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Messages - Jason Morningstar

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Apocalypse World / Re: Monolithic foreign powers
« on: October 10, 2010, 07:09:28 PM »
This is great, thanks everybody. I need to think about it some more.

When you strike Israeli interests in southern Lebanon or Israel proper, roll +hard.

10+, choose one:

They don't know it was you and hit back at somebody innocent.
They know it was you but hit a rival faction who also knows it was you.

On 7-9, choose two:

Airstrikes (4 harm area messy demoralizing)
Rhetoric (Advance invasion countdown clock)
Direct action (GM chooses an NPC leader or family member and they are killed)
A visit from Syrian intelligence

On a miss, GM makes an absurdly hard move.

Apocalypse World / Re: Monolithic foreign powers
« on: October 08, 2010, 01:05:29 PM »
Maybe the psychic maelstrom is the international media.

Apocalypse World / Monolithic foreign powers
« on: October 08, 2010, 10:08:51 AM »
I'm reading Robert Fisk's book Pity the Nation, which is about Lebanon from the fifties through the eighties, and it is a real life apocalypse. Ruined infrastructure, criminal gangs, murderous lunatics, squalid refugee camps, ideological genocide, child soldiers, you name it. An extremely bad scene.

Central to the Lebanese tragedy is the intervention of massive external forces - Israel, Syria, Iran, the UN - all of which pull the strings of various paramilitaries and militias in a huge proxy war. The people in the middle - the Lebanese, and Palestinian refugees - do all the suffering.

So I'm imagining Apocalypse Worldifying this situation - there's still a functional world out there, but right here there is an apocalypse. And you can't get out, because there are large, sophisticated armies in every direction that won't let you. You can work with them, or for them, or through them, but you can't fight them or tell them what to do. They can hook you up, but they can also leave you out to dry when the political wind changes. You need to take sides and seek favor and protection from one of the monsters deciding the fate of your land.

Could this even work? It's essentially setting up arbitrary limits to agency, which is a weird thing given the wide open nature of Apocalypse World. You'd have to say "You absolutely cannot fuck with the guys on the border. They are an order of magnitude more powerful than you, full stop. But if you want some guns and cash, all they want is a public display of loyalty and for you to take over this village and slit a few throats. One of their officers may ride along to observe."


Apocalypse World / Re: Neutralizing the Artillery
« on: September 30, 2010, 03:47:20 PM »
In my recent one-shot I replaced the Chopper with the Vedette and just cold left the Driver out. Gangs on horseback, Nathan Bedford Forrest-style.

(Thanks Vincent)

Seems like a custom move related to the Garden Elders should be like:

When you parley with the Elders, X


When you enter the territory of the Gardeners for the first time, X

This is cool. I like how they've been humanized. Nutritional cannibalism is inherently outwardly-focused - they need more people from outside the community, so conflict and expansion tend to get baked in historically. Ritual cannibalism not so much, but I like the idea that these guys are walking that line of considering it a protein source as much as atonement. Also:

When you eat a shit-ton of human organ meat, roll +hard

10+ It's all good, just meat, innit?

7-9 People are dirty and no fire's hot enough to catch all the filth, you know? Choose two:

* You aren't outrageously 0-harm gut-sick right this instant
* You don't get 1-harm ap gut-sick later, when less convenient
* You aren't nerve-sick with the shakes, a certain tell-tale of cannibalism

On a failure you just got brain-sick with Kuru straight up. It's a slow brain-wasting disease that takes its time. Hard moves comin'.

Apocalypse World / Re: Neutralizing the Artillery
« on: September 30, 2010, 10:34:30 AM »
Yeah Joe,

All that stuff breaks down really quickly. An F-18 requires 19 hours of specialized maintenance for every hour of flight. A CH-53 helicopter requires 27. Both require carefully refined fuels and lubricants. There will be no aircraft unless you want them in your fantasy apocalypse.

Even people who have the equipment to hand-load modern firearms require manufactured primers and smokeless powder, which will run out quickly. There are a lot of bullets in the world, but fifty years of barbarism will use most of them up. This logic applies to any technology at your discretion.

You don't need psychic magic to make guns expensive, rare and unreliable. Same with cars and ships, if you want.

Apocalypse World / Re: One-Shot advice?
« on: September 29, 2010, 07:35:51 AM »
Thanks very much, Carl! That sounds like really good advice.

Apocalypse World / One-Shot advice?
« on: September 27, 2010, 08:40:05 AM »
I ran a one-shot this weekend, my first time GMing Apocalypse World. I was lucky to have two guys at the table (out of 3 players) who had run the game previously, which was a big help.

The whole session was just OK. I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe more interesting and difficult situations for the players to address, but it felt a little flat to me. Part of this may have been the accelerated and sub-optimal one-shot format, for sure. I can see the payoff of extended play.

For the one-shot I set up a pretty straightforward situation. Local hardholder is fat and happy and into appeasement and delay, evil outsiders are eager to devour her holding and its valuable orchard. The PCs aligned themselves with the hardholder against the bad guys by choice - one guy was a local (and the hardholder's lover), one guy was a merchant's bodyguard, one guy was the town's paid muscle. It was a good setup and we tied them all in to NPCs pretty well. I also authored a locational threat and a disease threat, but these weren't brought to the fore by player interest or role choices and I couldn't really hit them all.

One guy played a gunlugger with all the gunlugger stuff (he was his own gang and did extra harm) that made him, by himself, a match for the largest, meanest threats I had created. And that's cool, I know it isn't my job to create challenges, but it made it hard for me to make his life interesting. Everybody at the table knew that the bad guys could never succeed by force majeur, which sort of sucked the danger out of the situation. When there was a fight, he realized that the enemy gang could not even harm him. They feared him, he was a god of war.

So if this were a long term game, I'd totally build up the nice developing NPC relationships and then have the bad guys use those as ratlines to get into the hold, bypassing the god of war. I can see how that would go and it would be fun. But in a one-shot, there wasn't space to develop that. My front countdowns were all "they try to be nice, they make veiled threats, random violence, directed violence", which totally didn't work. I was tempted to ramp up the badassery of my rival gangs, and that is not a good sign.

Should I have rewritten my threat countdowns as soon as I saw that their approach was totally FUBAR?

I guess I'm asking for advice on how to structure a one-shot game, which obviously needs a strong situation but can't be completely informed by player choices.

Apocalypse World / Re: Extended Mediography
« on: September 05, 2010, 09:26:32 AM »
Raymond Thorp's Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson is stuffed with wildness, community, gangs, murderers, barterers, and people driven mad in different terrible ways. It is pieced together from primary and secondary sources but reads like fiction. Liver-eating Johnson was a piece of work. I guess he'd be a Gunlugger with some Operator moves.

other lumpley games / Re: [Dogs] Give; keep two dice
« on: September 04, 2010, 03:07:10 PM »
Thanks! Yes, I don't have that rule. Mine is super old.

other lumpley games / [Dogs] Give; keep two dice
« on: September 04, 2010, 10:03:03 AM »
What's the rule about giving and then keeping two dice for the next conflict? It's not in the older edition I have.


Apocalypse World / Re: hold 1+1
« on: September 03, 2010, 08:56:20 AM »
- and + are sometimes mathematical operators and sometimes not. 1-armor includes an unnecessary hyphen and -1armor means subtract one. + can mean "or more" or "add" or "and".

Apocalypse World / Re: hold 1+1
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:35:28 PM »
The cryptic shorthand really throws me.

blood & guts / Re: Tone and Color
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:28:33 PM »
Thanks Simon, that sounds smart. I'm OK with not tampering too much before I've had a chance to run the game, but I can't resist the small stuff. I think once I get my arms around it, if I'm really loving it, I'll want to hack it pretty hardcore.

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