handle it. Thus, we haven’t pulled any punches in the use of the language but I hope readers will appreciate our ultimate goal is something much more noble than dropping the f-bomb or using racial slurs. – MJ Harnish
Episode 1 (second half of game)
GM: Ok, so are we set?
Emma Gautreaux: ready!
Howie Clark: lets do it 🙂
Jebediah Douglas: I’m good, I guess.
GM: Ok, just give me 1 minute (biological break) and I’ll be set to go…
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): yep!
GM: COMING NEXT WEEK: DELTA GREEN BLUES
GM: Just a very brief discussion of our 1st episode.
GM: Our pilot episode is entitled “The Hanged Man” It will involve an introduction of the protagonists who are already riding the rails (they’ll just be dropped in to the opening scene and then we can use flashbacks to fill in details about them as the episode progresses).
GM: Emma, Brian, and Howie (? what do you think) will enter a small town in southern Mississippi where they come upon a potential lynching.
Badgers (Howie Clark): I’m in
GM: A black man is about to be strung up by some men (klan? again input wanted)
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): Sounds good.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): maybe every white man in town is klan
Howie Clark: Well it just looks like typical townspeople?
GM: Group “rescues” black man but picks up a wierd vibe from the people, as if they’ve been driven into a frenzy though they don’t seem to be actual racists.
GM: Maybe Brian?
Brian Folet: possibly sees the leader of mob as something not quite human?
GM: So, from there we move into investigation mode, discovering all is not right inthe town and that the town’s leader seems to have acquired some sort of strange power over the town’s people. We turn up what it is in aother scene and then eventually the group confronts the antagonist and somehow resolves the issue.
GM: Sound reasonable?
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): The town could be called “Arcadia”?
GM: Super (I hate coming up with names)
Badgers (Howie Clark): the Hanged Man – is Tarot involved somehow?
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): reasonable
GM: Love it.
GM: I like that hidden imagery.
Brian Folet: heh that was why I chose the proposed title… I was thinking of the hanged man card
Badgers (Howie Clark): perhaps whoever’s in control drew cards saying strangers were coming to town
GM: So, the leader has some connection to tarot and uses it to exert powers over the town’s people.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): Perhaps each person in the town is represented by a card
GM: That’s a cool idea.Ok, so I think we’re set then. I start by taking the first scene. From there, we’ll rotate from left to right (so Howie will be in charge of scene 2, Jeb for 3, Brian 4, and Emma 5)
Badgers (Howie Clark): I handily have a deck here 🙂
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): hmmm I like that and we are also represented by cards…
Emma Gautreaux: cool idea, elf!
DELTA GREEN BLUES
GM: *Cue 1920’s era Blues Music & scenes of desolation from the Great Depression*
Narrator (old man’s voice): On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday signaled the start of bad times in the US. The depression had devastating effects in both the industrialized countries and those which exported raw materials. International trade declined sharply, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices and profits. Unemployment was rampant and many people were in desperate circumstances.Misery loves company. The collective worldwide depression, both economically and psychologically, has thinned the membrane that separates our own reality from that of others. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, jealousy, and pride have suddenly found physical manifestations which prey upon the weak and desperate. Only a small group of gifted individuals stands between these demons and humankind.
Narrator: These are there stories.
FOCUS: Plot development
GM: AGENDA: To introduce the town of Arcaidia and Jebediah. To rescue Jeb from an angry mob about to lynch him
GM: Location: A rail yard behind some delaplidated industrial warehouses in the town of Arcadia. It’s late afternoon on a sweltering Mississippi summer day.
Camera Shot (Wide Shot): A crowd of about 25 white people form a rowdy circle around something in a litter strewn rail yard. They scream and yell racial remarks and clearly are angry
Camera Shot (Camera moves in): A huge, black man dressed in what were probably once very good clothes, kneels battered and bloody in the middle of the circle. His hands have been bound behind his back and two white men off to one side are tying what is obviously a hangman’s noose.
Scene: A tall, almost emaciated, white man in his late 40’s, his hair a graying mass of brown beneath a wide, brimmed hat, stands on a crate and holds up his hands. “Easy folks. We’ll string up this here rude nigger soon enough!” he shouts, his voice shrill and piercing, yet stranglely powerful.
Camera Shot: Camera pans to show three figures walking towards the crowd. Each is dressed in ragged, road worn clothes and look to be in rough shape: A pretty girl, perhaps 16 years old, is flanked by two men in their late 20’s or perhaps early 30’s.
GM: You can go ahead and describe your actions ( i.e., you’re on)
Emma Gautreaux: flinches at hearing the word “nigger’. She hopes looks down at her pale skin and hopes she can pass for white in this town.
Howie Clark murmurs softly “What would Tarzan do? but then draws his notebook and moves forward
Brian Folet looks over at the mob and his eyes go wide and he starts trembling.
Jebediah Douglas: kneels, but with head high. stares at the leader with a disgusted, pitying look on his face.
Emma Gautreaux: Wutc’hall doin’?
Brian Folet moves forward hesitantly.
Howie Clark: What did the fellow do? He must have done something pretty bad…?
Jebediah Douglas: Was born black, son.
Brian Folet (stammering): Wh.. what has he done?
Narrator (Tall man speaks again): “Tie that knot tight Bill, this is a giant of a Negro. Look at him folks, pride is a sin I tell you and this niggers got it in spades!”
Emma Gautreaux: He kill somebody or sumthin’?
Bill (Jebediah Douglas): Does Bill come near?
Brian Folet (stammering): Th… that is no re re reason to hang hihi him!
Scene (man in crowd to Brian): Being disrespectful and trying to be holier than thou to good, decent white folks.
Emma Gautreaux clenches her teeth
Jebediah Douglas: You’re not decent. Nor good.
Howie Clark: Holier than who, exactly? I need names people! The Clarion needs facts!
Scene (Tall man): “Decent? You speak of decency! Trying to seduce our minds with your words while you likely would like to bed our wives!”
Scene: Crowd begins to shout more.
Howie Clark: (aside) Do you folks have a telephone around here? I need to get on to my editor!
Jebediah Douglas: I’m a married man. Wouldn’t spit in God’s face for a skinny white woman.
Scene (man in crowd to Howie): Butt out tramp.
Brian Folet suddenly stares off into space to his left.
Emma Gautreaux: Hmmm. Y’all all good Christian folks, ain’t ya?
Howie Clark: Hey!
Jebediah Douglas Looks at Emma, then away very fast.
Scene (tall man): “And you continue to insult us! String him up boys!”
Brian Folet straightens up and says to the man “Wouldn’t hanging a man for pride be a sin itself?”
Emma Gautreaux: Who’s the preacher here? Ain’t someone gone read him his last rites?
Howie Clark starts scribbling in his notebook
GM: Ok, I think we’ve reached a conflict here.
Jebediah Douglas: I don’t think they’re concerned for my soul, darling.
GM: Everyone is involved though you may each have very different stakes (at least motivational wise).
Brian Folet: stake is to save the man from unjust hanging; as atonement for his own sins.
GM: So each of you has to first dictate your stakes. We’ll start with Jeb. The stakes are what you really want out o his conflict. Specific is better than vague
GM: Perfect Brian
GM: You can all post as you want (we don’t really need to do this in a particular order)
Badgers (Howie Clark): I want to stop the man being hanged and work out why people are acting a bit weird
Jebediah Douglas: I think what he’d want is for these men to see him as a man and, you know, not hang him.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): stake is to save a man from dying due to his race, since Emma is of mixed heritage.
GM: Ok so Jeb wants to be respected as a man and not seen for the color of his skin
GM: So my stakes aren’t really to hang Jeb (since that’s not very interesting) but rather to see each of you fail and thus suffer personal defeat and question your own worth. :o)
Howie Clark: so in that case my aim is to find the story behind the hanging
GM: Ok, so now we spend budget. For me this is important; it’ll set the tone for the rest of the episode. I’m also being ganged up against. So I’m going with “5”
GM: (that’s 4 budget points, plus my free card)
GM: Ok, So each of you has a SP of 2 so you start with 2 cards each.
GM: You can introduce traits that make sense; you just need to provide some input on how you’ll use them.
Badgers (Howie Clark): so I have 2 screen plus my contact (editor) wants me to get a story (+1)…?
GM: Ok, so that’s 3
Badgers (Howie Clark): and I have a knack for finding the weird (+1) = 4?
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): I’m used to dealing with sticky racial situations due to my heritage, so +1?
Badgers (Howie Clark): doh and I’m an investigative reporter 🙂 so 5
Jebediah Douglas: He’d use man of god, his dignity and faith supporting his humanity? +1
GM: Once you use a trait during an episode, it’s used up for the episode so you don’t all want to use every trait on a single scene.
Badgers (Howie Clark): ah ok, make it 3 then and I’ll use ‘reporter’
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): Don’t forget fan mil.. or is that active in the pilot?
GM: Fan mail is active but you can’t start drawing from it until I’ve spent budget
Brian Folet (stammering): Screen presence of 2 plus sees things not of this world +1
Badgers (Howie Clark): exactly the wrong time but need a bio break 😦 back in 1 min
GM: Sorry, it’s not once per episode, it’s 3x per episode
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): In that case Screen presence of 2 plus sees things not of this world +1 and Frank whispers advice +1 = 4
Bill (Jebediah Douglas): If you had a trait that’d work against you, does it factor in or anything even if you don’t use it?
GM: No, those don’t actually count against you; but rather you use them in more unusual way. For Brian – If Frank whispers advice we’ll need to do a cut scene flashback first (which is fine)
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): I’m fine with 3
Bill (Jebediah Douglas): I don’t know how Goliath would do anything but scare them, so I got 3 too.
GM: Brian, do you want to do a cut scene?
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): Hmm I was envisioning him actually being around (thus the look off into space earlier) but I can go with that too. Thoughts?
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): can I use my heritage for a bonus if it isn’t a bona fide edge?
GM: We need to use your personal setting for him: Otherwise it’s going to seem like a ghost simply follows you around and some disembodied voice is speaking to you which is probably weirder than we want
GM: No, only edges
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): ok hmmm I think it is too early for a cut scene…. I’ll go with 3 and save Frank
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): okay, so I get 2
GM: My thought is that the personal scene is typically a conflict in which if you succeed you gain a useful piece of lore; if not it’s too cryptic to make sense of
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): That is what I was thinking of too.
GM: So, let me do the dealing (and see if this works; otherwise I’ll put out my real deck of cards)
The deck has been shuffled.
GM: Howie is up first
Badgers (Howie Clark): is that my deal?
GM: 4 points. Ad is high card
GM: Jeb is next
Badgers (Howie Clark): draw one at a time and record results before moving on?
GM: Kh 8s 3s = 1 pt Kh is high
GM: Brian 6h 2h 4d = 3 pts 6h is high
GM: Emma 9d Js = 1 pt Js is high
GM: Me: Jc 4c 6c 7s Ks = 0 pts (geez!)
GM: So, everyone wins their stakes (since you were all against me)
Badgers (Howie Clark): phew!
GM: Howie gets to do the narration of how the scene turned out.
Badgers (Howie Clark): well we all seemed to succeed so what were you all doing?
GM: Howie, you must explain how each protagonist won their stakes and must include appropriate behavior for each protagonist.
GM: You need to take into any account any traits used and any stated actions (as they dictate now or later). You can solicit input but ultimately the narration and shape of the scene is in your hands.
Badgers (Howie Clark): ok be prepared to shoot me down
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): I was attempting to convince them not to hang them on the basis of their religious beliefs. My stakes were that I didn’t’ want to see someone killed for their race, as we have shared heritage
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): My stakes were attempting to save Jeb for hanging as atonement for my guilt from the past using legal means (he has not committed a crime). I also saw something not of this world in the mob.
GM: Nope, they can’t shoot you down unless you betray the framework of the scene, characters, or series. Otherwise they have to live with your narration :o)
Jebediah Douglas: I was trying to present myself as proud and worthy of respect. My religion was something used in establishing my humanity.
Howie Clark asks the nearest members of the crowd about what’s going on.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): So we all get to GM a bit?
GM: Essentially yes. Whoever wins narration of a particular scene, dictates what happens. Each player also calls for scenes, setting them up, in each episode. The producer is really only in charge of coordination and setting the opening scene.
Badgers (Howie Clark): btw I can’t narrate in FG so I’ll just go for it
GM: Yes, just do it “IC” or better yet as an action, 3rd person
Howie Clark: I was surprised by his answer – “The cards…” he said, slackly.
GM: Don’t feel under too much pressure; this is all a learning process for us (hence it’s the “Pilot”) It’ll become more natural as we do it more.
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): put some sort of Identifier if you are acting as someone other than Howie
Badgers (Howie Clark): I’m doing my old man voice narration here
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): Or pretend you are writing a chapter in your pulp novel
GM: Yeah, you can mix the narrator with live action shots
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): good idea!
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): could we also create and share a “Narrator” character?
GM: I’m not sure you can do that in FG. That would be really cool though.
Note: At this point Howie gave his narration which I then put together into a single post to make it more coherent.
GM: COMMERCIAL BREAK
Badgers (Howie Clark): I’m thinking that the complication could be the bit about us being represented by cards
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): me too.. good character development possibilities.
Badgers (Howie Clark): not up to the twist atm tho 🙂
GM: Here goes nothing…. (based very much on Howie’s narrative)
Howie Clark turned to the nearest person in the crowd. “What’s going on he asked?” The answer he got back baffled him as the person, seemingly in a trance muttered “It’s in the cards”Brian clutches his shoulder, and lets out a low moan, shaking his head to clear it as if he were drunk. “Something’s not right with that man,” he muttered and strangely enough, the tall man seemed to hear him despite the almost deafening roar of the crowd. “What in hell is going on?” Howie mutters.
Emma suddenly steps forward, pushing through the crowd, despite the fact that most of the people dwarf her. “WHAT ARE ALL OF YOU DOING? ARE YOU NOT CHRISTIANS?” she shouts at them, their faces leering as if they are starving dogs staring at a plate of food. The black man straightens his head and says “Nay, they are not Christians. Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Those words seem to hit the man with the noose like a slap in the face.
Jebediah continues. “Though I walk through the valley of Death, I will fear no evil…” Strangely enough the crowd begins to shake their heads as if coming out of a daze. Howie pushes through the crowd which has already begun to disperse, his note pad in hand. He stares at the Tall Man, who has a look of utter hate on his face. “Sir, can I get your name so I can quote it in my story?” Howie asks and the man sneers, flipping something at him that flutters in the wind before landing at the reporter’s feet. He bends to pick it up, from the dusty ground, the camera zooming in to show a tarot card that reads “The Hanged Man”
Badgers (Howie Clark): cue music 🙂
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): applause
Brian Folet claps
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): claps
GM: bows – I’m just working with what Howie gave me, with a little embellishment. I have the luxury to have a bit more hindsight
Badgers (Howie Clark): I may put forward fewer cards next conflict 🙂
GM: I hate to say it folks, but I have to go to bed (it’s midnight here)
Badgers (Howie Clark): ok well a long commercial break 🙂 great stuff GM
We can pick up here next time as the 2nd part of episode 1.
Brian Folet: no problem…
Emma Gautreaux: I think that’s a good introduction to the game!
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): Thanks!.
GM: Next time we won’t have to burn any time getting the game moving and can hit the ground running.
Jebediah Douglas: Cool. Thanks a lot. It was fun.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): Would you mind posting the chat logs to the forum?
ElfIndie (Brian Folet): I do as well, good job all!
GM: Yeah, we’ve come up with what I think is a really cool idea for a show and some really cool characters.
Brennen (Emma Gautreaux): I’d watch it!
GM: Everyone fits perfectly with the setting
GM: Good night.