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Campaign: Rockwell Gothic

Campaign: Rockwell Gothic
The High Concept: Playing Children isn’t Child’s Play

Campaign in Brief:
The new factory that your father’s company is opening just outside of Rockwell New York may be a boon for the quiet upstate town but your father having to transfer here to work is the pits. I mean please, it’s 1955; no one wants to live in the middle of nowhere but kicking and screaming wouldn’t help so you said goodbye to your friends, got in the car and moved into your shiny new house, in one of the pristine new developments or friendly established neighborhoods in the sleepy, boring, dull, nothin’ ta do town of Rockwell. At least you got a bike out of it…

Of course that was a week ago since then you’ve made some friends, new kids in town like you, maybe one or two locals, ridden to the swimming hole, put pennies on the rail tracks and nearly been killed at least three times. The first was old lady Phelps in the big house of the corner by the makeshift ball field, adults say she’s been a little odd since losing her husband, kids say they still haven’t found Bennie or Ralph both last seen looking for pop flies over her fence and those jars in her basement sure as heck weren’t preserves. Then there was that thing under the trestle bridge, you held on dangling over the water as the train raced by and could swear you felt a tentacle wrap around your leg. Finally there’s Mr. Joxer at the end of the street here, the local kids say he moves every year to a new house somewhere around town and every year every pet on that street gets sick and dies. Did you know that Mr. Joxer mows his lawn at night? Mr. Joxer does everything at night.

Hey, maybe it won’t be so bad – maybe you can stick close to home and keep your nose clean…what’s that your Mom wants? You out of her hair for the afternoon and banished you from the yard and Mike wants a hand finding his little brother who his mom told him to watch. Welcome to Rockwell Kid– the perfect little small town in upstate NY; the odds of making it through the summer aren’t good but it’ll be a wild ride.

Character Generation
Race: All characters are Human children ages 9-11 and generous GM’s will still let you have the bonus edge.
Attributes: Are Purchased as Normal but with 3 rather than 5 points to spend and a cap of d10s
Skills: Are Purchased as Normal but with a cap of d10s. Players and GM’s should, however, keep in mind that they are playing children.

New Skill: Biking (Agility) Characters with this skill can handle almost any bicycle common to their setting. They know most common tasks associated with the maintenance and repair of bicycles. See below for additional rules on Bikes and Bicycling.

Edges & Hindrances: Are purchased as normal but no Arcane Backgrounds are generally permitted. Resources are also handled a bit differently (See below). Players and GM’s should also keep in mind that they are playing children.

New Edge: Local
Requirements: Novice

You’re local to Rockwell, you’ve only managed to survive the terrors of childhood this long because you picked up on the subtle clues that things here are less right than in other places, probably. Being local doesn’t do too much for you; people are a bit more likely to remember your name – for good or ill. Oh yeah and as a local you get the standard bonus to your Common Knowledge rolls about Rockwell, and the things that inhabit it. If the GM is running a campaign where everyone is local to Rockwell this edge should not be required.

Money, Toys and other Stuff
Ok your character is not going to start with $500, you’re a kid – here you can have five dollars, 50 cents a week allowance for doing your chores and a bike, and ok some toys – but don’t be greedy.

New Edge: Well Off Parents
Requirements: Novice

Your parents are well off, you begin the game with ten dollars and have an allowance of 1 dollar per week, with minimal chores or responsibilities.

New Edge: Rich Parents
Requirements: Novice, Well Off Parents

Your parents are rich; you begin the game with a life savings of twenty dollars and a weekly allowance of 2 dollars, no chores. The downside is that your parents have a certain standing in the community and they expect you not to tarnish their reputation – anything that puts their station at risk is met harshly.

New Hindrance: Busted (minor)
Your parents are not well off, or you’re not good at handling your cash. You begin the game with one dollar in loose change. You receive 25 cents a week allowance, sporadically.

Bikes
Every kid has a bike and its every bit as important to him as a cowboy’s horse or let’s face it your car. It’s how you get around and in Rockwell more often than not, how you get away.

Bike (Ground Vehicle)
Acc/Top Speed: Acc is the number of points spent in the Strength Attribute +1(1d4=1, 1d6=2, etc)/ Top Speed on roads equals the Die Type (1d4=4, 1d6=6, etc) ½ for fields and woods: Toughness: 6(1): Crew: 1+1: Cost: $25 Notes: Every Bike is personal – and has a Player chosen advantage (+1 Top Speed Off Road, Higher Toughness, +1 on rolls for a specific maneuver, Is a Huffy Radio Bike , etc)

New Edge: Speed Demon
Requirements: Novice, Biking D8+

Treat your Strength as 2 die higher (Max d12 ) for purposes of ACC and Top Speed on a Bike.

A brief list of vaguely period Bike names
Schwinn Classic, Schwinn Black Phantom, Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe, Schwinn Green Phantom, Schwinn Hornet, Schwinn Mark II Jaguar.
Huffy Radio Bike, Huffy Galaxy, Huffy Cruiser, Huffy Sportsman
Hawthorne American, Hawthorne Deluxe
Monark Silver King, Monark Super Deluxe
Roadmaster All American Supreme

Combat on Bicycles
Fighting from a Bicycles uses both the Mounted Combat and Vehicles Combat rules, damage to the bike is handled per the Vehicle Combat rules (The bike won’t rear and try to throw the rider)

Rockwell, NY
Rockwell NY is a small town just northeast of Rome. It is nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains with wooded hills giving way to the mountains to the north and east and farmland stretching out to the south and west.

Originally settled in the late 1700’s as Joxer’s Mills providing lumber and food for larger communities to the south. It was incorporated in 1815 shortly after community founder Ezra Joxer and 38 workers were killed in a mill fire, why communities leaders chose to name the town after the Rockwell River rather than the community’s founder continues to be a topic of much speculation although the anniversary of the fire, January 13th, is set aside as a day of remembrance and is still celebrated with bonfires and fireworks.

During the Civil War the quickly erected Fort Rockwell, being far from the enemy lines, was used to house problematic rebel prisoners. Potter’s Field ball park and picnic grounds, where the official Little League and High School baseball games are played, neighbors the run down (soon to be renovated into the Rockwell Historical Society) fort, balls going over the chain link are considered lost and simply replaced without comment.

After the 1st War to End all Wars, the town center was converted to Memorial Park, the gazebo and monument were added despite relatively few of Rockwell’s native sons having died in the conflict. The Influenza epidemic after the war did hit the town particularly hard, which is when the sanatorium north of town was built.

During the Depression, most of the mills shut down along with the sanatorium and WPA money funded the building of the Rockwell Dam, which cost seven lives and formed the reservoir.

After WWII money and industry has begun to flow back into town whose son’s again were mostly spared by the conflict.

1955
A few quick facts about 1955.
Eisenhower is President. Sixteen Tons, Rock Around the Clock, The Yellow Rose of Texas, and The Ballad of Davy Crockett are on the Billboard top list for the year. Hurricane “Diane” claims 184 lives from North Carolina to New England. Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat, which leads to bus segregation being declared unconstitutional. Dr. Jonas Salk discovers a vaccine for polio. The Scrabble board game debuts. Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. Charlie Parker, Albert Einstein, and James Dean die.

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