Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Antagonist Phase 4 (No Players Allowed)


So things are about to ramp up next session and some chickens are going to come home roost. Let’s take a quick look at the actions taken in the last session by the protagonists.

  • They stole one of the boxes and replaced it with a fake.
  • They did so by taking it from someone who is supposed to do the installation.
  • Their spy camera was discovered by Creepy Goofy.

So the boxes are the way that the Room of the Perfect Family is able to affect the rides and rearrange families. When there isn’t an increase in productivity (family reorientations), Walt is going to know about it and he’s going to want answers. He’ll find out that the box isn’t working and why. Even though the replica is good, it isn’t magickal.

In addition, he is already going to know that something is up because Goofy is going to report the camera…or will he? Goofy is very much like Undead Mickey. He is something far older than his incarnation as Goofy. Would such an entity think to report this initially? Probably not but once Walt knows something is wrong, he is going to talk to Goofy about it.

So this is going to lead them to have a conversation with McBhee…who isn’t going to know anything. Now will they kill him? Initially, I wanted to use his death as a way to drive home the stakes and make Sebastian feel really guilty…hit his Violence guage. But I think this is an opportunity to really drive home the insidiousness of what is going on by having McBhee’s family rearranged.

I made sure that McBhee mentioned having two girls to Sebastian when they were talking. And I’m actually retconning that a bit in my write up of the session by also adding in his pointing to a picture of his kids during the conversation.

Now if the cabal doesn’t go back to McBhee, I may have to be a bit heavy handed and having him end up dead. but I’ll see.

The other thing is that once Walt realizes that it isn’t McBhee, he is going to check security cameras himself and see who entered the room after the box was delivered. So now the stakes have gone up drastically for Sebastian, and thus the group.

They are going to have a chance to learn a bit more of what’s going on next session by going to Carmine Oddities Boutique, which is awesome because it is a real place.

I just have to say that there is so much real weird stuff out there that you don’t have to make up a lot of stuff to have a weird supernatural game.

They will have a chance to learn that the boxes are acting as a key to the door to the Room and that the charges it gets from the families that go through reach a certain point and then activate so that a group will go through the Room.

So between the Antagonist becoming fully aware of what is going on and their gaining some knowledge, things are about to go to a new level for the protagonists.


Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Mediation Phase 3


The Waffle House Four meet the next morning at their favorite breakfast joint. Alexander is uncharacteristically late, dressed in the same clothes from the night before and looking haggard. He sat quietly at the table after ordering a banana split. Meanwhile, Sebastian pulls out three non-descript boxes, the candidates for replacing the black box that Jonathan McBhee is scheduled to installed in two days. Their waitress sees the black boxes and her eyes go wide but the group pays no mind (while the GM comments how the black boxes look strangely IED-like).

​Finally noting Alexander’s change in demeanor, Patrick asks him what’s up. After some cajoling, he shows the cabal the video footage from Da’Mon’s spycam. Seb and Patrick soon notice that Goofy is regularly seen in the footage looking in Da’Mon’s direction. When Da’Mon sees this as well, he flips out. He begins shouting and banging on the table, repeatedly yelling, “Goofy!” Finally, he bursts out of the Waffle House shouting and screaming, as he runs down the street. He eventually calms down and returns to the Waffle House where he sits down and covers his eyes like a child watching a scary movie.

​Before Da’Mon’s return, the Waffle House manager approaches the table but is intercepted by Patrick who explains that his friend just got some bad news and that everything is okay. He points out that the black boxes are just replicas and that everything is fine.

​As the piece de resistance Alexander points out the most startling feature of the video. While Da’Mon looks through his fingers and avoids watching the movie, Seb and Patrick watch as Goofy looks at the camera…and blinks. Da’Mon sees Seb flinch which makes him even more anxious. The rest of the cabal decide that Da’Mon needs to see this, just not while sitting in the Waffle House.

​They show the video while sitting in Patrick’s car in a Publix parking lot. Da’Mon is less alarmed by the blinking Goofy than he is by the fact that Goofy was following him and he just never noticed.

​After calming down, the cabal wonder if Goofy could only be seen on video, if it was a spirit that they couldn’t see. Alexander and Da’Mon decide to keep an eye out for Goofy while Patrick checks the park security cameras to see Goofy interacted with others during the time it was watching Da’Mon. Sebastian decides to get a few extra cameras before going into work and then he is going to check out John McBhee’s work area.

​While Alexander and Da’Mon have a largely uneventful day, Patrick does see that Goofy did interact with other people while following Da’Mon, but often in ways that just seem unsettling. Covering faces, hugging a bit too long or too hard. More children try to get away from Goofy after interacting with him than wanting to play with the cuddly dog. But no doubt about it, Goofy was really in the park.

​Sebastian locates McBhee’s workstation, only to find him there. He makes idle conversation, talking about work and the rides. McBhee mentions that he really doesn’t enjoy the rides but, pointing to a picture on his desk, mentions that his daughter’s love the roller coasters. Sebastian learns that the box is going to be installed at Big Thunder.

​Before leaving for the day, Sebastian returns to the workstation and installs the spy cam. On his way to the Waffle House, he kicks himself for not thinking to plant a camera in Walt Lewis’ office.

​After a brief meeting at the Waffle House, now at an out of the way table, they decide that Sebastian and Patrick will return to the park and get the box. They know that Goofy delivered the last box around three in the morning. Patrick and Sebastian decide to watch the security camera to see if Goofy delivers the box. They watch and wait then shortly after 3am, they see the a shadow come down the hall and coalesce into the lovable Disney character carry the box with an almost reverent air. Goofy enters the room and emerges several minutes later. After a brief wait, Sebastian nervously makes his way to the workstation where he trades out the black box for the replica and retrieves the spy cam.

​Back at the Waffle House, Alexander examines the video footage while Sebastian opens the box. Once again, they find the circuit board without a power source with wires soldered to a picture of a family. Da’Mon posits that it may be a spirit camera but does not sense and energy from it. He suggests that he may know of someone that would be able to help them, the proprietor of Carmine Oddities Boutique.

​Alexander finds the footage of Goofy delivering his unusual package. What he sees next he shows to the rest of the Waffle House Four: As Goofy walks away, it stops and turns to the camera. It approaches and moves in for a closer look. Pull away from the camera, he slowly waves a chastising finger in from of the camera.

March Kickstarters Have Come In Like A Lion

While I wait for my next Unknown Armies session to take place (fingers crossed for this coming Wednesday) I wanted to post something about Kickstarters that have me really excited.

For some reason March is hitting me particularly hard and there are several that have started and one more that I’m waiting for toward the end of the month. Fortunately Atlas Games has taken mercy on me and are holding off my n the Over the Edge Kickstarter until the end of April.

The first one actually started in February and will be ending in 12 days as of this writing. Summerland Tabletop RPG from Fire Ruby Designs is a new edition of a post-apocalyptic RPG where the world has been overtaken by vegetation and the PCs wander the world as outcasts. It is being brought to us by the same people that did Exilium, itself a second edition of a transhumanist science fiction RPG. Exilium has beautiful art and Fire Ruby is bringing those same design qualities to Summerland. Both games use an iteration of Open D6 while also doing interesting narrative thinks with the system. Well worth the look.

Next up is Cartel from Mark Diaz Truman and Magpie Games. I saw the ashcan version of this about two years ago. It’s Powered by the Apocalypse to tell the story of a Mexican drug cartel. If you are thinking Breaking Bad, you’re on the right track. Now add in a strong cultural influence. While I wonder if I’d be able to get my group to play it, the quick start is so great looking, I just can’t wait to see the full game.

Another one is Capers from Craig Campbell of Nerd Burger Games. It puts 1920s gangsters together with superpowers. This isn’t a four color comic book game. The PCs are gangsters with superpowers. The system is playing card based. I like superpower settings where there aren’t costumes running around.

The next one going on hits all my nostalgia buttons: Freedom Squadron. This Savage World’s Setting is from Sean Patrick Fannon of Evil Beagle Games and is based on the setting in the VENOM Assault board game by Spyglass Games. It has all the trappings of G.I. Joe. An international counterterrorism force trying to stop VENOM, a terrorist organization that has been operating since the 19th Century. It is full on G.I. Joe with code-named commandos and all. This is one that has me very excited as I really loved G.I. Joe. The cartoon, the comic, the toys. And it looks really good. I just can’t believe I’ll have to wait until October for the game.

Finally, on March 27th, Ulisses North America will launch the Kickstarter for the first cosm sourcebook for Torg Eternity: The Living Land. Of all the cosms, this is the one I’m drawn to the most.

This is quite a month. There are so many more Kickstarters that have started or are ending this month but these are the ones I’m looking forward to the most. And Atlas Games? I’ll see you in April.

Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Antagonist Phase 3 (No Players Allowed)

Like I said in my previous post, I’m particularly proud of how the last session went, especially since I think I spooked one of the players twice. While this isn’t a full antagonist phase, I wanted to write about the emerging story that is occurring behind the scenes.

Maybe I’m doing this wrong but I haven’t had a definite direction for the antagonists. Their side of the story has been slowly coming into focus. Initially, I identified two or three antagonists during the creation phase of the game: Walter Lewis and Creepy Goofy, along with The Gate Keepers that haven’t made an appearance yet but I keep thing of as enforcers for Walter.

As the game has progressed, Walter has become the main antagonist and has grown into an Agent of Renunciation as he tries to expand entrances to the Room of the Perfect Family. (I may have referred to it as the Room of the Happy Family in a previous post but I think “Perfect” is a better name.)

In addition to this, I was thinking that Walter Lewis was actually Walt Disney in a new body, twisted by his journey into the Room and transformed to be more suitable form for the Room’s purposes.

Then it occurred to me last night during the game: Walter Lewis isn’t Walt Disney. He usurped Walt Disney and continues to keep him around. Larry is Walt Disney. I even think he looks like him a little.

Maybe I only see it. I think it makes a much more tragic situation. I’ve already decided that going through the room repeatedly can have a detrimental effect on a person and Walter has forced Larry through there a number of times. Even though Larry doesn’t have any memories of being Walt Disney, Walter likes to keep him around. It makes him feel good.

Why does Walter Lewis hate Walt Disney so much? I’m not sure yet. That is still evolving.

Another thing that I had trouble with was fitting Creepy Goofy into the story. He was initially going to be a force of chaos but I was having trouble working him into the story. Now he’s connected to Walter, or at least the Room, and has a greater part in the story.

I have a clear direction for next session. The players are going to try to get a hold of a black box. I’m excited to confront them with the consequences if they carry it off.

Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Mediation Phase 2


(I thought last night’s session went particularly well and I’m particularly proud that I unsettled one player twice and gave an “oh shit” moment to another)

Another night and once again the newly named Waffle House Four plan their next move. The cabal realizes that they need to gather more information and, if they can, get a hold of one of the black boxes that Sebastian had installed in Space Mountain. Alexander wants to get evidence of the changes that happen on the rides and Da’Mon volunteers to wear a spycam the next time he goes out into the park. Sebastian and Patrick are going to check the work orders to see if there are any scheduled black box installations coming up, as well as trying to find out where the black boxes are being made. Alexander plans on getting the spycam and also wants to check in with Larry, the custodian, to see if he knows anything about the black boxes.

Alexander purchases two spycams from a local electronic store, while the other three head in to work. Da’Mon discovers the hard way that someone has filled the shoes of his Minnie costume with chocolate pudding. Seeing Goofy’s head sticking out between two other costumes, he grabs him and pulls out an empty suit. With a curse, he kicks the costume across the floor where it lands at the feet of Snow White. By way of explanation, Da’Mon says, “I hate Goofy.” Snow White crushes a cigarette butt under her heel, “Yeah, he creeps me out too.”

After cleaning his costume, Da’Mon goes to a section of corridors where he has felt the presence of spirits and opens his senses. Moments later, he hears a cheerful “Hey, it’s me! Mickey Mouse” as an ancient Mickey Mouse emerges from a side corridor. Mickey is black and white, as though he were in an old movie. He stumbles about, collapsing on the ground. Da’Mon learns that he is the first Mickey and has always been here…even before Disney World. Mickey tells Da’Mon that there is some “really hinkey shit” going on at the park. When Da’Mon asks where the black boxes are made, Mickey tells him, “look for the door that isn’t a door. Look for the 33.” Mickey disappears down a side corridor and the color returns to the world.

Creepy Mickey !

Alexander enters the park and starts to search for Larry. He stops to see Cindy to apologize for not coming back the other day. The ever cheerful Cindy is happy to see him. After exchanging pleasantries, Alexander asks if she’s seen Larry. She directs him to look near the Main Street Theater.

Patrick and Sebastian remain in the utilidors and stop at one of the maintenance offices. They find a work order for black box that is scheduled to be installed two days from now by a worker named Jonathan McBhee. The two of them begin to hatch a plan to steal the black box that McBhee is supposed to install and replace it with a fake. They proceed to a machine shop to see if they can find where the black boxes are made. Seb and Patrick don’t find anything but Seb is sure that he can make a duplicate in time to make the switch. Sebastian explains that he found the box at his workstation when he came in that morning. Patrick decides to check the camera footage for that night in the hallway near the machine shop.

Alexander finds Larry cleaning up trash near the Main Street Theater. Larry greets him excitedly. Poor Larry meanders his way through the conversation with his stuttering speech and tangential thoughts but isn’t able to help Alexander, although he promises to watch out for any black boxes. As Alexander turns to go, a moment of clarity grips Larry. He places a comforting hand on his shoulder and says with uncharacteristic seriousness, “You take care of yourself, Alexander” and the moment passes. Alexander walks away, looking back at Larry, who ambles down the street. Alexander finishes the day by recording people as they ride Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

File Dec 09, 9 27 15 AM

When Da’Mon and Alexander meet up at lunch to hand off the spycam, Da’Mon excitedly tells him of his encounter with “Undead Mickey.” Da’Mon agrees to look for 33 and the door that isn’t a door while shooting footage of the rides. Da’Mon eventually comes across Club 33 and sees people going in and out of the door. He notes that they seem to be better dressed than your average Disney World visitor. While he watches the door, he sees Walter Lewis come out of the club and follows him through the park to City Hall.


Sebastian goes to the commissary and asks around about the workers who did previous black box installations. Most of them dropped off the map after leaving Disney but Joel Palmer still lives near Orlando. Joel left Disney over five months ago but his name appeared on a work order within the last month. After lunch, Sebastian pushes through his work day.

As his fellows are headed to the Waffle House, Patrick continues to pour over surveillance footage. He speeds watches the tape until, at 1pm, he sees a figure walking down the corridor toward the workshop door. As the figure comes closer, it’s revealed to be Goofy holding a black box. Patrick traces Goofy’s steps back to Club 33. With that, he races to the Waffle House to reveal the news.

While they wait for Patrick, the other members of the Waffle House Four share what they’ve discovered. Patrick arrives with his discovery and they all let it sink in. Alexander switches cameras with Da’Mon and goes whom to review the footage.

In the late night hours, Alexander watches Da’Mon’s journey through the park and notices a figure in the background. It’s Goofy staring at Da’Mon. But really, can a costume stare? Then there he is again. Looking right at Da’Mon. And again. Alexander speeds up the video and again and again, there’s Goofy, looking right at the Da’Mon. Always in the background. Alexander presses play and watches Goofy in realtime, staring at the freakishly cheerful face just as…

(If you are players in my game, STOP HERE, you’ll find out soon enough)










…just as Goofy blinks.

Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Antagonist Phase 2 (No Players Allowed)


This is likely part one of my second Antagonist Phase.

The Opposition

Currently, the opposition is represented by two characters: Creepy Goofy and Walter Lewis. At the moment, there isn’t a connection between the two of them. I’m going to briefly discuss each of them in regard to what happened in our first game session.

Creepy Goofy

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

So far, Creepy Goofy is DaMon’s nemesis. I haven’t decided whether CG is a human in a suit or something more. I’m leaning toward something. Things immediately escalated last session as not only did CG speak for the first time but DaMon threw a wrench at him/it. My players had a brief email exchange about CG. The question was: Has everyone actually seen CG? One of the players said that they had seen CG.

Now that things have become physical, this frees CG to retaliate in a physical way. Some possible ways include:

  • Messing with his Minnie Mouse costume.
  • Further physical intimidation.
  • Carrying out a physical assault.

One idea I had was a Council of Animated Character that exists within the park.

Walter Lewis

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

He is definitely the current Big Bad of the game from my point of view and from the PCs point of view as well. The PCs learned that he has put in the work orders for the installation of the strange box devices. Walter’s suspicions have also been aroused slightly. He noticed that Patrick had followed him across the park and confronted him about it.

What I learned about Walter during the session: In addition to being an Agent of Renunciation, he is Walt Disney. He had gone through the Room of the Happy Family when it was accidentally drawn to, or created by, all the families that came to Disney World.

What is Walter’s next move? He is going to engage his cronies to keep an eye on Patrick for now.

Polaroid Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/photo-paper

Unknown Armies: The Happiest Place on Earth – Mediation Phase 1

Our first session was last night. Initially, I started the group in the park but it fumbled along a little and I figured that the group needed to discuss how to go about their investigation. I asked them where they met as group and they decided on the Waffle House. At the end of the session, everyone felt that it was a good first session. That the story seemed very organic and they all loved adding the Waffle House as a base of operations.

Waffle House


Session Recap

Eleven PM at the Waffle House and [insert cabal name here] are sharing what they know and making plans. After ordering their hashbrowns – All The Way, they know that people are being changed at the park and want to find out who is doing it.

Pooling their resources, this is what they know: Before being fired, Alexander had seen families getting on Pirates of the Caribbean and then the families would be jumbled up. He saw a parents leave with children from other families. Parent swap places between families. Alexander had tried the ride himself and experienced missing time. Da’Mon said that it must be spirits doing this. That even machines have spirits.

Patrick noted that episodes of one parent reporting a missing child while the spouse wouldn’t know what they were talking about. Parents were brought to a care center as a place to wait for their missing child and they always left happy.

Sebastian noted that he had been tasked with installing a piece of equipment on Space Mountain that had nothing to do with the ride. When he had brought it to the attention of his supervisor, he received a visit from Walter Lewis, the asshat that had fired Alexander. Walter told Sebastian, “Just do your job and leave the imagining to everybody else.”

Meanwhile Da’Mon said that creepy-ass Goofy has been watching him. Always watching him.

Recently, Alexander noted that other rides and experiences seem to be affected by whatever is happening. That kids at the Country Bear Jamboree seem to act stiffer after the event. While Sebastian has been pulled from other jobs at the last minute.

One thing Alexander noted about Walter Lewis: he was the type of supervisor who went through the park a lot.

They all realized the need for a game plan and decided that they needed to follow Walter. That he was a part of this in some way. Alexander and Patrick would be do this the next day. Meanwhile, Sebastian would try to look up who order the installation at Space Mountain and Da’Mon would look to see if any families were being affected by any of the rides.

The next day, Da’Mon was heading out into the park as Minnie Mouse when Goofy body checked him on the way in. When Da’Mon called him out in a Minnie voice, he was shocked when Goofy talked back and threatened him. Da’Mon threw a wrench that was lying around the utilidors and missed, then dashed out into the park when Goofy moved toward him. After moving through the park, signing autographs and taking pictures with children, Da’Mon went to watch families get on and off It’s A Small World. After two hours, he saw three families get on the ride and when the got off, one of the children leave with another of the families while another child left with other parents.

Da’Mon approached one of the families and found that they acted as though everything was normal.

Patrick waited in the corridors of the utilidors for Walter to come out of his office. He followed him as he moved through the park while Alexander followed Patrick. As they moved through the Magic Kingdom, Alexander’s friend Cindy called out to him. Distracted by his task, he told her that he would see her later.

As they continued to follow Walter, Sebastian was in one of the many maintenance offices looking up work orders. He saw that there were a number of recent work orders that had been completed by workers that had not worked at the park in quite some time. Sebastian looked up the job at Space Mountain and saw that it had been ordered by Walter. He noted the part number and found that several other jobs that involved that part had been completed. He noted one at the Tomorrowland Speedway and headed there to check it out.

Patrick and Alexander followed Walter to Space Mountain. He went through a maintenance door and Patrick followed. He saw Walter go into an office and a few minutes later came out again and recognized Patrick. Walter confronted him and Patrick tried to play it off and goes into the office that Walter just exited. In the office, he watches Walter on security cameras and observes him go into another maintenance door.

While waiting for Patrick, Alexander watches the Space Mountain as it loads and unloads its passengers. Then he sees it: A single mother and her child get on with a mother and father and their two children. When they exited, the single mother left with the other mother while the father went off with the single mother’s child as though it were the most normal thing in the world. Alexander was excited by this discovery, finally, confirmation of his observation. When Patrick returned, he excitedly told him the news. They couldn’t find the couples again but Patrick said he would check the camera footage for the ride and try to observe the couple.

Sebastian searched the Tomorrowland Speedway and did not find the part so he returned to Space Mountain and examined the part he had originally installed. He found the featureless, black box. He opened it to find a circuit board wired to a picture frame with a picture of a family. He detached the wire and received a shock that singed his fingertips. He was bewildered as the didn’t contain any noticeable power source. Sebastian quickly reassembled the box and put it back in its place, all the while worrying that he would be fired.


The cabal reconvened at the Waffle House and shared their day and prepared to plan their next steps.