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Messages - benhimself

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Apocalypse World / Re: Apocalypse Love and Kisses
« on: August 31, 2010, 01:47:46 AM »
We've missed a couple sessions in Sow The Wind. So here's me taking a stab at this part of game design. It's pretty fun.

Dear Hope:

How are things going for you? I hope they've been going well! But you know what they say, when it rains, it pours. Roll +weird, on a 10+, choose one, on a 7-9, choose 2, on a miss, whoo!

* Diamond's found a new kid, bright young boy named Isle, got a knack of doing strange things with the psychic maelstrom. He's not as good as you, not yet, but it might worry you if you were the type to think of Diamond having back-up plans.
* Exit's gotten sick. Probably from not eating right. Probably not eating right because he's spending all his barter on getting you gifts. Sigh, boys.
* Wisher found out. Whoops!

Dear Jeremy:

Life as a savvyhead, busy, busy, busy. Roll +weird, on a 10+, choose two, on a 7-9, choose one, on a miss, well, at least you tried.

* You've managed to fix up most of the bulletholes Rolfball left in your workshop, and can continue working on other projects.
* You notice the mindspout, which is still there, by the way, is acting a little funny on your sensors, and have an opportunity to try to do something about that before it gets a bit less funny.
* Diamond's got a problem, and he's going to come to you for advice, and probably take it, instead of acting on his own best judgment (ha ha ha).

Dear Brace:

Nobody appreciates the Brainer. Let's be nice and give you some opportunities, instead of hardship, yeah? Roll +weird, on a 10+, pick two, on a 7-9, pick one.

* Exit finally gave in to those puppet strings of yours.
* You caught Pierre sniffing around the world's psychic maelstrom before he caught you. You know he's coming, and you're pretty sure he doesn't know you know.
* Some dude named Fianelly offered you a sweet deal on some receptivity drugs. He'd rather sell to you than Gritch, but he's not giving them away, man's gotta eat, yeah?

Apocalypse World / Re: Organizing NPCs
« on: August 30, 2010, 12:34:52 AM »
On the other hand, when I ran the game, one of my PCs was playing a chopper, and was like "So I've got a gang of 20 guys, huh? Okay." And next week, completely unexpectedly, he had ready for me a list of 20 names.

If your PCs aren't afraid to do the work for you, let them.

As per the OP's question, I like to arrange them by group. So in my text file for my current IRC game, I've got the hocus's followers in one list, the NPC hardholder's men in another, some other dudes in a miscellaneous list, etc. There's little notes next to each telling me what I need to know, like "Exit: Likes to give Hope gifts, doesn't trust that creep Brace, has puppet strings in his head but hasn't acted on them yet". When someone gets a deep brain scan off or the savvyhead sleeps with somebody and Things Speak them, I add the answers to those questions next to the name as well, usually.

Apocalypse World / Re: Relationship map!
« on: August 26, 2010, 09:14:22 PM »
I've been told to link to the game's wiki, which is a bit more openly accessible than the PbP forums, although with the game just starting there's no summaries up yet. The relationship map's a slightly newer version, though, with a few names and purple friendship boxes added.

Apocalypse World / Re: Relationship map!
« on: August 26, 2010, 07:10:09 PM »
Yeah, the PbP threads are members-only, so I didn't link, I figured people with forum accounts could hunt it down easily enough of their own.

(That image DannyK put up in the first IC post, though? That's golden too.)

Apocalypse World / Relationship map!
« on: August 26, 2010, 06:41:45 PM »
So DannyK's running a PbP over at, and before the official start asked us a whole bunch of juicy provocative questions, especially about relationships with NPCs and such. Here and there a few people accidentally used the same name and decided they were the same person, or deliberately reincorporated other people's NPCs, and somebody said "Man, we should make a relationship map to keep all this stuff straight."

And one of our players, named Megavzer, actually did!

It was a little too awesome not to share.

the nerve core / Re: what's cool
« on: August 25, 2010, 07:39:47 PM »

The entire thread's beautiful, but Mademas and Scroungemas, awesome.

Apocalypse World / Re: sell me on weird
« on: August 24, 2010, 11:43:14 PM »
It seems like the answer is, universally, "To make socially dysfunctional people okay," which kinda squicks me out, so...thanks guys. I guess I get Weird and I just...don't like it at all. I appreciate your trying.

See, that's not what I'm saying at all. I can't speak for everyone, but, y'know, I'm a scifi/fantasy fan. I admit it: I want lasers on my sharks, sometimes, so the inclusion of weird psychic shit in my post-apocalyptic brew hits me just right. Look at Visions of Death on the Battlebabe and Healing Touch on the Angel. It's not about creating "distance" in either of those cases (at least, I don't see it); it's just about adding color to the setting. And the weird splats, like the Brainer, the Hocus, the entire world's psychic maelstrom, it's all about embracing that color full on and giving it a big wet sloppy one.

I think it's not that people are trying to answer the question without understanding it. I think it's about trying to understand the question so they can answer it. I mean, you're asking "Why weird shit?", and most of everyone else is just saying "Why not?" Which, to be fair, isn't really an answer. But what makes a socially dysfunctional person with psychic powers worse than a socially dysfunctional person with some knives and a gun?

I totally agree that there should be different answers to a lot of the same questions when asked by different people. And don't forget the fuckery.

"Jackabacka's the most vulnerable to you because he doesn't like to hit women. Thinks they're all fancy and shit, ha ha, am I right?"

"Well, for Brace, the biggest threat was Balls, because she's got the biggest gun and is kind of firing it around indiscriminately. But you, man, didn't you steal some chick Harridan was flirting with once? He's probably gonna single you at and try to make it hurt, yeah."

"Your best escape route, seriously, you gotta ask? You know they're here for Hope. Just don't stand between them and her, run a different way, they probably wouldn't even bother with you. Cultists, always obsessed with something, ya know?"

Plus, only people who ask the question get the bonus to the roll. Just because Brace has recognize that Balls is the biggest threat doesn't mean Hope's done so enough to capitalize on the matter. So there can be a reason for multiple people to ask repeat questions even if they're expecting the same answer, and you're not exactly robbing them if you just go "Yeah, same as before for the exact same reasons, ditch Hope and you're golden."

Apocalypse World / Re: No Duplicates and Switching Playbooks
« on: August 22, 2010, 09:05:02 PM »
Sure, you keep the playbook, but if you decide it's the second, someone else can play a battlebabe if they just print out another, or even just look at yours for a second to remind themselves what their options are and write it down on a piece of paper, or something.

Apocalypse World / Re: Angels infirmary
« on: August 22, 2010, 09:03:23 PM »
You're nicer than I am, Chris!

"Sure, no problem, but... first, you're gonna need to figure out genetics. I don't mean basic college levels, I'm talking totally mad science stuff, which I'm not convinced is a mastery of the subject your angel possesses. Also, it's gonna take hundred of tries. And you'll either be putting yourself and your colleagues at great risk if these fuckers get out, ha ha what are the odds of that happening, or the best you'll be able to do is a crap version, weak and unreliable. Pathetic little abominations of nature that couldn't threaten a legless cat, y'know?"

"You want to figure out mad science genetics? Sure, no problem. You're gonna need to add a library of golden age science textbooks on the subject to your workspace. You're also gonna need a controlled growing environment. I mean, the infirmary's just life support and a drug lab right now, not quite ideal for playing god. And it's probably going to take months of work, by which I mean study. Lastly, what would really help is taking apart one of those twisted and dangerous mutant things from the burn flats, while it's still alive."

"A controlled growing environment? Sure, no problem. You're gonna need some basic tools for working on, y'know, stuff, not people. Something to form a good hermetic seal. An air filter. And enough other weird odds and ends that you're probably just going to have to suck it up and get Rolfball's help with the whole matter. He's always got crazy shit stored away in those secret stashes of his."

"Basic tools for working on stuff, not people? Sure, no problem, but you're gonna have to add some basic tools for working on stuff, not people, to your workspace. Seriously, you're gonna make a wrench with your bare hands, or maybe some scalpels and a copious supply of medical drugs? Of course, you could just go to the marketplace and buy... oooh, that's right, somebody shot the marketplace up last week, didn't they? Well (offer them an opportunity, with or without a cost), there is talk of another marketplace over in Salt. It's about a short drive straight through the brightdust forest, or about five days if you go around. Road trip?"

Yes, the savvyhead in my IRC game is getting a little frustrated with me. (I haven't taken it nearly this far, but he's asked for weather control machine when the entire apocalypse is more or less weather-based, so, yeah, he's gonna have to work for it.)

Apocalypse World / Re: No Duplicates and Switching Playbooks
« on: August 22, 2010, 10:39:50 AM »
Was the fact that you blocked other Battlebabe PCs from coming into play part of your character's intrinsic self, or just part of their old life?

Apocalypse World / Re: sell me on weird
« on: August 22, 2010, 03:39:25 AM »
To some people, awesome supernatural powers are a plus, not a minus. I personally look at Brainer and think "Fuck yeah creepy psychics!" not "Fuck yeah dysfunctional relationships!" regardless of how impressively brainers model the latter using the former. (Like how Deep Brain Scan isn't mind reading, it just lets you know how they're vulnerable and weak, and leaves it up to you as to how to use that information, and how Puppet Strings isn't mind control, it's an ultimatum.)

I mean, if you're not a fan, you're not a fan. But I don't think weird was intended to model human brokenness, and just happened to accidentally get attached to a bunch of supernatural powers. I think it's the supernatural-powers ability, and that's just an interpretation of it that you would much rather see, yeah? It'd definitely be an interesting hack I wouldn't mind seeing, though.

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbooks for Charity
« on: August 21, 2010, 05:23:02 PM »
You should make it so exclusive and secret that only you can play it.

Oh yes, making it "Only one copy in the world" and the only way you get to see it is to run or play the game with me, in person, was definitely something I considered.

Is it actually a child? Please say yes!

Of course!

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbooks for Charity
« on: August 21, 2010, 09:48:03 AM »
I've come up with a playbook idea called "The Golden Child", a few special moves, and something so awesome that I don't want to spoil it here before I come to a decision on the matter. All I need to iron down is the names and look section, really.

So, do I post my ideas to make them available for all and sundry... or do I create an totally sweet and hyperexclusive playbook?


Apocalypse World / Re: Angels infirmary
« on: August 21, 2010, 09:32:41 AM »
Addiction is totally am Affliction: Condition. It deserves a special move for how it interacts with PCs, of course, but look at some of the basic threat moves you get with afflictions:

* Someone neglects duties, responsibilities, obligations
* Someone takes self-destructive, fruitless, or hopeless action.
* Someone approaches, seeking comfort.

etc. Lots of good ones.

Now, let's see, custom move, custom move. How about:

Addiction: When you take the drug, take +1 forward. After that +1 forward is used, take -1 ongoing until you take the drug again.

As to the infirmary... well, it's good for fixing people, especially weird stuff that isn't quite harm and thus not as covered with the moves, things like blindness or disease (that you don't have a custom move for) or such. It's also good for figuring out what's wrong with people, if it's not obvious. "He's been bleeding out of his eyes, ears, and nose for HOW long? Okay, take him to the infirmary, let's get to the bottom of this."

And of course, the infirmary would probably be a good place to try and treat weird hocus-blood addiction. "Sure, no problem, but... you're going to need to analyze (ie, take apart) a sample of the drug before it's taken, and then you're going to need to take apart the liver of somebody who's overdosed on the drug... AND the best you'll be able to do is a crap version, weak and unreliable. It'll be better than no cure, it'll get rid of the -1 ongoing, definitely, but it won't be quite perfect, might be aftereffects and flashbacks from time to time. Y'know, if he botches a brain-opening roll or something."

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