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Messages - Simon JB

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Holding Pen / Re: A new Song of Ice and Fire hack - playbooks
« on: January 17, 2017, 05:31:19 AM »
This looks really nice!

Apocalypse World / Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« on: January 16, 2017, 04:16:07 AM »
Disclaimer that I haven't seen much of this in actual play, but to make sense of 7-9, I have to reorder the result chronologically:

You give an order, and they say "fuck no" and gear up to fight you over it.

Then you can choose to back down on your order, say "fine, fuck it then". But they are already geared up to fight you over it, so you either have to take the fight or make a quick and brutal example of them to make them stand down.

Or, you don't back down, say "fine, give it your best", and then have a fight with them that ends with one of them being made an example of, after which they back down and accept your order.

When I put it like this, I can more easily see how all three variants could happen.

Apocalypse World / Re: Gunlugger and augury
« on: September 17, 2016, 11:03:20 AM »

Of course! Like I said, it's nothing fancy.

When you work on something electric, that is not too complicated and that you know how to do, roll+sharp. On a 10+, choose three. On a 7-9, choose two. On a 6-, just one.
- It doesn't require additional parts worth 1-barter (otherwise it does)
- Nothing and no one gets hit by an electric shock (otherwise watch out)
- The results are lasting (otherwise it soon breaks down)

We paired that with a special gig move for his everyday farming, to set the stage for the player's idea of his character's life at the beginning of play. It's worked nicely so far.

When you toil at the farm for some time, roll+hard. On a 10+, you get basic supplies worth 1-barter, and choose two. On a 7-9, just choose two. On a 6-, choose one.
- You get basic supplies worth (an additional) 1-barter
- Nothing important on the farm breaks our gets worn out (otherwise it does)
- No one on the farm gets hurt or sick (otherwise someone does)

Again, nothing fancy or revolutionary, but it's nice anyway. :)

The payoff from farming pays for his lifestyle, and that represents his family also getting supported, of course.

EDIT to add: These might seem harsh, by the logic that a 7-9 should be basically a success, but here it's all about trying to make an honest living is hard. If the character wants easy scratch, he will just have to take down his assault rifle from the attic again, won't he? :)

Apocalypse World / Re: Gunlugger and augury
« on: September 17, 2016, 09:06:44 AM »
Great input, thank you all!

Yeah, we went with Reality's fraying edge, basically, but with the variation "when you use specially prepared equipment to tap into the maelstrom". This guy tries to minimize the violence around him – he is the baddest ass in town but tries to get by as a farmer – otherwise the "in battle" variant could be cool.

He is also a bit of an electrician for his village, and we use a simple little custom move to make electric work risky, so preparing the equipment could be fun.

So far he's interacted with it like a parallell astral plane, with something spirit- or demonlike buzzing around, but now he's talked with an npc who told him she'd flown a helicopter into it, through the eye of a storm. Where it goes from here, we'll see! :)

Apocalypse World / Gunlugger and augury
« on: September 14, 2016, 08:45:43 AM »
So, my player's gunlugger in this solo game is up for an improvement, and since he has interacted a lot with the maelstrom from the start, he would like to get access to augury.

I don't really see a "legal" way for him to do that with just an improvement, but it'd be really cool if he did, so naturally I want him to be able to.

Does any of you have any nice ideas on how to play this?

Given possibilities I see are:
- write up a custom character move and make him take it as an out-of-playbook move.
- make him acquire a workshop in the fiction and then take Bonefeel.
- make him wait until the ungiven future and then either change playbooks or take a second character to play.

None of these is very appealing, but I don't want to say, "sorry, looks like you can't" either.

So, any suggestions?

Apocalypse World / Re: Brain Relay: Argh
« on: September 05, 2016, 04:39:07 PM »
Ooh, I haven't thought about it, but a brain relay where someone sleeps could work for in-brain puppet strings. A doll placed next to the bed, or a puppy cuddling with the target or something. That's cool!

Apocalypse World / Re: Question's about +1 Forward and +1 Ongoing
« on: September 05, 2016, 04:25:42 PM »
That's cool! I also agree completely about the character using her knowledge, intuition and experience to actually grasp the situation. It is her making the move, after all! Only with scouts taking the function of her own eyes and ears in different situations.

Apocalypse World / Re: Maestro'D - Fingers in Every Pie
« on: September 05, 2016, 07:53:31 AM »
Like, if there is no suggestion so far in the game that someone owning a functioning tank is even a thing -- like so far you are in some sort of low-tech jungle region full of spear-hunters or whatever -- then that sort of request seems outside the boundaries of the fiction.

On the other hand, there are a bunch of other moves that clearly have the power to change the boundaries, like augury or the workspace rules, for example.

Still, Vincent's reply above came as a surprise for me, I don't think I would have dared to read the move as boldly as that. I think I would have played it like, sure, a firethrowing tank shows up, like magic; now, despite the 10+ result, this is the most obvious opportunity on a plate ever to make them pay, so I'll do that.

I'm glad I saw Vincent's reply, because that is so much cooler. :)

Apocalypse World / Re: Question's about +1 Forward and +1 Ongoing
« on: September 05, 2016, 07:39:06 AM »
My first few years with AW, I used to read the moves as requiring direct action on the player character's part. Sure, I read that you can go aggro or seize by force using your gang as a weapon, but I took it as a requirement that the character was physically present anyway, where the gang-as-weapon mainly affected harm inflicted and other consequences of the move.

When I realized that you could read a situation by, as Daniel Wood puts it, keeping your ear to the ground or drawing on your knowledge of the political landscape, that made the play immediately more fun. The PCs' moves are what drives play, after all, and running everything that is out of the PCs' immediate sight by MC fiat is, to me, a wasted opportunity.

If being physically present is required generally when you make your moves, what's the difference between a hardholder and a gunlugger and how they play, apart from one inflicting damage by gang and one by machine gun? I mean, apart from obvious stuff like the fictional circumstances around them and such. Since the playbooks aren't just about stat numbers and fictional resources, but primarily how they interact with the world around them, of course a hardholder, a gunlugger and a savvyhead would actually read situations in different ways, sometimes by keeping their ears to the ground, sometimes by taking a quick look out of cover in a firefight.

Take the glorious Maestro D' in Deadwood, Al Swearengen, for example. He constantly reads situations, and does all kinds of moves, by sending people out to do his bidding then watching their return with the results from his balcony, with a cup of coffee in his hand. That's cool!

Apocalypse World / Re: Question's about +1 Forward and +1 Ongoing
« on: September 04, 2016, 05:41:44 PM »
Hm, that's interesting. To me, a character reading a situation by having people go and check is a given, but I'll think about it some more (and happily hear more opinions on it!). Thanks!

Apocalypse World / Re: Question's about +1 Forward and +1 Ongoing
« on: September 04, 2016, 04:46:19 PM »
I still say stacked as high as they can go. No part of the game says they can't be, and if you put in the work and get the successes necessary, you deserve the rewards. The text of the game is clear: if you get +1 forward, you get +1 to your next roll. Also, your MC will ideally give you conflicting advice from Insight and Read A Sitch--things shouldn't be exactly as they seemed to your followers beforehand.


(Though I'm not sure I'd agree with the moves you expect to roll. Unless you're one of the scouts, I don't think you get to roll Read A Sitch through them, and I'm not sure I'd call for Go Aggro as the move when poisoning a water supply.)

No? Cool. How would you do it? (I'm the player in this case, so it'll be my MC's call anyway, but I'm curious!)

To me it looks quite clear, and in line with sending your gang to burn down the next holding, rolling seize by force without being personally present.

Hm, I don't think I agree completely with the two answers above.

If you get a bunch of people that do as you say, and you have them fight for you, they are a gang, with stats depending on their fictional facts. A medic's two orderlies, not used to combat, would maybe be a-guy-or-two 1-harm 0-armor green or something. But if you "have" a gang in the fiction, you have a gang, simple as that.

Getting pack alpha, on the other hand, says something about your character's leadership style, rather than what her underlings are like. When the character's gang says, "no way we'll do that, boss, that's suicide", the character with pack alpha will just smack them until they know their place, while a character without has to reason with them, use some sort of leverage to get them to do what she wants, probably rolling manipulate, but possibly going aggro.

So, getting pack alpha is the character getting a new schtick, and I'm pretty sure I'd make her spend an improvement to get a move from another playbook to get it.

But getting a gang, go ahead, persuade 60 people to follow you into danger and you have a large gang, no sweat.

The thing with having gangs on your sheet that are either a central part of your playbook or that you get from an improvement is that it's a bit of cheating on the MC's part to take them from you too forcefully or too directly, because that often means taking away what makes the character cool, and that's no fun.

Those 60 bastards you just manipulated into following you into an ill-advised raid? No such considerations, so watch your back! :D

Apocalypse World / Re: Question's about +1 Forward and +1 Ongoing
« on: September 04, 2016, 03:07:21 PM »
I have this question right in front of me right now, so, happy for the thread!

I'm a hocus, with insight in this session. My followers say, we should raid this village, but they might have guards, so we should send scouts forward to check the sitch, and poison their water before moving in to slaughter the ones not poisoned.

My read on this is that I'll have the insight bonus on typically three moves: read a sitch first, and then going aggro with poison, and then seize by force to kill and raid the village. It's not a long shot to assume I'll be in a sitch where I'll have +1 from both insight and the read move.

How do you think it should be handled, stacked or not stacked?

Personally, I'm leaning towards stacked, up to max +3 to any dice roll, because there is nothing in the game's logic that says I shouldn't get is, as far as I can see. But what do you think?

I played a first session once with eight or nine players. That was... not optimal. I believe that in an hour or two of actual play, after character creation and Hx, we got something like ninety seconds into the fiction. :P

Apocalypse World / Re: Fallen Empire Warband Rules
« on: July 07, 2016, 04:13:18 PM »
The question of whether a PC can reasonably be said to fight a 60-person group of people 'at once' -- i.e. in the context of a single roll -- is an interesting one, but is probably mostly going to depend on the tone of the specific game and the specific logic of the world the MC is presenting.

And the scope of the move.

Player: I charge the camp, I'm going to fight my way to the prisoner in the center and get them out.
MC: Um, there's about 60 warriors in that camp.
Player: I feel lucky, bring it on.
MC: Okay then, seize by force it is...

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