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blood & guts / Re: How many playbooks do I need?
« on: June 09, 2017, 12:47:27 AM »
If I was designing something for a specific bunch of players, and giving them the choice of finished playbooks (rather than designing specific characters with/for each of them) then I'd try to make sure I had half again as many playbooks as players, so they get the illusion of choice, while making sure that whatever combination they chose produced a viable party.

That's tricky in abstract, because a group of six bricks doesn't work, and a team without a brick might struggle - but since you know your players you can cheat a little.

brainstorming & development / Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
« on: April 10, 2017, 10:01:15 PM »
It was always going to be either Necromunda (which is a Western anyway), or Aliens - and I was kinda intrigued at the idea of a different team of Colonial Marines waking up in hypersleep each time, then the dropship and brutal rippybiteyburstyacidy death, but in the end that had too many moving parts to get quite right in time.

Perhaps another day, but I think you called it correctly when you said yours was a one-off. Fun experiment I think, but hardly campaign material.

brainstorming & development / Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
« on: April 09, 2017, 08:43:40 PM »
Ok, so I ran this Friday evening, for my mates Action Man, Raggie, and Mister Q. I skinned the game with Games Workshop's Necromunda setting to throw them off the scent a little, and had the following characters:

Cleve Malo (played by Action Man), an Imperial Guard deserter based on Teddy Flood, whose loop was
  • Wake up on the inter-Hive shuttle from Blackwall to Greenspur;
  • Walk down the street in Greenspur, choosing whether to duel the Goliath ganger who bumps into him or not;
  • Decide whether to have a drink at The Lucky Pearl or not;
  • Decide whether to bed the madam, Loriel, or not - if so how to respond to the robbers, if not to do the Dolores>Holestead>Bandits loop

Clockwork May (played by Mister Q), a House Van Saar Heavy based on Armistice, whose loop was
  • Wake up on tox-wash shore outside Retribution;
  • Either hold off and wait to see what The Man In Black does, or, if he doesn't show, bust the gang leader, Zak Fellhand, out of the Adeptus Arbites jail in Retribution;
  • Head into Greenspur to rob the safe at The Lucky Pearl;
  • Die in gunfire during the robbery or back at camp when they find the safe is empty

Loriel (played by Raggie), the madam at The Lucky Pearl, based on Maeve Millay, whose loop was
  • Wake up in her room at The Greenspur Lodge;
  • Walk down the street in Greenspur, witnessing Cleve's duel with the Goliath (or not, if he doesn't duel);
  • Have a drink at The Lucky Pearl before starting work;
  • Proposition Cleve, or if Cleve's not there/not interested, a punter, then how to respond to the robbers, either way die in the robbery

I had another character, Zak Fellhand, the leader of the Van Saar gang, based on Hector, but my mate Tachy couldn't make it, so he became an NPC.

I gave them additional stats taken from the Western hack The Evening Redness in the West, so everyone had a character sheet with Consciousness, Self-Interest, Improvisation, Memory, Quick, Rough, Smooth, Wary and Vice scores. That way I had a mechanism to 'resolve Necromunda encounters'  like gunplay, and then run the consequences through the Consciousness-Self-Interest-Improvisation-Memory engine.

What a screaming success. The game was awesome, with the guys being quite shocked when Cleve suddenly up and died in the duel with the Goliath (after rolling a 5), and then starting to twig when Cleve woke up on the shuttle again. By the time all three had 'died' and woken up again, they'd recognised the Westworld model, and began to start Groundhog Daying their loops. Great fun, and Raggie laughed so hard he had a stitch at one point.

Great stuff, thanks to Ardhanari and Michael Pfaff for the tools!

brainstorming & development / Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
« on: March 15, 2017, 08:11:04 PM »
Hi! Threadromancy perhaps, but I've just stumbled upon this.

Have you played the game since, and are there any other insights you can offer? Do the players know ahead of time that they're hosts, or is it a surprise?

I'm considering running this for some friends in a few weeks' time, and I'm leaning towards 'unnamed dystopian sci-fi setting' where the players won't even know about hosts until one of them awakens. The loops themselves will be pretty much their only clue.

Hi Mike,

Is this offer still on? I ran Monster of the Week at Melbacon in Sydney earlier this year. Great game, the adventure was called The Wizard of Oz, and featured a reality-warping mutant attacking the HQ of Room 101, an X-Files-style department of ASIO operating out of the decommissioned RAAF base at Fairbairn in Canberra. The adventure split the party with one member of the team inside the reality storm, and the others arriving in response to an alert and trying to figure a way to communicate with their man inside and to get in to shut down the mutant. Gangs of fun, and I'm probably going to run it again later this year in Canberra.

Apocalypse World / Re: How do you limit An Arresting Skinner?
« on: April 29, 2014, 01:01:45 AM »
I wouldn't limit it, either.

On the other hand, there's no roll (hence no experience) in this power, so after a while your Skinner will notice s/he's lagging behind the others if this is all s/he does.

...and it may just be that AW isn't the game for your group.

In my view (as a relative novice) this game is about contributing to a story, not about rolling dice to do war like it's 40k with names. It may be that your group would prefer to play something else.

I say let them.

And let them do it again.

And the next time.

And the next time.

Eventually they'll look for something more than bang bang boom boom, or you'll convince them to switch systems to Twilight 2000 or something

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Potential Party-Breaking Decision
« on: February 13, 2014, 07:34:55 PM »
^ this.

You don't play this game to go the shops and pick up some milk and bread. You play this game to do extreme shit and see where it leads.

I personally think you should have gone for it, even better if you go down heroically. AW isn't a game for keeping your characters alive and safe, it's a game for entertaining shit and seeing where it goes.

Rather than looking after your character at the expense of a better story, you should be looking after the story at the expense of your character. I personally think that, in the same way the MC looks at the NPCs through crosshairs, you should look at your character through crosshairs.

I've found both Tremulus and AW to be better if you play for the story rather than preserving the character

Apocalypse World / Re: Why the Maelstrom
« on: December 12, 2013, 04:13:42 PM »
That is, seriously brilliant. And so in tune with so much of what I've read on AW. Inspirational, especially when applied to hacks - awesome stuff.

Apocalypse World / Re: A move for a child character
« on: December 11, 2013, 05:53:31 PM »
Need a "like" button

the nerve core / Re: Any Protocol for doing a Hack?
« on: November 28, 2013, 07:57:08 PM »
This may be a stupid/obvious question, but I've searched the forum and can't find it.

Where does one get the Powered by the Apocalypse logo?

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Scene-Centric MC Style?
« on: November 27, 2013, 05:29:45 PM »
Awesome post, a lot to mull over in that.

One quick thing I'll toss in to the discussion, I recently read Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, a  wonderful examination of scriptwriting, process, structure and rules of the form (I recommend it). One of the things he says in there is that every scene in every script takes the emotional level up or down in some way. So people are getting closer/further apart, happier/unhappier, richer/poorer, etc etc in every scene.

Seems to me this is a handy tip going into making the PC's lives not-boring.

Apocalypse World / Re: perfect group size
« on: November 26, 2013, 06:10:10 PM »
I like this Jughead idea.

My experience in real life is that when I spread myself thin across too many things, those things don't sit wilting in their boxes waiting for my attention, they go on without me and it's my access to them that ends up suffering. This example fits with that very neatly, and your player might even marvel at how well you give him a realistic experience of having too many irons in the fire.

Apocalypse World / Re: perfect group size
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:35:13 AM »
Half your luck!

My group started at six players two weeks ago. Then one guy dropped out, then another, then another... tonight we're running our first session with two players and the MC. Rasserfrassin'.

How many do you have? I should think 5-6 would be pretty good, anymore than that and you should wrap them extras up, stick a stamp on 'em and post 'em to me!

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