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STILL VAGRANTS Version 1.0.2

A story-driven, board-based D20 Campaign in Two Acts

Created by: Harald A. Hagen


Still Vagrants

Table of Contents Overview ................................................................................................................................................ 3 The Laws ................................................................................................................................................ 4 Establish the Setting ................................................................................................................. 4 Understand their Vernacular ................................................................................................... 4 Begin the Vagrants’ Tale ........................................................................................................... 5 Continue the Vagrants’ Tale ..................................................................................................... 5 Know the Options..................................................................................................................... 6 End the Vagrants’ Tale.............................................................................................................. 7 The Narrative ......................................................................................................................................... 8 PROLOGUE .............................................................................................................................. 8 THE CAST OF CHARACTERS.................................................................................................. 9 SETTING ..................................................................................................................................10 INCITING INCIDENT .............................................................................................................. 11 THE FIRST ACT ....................................................................................................................... 13 THE FINAL ACT ...................................................................................................................... 14 ENDINGS ................................................................................................................................. 17 Appendix A: Character Sheets ............................................................................................................ 22 Appendix B: Setting Pieces ................................................................................................................. 30 Appendix C: Narrator’s Charts ............................................................................................................ 35 Character Data ........................................................................................................................ 36 Goal & Ending Data ................................................................................................................ 36 Actions Data............................................................................................................................ 37 Difficulty Data ......................................................................................................................... 37

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STILL VAGRANTS Version 1.0.2

“A game about pathetic nobility and the struggle between memories and dreams”

Overview “Still Vagrants” follows the stories of a group of homeless people navigating an urban jungle and living impoverished lives on its streets. 3-7 players select a character from the roster, while another takes on the mantle of Narrator, who is in charge of guiding the progress of the game’s story (for a total of up to 8 players). The players rely on their Fated Die to make ends meet—or at least, come as close to it as possible. Players have a choice of actions to take and locations to visit, both of which influences their ultimate destinies, all in an effort to face their past, bury the crushing guilt of their conscience, and fulfill a secret dream which could change everything.

The pre-written content for this game is plentiful, but there is still creativity needed from its players. The day-to-day activities of the characters, the Dream Fair confessions, and the endings are just some of the areas in which players may craft their own stories. The Narrator is the presence that watches the vagrants, and who is charged with keeping things in order. While he or she is the one driving the ferry, the decisions of the players are what alter the course of the flowing river.

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There are two parts to this game that go hand-in-hand: the Laws and the Narrative. While the Laws outline the specific terms and constraints of the game and the explanation of how to play, it is the Narrative that informs the players of what is happening in the world of the vagrants. A fledgling Narrator will need both of these documents handy at all times.

The Laws ESTABLISH THE SETTING To begin playing the game, spread out the Setting pieces in any configuration on a table or other flat surface. This is the city in which the characters dwell. The players are seated around the city, and the Narrator then introduces them to the characters of the game and subsequently asks them to choose whom they want to play. First called, first served. Players place their character tokens based on the starting point of their character (indicated on the character sheet, which is handed out by the Narrator when the player has chosen).

UNDERSTAND THEIR VERNACULAR  A Day represents 3 Rounds, each being a block of time: Morning, Afternoon, and Night.  One Turn per Round is given to each player (a total of three for each Day).  The Dream Fair is a special round in between Days where players can do one of two things: 

Pick a number from their Memory Grid (see Character Sheet) other than their own Memory Triggers, and share an impromptu memory

Avoid picking a number to not activate the Memory Triggers of other players, and incur a Karma Roll penalty

 A Memory Trigger is a specific cue that unlocks a piece of a character’s past (i.e. the highlighted numbers; see Memory Grid on the Character Sheet) 

Active Memory Triggers impact a character’s ability to achieve an ending (see below)

 A Fated Die is assigned to each character, and players use only this die for rolls.  Difficulty is the number which players must roll above to gain money from an action. 

The player is allowed multiple rolls; the number of rolls is the Roll Count. (Max: 3)

The Sum of all the numbers rolled is what is compared against the Difficulty.

The player may decide to stop rolling if success/fail is still undetermined.

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 Conscience reflects the Guilt weighing down on the heart of a character. 

Characters suffer Guilt to their Conscience when they fail an action.

 There are different kinds of rolls: 

Action Roll: Determines if the player succeeds or fails at an action.

Money Roll: Determines how much money is gained after a successful action.

Karma Roll: Determines how much guilt is added to the character’s Conscience.

Victory Roll: Specific roll conditions a player must fulfill to win.

 The player’s Action Roll determines the Roll Count, while the Money and Karma Rolls must match the Roll Count. (i.e. if it takes 2 rolls to surpass the Difficulty, the player rolls 2 times for the Money Roll and 2 times again for the Karma Roll)

BEGIN THE VAGRANTS’ TALE 1.

Narrator goes through the Prologue.

2. Narrator introduces the characters and allow players to choose from them. 3. Narrator goes through the Inciting Incident. 4. Players return to Camp, and the game’s normal Rounds begin.

CONTINUE THE VAGRANTS’ TALE 5. At the start of a Round, all players say where they want to go and move their tokens. 6. Each player takes their Turn by stating their intended Action, and performing an Action Roll. a. The player can roll up to 3 times, each roll adding to their Roll Count. b. Players compare the Sum against the Difficulty, adding Talent bonus if applicable. 7. The player successfully completes an action when the Sum exceeds the Difficulty. a. If the Roll Count reaches the Maximum (3) before this, the player fails the action. b. Cancelling an action is possible as long as both of these are true: i. The Roll Count hasn’t reached the Maximum. ii. The Sum of the rolls hasn’t exceeded the Difficulty. c. Cancelling an action means forfeiting the Turn (no Money or Karma Rolls). 8. If the player succeeds, they do a Money Roll by rolling as many times as their Roll Count. a. The Sum is taken to be the Money earned, and there is no Karma Roll. 9. If the player fails, they do a Karma Roll by rolling as many times as their Roll Count. a. The Sum is taken to be the Guilt added to the player character’s Conscience.

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i. If the Conscience ever reaches the Maximum, the character commits suicide. 10. If other players still have a Turn during the Round, return to step 6. 11. Once all players have taken their Turn for the Round, a new Round begins. Return to step 5. 12. The Night Round is a special Round players can use to either: a. Do an action and expend stamina (STA -1), or b. Rest early (move token back to Camp) and regain stamina (STA +2) i. If a character’s stamina ever reaches 0, they die. The highest roll between the other players determines who finds the body and lays claim to their money. 13. When the Night Round ends, all players move their tokens back to Camp. 14. Players enter the Dream Fair (see above terms), where they can share a random Memory with the group. The players mark this number off their grids. a. If the number corresponds to another player’s Memory Trigger, they face a fragment of their Past. i. When this happens, the Narrator must make up some small fragment of that character’s past, vague enough to have many interpretations, but concrete enough to ground such interpretations to the character’s goal and endings. b. Opting not to share a Memory enforces a Karma Roll penalty. 15. After the Dream Fair ends, the characters fall asleep and bring in a new Day (three new Rounds). Return to step 5.

KNOW THE OPTIONS  During a player’s Turn, several actions are available. Among these are the Standard Actions: 

Beg: An outstretched hand to passersby; an easy act with little reward.

Pickpocket: Sleight of hand on a person walking; risky and difficult.

Help Out: Assist others willing to tip; a safe act with little reward.

Entertain: Simple tricks to mask an outstretched hand; tricky but decent reward.

Allure: The art of seduction and easy companionship; few clients, but good rewards.

Intimidate: Scare the weak-hearted to give some money; difficult but great rewards.

Prospect: Rummage through trash to find junk to sell; safe and reasonable rewards.

 In addition to these, there are Special Actions: 

Rest: Passes the Turn without reward (Money Roll) or penalty (Karma Roll).  If it is a Night Turn, it rejuvenates a character and restores Stamina by 2.

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Visit Innocence: Find out how the little girl is doing. 50% chance of a Money Roll.  Player must perform a special Action Roll, where the Difficulty is half the maximum value you can roll with the character’s Fated Die.  Only can be done in the First Act.

Curtain Call: End the game with an Ending from the winning player’s character.  Player must have fulfilled all winning conditions (outlined below).  Player must state which Ending they want to go for and complete the appropriate special Action Roll.  Only can be done in the Final Act.

 Other Impromptu Actions are possible at the player and Narrator’s discretion. 

If a new Action is proposed, the rules for it must be established and agreed upon by everyone playing. It is a wise practice to figure out custom actions before beginning play.

END THE VAGRANTS’ TALE 1.

The first requirement is that it is the Final Act in the game. The First Act is ended by one of the players approaching the amount of money they need for their Goal.

2. Each character has an inherent goal with an amount of Money assigned to it. To win the game, the player must collect the Money necessary to achieve the goal. a. Once the goal is reached, the game hasn’t ended yet! b. The player must then select their Ending and work to realize it. 3. To get an Ending, the player must state the Ending they want to go with and then perform a special Action Roll with 50/50 odds corresponding with the appropriate Ending. a. The Bad Ending is unlocked in the beginning when the character meets Innocence. b. The Good Ending is unlocked when the character has all Memory Triggers crossed. c. The conditions of success for each Ending: i. The Bad Ending needs a roll in the bottom half of the die’s values. ii. The Good Ending needs a roll in the top half of the die’s values. d. The special Action Roll for an Ending takes a whole Day.

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This concludes the step-by-step to playing the game. Once players grow accustomed to the flow of the game, the Narrator can set aside the Laws and focus on the Narrative, which is the next section.

The Narrative PROLOGUE “Still Vagrants” follows the stories of homeless people navigating an urban jungle and living impoverished lives on the streets of a massive metropolis decorated with glass-and-steel skyscrapers, twisting with exhaust fumes, and – most of all – saturated with other anonymous people. Though there is little food to go around in a society of dying charity, barely enough warmth to keep the cold of night at bay, and no possessions to speak of, everybody has a past haunting them. Each day, the path forward unveils their back stories, the deeds that haunt them and the people with whom they have a history. They desperately try to erase the memories, all the while knowing that clearing the conscience and facing their lives will make them stronger and better people for it. But it’s just too hard. They don’t even dream anymore. The setting is the capital of a developing Southeast Asian nation, where the violent and uneven growth of industry spares the remnants of shanty towns and makeshift stores selling cell phone refill cards, chicken fried rice, and t-shirts of yesterday’s pop idols. The lumbering buses that spew charcoal mist and the silent sedans tinted into obscurity—they are the brush strokes that blur and blend yet make it all so clear: everything costs money. And no matter who you are or what you want, money is what you need—even if only for one bowl of rice a day. When the lights go down and the citizens all sleep, the vagrants (it is said) congregate in empty lots where the grass still grows or under bridges where the river is filled with candy wrappers and plastic bags. Here the homeless can build, but it is not a construction; it is a beacon of heat, light, and maybe something else. Crickets and a crackling fire lull the vagabonds to sleep until the next day, where all their troubles and hardships wake with them. Less than whispers in each of their hearts are the words recited: “Maybe… Today will be a better day.” The street folk come in all sizes and flavors, some with talents in one area and others whose talents should be kept as far away from children as possible. But the Conscience is the great leveler of things, the only constant. When there is nothing else to do and nowhere else to go, the ways to make money are paid and paved with guilt. If one day they could ever leave that 8


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filthy life, it’s the Conscience that’ll have to be cleaned then. Everyone has a noble voice that dreams of altruistic aspirations, to help others while you make your way; so too does everyone have a darker voice that says your heart’s deepest selfish desires, cutting anyone as long as they get what they want. But one’s measure isn’t the voices they hear, but the voices they listen to. Players choose their characters.

THE CAST OF CHARACTERS Beggar Boy: A young child alone on the streets who wants nothing more than a bus ticket to leave. He spends his days at the Intersection, and has worn the same clothes for several months; he showers when the river isn’t too dirty. When the light shines red, he stretches his hand up to the tinted windows of immaculate cars. Sometimes the window comes down. He has a heart of light, but these trying days drain it of its luster. Street Kid: A young teenager fed-up with his pathetic street life, he takes his frustration out on others through bullying the younger children and pick pocketing regular people. He blends in well, perfecting his trade in crowded places like the Market. Being so crafty with his hands, his dream is to come in possession of a sharp shiny knife. Wallflower: Sixteen years old, equipped with an inquisitive mind, and a taste for music, she has spent most of her life homeless, and all of her life in poverty. She prefers to help out at the Market by loading up the vegetable stands or helping with carrying groceries. When she is given a tip, she feigns ‘no’ before accepting it. A concert for a local band is coming up; she marks off the days on a calendar written in chalk, even though she can’t yet afford a ticket. Monkey Maestro: A young man with a pet long-tailed monkey, trained to do simple tricks, sits on the side of the road while his brand of ‘entertainment’ rakes in spare change from passersby, walking or driving. He meets his girlfriend once a week; so it’s been since they first met 4 years ago. They are both vagrants, but she has taught him how to read a little. He loves her deeply and has his eyes set on the cheapest ring he can get at a fake jewelry store. Lady Nightlove: Painfully trapped in the middle of her 30’s, she entertains middle-class men miserable in their marriages. Outwardly she acts content with her line of work, though she never brings it up. The scar on her body she hides tells the most about her past; her worn purse (a knockoff) carries a generic pad of make-up and lipstick, both half used. She wants to retire. The Lunatic: A mad old man known to everyone and said to have been walking the streets for decades, his origins are lost even to him. Highly erratic, no one understands what he’s

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working toward. All that’s known is that he seeks a dozen bottles of liquor. The greatest optimists speak quietly behind his back: ‘what awful thing was it that has broken him?’ The Scavenger: Dragging a big old wooden cart wherever he goes, this elderly man considers himself a humble prospector, rummaging through garbage for trash that can be sold for coins. Only the rusty ‘gold’ ring wrapped around his finger draws sadness to his face, otherwise always smiling with squinted eyes. He secretly gathers money to buy construction wood. What he wants to build is anyone’s guess. Old Granny (NPC): Owner of a Roadside Stall and the kindest heart the vagrants know, she always wishes she could help out as much as she wanted to. But she hasn’t the money or resources. All she can do, aside from the occasional free meal, is pray for them to find their way. The Carpenter (NPC): Owner of a small Wood Shop he also lives in, he puts as much distance as he can from his former life as a vagrant—and from people still living that life. The only thing he does for the others is let them take leftover wood chips from his trash to use for the campfire. Otherwise, he stays away.

SETTING Intersection A busy intersection at a nexus point in the city, where many cars pass through until the three-eyed lights say ‘Stop’ and put a halt to the busy movements of businessmen. Pedestrians of any sort are rare aside from the few other homeless folks, and the roads stay fairly clean.

Market Fruits, vegetables, meat—everything you can eat is sold at this busy market that for some reason is full all day. Chatty housewives mostly line the stalls and cramp up the walkways, and where there is shopping there are purses, pocketbooks, and wallets. A lot of them end up shopping too much, often needing help carrying their things.

Quiet Back road A street far less busy than a main road, there’s less to worry about here. A few people walk by now and then, and they tend to be alone. The few small houses in the area always stay closed up and locked away, as if the world wasn’t their business. There are trees and bushes on one side, with much shade.

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Housing Complex A large complex of mid- to high-class houses, with beautiful roads where no one ever walks, is the ideal place for rummaging through trash. A neat little dump site made of cement sits at the front of each house, and the truck only passes by at high noon. Somehow though they’re never short on garbage.

Roadside Stall Owned by Old Granny, it’s a small wooden stall anchored in the dirt on the side of a fairly quiet road. All kinds of snacks, drinks, and even some rice balls are available for purchase. Typically the stall isn’t empty, often visited by blokes having a glass—not a cup—of coffee.

Wood Shop A small establishment right up against the side of a public road, taking in carpentry jobs of all kinds. The doors stay closed unless a fancy car—or at least a fancy suit—approaches them. At the end of the day, whatever pieces of wood are on his floor get swept outside. Whoever takes them is none of the owner’s concern.

INCITING INCIDENT The lot of you sits around a campfire in the usual empty lot on a particularly cold night in the city. Dark is all around except for the traffic lights blinking in the distance and, of course, the warm crackling fire in front of you: a circle of strangers, homeless folk, all sharing warmth and being coldly silent to each other. And then a car screech rips through the air, and the shriek of a little girl trails behind it. Which of you want to go investigate? [If at least one player goes…] An ad-hoc search party is formed, and the team ventures out to the direction of the commotion. As you approach the Intersection, a pair of brake lights—as if two red, grief-stricken eyes—speeds away into the night and disappears. A little girl lays on the ground upright. She is conscious. She sees you approach, but before you can say a word to her, she passes out. The group gently lifts her and takes her back to the Camp. [If none of the players go…]

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The others form an ad-hoc search party and venture off to the direction of the sound, while you all stay behind. After some time, they return carrying a little girl.

A strange sensation comes over all of you. The face of this girl is so familiar, and yet you can’t place it. You’ve tried so hard to submerge your past into the darkest depths of your mind, and the memories won’t easily re-emerge. But you know this girl—no more than 10 years old—is important, and you know her name is Innocence. Innocence is barely stirring. One of the others suggests they take her to Old Granny, a very old woman who owns the Roadside Stall down the street. It’s not too late at night; she may still be there. The stall has some food, water, and more warmth than the outdoors has to offer. Another contradicts, and suggests against their better knowledge that they take her to the Carpenter, the stingy owner of the Wood Shop in the other direction. He has an actual home (humble as it is living in the Wood Shop) and electricity. Even though he maintains a distance from the homeless, only helping out by letting them have his leftover wood chips and pieces to use for the campfire (and reluctantly at that), he might be able to do more for the girl. Where do you take Innocence? [If taken to the Carpenter…] A group of you carries Innocence to the doorstep of the Carpenter. You knock once, but it goes unanswered. You knock again; still nothing. As you are about to leave, the rustling inside stops you. The door opens to a sleepy and rather upset-looking man. He takes one look at the girl and knows trouble is heading his way. Play as the Carpenter while the players convince him to take Innocence. The Carpenter finally gives in and takes Innocence into his home. Once she’s settled, he immediately kicks everyone out and shuts the door. The group returns to Camp. [If taken to Old Granny…] Luckily, Old Granny was still at her stall. Since there are no customers around, she’s sitting on the old wooden bench on the opposite side of the counter, and sighs, lost in thought. Play as the Carpenter while the players convince her to take Innocence. Old Granny does what little she can and takes her into the Stall, laying her down on the cramped bamboo floor. The old woman seems tired, so the group returns to Camp.

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Returning to Camp, thoughts about the fate of Innocence come to you, growing in number with each flick of the campfire. Who is she? Why is she so familiar? Why do you hear a new voice in your heart, among the many others? And how is that you now, after so long or perhaps for the first time altogether, have a dream? Soon the questions crystallize into a goal—a goal you will try to achieve no matter what the cost. Now, you no longer live day-to-day only to survive. Your dreamless life has ended and you now have a purpose—and it’s a purpose that can only be realized when past demons are faced. A part of you wants to continue living in oblivion, while another wants to follow the treacherous path of truth. As you become more and more entrenched in your thoughts, you drift off to sleep. Starting tomorrow, you will work to realize your dream—whichever it may be. And so the story begins…

THE FIRST ACT The first Round… It’s a beautiful sunrise. But you just can’t see its beauty anymore. The light of dawn just means it’s time to get off your ass and bust your ass. Money needs to be made. Everyone has their own way; it’s time for you to go about yours. The first Night Round… As the daylight begins to die away, fatigue begins to set in. If you use up your Turn to rest early, you will regain Stamina. Should you choose to keep working at Night and keep the veil of sleep at bay until very late in the night, exhaustion will weigh you down. Choose wisely. The first Dream Fair… The heart grows restless with the passing of a long and arduous day. To resist its urges to release the voices within is to carry a burden, a weight that grows heavy on the conscience. The choice is and always has been yours. Share a memory and another may find their way, or say nothing and be a silent link in a circle of strangers.

Around two days after the inciting incident… Your journeys continue, day-by-day doing the same things to scrape together some money, and your dreams inch closer at an agonizing pace. A couple of days pass and you can finally visit Innocence and find out her condition.

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She’s exhausted, dehydrated, malnourished—and just as weak in spirit. She seems to be feeling better but she hasn’t said a word to anyone.

[If the caretaker is the Carpenter…] The Carpenter is overly protective of the girl, and won’t let her see visitors. [If the caretaker is Old Granny…] Old Granny has her daughter taking care of Innocence. She can’t be visited. For now the only thing you can do is go on with the routine until Innocence recovers.

A few days after the inciting incident… [If the caretaker is the Carpenter…] Innocence is doing far better. You see her helping out the Carpenter, who appears to be training her to help out. He won’t let her stay and be useless. Role play the Carpenter, who won’t let Innocence out of his sight. [If the caretaker is Old Granny…] Innocence seems much healthier now as you see her helping Old Granny tend to the Roadside Stall. A glimmer of light sparkles in the old woman’s eyes now—something you haven’t seen before. Role play Old Granny, who seems very dependent on Innocence’s presence.

Though you know one of your paths is inextricably bound to hers, you realize there’s little you can do for her now. She’s much better off living as she is then being with you on the streets. And it doesn’t seem like she will go anywhere. The best thing to do is to continue scraping together enough money to make your dream—the dream that the little girl awakened within you—come true.

THE FINAL ACT The Final Act begins when one of the characters nears fulfilling the money goal. Without warning, dark clouds begin to emerge from the rims of the sky. The threatening masses continue to encroach upon the sun’s domain until they loom ominously overhead. A sinking feeling visits upon all of you. This is going to be a bad one. You’re going to need to take cover and call it a day.

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[If the caretaker is the Carpenter…] At the start of a Night Turn, the players lose their turns. Upon reaching the Camp several of you are chosen to go to the Wood Shop like every other night and get some wood to burn for the fire. The day gets darker and darker. Lightning flashes in the distance, tearing across the air. You hurry to the Carpenter’s home. When you see the door of the house ajar and the lights still off in the darkening evening, a feeling of dread creeps its way into your hearts. The windows are broken, shards glittering across the ground. You find the Carpenter lying inside—dead. Give players a chance to investigate. The sobs coming from the corner of the room break your shock. Innocence is hiding under the bed, again having come close to death. When you approach her, she leaps up and runs to you. She holds on so tight while she cries an eerie, stifled, quiet little cry. She still won’t say a word. You have no choice but to take her with you back to Camp and rest for the night. As you reach the camp, a hellish storm takes root and violently punishes the city and its street. The rain is so thick, the rest of the city seems to disappear in the gray. You close your eyes. As you drift to sleep, you hope you’ll wake up with your troubles washed away. When morning comes, a dense mist has taken over the streets. A day like this hasn’t come for months. But there’s nothing you can do but go about your routine. Only now, there’s a little girl that needs watching.

[If the caretaker is Old Granny…] You and the others set up a camp a short ways away from the usual spot, under the cover of a few tall trees. The campfire struggles to stay aflame. The rain pitter-patters for a brief moment until a wall of water finally falls, forcing you all to huddle together closer than you’ve ever been. Strong winds tug away at the trees as the storm punishes the city. This won’t end soon, but you have nowhere else to go. You all try to get some sleep and hope nothing terrible happens. In the morning, an unusual mist blankets the streets. The storm has calmed down, but its heavy clouds still loom overhead, keeping the sky as its prisoner. Everything is gray. A day like this hasn’t come for months. But what can you do but go about your day?

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You head to the Roadside Stall for a quick bite of grub to warm you up. When you come to the quiet stretch of road, you barely recognize the stall, toppled over and crushed by the violent winds. Each plank of wood has been snapped like a toothpick; the small space inside the Stall has caved in. It’s only when you’re right next to the ruins that you see, just hidden from view, a pair of legs underneath it. They look old, and you wish they weren’t so familiar. But the freckled and wrinkled feet are dead cold. Give the players a chance to investigate. Just then something jumps up from the bushes nearby. Innocence blazes across the ground and latches on to one of you, as if she’ll never let go. She cries an eerie, stifled, quiet little cry, but you can tell from her eyes that it’s only because she had already spent most of the night crying. The morning waits for no one to mourn and continues its path. You know you have to start your routine, coldly as if nothing happened. Only now, there’s a little girl that needs watching.

From now on, each Day begins with a D4 roll and the players with the least amount of money pick 1 number, while the player with the most picks 2. The player who picks the number that is rolled has to take Innocence with them for the entire Day through until Night. The presence of Innocence affects players by lowering the maximum Roll Count by 1 (down to a total of 2).

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ENDINGS Beggar Boy: Bad Ending You slowly drag your feet to the bus station, where you hand the man hidden behind the ticket booth all the money you had worked so hard for. He hands you back a tiny little ticket. With this you can finally leave the fake orphan life—leave the parents who throw you out onto the street to beg for money, and won’t let you come home until you have enough money. What awaits you in that other place, in that other city? It could be the exact same life without parents. As the bus pulls away and you sit quietly onboard, with everyone giving you dirty looks, you tell yourself that things will be better, over and over and over.

Beggar Boy: Good Ending With her ticket in hand, you take Innocence by the other to the bus station. You hand her the thin slip of paper. She looks at you with confused eyes. You reveal to her that your parents knew hers. They pretended to be her parents’ friends and tried to con them into giving her away, but they were found out. During the long con, you found out that she had relatives who could take her in, but they’re far away. The bus ticket will take her to them. You tell her to go, but she won’t budge. You even push her gently and point to the bus, but she still won’t move. All of a sudden she takes you by the hand, and sneaks you inside. The two of you board the bus together, your hearts filled with more hope than you’ve ever felt.

Street Kid: Bad Ending You enter a cheap thrift store and pile your money on the counter while pointing to the shiniest knife you can see. The apathetic man behind the counter couldn’t care less and tosses it to you. As you leave the store, you think about the things you can do with it—the people who could be terrified with the blade, and the things they’d be willing to part with. Targeting women would be easier, and they wear lots of jewelry. With enough money maybe you could finally even try out that thing you hear about—that strange, wonderful miracle called ‘Angel Dust.’

Street Kid: Good Ending You enter a cheap thrift store and pile your money on the counter while pointing to the most sturdy-looking crafting knife you can see. The man hands it to you, intrigued when he notices you staring wide-eyed at the small wooden sculptures lining the wall behind him. He

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hands you the knife and a small piece of wood. You begin to work, carving away at the small block. The wood shavings pile on the floor but neither one of you seem to care. Customers come in but the clerk tells them to wait, and soon all their eyes are on you. Cut by cut, the minutes begin to tumble. Finally you look up from your work, finished, and hold up the pinnacle of your skills to the clerk and everyone at the store—all the while noticing a familiar silhouette in the tiny sculpture.

Wallflower: Bad Ending It isn’t even a very popular band, but you had never been able to forget the song of theirs you heard and fell in love with. On the night of the concert, you tried to clean up as much as you could. The small venue is dark, humid, and stinky. But you try not to care. Many other teens fill the space, all wearing black. They all seem to know each other. One of them approaches you and offers you something—small, light blue and pink things smaller than buttons. The guy smiles at you while a few others watch, and he promises you it will make you happy. You pick out a few, while he downs the rest. You follow suit. By the time the band actually takes the stage, you’re already in another place far, far away.

Wallflower: Good Ending Entering the small concert hall, you can’t stop yourself from humming that one and only song of theirs that you fell in love with years ago. You dig through the crowd, making your way closer and closer to the front. Everyone seems to be in another place. Just as you reach the front, the band comes in stage and everyone begins to cheer and scream, and yours is the loudest voice among them. The first song they play—it brings you to tears as you sing along word for word, the lyrics etched in your heart. You know deep down you’ll probably never be happier than you are in that very moment.

Monkey Maestro: Bad Ending You hold the cheap gold ring in your hand as you walk out of the store. You go to meet your girlfriend across the city, at your usual meeting spot. You act aloof for a little while—just enough to annoy her—and then surprise her with the ring, getting down on one knee just like all those romance stories from the Western world always go. She cries and says a nearly inaudible

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‘yes’ between her sobs. The two of you hug and kiss. You tell yourself that love is all that matters. You have no money and no job and no future, but love will solve everything. Surely…

Monkey Maestro: Good Ending With the cheap gold ring in hand, you go to meet your girlfriend in the usual spot. Your heart weighs heavier than it ever has. You think about what you’ve made her go through over the past few years. She has sacrificed so much just to be with you. It’s only right that you set her free. After you tell her that you can’t see her anymore, she throws a fit. Sorrow, anger, coldness—she throws it all at you. You tell her to just go back to her parents, and that they’ll surely take her back. You apologize for all the time you wasted with her, and promise her that she’ll be so much happier with a much better man. You quickly leave before she sees your tears. Your only friend in the world, the long-tailed monkey, looks at you wearing that silly red outfit you make her wear, and you laugh a little.

Lady Nightlove: Bad Ending You find a very small house crammed in between several others in a pocket of shanty town between two of the biggest malls in the city. Laundry hangs on lines stretching from on house to the other in all directions. You make your payment and, having stolen away Innocence, sit her down with you on the floor of the unfurnished home. But it won’t really be a home. You’ve been looking to retire for years, and it won’t be too far off now. You take out the make-up kit from your cheap purse and begin to apply it on the little girl. You slick a line of lipstick on the small lips of Innocence. Maybe in just a few more years…

Lady Nightlove: Good Ending The first chance you get, you wash away the thick make-up from your face in the semitransparent river near the Camp. It’s clean enough. You find Innocence and take her with you to the house you had set your eyes on. After you make the payment, the two of you enter the cramped little home in the shanty town between two of the largest malls in the city. You set down your purse and look her in the eyes. You tell her everything’s going to be OK. Then you open your mouth and make an ‘ah’ sound. Innocence only looks at you. You try it again, and again, and again, but it doesn’t work. You smile at your foolishness—and then, she smiles too.

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The Lunatic: Bad Ending With the last bottle of alcohol bought, you go to your secret stash. You marvel at the beauty of the mound of liquor bottles. You sit for the last time and open up the first of many.

The Lunatic: Good Ending You manage to buy one bottle more than you had planned with the money you gathered. This one, you decide, will be the last one you drink. You work your way to the bottom of the bottle as you open the rest, stuffing the tops of them with shreds of old rags. You then make your way to the Housing Complex where many politicians are known to live—at least, that’s the way it was 15 years ago. You light the bottles one at a time, and begin to toss them at the mansion, laughing a hearty laugh that would never be forgotten by anyone who lived there.

The Scavenger: Bad Ending With the planks of construction wood you have, you get to work on the project you’ve planned for what seems like forever now, with the nails you’ve found along the way. But without a hammer, you’re forced to use your hands to pound and push nails into the wood. By the end of it, your hands are a bleeding mess. But you feel every ounce of pain as your penance. You look at the two things you built in front of you, one much smaller than the other. On them, you carve with the last nail you have left, the names of your dead wife and daughter and push the empty coffins into the murky river under the bridge.

The Scavenger: Good Ending You spend almost a whole day building with the wood and the nails you bought with all your money. When you finally finish, you can’t help but feel a bit sad, even though your wife and daughter died so many years ago. Your old cart was the one part of them you had left. As you make your way with your new cart to Innocence—to see if, maybe, she’d have fun riding around in it and smile the way your daughter used to—the old cart you left behind stands still by the river, ever still and never moving.

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This concludes the Narrative. Remember that these are just a few of the paths your Story may take. These characters’ fates are limited only by the imaginations of the Narrator and the players—and, perhaps, a twist of fateful luck.

The appendix documents are next, including the Character Sheets, the Setting pieces, and the Narrator’s charts.

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Appendix A: Character Sheets

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BEGGAR BOY A young child alone on the streets who wants nothing more than a bus ticket to leave. He spends his days at the Intersection, and has worn the same clothes for several months; he showers when the river isn’t too dirty. When the light shines red, he stretches his hand up to the tinted windows of immaculate cars. Sometimes the window comes down. He has a heart of light, but these trying days drain it of its luster. STATS GENDER

Male

STAMINA

[] [] [] []

AGE

10

START

Intersection

FATED DIE

D6

TALENT

Solicit

AR + 2

BASE GOAL

Buy a bus ticket

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

120

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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STREET KID A young teenager fed-up with his pathetic street life, he takes his frustration out on others through bullying the younger children and pick pocketing regular people. He blends in well, perfecting his trade in crowded places like the Market. Being so crafty with his hands, his dream is to come in possession of a sharp shiny knife. STATS GENDER

Male

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

13

START

Market

FATED DIE

D8

TALENT

Pick pocket

BASE GOAL

Buy a knife

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

160

AR + 2

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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WALLFLOWER Sixteen years old, equipped with an inquisitive mind, and a taste for music, she has spent most of her life homeless, and all of her life in poverty. She prefers to help out at the Market by loading up the vegetable stands or helping with carrying groceries. When she is given a tip, she feigns ‘no’ before accepting it. A concert for a local band is coming up; she marks off the days on a calendar written in chalk, even though she can’t yet afford a ticket. STATS GENDER

Female

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

16

START

Market

FATED DIE

D8

TALENT

Help Out

AR + 2

BASE GOAL

Get into a concert

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

160

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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MONKEY MAESTRO A young man with a pet long-tailed monkey, trained to do simple tricks, sits on the side of the road while his brand of ‘entertainment’ rakes in spare change from passersby, walking or driving. He meets his girlfriend once a week; so it’s been since they first met 4 years ago. They are both vagrants, but she has taught him how to read a little. He loves her deeply and has his eyes set on the cheapest ring he can get at a fake jewelry store. STATS GENDER

Male

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

24

START

Intersection

FATED DIE

D12

TALENT

Entertain

BASE GOAL

Buy a ring

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

240

AR + 2

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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LADY NIGHTLOVE Painfully trapped in the middle of her 30’s, she entertains middle-class men miserable in their marriages. Outwardly she acts content with her line of work, though she never brings it up. The scar on her body she hides tells the most about her past; her worn purse (a knockoff) carries a generic pad of make-up and lipstick, both half used. She wants to retire. STATS GENDER

Female

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

35

START

Quiet Back road

FATED DIE

D20

TALENT

Allure

BASE GOAL

Rent a house

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

400

AR + 2

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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THE LUNATIC A mad old man known to everyone and said to have been walking the streets for decades, his origins are lost even to him. Highly erratic, no one understands what he’s working toward. All that’s known is that he seeks a dozen bottles of liquor. The greatest optimists speak quietly behind his back: ‘what awful thing was it that has broken him?’ STATS GENDER

Male

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

62

START

Quiet Back road

FATED DIE

D20

TALENT

Intimidate

AR + 2

BASE GOAL

Stock up on alcohol

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

400

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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THE SCAVENGER Dragging a big old wooden cart wherever he goes, this elderly man considers himself a humble prospector, rummaging through garbage for trash that can be sold for coins. Only the rusty ‘gold’ ring wrapped around his finger draws sadness to his face, otherwise always smiling with squinted eyes. He secretly gathers money to buy construction wood. What he wants to build is anyone’s guess. STATS GENDER

Male

STAMINA

[] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

AGE

51

START

Housing Complex

FATED DIE

D12

TALENT

Prospect

AR + 2

BASE GOAL

Gather construction materials

GUILT MAX & MONEY GOAL

240

CURRENT MONEY CONSCIENCE MEMORY GRID 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

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Appendix B: Setting Pieces

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The Setting pieces are meant to be cut out, mounted on cardboard or foam core so that they are robust—as the streets of the city they represent. Once completed, the pieces can then be arranged into a city.

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Appendix C: Narrator’s Charts

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CHARACTER DATA Character

Sex

Age

Dice

STA

Starting Point

Talent (+2)

Beggar Boy

M

10

D6

4

Intersection

Solicit

Street Kid

M

13

D8

6

Market

Pickpocket

Wallflower

F

16

D8

10

Market

Help Out

Monkey Maestro

M

24

D12

12

Intersection

Entertain

Lady Nightlove

F

35

D20

12

Quiet Backroad

Allure

The Lunatic

M

62

D20

10

Quiet Backroad

Intimidate

The Scavenger

M

51

D12

8

Housing Complex

Prospect

GOAL & ENDING DATA Base Goal

Money Goal

Delusion

Hope

Buy a bus ticket

120

Leave city

Send her home

Buy a knife

160

Mug people

Make sculptures

Get to a concert

160

Take drugs

Enjoy music

Buy a cheap ring

240

Propose

Break up

Rent a house and take Innocence

400

Start a brothel

Be a mother

Stock up on alcohol

400

Drink to death

Blow up stuff

Gather construction materials

240

Build a coffin

Remodel cart

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ACTIONS DATA Possible Actions Location

Solicit

Pickpocket

Help Out

Entertain

Allure

Intimidate

Prospect

Easy

Moderate

Impossible

Easy

Impossible

Moderate

Hard

-2

0

x2

-2

x2

0

+2

Easy

Easy

Easy

Moderate

Impossible

Hard

Moderate

-2

-2

-2

0

x2

+2

0

Quiet Backroad

Moderate

Hard

Impossible

Moderate

Easy

Easy

Moderate

0

+2

x2

0

-2

-2

0

Housing Complex

Hard

Impossible

Hard

Hard

Hard

Impossible

Easy

+2

x2

+2

+2

+2

x2

-2

Roadside Stall

Hard

Moderate

Easy

Easy

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

+2

0

-2

-2

x2

x2

x2

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

Impossible

x2

x2

x2

x2

x2

x2

x2

Intersection

Market

Wood Shop

DIFFICULTY DATA Action

Diff.

Solicit

6

Pickpocket

10

Help Out

8

Entertain

12

Allure

18

Intimidate

18

Prospect

12

Easy

-2

Moderate

0

Hard

+2

Impossible

x2

37


Still Vagrants (rule book)