Session 0 Violence

I find Violence exciting

I've shared Violence with all my online friends, and they love it.
(Some already knew it [and love it]).

In mid-2023, when enough of us were available to meet over Discord at the same time, we would test-play each other's settings for Violence, usually once (sometimes twice) a week. 

Now, in 2024

I invited four friends over, gave them RPG Preference sheets to fill out (available as a public post on Skullboy's Patreon [check out their other public posts while you're there, consider subscribing]), and had them create characters for Violence (rules-lite TTRPG by Luke Gearing [available on his blog, itch, or purchase a physical copy from Spear Witch]. All proceeds from this project go to Ukraine refugee aid. Fuck war).

Using Violence's Modern Paranormal Horror & Investigation Toolkit, each of my friends used random tables to create their own federal agent (I allowed them to choose their starting skills if they wanted, but they decided to roll for them randomly), and (in case someone died, or a federal agent NPC was needed [it's all about who you know]) I created two more agents, (in secret). Players who gained the Language skill were allowed to pick a language now or wait, allowing them to pick one as they arose in play. (Generally, players learn new skills after each session or choose to replace one if they have reached their max).

player 1 - Stupid Face Tony

National Reconnaissance Officer, skilled in Botany, Melee Weapons, Survival, and Zoology. Age: Mature(31-60). No spouse; two kids.

player 2 - Alphonse Moody

Age: 65
Federal Agency: National Reconnaissance Office
Proficiencies: Forgery, Geology, Jump, Astronomy, Locksmith, Law, Shooting
Family: Carena Moody (Spouse)
Everyday Carry: [undecided]

player 3 - Mark Orlfan

Department of Energy, law, zoologoy, mech repair, navigation, carpentry, botany, surgery, deceased spouse (Regina), $300, Magnum pistol, pepper spray, retractable bo staff. 70 years of age.

player 4 - Hank Ewin

29-year-old special agent in the CDC. Carries a snub nose.38, but also keeps a briefcase with mobile labs on hand for checking out biological samples. Divorced with 2 kids. He gets custody every other weekend but often forgets which weekend it is he's supposed to have the kids. Was it last week I saw them? Maybe it's supposed to be this weekend. 

As everyone created characters around my coffee table, I searched YouTube for "emo mixtape." Then, I sorted the videos by upload date and double-clicked on the bleakest title from the last 48 hours (that I hadn't already listened to). 

~40 minutes later, two of my players struggled to build their character's "everyday carry." [Both worked as National Reconnaissance Officers (which design, build, launch, and operate the reconnaissance satellites of the [redacted and provide satellite intelligence to [redacted], particularly [redacted] to the [redacted]imagery intelligence (IMINT) to the [redacted], and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) to the [redacted].)]

The bleakest title ("emo mixtape") stopped playing; the lyrics of the third song on the mixtape remained in the brain. I never heard the song before. They had what sounded like synthesizers, multiple female singers, lyrics such as "I'm not a punching bag, I'm not target practice," then deeper, "I'm not your friend."

I started The bleakest title ("emo mixtape") over again.

Everyone was eating chips then.

I started to comb over "the unannounced campaign books" (TERROR OF THE STRATOSFIEND CYCLE OF THE SNAKE-WOLF, TERROR OF THE STRATOSFIEND CYCLE OF THE SNAKE-WOLF 2 RETURN TO THE SHATTERED WOODS). I let my hair down and felt relaxed and colder. 

"Snake-Wolf" stayed havin' me thinking about "Beastmasters." 

Players requested gear lists.

I suggested a package to bring the whole team together.

I made a list of items a federal agent may carry every day (using some examples from snake wolf 2 & 3, [modded lock pick guns], (the usual shit))

I wrote a lot of encounters in my calendar for the game.

We watched a film by Takashi Miike together (Agitator), ate Mexican food, and called it a night for now.