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Messages - Ross Cowman

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Apocalypse World / Re: Apocalypse World with 11 players
« on: July 20, 2011, 01:13:18 PM »
I would have a website / blog where each player can post their AP, stuff between sessions. It will help to tie things together and give folks a place to go between sessions to catch up.

Apocalypse World / Re: 10 Questions for 1st Session
« on: July 04, 2011, 05:59:31 PM »
awesome, just make sure to misdirect and you'll be golden.

Apocalypse World / Re: 10 Questions for 1st Session
« on: July 04, 2011, 01:24:57 PM »
Cool, I like the idea of having a questions list on hand in case you get stuck.
I'm not sure if you are looking for critique, so apologies if this is not what you're after ...

2 general comments,

-most of the questions are broad in scope and make assumptions about the world. I prefer to start with small and personal details, use their answers discover their Apocalypse World.  don't decide beforehand that there are Wastes, that people judge direction by North and South, that there are Cannibal Hordes,

-leap forward with named NPCs instead of asking the players to come up with them. (I explain why down below)

1. (To Hardholder if present, otherwise to all players) - What is your hardhold named?

first find out what it smells like, where the hardholder sleeps, what they hang on their walls, where the hell DID they scrounge that vintage wear? Let the hardhold unfold, the name will happen.

Who is your number 2?

great question, I'm totally stealing this, but don't just ask who's your number 2. Do something like this.

MC: "Who do you trust more, Balls or Roarke?"
HH: "Totally Roarke."
MC: "Roarke huh, do you trust her enough to give orders when you're not around?"
HH:"No, I don't trust her THAT much."
MC: "How about Princy?"
HH:"Yeah, Princy's my man."
MC: "Cool, so what's your problem with Roarke?..."

this is "leaping forward with named npcs" later when I do the same for the gunlugger's roomate, mechanic, lover, or whatever, you can bet Balls, Princy, and Roarke will be at the top of my list, this is "creating PC NPC PC triangles"

2 - You look out to the North/South/East/West, over the post apocalyptic landscape - what do you see?

I like to ask them about the view from some landmark they've established, 1st session is a day in the life, so what is the view from their bedroom window?  I would also avoid using the words North, South, East, West, let them figure out how they find their way around.

3.- Yours is not the only Hardhold around - what are the others? Which ones do you need and which ones do you hate? Why

4. A threat lurks out there in the wastes - what is it?
don't use the word threat, everything that is not a PC is automatically a threat in AW, When I run a 1st session there are no wastes until a PCs puts them there.
Lets say later you establish some wastes, or jungle, or whatever,  

5. What do you fear the most? The weather? The night? Hunger? The Cannibal Horde? The unknown?

It is really tempting to start making monstrous factions right off the bat, I would avoid this, AW is about people and relationships.

Also I would in general avoid using pre-defined terms like cannibal hordes or the wastes, try instead making up something new like, The Glow, or the Scull Dogs, let THEM decide what the hell you're talking about.

6. Someone in the community has their own independent power base. Who are they? How did they manage to achieve that? How do you feel about them?
7. Someone in the community is a good soul - somehow the Apocalypse hasnt ruined them like the rest of the world - who are they?
8. What is left of the World Before? An old person? A building? A resource? A tradition? A danger?
9.  Is there a Future, or just the Here n' Now? What do you see yourself doing or having in a years time? A decade?  
10. What do you want to change about the world or your situation? What is your plan to do that?  

These questions are great, but I would misdirect, ask them through other NPCs, or let them emerge naturally through play.

hope this helps!

Apocalypse World / Re: Most and least popular playbooks?
« on: June 17, 2011, 01:00:48 PM »
This has SO much to do with the cover photos.

Apocalypse World / Real Apocalypse - Inspirational reading / viewing
« on: June 01, 2011, 10:22:33 AM »
Shelter Cycle - writings about a real life doomsday cult that built a massive bomb shelter in montana, my friend grew up in this cult and attests to the factuality of this account...

Gates of Hell - A flaming pit in Turkmenistan

Apocalypse World / Re: The first session
« on: April 27, 2011, 11:18:07 PM »
These are some really great questions.
One thing to consider. When you ask a provocative question you are inserting a premise into the fiction. Personally I like to dial it back a bit, just in the beginning and really let the PCs make the world, As a player it is most satisfying when their ideas get to be the foundation.

Apocalypse World / Re: The first session
« on: April 27, 2011, 07:03:25 PM »
I  <3  1st sessions. So much. This is what I've been doing lately.

-Ask the players one at a time where they live. If thats too much, get more specific. Where do you sleep? Whats hanging on the walls, whats the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. Find out who else lives there.  You can always pull a,
"Does Tum-Tum live with you?"
"Whats you're problem with Tum-Tum?"
I LOVE that shit.

-Start making maps! Put out paper and colored pencils / crayons. Map out where they live, start another map showing where they live in relationship to each other. This goes hand in hand with naming all the NPCs, map all the places. Even if it's just a dot and a name.

-Next I like to put them together in groups of twos, go through their histories and use that to help come up with situations.  Try every combination, esp the ones that don't make much sense. You can always put them in the situation and have them come up with the rational.

-By now there should be enough NPCs and situations going on to have a bigger scene, up till now I've pretty much kept out of the way of the player's creativity, a little BFA, a little announce future badness, now is a good time to start Putting them on the Spot. 

-Look to end with a bang.

-I like to keep 1st sessions about 3 hours long. Including char-gen.


Apocalypse World / Re: Hang Up on the Fight Mechanics?
« on: April 27, 2011, 06:42:53 PM »
Thanks for replying to this John, the example in the book makes sense to me. I was unsure about how to handle Inflicting Harm as established when it was coming from multiple NPCs, but I feel resolved about it now.

Apocalypse World / Re: Hang Up on the Fight Mechanics?
« on: April 27, 2011, 04:24:44 PM »
@ Ctrall
You are right, for dealing harm it is mechanically the same. The difference is that gangs take harm with a different table, and PCs, do -1 harm to a small gang.

Yes, that is the kind of situation we're discussing. A PC Seizing multiple NPCs by force, and therefore suffering harm from multiple sources.  

Cool, I'm glad I'm not the only one one who got tripped up by this. I like the idea of having that whole teamwork think counting as a custom move, though it might not be necessary to just add +1 harm. I think the MC just gets to do that when the Harm as Established warrants it.

Apocalypse World / Inflict Harm w/ Less then a gang but more then one
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:23:16 PM »
Thanks for all of this great feedback, it is really helping me to get at the core of my hang-up. I think it boils down to this...

I agree, an MC should not just inflict harm twice in a row.  But what if they choose to Inflict Harm As Established and what has been established is that there are three people with shotguns?

Make them a gang?  I think it takes away from the Gunlugger and the PC's w/ gangs.

Choose a harder/different move?  Totally a better choice,  but this doesn't address when you have to Inflict Harm because of a PC Seizing By Force. 

It boils down to wanting a way to inflict more harm when appropriate, The Harm scale on pg 162 seems to address that the best, a Shotgun = 3 harm, so maybe a Shotgun barrage = 4 harm.

So this is where I am at, I'm feeling pretty good about this but I would totally welcome more thoughts.

Apocalypse World / Re: Hang Up on the Fight Mechanics?
« on: April 27, 2011, 12:31:03 PM »
I don't think 2 or 3 well armed guys count as a small gang. That steps on the Gunlugger's toes, or on the toes of anyone with a gang.  Otherwise I'm all for defining a small gang by according to the narrative.

My issue is that according when, according to the narrative, a PC is fighting against a group of NPCs that are not a small gang. The rules of the game don't tell me what to do. This instruction could come in the form of; mechanics for harm coming from multiple threats in the same encounter, another category closing the gap between a couple of guys and a small gang (the simplest option), or something else.

Does that make sense? Oh I also wanted to be clear that I'm not having a problem making the game "work", I can make Dungeons and Dragons "work". Well, sort of.
I'm just interested in discussing what I perceive to be a hole in the mechanics that dosen't need to be there.

Apocalypse World / Re: Hang Up on the Fight Mechanics?
« on: April 26, 2011, 11:27:38 AM »
I thought it made sense, then I realized that it actually doesn't make sense.

Right now the break down is
[a guy or two], [small gang (15-according to the chopper and hardholder)],[ medium gang (30)], [large gang (no definition)]

So the rules call for treating a guy or two as the smallest size like you are saying. Then there is this weird no-man's land between that and a small gang. That is the hole I'm talking about. It should really be patched somehow, maybe with another group.

I'm not stoked about treating one and two NPCs the same either but I'm cool with it being kind of hand-wavy.
Still, the small scaled fight dynamic would benefit from some better definition.

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: All About the Parents
« on: April 26, 2011, 12:23:11 AM »
My god, this poor abandoned thread. If I could delete it I would.

To complete my half finished thought, I am really interested in the relationship between these monsters and their parents. They are the landscape of Monster Hearts. What do your parents do? Microsoft Employees, Long Haul Truck Drivers, Story Game Designers, I love how the answer to this question totally brings these characters into hard focus for me.
Woah? You're dad's a pastor? You must be f-d up!

Monsterhearts / Re: Where to get Monsterhearts
« on: April 26, 2011, 12:19:50 AM »
Any chance of seeing the new version of Monster Hearts at Fabricated Realities?

Apocalypse World / Re: Hang Up on the Fight Mechanics?
« on: April 26, 2011, 12:18:20 AM »
Ok, I found in the rules that more then 2 NPCs counts as a small gang, for some reason I was thinking it was like 5 or more.  That helps but still...

When Momo pulls a Seize by Force, against lets say, Tum-Tum and Balls both armed with shotguns. Do you take 3 harm twice, minus your armor each time? 6 harm minus your armor 1 time?  My read is the former.

But then, this is where it gets weird, lets say Ula jumps into the fray, now they're a small gang and only do 4 harm once. Which makes no difference to Momo, if he's got 2 Armour, but makes a huge difference if he's got 0.

Is that how the rules are supposed to work?

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