Friday, December 20, 2013

Deck of Fridays 7: A Solid Blow

Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of FateRPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.

This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: A Solid Blow

We're using it today to create a location for +trey causey's Weird Adventures RPG, a pulp setting based in The City, a more fantastic D&Dified version of our beloved Gotha-, er, I mean New York City. I'll be running a Weird Adventures FAE game at Con of the North in February 2014. This location may just feature in the game...

The Monster Hall of Maxwell Geat

Every neighborhood in The City has its boxing halls. Some are private gentlemen's clubs with fine booze, betting, and cigars. Others are street corner neighborhood establishments with a Turkish bath next door. Still others are run by settlement houses as places to keep kids off the street and out of trouble. Of course, most of these joints still attract trouble. Lots of it: gangsters, nosy cops, gangs, and much worse.

But not all halls are created equal. Some are larger than life, special. There's the Starvation Army Boxing Hall where it's Salvation Street Soldiers get their training. There's Mama Mawl's Boxing Club, the only place in The City where girls and women are trained to box and face off in the ring against each other - a favorite destination for bohemians and aesthetes. 

And then there's Monster Hall. Its proprietor, Maxwell "Monster" Geat is a huge meat-slab of a man of Northern Ealderish stock - although he's rumored to have some Hillbilly Giant blood running in his veins... or something worse. He opened the Club several years after he returned home to The City from the Great War. 

How a giant like him could have survived in the trenches is anyone's guess. Geat is so that tall he should have presented a target that would be impossible to miss. But survive he did, and after a few years making a name (and a bundle) for himself fighting in the ring, he opened his own boxing club in the tough Hardluck neighborhood, just a few blocks from City Police Headquarters, at the junction of Hardluck, Yiantown, and Dead End. 

The club draws all types: off-duty (and sometimes on-duty) cops from Headquarters, people with Hell Syndicate connections, people in the trades, kids from the local gangs - and even upscale types from the Fate Exchange. Even with such an ecumenical crowd, there is a noticeable stir in the place when members of the Municipal Department of Animal and Pest Control (the so-called "Exterminators", the only City employees who dare enter The City's endless warren of sewers and tunnels) show up for a fight.  But show up the do, often parking their trucks in the alley behind Monster Hall.

There are a few rumors in circulation about Monster Hall:
  • The fights are unpredictable here. Scrawny teenagers have won fights against burly, veteran boxers. This attracts gamblers - especially the sort who enjoy placing very risky bets.
  • If he thinks you have moxie, Maxwell Geat may offer to train you in a special boxing technique: The Solid Blow. It's something he learned in the trenches. The Solid Blow doesn't knock people out. It breaks bones, and makes opponents bleed... inside.  
  • If you have enough money, you may be able to buy your way into special fights in the basement. The Exterminators often show up just for these. 
  • Maxwell Geat has a special water cooler in his locked back office. No one who has taken a drink there before a fight has ever lost that fight in the main ring.
  • He also has a habit. Geat injects himself with a potent alchemical substance called The Cane. It causes bruising, but it also makes the user feel invulnerable. A lot of the fighters in his stable - Geat's so-called Monsters - have started to dabble with it from time to time. Look for the skinny ones with the scabby arms. 
  • After every big fight, a kid leaves Monster Hall with a bundle. He gets a police escort up to Mama Mawl's Boxing Club, where the package gets delivered.

Monster Hall Aspects

  • High Concept: A boxing club that's a bookie's nightmare
  • Trouble: Cops and Hell Syndicate come together here
  • Fights above, fights below
  • A water cooler with a secret
  • Home of "The Solid Blow"


  1. These cards are pretty spiffy. Nice to see some more development for The City. We pre-registered for the scenario, tough that means no Rad Astra for us, this time around. Both your scenarios are scheduled at the same time. It happens. We're both looking forward to exploring The City this February!

  2. I'll try to remember to bring the deck along when I see you next. I was pretty bummed about having to miss Rad Astra to run my own game too. There will be a lot of that this year due to the many strong offerings. Hope you enjoyed my "Call the Friendly Angel" fist bump photo!

  3. I read this when posted, forgot to comment as I was running to leave town. I really dig the set up there. You've got a good handle on the "feel" of the City.

    1. Thank you, that's great to hear. It's an evocative place that really does get under one's skin.