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Messages - clayalien

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Apocalypse World / Re: Mapping Freakangels to Playbooks
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:14:19 AM »
I'm not familiar with the comic, but one thing that people seem to miss when mapping established fictional characters to -any- rpg is just that; they're "established". They've been around, give them some improvements.

Maybe Sirikka IS the skinner, but has taken "get followers (you detail) and fortunes" as an improvement. Or a Hocus that has been pumping hot and taking moves from the skinner playbook where she can. Or maybe she started as one, but life became untenable at some point in the past and she swapped to the other.

Apocalypse World / Re: Descriptive NPC Harm
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:03:38 AM »
These are nice, thinking about using this in my current game.

The only thing I'd maybe change is dropping the harm stages a bit. So 1 option for 0-harm, 2 for 1 harm etc. The impression I got from the pc harm roll is in AW, even if your armor absorbs all the harm you're not necessarily in the clear.

Having a tough npc knocked around a bit, or falling over, and a wuss submitting or more even at 0 harm makes some sense to me. Perhaps if there was another lighter option added to the mix, but I can't quite think of something that would fit and isn't just a version of what you all ready have.

Bonefeel is a fantastic move, across player and gm use, flavor and mechanical usefulness.

One of the core tenants of AW is "to do it, do it" and "if you do it, you do it". Fluff and move descriptions aren't just there to pad out pages of tables and numbers, the move is called "bonefeel" and not "magic teleport" and that should mean something. But especially in the case of a savvy head, the fiction should bend to meet the move where it can.

I'd say this case was totally legit, that hatch is just perfect. I'd say the best way to solve the hocus being peeved would be to simply let them (try to) follow through the hatch. Having them use augury would be the most ideal way, as it's using the maelstrom to influence reality. If they don't have the move, or access to their antenna, I'd give them temporary access to it, with the hatch as the antenna, but it'll cost them, most likely through snowballed moves. Of course, there's plenty of potential for the dice to say no, in which case, yeah, they're going to have to find another way, and resolve their grievances with the savvyhead in game at a later time.

(assuming it's an in character grievance. If it's an issue between the players, I'd probably just let them follow through and be done with it)

Apocalypse World / Re: Session Length
« on: November 06, 2017, 01:10:14 PM »
Spwack, the books say you can give +/- 1 barter for doing a job well/poorly, but recommend that you don't, and instead just have the npc who gave the mission be really happy or upset with the players when you can.

I think that's because it's more interesting and keeps the tone of scarcity without shifting the focus onto bean counting.

It should be possible to stretch this a little to gig difficulty. Keep the rewards the same (I think it might have been 3 barter as standard, not 4), but if it's easier, maybe have some of the npcs not take it as seriously. If it's harder, everyone in the hold is going to love them just for taking it on. Similarly take consequences of success/failure into account as well as just the barter.

If they fuck up an easy mission, they'll be a laughing stock, but other than that it's not really a big deal. If they get it done, maybe it opens the door for harder stuff, maybe nothing happens. For a hard mission, have a good look at your threat moves and countdowns.


That's OK, it sounds like what you went for was awesome, glad you and the players worked it out!

Sorry to revive this after a month, but I'm an ego manic and wanted to add my thoughts.

I think Ebok's right. The car is still the driver's 'thing'. While it's true other character's can now get vehicles, perhaps a little too easy, it doesn't take away from the driver as much as you think. It's like guns are the gunlugger's 'thing', yet other characters have easy access to guns.

The driver's simply has a better car, and/or can use it better. Moves like Combat Driver, Daredevil, and just having a high cool stat really let the driver shine when vehicle fights are in play. If anything, having a lot of other vehicles in play just allows you to reflect on how shit hot a driver is behind the wheel.

Sure, the player can choose not to pick these moves, but that's still no different than the gunlugger not choosing AP ammo or NTBFW, then complaining that his assault rifle isn't a whole lot better than the driver's magnum. Sure the tags give the AR more freedom, but even then an AR can be obtained in game. If the player's not choosing them, that's their prerogative. I wouldn't give them for free, but I might push the associated moves a bit so they'll want them next improvement.

For what it's worth, and it maybe too late for nerdwerds's game, I think the fact the diver can choose to plant and still be relevant is more of a sign of improvement and a better playbook from 1e. There's also a lot of driving that can be done, even in a very confined game. An NPC wants someone to drive some sensitive cargo on the outskirts of town to the other side. They've come to the driver because they have a reputation of being a shit hot driver. Plenty of opportunities for road wars without taking the character miles from everyone else.

I also think you should look at the "get with the MC" clause for other character's starting with vehicles carries some weight. The vehicle creating rules say 1-2 strengths and 1-2 weaknesses. It's a free thing, it's totally not being a dick to be stricter on the gunlugger, or outright veto certain choices as part of the deal (the Driver can do whatever she wants though) or trade an obligation or some other bargain for it. Be a fan still applies of course. Even with  everyone in roughly equal cars, that's cool. That looks to me like a convoy, which Daredevil specifically mentions. GREAT way to hand the driver some spotlight while having everyone involved in some way.

Usually, when people roll weird in my game, they are looking for new information. In our game the sun's become a red dwarf - even at midday everything is really dark and dim. But when you open your mind, everything is bathed in bright, warm sunshine. If they've asked for information, they'll get a vision seeing it, and I'll describe it like any other scene, except it's now bright. On a partial, it's too bright to see much, but they'll get a few tips. Some characters do it for a move, which is usually spelt out what they get. Rarely people do it just for fun or to connect with each other during downtime (usually because they have weird highlighted). Then I'll just go to questions, I'll be nice if they get a 10+, meaner on a partial.

Then I'll ask my question. I usually go with questions that pull out the psyche of the characters. Not necessarily any thing to do with the plot directly, but background and flashbacks. Things that give you new insight into them.

My favorite is "Who was the first person you killed?" - Everyone's a little dark and has a story to share to the group about this.
"Who was the first person you loved?" "When was the first time you felt real pain?" Things like that. I try to think like some weird twisted therapist.

Misses are harder. I'm still having difficulty with how hard to make hard moves. Give them a frightening vision of one of your threats doing something awesome/terrifying? It doesn't need to be related to the move. I've used fails with moves to interrupt whatever's happening with raiders attacking. Once when someone opened her brain and failed, I was lazy and just went with "Deal harm". A flash of light, she was flung across the room. 2 harm(ap). Not sure how I feel about that, the player was kind of upset. But it was getting late, I wanted to wrap up so people wouldn't miss trains (again). I made up for it by making it super easy to heal the harm next session.

Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« on: May 06, 2016, 06:40:59 AM »
If you were going to distribute the results of a failed roll onto nearby NPCs, that's fine too, but make sure the PC is okay with it. It's their harm after all, if they wanna soak it up, then they've a right to it.

Yeah, you're right. I wasn't so sure about that one, but it felt like something that could be appropriate here. I wouldn't pull something like that unless I was 100% sure the player and character would shine in a crazy scary vengeance type scene. Asking if it's cool would be a very good idea.

This reminds me. I totally forgot all about the harm moves last night. One player took a craze to the cheek (1 harm) from a crazed towns woman with a knife ran at him after he shot another point blank. Another took a shot to the shoulder (2 harm) when she emerged from the Maelstrom in a flash of light right in the middle of an armed standoff between the hard holder and his gang and a heavily armed group of fanatics. She tried to convince them she was their god and failed spectacularly. I also forgot the first player had military grade body armor on (2 amour), which should of absorbed it (or should it have? technically his armor doesn't cover his face) I'm still new to the GM side and forgetting things a lot.

Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« on: May 05, 2016, 07:51:46 AM »
I feel like this is one of the areas AW really shines actually. There's a number of ways you can play this. Maybe when Marser chucked the crowbar, sure it barely glanced Bran, but when you turned it assisted it flew off into a very shoddily constructed bit of scenery, knocking something over and hurting you pretty bad. Bam, environmental damage with no need for complex tables and pages of rules to keep it realistic and fair.

Also, turning the things back in Bran's player "ouch, what happened to you there?" Maybe Bran's pretty clumsy and tripped over the bar now lying on the ground? Maybe it turns out the arm he used to block it was pretty dodgy. Sure, you the MC thought it would only bruise, but Bran knew there was a weak spot there.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's no specification that the +1harm has to happen to Bran. Is Jeanette's body a dead on in this case or just in a bad way and Bran needs to spend some time helping her? If it's the latter, I'd be looking at her through the crosshairs right now. If it's the former, well, that touching moment of goodbyes is sorta ruined, giving Bran the chance for some bad ass vengeance scene later on down the line. Or if he's the weird type and wanted to do some maelstrom mumbo jumbo on the body, that's now a little more complicated. Depends on your read of the players and the characters. Remembering to be a fan of them.

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 29, 2016, 05:20:30 PM »
Yeah, I was just looking over the sheets today and it's not AS bad as I had thought. Most of the characters are silly powerful, and I think that's just a part of the game (remember be a fan of the characters)

The only really "off" thing about it now is the stat lines, the gunlugger is going to have zero or negative in other areas, and so usually has interesting decisons to make when faced with a problem he can't just shoot at. The battlebabe has +1 to everything else, so is actually resonably competent when violence isn't needed. I know, I know, try not to focus on the stats too much, but it really influences how players react to situations. And the options when life becomes untennable are a bitter nicer, although as I've never seen a character go into that state once, let alone twice, it's a bit of a nitpick.

I still liked it better under "the battlebabe starts fight, the gunlugger finished them" way of thinking, and the battlebabe had to work around the fiction to get some cruel, crushing blows in, but it's much less of a problem than I first thought.

Apocalypse World / Re: Driving trains, settlements, and rotating cast
« on: April 22, 2016, 06:47:28 AM »
To give an update, we played last night. No one liked the idea of setting it anywhere but earth, but the player who wanted the train really dug the idea of train as hold. Turns out he's watched Snowpiercer, and that's where he got the idea from!

50 years before the start of the game, the sun went dim, not with a big supernova bang, but a whimper. It's now a red dwarf, too dim to see much even at noon (I have no idea how the science behind that would work, it doesn't really matter). But there's a hell of a shortage of light.

"The Conductor" drives a nuclear powered train name Thomas around this landscape. Thomas is a bit of a behemoth, nearly 150 people call it home. It's got carriages dedicated to growing basic plants, a market carriage that's well known when it pulls into stations, homes, even a simple garage with a ramp so supply buggies can scavenge dead towns the pass through without needing to stop. The roof has various heavy battlements made of of concrete and heavy iron build on top, with machine gun nests, especially around the engine. Most of the leftover power after the wheels goes to the grow rooms and the workshops. The Conductor keeps a tight ration on what's left to light the marketplace and homes. Light is pretty scarce throughout the world, to the point where working batteries, candles, and torches are a working currency. Thomas has been going for 15 years now, The Conductor has been in charge for the past 8 after ousting the previous ruler. Why they keep moving is still a mystery. As is exactly how old he is. He looks to be in his 40s, but has strange memories of green grass and sunshine. He's pretty much the only well dressed person on Thomas, with a dapper suit and cigar.

"Marrion the Mole" is an old friend of The Conductor, from back before the coup. Dressed in dingy shirt and tie, a mining helmet, and thick googles with multiple interchanging and telescoping lenses. He looks after the engine of the train, and the various supply buggies. He lost and arm a while back, and since then has been rather cowardly and dosen't really play nice with others. He built his own prosthetic, a swiss army knife of various tools that he uses in his work. He's the sort of person who would gladly trip you up in a zombie movie, in order to escape himself. He largely sticks to the engine room and his workshop, only going down to the market to trade various odds and ends. The engine makes way better conversation anyway.

"Petrichor" is a mercenary of sorts. Looking at her and her lithe build, you wouldn't think it. But she is an ice cold killer. She's got a weird pistol on the end of a chain weapon she can use to devastating effectiveness, whirling trickshots that leave nothing but red. When out scouting or defending the train, she wears an old school gasmask and heavy environment suit. Back on the train, she's not exactly modest, removing the suit to the waist and letting the gasmask hang round her neck, covering what's left of her modesty and the strange scar on her chest, almost like an operating theater scar. She's been travelling on Thomas for a couple of years now, helping protect it form bandits and going on scouting missions in exchange for access to the train's well stocked armory and a small private area she can read her dictionaries. She feels protective towards the younger people on the train, often having arguments with The Conductor over his use of the weird kid's ability to sense dead towns worth savaging along the way.

"Kyuu" is the weird kid on the train. She may only be 9 years old, but she's far from safe. She's able to do things to people's brains. She's got a weird glove thing she was given when she was even younger, and swiped an word high tech looking orb thing from The Conductor only she knows how to use. He deeply mistrusts her but has let the theft slide. For now. He needs her weird ability to reach her mind to the weird place where everything is bright again, painfully bright and death shows up as beams of light. When in this state she gets visions of towns with much needed supplies. And he can't exactly kick a kid off his train without uproar. And Petrichor has taken an interest in her well-being. He will send a scouting team out to places she points out before committing a full scavenging party.

We had a blast making the characters and the world. I may do a full write up of the first session later (a little rail repair bot even showed up at one point). Thanks for all your help.

Apocalypse World / Re: Driving trains, settlements, and rotating cast
« on: April 21, 2016, 01:33:38 PM »

5. Have you seen "Ghost Lines"? Your apocalypse takes place in the ruins of a place like that: so there are railroads EVERYWHERE. Most are broken or run-down, but hunt around enough and you can find a way through to somewhere.

The last game we played was "Blades in the Dark" which is actually the same setting, just focused on one town. It's an idea I'm putting forward tonight for sure, see if the group likes it.

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 21, 2016, 01:31:44 PM »
I was going to point out that it still gets to choose 2 moves, but thare's actually a lot of playbooks that get 3 starting moves. That does make sense.

In most ways they are way better than a gunlugger. Right from the start they are +3 on all battle moves, where even if the gunlugger takes the option for +3hard, she's still rolling cool for some battle moves now, which can be rather low. And the gunlugger depends on her gear, which can be interesting to explore how she keeps in mantained, who she talks to and the like. The battlebabe dosen't need to care about maitining anything. Even if caught stark naked, most npcs and even some pcs still wont make him break a sweat.

Then even if the game goes in a non combat social direction, some smarts are required, ot it just gets plain weird, the battle babe remains fairly competent where the gunlugger might need to turn to her allies or make friends with someone who can get her into a place pure brawn isn't going to work. Battle babe just keeps laughing and sails on through.

I try not to think about concepts such as "balance" in a game like AW, it feels "wrong" to be to analyse the game in this way. But this one just jamed out at me as being completly out of whack. Maybe I'm bitter because it used to be my favorite. It was a nice balance of kick ass and frailty, with MANY differnt ways to put one together to make very differnt and interesting battle babes. Maybe saying it only applies to single combat in battle would "fix" it. Or a look at the other starting stats. Chaotic free for all is all ready cool which leaves battle babe amzing one on one or when things are a mess, but struggles when it's a long drawn out ordered fight. I'm just worried doing that would make things too "fiddly".

Apocalypse World / Re: Driving trains, settlements, and rotating cast
« on: April 20, 2016, 12:54:53 PM »
Index cards! I knew I forgot something! I think I have a stack of them around the house from the last time I rand a game. Other wise I can just pick up a pack in the morning (campus shop closed 9 min ago and I'm not likely to find them in my local store) Or else I can pinch some post it notes from the supply drawer, there's tons of em.

I'll get a names list posted. There's a small one in the rulebook, but a bigger one is always better. The pictures are an excellent idea but may need to wait for session 2.

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 20, 2016, 07:40:27 AM »
I'm running a game tomorrow (first time GMing a campaign, wish me luck)

One thing I've noticed looking over the kickstarter preview is the changes to the battlebabe. Is it just me or is it just silly broken now? It was all ways a favorite of mine due to being an interesting mix of strengths and weakness, frail, but kick ass, depending on how the encounter goes.

Namely "Ice Cold". In 1e, it only rolled cool on going agro. There was this balance of being terrifying, but balancing that with having to set up the situation and getting the drop in, staying on the fringes of a battle. The player could deliberately build themselves towards reducing this, but it took some thought to do. Now they roll +cool for all battle moves, and can wade right into the fray, even with -2 hard.

They also start with +3 cool, which is meant to be one of the harder stats to get and is used in a lot of important rolls. They don't even have to use up a starting move to get it, like the quarantine does. Take the -2 hard option and they've got effectively +3 in 2 stats and +1 in all others. Take Ice Cold and Impossible Reflexes, then as early as the first improvement, Merciless, which won't take long. They pretty much have nothing to fear, ever.

Other combat focused characters such as the faceless or gunslinger either have to depend on others or struggle in social situations, or have to keep their wits about them and not get caught unequipped. Their power depends on things than need to be kept appeased or in good working order. Battle babe doesn't care for these things.

I know I'm supposed to be a fan of the characters. But I'm also supposed to make the apocalypse feel real and make the character's lives interesting. But I'm not a fan of superman. He's the most boring superhero and not exactly realistic either. The battle babe is super man. Both almost untouchable, and still decently smart, good looking, and popular.

The most experienced player of or group wants to play a battlebabe. Any tips on how to reconcile these things and challenge the player without just fucking him over? It seems like he'll just whirlwind over any gm threat, and not have a huge amount of trouble with other players. I trust him not to hog the limelight, but he could very easily do so, he really has no need for the others.

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