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[Hell for Leather] Terrorise Kuala Lumpur? - ADULTS ONLY

Started by Sebastian K. Hickey, December 04, 2009, 12:18:41 AM

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Sebastian K. Hickey


Two weeks ago we managed to play a complete session of Hell for Leather, with all the rules intact, so I thought I?d post about it here.

There were five of us, so we positioned ourselves in two teams, Team ?Vagabond? and Team ?Magnum?. On the first team there was Cletus Jangles, the tyrannous redneck mechanic (Eoin) and Taylor Tyrone, the cowardly male nurse (Me). The second team included Janey Swanson, the deceitful environmentalist (Susan), Nicole Marx, the spineless housekeeper (Daniel) and James Kaneda, the brutal hacktivist (Joe).

I suggested that the Objective be set on ?the rooftop of the Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur? and everyone agreed (this is where our teams ended up for the bloody finale). Team Vagabond started in Tokyo, while Team Magnum started in Addis Ababa. We then went through the Checkpoints, and it worked out like this?

Team Vagabond Checkpoints
1) Wreck a bullet train
2) Burn down a Shinto temple
2) Kidnap the chief of security for the Petronas Towers

Team Magnum Checkpoints
1) Assassinate Mugabe
2) Steal a wmd from Bangkok
3) Terrorise Kuala Lumpur

Ouch. From the outset, we knew this was going to be brutal?

[In HfL the narrative switches between teams, and the Adversary role switches in tandem, so during the game there are lots of cliffhangers. I?m not going to present the AP in that form or it?d get confusing. Each team will have it?s own tale told?]

Team Vagabond

The game started badly for Team Vagabond. Immediately Eoin knocked over the Heat stack, toppling dice over the table and scoring us a result of ?Hunters?. Shit! The Adversary (everyone on Team Magnum) described how SWAT rained in off helicopters from above. Before we?d even got to try and wreck a bullet train we were already under heavy fire.

I took a 3 Star Felony, rolled loads of dice and scored a massive success. When you commit a Felony you need to narrate some murder, especially a 3 Star Felony. It was bloody. A lot of good men died that day.

We then struggled with clumsy roll after clumsy roll, took a few Traumas, and got some interesting Flashbacks. We saw a flashback of Cletus as a young boy getting beaten by his dad for ?spending all his time with his nose buried in books,? and got a glimpse of Taylor off his face on scag, getting a delivery of his wife?s fingers cus he?d ratted out the mob.

It was a catastrophic failure, we barely managed to complete our first Checkpoint, and had to commit Felony after Felony just so we could stay in the game. Basically it was a blast. Shallow, gruesome, amusing creativity.

As for Team Magnum...

Team Magnum started off slow. Susan messed up a roll in trying to get to the airport, and scored a Complication, so we (me and Eoin) had to come up with an interesting challenge. The Taxi Man told the team "Shortcut," and tried to deliver them to a local gang to be robbed. There was brutality, hijacking and so on, and the team made it to Mugabe's residence in Zimbabwe. Suffice is to say, Mugabe was no longer the "head" of state at the end of that meeting (Bwa ha!).

They'd achieved their first Checkpoint.

Despite all our egging on and taunts, Team Magnum were able to complete the remainder of their Checkpoints quickly. They stole some weaponised anthrax from Bangkok (?), went on TV in Malaysia and held Kuala Lumpur for ransom. They demanded to be taken to the rooftop of the Petronas Towers. Objective achieved.

It was a straight fight out in the finale, three against two, and we were terribly wounded. Myself and Eoin had to throw Shotguns (that's when you use your Off-Hand to bowl the dice and you bowl two dice at the same time: very, very clumsy).

No need to get into the details. Suffice is to say, Team Vagabond were taken care of efficiently. All of Team Magnum survived, and we cut to the Epilogue.


Myself and Eoin could have used our Victory Points more cleverly, maybe to buy some more co-operation or to hinder the weaker players on the other team. Instead, we committed shit loads of Felonies, thereby increasing the risk when we eventually scored a Fail. It quickly escalated into Traumas then, and once we ran out of Felonies we were screwed.

Although I originally intended Hell for Leather as a dark, broody query into the traumas of criminal fiction, I made the opposite. A gut bursting, skull popping spectacle, to be enjoyed with beer and crisps.

As I mentioned on the Collective Endeavour,

QuoteMy playtesters enjoy it, even though I feel like I've somehow bent myself over and given myself one from behind. I suppose it's like the moment when a scriptwriter watches his tender adolescent love scene turned into a violent, mega lesbian fuck fest. It's not what you planned on, but by god it's entertaining.

All the best,