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Messages - Amphiprison

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roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« on: April 07, 2011, 01:14:50 AM »
Czipeter, I believe the 'inability' you have to 'do two things simultaneously' is actually a big part of any really good RPG, including AW.  What's happening is this:  Your interest as a player is to 'win'- to do well, to succeed at whatever it is the overall goal is perceived to be.  Your character's interest, however, is to pursue their desires, dreams, and reasoning- sometimes at the cost of 'winning'.  When you are asked to 'play your character', these two interests are in conflict.

Example of character interest trumping player interest:  Dickinson and friends are fleeing a burning building.  Dickinson sees the heavy steel door closing, and charges ahead to squeeze through right before it closes, shoving aside a wounded comrade to do so like the selfish git she is.  The friends are trapped inside the burning building, and so are the documents they were paid to retrieve.  Oops.

Example of player interest trumping character interest:  Dickinson, a normally selfish character, holds open a heavy steel door long enough for the rest of the party to escape with the documents.. but not long enough for herself, so she dies in the conflagration.  Oops.

The situation isn't always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to weigh one player's interests against another player's interests, or against everybody else's interests, and so on... but conflicting interests done well generates drama, which makes the situations interesting.

Some folks are used to this approach to role-playing, and some folks are not.  Once you get used to it, though, it's a lot of fun.  Hope it works out for you and yours!

Apocalypse World / Re: Cumulative debilities?
« on: April 07, 2011, 12:42:48 AM »
Yes, you definitely can't be double-disfigured or even triple-crippled, no matter how tasty that ice cream might sound.  Unless your MC says it's OK.  But, y'know, once you're stacking -2 or more to something you might already suck at, it's probably time to pack it in, ladies and gens.

Sorry to butt in here, but I feel like Chris might be missing something important here.  That part about the 'where are the PCs in this story'?  For AW, they should probably be right up at the top of that Dramatis Personae list.  Your NPCs sound so complex that you had to put a (NPC) tag up on there so the casual observer could tell the difference between PCs and NPCs.  Are you looking at your NPCs through crosshairs?  AW really wants you to make NPCs expendable, with obvious motivations- they follow their parts.  That's mechanics on the MCs end.

You mentioned you built some triangles between PCs and NPCs- were you enough of a fan of Monster Truck that he felt he had a stake in the situation, something to lose if he just started shooting?  AW wants the Dramatis Personae to be the PCs, not the NPCs, specifically because of this tendency to git to the shootin'.  If every NPC comes across as a whiny, complex bundle of emotions that needs to be carefully unpacked in order to have a fun game, there's a distinct kind of gamer that is going to unpack their carefully-designed brain with a full clip of armor-piercing rounds.

The players end up driving a LOT of the action in AW- what was Monster Truck's shtick besides 'shoot everything in sight'?  Was his hard highlighted, session after session?  If Monster Truck's the 'I kill things to take their stuff so I can kill bigger things' type, I'd just highlight his hot and his weird until he figured out that he doesn't get new powerful moves that way, he just gets a big pile of trash to sort out.  It might've been valuable before it got ran over with a monster truck, but now, it's trash.

If the other players weren't cool with pulling the game in two different directions (some players want to have complex conflicts involving multiple factions of NPCs, Monster Truck wants to git to the shootin'), then you might just have an interpersonal problem rather than a mechanics problem.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to play with a player who insists on having a character with 'no morals'... in any game.  If the other characters weren't cool with it but the players were, why wouldn't the other players roll to interfere until he messed it up real bad, which happens eventually?  Even if this guy is some hot-shit +3 hard grizzled vet, a -2 knocks it down to a +1 pretty quickly.

In short, I feel like there are plenty of mechanics in AW which should have prevented this scene from ever getting to that point.

Orpheus, your problems are a lot easier.  If your buddy wants combat, AW has rules for it.  They're not the pull-out-the-battlemat, shift-some-minis-around-and-argue-about-cover kind of rules, but they cover it pretty well, and if he wants it to happen, oh boy will it happen.  If he likes it, great.  If not, well, thanks for giving it a shot, buddy.  Then you either go back to whatever RPG you all enjoyed playing, you tell your buddy you'll let him know the next time you start up another RPG he likes or is willing to try, or you force him to play AW until he drives a monster truck through your game. ;)

Apocalypse World / Re: new character playbook: quarantine
« on: April 05, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »
Healing, eh?  Well:  An angel gets the full angel kit- not just 6-stock worth of healy goodness, but also all the assorted stuff that *doesn't* get used up to heal- stethoscopes, sensors, thermometers and what have you.  If a first aid kit has, at most, 2-stock and can be carried around in a backpack with room for more but an angel kit can (probably barely) fit in the trunk of a car, I'm guessing there's a LOT of extra stuff in that angel kit.

What good is the angel if you can just restock the first aid kit?  Well, for one the angel is probably better at using it, not to mention using it under fire.  The angel can also try to just straight-up heal harm instantly, although it's kind of weird.  Most of the angel's moves help them with that, while a gunlugger gets the kit as only one option among many, most of which would probably be more help at doing what the gunlugger does best.

What good is the angel or the angel kit if the quarantine can just heal what ails you in their neato-keen medlab, like a savvyhead and their workspace?  Ever actually asked a savvyhead to fix you up?  *shudders*  You'll come out OK, but you'll often wish you had just asked somebody to fix you up the normal way instead.  Less complications and often just plain cheaper.

Apocalypse World / Re: How can I make more realism more fun?
« on: April 05, 2011, 06:34:48 PM »
I've run exactly one session of AW, without parental supervision, so my 'experience' may not count for much, but:

If you don't want to make it an omnipresent difficulty, then you definitely want to restrict it to a hard move like taking away their stuff.  The less rules I have to invent or call upon, the better.  Personally, I usually find more interesting moves to make like splitting the party or capturing somebody, and I only take away their stuff when I can't think of anything more interesting.

Stuff, to me, is... stuff.  Meh.  If it's their only gun, they probably don't rely on it overmuch anyhow, and have other ways to survive the conflict at hand.  If it's not their only gun, well, they're just gonna haul out the next one and worry about it later, when it's a lot less important.  It's just not that interesting to me.

You might find a situation where it *does* get interesting, though... or think up a place which *makes* taking away stuff interesting.  In that case, go nuts.

For example:  If you fail a +hard roll fighting atop the Cliffs of Denver, you drop whatever you were going hard with... and it's a long, long way down.  You wouldn't be the first, chump, and you probably won't be the last.  Come to think of it, if you *could* make it down there, who knows what sort of oddments others have dropped or tossed?

Landscapes are threats.  Threats get custom moves.  Custom moves are good times.  Or hey, maybe it's just interesting to you when guns jam up.  Give it a try, see how it works for you.  Antique stuff, automatic or semiauto stuff, stuff you've got to reload- all of that is liable to jam up.  Johnstone's got it right- missing is for suckers.

Apocalypse World / Re: Choosing names from the list
« on: April 05, 2011, 06:17:52 PM »
Having run this exactly one time, my inclination is to say yes to whatever the players want unless I have a darn good reason.  Of course, when the players introduced their characters in a clockwise fashion, the third of six players used two names, and then everybody else's character after his suddenly had two names.  To them, multiple lists meant multiple names.  Pick one of each.  Jesus Dolarhyde and Inch Grip, I believe, were all the better for it.

Now, of course, I wonder... what would a *non*-AW name sound like?  Fantasy names like Lorithien seem right out, but if popular enough might've been cobbled from the relics of pop culture (A Gunlugger Named Legolas, a straight-to-DVD release)... seems like you'd have to really work to find a name that *wouldn't* fit in, or seem ironically appropriate, in AW.

Apocalypse World / Re: How can I make more realism more fun?
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:15:17 PM »
You're not *wrong*, per se, but you're making a game that isn't really AW any longer.  Right on the back of the book, it says there's not enough of anything except gasoline and bullets, and now you're saying 'don't count on bullets, bucko.'  It's a bigger change than you might imagine, for a smaller benefit than you might imagine.  The ramifications, from adding another dice roll every round of gunfire combat to making players make do with less jingle than they otherwise would now that they have to pay for ammo too, are fairly serious, and I'd strongly consider how this is going to make the game more fun.

Does this make the game more fun?  Not for me.  Counting bullets is fun in a survival horror game, where any method of self-defense is rare, unreliable, or as dangerous to you as to your enemies... but not in AW, where the guns are already liable to jam up or run out of ammo on a failed roll or even a 7-9.

Would it work for your game?  Ask your players.  If somebody says no, I wouldn't use the rules.  If they're all as enthusiastic as you are about it, go nuts!

blood & guts / Re: Brainers theoreticals
« on: March 31, 2011, 11:24:20 PM »
I agree that the violation glove is an extremely appealing choice... for me personally.  I think that the name itself is sufficient warning as to exactly what that gear choice entails:  It says you want to rape someone's brain with a mere touch.  Whatever form the violation glove takes, everybody who sees it (in action, if not at first glance) knows exactly what that does, and then might understandably keep the brainer at arm's length.  Compare and contrast with, say, unnatural lust transfixion; I think it'd be very possible to have an extremely social brainer rather than an extremely manipulative brainer, and I think that different types of players would choose different types of gear and moves according to their preference.  The pain-wave projector, for me, seems like a terrible choice because it doesn't say anything about not affecting your friends...

Apocalypse World / Re: MC, ever have trouble being a fan of a PC?
« on: March 26, 2011, 08:27:24 PM »
Hmm... the term 'antagonist' can be very vague, for some.  If they're doing things that you personally are emotionally uncomfortable with in a role-playing game, then the above posters who said 'hey, talk to your players' has the right idea.  If they're doing things that you think are bad and wrong, then it's time to disclaim some decision-making!

Empathizing with the NPCs?  Look at 'em through crosshairs.  If the hardholder is creating a stifling, oppressive regime, then the holding is going to take on a dreary, desperate vibe.  Maybe the holding's gang starts making examples of people who stay out after curfew- they're being proactive, as it were, about the hardholder's plans here.  Gangs, as well as holdings, have this funny way of getting out of control... Is the hardholder making leadership checks to deal with the fallout of their policies?  Who's going to rise up when the hardholder eventually blows a leadership roll?  Whose ambition threatens the PCs?

Honestly, some of the characters in Apocalypse World are some morally murky folks, and when they make hard choices, bad things happen.  Find a way to make it interesting.  I'd warn you against trying to impose notions of 'human rights' into a post-apocalyptic scenario; rights are something protected by laws, and there's kind of a scarcity of those in Apocalypse World.  That might be interesting- what happens to hardholders who run oppressive regimes when there's no laws or notions of human rights to stop them?

Apocalypse World / Re: How to handle pregnancy?
« on: March 16, 2011, 11:48:16 PM »
What with all the sex moves, I figured pregnancy would've been covered in the rules... I immediately interpreted the countdown timer as a pregnancy clock, even before I was told what it was for!

I interpret AW pregnancy using a heavy dose of barf forth apocalyptica: Nuclear fallout + no more centralized knowledge banks = not everybody knows/understands exactly how babies happen.  Which, y'know, jives with most of human history.  Early civilizations knew getting married had *something* to do with it, and they knew it was really really unusual when virgins gave birth, and they had social codes that said 'hey don't do the sex thing till marriage'... but the actual factuals behind the birds and bees were just not something people twigged to.

So.  Countdown timer = pregnancy clock. Great.  The session after you conceive, you're at 3:00.  At the beginning of every session (or every so often, depending on how quickly you elide through time), roll dice+0.  If the total is the time or less, advance it.  3:00- Morning sickness. 6:00- Concealable baby bump.  9:00: Obvious baby bump.  10:00- water breaks, start rolling every 10-15 minutes or so of realtime.  11:00- contractions start.  12:00- baby!

Want to delay contractions, or do something that might put the pregnancy at risk? Counts as under fire.  Having an angry pregnant momma moment? Sounds a lot like going aggro to me.

Scale up or down as you see fit.  If I stepped on any toes, well... got any better ideas?  I'm just whistling in the dark.

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