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Trials of the Apocalypse

Rhubabarbin Creative Collective

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Trials of the Apocalypse is an actual play anthology podcast telling humorous, thrilling, and heartfelt short stories with Powered by the Apocalypse games. For each new system we showcase, we explain the basics of the game and collaboratively build our characters and the setting. You can start from the beginning, or with whichever story interests you the most! Games featured so far include Apocalypse World, Undying, Ghost Lines, Brindlewood Bay, The Watch, Monster of the Week, Pigsmoke, and ...
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Brindlewood Bay retirees Mary, Jane, and Whitney are called upon to investigate the grisly demise of the local high school's mascot. Is there more to the blood and pageantry at the community ice rink than just a petty high school rivalry? The Murder Mavens are on the case... as soon as they finish their weekly book club meeting. Content Warning alc…
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Our Vigilance Committee gathers 'round the table once more to chat about their experience playing The Between: Ghosts of El Paso. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, alcohol, references to: suicidal ideation, ghosts, death, urine, violent ends, deep sadness, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Church, drunkenness, bathing [ 0:03:49 - System r…
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The Vigilance Committee bring the Ghost-Be-Gone threat to a violent end. CW: graphic violence, eyes, dismemberment, gore, coarse language, ghosts, death, urine, bereavement, snake oil, alcohol, references to: loss of agency, violent ends, bondage, deep sadness, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Church, drunkenness, bathing, blood, marring of …
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The Vigilance Committee uncover the dark designs of Dr. Clarkson as they lay out their plans for the night. CW: coarse language, ghosts, death, urine, bereavement, snake oil, alcohol, violence, references to: loss of agency, violent ends, deep sadness, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Church, drunkenness, blood [ 0:02:35 - Answer a Question:…
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The promised tour of Dr. Jebediah F. Clarkson's operation finally arrives. The vigilance committee members are made offers they absolutely can (and do) refuse. CW: coarse language, ghosts, death, urine, bereavement, snake oil, alcohol, violence, references to: loss of agency, violent ends, deep sadness, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Churc…
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A new threat emerges as the Vigilance Committee investigates the effects of Ghost-Be-Gone on the town. Marshal interviews his prisoner, Gideon sniffs and scratches, Lorelai looks into a dead man's eyes, and Angel does some chemistry. CW: coarse language, death, dead human bodies, bereavement, guns, snake oil, alcohol, violence, references to: loss …
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The players receive a variety of rewards for completing the Lady in White threat. CW: coarse language, ghosts, weddings, references to: marriage, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Church, drunkenness, bathing, death [ 0:03:07 - Rewards from the Lady in White ] [ 0:10:26 - Award experience ] [ 0:18:59 - Select Dawn Questions ] [ 0:21:41 - Eval…
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The Lady in White's wedding finally comes as an assemblage is called in El Paso, and a young family is haunted by the spirit of a cattle rustler. CW: coarse language, ghosts, weddings, bereavement, guns, moths, horses, snake oil, alcohol, dead human and animal bodies, violence, references to: loss of agency, trafficking, marriage, Christian imagery…
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A cart rolls into town with an elixir to cure what ails you: Ghost-Be-Gone. The Marshal threatens prison, Bro. Gideon recalls a letter, Angel spends a buck-fifty, and Lorelai condemns a man to death. CW: coarse language, ghosts, snake oil, child labor, alcohol, dead human and animal bodies, violence, references to: loss of agency, trafficking, war,…
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The Vigilance Committee split up to investigate the lady in white. Angel reads a startling headline, Lorelai casts her bones, Bro. Gideon tries to attract a new congregant, and the Marshal goes down and gets dirty. CW: coarse language, ghosts, alcohol, dead human and animal bodies, violence, loss of agency, falling from dangerous heights, reference…
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The deputy declares two men and four horses dead from a wagon crash. A lady in a white dress was the only other present at the incident, but answers are hard to come by when your only suspect is a ghost. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, nudity and bathing, human and animal death, ghosts, violence, loss of agency, references to: Christian image…
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We get ghost-hunting in the wild west of The Between: Ghosts of El Paso! Meet our fallen pastor, industrious barkeep, bombastic Marshal, and sweet, inevitable death. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, references to: ghosts, Christian imagery, the Southern Baptist Church, violence, blood, death, maiming, mind control [ 0:06:49 - The Between, Ghos…
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The professors reunite for their magical academy performance reviews... a.k.a. our usual game retrospective. CW: coarse language, scholastic anguish, references to: bees, volcanos, fast food, spirits, zombies, witchcraft, and capitalism [ 0:00:36 - Introductions, outline ] [ 0:04:15 - System reflection ] [ 0:14:51 - Stars ] [ 0:25:08 - Behind the s…
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The Dept. of Life and Death's Research Showcase makes this year's Piglet Day memorable. Liam gives an unsupervised teen a knife, Woody experiences a breakup, and Maia truly becomes the chair. CW: coarse language, gore, sexual innuendo, frogs, pigs, body horror, organs and surgery, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, bees, electrocution, references …
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The day to charm Brad Flannigan Jr. comes to bear. Maia's students make new life, Woody starts a hunt for the wrong fish, and Liam summons his legion of acquaintances. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, hamsters, organs and surgery, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, bees, cats, references to: infants, fast food, death, body horror, organ trans…
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Finals week inches closer. Woody makes some calls, Liam ascends a volcano, and Maia raises hamsters. CW: coarse language, raised voices, hamsters, organs and surgery, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, bees, cats, references to: infants, fast food, death, body horror, organ transplants, undeath, missing persons, cannibalism [ 0:02:45 - Plans for t…
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Another week of the semester comes and goes. Maia gets a promotion, Woody teaches a dog about friendship, and Liam seeks truth at an Arby's. CW: coarse language, raised voices, sexual innuendo, organs and surgery, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, bees, cats, references to: fast food, death, organ transplants, undeath, missing persons, cannibalis…
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A mysterious email summons Maya, Liam and Woody to the Dean's office. Liam struggles with single parenthood, Woody markets his MLM, and Maya takes a nap. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, bees, references to: violence, death, organ transplants, undeath, abduction, missing persons, cannibalism [ 0:06:23 - A my…
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We crack open Pigsmoke, a game of magical academics and absurd bureaucracy. We've got a bubbly necromancer, a dusty archeologist, a faux mentalist, and an incredibly petty college rivalry. You know, normal university life. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, scholastic anguish and bureaucracy, references to: violence, death, organ transplants, un…
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The crew reunite for a retrospective on their space adventure. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, references to: COVID, mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:06:59 - Introductions, outline ] [ 0:15:01 - System reflection ] [ 0:35:53 - Stars ] [ 0:46:30 - Wishes ] [ 0:51:54 - Behind the scenes ] [ 1:07:47 - What's the deal with Rodney…
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The crew of the Starship Scholastic solve the mystery in the thorniest way possible. CW: coarse language, flirting, strong sexual innuendo and sexual language, kink, insects, body horror, birth references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:04:08 - Nova syncs up, investigates the mystery ] [ 0:18:05 - Fr. Og radios from "the shit …
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Lumeria's true nature is revealed. Fr. Og conducts dangerous research with a new colleague and Rodney levels up. CW: coarse language, insects, sexual innuendo, agoraphobia, heights, horses, body horror, references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:04:22 - A meeting of Froctors ] [ 0:13:13 - Assisting Fr. Hoofenschmirtz ] [ 0:23:…
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Nova's ploy brings the crew face-to-face with the monster, Lenny introduces us to USB-Z, Fr. Og encounters a colleague, and Rodney unintentionally spider-mans away. CW: coarse language, insects, horses, sexual innuendo, references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:02:00 - Rodney in the hab ] [ 0:08:20 - Fr. Og heads below ] [ 0:…
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As danger looms, the crew split up to look for answers. Lenny gets a little wrapped-up, Fr. Og is chastised by a three-day-old, Rodney protests being a ghost, and Nova tries to communicate with junk. CW: coarse language, insects, sexual innuendo, agoraphobia references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:04:12 - Mech departs ] [ 0…
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New dangers and answers await the Starship Scholastic on the surface of Lumeria. Rodney boldly goes into the unknown, Nova seeks a full-time position, Fr. Og makes a friend, and Lenny bangs a mech. CW: coarse language, insects, sexual innuendo, references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:03:36 - Just landed ] [ 0:14:19 - Rodney…
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The crew of the Starship Scholastic draw close to their destination. Nova swipes her Cosmic Library card, Lenny trips in space, Rodney folds a paper airplane, and Fr. Og fires his array gun. CW: coarse language, insects, references to: mortal peril, violence, death, and capitalism [ 0:02:02 - Investigate a Mystery ] [ 0:15:38 - Warp, approaching th…
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Director Diarmuid takes the crew of the Starship Scholastic through a retrospective of their prior mission before their captain gives them their next one. Meanwhile, Nova seeks to form a union, Rodney contemplates his own mortality, Lenny regrets a murder, and Fr. Og doesn't kiss and tell. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, implied sexualization…
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The crew of the Starship Scholastic introduce their characters. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, implied sexualization of monsters, references to: horror, violence, death, cancer [ 0:00:48 - Story high concept ] [ 0:04:09 - Nova character ] [ 0:12:57 - Fr. Og character ] [ 0:31:00 - Lenny character ] [ 0:47:12 - Rodney character ] [ 1:01:57 - …
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A new assemblage of players barely stop faffing about long enough to explain the game Monster of the Week. CW: coarse language, sexual innuendo, implied sexualization of monsters, references to: horror, violence, death, cancer [ 0:01:15 - Game and player introductions, jovial banter ] [ 0:15:35 - Monster of the Week influences ] [ 0:21:36 - Ratings…
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Our squad from The Watch reunite to record a retrospective on the game. CW: coarse language, reference to: incarceration, war, violence, death, military hierarchy, grief, strained familial relations, inter-player conflict [ 0:05:25 - Reflection on The Watch systems ] [ 0:15:52 - Stars and Wishes ] [ 0:41:37 - Behind the Scenes ] [ 0:56:49 - Listene…
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Phee and Pasac go back to where it all began, Erdo meets with the Field Marshall, and Tehti has visitors. CW: coarse language, incarceration, war, graphic violence, death, military hierarchy, dissociation, grief, loss, strained familial relations, inter-player conflict [ 0:07:24 - Phee and Pasac in the tent ] [ 0:14:49 - Pasac visits Tehti ] [ 0:25…
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A bid for power and a bittersweet reunion herald an evolution in the war against the Shadow. CW: coarse language, war, graphic violence, death, military hierarchy, dissociation, grief, loss, strained familial relations, inter-player conflict [ 0:03:17 - Shadows in the well ] [ 0:10:56 - The surface, mission's end ] [ 0:19:11 - Tehti's plan ] [ 0:31…
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The mission begins. Phee returns to her home, Pasac is lured into grave danger, Erdo suffers a grievous wound, and Tehti... Tehti smiles. CW: coarse language, war, graphic violence, death, sexual innuendo, discussion of sex, military hierarchy, dissociation, grief, loss, strained familial relations, inter-player conflict [ 0:03:51 - Mission moves ]…
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The Field Marshall reveals The Watch's daring plan and Erdo's squad's place in it. Phee's new vision worsens her relationship with Pasac, and Tehti reaches out to dark forces for intel. CW: coarse language, war, violence, death, sexual innuendo, discussion of sex, military hierarchy, dissociation, grief, loss, strained familial relations, inter-pla…
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Phee shares a memory of the day The Shadow came, Tehti does a bonk, Erdo gives a rousing speech, and Pasac flirts with... well, everybody. CW: coarse language, war, violent death, sexual innuendo, discussion of sex, military hierarchy, dissociation, grief, loss, strained familial relations, inter-player conflict [ 0:05:07 - Phee's Dream ] [ 0:15:33…
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David, Emma, Gel, Nyx, and special guest Dana develop their characters and the world of The Watch. CW: coarse language, war, death, maiming, spiders, callous regard for human life, body modification, critique of cisheteronormativity, discussions of gender nonconformity, hormone replacement therapy, sexuality, spirituality, abuse of consent, patriar…
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David, Emma, Gel, Nyx, and special guest Dana learn how to play The Watch. Along the way, they discuss gender, patriarchy, and other themes central to the game. CW: coarse language, gender dysphoria, discussions of gender nonconformity, misogyny, sexuality, war, violence, patriarchy, and capitalism [ 0:01:42 - Introductions ] [ 0:06:21 - The Watch …
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Our Brindlewood Bay Murder Mavens reunite to record a retrospective on the game. CW: coarse language, references to death, birds, cats, sexual inference and innuendo, mentions of alcohol [ 0:03:38 - System reflection ] [ 0:15:32 - Stars ] [ 0:26:19 - Wishes ] [ 0:33:29 - Behind the scenes ] [ 0:38:33 - Listener questions ] Featuring: | David as the…
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The Murder Mavens embrace a dark theory, and questions get answers at the Brindlewood Air Bay & Bae. CW: coarse language, death, birds, cats, blood and gore, mild psychological horror, sexual inference and innuendo, mentions of alcohol and potential drug use [ 0:03:14 - Maven meeting at the park ] [ 0:10:41 - Cozy move ] [ 0:22:55 - Theorize ] [ 0:…
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The plot thickens. There is a clue in every room and danger in the halls as our Mavens conclude their investigation of the school grounds, and the mystery of the Firebird ignites passions of all kinds. CW: coarse language, death, birds, cats, blood and gore, mild psychological horror, sexual inference and innuendo, mentions of alcohol and potential…
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Investigations move into the school as Coach's vitality proves vital, Marion's cat uncovers a clue, and Diana's dog collar... isn't for her dog. CW: coarse language, death, birds, cats, blood and gore, mild psychological horror, hospitals, sexual inference and innuendo [ 0:03:21 - Sharing clues, next steps ] [ 0:19:02 - Principal Pervis in the park…
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The Brindlewood Bay South Senior High mascot is dead. Social studies teacher Rob Kestrel is missing. Thankfully, the Murder Mavens: Marion, Coach, and Diana are on the case... provided they can make it to the scene of the murder in one piece. CW: coarse language, death, birds, cats, blood and gore, mild psychological horror [ 0:03:05 - Cozy vignett…
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David tries to teach Emma, Pat, and Dempsey how to play Brindlewood Bay.... along the way answering important questions like "Do ghosts pee?", "What does 'eponymous' really mean?", and "Who's the Keeper, anyway?" CW: coarse language, paranormal activity, faux exasperation, urination, mentions of drugs and alcohol [ 0:02:14 - Player introductions ] …
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The Ghost Lines crew reunite to record a retrospective on the game. CW: coarse language, references to murder, body horror, ghosts, horses, alcohol and existential terror [ 0:03:42 - Segment introduction ] [ 0:04:19 - Thoughts on Ghost Lines ] [ 0:12:31 - Stars ] [ 0:27:35 - Methodology and planning ] [ 0:39:05 - Wishes ] [ 0:47:32 - First listener…
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Past and present wrongs take center stage. A path forward is carved, but where does it lead? CW: coarse language, some body horror, ghosts, references to death, horses, alcohol and existential terror [ 0:04:55 - Zyrric faces past wrongs ] [ 0:09:51 - Catterjune interrupts and flees ] [ 0:13:42 - Zyrric is given a choice ] [ 0:15:34 - Aftermath and …
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The line bulls' desperate struggle against the restless dead begins. Will their human and equine allies be enough? CW: coarse language, some body horror, ghosts, references to death, horses and existential terror [ 0:02:26 - Mounting tensions and horses ] [ 0:09:54 - Rowan and the Conductor ] [ 0:11:40 - Roll against the supernatural ] [ 0:20:45 - …
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Horrors from the sea threaten the train, revealing secrets better left hidden. A girl wants to ride a pony. CW: coarse language, some body horror, references to death, horses and existential terror [ 0:02:44 - Rolling insight ] [ 0:08:45 - What does it want? ] [ 0:17:30 - Contacting the Conductor ] [ 0:26:45 - Evasive maneuvers ] [ 0:31:45 - Rollin…
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Zyrric and Strathmill's inspection of the train leaves more questions than answers. Meanwhile, Rowan and Catterjune get Grainger to open up... in more ways than one. CW: coarse language, references to death, horses and light existential horror [ 0:02:37 - Suits and hooks ] [ 0:08:28 - Inspection up top ] [ 0:19:37 - The dinner car ] [ 0:27:03 - War…
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