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Messages - Ebok

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Apocalypse World / Re: Child-thing Mother's Heartbeat question
« on: May 08, 2019, 10:13:35 PM »
I would say it is unlikely. It doesn't read that you can take someone with you, it says you can bring them. But in the end, it does what's best for you and your game.

Apocalypse World / Re: Some questions on handling Savvyhead's Workspace
« on: September 27, 2018, 02:35:34 AM »
I've found (for my games) when you say it's going to take a long time, its got to be something more like infrastructure, or something that requires a lot of hands involved. This is because a session in my games normally span a few hours, but rarely cover more than a day or two. Sometimes we pass time between sessions, but that's basically the only way to ever hit this particular requirement.

The cost in jingle requirement can be satisfied by just setting enough aside, meaning more time will be spent NOT working on the project, but rather preparing for it by doing other actions and putting more and more barter aside for it. This is fine if the project is something that can show up easily when the barter is ready. For something that makes a lot of sense, for others... well, maybe I want the player to actually do something on the scene.

That's what it takes X number of tries is for in my opinion.

If someone is trying to grow a replacement organ in a dead corpse they're keeping on life support for example. Maybe they have to find someone near death, or just died, hook them up in time and then do the weird gross science to them. This isn't just barter, it isn't just time, the player knows the first few times are doing to mess up. (some of the attempts can happen off the scene of course, but they should be represented at least a few times in player actions). Most importantly, however, NPCs should react to the fact he's stealing corpses, someone should come looking for the dead, someone should react badly to the idea, rumors should start to spread about the savvyhead with a garage full of corpses and people should react appropriately to the knowledge/ rumors. All the while you tease the player with new details as they get closer to their goal. This might not take a long time, it depends on the supply of corpses. If those dry up, what will the player do to get more?


Basically, if the Failures can affect the story, maybe this is a good idea. Both of the other options... nothing fails. It's just a matter of time or money. In this case, you're saying they MUST FAIL, and we care because those failures have an impact.

You want to build an airplane, you say? It'll take many tries to do that... So who's going to do the test flights?

You want to try to replace the air-filters, you say? It'll take many tries to do that... So what sections of the ship are you going to test that in?

You want to summon a monster and keep it under your control, you say? It'll take many tries to do that... So where are you going to try these summons, what are you going to try to summon, who's going to protect you when it goes wrong?

You want to create a tasteless odorless poison, you say? Who/what are you testing your poisons on before you get it just right?

... etc

This is really cool, dude. :)

Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer advancement clarification
« on: July 21, 2018, 12:38:14 AM »
Additionally, if the brainer is a bit more colored in by that point, my players have always requested custom stuff. Seems like a good opportunity to consider it.

So it does. My bad.

You also asked why would someone ever take Direct Brain Whisper projection over Puppet Strings.

To be honest, there's a very different context during play as well. Imagine having your freedom stripped from you, pain or death planted inside of you that commands you obey someone. How would that make you feel? How might you treat the person that did that to you in the future?

Direct Brain whisper projection can be as simple as a hateful fucking glare, warning you not to go further. It doesn't always mean that this is a lasting offense, it's like threatening for real to hurt someone if they do that thing. This is as much an expression of seriousness as violence. Because I mean, instead of just hurting someone you're warning them off first, so it's actually asking them not to make you do it.

Do you see the difference in how these moves might be responded to IG?

Not only do you have contextually Direct Brain Whisper Projection reaps immediate rewards and is easy (therefore more widely applicable) to use, but depending on the circumstances, it also has much lower chance to causing real emotional damage or trauma.

Puppet Strings is seriously dark voodoo. People do not like being turned into puppets. Expect them to react accordingly once they get free.

Just as Important:
when you have time
Note this Line. Puppet strings cannot be done on the fly, it takes time to get into someone's brain. All the glove allows you to do is touch them as the intimate part of the trigger, but it still takes time. Thus the situations where you can use these moves have almost no overlap.

Apocalypse World / Re: Waterbringer Question
« on: May 31, 2018, 06:58:43 PM »
I consider the laws applicable to the domain of the source and its environment as well. I could be willing to say that the water that flows from the source may be a target of these laws as well, but, I've yet to have a game with a source and a group leaving it behind. So there's been no opportunity to see how it plays away from home.

Apocalypse World / Re: A Solitary Apocalypse World?
« on: April 19, 2018, 12:52:30 AM »
A better solution might be to play AW with no playbooks at all.

I would consider dropping EXP and improvements completely. You actually don't need them. If the goal of the game is to explore solitude, replace these features with very lightweight and simple mechanisms that would compel the game design.

You can replace the emphasis on gaining moves, exp, and people, with stuff. You find a gun and a single box of ammo. You find a motorcycle, but it's barely got anything in the tankā€“It might get you and friend a bit further along though. You raid a story for some snickers, it could you over for a day or so, mark 1-food. Replace barter expenditure at the start of the session with food expenditure. A blanket won't help you eat, but you might be able to trade it to someone freezing for another day or two worth of food.. if you happen across them... and you convince them.

You might consider implementing a more potent Hx system. Something that goes up and down all the time. -1Hx if you have a fight. -1 Hx if you leave someone in a pinch. +1 Hx when you got their back when it counts, whatever. If your games are numerous and short, this probably doesn't need to happen. If your games are long and spread out--it might help.

I would also at the very least halve at least gang sizes because there just aren't that many people.

To focus on solitude it does have a psychological element that becomes important. Maybe you want to support that. Additionally, you'll want to zoom really close up to the characters. So any abstraction that focused on groups needs to be relooked at.

If you want some form of advancement, make a list of 10 improvements that work generally. Maybe 2 are pick a move from any playbook that makes sense. And give exp, not for rolling stats, but in DW style, at the end of the session if EVERYONE went to a place they've never been before, found/witnessed/did something truly remarkable, or /enter in some motivation you want to drive the story/.

Apocalypse World / Re: A Solitary Apocalypse World?
« on: April 19, 2018, 12:31:40 AM »
Underused for you? Or underused in general. The NPC rich classes are certainly NOT underused in my experience.

If the issue is one of scale... You can also shrink the scale of those playbooks. A gang is 3 people rather than 15, medium size gang is 6, etc. A hard hold is actually a single farm instead. Cut the number of npc's down by a specific scale, match that with the aggressiveness of the world, and make sure the HOT isn't just some useless stat because no one will ever talk to you. This functions fine and can keep the sense of privacy without utter isolation.  If you need more than that but want them to be afflicted by the maelstrom, enslave/capture/occupy some group of them. So they aren't immediately trying to murder you but might if released.

Otherwise, I would agree with lumpley and advise you to simply remove the offending playbooks for that given game.

The ones I would cut would be Skinner, Hardholder, News, Waterbearer.

News: Too much social, magical auto-knowing people, in an isolated world.
Skinner: A bad call if you intend to keep relationships fleeting, and lost does no favors.
Waterbearer: I don't think that this class would shine in that type of game world. Plus having the SOURCE of water, and expecting people not to be around is meh.
Hardholder: Might require too much infrastructure, and if these don't exist, then they don't exist.

Chopper is fine, a gang of 3 or maybe 6 as I said, and probably make every npc have 6 harm clock rather than 3, to heighten the fact that the PCs don't have an explicit strength more then the sitch provides. MaestroD works too, cut down the number of social ties, and have people drawn to you, rather then you come across them and their stories, but they always leave. MaestroD might just be the most lonely person in the world though.

The big key to this type of story, in my opinion, is to prevent settling down. If could be that people are just more violent and antisocial... but honestly? No. That's the wrong way to look at this. You should consider that people are inherently the same as they always were, but the number of people is so drastically less that it is hard to find that many in any one place. Reference: Girls' Last Tour / Shōjo Shūmatsu Ryokō (anime)

I think I'd push a maelstrom that just... makes it hard to impossible to stop. Everyone is going somewhere, and not the same somewhere. They've just got goals that are distant. Maybe because the maelstrom forces their goals away, maybe because the game takes place in some deadspace between things. Dunno.

Apocalypse World / Re: NPC Name Habit
« on: March 18, 2018, 09:34:28 PM »
Haven't got around to putting the app back together yet. Partly because my AW game which was the driving motivation has shifted into a DW type of thing for awhile. I'm planning to put it together, though don't expect it to be done soon, unfortunately.

Munin, coincidentally, that has something to do with why I didn't think this should be considered a "success" with something as easy to hit as a 7+. My resistance to the idea that any 7+ cool roll will get it done was further amplified by Paul T's description that "this is a long shot".

That provided a goal of saying, well, if a 10+ is the goal, then we need the stakes to make 7-9 worthy. Zoom out until you find them.

Munin, now we're saying exactly the same things.

P.S. Going Aggro with 0-harm is LOL
This was me MOCKING a 0harm Hard move, not condoning it.

For the most part, I don't really get Munin's objections.

The only difference I see is in the stakes Paul. A grapple is a narrative tactic for delaying, not resolving a situation. It could potentially resolve it, but TIME is what the act under fire was buying. If the guy inside the house wasn't going anywhere, it wouldn't mean a damn thing.

If the PC was backed into a corner by trying a bunch of other stuff, maybe you needed to let that snowball roll further before giving them the next "what do you do?" Maybe he should have been inside and be swinging something at the other one, and the PC is now rolling act under fire to drive tackle him. i.e. Under the threat of the other guy getting beaten up, I try to hold the aggressor down. On a hit, the other guys gets away. On a miss, he doesn't. On a 10+ and I or the other guy also didnt get whacked with something mean.

However, that doesn't take into account the table dynamic we had at the time, which was the PC already trying a few things which didn't work, and now being backed into a corner: she had to act NOW or it would be too late. This meant that all the players were looking at me, implicitly asking, "Can she do it [perhaps fast enough]?

This just makes me think you might have been babying the situation. It happens sometimes, you pause before you should have, you give them a chance to say something, and whatever they say doesn't seem like it'll work. It's okay to say it does not. If she's not willing to hurt him, and she doesn't have some distinct skill in this type of take down, or maybe she's just too small by comparison for it to be realistic, maybe she just gets smacked into the dirt, or grabs a hold, but it pushed off while he breaks into the door, and you carry the sitch forward until you HAVE the stakes you feel comfortable with.

If you don't think what she says will work, tell her that's not enough to stop him. A pipe against the throat? Unless you're planning to hurt them, that pipe is in your way.

Maybe, you roll cool anyway, and on a 7-9 she is grappled by him. 6 she is tossed aside groaning and he's got the other one. 10+ phew. I dont like this much because the 7-9 doesnt mean much unless he's going to threaten her. If he just lets go and goes back to the door, the roll didnt change the sitch, and that's a good example of a roll that should not be made.

I think you're looking at this wrong.

I don't understand how cool would even work here. You've not described anything that would have the stakes for a cool move. You're not acting under fire. You're the FIRE. Do you want to grab a person? YOU GRAB THEM, this is AW we don't roll to hit. You think a grapple ends after you get a grip? No, that's where it STARTS.


NPC wants to break someone's face.
Player wants to stop them.

Player tries to grab ahold of the NPC, okay cool it happens. Player begs against the NPC fighting them off to listen, if NPC cares about the player's opinion, you've got leverage. Roll Hot. On miss, we've got the cross hairs, the NPC wants to the break the face more then they give a fuck about the player. Also, we've got a miss to snowball with.


Player tries to grab ahold of the NPC, okay cool it happens. The Player doesn't want to beg, they want to FORCE them violently to the earth. NPCs and Characters in the apocalypse world don't s-harm for free, they get the harm they threaten to deal as a motivation. So this is not a 0-harm or s-harm, this is 1-harm fighting. 1-harm fighting probably isn't going to kill them. If the NPC isn't interested in killing the player, fine, but bashing you in the face with your own pipe to get you off and then into the door--maybe that's still fine. Is the player just going to let it happen or fight back too, how much does each side actually want what they want?

If you are willing to hurt but not kill the NPC to stop this. Seize by force, where the goal to prevent to the NPC from getting inside, this can be summed up nicely as defending a place.

I gotta say, if the PC doesn't want to hurt the NPC, and the NPC doesn't want to hurt the PC. Maybe grapple doesn't mean shit, maybe it happens, no one rolls, and you keep role-playing the scene right through.


Player tries to grab ahold of the NPC, okay cool it happens. The Player puts the gun against the NPC's head and threatens to blow it off if they don't settle down. Hot is the player won't follow through, hard if they will.


If I wanted to do cool, it would look more like this: You grab the tackle the NPC as they try to break into the home. While holding on them you scream for the guy to RUN AWAY. Let us assume he does and starts to flee. NPC now likes you a lot less, and they're going to fight you off and go kill that fucker. Roll cool to hold him down long enough.

10 + You do it.
7-9 You manage to give the NPC a head start but you got elbowed in the face when the NPC finally gets you off. 0-harm, roll harm move. Or any other halfway you did it! But you're not holding him anymore and the sitch is still rolling downhill.
Miss, You fail, you got gut /groin punched, then decked in the nose, through blurry vision and a shit load of pain you see the NPC catch his target, and then shoot him, stab him, or kick the ever-loving shit out of him, as per the fiction.

P.S. Going Aggro with 0-harm is LOL, and should be treated as such. It's a bad bluff, at best. So hard. Player clearly doesnt want whatever they're doing enough. That said, I've had go aggro rolled on blackmail, do this OR I"LL TELL! And thats works out fine.

While true, if it was to be applied to the original stake: "restraining someone". I feel that it absolutely would not provide a good example for playing it out.

However, having let the concept stew for awhile-- I would probably not play it out over restraining someone at all. They might be trying to restrain someone, but what they're fighting over would be getting access to the door. So if Go Aggro and Manipulate cannot be applied, fighting to defend the door is a viable exchange--which might entail a grapple of some kind.

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