Sunday, January 15, 2017

Misspent Youth: Celestial Bureaucracy - Episode 1

Yesterday we played our firs session of Misspent Youth. Characters and setup are here if you need a refresher.

Let's do this.
We start off, of course, with some Authority Figures for the episode:

  • The Comptrollers, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They determine how long prisoners stay on Bardo and when they've burned off their Mojo.
  • Supply chains. Everything on Bardo is tightly controlled. Food and supplies are brought in from off planet, keeping everyone hungry. 
  • Julio, the characters' advocate. He's got the head of a crocodile. Prisoners on Bardo have "case workers" who advocate for them, but they're really not on the prisoners' sides. 
  • Cerberus, one of three giant, blobby, smoke-creatures that fly around the planet and attack people, to keep them terrorized and weak. 
  • Theo, the fitness instructor. Remember that all the skin-suits need to be kept fit and healthy. Theo works with them to make sure of that. 
And then we have some Friendship Questions:
  • Jacqui asks Alaska: "Whose picture is under your mattress?" Her answer: "Mine, of course."
  • Alaska asks Yasha: "How uncomfortable were you when I stopped sleeping with you?" Her answer: "Very, but we've got a revolution to plan."
  • Yasha asks Kshanti: "What annoys you most about me?" Her answer: "Your belief that you can make things better."
  • Kshanti asks Eli: "What do you have in your pocket?" Their answer: "Your mother's knife."
  • Eli asks Jacqui: "What did you give me for your first hit of Mojo?" Her answer: A sigil drawn as soon as the Mojo kicked in. 
Scene One: What's Up 

Alaska's player starts us off, and chooses Theo. We're in the gym, and Theo is mercilessly working the YOs. They talk telepathically (remember that they can do that), and they fantasize about humiliating Theo and getting away from this. They gripe about how they aren't allowed to do what they want with their bodies, and finally Alaska starts complaining out loud. Theo responds by intensifying the workout, and Jacqui starts a chant: "Let! Us! Stop!" Theo tells them that they'll just be here all day, and locks the doors, but Kshanti hacks the console of the machine she's on and unlocks them. Eli, for their part, drops weights on Theo's foot (accidentally but not really), but Theo, eyes now glowing, is not phased. Yasha tries to join the chant, to keep it going, but chokes and freezes up. The YOs lose, and the spend the day getting mercilessly exercised. 

Kickoff: This episode is about body sovereignty.

Scene Two: Fighting Back

Yasha's player sets us up, and chooses her question to Kshanti ("what annoys you most about me?"). The YOs are back in their dorms, about to get shipped off for their periodic beautification (this includes plastic surgery, though they can't ever seem to remove Jacqui's face birthmark). They talk about how the gods can go get fucked rather than control their bodies, and decide to give each other tattoos...using Mojo, so the tattoos are extra special. Eli supplies the tattoos. Jacqui gets one on her forearm, Yasha on her back, Kshanti on her chest, Eli on their bald head, and Alaska on her face. 

And then they're taken off to the hospital, and Eli is the first into the grinder. The staff at the hospital decide to remove the tattoos, and eventually wind up doing it; they use Mojo and an acid bath to strip it away. 

Beat: Reversal (losing the tattoos). Question: What is bodily sovereignty worth? 

Scene Three: Heating Up

Kshanti's player starts this scene, and chooses Julio, the YO's advocate. Julio arrives at the hospital and tells them that they're likely to get a bunch more time added to their sentences, but they could get their sentences reduced if they reveal where they go the Mojo. The YOs solidly refuse unless Julio sweetens the deal, and Julio tells them he'll try and renegotiate (the YOs, of course, have no intention of selling out Eli, but then, Julio probably has no intention of helping them get their sentences reduced). Kshanti says that this didn't work because they just got tattoos, and Jacqui says they need to go deeper: Ritual scarification. They should steal some drugs from the hospital, go on vision quests, and carve the symbols deep into their flesh. Everyone agrees, and Jacqui goes sneaking into a supply closet to steal drugs. Julio comes back looking for her, but Alaska preens and Yasha confronts him, and the YOs win on Jacqui's Sneaky Conviction. 

Scene Four: We Won

Eli's player kicks us off, choosing Kshanti's question to Eli (about the knife). It's the next day, and the YOs have had their vision questions. With their sigils in mind, they steal out to an abandoned barn after their (very painful) morning workout, and get to work. Eli pulls out the knife, and Kshanti recognizes it as her mother's - but her mother is Kali, the goddess (she says). Eli says it's a long story about how she got it, and they agree to have that conversation another time. Jacqui starts carving and Eli rubs the wounds with ink. 

They carve up Alaska's face, and then Yasha's fist. Yasha goes outside and sees the sky growing dark - something's coming. Is it a Cerberus, or just a passing ship? Inside, Kshanti carves a sigil into Eli's head, and uses the sigil that Jacqui drew for Eli some time back...which Kshanti has never seen. Kshanti's player rolls and loses, but sells out Smart to Pedantic. Kshanti, explaining the significance of the knife and the sigil, cuts Eli deep, but all the YOs get their scars. 

Scene Five: We're Fucked

My turn. I chose Cerberus, obviously. The smoke cloud envelops the barn, and the YOs feel their new wounds start to burn. The Cerberus itself - a skeletal wolf-creature - pounces at Yasha, who punches it, knocking it into the building and making it flash with light. It attacks Eli, who focuses and brings down the pain and the voices in their heads to make them all able to concentrate. The creature leaps down, mouth open, but Jacqui's player rolls and loses. She sells out Fast to Efficient, and flings the rest of the Mojo-laced ink at the wolf. It splashes over the creature, trapping it in a net. The sky lightens again; the YOs have escaped noticed. 

Beat: Discovery (the scars have empowered us)

Scene Six: Who Wins

Jacqui's player sets this up, and chooses Eli's question to Jacqui (about the sigil). The YOs experiment with their powers. They realize that Yasha punched a god-tech monster and damaged it, which is impossible. Jacqui concentrates on the blood streaming from Eli's head and makes it retract - sangromancy! Eli has greater control over the Empathy, letting Eli calm it down and focus it. Kshanti sits by the trapped wolf-monster and tries to manipulate the Mojo, but cannot control it. The wolf's gears strip and it falls apart. The mutations are unstable. 

The YOs lose this one. The Authority gains a new System of Control.

Scene Seven: Dust Settles

Alaska's player sets this up, choosing Jacqui's question to her (about the picture). They're at breakfast the next day, carved up and wounded, but the guards don't seem to be bugging them much. Alaska has her picture with her, and sees Theo...and then changes into him. She's pissed at him, and that seems to spawn her magic. Eli tries to calm him, but that just cements it more. Jacqui shows Alaska her picture, trying to spawn her to get back to her own face, but that doesn't seem to help. Eli focuses more, using their new power, trying to get Alaska's head in the right place (and wins on Eli's Mojo Provider Conviction). Alaska changes into herself, and the YOs get shuffled out for morning workout. 

Aftermath

The Authority doesn't seem to mind about the character's wounds. Indeed, they're doing some Mojo research of their own. I added Mojo Manipulation as a System of Control.