Sunday, March 12, 2017

Playtest Report: Get Ready 2 Rock in the frozen north

I had a great session of Get Ready 2 Rock today at Breakout Con in Toronto. (Also a new logo, courtesy of Cynthia Lee.) The players were Sleeping Ginger, a Gwar-esque rock band from far northern Canada. Members of the band were Ricky J-Shot (The Cute One, bass), Sir Clemens (The Moody One, drums), Drax Smith (The Ringer, keytar), Widowmaker (The New One, pan flute), and Ed (The Forgettable One, cowbell).

The band was traveling by dogsled to a big music festival in Fairbanks, Alaska. They stopped for the night at a Canada's Greatest Motel location in the remote not-even-a-village of McConnell's Crossing. The whole band had to share a single room because the rest of the motel had been reserved by their rivals, Blond Riot, who soon arrived in their reindeer-drawn sleigh.

Blond Riot is only "pretty good," though that makes them better and more popular than Sleeping Ginger. Ed overheard Blond Riot's roadies grousing about how the band acquired fancy $8000 amps, but isn't good enough to hear the difference between that and lower-quality $4000 amps. Sleeping Ginger hatched a plot to trade the roadies their lower-quality amps plus $4000 to get the better amps from Blond Riot. But first they needed to get the money, since between them they only had $200.

Ricky used his charm to convince Marlene, the receptionist at the motel, to call corporate HQ and make a deal that Sleeping Ginger would write a version of one of its songs that was about the motel chain and play it on stage, in exchange for $3800. Meanwhile, Drax and Sir Clemens called a mysterious phone number they found written in the hotel attractions guide to arrange a drug deal with "Randy," who wanted to meet them at the old dock on Black Lake. Though Sir Clemens' drug habit breaks the heart of his father (and the band's manager) Cecil, the two set off into the dark woods to meet Randy. After performing a wild rock'n'roll stunt that left Drax up to his waist in cold water, Randy agreed to sell them $1000 worth of Extasy for only $100. On their way back to the motel, the band members ran into a couple members of Blond Riot, who were also aiming to score some drugs from Randy. Randy -- who had sold his entire stash to Drax and Sir Clemens -- used his satellite phone to call the police. Luckily the members of Sleeping Ginger were able to hide their drugs in a hollow tree, and the police didn't find anything on them. The members of Blond Riot and Randy hitched a ride back to town with the police. When Drax and Sir Clemens got back, they broke the door handle on one of the Blond Riot rooms, to delay them in the morning.

The next morning, Sleeping Ginger headed out on the road. Around midday, they reached the border checkpoint. Fearing that they would be caught bringing drugs into the USA, the band exploited their celebrity to get Charles the border guard -- a huge Sleeping Ginger fan -- to just wave them on through. That night, Sleeping Ginger had to camp at a National Forest since there were no motels in this remote area of Alaska. And wouldn't you know it, Blond Riot arrived at the same campground hours later. Since the members of Blond Riot were clearly frazzled from their day's adventures, they were willing to buy the extasy for $1500. While Blond Riot lay in their tent getting high, Sleeping Ginger decided to prank them by building a bunch of threatening snowmen around their tent.

The next day the band arrived in Fairbanks. After checking in at the festival HQ, Ricky and Widowmaker headed to a local coffee shop to meet Heather, the head of advertising and PR for Canada's Greatest Motels. While waiting for Heather, they were met by Charles. He told them that he had been fired from his job as a border guard for letting them through without checking their passports or inspecting their vehicle. Border Patrol was now on the hunt for Sleeping Ginger. Moreover, the Forest Service was also after them, because to make their snowmen they had pulled branches off of an endangered tree.

Meanwhile, Drax and Sir Clemens decided to try to sabotage their amps, so that when they traded them to Blond Riot, they would sound bad. However, they mostly succeeded in breaking the amps and electrocuting themselves. They took the amps to a local repair shop, and paid a premium to get them repaired quickly. Then they made their deal with the roadies for Blond Riot, swapping amps along with $4000.

Charles helped the band get in touch with his former supervisor, Officer Ramirez. She didn't buy the band's excuse that, coming from a remote part of Canada, they didn't know that you had to show your passport to enter the US. However, she told them that if they played a song about the importance of conserving endangered species, the Forest Service might both forgive their damage to the tree, and sponsor their application for a visa so that they could be in the country legally*.

The next day, Sleeping Ginger had their big show. Not only did they perform a brilliant song for the Forest Service, they also held up their end of the bargain with Canada's Greatest Motels, and won over a bunch of Blond Riot fans.

*Yes, I know this is not how US immigration law works.