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Apocalypse World / [AP] Shining Star
« on: September 12, 2012, 02:42:06 PM »
Shining Star (Working title)


The colony ship “The Shining Star” 50 years after a massive explosion tore chunks out of the ship and sent her spinning off course,  The ship is 8 miles long, but much of it has been abandoned.  Small holdings have coalesced around powerful individuals but the areas between the holdings are almost as dark and cold as the space outside the ship.  (Special rules - everything has a "low on resources" special rule, 1-Barter only covers a week living expenses, XP on highlighted stats only once per scene.  And of course, learn a secret etc when someone resets Hx.)


Captain Merkel (Dave) – middle-aged Hardholder of “The Bridge,” a small holding that collects tribute from other holdings for keeping the lights on and the ship flying.  They have a command crew and a defense force called the “Red Shirts.”
Sparkle (Lauren) – is a Chopper who's brightly-garbed gang, “The Pony Express” live close to the border between the main part of the ship and the aft where the mutated survivors of the Engineering explosion live.  The gang has taken it upon themselves to stop the Afterburners from coming forward, but nobody else knows why.
Ghost (Scott) – is a grimy, bizarre Savvyhead who works for any and all who can pay and is one of the only survivors of Engineering.
Burke (Derek) – is a Driver with access to a transport pod/shuttle.  Originally an apprentice of the command crew on the Bridge, he discovered a love of freedom and went out on his own.  He is tattooed and be-studded.
Saffron (Kevin) – runs the Gem saloon as Maestro'D.  She has “booze” and table games for any paying customers to let off steam.  Many people on the ship use her establishment as neutral ground for meetings and intrigue.  Her bouncer is named Adams.
Domino (Hank) – is Burke's cousin and a  Gunlugger.  She wants to help look out for the little guys on the ship, and has the firepower to back up her desires.

Episode 1:

Ghost has just finished restoring full power to the Bridge (7-9 Wealth roll, want = anxiety, Ghost took 1 Harm aiding, Wealth and Bonefeel are the ONLY opening moves!) and Captain Merkel takes him to the Gem to discuss his future.  Ghost had been working alone, but the Captain is insisting that he take on some apprentices to ensure that they can keep the ship floating for the future.  Ghost agrees to vet some apprentices if the Captain can find him some.  Saffron reads the Captain and confirms that he still carries a torch for her, but she has no interest in restarting their teen fling.  As each group of PCs have their first scenes, there is a shudder that runs through the ship...

Sparkle gets the news that a raiding party of Afterburners has broken through her cordon and is heading to the fore of the ship.  She sends some of her gang aft to deliver a message to the raiding party's tribe and takes a wounded gang member to a holding called Medical to see the doctor who calls herself Captain Rose.

Burke and Domino are coming back from meeting up with the nomadic Tubers to do some trading.  They notice some small holes in the port side of the ship.  They dock and attempt to find Ghost and (using Open your Brain mainly as Open your Brain to the "Ship") can see him on security cameras.  Ghost has just discovered the source of the shudder.  Someone aft is siphoning power from parts of the ship they shouldn't be.  The cousins see there is something stalking Ghost from behind!  They rush to his aid.

Captain Merkel heads to another holding: “The Mess.”  Fredricks runs a slavery operation from there.  It stinks of unwashed and mis-treated people.  Leaving his Red Shirts outside, the Captain works out a deal with Fredricks to find some apprentices for Ghost.  Fredricks is cagey (or the Captain is unlucky at all his Read rolls) and can see that the Captain is disgusted by him and would rather the Mess was in different hands.

Sparkle works out some deals with Captain Rose to deliver messages for her if the Pony Express can have preferred customer status.  Once they are in general agreement, Sparkle takes some of her boys towards the Gem for some R&R.

Burke and Domino are just in time to save Ghost from... himself?  They beat up his stalker and it looks exactly like Ghost.  After ensuring that everyone is who they say they are, they decide to take the “body” to Medical for examination.  Suddenly, the inert form awakens and flees through the ducts.  Domino tries to open up on it with her arsenal, but Ghost knocks her weapon aside, hitting a plasma conduit!  It starts to overheat.  Burke goes chasing after the “chameleon”, tracking it with Open your Brain, Domino flees for the hills and Ghost stays to try and stop the conduit from exploding.

Sparkle and her gangers wander into the Gem, loudly looking for someone to buy them drinks.  They say they should get special treatment since they keep the Afterburners where they belong (not mentioning the raiding party...).  Saffron politely asks them to leave and the Ponies finish their drinks outside the bar in an effort to scare off customers.

Ghost is able to stop a major explosion by choosing to create a series of smaller explosions in the power system (instead of taking damage and no explosions.)  Burke has followed the chameleon as far as he can as it somehow crawls into the space between inner and outer hulls and scampers away even though that area is vacuum...  The trio head to the Bridge to report to the Captain.

Saffron has closed up the Gem as it is now late, but is awakened by the sound of an intruder in the bar.  She confronts it and finds what looks to be Sparkle searching for something behind the bar.  Sparkle runs for the door and Saffron lets her go.  Checking her stock, it would seem that Sparkle was looking through chemicals and reagents as opposed to food or drink.  Adams shows back up having just been on a date with one of the Pony Express and brings the news that Sparkle has been asleep in her bunk for the last hour...

On the Bridge, the Captain had also been asleep but is roused to hear a litany of horror stories from Ghost, Burke and Domino.  He chooses to dismiss the stories of the mythic chameleons, assuming insanity or drunkenness on their part.  Their meeting is interrupted by First Mate Commander Jeffries, who reports that an Afterburner raiding party has kidnapped the female second mate, Lt. King.  The Captain rouses everyone and they go hunting for Afterburners.

(Two holdings we know of but haven't interacted with yet: the hydroponics "Dome" run by Greenpeace and "Portland" run by Honeychile.)

Looking forward to crashing this ship into something!  hahaha


Apocalypse World / Accessibility and a challenge!
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:35:08 PM »
Hey, folks.

I marvel at how easy it is to get people playing AW if they are used to more trad games or aren't regular gamers at all.  Here's my latest story about getting someone to want to jump into AW and I offer a challenge to tell me your best story for getting new gamers playing AW!

I e-mailed a co-worker a link to the "Back Page Pitch" from  I wrote "Trust me, just read this, then ask me about it."  Minutes later, she was at my desk saying "What is this?  I don't even know what it is, but it's frickin' cool!"  I explained that it was a role-playing game and she affirmed that she'd never play D&D on general principles, but that colourful pitch had her hooked.  I'm putting an intro game together for her and some other co-workers.

Can you raise me a better story?

Apocalypse World / Re: How to make the Maestro D' life interesting?
« on: October 20, 2011, 08:22:22 AM »
Hey, I'm playing the Maestro D in Chroma's game.  He's right about the veritable horde of NPCs generated solely from the playbook.  There's enough there to keep the MD busy if they can't find their own trouble.

Having the establishment is a benefit, not a handicap, for involving the MD in the story since everybody goes there.  Want to throw an NPC at another player?  Don't send them to that player, send them to the MD for directions, misdirections, liquid courage or anything else that generates a triangle.  The MD should really know everybody else's business because everybody keeps coming back to theirs.  And what do they want to do with that information?

Apocalypse World / Re: New Playbook: The Scholar
« on: June 16, 2011, 09:23:47 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, elkin!  One thing I think I realized by trying to make a playbook was I was in a very "mechanical" head-space.  I should have been thinking more Narrative in my approach.

I had some feedback from the other players in Chroma's group and they all liked "Book Learning" best too.  Maybe I can salvage some ideas from this puppy yet.

Apocalypse World / New Playbook: The Scholar
« on: June 09, 2011, 10:47:14 AM »
Hi, folks.  Trying my hand at a new playbook.  I was trying to get it a little more "Indiana Jones" and a little less "Hardholder's scribe," so any suggestions on that path would be appreciated.

Some of the things I'd be interested in hearing are opinions on the moves.  I wanted to make the character worthwhile as a stand alone choice, but are the moves "good enough" that you would take them as your improvement choice from another playbook?  Are they too specialized for other playbooks to want?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!


Back in the Golden Age, everybody was happy and everybody had enough.  That's what the hoopla-heads say anyway.  The truth wasn't that shiny, but they sure as shit had more and better than we do now.  You know this for a fact because you've actually read honest-to-god books from back then.

All the gear and ideas from the Golden Age are still around waiting for someone with the brains to come along and find them.  You've just got to know where to look.

---Creating a Scholar---
To create your Scholar, choose name, look, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.  Choose in any order you like.

Egghead, Brain, Pinky, The Head, Book, Word, Deacon, Dean, Monkey, Touch, Moon, Cloudy
Newton, Milton, Calvin, Hobbes, Clarke, Luther, Orwell, Marshall, Dyson, Marion, Ursula, Shelly

Man, Woman, Ambiguous, Transgressing
Casual, robes, Golden Age uniform, appropriate environmental gear
Old face, worn face, curious face, open face, closed face
Bright eyes, cagey eyes, hard eyes, kind eyes
Tall body, short body, thin body, soft body
Glasses, gimpy limb, hearing aid, speech impediment

Cool=0 Hard-1 Hot+1 Sharp+2 Weird=0
Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird-1
Cool=0 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Weird-1
Cool+1 Hard-2 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird+1

The Scholar gets all the Basic Moves.  You get “Librarian” and then pick 2 Scholar Moves.

Scholar Moves
Librarian: You have a library of Golden Age books and/or maps.  Detail it's size and portability as you see fit.  Choose two regions that the library covers.  Each region is either: far but relatively safe, close but dangerous or on the other side of some obstacle.
Ten Barter Words: when you roll to Manipulate another character, roll Sharp instead of Hot.
Professor: when a character comes to you for advice, consult your library and tell them what you think is the best course of action.  If they follow your advice, they take +1 ongoing in that task and you mark an experience circle.
Archeologist: when you scavenge in a Golden Age ruin, roll + Sharp.
On a 10+, find an oddment worth 1 barter and choose 2;
On a 7-9, find an oddment worth 1 barter and choose 1;
You find it quickly.
You find it with relatively little trouble.
You find an item that is valuable.
You find an item that is hi-tech.
Book Learning: you can roll to Read a Sitch from maps, books or secondhand accounts without actually being there.
Ear to the Ground: when you meet someone important (your call), roll + Sharp.  On a hit, you've heard about them, tell the MC one thing you've heard.  On a 10+, you get +1 Forward with them.  On a Miss, the MC will tell you what you've heard about them.
Intellectual: you get +1 Sharp (Sharp +3).

One antique weapon, gun (2Harm Close Loud Reload Valuable) or hand (2Harm Hand Valuable), detail as you like
Oddments worth 2 Barter

Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook.
Take your turn.
List the other characters’ names.
Go around again for Hx. On your turn, choose a character you think is smarter than they look; tell that player Hx+2. Tell everyone else Hx+1 if you share your recovered knowledge easily or Hx-1 if you keep the knowledge for your own purposes.
On the others’ turns, choose the oldest character; whatever number that player tells you, add +1 to it instead. Everyone else, write whatever number they tell you, as you take people at face value.
At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet.  Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

Scholar Special
When you have sex with another character, you inspire them with stories of the Golden Age and encourage them to learn new things.  They take +1 Sharp forward.

Scholar Improvement
_+1 Cool (Max 3)
_+1 Hard (Max 3)
_+1 Hot (Max 3)
_+1 Weird (Max 3)
_Get a new Scholar Move
_Add a Region to your Library
_Add a Region to your Library
_Get Followers and Fortunes
_Get a Move from another playbook
_Get a Move from another playbook

1-barter will cover a month’s living expenses, if your tastes aren’t too grand. 1-barter will also cover a month's service as an adviser and scribe to someone important.
As a one-time expenditure, and very subject to availability, 1-barter might count for: a night in high luxury and company; any weapon, gear or fashion not valuable or hi-tech; the material costs of a crash resuscitation by an angel; a week’s hire of the protective companionship of a battlebabe or gunlugger; repair of a piece of hitech gear by a savvyhead; a year’s tribute to a warlord; a month’s maintenance and repairs for a hi-performance vehicle well-used; bribes, fees and gifts sufficient to get you into almost anyone’s presence.
For better stuff, you should expect to make particular arrangements.
You can’t just wander around the commons of some hardhold with oddments ajangle and expect to find hi-tech or luxe eternal.

Apocalypse World / Re: AP: Win(x)field
« on: April 22, 2011, 09:19:58 PM »
Session 2!

1.  We all got special, unique moves for each character.  They only come up in specific circumstances.  You'll have to come to game to hear them all.
2.  Dart and Titus were out in the wilds, about to do a raid into the Tumbledowns ruin.  Dart is approached that night by Thrice, one of the female bikers, to have a personal party.  Turns out she's Titus' ex.  Titus dumped her when he took over the gang to not play favourites.
3.  In the morning, Titus goes to Dart's car to get him out and scouting, and finds his ex in there.  After threatening his car, Titus gets Dart to go scout, and shows that he still misses his ex, Thrice.
4.  Back in Win(x)field, lots of people are sick from eating the Z-Fisher food.  Seems as an insurance policy against getting their food stolen, they have marked jars that are poisoned.  D'oh!  Henshaw, had the better-feeling remnants of his gang "volunteer" all the healthy members of the town for a food-scavenging detail.  He led them out into the wastes himself.
5.  Marylin was wandering the holding, asking questions about Beckett, a mysterious man from her past who has been seen nearby, but to little avail.
6.  Dart found a small gang of about 10 guys guarding the dig site they were looking for.  Then he came back and reported that there were 7 guys to Titus and drove back to the holding.
7.  Henshaw couldn't scrape any food together but was raising the spirits of his ragtag band, but because of some badly failed rolls they were caught by a "Hawkwind," a psychic wind that can really screw you up.
8.  Speaking of failed rolls, Titus took his gang of 30 hardcore bikers against the 10 guys in the ruins and I failed like 5 rolls in a row to try and fight them, leaving my gang half dead with many serious wounds among the survivors.  Thrice was among the KIAs.  (This was entirely due to me misunderstanding the rules.  There should have been only minor injuries and no deaths.  Sigh.  Next time.)
9.  Marylin stopped in at the Sunset, the bar in the holding.  She was alone with Cattail, the proprietor and tried to use a Skinner move to "charm" her.  Failed her dice roll (noticing a trend?) and the proprietor ended up charming Marylin.  Turns out Cattail has some new drug, Amber, and is trying to get influential people hooked on it...
10.  The dig site in the Tumbledowns that Titus' gang finally took over is an old police station that was buried under rubble so nobody knew it was there.  Chock full of guns and other police gear.  Titus has the bright idea to find some other scrap to give to Henshaw and keep this find for the gang, but the rest of the gang is too shot up and they decide to go home.  Titus rolls to whip them into shape and fails miserably.  Continuing sigh.  The gang bails out leaving Titus and a couple of guys there alone waiting for Henshaw's truck to come and collect the booty.
11.  Of course Henshaw is lying bloody in the wastelands with his followers insane or injured around him.  They round everyone up, though some will never be well and start walking back to the holding.
12.  Back at the holding, Dart and Marylin are waiting for everyone to get back and are getting worried.  When Henshaw still has yet to arrive, Dart takes a truck out and picks up the survivors of the hawkwind.
13.  While he's gone, Marylin sees the remains of the Red S(x)ns come back in shot to hell and without Titus.  They stomp off to their camp and Marylin wisely tells Henshaw's crew to keep everyone away from them.
14.  Dart gets back with Henshaw who declares a town meeting.  Henshaw asks Marylin to back him up on stage.  That meeting degenerates as Doakes, a leading citizen, declares that he works for Parasol and she should take over the town.  (It was Parasol's people originally digging out the police station.)  Henshaw kicks that guy out of town and tells anybody who wants to go to go.  Many do.  Henshaw tries to talk his starving, savage constituents and constabulary into being better people...  (Parasol runs Blackhaven, a nearby holding.)
15.  Back in the Tumbledowns, nobody has yet sent a truck for Titus.  Staying in the Tumbledowns overnight, I open my brain to the Weird and fail the roll miserably, getting the urge to go to the Sunset and try some of the new drug.
16.  Dart is hanging out with the S(x)ns and they decide to go and get TitusDart brings a truck and they load up a ton of barter from the police station.  When they get back safely and the job is done, Dart tries to make peace with Titus and gets a beating from him instead.

Damn good fun!

Apocalypse World / AP: Win(x)field
« on: April 09, 2011, 12:32:16 AM »
Hi, all.

I'm a player in Chroma's AW game.  We're long time "mainstream" gamers who are getting a real kick out of the AW freedom and style.


One of the players picked a Hardholder, so we got to work creating our new home.  The town is located in an unnatural crevasse (as many nearby towns are) and gets it's power from wind turbines that poke above the top.  Because of those and the nearby junkard/plane graveyard, nobody is actually sure if the place is called Windfield or Wingfield.  Nearby are The Tumbledowns, a massive ruined city that is raided for supplies and tech.  The Tumbledowns are on the shores of a large lake.  The crevasses the towns inhabit all radiate out from the Tumbledowns with disturbing regularity.  Win(x)field has a functioning manufactory but little in the way of food production.  Nearby is The Loops, a massive concrete road structure used by some for races and duels.


Dart - the hotshot Driver of a red Porche named Sophia.  Young and reckless, he's made some enemies amongst the hi-stakes racing subculture.
Henshaw - the aging Hardholder of Win(x)field who remembers time before the Apocalypse.  He was only a kid, but he was actually there in the Golden Age.  He would rather his goons and citizens were better people, like back in the olden days.
Marylin - a beautiful female Skinner.  A charming companion and conversationalist, never without her lux fur coat.  She's for hire, up to a point.  Newly arrived in town via Dart's car.
Spectre - a Savvyhead based entirely on Weird.  Nobody is really sure what's under those pocketed coveralls, overcoats and goggles, and nobody really wants to find out, either.
Titus - is the new leader of the Red S(x)ns motorcycle gang.  (Nobody is sure on this name either...)  Titus and Boss Jim, the previous leader, went out to The Loops for a private chat and only Titus came back.  The gang packs a punch and is medium sized.
X - an Angel who self-medicates and is also based on Weird. Has the healing touch but doesn't want others to know about it.  Also newly arrived in town.


We began our campaign in fine form with Henshaw blowing the Holding roll completely and having all his wants rearing their ugly heads.  Idle, hunger and famine.  A lot of talk around the holding places the blame on the Red S(x)ns who have not been out raiding and scavenging for scrap for the manufactory.  And without the manufactory running, there is no money to pay for food from the Z-fishers who have arrived to sell their striped mussels.

In the market, some of Henshaw's Stabbers gang (from Constables) led by Doakes push the peaceful Z-fishers around until they draw a single weapon.  That allows the Stabbers to invoke "Henshaw's Law" and beat them bloody and steal their food.  X witnesses the show and takes the Z-fisher leader back to his hovel to give him some healing.

Titus is minding his own business when Zig-zag, one of the Stabbers, tries to smarten Titus up with a piece of rebar.  Titus slaughters him with a machete and then goes to look for Henshaw to see if they are in a shooting war or what?  Henshaw meets Titus in the street, and they manage to avoid killing each other long enough to make a deal.  Titus and his gang will go scavenging a newly rediscovered police station in the outskirts of the Tumbledowns if Henshaw agrees to throw a party for town big shots (which Titus feels he is) and invites Marylin.

So, Henshaw goes and seeks out Marilyn.  The beautiful woman doesn't seem to want to stay in town for any length of time, but Henshaw likes having her around.  He offers her a house of her own up on the walls of the crevasse to entice her to stay longer.  She agrees to come to the big shot party.

Dart weasels his way into getting hired to do "scouting" for Titus' raiding.  Titus makes Dart promise to tell his friend Marylin that he's a good guy.

Spectre runs the junkyard just outside of town and charges hefty fees for it's repair services.  In a rare move, Spectre comes into town to meet with Henshaw.  Spectre has become concerned with scavengers raiding it's junkyard and works out a deal with Henshaw (after eating his dinner!) to cut it's prices some for him in return for some specific machined parts to make booby traps for the junkyards.

Dart, Titus and the Red S(x)ns drive out to the outskirts of the Tumbledowns that night so they can raid the police station in the morning.  As they're bedding down, they hear gunfire from the area around the police station.  Who the hell is horning in on their raiding?

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