Because of how much information I have lost, and because of story problems that had arisen during the creation of AYCOoB originally, I have decided to scrap the whole project and start anew. Keeping very little in line with the original content (with the exception of gangs that already exist and general story/world designs), I am taking you all through the journey of this saga, whether you like it or not… One problem that was brought up to me recently (and during play testing) was “Why should the group get together?” Which is a very valid question in all gaming situations? Why should this group of individuals stick together, and why shouldn’t they just hunker down somewhere and sit everything out? And while that is ultimately up for the players to decide, AYCOoB offers up a few suggestions. The following bolder portions of text will be excerpts from the book once it is complete.
“And you climb out of bed… is the story of the real world transforming into a dystopian model of fiction seemingly overnight. It is the goal of those living in this world just to survive from day to day, however those with higher aspirations may seek out ways of bringing the ‘old world’ back or even overthrowing all the powers of the world.”
This game is a survival game; it should not be taken as anything else. And maybe I didn’t make that clear the first time through, but that is what it is at its very core; Survival. Luz and ErinLovesTheWeb both understand this system and world as intimately as I do, however I realized very few other people did.
“At one time, this was the site of your favorite little diner, a place to hang out and get some coffee. It was the type of place where everybody knew everybody else’s name, and yet was a place where you could be left alone to do your work. Maybe it was the type of diner where you could work all hours of the night, cramming for that final you have in just a few hours. Perhaps it was the type of diner you could go and get a decent sized meal for 5 dollars, a place where half the bench seats where broken or held together by tape. This wasn’t one of those fancy coffee shops; no this was the type of place that served coffee, maybe even by the hovel. Now though, it is little more than a dilapidated building, maybe it houses the homeless. Maybe.
From the looks of it, it would appear that no business person has stepped foot in this area for years. And yet, weren’t you here just a few days with a few friends after a night at the bar? It seemed perfectly fine just then, and even though you were drunk, you couldn’t have possible been that drunk.
Looking around, apparently for the first time in ages, you notice that most of the buildings in this area are in the same state of disrepair, all the vehicles that are normally parked along the sides of the streets are now pushed together to form a rudimentary wall around the only remaining standing building. Buses, cars, trucks, police vehicles, and what appears to part of a helicopter all precariously stacked to form a single unbroken structure.
As you step back to take everything in, you realize you can faintly hear a chain rattling, the semi- steady thwunck of some wooden object striking a concrete surface, and foot steps… Then everything becomes a haze.”
In the original game setting, the world around the players constantly changed, it grew deadlier as the days progressed, with no control over the changes as the occurred, and as such everyday was a complete surprise to the GM as well as the players. Now, serious changes have been slowed down dramatically, now only occurring when the GM wants them to. This game should be focused on the players and not what the GM throws their way, instead of dice rolls controlling the game, the paths the players choose control the outcome.
“Sarah was screaming again, Brian was convinced that was all she could do. Scream, scream, and scream some more, then when her voice would go out, she would begin throwing shit, mostly his shit.
‘It doesn’t work! My fucking phone, your fucking phone, the piece of shit microwave, the goddamned refrigerator, the T-fucking-V. None of it fucking works, did you forget to send in the fucking bills again?’
Trying to remain calm, the best he could anymore, ‘Of course I did. I pay them all the same way every month. See here’s the receipt.’ Trying to hand her a piece of paper ‘Now, please just shut the fuck up before the neighbors call the fucking cops again!’
As Sarah throws a can of warm stale soda at Brian’s head, she screams ‘Fuck you!’ and walks out the door, slamming the door on its hinges so hard, the door frame cracks and breaks a little more.
‘One of these days, I swear to God, I am going to let the cops take you to prison you crazy bitch…’ He says to no one, and actually laughs a little in the process. Reaching the soda, he opens it, takes a large swig, and then relaxes. It is going to be a long night.
After a while, Brian begins to doze on the couch, Sarah creeps back in the house, and gently wakes him. ‘Sorry for yelling earlier, it is apparently some kind of city-wide power outage, nothing is open, and as far as I can tell nothing is working…’ She sits next to him on the couch and lays her head on his leg. ‘I really am sorry.’
Brian, pushing her head off of him, stands up, stretches and retreats to the bedroom.”
Sometimes it is impossible to understand the decisions players will make given a certain situation, and the newer version of AYCOoB will attempt to be adaptive to players, allowing them to make their own decisions, while avoiding railroading them.
“You hear what sounds like a small thunder-crack quite some distance away, as your knee explodes backwards, there is a blinding, searing pain running through your body. You are suddenly very warm, despite the chilly night air.
The next thing you know, you are sitting in a hospital bed with your knee bandaged, you are surrounded by a small task force of men wearing black suits, carrying everything from baseball bats to vicious looking guns. Sitting at the foot of the bed is a man and women, possibly brother and sister, who despite the general filth of the world are wearing pristine white suits. It is the man who speaks first.
‘Who are you? Why are you here?’ You can easily state your name, but you have no clue how you get here, and even where here is. The woman seeming to approve stands up walks over to the man nearest you, and places her hand on his shoulder. After a moment of indistinguishable whispering, she takes hold of his bat, and weighs it, shifting it from hand to hand.
Suddenly, with a speed you would have though impossible, she takes the club into both hands and brings it down on your shattered knee cap. Everything goes white-hot for you, and you can hear someone screaming. Your throat feels as though you swallowed a red-hot poker.
When your vision clears and you are no longer screaming in agony, you realize the woman has been covered in blood and your leg which was bound up is now soaked and dripping.
‘My dear friend, what my little sister is trying to say is this:’ he pauses and takes a deep breath before continuing ‘You’re lying…’”
The original AYCOoB world was a scary fucking place, no doubt about that, however it wasn’t the worst. Now, the world is a darker, scarier place. With new gangs emerging from the woodwork you have to be more careful than ever. The original nine gangs still exist, however with the remastering (if you will) of AYCOoB, more groups to fear will come into existence. However, now the players also have to be fearful of other roaming persons, who to put it simply want your stuff.