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Topics - DannyK

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Dungeon World / More stuff for Planarch Codex?
« on: September 05, 2013, 02:31:21 PM »
Does anybody know if there's more material forthcoming for the Planarch Codex/Dis setting?  I've been thinking of trying another DW game now that the rules are fully cooked and I'm hopefully a better GM.  I was thinking about possibly mashing up some of Inverse World with Planarch Codex and saying the whole game takes place in the Netherworld, with Dis the infinite, hungry, infernal city at the very bottom providing a lot of updrafts.  I've never seen any actual play for Inverse World, but it seems pretty cool to me. 

Monsterhearts / Did anyone ever create a Detective/Gossip Skin?
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:10:34 PM »
I'm just coming off a long gaming hiatus and I was wondering about this.  What I mean by "Detective/Gossip" is a character who stays somewhat independent, pokes their noses into a lot of other character's business, and gets themselves in trouble.  This could be serious business and trouble, like a Nancy Drew detective, or it could be personal drama and secrets, or both.
Example characters from YA literature and video:
Nancy Drew
Veronica Mars
Luna Lovegood (mostly, but not entirely, a silly take on the concept)
Brendan, the noirish protagonist of Brick
The eponymous, anonymous blogger of Gossip Girl
Younger age than Monsterhearts, but totally in-concept: Harriet from Harriet the Spy

Somebody who's good at finding things out, good at getting people really mad at them and then surviving the fallout.  Tends to be better at taking a punch than throwing one.  Gets captured or menaced and then gets away. 

The character could be like the Queen either mundane or supernatural, either a mundane snoop or someone with psychic visions or hunches.  I'd worked on this before drawing somewhat on the Snoop playbook for Monster of the Week and the Marmot for Apocalypse World, but I'm really hoping someone else did something similar so I won't have to!

Apocalypse World / Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« on: September 03, 2013, 08:37:52 PM »
Hi, getting back into gaming after exams and I've been on a Civil War kick (American Civil War, the blue and the gray, brother vs brother etc), and it struck me that it was pretty darn apocalyptic and you could totally set an AW game in someplace that saw heavy guerilla action like Bleeding Kansas or Tenessee or Kentucky, or, if you want more of a deep South flavor to your chaos, Georgia during Sherman's march.  I've been thinking about pumping up the chaos with something like "Vicksburg flu" wiping out half the population or zombies or a just a nightmarish War Between the States that keeps going and going, with more and more destructive weapons and tactics, until the civilians are equally terrified of both sides' armies and things have gotten weird and steampunk.  But I'm not sure any of that is necessary, since it was disastrous enough in the historical version. 

Any way you situate it, there's a setting of chaos, violence, scarcity, and crumbling authority, raging ideology and people shooting each other for minor reasons or no reason at all.  If the game goes well, there might be a sequel in the weird west.  For most of the playbooks, I think I can get along without huge changes, maybe adding a little steampunk or Southern Gothic flavor to the settings depending which playbooks people use and how they use them. The Brainer and Savvyhead might be a little tricky since they're both using the lost technology of the ancients, but maybe the Brainer could be reskinned as a Mesmerist or just a creepy occultist.  The Chopper and his gang are mirrored pretty well by a guy leading a rogue cavalry unit or something like Quantrill's raiders, outlaws on good horses with guns.  The Driver maybe becomes a horseman or scout, with more emphasis on freedom and riding the range and less on cool cars.  Also, he doesn't get "My Other Horse is a Tank."  I'd love to reskin one of the playbooks for the railroad, but it feels like something that needs its own playbook, or maybe a specialized Savvyhead or Operator.  Among the LE playbooks, the Faceless and Maestro D' fit perfectly, the Solace and Touchstone could be tied in to liberation and the Underground Railroad beautifully.  The Quarantine, probably not unless you want to imagine some Revolutionary War hero who got put into suspended animation by Benjamin Franklin to sleep until the Republic faced its greatest crisis.  That might be a little weird. 

Finally, for Civil War AW, along with the usual character creation options, you also have to choose one more:
Facial Hair: Clean shaven, enormous sideburns, enormous mustache, enormous flowing beard and mustache, pointy chin-beard, pointy mustache and chin-beard, [your favorite general or politician here]
These days, some of the players may be able to say that their character has the same beard they do with perfect historical accuracy. 

Monsterhearts / Are there skins to fit these archetypes?
« on: December 20, 2012, 02:52:16 PM »
I'm just reading through Monsterhearts and there's a few archetypal characters that I'd like to incorporate into play but I'm not sure if they are already represented:

--The occultist.  I know there's a Witch, but I'm thinking more of Wizard -- a character like a young John Constantine, a young Harry Dresden or an Alceister Crowley wannabe, somebody with a little knowledge and maybe access to more who has a strong ambition and little caution.  Motivated by arrogance and curiosity and insecurity.  I guess you could do this with the Infernal skin, sort of.  Or play up the crumbling-dynasty and occult lore aspects of the Serpentine.  But then you've got an arrogant occultist kid who's ALSO a secret snake-person. 

--The foreign kid.  Specifically, the first-generation immigrant torn between family and peers, the old ways and the new ways.  The old ways might or might not include a family tradition of demon-hunting or being the reincarnation of a legendary Tibetan warrior.   I suppose you could do this with the Serpentine or the Vampire, if you want to use being a monster as metaphor for multiculturalism.  Or just pick the Chosen and give them immigrant status and a related backstory.

-The demigod.  I just thought of this because I liked those Percy Jackson books about the kids who are all the children of Greek gods.  Parts of the books are very Harry Potter, but some parts especially of the later ones are like Monsterhearts for tweens.  The emotional heart of the books is the characters dealing with the fact that they're misfits in modern society, and that the secret society of Greek Gods behind the scenes doesn't really have any use for the Demigods except as cannon fodder, and, very occasionally, as prestige items. 

Any suggestions on how to best create these archetypal characters in Monsterhearts?  I'd rather not make my own skins if I can avoid it, being a lazy gamer.

Apocalypse World / Apocalypse Reloaded, or "Twenty Years After"
« on: January 06, 2012, 04:56:55 PM »
I ran an online game of AW called "A Town Called Gaga" that was pretty fun, set in postapocalyptic Arizona along the mystically preserved Route 66, AKA "The Old Road". 

The game ended in an awkward note, as online games are wont to do, but the players and I are up for another go at AW, and I thought it would be fun to take the same map and the same world, but start up with a new bunch of characters, somewhere between 1 and 5 years later.  It's an option for people to create a new, older version of their old characters, but I think most folks will try something new, which allows me to use the old characters as threats.  I still have the old Front worksheets somewhere, so I can figure out what happened with those threats and fast-forward a bit to present a new and interesting situation. 

One mistake I think I made with "Gaga" was that I disregarded some of the guidance in the rulebook and made a place that was too nice -- plenty of water from ancient wells, some breathing space between them and the psycho warlord on one side and the cannibal cultists on the other, an NPC hardholder who was crazy but relatively benign.  It made the characters tend to hole up and protect what they had, and even though I had threats pointed right at all of those good things, it took too long to build them up and the characters had the luxury of addressing them one at a time. 

So this time, I'm planning to make the setting that much more dysfunctional and dangerous, more haunted by shortages and scarcities.  I can do a lot of that from extrapolating from all the Fronts which raged out of control in the interim, and get input from the players as well.

Has anybody done this with AW? The title was inspired by Twenty Years After, one of my favorite Dumas novels, where the Four Musketeers reunite but things aren't quite the same.

BTW, if anyone is interested, we made a Wiki which is pretty detailed about the first session and setting, although I never updated it for the later game:

Apocalypse World / Urban Apocalypse Brainstorming
« on: December 05, 2010, 09:15:47 PM »
So I've been listening to the Gorillaz a lot lately and really getting an interesting Apocalypse World vibe off of them. Especially one song, "Kids With Guns":

Kids with guns
Kids with guns
Taking over
They won't be long
They're mesmerised
Kids with guns
Kids with guns

Thinking about that and reading recently a Financial Times columnist talking about the war between cops and gangsters in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro who said that the government would never regain control of the city "until they did a better job than the criminals of providing essential services,"  it got me thinking. 

You actually don't need all the post-apocalyptic trappings of toxic mists and radiation zombies to make an Apocalypse World, it could totally be a huge city on the ragged edge of collapse anywhere in the developing world, Mumbai, Mexico City, Lagos, take your pick.  All the threats still work, pretty much, the Warlord from five blocks over, the Cult that's stealing babies, the Barrier that won't let you get to the river, the Brutes that rule your neighborhood. 

There'd probably have to be an outside force of some sort, the Cops or Federales or occupiers who keep the people from rising up and seizing the good things from the rich people. 

Apocalypse World / Swell Maps of Hell
« on: November 28, 2010, 11:36:42 PM »
I thought it might be nice to have a thread to share some of the maps we make for Apocalypse World.  I'm going to use the clickable thumbnail option with photobucket so I don't screw up the forum with big JPEGs.

I'll start with two maps I made for my "A Town Called Gaga" game:

This is the map of postapocalyptic Arizona.  I think it came out pretty well.

This is the butt-ugly map I made with Microsoft Paint to represent the town itself.

And this is the detoured map Madu made for an online game I'm in, posted here with his permission.

Again, click on the images to see full sized versions, post your own in this thread!

the nerve core / Apocalypse World Swag
« on: October 26, 2010, 07:12:44 PM »
Any thoughts of setting up a Cafe Press or similar store for AW product?  The AW cover image is frankly too racy for my tastes, but I'd love some other ones, like the Black guy with goggles that adorns the 1st Session worksheet.

Also, I'd love to see a coffee mug that says "GUNLUGGER" on one side and "Not to be ****ed with" on the other.  My brother doesn't play RPG's, but he'd like it anyway.

Apocalypse World / Molotov Cocktails and Failed Rolls
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:39:42 PM »
In my online game, I had my Chopper PC's gang rushed by a guy with an "old-fashioned gasoline bomb" as the result of another player's failed roll.  Rather than duck, the Chopper elected to stand fast and try to shoot the bomber to protect his people. Nice, but he blew the roll.

So I have two questions:
1) What would you say the stats are for an improvised firebomb?  I'm thinking something like: 2-harm area messy ap, maybe with a custom move to represent being set on fire. 

2) Despite being a prick, I find myself reluctant to set fire to the guy and his named gang members based on a single blown roll, given that this is emerging from somebody else's bad roll originally and that we're in the first session.  Am I being a wimp to either weaken the realistic effects of the bomb or to NOT have it go off and load up on other evil MC moves instead?  The Angel PC is nearby, so there's medical care available.

First, more serious question: do the character types, as presented in the playbooks, exist in the AW setting?  I mean, would you have an NPC talk about somebody being a "Battlebabe" or "Gunlugger" ?  Do those niches even exist? 
I mean, in D&D it's pretty obvious who's a Rogue and who's a Wizard.  But there are no NPC character types in AW as such, so it's ambiguous. 

For example: If the NPC looks in a car and sees a PC with heavy guns and another PC with violation gloves on, do they figure they're a Gunlugger and Brainer coming to parley, or is it just "some guy with a lotta guns and his mind-raping pal?" If there's a beautiful NPC in town, is she called a "Skinner"?  Some of the character types have names like job descriptions, like hardholder and driver, and I figure they exist in and out of character.  But I'm not sure if you can tell a Chopper or Gunlugger from anybody else with guns and armor and a bad attitude.

I'm trying to get my head around the default setting, and one question I have is whether people in Apocalypse World know about the special moves or not.  I mean, if I were a local hardholder and I had a Hocus visiting me, I'd be paranoid about him turning my own men against me with his Frenzy move -- unless no such thing exists in the game world.  Similarly the Skinner's ability to get holds on people would make me very nervous about letting a known Skinner anywhere near me or my bodyguards. 

So, does any of this exist in the fiction, or do the moves just reflect what happens, that sometimes people do dumb stuff because a pretty girl smiled at them and sometimes a religious leader riles up a mob and topples the government?  This interpretation makes more sense to me. 

brainstorming & development / Apocalypse Mutant World!
« on: August 11, 2010, 08:37:26 PM »
I was just reading Joss Whedon's run on the comic Runaways, about a group of teenage mutants and aliens who have all run away from their supervillain parents and are now taking care of each other as a little family.  It's fun because they're not really heroes or villains and they're not very good at doing either, and regularly get chumped and have to run away from situations they can't handle.  Also, they're constantly trying to figure out their identies and sleeping with each other and all that adolescent stuff.  It made me think of the sex moves from AW. 

So it hit me that AW would rock for a superhero game that was both about trying to survive and make difference in the world, and also about trying to figure out yourself and your friends.  I think you could still use playbooks as character types, just morphing them into archetypal superhero types.  Since Darkpages isn't coming out anytime soon, the world really needs an archetype-based superhero game. 

I'm tempted to switch weird to psionics, since so many mutants have some sort of psionics-based powers, but it doesn't feel quite right.  And since every character will have some kind of power, it can't map to "powers" either.  Maybe alien-ness?  The trick is that comic books like Runaways and New Mutants tend to have a mix of character types -- somebody whose mutant power is running really fast or turning to stone, and then an alien teenager who ran away to Earth, and a witch-in-training.  I'm not sure AW can handle this, it's really the opposite of an effects-based system.  (I mean that it's more like Sorcerer than Hero).

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