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Messages - niles kane

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brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: October 09, 2013, 06:15:19 PM »

Well. Lonely World, my AW hack, is finally done.
The demo version, that is.
It is free to all those who wish to experience the end of everything as it is happening.
If you read it, download it, or play it, I only ask that you give me your feedback.
If there is enough support for Lonely World I may make a full version with art and customized character sheets and all that.
For now, it is what it is.

feels good to get this fucker off my chest

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: August 15, 2013, 03:27:08 PM »
Also, i wanted to post the MC Principles and moves, and the Invader Principles and moves. This material goes a long way in determining how a game is run and seen by the players. It brings out all the character and flavor of the game.

The Principles:
•   Address the characters, not the players
•   Make your move, but never speak its name
•   Be a fan of the characters
•   Think offscreen
•   Sometimes, let someone else decide
•   Leave bread crumb trails of hope
•   Tomorrow must be earned
•   NPCs are the most delicious
•   Everything has a cost
•   Complacency is the enemy
•   The living are rare
•   The dead are plentiful
•   Bring the splatter
•   Ask questions and take notes
•   Stay in the fiction

The MC moves
•   Get someone in the dark
•   Get someone who is alone
•   Crash the party
•   Drag someone off
•   Eat the supplies
•   Display a Horror
•   Deal harm or stress as needed
•   Distract with an enticement
•   Bang on the walls
•   Bring good news
•   Put something shitty in the way
•   Funnel them someplace bad
•   Make it a project
•   Turn their move back on them
•   Listen to the Invader

Invader's Principles
•   Never refer to them by name
•   Describe how they look, smell, sound, and act
•   Give clues to how the Invader feels or doesn't feel, but never say it explicitly
•   Allow the PCs to discover new truths and thus, new terrors
•   Reinforce the most inhuman aspects of the Invader
•   The Invader is ever-present
•   They know where you are, and they are coming for you
•   they are a humongous collective unconscious
•   they cannot relate to people
•   murder, mutilate, and consume at all times

Invader Moves
•   Come out of the darkness
•   Show up at the most inopportune time
•   Snatch someone up
•   Organize a huge mob
•   Crowd the scene
•   Make someone change sides
•   Bring out the worst in someone
•   Just be there, around the corner
•   Smash everything
•   Announce their approach
•   Follow the signs of the living

I'll be making the whole thing available as a free PDF pretty soon!

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: August 15, 2013, 03:24:08 PM »
I've been working steadily on Lonely World. I'm at a point where I can toss it out there and see what kind of feedback I get. The game is nearly complete; it just needs some playtesting and some tweaking. But it's otherwise playable.

Today im posting a list of all the playbooks. I don't mind posting the playbook itself; if there is one that anyone wants to see closer

Best Friend: you and your bros have made it through this thing by sticking together and watching out for the group. It's great to have buddies, but you're not much without them. Keep them close and they will save you.

Blanket: you're not a killer and your skills aren't much use anymore. The system you depended on is all gone. It sounds bleak, but you are above it. You have the ability to show unconditional compassion, understanding, and love.

Compass: you always know the way because you always know where to look. You can see the true path and you can help others who have strayed from it. You can find lost things: people, trails, truths.

Deviant: Not much has changed for you. The real demons, the real destroyers of worlds aren't in the streets. They are on the inside, aren't they? Inside you. Bubbling right beneath the surface.

Escapee: Weee! Fuck work, fuck taxes, fuck the law! I'm loading all the booze, guns, drugs and girls in the nicest car I can steal and I am setting this town on FIRE TONIGHT.

Falling Star: The end of everything hit you even harder. These...normal people all around you only lost their homes, families, crappy jobs, and meager possessions. You lost the power. The glory. The fame. The life.

Gravedigger: Fuck the Invader. Seriously. Invader ain't so tough. They use violence on us? That's fine. You know violence.

Holdout: Ignorant savages all around you. Fools, with their reality shows and smartphones and garbage culture. They didn't know what was coming. But you did. You prepared. You don't need to scrounge in the dirt and fight with the Invader. Your bunker is safer than any place else. You'll wait them all out if you have to.

Homesteader: If a man wants to survive in the long term, he has to have land. He has to work it and tend to it if he wants it to provide for him. A man can provide for others, too, if he wishes.

Machine: If you're going to make it for very long, you'll need stuff. And things. Things gotta get done. Can't sit around all day, or things won't get done. Gotta do the things to get the stuff. You get the stuff, you can keep living. Got it?

Nobody: Hey, you're nobody. If you don't always want to be that way, then step up.

Shining Armor: People look up to you. You don't know why, but they always have. They look to you for answers, for action, and inspiration. And from you, they don't need flowery speeches or swagger. You don't need to pretend you're smart or tough. Just be real with them and they'll trust you with their lives.

Slinger: The Invader put you in a survival situation. Real world shit. Kill or be killed; that kind of shit. You can make it. Be smart, be quick, and never hesitate.

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: May 24, 2013, 06:08:19 PM »
Last one for today:

The Shining Armor seems at first to be a paladin-type, but I'd like to see how dark they can get with this character. I know it's in him.

All the Survival Guides are in various levels of completion, but I think these 4 show what I'm aiming for with Lonely World.

I'll post some M.C. material next.


Creating a Shining Armor
   To create your Shining Armor, choose your life before, looks, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Life Before:
   police, soldier, true believer, natural born leader, repentant badguy

   dress: uniform, fatigues, plain clothes, bold colors,

   Heart +2, meat +1, Blood -1, Face +0, Brain +1
   Heart +2, meat +1, Blood +0, Face +0, Brain +0
   Heart +2, meat +0, Blood -1, Face +0, Brain +2
   Heart +2, meat +0, Blood -2, Face +1, Brain +2

Shining Armor Moves
Choose 2:
   Kill with regret: when you commit a violence, roll+heart instead of roll+blood. Also, if you choose to suffer 2-stress for the act, mark an experience

   Fortress of solitude: you get +1brain (+2brain) when you isolate yourself.
   Do it for the kids: While defending helpless NPCs from danger, you get 1-armor. If you are wearing armor already, use that instead. They don't stack.

   Make yourself a target: When you enter into a charged situation, roll+heart. On a 10+, all NPCs will recognize you as their most immediate threat. They are unable to attack anyone else, and will be too afraid to attack you, unless you attack first. On a 7-9, only the toughest and well-armed NPCs around will attack you, the rest run for cover or hide behind someone else. On a miss, the NPCs panic. Some flee, but most will attack you, and a few start taking hostages.

   To the Rescue: If someone you care about is about to die and you have a feasible way of getting there, roll+heart:
   10+ you get there with plenty of time. Also, if you love them, you have a +1 to any attempts to save them
   7-9 you get there, but there's not much time left
   on a miss, you're there, but danger is everywhere

   You get:
   fashion according to your looks
   a pistol or shotgun
   2-supply worth of ammunition and food
   something that is Your Whole World

Your Whole World: this is a special something that you've carried with you since everything ended. If you lose it, you take 4-stress.
   Whatever you choose has the +handle tag, and detail it for everyone else. You get a +1 when defending it.
•   a family held together by love
•   a universal truth that is above the horror
•   a belief in the wisdom of someone else
•   a lover who promised to never leave your side
•   your humanity, because you will never sink to those depths
•   a precious thing that has all the answers

On your turn choose one or both:
   One of them was counting on you and you failed them. Tell them Hx-2.
   One of them wants what you have. Tell them Hx+1.

Tell everyone else Hx +0.

On the others' turns:
   Choose which one of them you think is the most courageous. Whatever number that player tells you, add 1 to it and write it next to the character's name.
   Choose which one of them you think is going to get a lot of innocent people killed. Forget whatever number they tell you, you have Hx-1 with them instead.
   Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, subtract 1 from it. You have a hard time connecting with people you think will die before you do.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is the most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

May I Introduce?: When you meet a new character, decide if you think they are a threat to what you've made into your whole world. Tell the MC what you think. then roll+heart:
   10+ the MC will tell you if you're right. You get a +1 against them when protecting your whole world from them, just once. Also, they can tell you're serious about it.
   7-9 the MC will give you a vague idea on how threatening they are. Also, they can tell you have something valuable.
   on a miss, assume whatever you want, but you can't tell anything on them.
Shining Armor Improvement
   __+1 heart (+3 heart)
   __+1 meat (+2 meat)
   __+1 brain (+3 brain)
   __+1 face (+2 face)
   __choose another Shining Armor move
   __choose another Shining Armor move   
   __replace Your Whole World with something similar or better
   __replace Your Whole World with something similar or better
   __get a move from another survival guide
   __get a move from another survival guide

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: May 24, 2013, 06:01:36 PM »
Another Survival Guide for Lonely World
I like the Nobody because i'm a huge fan of the underdog, and a lot of horror RPG fans i've met are the same way. His horizon is open on a thousand different roads.
He was originally called "The Volunteer" for my Chaos Earth hack, and has representation in some other shit i've done.


you never thought you'd ever get this far. The Invader came and you ran. You ran, and you hid, and somehow you survived. The world now demands more of you than you ever thought it would. But for the first time you have a real opportunity to make your life worth living.

Creating a Nobody
   To create your nobody, choose your life before, looks, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Life Before
   factory cog, cubicle drone, chronic loser, just some guy
   dress: business casual, ultra casual, hip fashion, survival
   face: easy, average, sorta attractive
   meat: average, slumped, overweight, underfed
   eyes: fearful, dead, eager, bright

   Heart +1, Meat +0, Blood +0, Face +0, Brain +2
   Heart +0, Meat +0, Blood +1, Face +0, Brain +2
   Heart +2, Meat -1, Blood +1, Face +0, Brain +1
   Heart +2, Meat -1, Blood +0, Face +1, Brain +1

Nobody Moves:
Choose 2:
   Shows initiative: when helping someone not currently in a battle, you do so as if you rolled a 10+
   Yes man: when helping someone out, if you follow their orders to the letter, you get +1Hx with them. If you go above and beyond their expectations, mark experience.
   Guilty of giving too much: whenever you take 3-harm or more, take an additional point of harm and mark experience.
   Works well under stress: +1heart (+3 heart)
   A little bit of everything: when you think you know how to plausibly solve a situation using a small or innocuous item that you just happen to have on your person or very close to you, roll+brain. 10+, it's just what you needed. 7-9, you do it, but something breaks.
   Hidden talent: You start play with a Survivor move of your choice.

   You get:
      fashion according to your looks
      a pistol, rifle, or shotgun
      food and oddments worth 2-supply

On your turn:
   Pick who you think is the best leader. Tell them Hx+2
   Pick who you think is the biggest slacker. Tell them Hx-1
   Tell everyone else Hx+0.

On the others' turns:
   One of them sees you as a brown-noser. Take whatever they tell you and give it -1Hx.

May I Introduce?: When you meet a new character, roll+brain: On a 10+, ask two from the list below. 7-9, ask 1.
•   What kind of work did they used to do?
•   What's their socio-economic background?
•   What's a good way to start a conversation with them?
On a miss, ask 1 anyway.

Nobody Improvement:
   __+1 blood (+2 blood)
   __+1 meat (+2 meat)
   __+1 face (+2 face)
   __+1 brain (+3 brain)
   __you get buddies or a lover
   __get another nobody move
   __get another nobody move
   __get another nobody move
   __get a move from another playbook
   __get a move from another playbook

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: May 24, 2013, 05:53:52 PM »
Another playbook (I'm calling them "Survival Guides")
This one i initially made for a Chaos Earth hack. That was more of a stepping stone for me to develop Lonely World.
He's also a character in a book im sending to the printers in the next few weeks. I like this character a lot.


you were prepared when everyone said you were crazy. Now they're all dead. You survived the end of everything, but has your isolation prepared you for the Lonely World ahead?

Creating a Holdout
   To create your Holdout, choose your life before, looks, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Life Before: survivalist, veteran, fundamentalist, recluse, internet prophet

   dress: survival gear, utility gear, warm layers
   face: paranoid, shifty,
   meat: ragged, creaky, pale
   eyes: tired, sunken, wide, fearful

Choose one set:
   Heart +1, Meat +0, Blood +1, Face +0, Brain +1
   Heart +1, Meat +2, Blood +1, Face -2, Brain +1
   Heart +0, Meat +0, Blood +2, Face -1, Brain +2
   Heart -1, Meat +1, Blood +2, Face -2, Brain +2

Holdout Moves
You get this one:
   Mister Fix-It: Your bunker is old or crumbling or both. When shit starts to break down, it gets less comfortable, and then starts to become a liability. At the start of the session, roll+brain. On a 10+, all of your fixtures are working solid. 7-9, one of them is not functioning due to a maintenance issue. The MC will tell you which one. On a miss, that, and the MC gets to choose up to 3 from below:
•   another maintenance issue has come up and it's taken down another fixture
•   fixing one of the maintenance issues is going to cost a fuckton of supply
•   the maintenance issue is compromising the entire bunker
•   something bad has gotten inside
•   something bad is being released outside
•   you're going to need help
   Resolving the maintenance issue will bring the fixture back into play.
And then choose 2:
   Lay low: when moving through the outside, you protect your neck as if you rolled a 10+ as long as you keep moving away from all danger.
   Get the hell off my property!: you deal +1harm when defending your bunker. In addition, when trying to feed bullshit to anyone trying to get inside your bunker, you roll+blood instead of +face.
   Preserve civilization: you get +1 when salvaging, trading for, or fighting over important (to you) historical ephemera.
   Remember it like yesterday: you recall something from before the apocalypse that pertains to some immediately pressing matter. Roll+brain. On a hit, the MC will tell you what you did the last time this happened. 7-9, you're pretty sure you know, but you might be missing something. On a miss, you only have a vague recollection, and you might be totally off-base. Take +1 if you listen to the MC, mark experience if you try what you remember and fall short of meeting your objective.
   Paranoid hillbilly: you get +1 blood (+3 blood)

You get:
   a hunting rifle (2-harm far loud)
   a pistol sidearm (2-harm close loud)or a big knife (2-harm hand)
   1 secret weapon
   oddments and food worth 2-supply
   fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece of armor worth 1-armor or 2-armor (you detail)

Choose one secret weapon that stays in your bunker until you really need it:
   a high-powered silenced sniper rifle (3-harm far hi-tech)
   a mounted machinegun (3-harm close/far area messy)
   a historical sword (3-harm hand valuable)
   a land mine (4-harm messy)

Describe your bunker. Is it (choose 1)
   A hole in the ground?
   Like a bank vault?
   In a tower?
   A cabin hidden among the rocks/trees/winds?
   In a secret room in the old tunnels?
   In a natural cave?

You have electrical power here. How did you manage that? (choose 1)
   Solar panels
   nuclear reactor
   a far-off power grid

How do you keep intruders out? (choose 1, 2, or 3)
   retina scan
   electronic key
   heavy blast door
   high fences and razor wire
   guard animals
   hidden cameras
   alarm system

Fixtures (choose 3)
   armored walls (+1 armor when defending the bunker)
   armory (there are 3 shotguns or rifles, 4 pistols and 2-supply worth of ammo)
   machine shop (lets you make repairs)
   communications array (you can manipulate the signal)
   first-aid kit (3-supply worth of meds)
   water filtration (you have clean water)
   pantry stash (5-supply worth of food)
   comfortable atmosphere (art, rugs, beads, lighting, incense, hookah, etc)
   environmental controls (because it's fucking cold outside)
   back-up generator (in case your main power source fails)
   hi-tech entertainment (massive HD TV with surround sound and an extensive library of music and movies)
   massive storage unit (a place to keep your big shit)

maintenance issues (choose 2)
   water damage
   mold/mildew/plant growth
   rusting/corroding metal
   environmental hazard
   power failure
   fuel consumption
   aesthetic deterioration
   bad components
   electrical short

On your turn:
   One of them has spent some time in your bunker. Tell that player Hx+2
   You like to brag to someone in particular. Tell that player Hx+2
   Tell everyone else Hx-1

On the others' turns:
   Your isolation precludes you from getting to know your neighbors. Whatever number they tell you, give it -1 and write it next to the character's name.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is the most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

May I Introduce?: When you meet a new character, ask the MC how they are going to try to break into your bunker.

Holdout Improvement:
   __+1 blood (+3 blood)
   __+1 brain (+3 brain)
   __permanently take care of one of your maintenance issues
   __permanently take care of one of your maintenance issues
   __install two new fixtures and get a maintenance issue
   __install two new fixtures and get a maintenance issue
   __get bodyguards (detail) for security
   __get a pack of scavengers to trade with
   __get a move from another playbook
   __get a move from another playbook

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: May 24, 2013, 05:47:30 PM »
Here's a few playbooks for Lonely World:


You take care of others, and they will take care of you. It's a simple idea, and something you're good at. Make it work for you.

Creating a Blanket
   To create your Blanket, choose your life before, looks, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Life Before:
   young child, student, invalid, retiree, stay-at-home parent, desirable young adult

   dress: rags, cartoon characters, casual clothes, flower-print, a blanket
   face: sweet, matronly, adorable, handsome, cherubic
   meat: goddess, warm, sexy, undeveloped, aging, lean, tiny, waifish
   eyes: soulful, captivating, teary, youthful, joyous, innocent

Choose one set:
   Heart +2, Meat +0, Blood -2, Face +1, Brain +2
   Heart +1, Meat +0, Blood -2, Face +2, Brain +1
   Heart +0, Meat +1, Blood -2, Face +2, Brain +1
   Heart +0, Meat +1, Blood -2, Face +1, Brain +2

Blanket Moves
You get this one:
   Give by taking: People like to spend time with you because you make them feel special, cared for, or relaxed. roll+face:
   10+ you melt away their stress. you get +1Hx with them for every bit of stress melted, up to 3.
   7-9 you can melt away the stress if you want, but you don't get any Hx bonus. They may take it the wrong way or feel smothered.

And then choose 1:
   I don't need you!: In battle or during some drama, you can ignore all attempts to help or interfere with you. You can also choose people by name to allow to help or interfere.
   Kids these days: if you are the youngest person around, you get +1face (+3face)
   No one can find me here: If you need to escape from a bad situation, roll+meat and you find an exit that the badguys can't fit through. 10+ you get in and escape with no problem. 7-9, you get in, but you're stuck for a while. 
   Everybody stop!: When people are fighting or staring each other down, or when violence is imminent, you can break the tension. roll+face:
   10+ no one can initiate violence until you've said your piece. NPCs will back off, for now.
   7-9 NPCs may back off, or they may laugh at you and go back to fighting. PCs can start fighting only if they seize the moment.

You get:
   fashion according to your looks
   a backpack, lunchbox, or messenger bag with toys, books, and other personal items.
   a small luxury like soap, candy, tea, cigarettes
   Either a very special toy (+handle when played with), or a pet (+handle when healthy). Whatever it is, it is special to you. Describe it for everyone. Tell them what it looks like, where you got it, and what its name is.

On your turn:
   One of them has been taking care of you, at least more than anyone else ever has. Tell that player Hx+2
   Tell everyone else Hx+1. You love attention.

On the others' turns:
   You make snap decisions on whether or not you like a person. Whatever number another player gives you, either add or subtract 1. This can be for any reason at all.
May I Introduce?: When you meet a new character, roll+face: 10+ ask three; 7-9 ask one.
o   Does this person have any pressing issues?
o   Is this person being less than genuine?
o   Are they a probable threat to the group?
o   What do they need the most in the world right now?
o   How do they feel about me?
o   Will they take attention away from me?

   On a miss, tell the MC if you think they need you or if you need them more.

Blanket Improvement
   __+1 heart (+2 heart)
   __+1 heart (+2 heart)
   __+1 meat (+2 meat)
   __+2 face (+3 face)
   __+1 brain (+3 brain)
   __get another blanket move
   __get another blanket move
   __become part of a family
   __get a move from another playbook
   __get a move from another playbook

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: April 02, 2013, 03:07:04 PM »
Survivor Moves: are things that every survivor knows to do in order to stay alive in Lonely World. They are different from the basic moves in that they are usually complex operations that require the character to invest a serious amount of time and effort.

   Salvage allows you to recover important or valuable materials from the ruins. This includes things like vehicle parts, scrap metal, comm gear, velvet pictures of Elvis, and so on. It also allows you to get your way into a vault, safe, untouched storeroom and warehouse, or abandoned bunker. By default, you find 1-supply worth of useful junk, you are seen, you need a crew, and it takes you all day.

Roll+brain. 10+, spend 3 on the following options. 7-9, spend 1.
instead of junk, you find survival gear worth 2-supply
instead of junk, you find one valuable item worth 2-supply
instead of junk, you find scrap materials worth 2-supply
you find more junk, worth 1-supply
no one sees you while you work
you don't need a crew
it takes you only half the day

On a miss, the MC can choose from any of the following:
you come up empty-handed
something dangerous sees you
your crew is useless (dead, run off, mutinous)
it takes all day and most of next day too
you uncover something weird or chaotic

Conduct Rescue
   Digging people out of ruins, applying aid to large groups, escorting survivors, performing an extraction from a live combat zone, etc. Roll+heart. On a 10+, the operation is a success and the survivors are stable.'re not out of the woods yet.

The MC gets to pick from one of the options below.
First you'll have to get/build/fix/figure out_
you're going to need _ to help you with it
the best you can do is a fiasco of a rescue. Infections and injuries abound
it's going to mean exposing yourself and your colleagues to danger
you're going to have to take _ apart to do it
On a 7-9, the MC picks 1, 2, or 3 from above.

On a miss, the M.C. can choose from any of the following:
all or most of the survivors suffer 2-harm during the rescue.
something collapses or explodes
if there's a fire going, it spreads. If there's not, one starts.
something dangerous witnesses the operation
you uncover something harmful or evil
the only exit has been cut off

Secure the Area
   When the characters have eliminated the presence of hostile forces in an area. Allows them to perform other tasks within the secure area. Any threats to the individuals in the area needs to be spotted. Also used to stand guard or do patrols. Roll+blood.
On a 10+, the area is secure. You see any and all threats with ample time to deal with them.
7-9, you discover any threats seconds before they become a big problem.

On a miss, the MC may pick one from the following:
a delicate operation is interrupted
something really dangerous gets to wreck havoc
an NPC or two disappear without a trace
the surrounding environment or scenery is severely altered
something weird or chaotic or horrible is uncovered in the area

Find a Path
   The characters will be traveling through unknown scapes in urban and rural environments. A lot of crazy rampant destruction shit popped off during the End of Everything. The streets are choked with cars, bodies, and chunks of building. Some places were contained with fences and roadblocks, at least for a little while. Business and home owners locked up and barricaded their property.
   When you want to circumvent a physical obstacle, roll+meat:
   10+ you find a clear path, if there is one, that everyone can follow.
   7-9 there seems to be no way through. The MC can offer you a more dangerous way around, or there's just enough room for one of you.

Dig through supplies
   When you need something from the supply pool, like ammunition, medicine, survival gear, or basic comforts, roll +supplies spent.
   10+ you find what you need, and choose two:

you can take a little something else too
no one notices you
you find the good shit. +1 to whatever you need.
you don't need to take as much as you thought, so you can put back 1-supply or keep it.

   7-9 choose one from above.
   on a miss, you can't get what you need this way.

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: April 02, 2013, 03:01:00 PM »
   Basic Moves: All playbooks have access to these basic moves. They make up the core of gameplay, and are at the heart of Lonely World.

Seize the Moment
   When something you want is up for grabs, roll+heart:
   10+ you got it. It's yours.
   7-9 you flinch, hesitate, or stall. If you still want it, there will be a struggle with a contender, a frustrating chase, or a leap of faith.
   on a miss, you missed your chance.
   When advanced, 13+ gives whatever you grabbed the +handle tag, like a souvenir, or if it's a person, they become important to you.

   Example: Michelle gets back to her apartment to find that Frank has turned into a flesh-eating cadaver. She can take him down easily with her shotgun, but she left it on her dresser on the other side of the room. She says she's going for it because she promised Frank that she wouldn't let him be one of those things. Michelle's player rolls a 9. I ask her how she's moving to the gun, and she says she leaps over the couch. She gets over just fine, but slips on the meat of Paul, who looks like he had his face chewed off by Frank. So now Paul's corpse grabs at her heels, and Frank is sauntering over as well. If she can get away from Paul, she can get the gun and kill them both.

Defend What's Important
   When you're under threat, but won't give up what's yours, roll+heart:
   10+ deal harm as normal and choose three:
whatever you are fighting for is untouched
you suffer little harm (-1 harm)
you feel stalwart and resolute (heal 1-stress)
you impress or terrify the enemy
you don't stretch or damage your gear

   7-9 deal harm as normal or choose two from above
   on a miss, your ownership is in question
   When advanced, on a 13+ you made your point, and now everybody will know that it's yours and you won't give it up. Anyone who was even thinking about it will let it go.

   Example: Rick has been on the road for days with no signs of life anywhere. He stops in at a gas station and finds candy and some supplies to work on his car. Only problem is, some extermination droids use the garage to repair their transports. Rick climbs out from under his car and takes up cover to fire at the droids. He'll fight to the death to defend this place, because it belongs to humanity and not those damn robots! Rick's player rolls a 10. He deals 3-harm from his assault rifle and chooses to keep the gas station unharmed, suffers little harm to his person, and doesn't stretch his gear. 3-harm won't destroy the droids, so Rick plans on this turning into a prolonged fight. He wants to be able to last long enough to make sure they're trashed.

Protect Your Neck
   When you're ducking, dodging, blocking, or just trying not to get hurt, roll+meat:
   10+ you escape or endure the danger unscathed
   7-9 choose two:
you suffer little harm (-1 harm)
you get to a safe place
you're still on your feet

on a miss, you're in a world of hurt
   When advanced, on a 13+ you can get everymeat else out too, or you can exclude people by name

   Example: Jake is in the basement when the giant ants burst through the floor. They'll tear him to pieces unless he can make it back up the elevator shaft. Jake's player rolls a 7. He chooses to get to a safe place, and he's still on his feet. There's so many giant ants down here that part of the building is going to implode. He gets up the ladder, and the giant ants are buried for now, but he gets knocked on the head by a support beam and takes 2-harm.

Put Your Back Into It
   When you exert your physical self on the world, roll+meat:
   10+ you make it; no sweat
   7-9 you need to pull something extra from somewhere; the MC picks one or two of the following:
spend 1-supply for the intense hunger or thirst produced
get someone to help you
take 1-harm from the strain
keep yourself from losing it
wear out; -1meat until you sleep
   on a miss, you stumble, fall, or slip

   Example: Tommy has broken into the Kingston's place. Old man Kingston ain't been seen in weeks. Tommy found him in the kitchen, dead from the Squirting Flu. Tommy wants to break open the old man's gun locker before any other looters come by. Tommy's player rolls a 7, and the MC tells him he can get it open, but the pressure of getting it open before Buddy and his attack dogs make it here is freaking Tommy out. He'll collect stress unless he can calm his own ass down, and the effort is exhausting. Tommy helps himself to some warm beer he found in the fridge, which calms his nerves. He makes it out with the guns, and decides to soldier through the woods in the back to clear out before Buddy arrives rather than taking a rest in one of the upstairs bedrooms. This lowers his meat by 2 instead of one because he's tired and a little drunk.
Scope Things Out
   When you want to see what's going on or what's ahead of you, roll+brain:
   10+ ask the MC three questions about this place:
how safe am I?
is there anything useful or valuable?
what happened here recently?
how stable is this place?
what's the best way in/out/past/through?
what kind of trail am I leaving?

   7-9 ask two
   on a miss, you don't notice something important, dangerous, or valuable
   When advanced, on a 13+ also, you see a good opportunity for what you want or need most

   Example: Jason finds a stockroom that hasn't been ransacked. Before he can make a serious effort to dig through this place, he wants to give it a careful walk-through. He can spare the time, he figures, and is thinking about holing up for a few days. He rolls and gets an 11. He gets to ask three questions about the stockroom. The MC must answer them truthfully. Jason wants to know is he safe in here? The MC tells him he's pretty safe. There's no immediate threats, and the structure is intact. Then Jason wants to know if there's anything good that jumps out at him as he scans the place. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't. The MC lets him know about the pallet of bottled water in the corner. Finally, Jason wants to know how stable is this? The MC says that all is well as long as the ravenous postules in the parking lot don't know he's there.

Look For Bars
   In some places, in using the right tools, you can still access the signal. The signal is what remains of the global information infrastructure. Connection is spotty and many sites don't function. When you use a device like a cell phone or computer to try to access the signal, roll+brain. If you're looking for something specific, let the MC know.
   10+ you learn something interesting about the current situation or get a useful answer to your question.
   7-9 you get a vague idea about whatever, but the connection is slow or fails entirely.

   Example: Alex needs to remove a bullet from the leg of her dear friend Katie. She doesn't know how, but she's pretty sure she knows where to look on her smartphone. She rolls a 9, and gets a video a medical student had uploaded. Her bars are too few, so the video constantly needs to buffer. Alex figures she got the point and goes in with some tweezers to get that bullet out.

Commit a Violence
   When you move to hurt someone with physical force, roll+blood:
   10+ you can deal harm as normal, plus choose three:
you hit whatever you were aiming at, dead on
you hurt them more than you expected, +1 harm
you cripple them, either just for a little while or forever
you impress, +1Hx, or shock, -1Hx, someone watching
they either hit you for less, which would be -1harm, or maybe not at all
   7-9 you inflict full harm, or half harm and one from above.
   on a miss, they get you instead and you're at their mercy.
   When advanced, on a 13+, pick four from the list above and one of them is twice as good.

   Example: Three Bloody Mummies have broken down the door to the cabin where Sean and Sara were staying. Sean fires at them with his hunting rifle. He rolls a 10, and does 3-harm to them. He gets to pick three from the list, and decides he wants to hurt them more, shooting them in their moaning dry faces, and he wants to impress Sara by protecting her. He kills off two of them, but the third bites him on his chest, causing 2-harm. Sara has new respect for Sean and helps get the mummy on the floor where they can stomp its head in together.

Take This Shit Over
   When you make a serious violent effort to seize a lot of ground, roll+blood:
   10+ you conquer, but first the MC will tell you what it's going to take:
first, you'll have to kill or capture someone specific
they have some crazy shit you weren't expecting
you'll need a lot of help
luck is not on your side
the fighting is dirty, brutal, and bloody
it's going to cost a fuckton of supplies
they hurt someone dear to you

   The MC might just say one or two, but no more than four.
   7-9 you can take it, but it will cost you greatly. The MC picks one or two from above and also one or two of these:
a fire starts; or if there is already one, it spreads
the scenery is damaged or destroyed
innocent bystanders are hurt or killed
something truly terrible appears
they fuck you up bad, son
it costs you something you love

   You can also try to surrender or retreat, but it won't be good for your people.
   On a miss, decide now if you press forward or retreat. Either way, it will be a chaotic, bloody mess.
   When advanced, on a 13+ not only to you get what you were fighting for, but choose one from below:
all of your NPCs follow their order to the letter, and no one fucks up
you score some extra supplies; really good stuff
the enemy is completely at your mercy, including their leaders
the battle scores you points with someone important (your call)

   Example: The Red Martians have constructed a platform near the town of Wilford. It looks like they're building war machines. Mr. Salem can't allow that. These Martians have to go. Mr. Salem rolls a 10, and the MC tells him what it's going to take to get rid of the Martians. He'll need a lot of help, in this case, the seven men and women who make up his estate security. It's going to cost most of their ammo, and the Martians have a robot with heat rays and spiked treads. They won't be able to take over the platform with that thing still running.

   Example: Tim located a nest of Blood Junkies sleeping in the attic while searching for food. It's the middle of the day, so they'll be stuck in the house for a few more hours. Tim wants to pry the boards off the windows in the attic to let in the light and exterminate those creeps. He rolls an 8. Tim is unlucky here, and wakes them up when he steps on a protruding nail. Although he keeps himself from screaming, the fresh blood stirs them. The MC tells him he can probably pry the boards off before they tear him open. Probably. Tim wants to go through with it. He smashes open the windows and the sunlight burns up any of the Blood Junkies it hits. They burst into flames, and the fire catches on the walls. Now the six or seven that are still in the dark are fully awake, and they bite Tim on his neck, back, and shoulders, trying to let loose that sweet blood.

Ask a Huge Favor
   When you want someone to do something for you and it's kind of a big deal, roll+face:
   10+ If an NPC, they'll do it and may ask for something in return. If a PC, they can choose to do it, and if they do, they mark experience. If they don't, then they get -1Hx with you.
   7-9 If an NPC, they'll do it only if you do something for them first. If a PC, they can choose to do it and mark experience. Otherwise they can walk.
   On a miss, an NPC isn't happy you even asked, and a PC can ask you for a favor instead with the same conditions as if they hit a 10+.

   Example: Tommy cut his leg open on a fence and can't go out tonight to search for fuel. He asks Becca, a friendly NPC, to go in his place. Tommy rolls a 10, so Becca says she'll do it. Tommy starts to thank her, and she interrupts by adding a caveat. He has to go out on thursday with Creepy Walden, an NPC who is always trying to touch people.

Feed Them Some Bullshit
   When you want someone to believe your story, which may or may not be true, roll+face:
   10+ If an NPC, they'll be pretty much convinced. A PC can put his faith in you or remain skeptical. Either way you get +1Hx with them.
   7-9 They aren't totally convinced. PCs can choose not to believe you and if they do that you get -1Hx with them.
   on a miss, they don't believe you and may go off to find out on their own. PCs can see the real truth and get +1Hx with you. They can also ask you a question about the current situation and you have to answer truthfully.

   Example: Ralphie wants to know what Caitlin and Lemar, an NPC, have been doing while everyone else was defending the camp. Caitlin doesn't want Ralphie to know that they were romping through an abandoned bedding store together. She lies and says they got lost in the woods. Ralphie can see the bullshit in her eyes. He doesn't know what they were doing, but they certainly weren't in the woods. Caitlin gets -1Hx with Ralphie. Getting caught in a lie makes her less close to Ralphie and opens up a vulnerability.   

Confront Over an Issue
   When a disagreement comes to a head and you want to resolve it with real talk, roll+Hx:
   10+ the truth comes out, laid bare, for all to see. Nobody here can tell a lie until the issue is resolved. Anyone trying to change the subject is -1. Also, if it's interrupted, it's not over yet.
   7-9 The conversation is filled with half-truths and misdirection. Anyone trying to change the subject is +1forward. If it's interrupted, it's over for now.
   on a miss, the first character to initiate violence or sex is +1 to do so.   

Helping someone out
   When someone is rolling for something and you want to aid them, roll+Hx:
   10+ they get +1forward to whatever they're doing.
   7-9 they get the +1forward, but you also endanger someone.
   on a miss, you ruin it for everybody

   When you need to put a stop to whatever they're doing, roll+Hx:
   10+ pick two:
you can talk to them first. Make it quick.
you can bar the path.
you can remove 1-stress from them.
you can delay it for just a little while.
   7-9 pick one from above
   on a miss, you fall on your face

brainstorming & development / Re: Lonely World
« on: April 02, 2013, 02:48:15 PM »
   The Survival Guides: These are your playbooks. This is your character. The social and mental costume you wear during the playing of the game. The Survival Guides let you interact with the Lonely World. It makes you part of that world, with the challenge of staying alive. Your survival guide gives your character his moves, gear, stats, and helps shape their relationships with the few people they know of.
   Stats: define your character at their core. They show you what you're made of. They are the most essential elements of the character, the factors that determine how well they can do out there. When you want to do something, and it's not clear whether or not you can, you use a move and combine with the stat. All of the basic moves and most of the character moves use stats.

Heart is what you carry with you in your truest places. It's your strength of character, your determination, your fighting spirit. It keeps you strong and shows you what is right.
Brain is your wealth of knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge. You know the world as it was, and can learn to adapt for what it is now.
Blood is your killing instinct; your most ancient and primal self. Can you pull the trigger on a living thing? Can you push the blade in all the way?
Face is how you interact with others. How well they like you. How much they listen to you. Are you beautiful, sexy, well-spoken, or do you have a knack for getting on the good side of people?
Meat is your physical health and well-being. In Lonely World, you might be doing a lot of running, climbing, jumping, anything to get away from the Invaders. How well do you handle pain? How often do you get sick?


brainstorming & development / Lonely World
« on: April 02, 2013, 02:46:22 PM »
a new hack I am working on. I'm intending to crowdsource and publish it.
i welcome any comments

   The End of Everything: Everyone in the world is dead except you and some strangers you met. Or maybe they aren't strangers. Maybe they're your friends, lovers, or enemies. But you need each other to survive because there's something terrible out there. And it's coming for you.
   The Invaders: The Invaders caused the End of Everything. This is their world now. A world populated almost entirely by them. They run the streets, they control everything. What they do with it is entirely up to them, and you have no chance of stopping it.
   The Invaders could be anything. Do you like zombies? Martians? Robots? Barbarian hordes? Maybe it's not a person, maybe it's a thing: pockets of radiation, destructive weather patterns, swarms of flesh-eating insects. As long as it's good horror.
   The Survivors: You are a survivor. You lasted through the End and the time that followed, watching humanity's numbers dwindle to nothing from behind a window. However you made it doesn't matter now; that's in the past. The world before is like a dream you can't remember and the world now is a nightmare that never ends.
   The Signal: That's what you call what remains of the grand information infrastructure that once connected the world. All of the collective knowledge of mankind was out there in the ether, and all you needed was a device that could touch it. The signal is still broadcasting from somewhere, maybe a lot of somewheres. And you can still get to it, to answer your questions and dull your pains, provided you have the tools.
   The Lonely Struggle: All you have is a small band of people just like you: survivors, alone in a world that doesn't belong to them anymore. But unlike the billions who have perished, you will last. You can find what you need to keep going. You can create hope and love in this world. You will have a reason to live.
   When you meet the Invaders, you kill them. Simple as that. They are the enemy. They threaten your life and the lives of your friends. Kill them and run and never look back.

Why: Because it's dark and cold and dreary. You have little hope of making it through the year. Death and ruin are everywhere. There is silence all around, shattered only by the inhuman chorus of the Invader.
   The Invader did this. The Invader put you here. Whether you fear them, hate them, respect them, or need them, they don't care. They've killed everyone else and they won't ever stop. You've made it this far; you've outlasted the whole world. But they won't ever stop coming for you.
   It's good drama, and it speaks to a rugged individuality we all carry with us. Up against the world, you will find a way. Even if the number goes down to just one, you will be that one. Because one of the survival guides speaks to you and shows you the path to transcending the Hell all around you.

I'll be posting playbooks, moves, some rules, and MC material later on.

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: breaking old habits
« on: March 05, 2013, 02:17:51 PM »
For me it helps discussing with your tribe of gamers what kind of game you want, before you start it.

There will probably be several different answers for this and it might take a while to agree upon something.

Another thing that helps me is to have an idea of a game, present it to the players and invite them to join in.
i read somewhere else on this site about MCing the game according to the playbooks the characters choose and the moves they take. I think this group was after violence. the demons were a convenient outlet for that impulse.
maybe my NPCs were weak. maybe i like running monsters better. that's kind of why i'm doing a hack, so i can try some new things out as an MC.

i think next time i try to run standard AW, which i will do again, i'll discuss with the players beforehand what everyone wants to really do in the game. Does everyone want to run gigs and live simple? who wants to fight monsters or other people? who wants to fuck a lot? who wants to explore the world? And then we'll just do all of it.

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: breaking old habits
« on: January 22, 2013, 03:33:52 PM »
i haven't touched the AW forums in a while, but i wanted to come back to this topic because the question still bugs me after re-reading it.

What are the demons?  Are they actually demons, or are they people who dress as demons? If they're people who dress up as demons, why do they dress up as demons?  And what do they want?

Well, they were Fictionally "demons", in that, they were not mortal beings. They were like physical manifestations of the psychic maelstrom.
Mechanically, they were about equal to some wild dogs or something.

I think my problem was calling them demons in the first place. I think it sent the wrong message to the players. AW is primarily about social interaction, and I think I gave them the impression that it was now time to team up to battle all the evils of the world. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's not really what i was hoping for.

thanks everybody for the replies.
I think i'm going to make a hack with a Splatterhouse vibe. I think that will get me what I am going for.

i would have Millions interact in other ways with the other PCs. Maybe he's banging the Skinner. Maybe he's getting drugs from the Maestro. Maybe he wants to recruit the Gunlugger. Maybe he and the Driver have Tank Parties. I'd make him valuable to some, annoying to others, and really threatening to just one or two.
Then you get to watch all the hell he causes.

You can also let he and the one PC he extorted butt heads for a while, but during this time he's expanding his power base and so he starts getting really dangerous. So dangerous that he starts negatively affecting EVERYBODY. Then they all have to work together because no PC can take him down alone. And they have to get past their own bullshit to do it, and that will cause hell too.

Or he can disappear and then turn up a mangled bloody corpse with wounds that are totally bizarre and his tank was torn open by no earthly means.

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: breaking old habits
« on: May 15, 2012, 02:19:32 PM »
I've been using the optional battle moves for things like this and they've worked well.
Plus it helps to remember to look at all the NPCs through crosshairs.

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