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the nerve core / Re: The Chatty DM runs Apocalypse World
« on: September 17, 2010, 01:46:50 PM »
Part 2 can be found here.

Reprisal at Ambush Hill

I also found this deliciously funny Post-Ap webcomic with awesome art:

Romantically Apocaliptic

I had not thought, or grokked the "loaded scene" aspect of the game.  That's the ultimate lazy GM/MC tool ever. And can help bridge the classic to Indie mindset that I know my brain will act under fire to figure out.

I get exactly what you mean by Jackie Brown, I'm a huge Tarantino fan. 

Thanks for the tips and thumbs up.  I'm going to get ready for next Friday's game.  I'll send the playbooks to the players by email and let them work it out.

This will be so interesting to play in French.  I'll let you know when I post the play report online.

Hey there,

Newish to Story-oriented games, classic RPGer starting a pilgrimage through Indie designs. I just read AW after Vincent sold it to me with an excellent, honest and enthusiastic pitch of the game.  

I'd just like a little guidance/validation/insight to see if I got the game's larger and core concepts before I start a game with my ex-D&D group. (And before I write the review on my blog)

So from what I understand of the game, the world starts with an unspecified yet specialized setting:

Here be the post-apocalypse and some serious, undefined shit is brewing in the ether.

The world takes shape as the players chose among the pile of playbooks and flesh out their characters... which, while the MC helps everyone get a grasp of the jargon and basic mechanics, also innocently peppers the discussion with questions about the PCs pasts, current location, make of vehicles and names of everything around them.

Mechanically speaking, the game is an exchange of narrative "moves" where a move describes an action/event/game element with a significant impact in the game's fiction.

While the player will use the terminology of their moves (basic and character specific) to clearly indicate to the MC what they are attempting, the MC will ask to the player to fictionalize said move to make it cooler, hence the "Cool, how do you do that?" found everywhere in the book.

On the other hand, the MC will NEVER name his moves and will also make shit up on the spot (NPC moods, appearances, actions) while narrating which will then later look like it's part of a logical story (misdirect) but really wasn't pre-planned as such.  

However, all the elements created through the MC's moves and misdirection must reflect an apocalyptic outlook that later remain internally consistent with both the rules and the apparent onscreen/offscreen logic...

So if I make up a tough looking junkie NPC named Fry that tries to befriend the angel PC to pilfer narcs from her Angel Kit, I need to remain consistent about Fry being a Junkie and make moves with Fry that go that way (and maybe even create a triangle so  Marie the brainer PC can also barter some of those stolen Narcs so she can help Joe the Savvyhead create that Brain-probe she needs...)

With this, the basic game, things become really interesting when PCs either miss a roll or give the MC a golden opportunity to fuck with them... thus the MC is invited to go to town and make the most heinous-yet-interesting-for-the-PCs move he can think about.  

A bit like Mouse Guard's failure mechanic... only not G-rated and guided by the MC's list of moves (and any custom ones that fit the game).

The MC also names everything so that all NPCs gain a semblance of substance... but never so much that they aren't killed, maimed, destroyed at the players (or hardest move's) whim (Crosshair).

Finally I understand that the game's fuel is the MC's questions to the characters (not players).  Those questions (and answers) build the world and shape where the action goes.  Many (if not most) of these questions should be embedded in the MC's moves or in response to players Moves/questions (i.e. turning player questions back to the group). Right?

First session: Players make PCs while I help set expectations. Then I follow a day in the lives of the PCs and alternate high level moves (announce future Badness, Seperate them, react to reading situations/people etc) to get things moving.

All names that come up, all NPCs and crap created, etc... all this goes on the 1st session worksheet to help me create fronts later (and keep my shit together for campaign play).

Am I on the right track for the basic game and 1st session?

I do have a few questions:

How many players can the game comfortably run for a newbie MC (with a few decades of RPGs behind him including recent freeform)?  I have 6 players waiting to start...

How does the MC gauge how much back and forth to do with a given player/sub group of PCs before moving the spotlight on another PC/group?  Gut feeling, Narrative imperative, getting all players involved?  

Ex: Are we talking Guy Ritchie directing Mad Max IV here or do we see a scene to the end before moving on?  

I'm asking because, I have a limited sense of how fast a scene goes...

After my first session, I'll start a thread about creating fronts, which appear to me to be the closest thing the game has to "prepping an adventure". However, I get the sense that it's not so much an adventure as "here's a set of plot hooks, external agendas, threats and NPCs that will come and interfere with whatever attempts your players will make to stabilize their little corner of apocalyptica"

Thanks for your input.

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