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Messages - Amphiprison

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Apocalypse World / Gangs and healing
« on: November 28, 2011, 01:38:42 PM »
Okay, so this hardholder's gang got real messed up, to the tune of, oh, 11:00.  Some fatalities, many seriously injured, right?  And the gang's just barely hanging together- 1 more harm and they disperse, or so you'd figure.

If PCs are at 9:00 or past, they die without medical attention.  What about gangs?  If an angel helps them, is the standard +stock spent move going to fix up a gang as well as a person?  Say they're a large gang, which means at least 75 violent bastards as I recall.  If there's "many seriously injured" among that 75, is 3-stock really going to cut it?  How much would you 'charge'?

I can't even begin to figure out where to start on that one.  I'd say that 'healing' the dead gang members consists mainly of recruiting new, not-dead ones, and I'm toying with adding 1-stock or 2-stock per size category of the gang to the cost of the +stock spent move, but I just can't decide what would be reasonable.  Suggestions?

Apocalypse World / Re: ...was 50 years ago.
« on: November 28, 2011, 01:32:32 PM »
Yeah, I see "50 years ago" being akin to the "forty days" thing in the Bible- it's a long ass time and nobody really bothered to keep count because no calendars, so "forty days" became the general expression for "a long ass time."

Murderous Ghosts / Playtest: Forks and Knives
« on: October 08, 2011, 10:08:35 PM »
Me: The MC
PS (Pete Sylvain): The Player

For initial evidence, I chose rusty forks and knives, with long-dried bloodstains leading in.  PS's PC, Nelson, explored deeper, and soon found the first ghost: A dark-skinned little girl, covered in tiny puncture wounds like bloody ellipses (looks: wounds), slowly picking up the forks and knives with a slow scrape of fingernails on concrete (sounds: giving myself the wigs, as scraping fingernails on anything makes me uncomfortable as all get out).  Nelson was curious, and watched her to see what she would do next.  She decided to jab him with a rusty fork (assault + giving myself the wigs... I fear tetanus and blood poisoning with a passion), leaving a bloody ellipsis of her own before running deeper into the factory.

Although breathing quickly now and a little nervous, Nelson continued into the factory (explored further in), which turned out to be a place where they made some kind of canned meat- there were old abandoned meathooks and bolt guns and conveyor belts (new evidence).  Examining the bolt guns led Nelson to have a sudden vision- his own hands, small, dark, and girlish, manning the bolt gun as a drunken light-skinned man lay passed out underneath the bolt. (making it completely apparent)  I slammed the table with both hands, and that was the end of the vision.  When he came to, another ghost appeared: the drunkard with his skull caved in and the tips of rusty forks and knives jammed under his fingernails handle-first. (Giving myself the wigs: success!)  Nelson decided to stay motionless and see what the ghost would do, and the man lurched towards him, bellowing about how she was a bad girl for playing with that bolt gun.  Bad girls needed to be PUNISHED.  The ghost dug one jagged hand into Nelson's arm while flaying his face with the other (ghost makes him part of the story --> Nelson becomes the girl, messing with the bolt gun when she shouldn't be --> murdered, thanks for playing!).

In Retrospect:  In my eagerness to play, I told him he didn't have to worry about the MC's draw.  It's actually super vital that the player understands that spiel, and lots of other games have programmed me 'not to peek' at MC information as a player, so those two things conflicted.  I think that's mainly what led to PS' inclination to explore deeper and deeper rather than make any attempt to escape... though to be fair, staying to watch what the ghosts do in a game titled 'Murderous Ghosts' probably isn't the best plan in any event!

Questions before play:  What are the cards for?  How many do I start with?  Who 'goes first'?  (All fairly easily answered)

Questions in play that interrupted the game: "Wait, what's a free draw?" "Is this the first turn?"  "What does 'high hand or low hand' mean?"  "What happens now?"

Conclusions:  Playing to lose is still pretty decent?  I think maybe PS wanted to gain something from learning more about the ghosts, and felt just turning tail was some kind of trap, or too easy?  Also, PS flipped ahead to 22 before play and decided that was the 'easy way out', deciding never to go there in play.

Also, I never had more than one card as MC, nor did I have any reason to look at them.  I agree with other playtesters that the loops began to feel 'tired', but that feeling was greatly ameliorated by the fact that the player chose a different thing every time they came back to the 'loop' (Player's 2, FWIW), making it natural and less jarring every time they came back to it.

I wanted to reward PS for exploring deeper and taking risks to make up for the fact that he wasn't even trying to escape.  Maybe, when a player busts, the MC discards a card at random, and then the player chooses one card from the bust and hands it to the MC?  This way the player isn't any *closer* to escaping, but more likely to actually escape when the MC does get around to 4 cards (ideally the player feeds the MC a matching suit, especially when the MC plays face up).  But maybe that's my own bias of always wanting to bring in a little 'game' strategy to the affair, as well as inter-player mechanical interaction.  More rules than necessary, most likely.

THE END!  Will bring more as I can.

Apocalypse World / Re: Understanding Basic Moves
« on: September 08, 2011, 11:26:58 AM »
Here's how I understand acting under fire:

If you want to do something cool (or dangerous, which usually ends up being pretty cool anyhow), and it's not some other move, then you're probably acting under fire.

Here's how it can be used defensively:

Plummer is trying to blow my legs off, so I tuck and roll under the idling semi to get out of the line of fire.  The fire is Plummer with the shotgun, clearly; the objective is to get to a spot where Plummer can't shoot me, at least for the moment.  On a 10+, I get out just fine.  On a 7-9, maybe I take a bullet in th leg or whatever.  On a miss, I'm in a bad spot- maybe a spare bullet spangs off the gas tank and it's leaking gas something terrible, all over me or right by me, depending on how interesting the MC feels it'd be.

Here's how it can be used offensively:

Plummer is trying to blow my legs off, so I swing myself into the idling semi's cab like a monkey and jam something heavy onto the accelerator so it hauls forward, ideally right at Plummer.  The fire is still Plummer with the shotgun, and on a 10+ I'm supercool billy badass but maybe on a 7-9 the door gets stuck and now I'm in a giant accelerating death-missile with no obvious way out.

Pretty cool, right? I'm not going aggro (Plummer knows I'm coming), I'm not seizing by force (nobody's fighting me for the semi, Plummer just wants to shoot me and he's too far away anyhow), I'm not manipulating and sure as hell not seducing and not reading shit and not even CLOSE to opening my brain.  I'm just being a badass.

And if there's nothing cool to be done, the Battlebabe is left with some fancy guns but not a lot of +hard.  Sucks to be her sometimes.

Apocalypse World / Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« on: September 06, 2011, 03:35:16 PM »
Yeah... right now I've got a Hocus (on an OOC vacation), a Hardholder (who picked up after his Brainer retired last session), a Gunlugger, a Savvyhead and an Angel.  The Brainer definitely gave every hardholder in sight as well as the Hocus a great run for their money, and the Savvyhead and Angel were more or less putting things and people back together after.

I suppose my question as MC, then, after that, is: How best to give the Gunlugger, Savvyhead, and Angel the spotlight?  What have people done that works well for that?

Apocalypse World / Re: Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« on: September 06, 2011, 10:05:47 AM »
Allison: Great ideas, but if everybody has a gang, then it's not so cool anymore.  I'm specifically looking for ways that the game's mechanics compensate someone for not being ten or twenty-five violent bastards.  I may suggest that last option, tho :)

help im a bug: Some are, some aren't.  Anyone who comes up gets a name.  I'm doin my best at that.



Seriously.  I couldn't even conceive of a way to mess with, say, the Savvyhead's Bonefeel, so I just assumed they were un-mess-with-able.  I never went on to think of the Hardholder's Wealth or the pack alpha moves as mess-with-able... MAN OH MAN.  If this is true, then PROBLEM FUCKIN SOLVED.  I worry that it might be *too* strong, because the cost of failure is so high on those rolls... Any chance you might be able to note where that happens in the rules, Chroma?  I feel a lot better when I can point to the rules and say "Of course you can!"

Apocalypse World / Hardholders, Choppers, and Hocuses, oh my!
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:35:05 PM »
So I'm finding that I'm having a hard time keeping the spotlight off of the PCs that have groups attached.  The PCs can use their groups to seize things by force and otherwise push folks around, and it usually ends up being other PCs.  I've tried having the groups occasionally work counter to the PCs who are supposed to lead them, but the PCs are pretty willing to just go along with whatever the group wants to do, even if it's some pretty nasty business.  It's getting to the point where the PCs who *don't* have a group are starting to feel edged out of the game and powerless... what do?

Apocalypse World / Re: Operators, Gigs, and the Sex Move
« on: September 04, 2011, 02:39:56 PM »
Being another player's Companion and having that lead to sex could TOTALLY create that kind of double trouble.  Fucking, however, is usually done offscreen, rarely with only one person.  If I were MCing, having a Fucking gig and having sex with another PC would mean you'd handle the PC sex onscreen, even if you negotiated some barter for it, and the Fucking gig would represent trying to get some tail on the side.  The obligation gig would then be about keeping the other person happy while the fucking gig still represents keeping others happy, and juggling those two makes total sense to me- it just makes the catastrophe more fun/easy when it does happen.  Clear as mud?

Apocalypse World / Re: AW with non-p&people?
« on: September 04, 2011, 02:31:40 PM »
AW with newbies is WAY easier than introducing any other RPG.  Period.  I have yet to meet someone who picks up a playbook and goes "what is this I don't even".  Anyone who has ever filled out a multiple-choice-bubble test in middle school can fill out an AW playbook, and the color first philosophy means all the moves do what they sound like they do.  Any time a player asks "what's X?" I say, "well, what do you *think* X is?" And they usually give me the right answer, or enough of an answer that I can relate it to an appropriate one.

What you *should* do with new folks, though, is give everybody a hard copy of the Moves playbook.  Even yourself.  Bring an extra one in case somebody misplaces it.  Also make an extra copy of each playbook for yourself so you can refer to theirs without having to walk over, lean over their shoulder, and that sort of thing.  Must go faster. MUST GO FASTER!

The questions that new players ask usually run along the lines of "how do I do X?" or "I don't know what to do here! Help!"  AW provides a ready list of moves, but remind them that it's the MC's job to help translate what they want to do into what move is the best way to do that, and that usually falls in line pretty easy.

Finally, make sure you know *exactly* how Hx works.  Tell the newbies that Hx stands for History right off the bat, because it's the one thing they'll never figure out on their own.  If you have never run AW before, run a quick practice round: Make up characters with no details beyond a name and a playbook, then establish Hx for each in turn, then figure out who has the highest Hx with each PC so you know who highlights whom.  The playbook instructions differ from the book's instructions; if you're confused about them, your players will be even more so.  Hx and highlighting were the biggest barriers to my first team of newbies, both the initial establishment and the end-of-session Hx adjustments.

Let us know how it works!  Let us know what doesn't work!

Apocalypse World / Re: pc fighting and manipulation
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:26:32 PM »
Man, PC-on-PC fighting is THE BEST.  As the MC you just get to sit back and watch the show, cause that shit is *always* interesting.  I've found PCs love to get hit by the other PCs cause then it gives them +Hx with the person who hit them FOR EVERY SEGMENT OF HARM.  Shoot somebody with a shotgun? It's almost like giving them a free experience point!  Also, you really don't want to give your rival too much Hx with you, cause then they can interfere with you when you need to do shit the most...

Also, there's a HUGE incentive to fuck with each other as PCs because most inter-PC moves don't force the 'losing' PC to do much, but they *do* mark experience if they get forced to do something.  Between the xp and the consolation prize of Hx, intra-party conflict is hilarious, fun, and enjoyable even for those who take a bullet to the face.

Apocalypse World / Re: The Operator
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:18:46 PM »
Mal Reynolds, Operator? Kind of a silly theory.  He's got gigs running, sure, but he feels more like a Hardholder with a couple gigs on the side to me.

Fictional characters I think of when I think of Operators:

-Jack Sparrow (REPUTATION)
-Han Solo (Opportunistic, Eye on the Door)
-John Constantine (Eye on the Door, Reputation)
-Face (Easy to Trust, Reputation)

Whoever said "they need to be complete douches" is spot on.  No other playbook calls you an asshole for taking a move.  That's what makes the Operator awesome for me.

Also, you get a *signature weapon*.  If that's not cool to you, man I don't know what is.

P.S.  If you want to get all game mechanic-y about it, the Operator is better at getting out of sticky situations than just about anybody else.  They don't start with +3 cool like the Battlebabe but they *can* get +3 cool as an improvement, which is *rare* and, considering how often the Operator uses cool, a must-have IMO.

Oh! Yes!  All that helps immensely.  I have no problem being creative about the fire part, but I much prefer the part where the manipulating PC comes up with the fire part.  That thread also VERY nicely clears up certain things like being under fire from unusual circumstances and how that affects stuff.  Thanks for all your prompt responses!

Apocalypse World / So what's the fire when manipulating other PCs?
« on: July 11, 2011, 10:45:59 AM »
When you seduce or manipulate PCs, one of the possible outcomes is "if they try to do anything else, it counts as acting under fire."  I'm super awful at abstract things like this; I'm having trouble imagining what sort of harm, retribution, or danger would be appropriate for a PC who fails or even partially succeeds at acting under fire from seduction/manipulation.  Anyone done this yet, with good results?

Ah, the maelstrom.  Anything I don't know about it, I turn it back on the players.

As for cutting someone out of the maelstrom?  Sounds like you'd need some fine-tune control over the maelstrom- someone with +augury, or maybe an angel if you're looking for that lobotomy-style solution.  Assuming the person's willing to go along with it, that is.  If not, you'll probably need a brainer too to help convince the person...

You could always try...

--Every day/week/etc. you spend in space, roll +barter spent.  On a 10+, choose 3.  On a 7-9, choose 2.

--You've gotten ahold of enough irradiated food
--You've scrounged together enough irradiated water
--The supplies you've scrounged aren't irradiated

If you eat or drink something irradiated, take 1-harm (ap).  If you don't have enough food, take -1 ongoing until you get enough.  If you don't have enough water, take s-harm until you get enough.

Switch the penalties around as you see fit, or don't.  That's how I see it- you're still spending barter to secure quality supplies, just not on a 1 per day basis.  That would drive PCs to the poorhouse until standard AW rules, and why hack the barter rule to fit your custom move when you can make one custom move and call it a day?  I'm lazy!

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