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Topics - Vasco A. Brown

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Apocalypse World / A Custom "Seize By Force" Move
« on: January 18, 2011, 03:46:23 PM »
'm currently putting together my fronts for the second session of my group's new Apocalypse World campaign, and I put together the following reworded Seize by Force move in order to address the issue I have it. Specifically, that the character making the move is guaranteed to take harm even on a 10+.

I very nearly ported in John Harper's engage in violence move from his Eye of Chaos hack as a custom move (supplemental to Go Aggro and Seize by Force), but I ened up going with the move detailed below.

I still plan on using the standard Seize by Force move as written in the book for the remainder of our campaign to see how it works in extended play before making any changes. However, I wanted to share it here because I was curious if anyone else with the same issue did something similar for their game. Or if not, what reasons they decided to keep the move as written.


When you try to seize something by force, or to secure your hold on something, roll+hard. On a hit choose 2. On a 10+, you outmaneuver your opponent, avoiding harm and inflicting it as established. On a 7-9, you and your opponent(s) trade harm as established.

  • you take definite hold of it.
  • you suffer little harm. Take -1 harm.
  • you inflict terrible harm. Take +1 harm.
  • you impress, dismay or frighten your enemy.

brainstorming & development / Sorcerous World
« on: November 30, 2010, 03:26:50 AM »
My buddies and I decided to start a game of Sorcerer using the Apocalypse World rules, and it looks I've been tasked with the rules-heavy lifting. Below are only some preliminary ideas of how to implement the hack, so any comments or suggestions are very welcome.


It seems like in a game like Sorcerer, it's assumed that all the characters will be "weird" to some degree. Does it makes sense to keep it as a dedicated stat? I'm thinking about replacing weird with adept, representing sorcerous lore and experience. It might just be an exercise in semantics, but I'm going to try and tie increased adeptness in sorcerer to the humanity mechanics.


One way to handle moves would be to use the standard ApW moves, with specific sorcerous peripheral moves added. The other would be to, dump the standard ApW moves, have the new basic moves be all about sorcery, with one general "act under fire" move to catch everything else.

Either way, it's easy to see that the necessary moves are:

Contact a Demon: When you reach over to the other side and  contact a demon, roll+sharp. On a 10+, you contact a demon that matches you expectations. On a 7-9, you contact a demon close to what you desire, choose 1:

- the demon has a different desire.
- the demon has a different need.
- has different powers.

The MC will choose the new desire, need or powers as necessary.

Summon a Demon


Bind a Demon


Punish a Demon


Banish a Demon


Contain a Demon


Oh, and Open Your Brain works great as the demon move Hint.


Since over the course of the story the characters will be summoning and binding various demons, how necessary is it to have dedicated playbooks? I did notice that in the Sorcerer books Ron briefly mentions a few general archetypes (Fugitive, Seeker, Snoop, True Adept, and Warrior). Those do look interesting, specifically in they each might have various moves that give they advantages when dealing with various types of demons in various situations (bonus to summoning/banishing for the true adept, or bonus harm against demons for the warrior).


This would probably start at 0 and range from -4 to +4, with the two associated moves:

Humanity Gain: When you reaffirm your humanity, roll+humanity. On a 10+, you regain a piece of what it means to be human, +1humanity. On a 7-9, you gain nothing.

Humanity Loss: When you compromise your humanity, roll+demon's power (if summoning), or otherwise roll+adept. On a 10+, you loose yourself in a gratuitous display of inhumanity; -1humanity. On a 7-9, you lose a piece of yourself but otherwise maintain control, -1humanity. On a miss, you manage to hold to hold on just a little bit longer.


They only need one stat Power, ranging from -1 to +3. Here are a few of converted abilities/moves:

Armor: your demon gives you 2-armor. If you wear armor, use that instead, they dont add.

Big: your demon may gain or confer an increase of size ranging from a bear to an elephant.

Boost: your demon may confer +1 to any of your stats, except adept. While boosting, your demon is power=-1.

Hint: when you open you mind to your demon, roll+ sharp. On a hit, the MC will tell you something new and interesting about the current situation, and might ask you a question or two; answer them. On a 10+, the MC will give you good detail. On a 7–9, the MC will give you an impression. If you already know all there is to know, the MC will tell you that.

Hold: you can roll+ adept to have your demon restrain a target from moving. On a 10+, the target is completely paralyzed, unable to make even the smallest movements. On a 7-9, the target is immobile but still able to thrash and move it limbs.

Hop: your possesor demon is not bound to it's host until their physical death, and may change hosts at will, leaving behind either a shaken but basically ok host or a corpse, as appropriate. The demon must be able to touch it's new host unless it also has the Ranged move; the hop effect is visible and obvious unless it also has the Cloak move.

Link: you and your demon are aware of each others whereabouts and surroundings at all times. You may command your demon to return to you at any time, but cannot communicate otherwise.

Psychic Force: you can roll+ adept to have your demon unleash a psychic attack on the minds of your enemies (1-harm ap close loud-optional).

Ranged: your demon may attack (or use Special Damage, Hold or Hop) at distance (close).

Shadow: through your demon, you can control the degree of illumination in the immediate area (close), ranging from strong, indirect sunlight to absolute darkness.

Transport: your demon may carry others comfortablely during movement, including Travel; the passengers must not exceed ...

Warp: you may command your demon to alter the shape of unliving material. The effects lasts ... The demon must have Special Damage for there to be any damage done by this act.

I'll post more once I've had a chance to look over the Sorcerer book further.

Apocalypse World / AP: Ferris
« on: September 23, 2010, 09:57:12 PM »
Things went extremely well for our first session. The group took to the rules swimmingly and were quite forgiving when I took a moment or two to think about my moves. Next time I definitely want to try and barf forth more apocalyptica and get my bloody fingerprints on everything.

The setting

The apocalypse left the world a blasted desert wasteland; sand, dirt and ash (think Mad Max meets Book of Eli). Getting anything to grow on a scale larger than a small garden is largely futile, and even that is difficult.

The hold of Ferris is a moderately-sized settlement located on a pier overlooking the ocean. The inhabitants have repurposed many of the old restaurants and buildings for shelter and other uses (what’s left of the old ferris wheel is used as a lookout tower, for example). Otherwise, the pier is littered with tents and other makeshift shelters used by the people.

Ferris is lead by a man named Harridan. A woman named Twice and her gang handle security.

Ferris’ primary resources are: the bazaar where Wisher sells and trades the oddments he and his crew scavenge from the wasteland ruins; the fish caught from the ocean by Fisher and his family; and the diner, run by Miss Emmy the maestro ‘d where there is much food and marijuana.

The cast

Miss Emmy, the maestro d'. A motherly, fifty-five year-old woman who enjoys providing rich food  and recreational drugs for people of Ferris.

Burroughs, the brainer. A mysterious young man, wrapped head to toe in layer upon layer of desert wear. Works for Harridan, the guy in charge of Ferris, as a kept brainer.

Kite, the battlebabe. Androgynous, twenty-year old wanderer who sells her deadly skills to make her scratch. She looks a lot younger (teenaged) than she actually is. Currently she helps out with security at Miss Emmys diner in return for room and board, as well as trouble-shooting for Harridan.


In our first session, the following relationships were established while setting Hx. Burroughs used to live in Ferris as a boy. He used to hang around Miss Emmy's diner while his parents went out scavenging in the wasteland. One day, when Burroughs was 12, they didn't come back. Soon afterward, Burroughs disappeared as well, going off to look for them. He has only recently returned to Ferris in the last few months. Burroughs has taken to hanging around Miss Emmy's diner regularly. He remembers her kindness from childhood and trusts her, but nevertheless has watched her carefully in secret on more than one ocassion.

Miss Emmy has taken special interest in Kite. This is partly because her own daughter, whom she lost at a young age would be about Kite's age. Also because she feels she can break through Kite's tough exterior to the vulnerable little girl inside.

Both Kite Burroughs both used to live and work in the Shills a hold several days walk from Ferris that has a reputation for exclusivity and luxe. The hold is run by a close-knit group called the elite, and headed by a man named Brain, the Shill's 'mayor'. The two worked for Dustwich, the Shill's former 'marshal'. Dustwich made a play to takeover the Shills and enlisted Kite and Burroughs' aid. When things went south, Dustwich was exiled, but Kite and Burroughs had each (separately) skipped some time before things actually hit the fan. They later recognized one other after running into each other in Ferris.

Apocalypse World / Gaining Gangs, Followers and Holdings
« on: September 04, 2010, 04:13:13 AM »
So, today I was re-reading Improvement chapter in preparation for running a new game next weekend and I pondered something that you all might help clarify for me. My current understanding is that a gangs, followers and holdings are 'things' in the sense that bikes, cars, guns are 'crap'/gear: they are not intrinsic parts of a character.

For that reason it would seem that you could gain a gang, followers or a holding through the fiction without marking experience and buying it with an advance - you just wouldn't get the Pack Alpha, Fortune or Wealth move go along with it.

Is this a correct understanding of the proscriptive and descriptive nature of the game, or am I completely off base here?

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