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Messages - HyveMynd

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Apocalypse World / Help With Fronts and Threats
« on: April 02, 2012, 10:38:55 AM »
So I've been staring at the notes I scribbled down from our first AW session last week and am trying to figure out how to turn this chicken scratch into an interesting Front and a few Threats. Nothing's really jumping out at me though. This might be because (due to busy schedules) our sessions only last for an hour and so I, the MC, don't know the PCs in the game well enough yet. I know the players just fine, but I've only traveled with Dust the Hocus, Tor the Faceless, and Garber the Touchstone for a little over 60 minutes so far. However it's a poor carpenter that blames his tools, so I put most of the blame on myself as MC.

I tried something new for this game and specifically bought a Tarot card deck to do readings on MC characters and situations for inspiration between sessions. My amateur interpretation of the cards revealed that the caravan (the players came up with a mobile hardhold) had an experienced and successful leader and was now reaping the rewards of a period of hard work. However the course of action indicated was to delay, which would lead to unfulfilled hopes and disappointment. I decided that this meant the caravan had become complacent after a very successful foraging/scavenging autumn season and will foolishly attempt to winter at an abandoned coal mining complex. The Dark Future of this decision will be absolute disaster, as supplies run out, transportation becomes impossible, and the people descend into cannibalism and God knows what else.

Now I've started a Fronts Sheet that expresses either fear or ignorance (haven't decided which yet as both seem appropriate). Both could cause the hardholder (an MC character) to remain in one spot for too long leading to this fate. I wrote up the first Threat, an Affliction: Delusion, and made a countdown clock that represents the people settling in (3 to 9pm), refusing to move unless threatened or manipulated (9 to 11pm), and eventually being immobile (12am). I'm just worried that the triggers are too passive; I'll simply tick down the sections every time the hardholder goes among the populace preaching about how great the new settlement will be and the PCs keep silent about it. If the PCs vocally agree with the hardholder in front of a lare section of the population, then the clock jumps right to 9pm.

That sounds right, but I'm having trouble coming up with other Threats to spin off from this situation. Adding to the problem, one of my players has already asked, out-of-character, if their PCs can leave the caravan. I told him of course, then outlined some general pros and cons of a small group of 20 souls breaking off from a group of about 100. If my players do decide that their PCs will leave the group I of course won't try to stop them. But then I'll have to come up with a whole new front (or modify my idea for the abandoned hardhold). I've also read on the forums here that PCs need groups of MC characters to interact with, or things get boring. So I'm trying to think of ways to potentially tie them to the caravan more strongly. I won't force them to stay of course, but give them choices that potentially tangle them into the lives of some MC characters around them and give them a reason to stay with the group.

So... that was kind of rambling. Apologies. In a nutshell, any general advice on how to create Threats and Fronts and PC-NPC-PC triangles?

Apocalypse World / Re: Mobile Hardhold and Fronts - Problems?
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:28:29 AM »
Well, we'll see what ends up happening. My PC group consists of a Faceless, a Hocus (with a 20 person 'family' made up of mostly women), and a Touchstone. Our sessions are only about an hour long via Skype (RL making scheduling difficult) and I must not have explained to my players that they're all part of a larger caravan of about 100 people (the hardhold). They through the total body count was only 23. One of the questions asked via email after the session was "Can we leave the hardhold?" So they very well may be a group of only 23 people soon. That's not really a hardhold anymore, it's a gang. And probably a 1-harm small gang 0-armor at that.

Apocalypse World / Re: Mobile Hardhold and Fronts - Problems?
« on: March 29, 2012, 02:43:53 AM »
Hey, I'll necrotize this thread since it applies to me. After MCing my first session of AW this past Tuesday, I ended up with something I had rather dreaded; a PC group with a mobile hardhold. Now, part of my goal while MCing this game is to build up my both my "yes and..." and GM improve skills. So I'm not going to veto anything that the players come up with. If they all reach a consensus about some element of the setting, it's there/happens. Even if it alters or eliminates something I wanted to do. Even if it means the PCs have a mobile hardhold.

They haven't really detailed what it looks like yet, but basically they're a travelling horse & wagon caravan. Or a nomadic Native American village. They pack up their tents in the morning, travel during the day, then set up camp again at sundown. Maybe they'll stay in the same place for a few days, a week, or a month. We haven't figured that out either yet.

Part of me sees all the potential story hooks that this situation will birth; Who takes care of the horses? What happens if there's not enough food for the animals, or if they get sick? What happens if there's not enough food for the people, and they're forced to start eating the horses to survive? How do they protect their resources when they don't have walls or a defensible position? Who decides where the caravan goes, and what happens when people disagree? And so on.

Now obviously the players chose to have a mobile hardhold because they like the idea of travelling across the blasted, apocalyptic landscape. And I'm not going to rob them of that. But I don't really relish the idea of running a "wagon train" game where they encounter a new group of people every session. Another part of the reason I started this AW game was to get away from the "dungeon of the week" style games we'd been doing recently.

So does anyone out there is Apocalypse Land have advice for running a nomadic hardhold game?

Apocalypse World / Re: The 1st Session sheet
« on: March 29, 2012, 01:52:57 AM »
Hey there. I'm not an expert by any means, so perhaps I'm wrong here. But I MCed the first session of my first AW game this past Tuesday and so had out the 1st Session Sheet. The way I did things was thusly.

I used the notes and reminders on the 1st Session Sheet as a play aid. It's got the Agenda, Principles, and MC Moves on it, along with a nice list of NPC names, and the things to do during the 1st session. I wrote the PC's names and what Playbook they were in the center circle, but that was it. I scribbled all my other notes onto scratch paper because frankly, my handwriting sucks.

Now that the session is over, I've been looking at my notes and trying to fit the pieces together. When I decide what the Threats actually are and have determined their types, cast, resources, and some "I wonder..." questions, I'll write them down on the sheet. I'm pretty sure that the 1st Session Sheet then becomes the home front. So I would assume that you'll use the 1st Session Sheet in every session from now on, until or unless the players move to a new home front, or the situation changes so significantly that the home front needs to be reset from zero again.

Like, I don't see any reason why you couldn't use a "real" Fronts sheet for the home front. But there are some things on the 1st Session Sheet that are more general and apply to running the game, as opposed to the specialized Fronts sheets which are pretty much only for a single, specific front. Does that make any sense?

Apocalypse World / Re: Opening Questions
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:41:16 PM »
Thanks for the advice, guys. Part of the reason that I'm so stoked to finally play AW with my group is to get away from the heroic, high fantasy stuff. I'm looking forward to asking the tough questions about how the PCs eat, where they live, and how they survive.

I've already warned my players that I'll sometimes be asking them tough questions. One guy was leaning towards picking a transgressing character, and joking asked if he'd be asked how his PC pisses. I replied that yes, yes he would be asked that if he chose transgressing.

I love the "Who gave you that scar?" question. I realize that you can 't really plan out your questions before the session, but I'm hoping to set up the following.
"Character A, where do you sleep and with whom?" "Un-huh. OK. And why didn't you sleep there last night?" "Right." Turn to Player B. "Character B, why were you sleeping there last night?" "Un-huh. Right. What happened while you were there?"

Apocalypse World / Opening Questions
« on: March 19, 2012, 10:18:13 AM »
Hey all. First time posting here, though I've lurked for a bit. I finally convinced my group to play Apocalypse World and I'm psyched. It has exactly the kind of gritty, shit just got real, your actions have consequences tone and setting that I love in my games. I've been reading through the 1st Session chapter over and over again to make sure I have it all down, and I'm pretty sure I do. The only thing I'm somewhat apprehensive about is the suggestion (command?) to ask questions like crazy.

Obviously stuff will jump out at me as we go through character creation, Hx, and the 1st session. The players will answer a question in such a way that more questions'll pop into my head, and things will snowball from there. I'm wondering though, if anyone out there had any particularly good questions that they either asked or were asked in their first sessions. Something to jump start my brain so I can barf forth apocalyptica onto my players.

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