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Okay, to give context to this, I'm playing in the PbP advertised here (, using the Dark Galaxy hack.

While I have been giving the MC a steady stream of comments about the playbook I'm using (the Commander), the Death Dancer also caught my eye.  That can (hopefully) be found here:

Unfortunately, he's not the one who made that playbook, so suggested I hash my thoughts out with the author here (they know to look here).  I can't speak for the author as to how open they'd be about others offering their thoughts, but if he'd accept mine, there's no reason why he wouldn't listen to other people (though you may with to wait for them to confirm/deny that).

Okay, so that's the situation, the suggestions:

There's lots of good, inspiring stuff there, but I do feel it has some flaws.  The big one is, it has 9 moves.  Nine!

Dance of death
It's not just murder, it's an art
Swear an Oath
Ice Cold Charm
Surgical Precision
Eye on the Door
Deliver death
Death lab

And a character can only get 5 of them max (without then changing character and using other playbook move advances to get more, or something equally silly).

So, I had some suggestions for how you might want to cut the numbers down a bit.

Firstly, 'It's not just murder' and 'Deliver death' are similar enough to combine.  Deliver death can be used against PCs (implicitly), and 'not just murder' can't, but that's the only loss I see in just cutting Deliver death out, and it's one I actually prefer - poisoning PCs shouldn't (IMO) be a one-move thing.  Oh, and you could technically use non-lethal poisons using 'deliver death' (ironically enough), so a small rephrase of 'not just murder' might be needed to avoid losing that.

I feel death lab should either be standard, or a non-move advance, preferably standard.  Mostly because, assuming it works like a savvyhead's workbench, it doesn't get cool stuff in and of itself, but it gives you more avenues to get cool stuff, and makes you always want stuff to build your latest 'toys'.  Wanting stuff is good.

Swear an oath, while arguable, I say should be another standard feature (yes, they're getting a lot of standard features, but other classes get ships and armies, so it's not ridiculously excessive).  With the caveat that the sacrifice should be non-trivial, and the more dangerous the mission, the more specific the sacrifice has to be, and the harder it is/more consequenceful it is to acquire.  One key reason is, it ensures the temptation to make the sacrifice is always there, rather than having the 'barrier' of having to buy the move first.

And that takes it down to 6 moves, which is, I believe, fairly standard.

Other points:
There's no way to gain more killing edges.  I feel an advance could be useful to add a couple more options.

Under 'looks', there are options for signature weapons which don't appear later (such as 'bow').

There are a few other minor things, but we're not talking anything that affects mechanics, so it's not important.

Apocalypse World / New Playbook: The Seeker
« on: May 20, 2012, 01:33:00 PM »
Well, I've criticised other people's playbooks a fair amount before, guess it's time to put my barter where my mouth is.

Inspiration is partly the Spectacle's excellent 'moment of clarity' move, partly the Touchstone, and partly the 'wandering loner' archetype, such as seen in the old 'Kung Fu' TV series.  Apologies if anyone's trod similar ground before.

Some bits of this, I really like.  Others, I just couldn't think of anything better.

The Seeker

Violence.  Everywhere you go, it's nothing more than a tool for the strong to oppress the weak.

But it's more than that.  Much more.  You don't know what it is.  But you intend to find out.

One fight at a time.

Windy, Ichi, Knuckles, Bear, Lee, Combo Breaker, Roy, Jet, Chuck, Laughing Chan, Stripes, Cassius, Thumper, Dempsey, Mr. One-Two, Slugger.

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

You get all the basic moves.
You take 'My game, my rules' and 2 other seeker moves

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:
One of the other characters is relying on you to help them.  Tell them Hx +3.
One of them views violence as a mere tool.  Tell them Hx -2.
One of them has helped you out before, against their better judgement.  Tell them Hx +1.
On the others' turns:
One of them doesn't understand violence, and you're going to teach them.  Ignore what they say and write Hx +3.

Man, woman, transgressing.

Ragged wear, showy wear, robes, leathers.

Kind face, naïve face, worn face, angry face, determined face.

Serene eyes, piercing eyes, blind eyes, tired eyes.

Strong back, tattooed back, heavily muscled back, weathered back.

Seeker Special
When you have sex with someone else, they mark XP, but are subsequently targeted by enemies.  You have +1 ongoing in attempts to protect/rescue/avenge them.

Get +1 Cool (max +2)
Get +1 Hard (max +3)
Get +1 Sharp (max +2)
Get +1 Weird (max +2)
Get a new seeker move
Get a new seeker move
Get a move from another playbook
Get a move from another playbook
Get +1 to any stat (max +3)
Walk off into the sunset
Create a second character to play
Change your character to a new type
Choose 3 basic moves and advance them
Advance the other 4 basic moves.


My game, my rules
When unarmed and unarmoured, you count as a large gang when defending against gunfire and a medium gang against melee weapons (except bare fists).  This goes down to medium and small respectively if you're wielding a melee weapon.  In addition, your bare fists do area AP damage.

The Truth in these two fists of mine
When you go aggro on someone in melee, you can not only change what people do, but also what they believe.  This needs to be a fundamental truth, such as 'it's better to be loved than feared', and  you need to believe it to be true yourself.

Physical communication
When studying someone fight using their full strength and cunning (i.e. not a gunfight), against you or someone else, you can roll +Hard to Read a Person and ask questions without any verbal interaction.  In addition to the usual questions, you may also ask 'Why do you fight?'.

At one with the world
When meditating peacefully, you gain augury with your own body as an antenna.

A new beginning
When improving one or more people's lot in life in a significant manner, or giving someone a new start, perspective or direction in life, in a significant and fundamental way, mark XP.

Finishing old business
When your harm clock goes to 12:00, instead of dying, clear the clock back to 0:00 (ignoring any remaining damage), but when the current confrontation is over (which may or may not be more than just the current fight), you walk off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

You gain XP when you take a debility.  In addition, once per session, for one scene, you may ignore the effect of any debilities you have.

Honestly, I'm more than half tempted to move 'Finishing old business' and 'Unbreakable' to the 'cool stuff inherent to the character' area, equivalent to the Touchstone's 'go among the people' stuff, but I'll leave them where they are for now.

Fundamentally, this character is designed to appear, get up in everyone's business, destroy all the status quos, then wander off into the sunset.  Let me know your thoughts.

Monsterhearts / Rule Clarifications
« on: April 02, 2012, 07:06:39 PM »
Love the book, but there are a few things I'm unclear on, thought I might as well ask.  Had a quick look, didn't see answers obviously elsewhere.  Note: all examples are hypothetical.

1) Example situation: Toni is looking to sneak through town to meet with her secret boyfriend.  Although she doesn't know she's being followed, she takes precautions to lose any tail, not involving running away.  Guy is trying to follow her.  Both are PCs.
What would be a/the right way of handling this?  It's not 'running away' to my eye.  A custom Cold move might make sense, but which of Toni or Guy would roll, given that interfering is much harder in this than pure AW?

2) Lash out physically.  There is the option of them needing to hold steady before retaliating.  I presume this option is only valid vs PCs, or can this be used vs NPCs, with much the same effect as spending a string to make them hesitate?

3) Chosen's sex move.  Example: Hailey the Chosen PC has previously slept with another girl's guy and got the condition 'Homewrecker'.  She now successfully seduces another girl's boyfriend . . . and loses the 'homewrecker' condition?  Naturally, this is an extreme example, but it seems counter-intuitive.  I can understand it for physical conditions, but not social ones.  Am I missing something?

4) Short rest for the wicked.  Does 'fully healed' include being healed of all physical conditions?

5) Ending (Ghoul move).  What?  I'm not sure I understand it.  It looks utterly useless.  You can give someone a specific condition, then make a roll without any bonuses.  Why would you take this?

6) Ghoul's sex move: If the ghoul has sex with person A and gains the 'Have sex with person A' hunger, then has sex with person B, I assume the 'Have sex with person B' hunger replaces the former?  Or is it exactly as written and there is a separate hunger for each?

7) Ghoul's darkest self.  To get out of it, they need to be restrained or fended off for 30-40 minutes.  But say they turned to their darkest self by having sex with a Mortal, and the ghoul is their true love.  The nearest hunger would naturally be sex with the Mortal.  Being their true love, they are unlikely to be restrained or fended off.  So what happens?  Can the ghoul regain their composure while feeding?  (Would they then just re-enter their darkest self shortly thereafter again, in an infinite loop?)  Would they have sex until one partner or the other is incapable, then move on to the next hunger?

8) Chosen sex move clears conditions.  Queen sex move gives a condition.  Which one takes precedence should a Chosen and Queen have sex?

9) Hypnotic.  Does this work against PCs (I would assume not, but it doesn't say)?  If so, what effect would 'unhinged' have?  A simple condition?

10) Similar to 'Ending', I'm confused as to why anyone would take 'The Big Reveal' (Serpentine).  Once per character, you can give them a string against you, and the choice of gaining XP or giving you 1 forward against them.
The only thing I can see is if these moves are 'acceptance moves'.  In other words, if these moves break the standard MC rule of 'accept conditionally', and allow a much less conditional acceptance (much the same as the 12+ hot move in AW).  If that is the case however, it needs to be signposted much better.

That's it for now.  Hopefully these questions aren't too stupid.  It's late and I could easily have missed something obvious.

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