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Messages - Arvid

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Apocalypse World / Do you want the Facebook AW/DitV pages?
« on: May 07, 2015, 12:03:01 PM »

I started Facebook pages for Apocalypse World and Dogs in the Vineyard, so I could like them.

I haven't done anything with them save for a few updates years back.

Maybe someone else would like to admin them and do something interesting with them? Just let me know, and I'll add you as admin.

Bye! ^^

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Joint MC'd Games
« on: January 30, 2014, 03:22:47 AM »

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Potential Party-Breaking Decision
« on: January 30, 2014, 03:22:28 AM »
You can do anything you want, as long as the other players percieve it as a gift.

Then they will "yes, and..." it and you're still playing a game together.

Apocalypse World / Re: A dark room
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:09:16 PM »
Whoah this is awesome! Thanks for sharing... although maybe I should be cursing you as this caused my productivity to plunge into the abyss today.


Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate Hx rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: December 16, 2013, 10:01:33 AM »
I feel like they could be simplified: Make all bonds positive instead of negative.

Apocalypse World / Re: perfect group size
« on: November 26, 2013, 12:56:42 PM »
Oh, about spotlight time, one principle I abide by is to always have at least two PCs in every scene.

Although, I have also started to experiment with doing scene-centered rather than story-centered MC:ing, that is, focus on making the individual scenes interesting, rather than thinking about how to make the big story interesting.

As a part of this, I've started dealing out NPCs to players whose character isn't present, so they can help build the scene and I don't feel rushed to switch the spotlight.

Apocalypse World / Re: perfect group size
« on: November 25, 2013, 04:17:12 AM »
I prefer 3-4, wouldn't go beyond 6. If you're at 6+, a good idea is to group them into 2-3 strong groups, no solo players. Like, maybe three PCs are the Chopper and two pack members, and four PCs are the Hardholder and his liuetenants. Co-mc:ing with another MC might help:

Apocalypse World / Re: Chopper's uniqueness - or lack thereof
« on: November 17, 2013, 05:47:58 PM »
I made a series of articles on what makes the different playbooks unique and interesting. Here is the one on the chopper:
Hope it sparks something in ya.

Apocalypse World / Re: Seize something by force and creativity
« on: October 21, 2013, 03:37:02 PM »
Remember that "Sieze by force" is just a move, it's not combat rules. I mean, there are no "Roll initiative, choose manouver"-combat rules in Apocalypse World, save for maybe the peripheral battle moves.

Instead, conceptualise the game as fiction happening through freeform conversation, where the moves come in and modify the fiction. Unless the move explicitly changes something in the fiction, the fiction happens as established.

And make sure the players state what they are doing and what they're trying to achive by doing that, and then you pick the move accordingly. If they're trying to get a hold of the antidote the NPC holds, maybe it's actually Acting under fire, the fire being the NPC throwing the antidote in the fire before they can react.

So, think fiction first and then pick the move (if any: if there is no question about it, it just happens, no roll necessary) accordingly.

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« on: October 01, 2013, 04:27:31 PM »
While the Operator does benefit from a game that stresses Barter and Scarcity, that's not their core. The Operator has an inherent, implied Goal (basically “Maintain personal agency and acquire resources”) but is given tools that make it nearly impossible for them to hold on to anything they gain. Due to their Obligations, the benefits they gain from high stakes betting (which is how I see Moonlighting), and the fact that their Crew/Contacts are externalized characters who can act independently, Operators can easily lose whatever they gain and frequently find themselves in complicated situations. Basically, everything goes to hell whenever the Operator is around. And that's the point! The Operator specializes in dealing with unexpected, complicated, tense situations (“Acting Under Fire” one might say), and I'd say each of the Operator moves relate to getting into or out of trouble (“Easy to Trust” you talk your way out, “Reputation” someone knows you and will react differently, perhaps less straightforwardly, than if they didn't, “Opportunist” invites chaos in the form of MC moves when you help others to Miss, “Eye on the Door” is literally getting out of a tense situation). The Operator is the best playbook to play, because it is never boring, and you get the joy of being most competent when others are at their worst.

At the heart of it, I agree with you that this is really the gist of the attraction of the Operator, but I also felt obligated to sell the Operator as powerful when writing this article up, you know? It doesn't feel fair to have a playbook that gets to struggle to survive, when other playbooks are struggling to create or conquer, so to speak.

But yes, I agree.

(By the way, thanks so much for writing these! They're totally awesome, and you completely opened up the Hocus, Gunlugger, and Battlebabe for me).

Thank you so much! This is what makes it worth it. And although I'm struggling a bit with the Operator, I feel writing about it and reading your perspectives has opened up the playbook for me.

Apocalypse World / Playbook focus: The Chopper
« on: October 01, 2013, 12:57:19 PM »

Apocalypse World is all scarcity, of course it is. There’s not enough
wholesome food, not enough untainted water, not enough security, not
enough light, not enough electricity, not enough children, not enough hope.

However, the Golden Age Past did leave us two things: enough gasoline,
enough bullets. Come the end, I guess the fuckers didn’t need them like they
thought they would.

So chopper, there you are. Enough for you.

The Chopper is the pack alpha of a motorcycle gang, making them violent, mobile and part of a close-knit group of kinspeople. They are a primarily Hard character, and they're also always Cool. To retain their power they have to manage their gang and it's impulses, making the gang both their biggest asset and their biggest trouble.

My take on it
Attila the Hun was the scourge of God. Genghis Khan created the largest land empire in human history. Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels rode counterculture into the heart of a nation and scared it shitless. There'll always be those that have and those who are strong and fast and ferocious enough to take. That's your legacy, Chopper!

Bikers are awesome. I always save the best for last.

Rawwwr, rawwwr, rawwwr!

I'm sorry, I was just making motorbike sounds. What is so awesome about the Chopper, you ask? Just look at the picture! Look at that beard! That some pre-apocalypse viking shit. The Chopper is born out of hardship and the survival of the strong, like an ancient force of nature, like a hurricane blowing in from the sea to fuck your shit up.

Riding a chopper is like riding the leviathan. I'm not just talking about the bike, a powerful beast in itself, but the gang that follows you; A ferocious creature that will tear any threat to itself apart, and who might turn against you at any moment if it percieves you as a threat or a prey rather than the pack alpha. Rawwwr rawwwr rawwwr is the sound it makes.

See, your pack is impulsive, always ready to spring into violence to neutralise and subjugate any threats to their safety or to their status, whether they be real or imagined. Packs work that way, by acting on instinct. In our day, we would call it by name of personality disorder; narcissistc, antisocial, borderline or paranoid, but in the post apocalypse, it can be a great way to survive, because when acting on instinct, you act immediatly, ferociously and without hesitation.

Packs have a hierarchy, which is a great way to eliminate hesitation. You are the strongest one. You have the least hesitation to bring me down if I challenge you. Good, then you are obviously the leader. It also means, of course, that you can't take shit from any out of pack bitches touching your bike the wrong way. Put them back in line quickly and ruthless to reassert status in the pack. Respect few, fear none. Build a reputation so everyone knows.

But of course there is more to the pack than that. You and your gang ride together, face hardship together, eat together, sleep together. This is a group of people united by something in a way that's outdated and rare in modern life and maybe even more so in Apocalypse World. This is also a part of what makes the Chopper into a primordial being. At the dawn of man, we all lived in nomadic tribes, lived all hours of the day surrounded by the same people, depended on them for survival in a world where people didn't die from cancer, but from violence, predators, dehydration and famine.

These people are your world, your family, even your power in the game, but they are also the fucking jackals that will tear you apart if you show any weakness. Truly, hell is other people.

When I played a Chopper, after the game was over, the MC told me that he never got any chances to make me roll for pack alpha after a while, because I became so in tune with my role as a leader that I anticipated anything that could challenge my authority, anticipated anything that could lead to the disdain of my gang, and asserted it right there and then. That's the best way to play a Chopper I think. The best Chopper never even rolls pack alpha, and here I would like to refer back to paragraphs on The Zen of Apocalypse world in the Hardholder and Battlebabe focus: You ony roll when there is resistance. (Or ”say yes or roll dice” as the principle was in Dogs in the Vineyard) Use that.

On the other hand, I felt like a total bitch for always trying to please my gang. Even though I considered ol' Deadeyes the most moral and least psychopathic of the bunch, trying to keep them on the right track, I also noticed how sensitive I became to what would stir the gang the wrong way, like I aggroed on any character that made me look not in charge. Yeah, that's pack mentality.

The playbooks makes out the Gunlugger as the obvious one, but to me the Chopper is the most obvious playbook: Get food to eat and loot to please your gang. Use your gang for threats from without. Use your status for threats from within. Ride hard. After all, there are no day jobs in Apocalypse World, and if you want to survive you've got to use the things you have going for you, as the Chopper fluff text so astutely makes out.

Watching Breaking Bad as I'm writing this, great example of an ordinary guy whose options have narrowed down and now it's down to to dying, losing your pride or using the assets you have, even if it's ugly. Speaking of series, Sons of anarchy is what really sold me on the Chopper. And it is also what sold me on getting Moonlighting for the Chopper.

Sorry, it's really hard to find clips from that show, fan tributes is the best I can get.

Why the Chopper is the best playbook to play:
Rawwwr, rawwwr, rawwwr!

And if anyone comes up to you and tell you that you're not the best playbook, you put them in their place.

What it brings to the world of the apocalypse:
A family of sorts, or at least band of brothers. A dragon everyone else has to relate to. A sense of history and legacy. One thing I considered doing was making a really tribal pack of bikers with strong traditions and rituals, one step beyond the lingo and rituals of modern bikers.

Fundamental scarcities of the playbook:
The MC should prepare by reading the about the Pack alpha move (see below) and decide whether to use it as written or in a more narrative fashion, and if so, exactly how hard a move it should be. Like, how nasty of a threat is the Choppers own gang, exactly? And also make sure to make the gang into interesting individuals with real motivations, so he can play out their reaction to things right, i. e., when to roll pack alpha.

Moves and crap analysis:
As MC, make sure you read the more in-depth explanation of Pack alpha and Fucking thieves on page 221. Pack alpha can be a little cryptic, but this lays it out super clear and operationalised. Fucking thieves plays well on the impulse for retaliation that I've outlied above.

Even more so than other playbooks, A no shit driver is a given, although your bike is only power+1 looks+1 weakness+1. Daredevil too, of course, if your gang counts as a ”convoy”, or Rasputin, basically the same deal.

Moonlighting is also a great choice, you can get both Moonlighting and a holding with Wealth as an improvement, so there is definitely a possibility for you to go boss over the local operations. And why not get Leadership to get some war discipline into your pack?

Juggernaut and Bloodcrazed goes well with playing you up as a force of nature in combat, and I really like Dangerous and sexy for those ends too.

Your weird is -1. If you really care for your gang, maybe try out Touched by death? Then you're inviting your MC to fuck your loved ones up, of course. Batte-hardened is another possible solution.

Relationships and dynamics:
So, a Chopper, a Hocus and a Brainer walk into a Lady Gaga video... Ever since I saw this video, I've wanted to make a Chopper and a Hocus team-up where the gang is also the cult.

Make sure to ask every PC if they are a part of your gang at character creation, and try to get at least one to join up! Makes the Pack alpha move so much more interesting. I could potentially see any playbook be a part of your gang, save for the Hardholder and the stranger ones of the limited edition playbooks. The less expected the more interesting!

Good questions to ask the Chopper to make their dirty life on the road seem real: Tell me about your bike. Tell me what part of it makes it unique. What is the best day like for you, and what is the worst day like? What is your favorite food, and what is your least favorite?

Good questions to ask the Chopper to make their gang interesting: What signs, marks or costume do your gang wear? What traditions do your gang have? What is your meetings or parties like? When did you become pack alpha? What's the worst thing you've done for your gang? Whats the worst thing you've done to your gang? What's the best thing?

And there is also a facet of tenderness to the Chopper, what with them actually having sort of a family. Just look at their Chopper special. So: Tell me about your relationship with a PC or NPC that the gang does not approve with. What's the most loving and loyal thing someone in the gang has done for you? Whom in your gang do you have tender emotions for? Did you sleep with them?

The Hardholder with their gang and the Gunlugger, perhaps with NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH are the real tough threats to go up against. I played a game with a rather satisfying cold war going on between the Gunlugger and the Chopper. They both had the means to exterminate the other, but everyone knew it would be very, very ugly, which built great tension.

Save for the Hardholder and Gunlugger, the Battlebabe, the Quarantine or the Operator is probably your best bet for an adversary, seeing has they have the Cool to evade or ambush your gang and the attitude to do it.

The Operator is also a good contact for fixing things you need but do not have the skills or contacts to get (except maybe if you get Moonlighting yourself.), or to get some scratch through by doing jobs for them.

As the only other mobility-based playbook, The Driver could be a rival, or a good contact, or a part of your gang. Think of the road as a theatrical stage that the two of you share in a special way.

The Skinner and the Maestro 'D also deals with status and social power, but in a different way than you. The establishment of the Maestro 'D could be the most interesting scene for your gang, seeing it is not primarily a place of laws and daily living, like the hardhold, but of party and pleasure. What biker gang doesn't have a hangout? Do they go there to take the edge off, or maybe to start fights?

In your relationship to the Savvyhead, think of themes such as engines and machine worship, to carefully build and to recklessly destroy, mobility and stationarity. A Savvyhead with Bonefeel is a character that can meet up with you even when you're in the wasteland, which is a good thing. Same with a Faceless, for whom it makes sense to roam the wasteland, and especially if they have Scent of Blood. Good candidates for strong, ambivalent relationships.

The Brainer is the Thulsa Doom to your Conan. As you know, only steel can you trust.

Ask the Touchstone if they want to a part of your gang!

If there is a Hoarder, point to them whenever the Chopper misses his Fucking thieves roll.

The Playbook Focus articles will return in the future! Next season, we'll take look at the LE playbooks and some special articles.


Apocalypse World / Re: Secrets among players
« on: September 27, 2013, 07:32:11 AM »
I'm going to widen the perspective a little, seeing as a similar-but-not-quite-question just popped up on another board:

For me, the first priority is trust. So, the first thing I do is make clear to the players that they have  control over whether their characters live or die (that 6-harm  clock plus debilities goes a long, long way), that I do not have a story planned out but I am interested in seeing their characters and seeing them shine, and that I'm going to be transparent with them. Being completely open with information is a part of that, asking provocative questions and building on the answers is a good way of doing that. Such as "Hey Hardholder, if you found the Quarantine's hoard of pre-apocalypse wonders, how would you spend that?" "Savvyhead, how is that anti-brainer gear going?" and so on.

First and foremost, this communicates to the players that I'm a fan of their characters, and that I want us to play to find out what happens. I'm not going to play gotcha or adapt the GM role of providing adversary or obstacles to all their initiatives. I want to see them do awesome stuff!

Second of all, this communicates to the players that they can mess with another player and it can be a gift to that player, an offer to build on. Like, we're going to play to find out what happens, yeah? The important thing is not what you figure out, but what you do with it. The important thing is not if you win or lose, but what you do with it. Your character can be awesome and interesting as a winner and also awesome and interesting as a loser.

Once you got the trust foundation down, once it's clear that the players and  the MC is a team and not a rivalry, you can start playing hardball with each other, setting up ambushes and fucking each other over. And keeping secrets and being delighted in being set up by these secrets, if you want. We do it all transparent, though.

This game I went through expectations on the game, a sort of contract before playing. I asked the players what they think we should consider as our goal for our roleplaying, what is good roleplaying, and through discussion we settled on:

* Keep the tempo flowing, be accepting and curious in what is dealt to you and go with it
* Yes-and other players' contributions and build on them
* Try to make all your contributions as offers to other players to yes-and and build on
* Play boldly according to your characters ambitions, don't hold back

What a great gift/offer from my players! This communicated very clearly to me that the players where interested in playing their characters ambitions truly, even when they clashed, and to let these ambitions clash with each other. And it communicated clearly to the players that this is okay, and that we're in this together. This was something we decided together. That's trust.

One thing I'm thinking about trying this game is asking the players straight up "How do you think this fight will end?" if two characters get into a fight, and then go straight to just that happening, no rolls. To really build a sense that they are in control of the story, that I am not going to try to "get" anyone of them but to be fair and to be fan.

So build trust, and remember: Trust isn't built by words, but with actions. Don't just tell the players to trust you, instead start trusting them.

Apocalypse World / Re: Barter and Debt
« on: September 27, 2013, 06:43:50 AM »
Have any of you guys read David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years?

Yes!!! Love it!

I was really influenced by that book when I and Jonatan worked on a Nobilis hack wherein Hx was replaced with Bonds. Not just emotional bonds, but also financial ones. Basically, if you were at -3 with someone you owed them big time, and if you were at +3, they owed you big time. Emotional leverage, such as knowing their secrets or having subjugated them at some point also added to your bond. If you were at positive bonds with someone it always counted as leverage for manipulation (the leverage being pay back your debt by doing this for me) and we played around with moves that rolled +bond. If you couldn't pay back your bond you would become a lesser man to them. So, you would no longer be under obligation to pay back, but you would be under obligation to honour them and do as they told you. I was thinking of making that the schtick of one of the playbooks, The True King, but we kind of abandoned the project at that point, I guess things got a little to scattered and bloated.

In the world of Nobilis that works, because there is a functioning society in place. In Apocalypse World, I think it makes sense that social connections has collapsed and sense of obligations and debt cannot be trusted. Maybe sometimes PCs and NPCs give away things for free, expecting payback, but also make it clear that this kind of trust is a risky move.

One other thing that inspired me about Debt is the part on how currency evolves from there being someone who is guaranteed to cash that check, which inspired me to write the following thread about books for barter:

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbook focus: The Angel
« on: September 26, 2013, 04:33:35 PM »
Oooh, I totally should have put Doc Cochran and Leonard McCoy in the youtubes!

Apocalypse World / Playbook focus: The Angel
« on: September 19, 2013, 08:01:05 AM »

When you’re lying in the dust of Apocalypse World guts aspilled, for whom
do you pray? The gods? They’re long gone. Your beloved comrades? Fuckers
all, or you wouldn’t be here to begin with. Your precious old mother? She’s
a darling but she can’t put an intestine back inside so it’ll stay. No you pray
for some grinning kid or veteran or just someone with a heartshocker and
a hand with sutures and a 6-pack of morphine. And when that someone
comes, that’s an angel.

The Angel is a post-apocalyptic medic with access to golden age medical equipment able to revive even DOA's. As other characters is depending on him to treat his injuries, he has a chance to see them at their most vulnerable. He is a primarily Sharp character, with a claim to Hard, a good Cool and a low Weird, (or vice versa if you'd prefer.)

My take on it

Being an Angel sucks. On a fictional level, you are trying to care for people in a world without resources, without social security and satuated with violence and brutality. That's as it should be. On a game level, you aren't really given tools to act proactively in the world. That's a problem that should be adressed.

I could make a case for every playbook being the most powerful one when playing on their strengths, but not the Angel. His strength is caring for the sick, that can't really be played on. It solves exactly one problem: Sick people. You can't really use that for power, you can't use it to blackmail, mind-control or conquer.

Hey, wait, that's the key, isn't it? That's why they call you the Angel. You're not into the power play. You still have the faith or dedication or empathy to dedicate yourself to caring for others.

If anything the Angel has taught me to find and focus on the importance and challenges of every playbook. So, the Angel can't be a power player in the story about who will control the valley, but he can be the spotlight on a different level, like a hero in hospital drama, yeah? So make that as important, interesting and challenging as the politics and feuds of apocalypse world.

Create compelling relationships that Angel care about, that motivate him to action, to help those in need. Create challenges that the Angel can work proactively on, like battling the stagnant water supply, the nanobot disease, the cheap Hardholder or the Chopper raiding caravans of medical supplies. Create resources that makes the Angel cool and helps him to work proactively, like authority over people working for him, the respect and service of the general populace, and strong NPCs who owe him a big one for saving their lives.

For a good example on how to do this, take a look at The Sunken Sydney one-shot scenario, where we basically set up the Angel as the hero, with skills highly relevant to the scenario, their own boat and potentially an infirmary from the start. The Infirmary move is almost mandatory if the Angel is to build a story on his endeavour to fight a large scale health problem. Consider giving it to the player for free. Make it your objective as an MC that the Angel should have his hands full with shit that feels relevant and important, not just when someone has been shot.

I really envision the Angel as standing up for the little man, the local community, taking a stake and getting involved in the fate of people around him.

And there is one thing that the you get as the Angel, and no-one else: You get to save other characters' lives, care for them when they're the most vulnerable, get to know a side of them that no-one else will.

What if you'd like to play a cruel, power-hungry or generally fucked-up Angel? Of course you could, but that would mean you'd lose your most important strengths: The respect, the trust, the close relationships, that good feeling in your gut for doing something good and important.
Angel – It's a thankless job!

About that feeling: I work in public health, which can be a lot of stress and frustation. Now imagine doing it in the post-apocalypse! But whether you're stressing over underfunding under a capricous hospital board, or stressing over having to do surgery with eating utensils for Fuckface the psycho Hardholder, there is still meaning to what yo do. Deep down, you know you're right, and that they are wrong. You know you're doing what's right, and damnit, you'll get it done. Not for Fuckface, but for the patient.

Why the Angel is the best playbook to play:
You get to be the good guy. You get to have the moral high ground.

What it brings to the world of the apocalypse:
Humanity, morality. A moral touchstone, if you wish to, for everyone else. And with the Angel in play, other characters' wounds has to be cared for by a PC with agency rather than an NPC among many.

Fundamental scarcities of the playbook:
To reiterate: Give the Angel social influence so he can be proactive. Give the Angel possibilities so he can be proactive. One thing you could do is to give the Angel a little imaginary workspace, so you ask the Angel what he wants to do, and the Angel tells you that he wants to make ground water drinkable, so you answer ”Okay, but you'll need some time to examine the bacteria, you need 4-barter worth of material, and you'll need Rex to help you” See my focus article on the Savvyhead why the workspace is so great.

Try out the Bond for Apocalypse World rules, they're better than the original Hx rules, and they give a more powerful boon for medical care – By the end of the campaign, the Angel could have a permanent +3Hx with everyone.  And while I'm linking to house rules, check out these visceral harm rules.

Moves and crap analysis:
Did you know that the Angel has two +1hard improvements? A +2hard really helps driving through with that righteous ambition to protect the downtrodden and save the injured.

Healing touch and Touched by death is an interesting combo for a -1weird angel. Vincent writes he makes it his personal mission to bring an Angel with healing touch to +2weird. Sound advice. Touched by death is really cool that way, in that it is huge flag asking the MC to lay the death and the drama upon you. And once you're at +1weird or +2weird, a whole new batch of moves open up to you, Visions of Death in particular sticks out to me.

Sixth sense and Battlefield grace are good to help the Angel function in the world, but not very exciting to talk about. Professional compassion has a cool name, but I'd rather use the Bonds rues and get the Angel to high Hx/Bonds with everyone else instead.

Moonlighting is available to you as an improvement. Great way to get more involved with the community!

If you have an ambulance, stuff those medical supplies in the trunk and get Daredevil and A no shit driver. I think a car + A no shit driver should be in the list of improvements for the Angel.

Disciplined engagement is cool. Go aggro with +2hard, when they suck it up you can hit them for 1-harm and then ask again. Bonefeel is probably a lot more useful for a medic than a technician. Scent of blood is a possibility for a die-hard medic. You dont have to be fighting just because you're at a battle, you know.

Visionary and Towering presence if you want to play up the Touchstone angle.

Just like the Gunlugger, the Angel might come more to its fullest potential as a second playbook for the character, rather than the first. You switch to the Gunlugger when you're desillusionised with kindness. You switch to the Angel when you're desillusionised with violence and power.

Relationships and dynamics:
Good questions to ask: Why are you an Angel? Who sets you up with your angel stock?  What do you absolutely have to fix right fucking now? Some questions to humanise and connect the Angel with people and the community, if that's the route you want to take: What is your secret fear? Who depend on you? Who do you depend on? What could you change for the better?

The Gunlugger and the Chopper might be your best customer, or at least a source of customers. Tension might ensue. The Chopper in particular, not only does his gang terrorize the landscape, they brutalize each other!

The Hardholder is an obvious boss, but try to avoid the simple boss-underling dynamic, make sure to preserve the Angel's independence and add some other important people in the hold, like the quartermaster and the gang lieutenant for a dynamic of ambitions.

Working for the Operator could be made more interesting and dynamic. The Savvyhead is a good match in that you could do some cool cross-discipline work, trying to improve or exploit the setting. And everything I wrote about the ambulance, yeah, you could just team up with the Driver instead. How is that for a game? Operator, Savvyhead, Driver and Angel!

The Skinner is also a playbook depending on social power, a game with a Skinner and Angel could potentially explore the nuances of that more deeply. The Maestro 'D can be a completely far out character, but can also work to ground the game more in reality, seeing as even our world has Maestro 'Ds and Angels, or rather bartenders and doctors.

The Brainer is a kind of anti-thesis, what with them being weird and exploitative. In one game, we actually had a kind Brainer with Healing touch, masquerading as a doctor. The Hoarder can also be a great nemesis, with great love for things but no love for people, if medical supplies is a part of the hoard it takes whatever rivalry or co-dependence there is up a notch. Could be real interesting, and elevate the story of the Angel and the Hoarder both.

The Touchstone is the paladin to your cleric. So I've painted the Angel as a moral touchstone throughout this article, but the Touchstone (released later) is explicitly the moral touchstone of Apocalypse World. However, I feel the Angel does that job in a more subtle and satisfying way. First of all, the Angel heals instead of fights, and second of all the Angel doesn't have powers that say ”I'm the morality”. It's a lot more humble. I wouldn't use both playbooks in the same game.


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