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Messages - ColdLogic

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Freebooting Venus / Florida AP
« on: November 21, 2018, 10:32:40 AM »
Years later, we have dusted this off to give it a second go, with spectacular results!

The PCs were:
Nanette the Blade, with grace and sword-binding.
Dr. Hughburt Starling, with necromancy and instincts.

They started high up on the balconies of a tall tower -- a highrise made of stone, except it's shaped like an enormous rib, and here hundreds of floors up it's curving to a point. They were in pursuit of The Brundlewasp, a person with the head of a wasp. It had torn its way through the apartments and tenants of the building. Unbeknownst to them, but soon to be knownst, Virk -- the 'owner' of The Brundlwasp -- was slinking up in their wake, trying to stay hidden.

Nanette tried to interrupt The Brundlewasp's ascent to the next-highest balcony, but failed. It sent her sprawling, went up, and stormed into the apartment above to continue its tear-assery. Dr Starling got a boost and intruded on the balcony; he was in the clear as long as he didn't draw attention to himself.

The apartment was nice, or would have been, but it's smashed to hell now and The Brundlewasp is in the dark somewhere tearing its tenant apart. Dr Starling sizes the situation and deduces that he'd have to lure The Brundlewasp out with bait. He jumps on the bed and makes a lot of racket. It works, of course. The Brundlewasp attacks him from darkness but he interrupts its attack by getting out of the way, confusing it for a minute. He's able to scoop it up in the bedsheets. Nanette conks it on the head while it's helpless and it curls up in a fetal position and sulks.

Dr Starling goes off to look for loot in the apartment and finds some treasure to examine later. Nanette stands over the wrapped up Brundlewasp. Virk comes into the apartment. Nanette tries to size him up but fails, inadvertantly giving away her own vulnerabilities -- her blood is still flowing freely from The Brundlewasp. Virk offers to buy back his Brundlewasp but our heros aren't having it -- they're fulfilling a promise to take it to Professor Grimwald (Doctor of Entemology and Sunspritology).

Later, our heros take an overcab -- a canister with seating for 12, except it has large bird wings and is steered telepathically by the conductor. They fly out to the Collegium Imperialis District to find Prof Grimwald. This district is characterized by spired jenga-type buildings jutting up at odd angles to each other, and everything looks both cutting edge 'for its time' but also incredibly dated these days. The professor is at The Focus, a big building with a telescope, and his orderlies take The Brundlewasp off our heroes' hands.

While there, they hear about Magpie Pollintwist (a seer/mountain witch who's always in the market for saps to do dirty work). They also get a look at, and detailed esoteric rundown about, the Starfish Nebula -- a distant space cloud where stars and blackholes are being born.

Later, they examined their treasure...

Dr Starling has enough to devote himself to pursuing his own hobbies and interests; he marked towards adding a new skill (it will be Wizardry).

Nanette the Blade had enough to lay the foundations of her estate. She bought a country parcel with vineyards, orchards, spice fields and a stream filled with fish and salamanders. Unfortunately, it's predated by a breeding pair of burnished jackals.

End of session. Was a really good game.

We played with the original playtest rules, not the 'Wicked New Direction' rules. Mostly because the playtests rules were all in one packet and I didn't want them flipping between 2 packets and getting confused. Also because I don't quite understand how the moves work in the Wicked packet (your wins, your losses, etc).

When a character wanted to boost himself up onto the balcony our monster had just ascended, I said he was likely 'intruding somewhere he wasn't expected to be'. I thought that was clever.

'Size Someone Up' says you can be sizing up 'something', not just a person, so we played it as reading a sitch. It was awkward, but not terrible.

Vincent's essay on improvising was very helpful. He mentions it in the GM section. I tried to add 'but' into as much as I possibly could.

One of the characters started with treasure, but it reads like it's treasure that's been examined already (it's some rare spices). Wasn't sure what to do with that. I told her she could have a +1 if she brought it into play somehow, which we promptly forgot about.

Apocalypse World / Brainer advancement clarification
« on: July 16, 2018, 03:37:39 PM »
Can someone clarify what this brainer advancement means?
Get 2 new or replacement brainer gear (you choose)

Specifically -- can the brainer keep her current gear and get 2 new ones on top of it? (I know it literally says yes, but I had thought I saw somewhere that the brainer has to exchange old gear for new).

Thanks. It seems the main difference as you see it hinges on the 'no matter the circumstances' clause, is that right? Its inclusion in puppet strings implies that the move is for down-the-road type commands, and is thus inappropriate for, say, 'get out of my way now' type stuff?

I think we're saying the same thing, except in the fiction of your games you decide to not have NPCs willing to fight and die for a PC unless the player takes the advance, while in mine I.. not 'do', but also am not opposed to it on principle. Either is fine. In the case I described above, by the time the question came up, it wouldn't have made sense to have the NPCs balk.

Not sure about your reading of the hocus. I haven't seen the hocus in action much (only had a few sessions with one), but it looks to me like frenzy is for a mob of non-followers. And the moves section explicitly calls out seize by force and the rules for gangs inflicting/taking harm. Seems to me like the playbook wants the hocus to be thinking about how to use their followers as a gang. I also note there's no advance to get a gang except the generic 'get a move from another playbook'. On the other hand, your followers are 'loyal to you, but not fanatical' by default. So like everything, it's up to the kind of personhood the MC gives each of them.

Hello all. Now that I'm running a game with a brainer in it I'm just noticing the amount of overlap in these two moves.

Direct-brain whisper projection: you can roll+weird to get the effects of going
aggro, without going aggro. Your victim has to be able to see you, but you don’t have to
interact. If your victim forces your hand, your mind counts as a weapon (1-harm ap close

In-brain puppet strings: when you have time and physical intimacy with someone—
again, mutual or 1-sided—you can plant a command inside their mind. Roll+weird. On
a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 1. At your will, no matter the circumstances, you can spend
your hold 1 for 1:
• Inflict 1-harm (ap).
• They take -1 right now.
If they fulfill your command, that counts for all your remaining hold. On a miss, you
inflct 1-harm (ap) upon your subject, to no benefit.

To me, puppet strings is much stronger. You get pretty much all the desired effect of go aggro without risking the chance that they could barricade themself in or whatever. Granted, you need the violation glove to do it with minimal effort.

Why would anyone take Direct Brain Whisper instead?

And Vincent, why did you include such similar moves in the same playbook? Is the violation glove requirement that much that they seemed more different, or what?

I ran a game where the PCs' holding was a more-or-less leaderless convoy of a few dozen vehicles trekking across the wastes. We had a Savvyhead with a high concept personal mission, and everyone was basically following her on it because they bought into the idea and things couldn't have gotten much worse back home out East. So early on, it became clear that she was the go-to person when people in the 'holding' had questions or needed to know what to do -- she was the smartest, always had a plan, always knew what to do, etc. By the third or fourth session she was pretty much the de facto hardholder (and always had been). The player waited until her next advance and took the 'get a gang' improvement, but we had already been playing with her having a gang the whole time. Taking the advancement just gave her leadership.

My advice -- if they get a gang in the fiction, give them a gang. They don't get leadership or pack alpha or other playbook gang moves. But they can go aggro and do battle with the gang just the same. Scratch it off their advancement list as if they took it as an advancement; don't be a grinch and make them spend their next advancement for something that happened in the fiction.

Things I love:
__ the first session rules
__ the weak hit, strong hit, miss mechanic
__ descriptive tags, constraints, prompts
__ no monsters; everyone is fundamentally a person
__ the MC's agenda and principles (by the way, 'make things shitty for the PCs' is explicitly breaking the rules here)
__ explicit MC moves
__ rules for custom moves
__ rules for MC prep
__ AW as a powerful set of tools for making your own RPG

Things I deal with:
__ sometimes mapping the fictional action onto a move bogs the game down, or results in an unsatisfying MC call
__ the game wants to be serious, but sometimes the players show up and want to be gonzo
__ Hx and XP are a little wonky

Apocalypse World / Re: Hacking First Session: good, bad, or unnecessary?
« on: February 16, 2016, 11:50:58 AM »

I think you ought to avoid the first option Amora described above (playing out the HX choices they've already selected). We already know how that scene will end (someone left bleeding and the other one didn't help or whatever).

If you're thinking of Amora's second option, frame their scenes aggressively, in the sense of putting them in a tense sitch. Don't just frame the driver and savvyhead on a roadtrip. Start them in the middle of a breakdown with folks bushwhacking them or something. Or push to get a PC-NPC-PC triangle as quickly as you absolutely can, then smash cut right to the tension of that triangle on-screen. This way you can hopefully avoid that situation where the players wander through dialogue scenes with no real idea of the direction they want to go in and just settle on some humdrum weak-sauce Hx at the end of it ('the savvyhead went on a roadtrip with me' or whatever, which is no better than the driver's regular Hx choice in 1E).

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: February 16, 2016, 11:23:50 AM »
Vincent, for the battle moves, do the rules permit players to stack their choices on 10+? So, put two points in 'take definite hold' or whatever, similar to AW:DA?

Dungeon World / Re: Dungeon World... new DM
« on: February 10, 2016, 10:00:29 AM »
Kristoffer, I see no one answered your question about maps. The rule there is make maps but leave blanks. That means, you know, map out your dungeon the way you normally would, but don't necessarily detail every room. That means a few of your rooms have just a one-word prompt, 'undead' or 'razor room' or 'chasm', or are just blank. Don't commit yourself to what's in those rooms. Let your table's play inspire you as the party gets to those rooms.

Re: adventure hooks -- Dungeon World has a few tools to let you pre-plan situation but not actual story/plot. One of them is the fronts, and Munin's advice there is excellent. Another tool, more to the point of your question about adventure hooks, is the idea of starting the party in media res. Meaning, you know, start them right in the action. So, no scenes of them in the tavern getting a mission or whatever. Start them just inside the dungeon, fighting off a horde of goblins who were guarding the mouth of the cave. Start them in the treasure room with the trap already activated and the sand filling up the room or whatever.

Re: ask questions -- yeah, ask questions from the players to a) do collaborative world-building, so it's not all on you and b) to solicit things that are of interest to them. Ask questions like crazy! You're looking for interesting bits from the players to take as cues for the kinds of things they want to see in the game.

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: February 08, 2016, 10:57:21 AM »
Thanks. More:
1) When you shoulder a vehicle, are you also using your vehicle as weapon, and hence trading harm in addition to v-harm?

2) To go with what you said above, should we have the players decide their PvP choices blind, without knowing what their opponent chooses?

Probably more after this.

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: February 08, 2016, 09:53:07 AM »
There are a lot of moves that don't tell us how to adjudicate PvP. Like Assault vs Defend, or hell most of the other battle moves. Do the options that cancel each other out actually cancel each other out and call for us to, let's say, decide if you're still assaulting/defending or something. In other words, ought we to take a cue from the single combat move here?

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: February 03, 2016, 10:25:17 AM »
Based on the preview documents, assigning HX is my most favorite improvement. Holy cow does it go so much smoother now, just from a tiny little procedural change!

Freebooting Venus / Re: Playmat for "Fight with Someone"
« on: December 14, 2015, 10:58:51 AM »
That's great! Thanks!

Freebooting Venus / Re: Ideology skill
« on: November 13, 2015, 03:23:17 PM »
We had questions about this in our first playtest also. There's the Ideologies 'booklet' in the playtest packet, which is fun adn interesting. Our table wanted to know if other players who didn't have this skill were supposed to refrain from bringing its contents into play. Like a character talking about Terran birds vs Venus bats, for instance.

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