actual play

Here’s some actual play from my Sunday playstorming gang! First, here’s what I learned:
  1. KNOW needs some text to dissuade using it as a universal skill for assistance. I think it just needs to be clarified that using it must be active — research, reading, that sort of thing. You don’t just get facts to add dice to a situation.
  2. I see myself navigating around hints at rolls. I can see hat constitutes a situation worth a roll and what doesn’t but can I codify it so that you can? Have to re-read the text and see if it’s sufficient.
  3. I winged the weird tomb stuff but we need oracles for it to mechanize the process if someone isn’t up to that.
  4. Everything interesting twist was driven by the system. Forced to escape? System. Got lost and wound up at a tomb? System. Free city houses slavers? System.

sand dogs session November 18, 2018

Brad: I’d like to roll back our last session slightly. I loved the montage, but the positive wrap up was wrong.

JB:  Oh shit. I forgot. Sorry about always rolling goddamn 1s everyone

Brad:  So you’re in a defensive position with locals near a Tomb and are attacked by aircraft, armoured cars and infantry. Jesus shoots down an airplane and the other flees, ruining the attackers’ air cover. Hoberman gets himself shot trying to direct fire on enemy commanders — he’s lying in the dust gouting blood and shouting for a medic.

Brad: Duarte helps set up a defensive IED rig and winds up blowing open the barbed wire barrier and flipping the half-track, crushing your fuel and water supplies.

Dune (Duarte):  I did it.

Brad: SO! The enemy continues in, the armoured cars almost overrunning your position. The infantry is behind them, using them as cover. Your allies are steadfastly crewing their positions but it looks bad. What do you do?

mechanism: second half of a large scale conflict montage: interpretation and framing as a new problem to solve

JB (Hoberman):  _gurgle_ “It’s only a flesh wound!”

Dune:  I can rush to aid Hoberman.

Toph (Jesus):  As Jesus sees the plane go down, he releases his finger from the trigger, and looks for his brother. As he scans around he hears the explosion, and sees Hobermann go down, shot.

Toph:  “Get him in here quick!” he shouts, leaping back to the front.

Dune:  I’m just not very good in combat it seems. I do have a bond with Hobs.

Brad: Duarte runs to help Hoberman. It’s not too bad, but you need to get him somewhere safer and cleaner.

Toph: The half-track spins around, and heads towards Hobermann and Duarte.

Brad:  The half track is flipped but you can steal a motorcycle.

Dune:  “Get up, ya dolt.” As I help him to his feet and put his arm over my shoulders so we can walk together and I can bear the weight.

JB:  I’ll do my best to be the lightest burden possible

Dune:Maybe may I use Locate to find a good spot or a good path?

Brad: Jesus arrives in a cloud of sand with a hefty Ural motorcycle with sidecar. You pile Hoberman in and I guess Duarte perches on the back.

Dune:  or is that not what Locate’s for?

Brad: I think this is Chase to escape the scene, rolled by Toph.

Toph: Motorbike it is.  Look, there’s one with a sidecar!

Brad: Anyone got a way to help?

Dune:  Oh Chase is cool. We’re just going to abandon the outpost? Is it overtaken? I feel like we owe these folks.

The inevitable Ural with sidecar. What would dieselpunk be without the Ural?

Dune: Well, I’d help like I said. Lookout.

Brad:  Locate is good to find a path through the chaos!  d6 and d8

Dune: Hooray d8

Brad:  Toph you might have a Flashback you can make relevant?

JB:  Ooh! Flashbacks! I was just thinking we should use ’em. Hm, “none of it mattered in the face of the War”. What does that even help with? Moping?

Toph:  Flashback:  I was bused for smuggling antiquities. I remember when duarte saw me standing in the customs line at the border, he shouted my name, whcih wasn’t the one on my passport. Jerk.

Brad: I think the risk is either DELAY (you get captured) or CONFUSION (you get lost). Of the two I’ve had less luck with capture as being interesting.

mechanism: clarify the risk for any roll

Toph: I stole a motorbike then, too. Capture makes better sense to me. I’d like that on the table. (don’t know how a 4-6 would read then, though) maybe it’s two levels of delay? 1-3 = capture, 4-6 = lost?

Brad: haha good enough — I have one problem though. I haven’t written a way for flashbacks to help you. I guess just an extra die but it’s a one-time thing? If so it should be a d10 or something.

Dune:  Capture is Failure? I was just wondering about that. How Flashbacks come into play mechanically ( if they do)

Brad: DELAY is the risk. I guess fail would be capture, success+risk is lost!

Toph: (d10 is a lot — obviously useful. Is it being “burned”?

Brad: Yeah you can only use a flashback once I think. Don’t need to hear the story twice.

Toph: Then, I think I escaped on foot that time.  People don’t just leave keys in motorcycles.

Brad:  haha

Dune: Flashbacks are defined on the spot or these are the ones from our career? So save it for another roll?

Toph: go with d6+d8? (yes)

Brad: From the career — elaborated on the spot.

Brad: Yup d6 and d8

Dune:  If they’re from our career, then maybe there should be some uncertainty baked in, so you _learn something_ when you visit it.

Brad: We’ll set it aside to think about. To the dice!

Toph: rolls d6 and gets 5.

Toph: rolls d8 and gets 6.

Toph: Success (escape) with delay (we’re lost)

Brad: Jesus’s driving is insane and effective. He tries not to let slip that half the insanity is just him not finding the right gear. Damn these foreign transmissions.

Brad: But Duarte points the way through the mess, out the razor wire hole and through a blind spot in the oncoming enemy using a ditch gouged out by the fucked up explosives.

Brad: It’s dirty and dusty and you can’t see shit and by the time the gunfire slackens or becomes so distant you can’t hear it, you’re lost. You’re in the desert, a friend (brother) injured, on a motorcycle with what must be terribly limited supplies. What do you do?

JB: ow ow ow ow ow

Brad: Oh yeah it’s very bumpy.

Dune: lol

Toph: The smoke rises behind us, and a secondary explosion goes off. “That was the fuel,” Jesus notes, as he looks over his shoulder. 

Brad: (JB you’re not disabled but all your MUSCLE methods are down one die step)

Toph: “Can you stop the bleeding, Duarte?”

Dune:  “How you doing, Hobs? Hang in there.” I apply pressure to the wound.

Brad: Hoberman is stable, just in pain.

JB:  I guess I can help since my medical knowledge is not MUSCLE-based. Oh. OK, so it’s pretty well down to time now

Brad: Not roll-worthy. The mechanical effect is sufficient. You have no direction to travel, unknown supplies.

Toph: Jesus flicks the fuel guage with his finger. It’s not registering, and though he knos he filled it, he does see a hole in the tank. Near the top, but clearly some fuel has been lost.  “We had a landmark?”

Dune: I look around. “We need to figure out how to get to [dirt-town].”

Brad:  You can’t see the city towers any more. But there’s a lot of dust over some of the horizon

Dune: I’ll take stock of what we have. Any storage on this sidecar/bike?

JB: “That could be dirt-town, or it could be that opfor.”

Brad: “dirt town” is Morganstern, btw

Brad: There are some cans and luggage strapped to the sidecar. Whatever was in it you threw out. Some nice clothes, a day’s worth of hard tack, a few liters of water, and one can of gasoline. What do you do?

Dune: I toss Hobs a pack of cigarettes. “We got a bit of water and fuel. Should take us somewhere, but which way to head?”

JB: lights up because it’s tough and cool and will certainly not kill me slowly

JB: “I know a lot of things but I’m pretty useless for orienteering.Like if you want to prove the earth is round, I could show you that.”

Dune: I can make a smoke signal maybe? A signal that might be picked up and understood by [secret society]?

Toph: Can we get a north? Tying sun’s position to the approx time of day?

Dune: (I imagine a hazy sky like where I am in California right now, where the sun is ambiguously positioned)

Brad: Yeah there should be some basic trickery with the sun and a watch that can point you at Morganstern. A LOCATE check.

JB: Ha ha not touching that.

Toph: (risk?)

Dune: I look up and wipe my sweaty brow.

Brad: Risk for a locate check is now HARM. You are exposed to the elements. Duarte is the one with the skills; anyone helping?

mechanism: set the risk

JB: I could maybe help with KNOW?

Toph: d6 in Rescue —

JB: I know the trick, I just am less good at the execution

Dune: I will accept any help that applies. LOCATE first…

Dune: rolls 1d8 and gets 1.

JB: aaahahahahahahhaaaaaa

JB: rolls 1d10 and gets 1. SWEET FUCK

Toph: this is the best game ever

Dune: I scratch my head. The blurry sun looks like it’s in two places at once…

JB: and so their desiccated corpses were found, mere meters from food, water, and shelter

Dune: Quietly to myself “Did I hit my head? Why is this so difficult.”

Toph: Jesus follows Duarte’s directions, guided by Hobermann and speeds off into the desert. It’s a smooth ride, and they make brilliant time, until, three hours later, it’s clear that they have no idea where they were.

Dune: “I know what I’m doing, Hobs! Stick to your books.”

JB: So I guess we’re DEHYDRATED now? Or something?

Dune: “I swear Morganstern should be right here…”

Brad: Duarte determines that you should head straight for the sun. At this time of day, it’s in the direction that Morgenstern is in. It’s not.

mechanism: execute the risk

ref move: bring in a tomb

Brad: Or rather it is, but that’s not the sun. After several hours of travel in which you use up all the water and most of the fuel, the “sun” resolves out of the haze as some kind of massive reflecting sphere hovering above the apex of a pyramid-shaped Tomb.

Dune: tosses Hobs a shovel

Brad: You each have the WOUND: Sunstroke

Dune: “What the fuck is that?!”

JB: urk

Toph: Does the sphere offer any shade?

Brad: The tomb has signs of being an active site. There is a wire fence around it out to a few hundred meters. There’s a supply hut made of corrugated iron. And there’s a vehicle with no tires up on blocks. The only thing that DOESN’T seem like it’s active is the fact that there are no people.

Brad: What do you do? You are dizzy, nauseated, and very very unhappy.

Toph: “Start at the supply hut, says Jesus through cracked lips. “They might have water.”

Dune:  Any chance to approach undetected?

JB: “Let’s head over there. Maybe if someone is there they will kill us and end this misery”

Toph: Jesus doesn’t like Hobermann’s negative talk in the back. “If that’s what you want, we can arrange it.”

Brad:  The motorcycle stalls and dies and you’re forced to walk the last few hundred meters to the supply shed. There’s no risk of being detected — no one is here. You DO know that Tombs are very dangerous places close in and you should watch what you touch.

Dune: “It’s quiet…” We’re looking for water. Carefully 😀

Brad:  The supply shed is locked with a heavy chain. Of course. The vehicle on blocks looks like it has a full set of luggage still strapped to it. What do you do?

JB: Raid luggage

Dune: Dismantle the locking mechanism.

Brad: Duarte; picking the lock sounds like mischief.

Dune: …sounds like a job for Jesus.

Brad: Hoberman: you make your way to the vehicle and tear open the luggage. A lot of mining equipment. And big weird goggles. No water

Dune: “Jesus, think this thing’ll break if we just, I don’t know… shoot it?” I aim my pistol…

Brad: Jesus, you have some explosives from the motorcycle luggage you could use to blow the lock.

Toph: “Wait”

JB: Mining equipment . . . pickaxe to leverage the chain? EXPLOSIVES YES GOOD IDEA

Dune: waits…

Toph: “We can try that as a backup.”

Dune: looks at Jesus…

Brad:  Certainly there are heavy tools that could maybe crack the lock or the door.

Dune: maybe unhinge it? maybe dig into the shed? up to Jesus.

Toph: Jesus is going for the lock. Mischief.

Dune: RISK?

Brad: How are you tackling the lock? (I’ll decide risk based on that)

Toph: SLide the pin-kit out of my belt. It’s nothing fancy, but I can take it through customs. Normally art is kept behind locked doors

JB: Oooh, pro

Brad: Excellent. Risk is REVELATION. Anyone helping this MISCHIEF? (d10 on the table but remember these are flat distributions)

mechanism: set the risk — note that revelation has a potentially delayed effect: i know what it will be but it needs the right break in the narrative

Toph: (adding a d8 is worhtwhile; a d6 doesn’t change much.)

Brad: Nothing actively hurts; any die helps.

Dune: “Where’d you learn to do that?” Just continuing to develop my new(ish)found relationship with my brother. Don’t expect it to help really.

JB: What can’t KNOW do?

Brad: KNOW can’t DO anything. Just know things.

JB: Well do I know things about locks? I’m just concerned I can be like “I know about this” for anything. That don’t seem right

Brad: I think if we were studying how to pick this lock, KNOW would factor in. Not in this case. But I will write a note.

Brad: I think this is just Toph’s d10. Let;s roll. Risk is REVELATION

Toph rolls d10 and gets 5.

JB: YAY-ish

Brad: A few minutes and the heavy lock pops open. Turns out it’s not an uncommon brand, frequently used in bank vaults and art museums.

JB: “Those Abus guys know how to make a lock.”

Dune: expects zombies to start spilling out from the shed

Brad: The inside of the shed is hot hot hot — corrugated iron — but there are a couple tons of water in a huge bladder and what looks like … a payroll strongbox, unlocked. What do you do?

Toph: Water from the bladder. We want to find a clean way into it, and a way to reseal it.

Brad: There’s a big valve. It’s intended to attach to a hose, but jury rigging access to it is no problem. You get tin cups from the motorcycle.

Toph: We might not drink it, but putting some on our lips and tongue will help with the feeling of swelling. Rubbing it on my scalp will help cool things down, even a bit.

Dune: I’ll go build a quick filter for the water… with sand or cloth… whatever we’ve got.

Brad: The water seems pure and clean, maybe a hint of quinine.

Toph: “now we just need some gin”

Dune: “It’s so hot, it’s almost like it’s been boiled. But still won’t hurt to filter it.”

JB:  “I always need some gin”

Dune: We fill our canteens, then the jug that we had on the bike.

Brad: You slap some water on yourselves. It’s wonderfully cool. The sun is starting to go down and that’s pretty nice too. You fill your supplies.

Toph: No sign of the jeep’s wheels?

Brad: The payroll box beckons. It looks like it has some military hardware in it, desert tan and industrial strength.

Brad: No tires on the jeep.

Dune: (Do we know how the risk from lockpicking manifested?)

Brad: Not yet Dune but I’m working on it. 🙂

Dune: (Are we all criminals?)

Brad: Sort of, You free slaves.

Dune: I know what I’ll do. I’ll search for any indication whose site this is…any signature evidence would be good.

Brad: There’s plenty. In the payroll box is a radio and a stack of certificates of ownership signed by Morganstern city officials. Certificates of ownership for people. What do you do?

mechanism: execute the risk — that was the revelation

JB: Uh . . . wasn’t Morganstern supposed to be a free city?

Toph: “Slavers. Fuck.” says Jesus.

JB: “Goddamnnit.”

Brad:  Yes, JB.

JB: “Well that’s an unwelcome revelation.”

Dune: Taking them certificates… (burn them?)

Brad: In fact you have relocated freed slaves here.

Toph: “We burn nothing.”

JB:  “Yeah, this is evidence. Also these tell us just who to free. Among others.”

Dune: There’s no overarching law here. We are the law. (right?) “Good. We really need to find Morganstern now, to liberate these folks.”

Brad: Well generally the most organized armed force is the law, which is mostly each city states and whatever it can exert military power over.

Toph: “I’m always wary of someone who says ‘I am the law.'”

Toph: “Okay. we’ve got a pyramid out there with an orb on it, and we’ve got. evidence that Morganstern isn’t what we thought. I suggest we take some of these documents, and bury then.  Bury them here, near part of the fence we can find, so that we have a backup. Some we take with us.”

Brad: What now? You might have enough supplies to gear up the bike and get to Morganstern. The truck might be repairable. The radio looks like it’s in good shape. But man you are tired and the sun is going down.

Toph: “we can then either go into the pyramid, or , my suggestion, is to call whoever the fuck is on the other end of the radio.

Brad: Ah cool, you carefully hide some of the certs. Toph add that as LOOT so we remember it and give it 2d6 — it might be useful but as like as not carries risks.

Dune: Interesting. We can tune in and listen for any calls/signals. I wouldn’t know what to say if we called out. (though, Duarte likely would)

Brad: Anyone want to narrate the radio call? Your side anyway

JB: “Yeah, let’s just listen in before we give away our position”

Toph: Jesus turns it on. It’ll be on a channel that gets used. If there’s any traffic we hear it, but if there’s nothing in the first 10 seconds, well Jesus is not patient.

Brad: You turn on the radio and it hums and glows a little between the seams in the housing. Battery seems to be almost full but you know these things drain fast. There is immediate but sporadic traffic. Someone reciting numbers.

JB: I’ll write them down for later (crypt)analysis

Toph: coordinates? anything repeating?

Brad: It’s very faint and on a short wave channel — could be from halfway around the world or 10 meter away. There is a string of 32 numbers each between zero and 256 and they repeat continuously. At first glance they seem random.

Toph: Jesus copies them down on the back of a certificate.

Brad: You record the sequence and the frequency.

Dune: (I’m definitely curious about the tomb/pyramid, but I don’t know if we have any good reason to go tomb-raiding…) We ought to camp.

Brad: (It doesn’t feel like the focus right now but rest assured it’s not there for decoration 🙂

Dune:  Do we have fuel? I’ll check the raised car to see if it’s functioning… if yes, we may take it. If no, we will siphon fuel (if it has).

Toph: “Guys? Has the water helped? Are we bugging out or bringing them to us?”

Brad: I think I’m cool with saying that water and rest is good enough for sunstroke. I’ll let you struggle with imagining a scar to replace the wound. You have zero fuel.

JB: “I say lie low overnight. I think we all need some rest.”

Brad: And you’ll need a nights rest to clear the sunstroke.

Dune: I feel like I would want to be a infiltrate and liberate, rather than a smash and grab or a bait and trap.

Brad: The raised car has no tires and no gas. It might run, though.

Dune: But happy with any plan. Surely we need to rest. “Maybe you can figure out this code. What does it mean, Brainiac?” to Hobs.

Toph: Jesus heads out into the desert, and finds a place to sleep about 500m away.

JB: “Let’s have a look-see here . . . ”

Brad: It looks like it might have been jury rigged to operate a pump of some kind — there’s a canvas belt around one wheel but not attached to anything any more.

Brad: Jesus sleeps while Duarte and Hoberman play with the new reading material under the covers with a flashlight. In the morning you are rested but no wiser. You wake up early. The numbers have no meaning you can discern. It’s still dark but that will change fast in the desert. What do you do?

JB: First rule of cryptanalysis club is you do not use plaintext about cryptanalysis club I’m going to stare at that big disco ball for a bit

Dune: Yeah! I’ll search the perimeter for traps or obvious entrances… (in the natural light before dawn)

Toph: Jesus walks back in towards the shed, where he finds his companions. He’s got sand in his clothes, but he knows it was right to keep distance.

Brad: The sphere hovering over the top of the pyramid is about 10m in diameter and not perfectly smooth. Sort of a hammered look, many coarse facets.

JB: I’m also going to graph those numbers on a coordinate plane

Toph: He looks up at the sphere.  How high above the pyramid is it?

Brad: About a meter. Nothing appears to be holding it up.

Toph: “I’m climbing a pyramid. See if I can knock that thing down.” He picks up the most club-like sledge he can find.

Brad: As the sun rises you get your bearings. It’s nice and clear now. You’re pretty sure Morganstern is about 20km in THAT direction, which according to your notes would make this tomb G-415.

mechanism: city generation rules and relationship maps

Toph: I presume we’ve never seen a sphere like this I want to climb up.  Is it stepped? smooth planes?

JB: “What the heck are you doing, Jesus?”

Dune: Seems we’re inquisitive siblings. Curious family. 😀

The group and geography relationship map.


Toph: “Someone was guarding this place, now there’s no one. That sphere there is what makes this place different. Whoever it is, I want to ruin what they’ve got.”

Brad: The pyramid is not stepped but the facade has long since worn away and so the building stones are exposed. It’s possible to climb up but not easy.

Dune: Any tubes or equipment that looks like the truck pump was taking from the tomb itself?

Toph: Doing it.  “YOu guys coming or you playing with your numbers still?”

Brad:  Whatever equipment was here has been removed but there’s a shallow trench that suggests at one time they may have been pumping water into the sand to make it excavatable.

Dune: I’m still perimeter-ing… scouting the entrance and ground level of the pyramid exterior

Brad: The pyramid itself has no apparent entrances. It’s exhausting to climb but it’s not all that hard. The stones are about a half meter high each.

JB: Fine I’ll go up after him. Idiot

Brad: After a few steps up, you’re about 3 meters above the ground, you see that the next row is undamaged, unworn. Very smooth. The same kind of stone but like new. What do you do? (And it seems that every 7th row is like that.)

JB: “Huh.”

Toph:  See if Hobermann will give me a boost. If not, then take the sledge and make me some footholds.

JB: Wait wait. you mean smooth as in not stair-stepped? Or just that the angled blocks are like new?

Brad: Stair stepped but the step is smooth. No wear.

JB: No need for sledgery. “I don’t have a great feeling about these unworn stones” I’ll drop something expendable on one, cigarette butt or whatever

Brad:  You flick a butt on the next step and it skitters around like a bead of water on a hot griddle.

JB:  “Yeah don’t touch that. Frictionless? But then the next layer of stone wouldn’t stay . . . OK, that’s weird. No less than I’d expect of a tomb, but weird.” Is it possible to get to the next row up without touching that?

Brad: Duarte finishes his circuit of the structure. There are no entrances anywhere and nothing really to differentiate one face from another. JB: Half meter up and a half meter over, then a half meter up. It’s tricky but it won’t be a lethal fall.

Toph: “Push me up, Tactician. Let’s try t make this work.” Jesus pulls his gloves on, nd hovers his hand above the surface.  Is it radiating heat? More than it should from the morning sun?

Brad: No, less. It’s sucking heat from you.

JB: “OK, I’ll give you a boost. If we don’t find a way in, if we can harvest these ‘stones’ they probably have like a million uses.”

Brad: The brothers do their gymnastic trick. I think I’ll call that just ENDURE — it’s not hard but involves a weird angle and some time in that position, then a lot of arm strength. The risk will be HARM — if you blow it, you fall 3m down the stairs.

mechanism: set the risk — this is an obvious one

Toph: (HOb isn’t a brother, right? It’s Duarte, back there on the ground)

Brad: My mistake

Dune: I look up at my brother and old friend.

Brad: You’re all brothers now, born anew in combat together

Toph: WOn’t help when I need a new kidney, though.

Brad: Well surgical technology is such that it will help just as well. Executing this acrobatic? ENDURE + any help. Might need that new kidney sooner than later!

JB: (Trivia: they just stick the new kidney in there, so you have three, when you get a “transplant.”)

Toph: Yep. I’m going up. d8 in Endure.

Brad: Any help?

JB: I also have Endure d8, though d6 with my wound

Brad: Can’t hurt — your muscle is in this too.

Dune: I’m too far

Brad: d8 + d6

JB rolls 1d6 and gets 6.


Toph rolls d8 and gets 8.

Brad: haha

Dune:  WOW!

JB:  Can’t survive a pitched battle but we beat the shit out of these here stairs

Brad: Risk averted and Toph has an advancement — Endure to d10 or add a d6 specialization.

mechanism: advancement

Toph:  take the d10

Brad: Regardless, both hardy adventurers execute a flawless maneuver to lever Jesus up to the next stair. That problem solved, he pulls up Hoberman and they execute the maneuver 4 more times to reach the top.

Toph: Is this spehre sucking heat as well?

JB: Hm, I guess you can’t advance when wounded?

Brad: At the top (thankfully the top three rows are normal)…

Brad: You can’t advance if you didn’t get the high die. But that’s an interesting question anyway.

JB: Right. But I just spotted a perverse incentive

Brad:  Yeah if you’re wounded it’s easier to advance

Toph: But harder to succeed.

Brad: Right

Brad:  Hmm, anyway. Sitting atop the pyramid the sphere is right in front of your face. It’s big and not smooth, with rough facets like it was beaten into shape with a ball peen hammer. But shiny and brilliantly so. And nothing seems to be holding it up.

JB: Big round marimba. I mean steel drum

Dune:  golf ball 😀

Brad: Dune, you getting bored down there?

Toph: Hairs on my arm sticking up bcause of electricity? Bel buckle drwn to it because of magnetism?

Brad: Because you see dust on the horizon.

Brad: No it seems to have no affect on its surroundings at all other than the optical.

Dune:  I’m not bored.

JB: “Try hitting it with your wrench.”

Dune: Just watching from below.

Toph: “My brother wants a golf ball. Let’s send it down to him.” WHam.

Dune: If I can see them. Maybe I can just see that they disappeared at the peak.

Toph: “Oy!  look up.”

Brad: The wrench makes an unsatisfying click. You were expecting a bong or at least a ping but no. This thing is dense and does not resonate.

JB: Can we spin it?

Toph: DOes it budge

Brad: Dune, you can now see there are vehicles approaching. They are a few km away still.

Brad: It does not move.

JB: (Related, book recommendation: Revenger, Alistair Reynolds. Great tombs. Like, literally just like this.)

Dune: I whistle up to my brothers, and go tidy the camp (aka conceal our presence)

JB: I’ll toss some water on it

Dune: If they look down and seem me, they’ll see I’m hurriedly tidying.

JB: Maybe that’s what the pumping was about

Brad: The whistle from below draws your attention. There are vehicles heading your way. A halftrack, a couple of motorcycles. And three buses.

ref move: start some shit

JB: Oh, and I’ll look down since Duarte whistled. Yikes.

JB: “I think we better leave”

Brad: The water runs off the sphere like water off a sphere.

JB: Very funny, Infocom parser

Brad: How about we break there? A little early but the newcomers threaten a relatively complex response.