Midnight Urchins at ConQuest NW

I will be running a game of “Urchin” starting at midnight on Sunday the 18th. Urchin is a crazy storygame which involves playing crazy homeless people who live under the subway system in New York. I ran it at midnight at last year’s Conquest and I also ran a midnight game at Dragonflight. It’s a lot of fun, but I think it should always be played late at night when you’re really tired.

Here’s the description of the game from RPGNow.com:

By Clint Krause
Based on the Independent Film by John Harlacher

Far below the streets of New York City, the outcast struggle for survival. This is Scum City. Nothing here is certain, but there are those who say that paradise is not far away. Will you be the one to lead us all to Agharta?

Welcome to Urchin, a role-playing game of survival against the odds, based on the independent film by director John Harlacher.

The game includes:
– Foreword by director John Harlacher.
– A unique, no-prep game system, designed to force players to be proactive.
– Secret paradise realms! Crime families! Neo-Nazi youth cults!
– Ideas, advice, and more!

Curious about the movie? Check out the official website at www.scum-city.com.

Finally here’s my report on the game we played at Dragonflight:

I played “Urchin” with Mark, Clint, a woman friend of Clint’s, and a guy who just came in and joined us when he heard what we were doing. Urchin is a system where you have two stats, mind and meat, and three talents, which can be anything you want. You roll two di six and keep the highest for your mind and meat pools.

Mark played Clutch McGurkin a fellow who had the following talents:

  • I am not a bum.
  • Wait, wait, I read this in a magazine.
  • I think I’m related to this guy.

Clint played Spaceman. His talents were:

  • I’m an alien.
  • Your human laws don’t apply to me.
  • I have a ray gun. (really a remote control)

Clint’s fried played a nameless woman who was obsessed with shoes. She later became known as Priscilla. Her talents were:

  • The past is golden.
  • If the shoe fits, wear it.
  • I have a coupon for that.

The fellow who came to join us had the following talents.

  • I’m Elvis.
  • A tinfoil hat to keep out the mind control rays.
  • I know Ka ra Te !

During his first scene Mark aka Clutch decided to go get the materials to make something. He managed to make it past the junkyard dog without too much trouble and got the parts he needed. He then proceeded to rot his mind in making a plus one Atl-Atl.

Priscilla then decided that she wanted to go to the local mall and visit a shoe store. She started sneaking around the store taking the shoes of people who were trying on new shoes. She managed to steal three singles before the clerk came over to confront her. Priscilla fled from the clerk after a short argument and then managed to get away pretty easily from the security guard known as Fat Frank Miller (yes, he hates it when kids make fun of his name.)

During his scene, Spaceman decided to do a little begging on the streets and managed to make a dollar by being very strange. It was a good thing that someone made a little money or they wouldn’t have been able to pay the light bill.

The next two scenes were Clutch doing a little begging and Priscilla doing some very profitable dumpster diving back at the mall.

It was during Spaceman’s scene that the guy who played Elvis showed up.Clutch suggested to Spaceman that they work together and go try to rob a convenience store. Spaceman said, “No, Spaceman thinks we should find one of those schoolgirls, you know those Catholic schoolgirls, and steal what’s in her lunchbox.” Clutch looked at him a little dubiously and then decided he was up for it, even though it seemed pretty perverted. When they got there, it turned out that the “schoolgirl” was really a hooker. As the gm, I added that “she” was a hooker dressed like a schoolgirl. I think it was the woman playing Priscilla who suggested that “she” was a transvestite. I agreed that the hooker was actually a large black man who went by “Jamaica Jane.”

Clutch and Spaceman tried to intimidate Jane into giving them what was in her “lunch box,” but she wasn’t going to be intimidated by two crazy men. After lots of rotting of people’s mind pools, they decided to move on to a meat contest. It was at this point that Elvis decided that Jane was actually his wife Priscilla and to fight on her side. Jane had a meat of 5 so was able to defend herself until Clutch and Spaceman beat her down enough that she decided to give them her last dollar.

Jane had thrown her shoes at the beginning of the fight, not wanting to fight in high heels. The other Priscilla tried to steal them, but Jane managed to hang on to them and flee the scene, raving about crazy people. Elvis decided to follow his love and convince her to give him some more money. He managed to drive her into madness. She ran away to become part of ScumCity, and also a cannibal.

When Elvis had finished his turn and not managed to find any more money from Jane, the shoe-obsessed Priscilla decided to scrounge in the mall dumpsters for food. She managed to find a half-eaten hotdog, some movie popcorn, and part of a doughnut. She ate the doughnut and offered the other two pieces of food for trade. Elvis took her up on it for the hot dot.

Finally it was Spaceman’s turn. In the mind part of the fight with Jane, he had gone all the way down to zero and gained the belief that he knew the way to Agartha. His goal was to get out of New York. He told the others that if they could make it to a cornfield where there were crop circles, they would be picked up by the spaceships and taken to Agartha, the Promised Land. He also declared that the nearest cornfields were in New Jersey. By sheer force of personality and the fact that everyone thought it sounded like fun, the group decided that they would all go to New Jersey via subway.

They attempted to sneak onto the subway. Both Elvis and Clutch made it past the transit cops without any trouble, but Spaceman and Priscilla were spotted.Elvis and Clutch went back to help them and after a fairly short fight, they defeated the transit cop. Elvis stole his badge and gun, Clutch stole his radio, and Priscilla stole one of his shoes. Then they ran to catch the train. I had Clutch roll to see if they were trying to catch the correct train, and it turned out they were going in the opposite direction. Instead of to New Jersey, the train was heading for Harlem.

Elvis soon cleared out the entire train, except for one NYU student, who stayed in his seat reading his text book and listening to his iPod, by waving his newly acquired gun and badge around and announcing that he was the “King at Arms.” Elvis headed for the front of the train and after discussing things with the driver, who told them it wasn’t safe to turn the train around, they headed north towards Connecticut.

It was Priscilla’s turn and she announced that it was three days later. The group had somehow made it to the Corn Palace in North Dakota. We decided that they probably had hopped trains and gathered a large group of hobos along the way, not to mention having kidnapped both the train driver and the NYU kid. They had to be wanted by the FBI.

We went on to Spaceman who decided that actually they were not in the Corn Palace at all, but were really in Bellevue being treated and medicated. Mark aka Clutch suggested that the name of the head psychiatrist was Sanjay Agartha. When scumers go to Agartha they are really getting the mental help they need. Everyone announced who they were originally. The best part was that Elvis was really Elvis. He had developed Turrets and had to leave the stage.

From now on, whenever I run Urchin, the true Agartha is going to be Sanjay Agartha.

3 Responses

  1. I very much hope to catch this game. We played Urchin at last year’s ConQuest NW and it was a blast.

  2. This looks really cool. I’m driving from about 45min. away to Conquest, so it looks like I’ll just have to be late on Sunday morning (or hey, I could sleep in my car, get kicked out by hotel security, and come Sunday frazzled, smelling bad, and in the same clothes. It’ll be like an Urchin LARP).

  3. I am working on a post about the game. It takes a while to write up everything that happened.

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