Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rock and Role the III

Rock & Roll Bands and Plot Points for your Game Mastering Pleasure:

> The Broken Window Streets

RPG Genre – Modern Fantasy

Musical Style and Image – Emo. Rather than adopt the standard black t-shirt, jeans, one-eye-behind-black-locks image, the boys of the Broken Window Streets (tBWSts) decided to go for something a bit more theatrical. They performed their first gig dressed as undertakers– black suits, green plastic apron, & latex gloves. Another show they played in all black western wear. The next gig they showed up on stage in ladies’ funeral-wear complete with black veils. They now have quite a collection of eclectic and depressing costumes. The boys definitely enjoyed the sharp clash between the honest despair of their music and the silly theatricality of their outfits. They’re very proud of the fact that they could still make their audience cry while the bass player’s wearing a dress and the drummer’s in a bolo tie. They’ve earned a steady following throughout much of the state.
Members – Jack Sedgwick on Vocals, Greg Howard on Guitar and Backing Vocals, Will Reed on Drums, and formerly Tim Burgess on Bass and Backing Vocals. Tim has been replaced by Jeff Derek.

Best Known Songs – “Miasma Miami”, “Nothing Left Leaving”

A Dark and Strange Plot Hook – Jack’s made a mistake. He enlisted the aid of a dark supernatural force and now everything’s spiraling out of control.
     Jack got drawn into the emo scene by his life-long friend Tim. Tim had always been a melancholy person and in the local scene actually found some sort of acceptance for who he felt himself to be. Jack was pulled in by the dark allure and interesting girls. When they formed tBWSts, Tim wrote all the songs but was too shy to be the front-man. Jack was naturally extroverted and stepped in to sing. It worked. Jack grew to exult in the power he held over the audience. He loved to watch them break down, loose themselves, and cry. With his own stage presence and Tim’s words, Jack was getting everything he wanted. Trouble was though, Tim got better.
Tim was finally diagnosed with Dysthymia. With therapy and medication, Tim found peace, went back to school, and quit the band. Jack just couldn’t keep ‘em weeping with the same old songs and without Tim’s somber presence.
     Jack made a dark deal. The strange figure didn’t seem to demand much for what Jack was given. In exchange for the power to bring true sadness with his music, Jack and the rest of tBWSts simply had to play at least one show a week. The power proved to be too great. Several of the fans have now attempted suicide in the months after Jack’s deal was struck. The one successful attempt so far was Tim Burgess.
     Jack is wracked with guilt and desperate for the horror to stop. Every week, though, he and the rest of the band are mystically compelled to play in front of an audience. The only way to break the pact is for either Jack or the mysterious figure to die. Hopefully the PCs can come up with some clever solution before someone else dies.

> Sweltering Hellpipes

RPG Genre – Modern Action

Musical Style and Image – Psychobilly/Rockabilly. Rocking quiffs, mohawks, rolled-up jeans, brothel creepers, and even acid-washed overalls, the Hellpipes are exemplars DIY Psychobilly aesthetics. Other than upright bass player Tiny Tina, the Hellpipes are all big, barrel-chested men. She seems out of place in her baby-doll dresses and almost too small to play her instrument, but everybody, in the know, knows that Tina’s started and finished more fights than the other four combined.
Members – “Blistering Barry” Schmidt on Vocals and Keyboard, “Long Johnny” Garret on Rhythm Guitar, “Big Jimmy” Anderson on Lead Guitar, “Tiny Tina” O’Toole on Bass, and “Brick” Benson on Drums.

Best Known Songs – “Nothing New Will Do”, “Brick-Fist Stand”

An Odd Plot Point – Word on the street is there’s a custom auto shop that does all manner of interesting work, discreetly and at low prices. Armor plating, hidden weapons, hidden compartments, run flat tires, rotating license plates, and just about any other type of modification can be had at this shop, at less expense and with less risk of extortion than at the local mob-run outfits.
     Ted Travers, local drug dealer at odds with the mob, now cruises around in an unassuming yet bullet-proof ’88 blazer. Kyle Barns has a custom, jet-black ’52 Chevy Pickup complete with a hidden, refrigerated compartment in each fender for his smuggling operation. The only common link between these two men? They are both fans of the Sweltering Hellpipes.
     Tiny Tina, Brick, and Long Johnny all run a small custom auto shop, Hellstreet Kustoms. Johnny may have snapped under the pressure of his course-load and never finished his degree, but he still has a knack for engineering. The three of them are able to custom machine and build anything their purchaser’s desire, but only if they approve of what’s being done with the product. They’ll do a custom spoiler or paint-job for anybody paying, but for the illegal and/or dangerous stuff, they’ve got to know the buyer’s a good guy.
     Ted the drug dealer has a conscience. He only sells weed and ‘shrooms, hates the hard stuff (and anybody who pushes it), and won’t sell anything to kids. He actually IDs the people he sells to. Plus he’s at odds with local mob because he refuses to work for them. That makes him ok in Tina, Brick, and Johnny’s book.
And the smuggler Kyle’s product is unpasteurized, unaged French cheeses. Illegal in the states, he sells the stuff to foodies and a few high-end restaurants. Plus he keeps Tina in her Camembert.
Hellstreet Kustoms has come under attack for its association with Ted Travers and its foray into the mob’s territory of illegal auto modifications. Tina’s even put one of the mafia’s bruisers in the hospital, but they can’t hold them off forever. With all the new pressure, Hellstreet’s proprietors are extremely wary of anyone new asking about their more clandestine services.
If the PC’s can win their trust, they can do any sort of custom auto work quickly and discretely.

For more rock and roleplaying miscellany, check out my previous articles here and over there