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Messages - Borogove

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the nerve core / Re: Apocalypse Fuel - an AW random-generation tool
« on: March 12, 2017, 01:29:15 AM »
I'm loving it. I discovered it via a blog post about using it along with Loom of Fate to help with solo AW play and it works amazingly well for it. The name generation is aces, a bit closer to Fury Road than the standard AW names list.

The Maestro establishment's crew relationship details are hilarious, and suggest an additional modification that could be made -- once a gang, or a hardhold, or a character has been introduced, it should be slightly more likely that those entities get referenced by future entity generation, to make callbacks and webs of connection.

Apocalypse World / Re: New player that has a question
« on: June 18, 2016, 04:23:49 PM »
+1 or -1 forward means to the next roll (unless it specifically states additional conditions). +1 ongoing until... means +1 to every roll until the condition is met.

Is Entretoise a PC or NPC? (ou peut-ĂȘtre PJ/PNJ?)

If PC, what outcome does Entertoise really prefer? Get rid of both girls? If so, JustusGS has it right. If, instead, Entertoise wants to keep Soleil, they need some kind of leverage -- which could be "Soleil lives and I return her to you in two weeks, and here's some barter in the meantime" maybe. 

If NPC, then the move has to be Patriarch's; if Patriarch wants Soleil, he can offer "fine, I'll take Boiled Face off your hands as well," since he believes that's acceptable to Entertoise.

I just wrote up a whole thing about how I feel like none of the decision-making tools the game gives me help in this edge case, but of course Ebok has the right of it: I just have to hand the responsibility over to Sundown.

Page 115 (part of the section detailing the MC principles) speaks to exactly this situation, under "Sometimes, disclaim decision-making":

Quote from: 1st Edition Rulebook
Say that there's an NPC whose life the players have come to care about, for instance, and you don't feel right about just deciding when and whether to kill her off.

To summarize the options there: 1. Put it in your NPCs' hands. (Is an NPC really going to kill her?) 2. Put it in the players' hands. (More or less what you've suggested.) 3-4. Make it a countdown or a stakes question. (Basically the same thing as 2 but with more decision points at which PC action could change the outcome.)

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 26, 2016, 06:01:59 PM »
The 7-9 on pander to your audience says "take -1weird to the next time you try to crack open the world"; does this mean something different than simply "take -1"?

Alright, just thought I'd update you guys on how this move turned out. I put it in front of the Hardholder last night, without changing it from what I put in my first post, and he rolled a whopping 13. I was expecting him to off Jamaica for sure, but he surprised me by letting his gang take heavy casualties to protect her, after I did emphasize that with her dead, they'd have another source of instability to contend with as the gang members jockeyed for promotion. I dropped the gang size from large to medium as a result, but they definitively defeated the other gang and killed Elbow, and are in a way better position now than they were at the beginning of last session.

Cool! I was rooting for Jamaica. I'm glad you ran with the original selection, since his choices wound up surprising you.

Apocalypse World / Re: Driving trains, settlements, and rotating cast
« on: April 20, 2016, 09:51:40 PM »
Perhaps there is some kind of automated system from the Golden Age gone haywire. Weird tank-like machines roam the landscape, randomly activating and deactivating. They lay rail tracks behind them; no one know why or how to get them to stop. You could wake up one morning to find a railroad stretching across the horizon. They repair these, too.

In the long-term game, the players could figure out how to control these things, or why they're around.

Weirder version: the psychic maelstrom actually GROWS railroads across the landscape. Maybe it's magic/fuckery, or maybe it's a crew of assembly nanobots gone out of control. It looks completely wild out there, railroads disassembling and reassembling themselves...

Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World might be good inspiration there. The Engines of the story are gigantic, demonic intelligent locomotives who psychically dominate armies to conquer territory and construct rail.

Apocalypse World / Re: Driving trains, settlements, and rotating cast
« on: April 20, 2016, 12:00:50 PM »
Print a big list of NPC names (here's mine, using names from the book and additional sources -- I have a 5 column layout to get them all on one sheet) and cross them off as you use them. Write NPC's name and their basic deal on index cards as you introduce them, e.g. "PARCHER - chief mechanic, runs the garage in the hold".

If you have time, curate a collection of character portraits, maybe selecting from something like this. Print portraits and paperclip them to the NPC index cards. Having a visual of the NPCs really helps the players remember who's who, and even helps drive story -- "oh, he's hot, can I get with him?" or "she looks scary as fuck, I'm keeping a close eye on her."

First thoughts: I like it. If you're going to have the fight without any PCs and with random resolution, I think it's a really solid set of choices. It's definitely going to hurt the Hardholder, though. It's... moderate fuckery? I'm a little curious why none of the PCs thought this operation was worth joining. Narratively it changes the battle from "the big action scene in this week's episode" to "brief flashback when one of your gang members returns".

If you weren't going to randomize it, just looking at the state of the fiction, what do you think the outcome would be? Is this attack a good idea or a terrible idea? If Elbow's troops are stretched thin because of the blockade, and Elbow isn't expecting this, and Jamaica's been established as a terrifying and competent character, maybe complete success is a possibility, so fold the last two options together. If Elbow's got his shit together and the PC Hardholder is thinking this is kind of a desperation move, leave the hard choice as it is.

Or bend the usual move structure a bit and add "On a 12+, you get all four".

What's the primary goal, kill Elbow or break the blockade? You could do, "on a hit, kill Elbow. On 10+ choose 2 of the others, on 7-9 choose one, on a miss choose 1 but Elbow lives."

Apocalypse World / Re: A calmer apocalypse?
« on: April 17, 2016, 10:28:32 AM »
(Here's an idea, though: instead of marking xp every time you roll a highlighted move, you just get to mark xp if you rolled that stat in the session.)

In between that and the rules-as-written, there's the Monsterhearts rule: maximum one XP per highlighted stat per scene, so the Hards can't just Aggro a bunch of mooks one after the other to advance.

Apocalypse World / Re: A calmer apocalypse?
« on: April 15, 2016, 02:33:01 PM »
The first AW game I MC'd, one of my failings was in keeping the players' home base too stable. There were big external threats, and some internal problems, but the internal problems weren't big enough to threaten the status quo (which was a NPC hardholder without much ambition, running a fairly safe little town in the middle of nowhere).

Things happened, and the players had fun, but the home front was just a little too quiet for my taste.

If that's what you want, it's easy to get. If your home-front NPCs are basically satisfied with the status quo, and the walls are strong enough that the first incursions from external threats can't blow them down like the Big Bad Wolf, so the players have a chance to respond, then things will only go to shit in two ways: one, if the players don't respond to the external threat, two, the players become the internal threat. Either way, it's pretty much on them, right?

So just don't give the home front NPCs big ambitions. NPC hardholder would like the PCs to find out who chucked a satchel charge over the wall and blew up the fuel depot last night, and beyond that, leave her alone to run the distillery. One of her lieutenants has a grudge against the PC Hocus, but honestly nobody really likes the guy and no one's gonna weep when a flare gun goes off in his mouth. PC Gunlugger's stepson doesn't like him, but he's a good kid and isn't going to, like, go full Oedipus on him. Little stuff inside the walls. Bigger stuff outside.

Me, on the other hand, I learned I need to turn the home-front fuckery dial way, way up. I had it at like "3" before and I'm hoping to hit about "7" this time.

Apocalypse World / Re: What does honesty demand?
« on: April 15, 2016, 01:07:39 PM »
Spending hold to find out someone may or may not be omitting things sounds an awful lot like spending hold to find out something you already knew.

Yeah, but sometimes you can't really effectively spend all your read-a-person hold, especially if you hit 10+. I'd say if the player said "I think they're leaving something out as usual, are they telling the truth?" then honesty would demand that you say "yeah but not the whole truth." They suspect, they're spending hold that they earned fairly, you owe them something, and confirmation is cheap. And then there will come that one time when you say "you know what? This one she's telling you everything she knows." Or "today, actually, she's lying through her teeth."

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 14, 2016, 02:51:05 PM »
On further thought, maybe Landscape threat's push terrain means to zoom in on a particular Terrain threat, maybe created on the spot? It's weird how 7/8 of the time I feel like I understand exactly what lumpley's trying to say and 1/8 of the time I'm totally baffled, rarely any middle ground...

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 14, 2016, 09:16:15 AM »
The Battlebabe seems to be the only one that can pick "an ally" as an improvement. Very interested about seeing more about what Vincent has thought about this!

I assume ally here is the same as the ally from 1e's advanced seduce or manipulate -- hit an NPC with a 12+ and turn them into an ally (friend, lover, right hand, representative, guardian, confidante). Allies are no longer a threat to that PC, and no longer looked at through crosshairs by the MC. So Battlebabe can get allies earlier than other PCs (because advance a move is a below-the-line, Ungiven Future improvement), and without risking a roll.

What does "push reading a situation" mean?

I think "push" in the threat moves means "encourage", directly or indirectly. Which is interesting, because it means when someone throws a 6- when a Grotesque is in the scene,  and the MC is looking for a move to make, a legitimate move would seem to be to ask "do you wanna read that guy?"

Like, maybe Dremmer's a Grotesque/Pain Addict, and you're trying to manipulate Wisher with pain, and you roll 6-. MC says "you twist Wisher's arm and he moans out in pain, but he doesn't give in, and you suddenly notice Dremmer's eyes have lit up, he's almost drooling as he watches what you're doing to Wisher. I wonder what's up with that?" It's pretty close to "announce future badness" but playing towards a particular PC response.

I'm not sure how to interpret a Landscape threat's "push terrain" though, unless it's supposed to be the same as Terrain's "push dealing with bad terrain."

Dungeon World / Re: Stormbringer
« on: March 27, 2016, 06:06:03 PM »
Any reason not to just use the Wizard's Ritual move?

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