Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spirit of 77- The Ballad of Harvest Gould

Last night we finally got to return to the mean streets of The City for some Spirit of 77, now joined by Audrey's character, Harvest Gould.

Harvest Gould was the tomboy of the family, helping Daddy with his ranch out by Muleshoe TX; riding, roping, fencing, and even seeing off rustlers on two separate occasions. She has a kind heart for the most part, but when the local quarterback assaulted her sister, Rose, leaving her paralysed, she knew that boy Just Needed Killin'. Harvey got Daddy's matched Schofields and took care of him herself...and two linebackers who tried to stop her.
The boy's family and the town officials wanted to sweep the whole thing under the carpet, but Daddy still feared reprisals, and sent Harvey to The City so she could be safe. Harvest Gould misses the ranch, but it seems as though every street and alleyway has some sort of varmint, and Daddy's six-shooters are still wrapped up in a saddle blanket in her apartment...

In game terms, Harvey is a Vigilante from Humble Beginnings looking for Justice. Her Thang is a signature weapon, or rather, two: a pair of Schofield heavy pistols in a custom gun belt that can be worn on the hips or as a shoulder rig. Her theme music is Jim Croce's "I've Got A Name".

Audrey and I started coming up with the character and her backstory on our way to a funeral in Camrose, as a way to get our minds away from tragedy a little while. It began with a series of this or that questions, and then carried on into the wheres and whys that a good character needs in any medium.

She appreciated the esthetic of Spirit of 77 as I had described it to her, and Harvest Gould reflects Audrey' childhood memories of the era, as well as her own rural upbringing. The game works much better without miniatures, but if we had to find one for Audrey's character, I would probably have to figure out a way to putty fringes onto something like this:

When she came up with that name in the car though, I knew we had a winner.

For those of you too young to remember (or are old enough but have successfully managed to repress), Harvest Gold was a trademarked shade, that, as Pete described, was the colour of your phone and appliances in the 1970s, if they weren't Avocado Green.

The ads above (from advertising and design site, The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit) may be the most potent distillation of a maligned decade I have ever encountered. From the font choices to the belted sweater dress of the female figure, it is absolutely and wonderfuly groovy.

Harvey's backstory may seem a little serious for someone named after a favoured colour of dishwashers from a bygone time, or for  character currently embroiled in an adventure entitled "Disco Ambulance", but if you think back to the movies and tv shows of the 1970s, she isn't too far removed from Dennis Weaver's McCloud, is she?

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