I’ve run Velvet Glove at a couple of conventions before, and we put out the ashcan at GenCon. Some of the moves, playbooks, or other moving bits might change before we put out the finished game, but the core of the game won’t change. Here’s a look at some of the inspiration I’m reading, watching, and listening to while I’m working on the game.
What Velvet Glove is About
Velvet Glove is a Powered By The Apocalypse tabletop roleplaying game about teenage girl gangs in the 70s. The characters are poor teenage girls, probably girls of color, who live in crummy neighborhoods. They don’t have a lot of prospects or power, so joining a gang sounds like a fantastic idea.
They’re up against those who do have power – teachers, parents, other gangs. Men. Always men. Men who have decided that the young bodies before them are old enough to ogle and comment on, old enough to grope and slap and lust after.
Most of the game revolves around the girls using violence, sex, trickery – anything they’ve got – in order to eke out a tiny bit of safety, or a smidge of power for themselves. The girls also try to figure out how they feel about each other, the world they’re trapped in, and their relationship to sex.
Some Source Material
Part of the research I’ll be doing as I work on the game is watching movies, reading books, and rocking out to period music. Having never been in a girl gang myself (sort of), I’m reading books like Curb Stomp, Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs, and How I Escaped a Girl Gang to help flesh out the details of the life, and then decide how those details fit into the game. Also, I’m watching and rewatching movies like Set It Off, Foxfire, and Mi Vida Loca, among many others. Even if the time period is wrong, these movies and books provide a lot on how the girls interact with each other and the world.
One of the most important aspects is music. Velvet Glove isn’t the world of 70s disco, all shiny and glam. While that’s the popular image of the 70s, it ignores the other amazing music like punk, metal, soul, and R&B. If you have a Spotify account, Alberto Muti made a Velvet Glove playlist using the albums listed in the ashcan. I’ve also started a Pinterest board, if you’re more into pictures, or you can check out the G+ community here to talk about all things Velvet Glove related. 🙂
An Actual Play Report
Providence Indie RPGs (PVD Indie RPGs) ran a session of Velvet Glove, and then tweeted about it. You can see the whole storify below, but I really want to highlight this particular tweet:
@Scorcha79 & srsly, we had a gang fight, a drag race, petty infighting, off-duty cops causing trouble, & a proto-punk show in a warehouse…
— PVD Indie RPGs (@PVDIndieRPG) December 11, 2016
That right there? That’s amazing! It sounds like they really got what I was trying to do, and that makes me so happy, and excited to work on this game more. Here’s the rest: