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Apocalypse World / Re: Advance Manipulation - too many allies
« Last post by Himalayan Salt on Today at 01:29:33 AM »
The Battlebabe's advance is available right away and you can decide who you want to be your Ally - that's what makes it valuable even though advanced Manipulate eventually becomes available. I played a Battlebabe and that was my first advance because I wanted my character's father to be special. Otherwise, he would have been viewed through the MC's crosshairs and possibly a Threat until I got five advances and had a reason to Manipulate him - and I would have had to get a 12+ for that to happen.

Also advanced Manipulate can very well lead to the end of the campaign - you are making more and more of the people around you genuine friends and removing them as Threats. You're establishing a status quo of sorts, since they're no longer targeted by the MC's crosshairs. It might be worth taking a look at the game and seeing if ending soon might be on the table, or maybe the Skinner is heading towards retirement and might take her Allies with her.
Apocalypse World / Re: Advance Manipulation - too many allies
« Last post by Munin on October 20, 2020, 02:28:45 PM »
The longest lasting AW campaign I've run capped out at 35 sessions. Of the five original characters, three were still in play (with the other two players having lost a character to death and retired one to safety respectively). We could have gone longer, but the campaign was at a satisfying end point so we wrapped it up. But here's the catch - the players explicitly wanted a slower progression to give them a chance to "inhabit" their characters for longer than you typically et in AW (where 10 sessions in you might be looking at "retire to safety" and "switch playbooks" as those among your dwindling supply of possible advances to left take). The only change we made was to double the amount of XP needed for an advance, and it worked perfectly. As a result it told a "slower" story, but that was by design.

Now, in terms of how to address you specific issue, I think one of the best things that can be done is to "put your bloody fingerprints" all over the allies. You're no longer looking at them through cross-hairs and they are no longer actively looking to mess with the PC - but that doesn't turn them into automatons. They're not suborning their parts to the Skinner's every whim. They still have wants and desires and needs and problems, and just because they're your ally doesn't mean those all stop. Indeed, being the PC's ally might make them worse. What do you do when your allies are competing amongst each other for your attention/favor/love? That warlord who you've turned into your love-toy - how do his goons feel about him "going soft?" Does he still command their respect? So sure, you can turn the Humongous into an ally, but doing so might intrinsically change him, for better or for worse.

As the MC you don't want to be a jerk and undermine what your PC has worked to achieve, but that doesn't mean you need to make their lives sunny and uncomplicated either.
Apocalypse World / Re: Giving new Battlebabes opportunities to kick ass
« Last post by Munin on October 20, 2020, 02:15:09 PM »
Part of the issue is one of MC/player expectations. Act under fire is only opaque if you as the MC are waiting for a player to say, "I 'act under fire' to..." - which to be clear you should basically never be doing. Your primary roll as MC is to determine when a PC's action (as described narratively in the fiction by the player) triggers a move and to call for the appropriate roll. As much as possible you want to abstract the move from the fiction such that your player isn't saying, "I 'go aggro' on this joker," but rather, "I stick my gun in his face and tell him to give me the Geiger counter" - at which point you (the MC) say, "Oooh, nice! Roll+Hard!"

In the context of the Battlebabe, act under fire is the move that is most often used when a PC is doing something daring, something where it feels like success shouldn't be automatic and/or some level of skill or chutzpah is required. It is most often the move that sets you up to be in a position to do some other move. So encouraging the Battlebabe to kick ass is best done by putting the Battlebabe in situations where kicking ass is appropriate.

That said, you need to take some care here, because while the Battlebabe is usually fantastic at starting trouble, not having a great Hard stat means they're often not so good at finishing the trouble they've started. Stand-up gunfights are for the Gunlugger. The Battlebabe excels at things that are not necessarily violent, but rather those things which are dangerous. No one is better at swinging across chasms, or scaling walls in the dark of night or tight-rope walking into the enemy camp. The Battlebabe is that rare person who can sneak past the guards unseen, dodge the enemy's strongest attack unharmed, slip a drug into someone's drink unnoticed, or run full-tilt through a minefield unscathed. If you present the Battlebabe with these kids of dangerous situations and call for roll+Cool to solve/get out of them, your players will catch on in a hurry.
Monster of the Week / My first Monster of the Week game
« Last post by Lambert on October 19, 2020, 11:18:21 AM »
Hey first of all thank you for making this game,
I came across it thanks to the McElroy's Adventure Zone and then again thanks to the good people at the 3W6 Podcast out of Vienna. I got the book a couple of years ago and always thought of running this as a second game, or short campaign but unfortunately The Dark Eye is too good and 3 years in my players want more. Anyway, I thought I could reconnect with some college mates and run a text only Discord based Monster of the Week game and we are in the process of setting that up. Our stick is going to be to be that my PCs were the Buffy Gang 10 years ago at high school, but their Buffy-esque character sacrificed herself and didn't get better. The group drifted apart, everyone dealt with the trauma in their own way, and now presto bad things start happening again bringing the old crew back together. They have grown a little, become more rounded people but also have more to lose now.

My first scenario is actually relatively close to one from the Tome of Mysteries (Big Haunt on Campus) only it is a form of the spirit of Medusa which attempts to deal with her Posidon (first death) and then later the lady who conjured her and then maybe her version of Perseus (i.e. the hunters, or friends of the first victim who try to take things into their own hands). We will see what happens.

anyway, I mostly posted to say thank you for creating this rad game, and maybe if anyone has any tips for me, I am definitely all ears.

All the best,

Apocalypse World / Giving new Battlebabes opportunities to kick ass
« Last post by thenewflesh on October 17, 2020, 02:32:02 AM »
A lot of new players in my games seem to pick the Battlebabe and then play cautiously and limply. I think part of it is that Act Under Fire is one of the more opaque moves when you're starting out. How do you recommend giving these players chances to breathe and kick ass?
Apocalypse World / Advance Manipulation - too many allies
« Last post by sirien on October 14, 2020, 06:54:27 AM »
I've tried to search for previous thread on the topic, but didn't find any. If there is one, sorry, just point me to it.

So, my beloved skinner upgraded her Manipulation (naturally) and she's got Hot+3 (naturally) and she just loves to manipulate and seduce people around her (naturally).

She is stacking allies like crazy cat-woman collects her pussies. (Naturally - her statistical chances of rolling 12+ are over 25%) That involves random NPCs as well as important/influential NPCs.

Now... this HAS to be wrong. Allies do not seem to be something one should be able to get by easily. The fact that Battlebabe does have "take an ally" - meaning ONE ally - as a whole one advancement option shows the relative intended scarcity of allies. And yet, my skinner's got... I don't even know :D ...about five? Just because she didn't even bother to take some she could and as a metagame decission passed on an opportunity to take about two other very powerful/influential NPCs as allies for game logic/drama purposes.

Now... I do not really need help managing this, I'm pretty fine juggling her allies around as needed and if it went off hand I can just agree with the player on how to handle it. But I have to wonder, just out of curiosity... this had to came up before, right? I mean - 25% chances to ally somebody - with some randomness on dice, for some players it will mean about 1/3 rolls or even more (at least for some period of time) ending with turning NPC into an ally. Some of these can be very powerful (warlords, gang leaders, hardholders...) - were there any in-system solutions / limitations found or suggested? (from AW logic alone or as house rules). Or is this how things are supposed to work (in that case - what about that battlebabe advancement)? Or is this because our game is now over 20 sessions long and it goes on with pretty much the same set of characters which started it (and AW was not built for such long-lasting campaigns with the same characters)?
Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Last post by Munin on September 29, 2020, 12:01:18 PM »
I have to admit that Seize by force already in first edition is the part of rules which is conceptually hardest to swallow for me, as it seems to dilute the boundary between failure and success (you will get harmed no matter what).
Taking Harm is not failure. It is the price of success. Or rather it's the ante to even have a shot at succeeding in the first place. When things have devolved to seize by force or single combat, bullets are flying and the situation is already well and truly out of control. Harm is just what happens to you while you're trying to get yourself out of the mess.
Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Last post by Himalayan Salt on September 24, 2020, 03:20:52 PM »
Seize by Force is when both sides are able to hurt each other and are willing to get hurt in return for accomplishing their goals. The 2e rule for SbF basically makes this "You can get what you want, but it'll hurt."

However, most characters aren't going to want to do this. Ideally you want to be in a position where you can hurt your enemy without them hurting you - most likely you'll then be Going Aggro or Suckering Someone. In that case you'll often need to do something else to get into that position first. But maybe if you don't have time, have a better Hard then the stats that you might need to use to make the move(s) that will get you into that position, or you're just badass enough to say it "Fuck it", you'll Seize by Force and deal with the consequences.
Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Last post by Lanic on September 23, 2020, 11:34:47 AM »
Thank you both for the answers! I read the recommended thread.

I have to admit that Seize by force already in first edition is the part of rules which is conceptually hardest to swallow for me, as it seems to dilute the boundary between failure and success (you will get harmed no matter what). The direction in which 2ed went seems only to make it more pronounced. In some, not so rare circumstances, you cannot quite succeed and you will not quite succeed.

Apocalypse World / Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Last post by Himalayan Salt on September 23, 2020, 12:35:38 AM »
Also keep in mind that taking Harm is a consequence, and the Harm roll can be called for even if you take 0 Harm. A small gang with shotguns would deal 4 Harm (minus whatever armor you have) unless you're someone like the Gunlugger or Faceless. And with the fortification, the fact that you held it doesn't mean everything's over - now you're in the position the people who ran the oil refinery in Mad Max 2 were in where a dangerous enemy put them under siege. How long can you keep them at bay, and will it be worth whatever they do to you or the place in the processes?
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