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Topics - lost_zeppo

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Monster of the Week / Looking for Playbook Ideas...
« on: May 29, 2013, 05:39:43 PM »
Having committed myself to completing 23 creative projects by the end of the year, I thought it might be cool to do some custom playsets as part of that. Since MotW is currently the version of the Apocalypse Engine I'm most familiar with, that's probably what most of my playsets will be for. I have a few ideas in mind for MotW playsets, and there were a bunch of potential playbook pitches made in an older post, but I'd appreciate any other suggestions folks might have.

Here are the ideas I've got so far:

The Magical Girl: An MotW twist on this class of anime heroine. Given the implied tone of MotW this would probably be more in the style of Puella Magi Madoka Magica than the more traditional examples.
The Sole Survivor: The Sole Survivor and her friends were hunted by some kind of supernatural terror, and only she made it out alive. She came out of the experience hardened, and maybe just a little unhinged. Think Ash from Evil Dead, or the 'Final Girl' of any horror movie.
The Teen Detective: Based on the likes of Brick or Veronica Mars, the Teen Detective is a meddling kid of the hard-boiled variety.
The Tomb Raider: A modern day Indiana Jones, the Tomb Raider tracks down ancient and powerful artifacts and keeps them out of the wrong hands.
The Writer: Everybody wonders where the Writer gets his inspiration from, but none of them would suspect the truth: he's actually living it! Think Richard Castle, if he wound up following a monster hunter rather than a homicide detective.

Monster of the Week / Arcs: One or Many?
« on: January 14, 2013, 09:40:24 AM »
I'm working on coming up with the arcs for my campaign, but I'm not sure whether to do multiple arcs (one centred on each of the four hunters), or come up with one central arc and somehow weave a connection to each of the characters into it. How do other MotW Keepers do it?

roleplaying theory, hardcore / IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« on: December 05, 2012, 08:49:29 AM »
I've recently started running a campaign of Monster of the Week over IRC with a group I've been gaming with for about a year.

Admittedly, I haven't been doing a great job of asking questions during the game to help build the world, but when I tried to do so one of my players got annoyed. I explained that part of running the first session involved me asking questions in order to build up a picture of the world and the people in it. The player responded that this was stupid, that with an IRC game the GM needs to do some planning beforehand. Afterwards, one of the other players agreed that perhaps we should have had a separate world-building session before starting the game off.

I need an opinion from more experienced Apocalypse World/AW Hack GMs who may have run over IRC before: do things need to be done differently for IRC, am I maybe not doing a great job of running things, or what? It's made me a little worried about how to continue the campaign. :<

Okay, the move basically says that the player needs to work out the details of what they're destined to do from their tags, along with the Keeper.

I had a bit of trouble working out how to do this, so I went with the Keeper principle 'Ask questions and build upon the answers'. So I asked the player a few questions which were directly or indirectly related to their tags. (Nightmares and Visions, Ancient Prophecies, Hidden Allies, Damnation, a Nemesis)

- There are Ancient Prophecies about your character. Are you aware of them, or yet to discover them? If you are aware, what do you know?
- There's one monster that appears a few times in your nightmares. What can you remember of what it looked like? (This will be the Nemesis)
- Did it speak at all in the nightmares?
- Christine has a weird birthmark, describe it.
- Any recurring themes in your nightmares, beyond weird things you'll have to fight?

I'm wondering if this is the best way of dealing with this move or not. Thoughts?

P.S. I was thinking it might be good to have a thread about good questions for first sessions, like they have on the main AW board?

Monster of the Week / Suitable First Session Monsters?
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:30:32 PM »
I'm having some real trouble settling on an idea for a monster for the first session of my campaign, which I'm supposed to be starting on Monday.

At first I thought about making it an Atmospheric Beast/Energyzoa, with some kind of UFO cult that was feeding people to it as minions. But I couldn't think of how the hunters could actually take something like that down.

Then I thought about making the Monster some sort of faerie creature that was stealing kids and replacing them with changelings. But I know one of my players is planning on making a Monstrous with a Fae background, so I want to maybe save that for when I'm putting together an arc for her character. That also rules out anything else with a Fae origin.

And I don't want to use vampires because they're kinda cliche. Does anyone have any other suggestions of what might make a good Monster for a first session?

Monster of the Week / [MotW] Mystery: The Jersey Mothman
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:57:52 PM »
This is the one-shot I'm working on for the upcoming GUGacon on Saturday. I'll be asking players to make their characters based on the Monster Revelations Show team concept from the Snoop playbook.

I'd like some feedback on the Mystery write-up, so I can fine-tune it in time for Saturday. At the moment, the most significant issue I foresee is that the Mothman isn't hostile in itself, only its presence is actually a threat.

Sightings of the Jersey Devil in Lake Abbot, New Jersey, are in fact sightings of a Mothman which has fallen through into our dimension. If it isn’t slain before it opens a gateway back to its home dimension, the consequences could be dire.

There are several news reports of a winged creature sighted in the area surrounding Lake Abbot, New Jersey, as well as mutilations of deer in the pine barrens.

Name: Mothman

Description: 7ft tall, muscular humanoid with big red, hypnotically glowing eyes and huge brown wings.

Type: Sorceror

Impulse: to usurp unnatural power

The Mothman needs to get back to its home dimension, and in order to do so it must find a weak spot between the dimensions. As it happens, the closest one is on the Abbotsview Bridge. Bridges represents a symbolic link between two points, making this perfect for the Mothman’s purposes. Unfortunately, opening a doorway between our dimension and its own in this particular spot will destabilise the bridge, causing a collapse similar to that of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant during 1967.

Powers: Claw/grab, electromagnetic interference, menacing aura, paralysing screech, vertical take-off, flight (100 mph).

Weaknesses: The Mothman is disturbed by electromagnetic signals, so it tries to stay away from built-up areas. When facing the Mothman in such circumstances, the hunters receive +1 ongoing.

Attacks: Claws (4-harm, hand), paralysing screech (see custom move).

Armour: 2-armour

Harm Capacity: 12

Custom moves:
Menacing Aura: anyone within 5 metres of Mothman takes -1 ongoing unless they act under pressure to resist the fear instilled by its unnatural presence.
Paralysing Screech: Roll +Cool. On a 10+ you’re able to act normally, on a 7-9 you take -1 forward (this stacks with the -1 ongoing from Menacing Aura), on a miss you are incapable of acting until Mothman has made its next move.

Day: Local farmer Daryl Ostler investigates his dog’s barking and abrupt silence during the night and finds the dog and two of his cows dead. He gets the briefest glimpse of a winged creature shooting off into the sky, then it’s gone.

Shadows: The Mothman is encountered by a pair of teenagers, Ericka Mceuen and Jessie Belin, camping out in the pine barrens. They’re paralysed with fear by the creature’s blazing red eyes, unable to move or look away until it takes off into the sky.

Dusk: The Mothman spooks a truck driver, Guy Earnshaw, on the road near the pine barrens, causing an accident. Several people are killed in the collision, and the driver is left in critical condition, babbling about ‘those eyes’.

Sunset: The Bukowski brothers successfully track the Mothman to its hideout in the pine barrens and try to kill it. In the fight that follows, Lance is killed and the Mothman escapes, leaving Allan as the only witness.

Nightfall: The Mothman locates the nexus point on the Abbotsview Bridge and makes its way there to open a portal home.

Midnight: The Mothman opens a portal to its home dimension on the Abbotsview Bridge, causing the bridge to collapse, killing many of the motorists crossing the bridge at the time.

Name: Allan and Lance Bukowski

Description: Allan is in his mid-30s, with long curly brown hair and a goatee, and well-built. Lance is in his late 20s, with short, slicked-back dark hair and a couple days’ worth of stubble, of wiry build.

Type: Helper

Motivation: to join the hunt

Allan and Lance were the ones that found the dead deer while hunting in the pine barrens. When rumours start to spread about the Jersey Devil being at large in the area, the two brothers decide to try and track it down. A catch like that is bound to fetch them a pretty penny.

Name: Sheriff Eve Boatner

Description: Chubby faced with long brown hair tied back in a pony-tail, Eve is a little plump, but in good shape. She has dark blue eyes.

Type: Official

Motivation: to be suspicious

Sheriff Boatner has enough to worry about with the cattle mutilations and the Bukowski brothers’ mad search for the Jersey Devil without some myth-chasing video crew wandering around bothering the townsfolk.


Name: Lake Abbot

Description: Lake Abbot is a mid-sized town which is home to about 4,000 residents. It’s a quiet community, with a few local amenities centred around the Lake Abbot Shopping Center.

Type: Crossroads

Motivation: to bring people, and things, together

Lake Abbot rests on a nexus point between dimensions, which has allowed the Mothman to stray into our reality.

Name: Pine Barrens

Description: A heavily forested area which surrounds the town of Lake Abbot.

Type: Den

Motivation: to harbour monsters

While the Mothman tries to locate the weak point between dimensions, it must take shelter in the Pine Barrens, as the electromagnetic signals of modern technology cause it distress.

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