We started this summer with the session of Sailors at the Starless Sea and ended it during last weekend with a quickly made “hack” of Apocalypse World. As it was in the beginning so it was in the end and Sami was the one who orchesterated this mayhem.
In this post I’m going to discuss our methods of turning Disney’s loveable characters into whack-jobs that destroy all that we love in Duckburg. And I’ll do it in the Apocalypse Way. So it will not be for all (I’ll give you another warning when the sick stuff begins).
The Ground Work
The idea of playing the inhabitants of Duckburg came from an old idea of rewriting speech bubbles in Donald Duck comics. We went a little further with the idea and decided to dedicate this trip for Duck comics. And as we have had great experiences with short oneshots during this summer we went with it. As all summer cabin games have been with the AW-engine we chose it to keep thing simple.
The first thing for a session like this was to choose the suitable playbooks for each character. We knew who were going to participate in the game and what characters everyone had chosen to play. It was a simple matter of going through all published playbooks (including fan made one from Nerdwerses excellent list).
As AW is not actually a game of friendly goofing around we knew from the beginning that “there would be blood” (this quickly turned into the catchphrase) and that this was going to be a quick oneshot while drinking we did not get too serious about it.
We discussed about the playbooks and the style we wanted a little but eventually it was the MC who put them together as follows:
Donald Duck – Battle Babe (my character)
Gladstone Gander – Skinner
Daisy Duck – Brainer
Chief O’Hara – The Savvy Head
Goofy – Faceless/Touchstone
Scrooge MacDuck – Operator/Gun Lugger
Sami chose three moves for each character and gave them new names that suited the character and the action. This means that we did not get to choose anything else than the stat line for our characters but as everybody already knew what we were getting into it was not that much of a problem.
While starting the session we decided to enhance the feeling of Gladstone’s fortune and rules that each roll+Cool he made would be considered as “12”. The same went with Donald but instead of rolling 12s he rolled “2” with each roll+Cool. This turned out to be a little problematic considering his stat line but I’ll get into that in the After thoughts.
The Gaming Session
As there were six players in addition to the MC the group immediately split up. Half of the crew went to see Gyro Gearloose for a machine that could be used to track down Mickey and the other half went to see Scrooge’s Money Bin (he was informed that a group of pest controllers were working there).
Donald went with Scrooge (who did not understand a word I said – mainly becaused I had rehearsed talking like Donald) as did Chief O’Hara. At the Money Bin we quickly descended from a children’s cartoon into an R-rated movie as we realised that the exterminators were none-other than the Beagle Boys and Chief O’Hara shot the first one in the face.
Due some in-character reasoning other characters took the Beagle Boys’ dead body to Gearloose. They wanted him to invent some machine that could be used to interrogate him…
In the mean time Donald and Scrooge entered the Money Bin only to find out that the Beagle Boys had taken Emily Quackfaster as a hostage. While they thought it would be a good idea to extort MacDuck with it he caught them by surprise and shot the secretary by to prove he cared for no-one but himself.
At this point I decided to dive in with the idea that Donald is suffering from PTSD (click here or here or Google). I jumped a Beagle Boy with a pesticide syringe an shovelled it down his throat. After killing him I turned my attention to the other Beagle Boys who had tried to capture Scrooge. I went aggro on them trying to make them fall out of the window but they backed down and fell through a trap door into a piranha tank.
Meanwhile at Gearloose’s house the group had managed not only to sexually abuse the poor inventor (due some obscure “planning” Chief O’Hara’s only way to interrogate someone was with a sex move – yes, all characters had them) but also activate a killer robot which was controlled by the mind of the shot Beagle Boy. The robot marched to the Money Bin only to be struck down by Super Goof.
After the Money Bin had been secured we routed at the Gearlooses house. Daisy had got him out of prison and convinced him to build the robot to find Mickey (naturally it was a robot cat).
As Donald was still living out his war memories he really disliked the fact that Daisy was hanging out with Gladstone. Donald confronted Daisy who solved the situation with a quick beakjob and sent poor Donald after Scrooge and his money (I need to add at this point we learned through Daisy’s mind-reading moves that Donald had been molested by Scrooge as a duckling…).
Even though Donald had just bought a box full of hand grenades (seriously – they sell anything to Donald in the cartoons) he never got the chance to use them. He jumped into Scrooge’s limo, took his key to the Money Bin and was just about to drive there when Daisy hopped on a motorcycle with Gladstone. Gearloose’s robot cat had caught the smell of Mickey.
While other characters were chasing the robot cat to the stadium Scrooge barricaded himself to his Money Bin calling on the national guard to hunt down Donald. He even offered a bounty on his life!
At the stadium the cat quickly found poor Mickey in the ball closet stuffed inside a football. When everyone (except Donald) entered the room Black Pete closed the door behind them. He was behind the kidnapping! He explained his evil plan that was to use Mickey as the opening ball for the night’s game for laughs!
In the following mayhem a Beagle Boy (they were working for Black Pete all along) ripped of Gladstone’s arm, Daisy proved out to be a total killing machine with her handbag and everyone was trying to get hold of Black Pete’s dead man’s switch.
Donald arrived to the stadium a little later with national guard on his tail. He stared down the ticket seller and wandered the halls of the premises shouting out for Gladstone. When he finally found the room where the fighting was taking place he tried to fill it with the exterminator’s pesticide.
Most characters in the room went blind and were desperate to get out. Gladstone was lucky enough to find the door but he was met with Donald holding a handgun to his face. “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?” Donald quacked. And naturally Gladstone was lucky. He dodged the bullet but got shot by escaping Black Pete.
The explosives Black Pete had placed around the stadium went of and the whole place blew up. All characters still in the ball storage died horrible deaths. Daisy managed to escape to find Donald pinned under a heavy bar. At the Money Bin Donald had gazed into the Psychic Maelstrom that was all around Duckburg and had seen that his relationship with Daisy was to kill him. And as Donald now realised this was what was happening he tried to held Daisy down to kill her too.
Daisy however managed to escape his clutches by wriggling out of her dress. As Daisy exited the Stadium he was confronted by the national guard that opened fire without a question.
As an epilogue to the game Daisy’s head was delivered to Scrooge MacDuck as the head of Donald. When Scrooge realised that this was not his nephew he learnt that his body was never found…
This was a solid session! It started out little confusing (as this was Sami’s first time to MC an AW game) but straightened out really quickly and ended up being one of those games we will most likely remember for a long time.
Once we were done with the session all players agreed that this was something we just have to get back into. Duckburg with AW was just too juicy to be left for a single session. We actually immediately came up with the tag line for a sequel: Duck Tales 2 – Donald is Coming! (in essence we saw this as Gearloose’s way to get back on Duckburg by resurrecting Donald as an avenging cyborg.)
As this session was run at a cabin and with altered states of mind we did not really get that deep into the gaming system. I however did notice a big problem with Donald (at least in the way I see him). Battle Babe sounded like a perfect base for him at the beginning but once I had the playbook in my hands I quickly realised he was all Cool and no aggro. This would mean that whenever something did not go the way he wanted he would be ok with it and we he went bananas he could not hurt a fly.
I quickly fixed it by changing too stat lines but if we are ever to get back on this game we need to spend a little more time in thinking about the playbooks and how they represent the character.
And as we all had such a blast I think it is only a matter of time when we will see the ruins of Duckburg.