Copyright 1998 By Scott Gray.
GRAPE Expectations is an adventure for GRAPE: Generic
Roleplaying All Purpose Engine, though it can be played with other
game systems. See the main page to learn GRAPE
rules. This adventure, like GRAPE, is distributed free of charge. You may
give out copies, so long as the text is not modified and no fees are
charged for the copies distributed.
GRAPE Expectations is about family life
in urban America. The PCs are relatives, in-laws, or family friends.
There should definitely be some friction between the
characters. The majority of characters should get on each others' nerves
enough to keep a steady stream of light comedy. For an excellent example
of the genre, please see Mad About
The central NPC in GRAPE Expectations is
Shannon. She has a close relationship with as many characters as
possible. She is pregnant with an as-yet unnamed baby; another source of
family conflict. At game start Shannon's contractions are 15 minutes
apart. The family panics, packs her bags, and everyone climbs into Uncle
Mort's van to go to the hospital (Mort is also an NPC).
Uncle Mort's van is 17 years old. The van
makes a squealing-coughing noise, and with a dramatic "phumph"
stops with smoke pouring out of it. While Uncle Mort is calling AAA,
and trying to deal with his van, let the PCs fight and scream about what
to do next. No taxis stop. Taxi companies send cabs that don't come, or
which others take. Eventually, Shannon (who should be the only one acting
sane) says that she'll go by subway to the hospital.
The PCs are carrying Shannon's bags, Mort
is left with his van, and everyone heads into the subway. A car stops and
everyone gets on. That is, everyone except Shannon, who somehow got left
outside the door when it closed and the train zoomed off. Presumably, the
characters now want to find her (and to assign blame for losing her). Lots
of witnesses have seen her, and there are ways to track her; let the PCs
devise the means, and be generous in assisting them.
After missing the train, Shannon figures
that the rest of her family and friends will make it to the hospital and
meet her there. So, she simply climbs on the next train. However, the
train Shannon climbed on is an express train to the end of the line, so
she misses the stop for the hospital. When Shannon gets off the train,
her contractions are stronger and closer together, so she decides she'd
better call one of the family or friends (if not a PC, another friend of
Shannon finds herself without change (the
PCs have her bags), so jumps through some hoops to get change. She tries
to ask people getting onto and off of the train, and is yelled at by a
street person that "this is my spot, and you look like you got money,
sister." Finally, she gets 35 cents from a street musician, and when
she uses the pay phone the phone eats her change.
Shannon eventually trades her sweater to
the street person for change, and leaves the train station in search of a
reliable phone. She walks a few blocks and finds a shopping mall. She
wanders in, looking for a phone, which she finally finds in the food
court. She tries to call Uncle Wallace and learns that she doesn't have
enough change. So, she tries to reverse the charges, and Wallace answers
"Bah, Shannon wouldn't call me collect. Who is this joker?".
Shannon is desperate for the extra dime so
she can call Wallace. She looks around her, and makes a desperate move --
she takes a dime out of the tip jar for one of the restaurants. As she
does so, Officer Angus Donnelly sees her, and detains Shannon.
Shannon is left in the security office for
a while. Her contractions are getting closer together. She explains this
awkward situation to Officer Donnelly, who drives her to the nearest
hospital -- not the same one that the PCs are at. She is
quickly rushed in, and sees a doctor; she is not registered or checked in
(calling every hospital and giving her name doesn't help). Every time she
tries to get a doctor or nurse to call her family, they take the number
down and promise that it's taken care of -- but it isn't.
Shannon's adventures should be modified
depending on where the PCs look. If the PCs decide to try a nearby bus
stop, for example, they should hear a story about the crazy fat lady who
was trying to ride for free.
If possible, the characters arrive just
as the baby is born. It's a boy. Shannon names the boy
Angus, after Officer Donnelly.