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Topics - John Harper

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The Regiment / The Regiment: Colonial Marines
« on: January 11, 2013, 08:44:45 PM »
My buddy Ryan Dunleavy wanted to run the Regiment for our Thursday game, and since we're both huge fans of ALIENS, we thought it would be fun to set it in that universe. Here's the result!

This is v2.2 of The Regiment, with a couple new rules ideas: death moves, and a "cinematic death" option (like taking a debility in Apocalypse World). They're a good fit for ALIENS, but are not official for the standard Regiment rules yet. We'll see.


Version 2.5:

The Regiment / Playtest Scenario: KOMMERSCHEIDT
« on: March 06, 2012, 01:24:56 PM »
Here's a WWII scenario by Jason Morningstar:


Based on the actual engagement.

The Regiment / Playtest Scenario: OPERATION VENOM
« on: March 05, 2012, 04:19:30 PM »
Listen up maggots!

We threw together this playtest scenario for The Regiment. It's a little "what if" skirmish between Nationalist and Rebel forces down in Bolivia. The best parts are Paul's super-cool maps.

Check it out here: OPERATION VENOM (ZIP).

Hopefully this will give you an idea of how to adapt real-world operations into scenarios for The Regiment -- there are tons of them online, including maps and orders, so you have a treasure trove of material to work with. (Google maps and image search are your friends!)

I think Jason Morningstar will be along shortly with one of his WWII scenarios, too.

The Regiment / The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« on: March 05, 2012, 02:54:32 AM »
Here's the alpha playtest draft for THE REGIMENT, an Apocalypse World hack about soldiers in war.

  • Playbooks for the Soldier, Officer, Sergeant, Medic, Commando, and Sniper.
  • Moves and Weapons tri-fold.
  • GM toolkit tri-fold.
  • Regiment/Unit tri-fold.

Should you try this out?
You're a good candidate if you 1) Have played Apocalypse World and know it well, 2) Are a fan of war movies, 3) Can playtest a game from bare-bones components. If you're not all three of those, then I don't know. Maybe it's not the thing for you yet.

I'll post some comments on the alpha and questions for playtesters shortly.


Monster of the Week / Kick Some Ass move: Too Harsh?
« on: December 13, 2011, 06:36:00 PM »
When you kick some ass, you always take harm on a hit (7+).

This seem appropriate, I guess, unless I'm playing Buffy or some other actual ass-kicker. Sure, invincible helps a lot, but I think it's a bit weird that the most-ass-kicking characters will be taking the most harm. As written, the move should maybe be called "when you get in a fight."

FWIW, Dungeon World's fighting move originally worked like this one (trade harm on any hit) but it turned out to be way too much harm coming back on the PCs, so it was revised.

I haven't played MotW yet, though, so maybe I'm way off. Anyone seen this in play?

Dungeon World / Dungeon World at GenCon
« on: August 03, 2011, 04:53:05 PM »
I heard Dungeon World (red book edition) was for sale at GenCon at the IPR booth. There's no announcement here about it, though, so it's probably just a hopeful rumor.

Still, it couldn't hurt to stop by and check (#413), if you had a mind to.

brainstorming & development / [The Regiment] Doing Your Part
« on: November 01, 2010, 08:10:50 PM »
I'm working on a war-themed hack with my buddy Paul Riddle. It's called THE REGIMENT.

The PCs are usually operating as part of a squad which in turn is part of a platoon. There are lots of soldiers around, leading maneuvers and following the leaders. Everyone is fighting as a team, and everyone wants to do their part.

Here's a new move structure I've come up with to deal with leaders and followers. I'd love to hear what you think. (The game has "personal-scale" moves, too, of course. But that part is solid already).



When you do your part in a maneuver, roll+battle. On a 10+, you give 1-hold to the maneuver leader. On a 7-9, choose one:
  • Spend 1-supply to give 1-hold to the maneuver leader.
  • Expose yourself to danger to give 1-hold to the maneuver leader.
  • Keep your head down and don’t take any chances.

If the leader already has 3-hold, take +1forward instead.

When you lead a maneuver, roll+leadership. On a hit, you succeed at the maneuver. On a 10+, get the accumulated hold from the soldiers in the maneuver, up to 3-hold. On a 7-9, choose one:
  • Spend 1-supply to get the accumulated hold.
  • Expose yourself to danger to get the accumulated hold.
  • Abandon the maneuver.

The Maneuvers:

Assault: On a hit, you inflict your harm on the enemy. Spend your hold 1-for-1:
  • You inflict +1harm.
  • You suffer -1harm.
  • You maintain unit cohesion. Everyone takes +1forward.

Suppress: On a hit, you suppress the enemy (their volume of fire is reduced by one). Spend your hold 1-for-1:
  • Enemy is pinned (they can’t maneuver).
  • If the enemy is suppressed and pinned, you inflict your harm.
  • You maintain unit cohesion. Everyone takes +1forward.

Flank: On a hit, you maneuver into a flanking position. Spend your hold 1-for-1:
  • You suffer -1harm.
  • You break contact and move in concealment.
  • You maintain unit cohesion. Everyone takes +1forward.

Advance: On a hit, You close with the enemy. Spend your hold 1-for-1:
  • You suffer -1harm.
  • You break contact and advance in concealment.
  • You maintain unit cohesion. Everyone takes +1forward.

Withdraw: On a hit, you retreat from the enemy. Spend your hold 1-for-1:
  • You suffer -1harm.
  • You break contact and withdraw in concealment.
  • You maintain unit cohesion. Everyone takes +1forward.

(Flank, Advance, and Withdraw are basically the same move. They're split out because of how other moves interact with them.)


Thoughts? Suggestions?

the preapocalypse / S-harm and suffering little harm
« on: June 29, 2010, 04:50:24 AM »
This came up in our game tonight.

Brandon's gunlugger Drake was seizing by force. She took s-harm from her enemy's weapon, and then chose "suffer little harm" as one of her move options.

What happens?

I ruled that Drake was still stunned, but took +1 forward when acting under fire because of the s-harm. 

the preapocalypse / The order of things
« on: June 20, 2010, 11:26:19 PM »
I know you've thought long and hard on this, Vincent.

The ordering of things is throwing me a little, though. We get the character intros right off the bat, then the character stuff again with the playbooks, then the brief (and different) character intros.

Repeating the character stuff three times feels weird. For what it's worth, I think it was working well when you jumped right into the basics (now page 11) instead of the character stuff up front.

the preapocalypse / widows & orphans
« on: June 20, 2010, 08:02:39 PM »
Pages 87-88:

The last choice under read a person ("how could I get your character to ___?") is widowed on the next page. It should be with the rest of the list on page 87.

Knife & Candle / The Basic Moves
« on: June 16, 2010, 07:19:29 PM »
No rules yet, just sketching out the possibilities.

- You get into bar fights, duel dead men, and fight monsters with Dangerous.

- You surveil tattooists, decode secret writing, and search for missing persons with Watchful.

- You chat with spies, compose poetry, and mock the unworthy with Persuasive.

- You catch talking cats, purloin courier messages, and rob passers-by with Shadowy.

I have a perverse desire to make extremely simple basic moves for this hack. Even along the lines of "When you do something dangerous, roll+dangerous." A little silly maybe, but it's appealing to me at the moment.

Also, given Vincent's ideas around getting new custom moves according to your Minor Qualities, it might be smart to have very simple basic moves as a foundation.

Still pondering...

Dead Weight / Dead Weight Working Docs
« on: June 10, 2010, 07:19:47 PM »
Here's the Google doc where I'm writing the game:

I'll post links to character sheets and other game materials when they're ready.

Apocalypse World / Maps
« on: June 09, 2010, 01:57:32 PM »
Let's talk about maps.

Vx says, "Make maps like crazy," and he's right. We make all kinds in our AW games. Relationship maps, too.

That first map you make is key. If the sheet of paper is covered by the PCs hardhold, that's their world. When they decide where to go next and what to do, they'll be all, "I go over to Dremmer's shack, over here behind the chemical shed."

If the sheet of paper shows the whole coastline and the four settlements along it, plus the train tracks and the oil rig out at sea, then that's their world. When they decide where to go next and what to do, they'll be all, "I take the train to Salt River to talk to Cricket about those murders he needs done."

It's good to think about the scale and the size of your Apocalypse World. And when to add another sheet of paper's worth to it.

Recently, our crazy two-parallel-game-groups AW games sort of turned a corner and things were looking like they were headed for a resolution of sorts. The stuff on the map had been mined and mined and the key NPCs had been torn down, dispossessed, murdered, exiled. So when the Operator's crew stole a boat from the cult-leader, I told them they found a map on board -- a bigger one than any they'd seen before. It showed another coastline, across the water, and settlements there, with names and everything.

Our 1-piece-of-paper world doubled in size. Their eyes got big. I could see them thinking about all the fuckery they were gonna get up to over there. The game got a little boost of new life, just from that hastily-scrawled map. I figure each piece of paper added to the world is another dozen sessions, at least.

How are you using maps in your AW games?

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