Follow Us, Not Those False Gods

Tonight we played Follow by Ben Robbins with a group of people who had haphazardly fallen through a time portal into ancient Greece before the time of Socrates. Realizing our advanced knowledge and limited technology make us akin to gods, we decide to convince the populace to worship us rather than their traditional deities. Our fellowship includes bodybuilder and social media influencer Vlad Stronk, casino bum and con artist Ms. Ann Thrope, agitator and chaos agent Liesl, social activist and the mathematician whose calculations created the time portal Zane, an inventor and businessman calling himself Edison, and the artificial lifeform he invented named Grumpus. Other people who passed through the portal are Dr. Johnson, Mary Martin (no relation), CEO Dave, Lizzy the idler, and Marta the product hype maniac.

Follow rpg logo over alpine mountain peaks
Follow logo courtesy Lamemage Games.

We start by trying to undermine the people’s attachment to the old gods who stand in our way and who we must supplant. Edison begins by showing the Greeks how to build elaborate aqueducts to bring fresh water to their homes and their fields, which turns some’s thoughts away from the importance of sacrificial offerings. Stronk organizes the first ProteinCorp Games to show how powerful he is by lifting a man he claims is a son of Hercules while the man is lifting weights. Thorpe takes a picture of Lizzy with her handheld and convinces onlookers she has used it to take over Lizzy’s body in a shakedown of the peasantry, threatening to come back and do the same to them if they don’t cough up the proper tribute. During a public debate about whether and how much grain to release from the communal silos, Liesl sows discord by heckling debaters, encouraging selfishness, and starting a grain riot when she has her followers open the grain gates and start a dash for the grain. Grumpus participates in a parade honoring us, but his float (and his alone) is intercepted by priests of the old gods who try to disrupt his progress, but Grumpus wins a drinking contest against one priest and with his great strength, walks away unscathed. Through all this, Zane and Dr. Johnson have been attempting to better the people by teaching them advanced mathematics and the things it can make possible, but the constant parades, con jobs, protection scams, athletic games, aqueduct construction, and grain riots interrupt their every effort. In the end, Lizzy dies during the grain riots when she is too laid back about getting out of the way of the onrushing crowds, and we fail to convince people to stop worshiping their traditional gods.

In retribution, we decide to destroy a city as an example to the people of our power and the consequences of defying we gods who live among them. We start with a scene of Zane and Edison brainstorming approaches and options, then follow it with a montage of Edison constructing a beautiful machine for knocking down fortifications that consists of an elaborate scooping shovel built around a team of oxen that we call the Oxdozer. Meanwhile, Vlad works with Dr. Johnson to create a series of catapults for firing his team of megajocks into the city’s political amphitheater where they slaughter the assembled leaders. Liesl uses the Oxdozers to knock down the city’s temple, encourages and starts a round of looting, and drives the survivors toward the ships in the bay, saying she will allow them to leave, but then begins fire-bombing the fleeing ship using the catapults when they do. Thrope meanwhile makes a hot air balloon and begins dropping sweets and other goodies on the people of another town to announce our arrival and sow the seeds for our next conversion. Unfortunately, our efforts may lay waste to a city but have no impact on the worshipping habits of the local populace.

Zane decides to leave us behind and becomes a wandering monk, wise to the ways of the universe and advocate for social justice wherever they go. Vlad decides that instead of godhood to seek worldly power and goes to Sparta where his self-discipline and amazing abs will make him their natural leader, and immediately begins to teach them the tricks of the media influencer trade. Ms. Ann Thrope basically continues what she has always done, duping people for money and keeping one step ahead of the law. Liesl gives up on the Greeks and moves north to live among the barbarian tribes who better appreciate her chaotic lifestyle. Grumpus had wanted to find acceptance and love, but decides he must settle for fear and takes up piracy. Edison finds a small island to the west and builds an elaborate palace festooned with mechanical wonders that comes to be known as Atlantis, which Grumpus proceeds to sink as revenge against the creator who never acknowledged his humanity.