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Topics - Chroma

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Apocalypse World / [Playbook] The Maelstrom Ghost Mk2
« on: November 17, 2011, 03:14:36 PM »
The concept of a "maelstrom ghost" has always intrigued me; Simon C started the ball rolling here, but it didn't really seem to go very far.  As well, in two of my campaigns, the Savvyheads managed to get their minds sent into the psychic maelstrom while their bodies got destroyed... so, I felt I needed to put something together to represent that fractured existence.

So, with Simon C's blessing, allow me to show you something... don't be scared...

(And I hope you'll help me finish it!)

Apocalypse World / Why I hate Apocalypse World
« on: November 07, 2011, 09:05:32 PM »
This past weekend was the third instalment of our local gaming convention Hammercon.

I planned to be running a wargaming event, EPIC: Armageddon, but it fell through in the end and, at 11:00pm Friday night, one of the con organizers asked if I'd be up to running a slot of Apocalypse World the next morning; I said "sure!", because I've been in love with AW for a long time and I like to spread that love.

So, I printed playbooks (including The Faceless), re-read some rules, got some scrap paper and pencils, and showed up bright and early the next morning.  My session sign-up sheet had filled in minutes... all with newcomers to AW!  I got to my assigned table, settled in, greeted the players and handed out the playbooks.  After a few brief explanations we started a "First Session" and then...

...something terrible happened...

I got to meet Crimson Absinthe, of the drug-making Absinthe clan, near-naked, chain-swinging Battlebabe, with hints of an incestuously competitive relationship with her little sister, and dreams of being a kingmaker.

There was also Jag, the Driver of the Harmbulance, aka Bertha, a spike-festooned, armour plated ambulance, moving from holding to holding, breaking hearts and heads with...

Rover, the tall, stick thin, twitchy, Gunlugger, suffering from a severe vitamin-c addiction due to neurological experiments performed on him by his insane uncle, an addiction only kept at bay by a rapidly decreasing supply of tinned oranges.

All in the employ of the Hocus Ruger, the Rapemast... Ringmaster of the all female, tattooed, contortionist extravaganza the Circus of Discord, riding the roads and spreading lust and debauchery at every stop in between.

I met them as they were just rolling up to the holding of New Hope... and got to see just a glimpse of their insane exploits... before time was called and their players scattered to the winds...

I fell in love with these sick fuckers... and they were snatched away from me... I'll never get to find out what happened after they kicked over the figurative anthills around them... don't know who Rover will side with... or if Jag has found his true love... or why Ruger is so attached to his top hat... or what the hell is going on with Crimson and her sister... I want to play to find out... and now I can't...

Apocalypse World is a cruel, cruel game, and playing single sessions at conventions can break an MC's black, withered heart...

I hate you Apocalypse World... please hold me forever.

Apocalypse World / Types of Apocalypses and their root causes
« on: September 11, 2011, 10:58:01 PM »
Had the first session of my new campaign today (Depth of Life) and it got me to thinking about something with regard to the "causes" of the various Apocalypse Worlds that are being played.

In my, admittedly limited, experience, it often seems that the root cause of the Apocalypse is something technological or physical: nuclear war, nanotech, global climate change, bio-war, alien invasion, orbital drift, AIs, etc.

Certain things may be weird and psychic and spooky now, but has anyone run anything where a supernatural, spiritual, or non-physical cause for things getting all fucked up in the first place was discovered?  The seed of the thought was planted after watching the movie "Legion", where the world starts to end simply because "God was tired of our bullshit"... so nothing "human" in the cause, simply in the response and I thought that was interesting.

And, certainly there are apocalypses where the root cause is never known.

I look forward to a cool discussion!

(I have heard of an Apocalypse were the survivors turned out to be the casts of cancelled TV shows and the Maelstrom was the shattered remnants of the "fourth wall", so that's certainly a cool and weird one.)

Apocalypse World / [AP] Depth of Life
« on: September 07, 2011, 09:19:17 AM »
Hey all!

Just gearing up to start my third Apocalypse World campaign.  The game has been a real blast and has really energized my local groups. 

The first campaign lasted thirteen sessions and had a single PC survivor (not counting a "Retire to safety" PC earlier in the game) while the second lasted six sessions and had two survivors... Despite such apparently grim outcomes, all players involved were extremely satisfied with the arcs of their stories and all have been clamouring to play again.

My first two games (and single session demos I've run) have all been completely freeform, so I wanted to try something different this time.  I talked to the six other players participating this time and asked them for concepts/interests they'd like to see in the next campaign and I attempted to weave as many of them as I could into an "intro story" that would give a framework to the coming game.  Additionally, I wanted to look at how allowing/limiting certain playbooks would influence play, but I didn't want to make any decisions before I got the other players' input.

Here's what I got: tunnels, "snowpocalypse", zombies, mobile holdings, spiders, tall buildings.  Now, not all those elements are going to necessarily make it into the game, but I think I've been able to put some nice combos together.

So, on 9/11/11, we'll be starting a brand new game... and I'm hoping I can maintain some actual play reports and other notes and things.

Here's the intro story, please feel free to comment!

Last session I had something interesting come up and I was wondering how other MCs dealt with it:

During an instance of PC on PC... interaction... one PC was Going Aggro on another, who attempted to Interfere... both players missed on their rolls... so, now, it's my turn to make a move as hard as I like... but do I get to make two moves now, store one up for future use, make a "doubly" hard move, make a single move and sniffle about lost opportunities for fuckery, or something else?

I made a single move in the session, and it wasn't all that hard of one, but I was still curious as to how other people would resolve this.  In this instance, it was essentially simultaneous rolling, so there wasn't really time for me to interject anything; if they'd been taking "discrete" turns it would've been easy to handle, but the simultaneousness of the actions in fiction essentially demanded concurrent rolling.


Apocalypse World / [Rules] Changing playbooks and the ungiven future
« on: April 28, 2011, 01:15:54 PM »
Hey all!

Recently had our Savvyhead change to a Hoarder on their 6th improvement and it raised a question about whether they still had access to ungiven future advances or whether they'd have to do get another five improvements as the new character type before they opened up again or were they always available once one gets to their initial 6th advancement.

I'm partial to having the PC need to gain the five improvements as the new character, settling in to their new role/outlook/life, but I'd like to hear other thoughts and could be easily swayed.

Apocalypse World / Love Letters *TO* the MC
« on: February 18, 2011, 10:47:21 PM »
So, MCed my very first session of Apocalypse World last Sunday and it went swimmingly.  Six players and all made interesting characters that I'm really excited to see in play.  I hope to share more details soon, but something interesting came up post-game... I, as MC, got love letters from two of the players!  Was wondering if anyone else had experienced this and what they'd done.

Me, I'm taking them as golden platters and running full bore!  *laugh*

It had been revealed in play that Titus, the Chopper, had killed the previous gang boss, Boss Jim in a duel, but the specifics had not been spelled out, so, after the game, the player suggested that it had been a kind of Kansas City Shuffle where Titus had actually cut a deal with Boss Jim, who was actually in cohoots with a rival hardholder while working security for the PC Hardholder, and had faked the death with a mutilated body.  "And that's the 'obligation' hanging over my gang", was the player's suggestion.

And Marilyn, the Skinner, revealed to me that she wasn't really a she and wanted to be on the run and "hiding in plain sight" from powerful and dangerous pursuers.

I've never had players *ask* for trouble before in other games, so I'm quite excited about this opportunity.

...but with a sound like the scream of a woman dying in stillbirth...

Hey all!  Grim stuff that.

Just to let you know, [redacted - the guy who bought WA for me] did A Very Bad Thing this Christmas... he game me a book... a roleplaying book... a manual for a game called "Apocalypse World".  It reduced me to vomitting and tremours, my mind spiraled into horrific depths, visions of rotted sugarplums mocked me with their stuttering dance... I was reduced, altered, reborn... and I fell in love.

On to my new love...

One day, our world ended... no one knows what happened... but end it did, in fire, terror, madness and a Golden Age died.  It's fifty years later. 

When you close your eyes and shut everything out... you can almost hear it... the howling... the screaming... the psychic maelstrom that is the last great remnant of the Fall... sometimes... sometimes, it doesn't scream... sometimes... it whispers...

You... ya YOU, want do you want?  You've got two hands... what do you wish to wrap them around... a gun?  The neck of your hated enemy?  A lover's breast?  What would you do to maintain that hold...

It's all about choices... hard choices... and the hope you can live with them... or survive them...

I really want to play this.

That's my pitch.  Let me know if you've got any questions... or choices...


So, this is the pitch I've made to my gaming group in regard to Apocalypse World... I'm giddy with anticipation!

P.S.  I did actually get horribly ill for a few days after receiving the book.

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