Barb, Rohin and I met up tonight, but instead of a regular session we engaged in a little Apocalypse World-Building. Since it'd got to the point that Barb was wondering what the rest of the world was like, we decided to flesh it out a bit more. Our first session hadn't been all that informative about life in post-apocalypse London and beyond. With a little flavour and context established by our playtime so far, we started looking around at the world beyond the characters' immediate concerns.
Barb made a short list of questions to start things off. Marsh is 31, favourite food is dandelions, prized useless possession is a dejected Rubix cube. Marsh thinks there was no apocalypse; it's always been this way! Keeler's 33, likes to eat rats, possesses a tin whistle for sentimental reasons, and thinks that the old governments were somehow responsible for the apocalypse.
Last time, I'd asked both of them to come up with an NPC each, someone they knew at the Bridge holding. These didn't end up being defined until last thing tonight, but Barb had done a stellar job developing some back-story for her Brainer, Marsh.
Marsh's father was a doctor named Stimmon who took advantage of a woman and ended up keeping her in an abusive relationship. Marsh's elder sister Chester was much older, and died somehow... Chester's friend Edenbra works with a gang of scavengers in Central London; Edenbra resents Marsh for not being closer to Chester when she was alive, even though Marsh was just a child at the time.
Marsh eventually fled the abusive family situation by joining up with a gang that Dr. Stimmon was working for. From there, Marsh drifted from gang to gang, but always remained on the outskirts and never really fitted in. In time, Marsh developed a reputation and became widely known, but has never made any close friends or lasting connections.
Keeler, on the other hand, seems to have started life on the barges plying trade up and down the Thames and old canal network, and has literally drifted to the Bridge. Beyond the city, the hinterlands seem to be in reasonable ecological shape, although England is warmer and drier now than in the Golden Age. The barges are pulled upstream mostly by cattle, or by teams of harnessed slaves. Civilisation beyond London seems to be similar to that in the city - fortified and isolated Dark-Ages holdings separated by wilderness where nomadic tribes and raiders roam. Travel is dangerous, and Keeler got an early start manning a mounted machinegun on his family's barge.
We decided Keeler needed someone to get his copious quantities of bullets off, so we created an armourer called Dustwich who has a shop in the Bridge's North Tower. She can be abrasive at first, because nobody much respects the craftsmanship required to make bullets these days, but Keeler appreciates her work so they have a reasonable trading relationship. He brings her various scrap metals she can use to make ammo and repair weapons.
Although Barb had already created many NPCs, most of them were now dead, and none of them lived at the Bridge. She came up with Roger, a hairdresser whose only tool is a straight razor, and whose only style is a clean-shaven head. Marsh uses his services to keep a smooth scalp. He otherwise works to keep the hold free of head-lice.
>>> Session 2013.4