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Messages - octoscott

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Apocalypse World / Re: AW as an online text-based game
« on: May 08, 2014, 04:22:58 PM »
Hello all,

I've been running and playing in forum play of AW and its hacks for a couple years now. In my experience it's the best suited for online forum play, in mart due to the limited number of rolls required and how important each roll is (plus the fact that there's little back and forth in combat... nobody's rolling initiative, damage, etc) And how well-crafted narration really makes the game, as Munin described.

Love it!

Apocalypse World / Re: Where should I look for PbF?
« on: February 08, 2014, 03:41:15 AM »
Hey there's some places to go:

Snail's pace is a good start, there's a few PBF games going on and with a little poking you could probably get a new AW game going.

Another site called Yay-An-RPG is similar, but updated. You need to send an email to the admin for an invite. There's some monsterhearts going on there now, some poison'd. Probably a good place to get involved in apocalypse engine gaming.
Application email:

There's certainly more out there, but nearly all gaming at these sites has been AW engine.

I think the general rule is that if you show up and express interest then gaming will happen, can take a little time for a dedicated gm to get things started though, so a little patient prodding can be helpful.

Apocalypse World / Re: A move for a child character
« on: December 20, 2013, 11:17:41 PM »
That's a nice solution. I've had a couple child characters and it's always an awkward piece of the game system. I tried to make an if someone plays a game with you variant but that didn't go over well with the group.

Apocalypse World / Apocalypse World PBF - Some Good Sites
« on: November 15, 2013, 01:27:11 PM »
Hey everyone. Wanted to spread a little word, I'm a member of a couple of great PBF communities (Snail's Pace & Yay-An-RPG) which tend toward AW and AW hacks. Monsterhearts, Apocalypse World, MoTW and others have been popular.

A couple of games just wrapped up on the sites and it's probably a good time to get involved if you want to try PBF and I'm sure some new games will start up soon. Let the MC's know there's players waiting, or run something yourself!

Apocalypse World / Re: Running AW at a Convention with Zero Experience
« on: March 08, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »
When does this happen Tiresias? Let us know how it goes.

Apocalypse World / Re: Running AW at a Convention with Zero Experience
« on: February 17, 2013, 07:07:29 PM »
Something else you can do is print a cheat sheet with all of the moves from the available playbooks on them (so you can refer to them during play without going to the text) Also, some room to note character names, things important to them, etc...

Another handy thing is a name card for each PC (Mine have pictures, I print a zillion of them and players love to pick a portrait in most cases for themselves and key NPC's) And it helps to call everyone by their character name at a glance.

Apocalypse World / Re: Balancing the weird and the mundane
« on: February 15, 2013, 01:47:28 PM »
I think the heart of making the world seem real has two parts:

1) Crazy things just need to be consistent and follow some sort of understandable rule, no matter how far out there they get (And they get really far out there in AW sometimes, but don't have to).

But much more important:
2) Characters behave and feel real. Make real choices for real reasons.

The movie Promethius is a perfect example of this gone wrong. You can argue about the aliens and their motivations and technology in this movie, but what is totally broken in it is the baffling behavior of the characters. Nothing will explain why the characters in that film make the choices they do. It simply doesn't feel like real human behavior.

Apocalypse World / Re: Threats that don't fit and Custom impulses
« on: February 13, 2013, 05:37:58 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that she doesn't have to personally represent the threat, she doesn't have to mean to harm anyone. She threatens the players in other ways. The players may feel a duty to protect her when she's in danger, her choices may put others in jeopardy, she may expend resources unwisely (even to the PC's benefit) and cause unintended problems. Someone may be jealous of her attention or her success.

She's still a threat, even not meaning to be one, but where to put her? Probably in the home front. She's not really a part of that furnace threat if she doesn't reflect it's purpose, even if she's in close physical proximity to it.

Apocalypse World / Re: Running AW at a Convention with Zero Experience
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:11:59 PM »

Good luck! It's awesome that you're going to run. I've played with lin_fusan and he gives good advice.

My first AW game I ran was at a con, and I played in another MC's first experience running earlier at the same con, so I have some experience in the matter. Some of it is good practices in general for Apocalypse World, some is convention specific.

In my case, i put together a scenario for the con, providing "love letters" to each PC as a way to get the action rolling and provide both an immediate threat, and a goal for the session. You don't need a scenario in mind, and in either case I think it's best to know what the situation is, but not how the PC's might solve it. My scenario basically outlined a number of dangers (threats) to the PC's, but offered no solutions, the PC's had to figure that out.

Put the PC's in positions of authority, you don't want them asking an NPC what to do.

Don't forget the apocalyptica, describe the world and make it dangerous and threatening.

Work with PC's and a handful of cool NPC's who connect to them, a rival, a lover, a gang, a thief, a liar. You don't want to be too subtle here, NPC's have simple motivations and go all out for them at times. (But keep them real)

Players in apocalypse world typically WANT things to be super harsh, you provide incredible hardship and hope that the characters can overcome it. You're on the PC's side here, but you need to seriously challenge and yes, fuck with them. But also applaud their success and let their triumphs mean something lasting.

Focus inward. The PC's should deal mostly with people close to them. There's likely some external threat, but really you want the relationships to be intense and personal.

Explain that the game, and the playbooks include sex moves before play starts, some of them might be uncomfortable with them. I usually mention this at the end of character creation. Make it clear that the game shouldn't get explicit, but sex can happen (Though in my experience it doesn't happen that much at conventions, maybe it's the time limit or a comfort level thing)

Creating characters will take up to 45 minute to an hour, keep that in mind.

My scenario I've run several times is "Iron Road" about using a steam train to try and leave a doomed town (holding, as they call them in apocalypse world) and about who controls the train, who gets on, who gets left behind. The players play the engineer (Savvyhead) and those around her. But the details are quite flexible.

If you're interested in seeing the materials I use, i can send you some. Just let me know.

Apocalypse World / Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« on: January 12, 2013, 10:19:08 PM »
Just finished up a campaign of Apocalypse World and our brave PC's managed to rally together to kill their most terrible enemy and defend their holding from a vicious night attack. There were serious losses and prices to pay, but at the end of the day they had basically... won.

Not sure if I've ever seen this addressed.  The fronts are a huge pressure on the player characters and they need to deal with them, but can the players make the world better? In whatever way is meaningful to their PC's? Can or should they overcome the shit that Apocalypse World throws at them and more or less... win?

Or is the world truly doomed to spiral downward forever.... man I hope not.

Guess another way to ask this is can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?

Apocalypse World / Re: 1st Session Advice
« on: January 12, 2013, 10:12:32 PM »
When y'all are thinking about stuff before session 1... building your aesthetic, as it says... How far do you go? For instance, if you thought I Am Legend was cool and had this vision of a holding barricaded in at night to keep the monsters out... Is that something you might try to work in? It doesn't really seem like the kind of thing that might otherwise come up, but I've never run a game, so I don't know. Is it going too far?

Now, the setting will come from somewhere... from one or more players, it can just as well be from you. If you have a strong aesthetic in mind, I say go for it, but don't write in in stone, let it flex a bit and don't force it if nobody seems to like it. Players will add nuance you hadn't thought of and bring the thing to life, you'll say "Hey, I want a dark world where monsters come out at night" and someone will say, "yeah like they get in your head and you come wandering out of the dark all possessed and shit!" Yeah... cool. Why not, take one thing and go forward from there.

Also, how much authorial control of the world do you folks hand over to the players after session 1? The example in the book is asking the players "Where DO you get your food?" And, to me, it seems clear that during session 1, the players are intended to have wide latitude with world details well outside their characters. After that, do you reign it in some, or still take a lot of opportunities to hand world-creation back to the group? If it depends, what kinds of things do you weigh?
I generally hand over setting decisions to the players when I ask, other than that they may add to the narrative but shouldn't feel like they have broad brush powers to declare thing about anything not directly in their character's control. But on occasion I will specifically prompt a player for input into something which normally would be out of their character's realm. Like, "so you deal with the Wetlanders all the time right? You know that crazy tree with all the lights up in the branches? What do you think that thing is for?" Often I phrase it like that even so... asking what their character thinks about something, not necessarily asking what it is. Lets the player contribute without setting all in stone.

I don't really imagine these questions have "right" answers. I'm just looking to see how other folks have done it or think about it. Thanks!

Yeah, no such thing as right answers, this is just how I usually do it in my games.

Apocalypse World / Re: Marking experience for beginning-of-session moves?
« on: January 12, 2013, 10:02:44 PM »
When it comes to marking xp I don't worry about balance between players, my concern is the march towards what feels like end-game, or at least the end of the characters path. Once a character gets deep enough into the advances they feel powerful and like they stop progressing to some extent.. which from my experience makes the game feel like it ought to be near an and, or a significant event.

This is my concern where xp gain comes in, how it drives the feel of the campaign. Advanced xp leads to character retirement, new characters, and very powerful ones. Shifts the tone of the game at least.

None of this is bad even, it's just not something you always want to get into very quickly

Apocalypse World / Re: Knifesies - My first shot at Fronts
« on: December 07, 2012, 01:32:28 PM »
Super good work on the game, Sean. So much shit waiting to happen, really good work. I'm curious to hear how these evolve over the course of the campaign, I find threats and fronts change a lot as important people die and are introduced and the secret "I wonder" items turn into "I know" items and alter the world.

Vicki is very interesting, the threat of blasting the entrances to seal the mall is compelling (Though can't you just go out the emergency exit or something?) The threat of restricted access is cool, pair that with something the PC's would truly miss on one side of the door or the other.

If anything on the custom moves, i would like to see some benefit to the PC's for hitting 10+, rather than that meaning essentially nothing happens.

How long have your sessions been? Seems like a great deal of content for early in the game.

Apocalypse World / Re: Names and their power
« on: February 13, 2012, 02:31:07 AM »
@Joe - Thanks for the AP's

Apocalypse World / Re: Names and their power
« on: February 10, 2012, 07:25:12 PM »
I love the names... well.. I loved them. I've played in a number of AW campaigns now, and the same names always popping up serve to confuse the hell out of me. At times, though, they add a certain level of humor or a shared consciousness "There's always a Dremmer" but often i get mixed up between ongoing campaigns. It's more of a problem with the NPC's than the PC's generally, but in at least three games now I've had a Savvyhead named Spector, and nearly every Angel ever has been named Gabe.

And let's not mention the many troubles of Specialist Tammy Jackson.

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