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Topics - Chroma

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Life, death, and walking the fine line between, while low on coffee.

Medical drama role-playing with the player characters on the front lines; juggling their patients' lives, their social lives, and their own sanity as the pressure mounts.

Hey all! I love Apocalypse World and all its mutated children so I've been taking a stab at putting together my own hack. It's called The Ward and it's a medical drama (or comedy!) story game; I've been working on it in private for several months, have run some great playtest sessions, but I wanted to get some more eyes on it.

I've created a Google+ group for people interested in playtesting and posting feedback, so if this piques your interest, drop me a note and I'll send you an invite!

AW:Dark Age / What binds the PCs together?
« on: October 09, 2014, 10:56:54 PM »
Hey all!  We had a blast playing this in September, sorry I didn't get to post this sooner.

Perhaps it's was our groups prior experience with AW-engine games, but the lack of a Hx/Bonds/Trust stat/mechanic, especially when first creating the characters.  There's nothing indicating the PCs are friends/allies, as in AW, in fact, in our game one of the players choose to be the leader of the main group opposing the stronghold; is such "PvP" opening play intended?

Things got resolved with diplomacy (in game) and player-to-player etiquette out of game, so it wasn't really an issue, but playing with people who aren't already friends, it could be a rough start.

Our group's game revolved around an abandoned Empire of Eagles' tribute ship loaded with cursed gold that drifted into the stronghold's harbour...

other lumpley games / [Murderous Ghosts] What is the latest version?
« on: February 20, 2013, 05:28:05 PM »
Asked this in the hack thread, but it's so far down in the dark, I thought I'd ask here as well.

Hi Vincent!

Just curious as to whether there have been any updates to Murderous Ghosts; I've got the "Happy Halloween '11" version from the Epimas 2011  bundle and wanted to make sure before finally colour print the thing and keep it handy in my backpack for one-on-one play occasions.


Murderous Ghosts / What is the most recent version?
« on: February 16, 2013, 03:29:21 PM »
Hi Vincent!

Just curious as to whether there have been any updates to Murderous Ghosts; I've got the "Happy Halloween '11" version from the Epimas 2011  bundle and wanted to make sure before finally colour print the thing and keep it handy in my backpack for one-on-one play occasions.


Dungeon World / Dungeon World has arrived!
« on: February 13, 2013, 07:19:12 PM »
Yay!  I had a nice fancy box waiting for me here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and inside was DUNGEON WORLD... in hardcover!

Everything inside looks great, thanks so much for all your efforts, they've really paid off!

Thanks to all the shippers as well, this seemed like a really speedy delivery.

Apocalypse World / [Epimas] Father Epiclaus delivers...
« on: December 20, 2012, 01:40:32 PM »
...a new AW playbook!

So... hopeful!

All the details are here... Hope you find solace.

Happy holidays everyone!

Apocalypse World / [RoD] Season's greetings...
« on: December 05, 2012, 04:32:08 PM »
...before season's beatings...

I've been running a tight little five person Apocalypse World campaign called "River of Dust (Ocean of Tears)" that just finished its seventh session with the brutal death of the Hocus... beaten to the brink by the Chopper's gang and left to die by the Angel who hated "her"... and who held many secrets concerning the Skinner's family...

In the spirit of that aftermath, two of the players put together a heart-warming holiday song, thank you Eric and Savanah, the players of Domino and Grace respectively!  I hope the rest of you can enjoy it as well...


ArtemisGunlugger: a thin, bony woman decked out in hi-tech body armour and weaponry… linked to Sorrow for some reason…
DominoChopper: sturdy guy with weary eyes, leads a diseased scavenger gang called The Lepers
EileenTouchstone: weary woman in a patchwork burlap cloak, her eyes are calm as she speaks of “equality”…
MekkenFaceless: guy in green/brown camo, wears a gasmask, but never seems to breath... whirs faintly though
Nee SetterAngel; bald-headed, brushy-bearded younger man who is happy and helpful… and extremely curious…
GraceSkinner, a blue-eyed beauty bedecked in exotic tattoos and luxe wares, wields a celestial voice
SorrowDEAD, Hocus: the white-masked, lanky leader of the Court of Tears, bedecked in formalwear he/she holds court at Haven


Doyle – Kessler’s duster-and-cowboy-hat-wearing spokesman, cool and calm
Kessler – the leader of Highroad, looking to take over more
Gonzales – the fastest Leper, natch!
Pij – a Leper that’s always scratching his face, scattering flakes to the wind
Scabs – a Leper that smells like rot and ashes
Stein – chattery little shit, most reliable Leper though
Marylin – Grace’s missing mother, seems she got a new voice… a mechanical one…


THE COMMONS - A rusted cargo ship run aground in a dry river bed that slices through the city… big market… but filthy and decadent
THE DISTILERY– holding that has water collection as its raison d’être
HIGHROAD– a well defended holding built up on the top of an old highway interchange

Enough preamble, now on with the show!

Hey hackers!

For those of you who are into Secrets Man is Not Meant to Know, here's something you should know:

tremulus - the AW-inspired game of Lovecraftian horror now has a Kickstarter up.  Let's get those stars right and wake this Thing up!

Looks like there's possibly a new horror hack in the works!  Anyone heard anything more about this?

"tremulus is a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror.  Since the earliest parts of the year, I have allowed it to grow and gestate into something different from anything I’ve developed before or anything my studio has released. At its core, it is a pick up and play roleplaying game running on a modified design of Apocalypse World. You can get going in a matter of minutes—no more time than it takes to set up most board games—and each player needs only a pair of dice, a dossier, and an open mind.  The Keeper needs no dice whatsoever, only scratch paper, a pen, and a penchant for nightmare."

First off, well done and good luck with the Kickstarter!  Gonna have to scrape together some coins to get more deeply into that!

Now, perhaps I'm blind, but I can't seem to find any first session/fronts worksheets in any of the pdfs I have.  What am I missing?

Thanks for any help!

Dungeon World / [AP] Playing with youngsters
« on: May 29, 2012, 01:35:18 PM »
So, over the past few years I've been running RPGs for a group of teenagers (I'm well past being a teenager myself), showing them the ropes of roleplaying games, starting with D&D, Call of Cthulhu... old classics... and then also showing them stuff like Lady Blackbird and DitV... good times! 

Before the group went its separate ways last Fall, as they started going to college in scattered cities, I ran a six session AW campaign for them... and they loved it!

They're all back for summer break and want to get in some more gaming with me... they wanted to go back to their "roots", the first adventures they'd played... the (sinister) Saltmarsh trilogy... but with a twist, playing the kids of their original characters in a "20 years later" type, and I thought it would be great to see if Dungeon World would be up to the task!

Last night we played a one-shot using the Red Box rule set pdf, plus Paladin from the $5 thing, and set off to explore the Hall Beneath the Hill in a quest to uncover the Bloodstone Idol!

Friar Hawthorne, a mean and abusive Human Cleric who ran an orphanage and was looking to Goblin slaves, was joined by reclusive and bookish Myke the Elven Wizard, who was seeking answers to ancient mysteries, with Gregor a grizzled old Human Fighter, looking to prove himself one last time, and the young, fresh, and eager Favious the Human Paladin new to his holy calling.

Bonds went well and tied the characters together nicely, with both Hawthorne and Gregor thinking there was no way Myke would survive the quest, while the Elf thought he'd be able to teach the old warrior "a better way" of doing thing, and Favious respectful of Hawthorne's... dedication, but also worried for his soul.

There was some exploration, some fights (including against a Ghost, which the Paladin used his Lay On Hands to "heal" its tortured nature), and a lot of spell casting ("If I roll a 10+ I can cast it again?!  COOL!").

Most of the moves flowed fairly smoothly from the fiction, though there was often the feeling that one only had to say the name of the move to do it rather than "what you were actually doing", but that's easy to correct.  The only basic move that this seemed a problem for was "Spout Lore" as it wasn't always obvious how to tap into that "character knowledge" without falling back on something like, "I remember reading about something like this at Wizard school...", so how do other people engage that move in play?

So, I'm hoping to start of this "Children of Saltmarsh" thing for the summer and would love to get access to the latest Beta so we can explore all the classes and such.

What do I do next?

Apocalypse World / [AP] Manufactured Orphans
« on: April 24, 2012, 01:40:35 PM »
"Where you activated before or after the last human died?"

Started a brand new Apocalypse World this weekend!  

I just recently finished reading "Saturn's Children", by Charles Stross, and it planted the seed of an idea that generated the question above... I was really curious how such a "game changer" would work as a shock to the baseline status quo of "playing humans" of most AW games... cuz, as we know, there are no status quos in AW!

We recently finished (in tears) one of our three AW campaigns and the players that got together this Sunday voted to "Start a new one!" instead of continuing along with one of the other two campaigns as "key" players were missing from each.  So, I asked for some brainstorming ideas for what our next apocalypse should be like, and picked the following from the concepts presented:

    giant spiders
    half-heard whispers
    other/alien world
    burrowing bugs
    witch hunts

An interesting mix!  I definitely saw the potential for my "big question" as I looked over that list and, as the players picked their playbooks and started to make their characters, I turned to Miss Demeanour, the new Maestro 'D and asked it...

More to come!

...and being a fan of the other players' characters!

So, a funny thing happened in my Depth of Life campaign:

In the ongoing story, the Hardholder had the Angel tasked to work on a cure for a terrible plague that is afflicting the holding.  Later, the Hocus, hated by the Angel, got badly hurt in a massive riot and the Hardholder tried to... compel... the Angel to perform some healing, but the Angel refused. 

A big snowball of moves later, the Angel suffered a bunch of harm (gang beatings and rifle shots) and, instead of taking a debility when they took harm to 12:00, decided it was better for the story if they died instead!  The Angel's player was such a fan of the Hardholder, that they wanted to see how they were going to now deal with this whole plague thing without an Angel!  The player sacrificed their character, who still had a bunch of stuff on the go, to "produce future coolness".  I was really impressed and it was somewhat unique in my experiences as a GM/MC.  I've had players nobly sacrifice their characters, but never something like this.

Anyone else have such an experience?

So, I've got a couple of AW games ongoing and recently a new player asked if they could join and they said they had an idea for their character.  After a little discussion, it was obvious that this idea would be best served by the Operator... but the game already has an Operator, but the concepts are so completely different it would be next to impossible for them to step on each other's toes, so, that got me to thinking...

Has anyone played in a game with multiples of the same playbook in play?  I know it's "not allowed" in the first session, though there are no status quos, but I was more curious about subsequent play.  Any games with two opposing Hoci or rival PC Hardholders or even multiple Operators (the most versatile playbook!) in play?

Just curious to see if anyone has broken this ground already.

Apocalypse World / [Threats] Let's talk about afflictions!
« on: December 03, 2011, 11:27:35 PM »
Okay, I'm having some difficulty incorporating "Afflictions" as threats, well, having half a problem.

The first three types of afflictions (disease, condition, custom) I haven't had any problem with, both conceptually and practically in setting up countdowns and custom moves... I've had some positively terrifying diseases in some games!

It's the other three types (delusion, sacrifice, barrier" that I'm having trouble with.  A "barrier" seems more landscape-like to me, and delusions and sacrifices seem almost like subsets of customs, so I'm not sure how to differentiate them.

Anyone got any examples from play they'd like to share or just have some thoughts on such things?

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