AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."

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AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« on: June 27, 2010, 11:39:48 PM »
Apocalypse Report:

So, last night marked session one of our Apocalypse World game, with myself and 7(!) players.  I believe the large cast will make for some exciting storylines, there wasn't much screen time to go around- and once play got going, some folks got a lot more screentime than others.  (Tim and Misha got hardly any it seemed to me, but Misha made good work of hers!)

I do think the large cast will make well for episodic ensemble play- if only 4 of the players can make it, no big deal, we zoom in on those guys.  I will probably have to institute a 'no fucking with a player's power base while they're away rule.'

Our characters, in no particular order:

Beastie the Battlebabe, played by Tim.  We don't know too much about this guy yet- he showed up in his speedo and cowboy boots, and got laughed at by the Hardholders boys and had his ass kicked and thrown out- and that was before play even started!
Kim the Angel, played by Amelia.  Man, if there was one character in this group I would not trust with my unconscious body, it would be the Angel.  Total Mad Scientist vibe- looking to experiment with scavenged cyberware on unwilling test subjects.
Marsh the Brainer, played by Abram.  He's a brainer with a violation glove.  I'd still feel safer around him than the Angel.
Dark Enlight the Hocus, played by Shari.  When her cult has surplus, they party and open up links to the psychic maelstrom.  Did I mention that the hardhold is a nexus for the Psychic Maelstrom- ley lines, or some shit?  And that Marsh and Dark have extremely different visions of what the Maelstrom should be like.
(Also, Tim's character in my D&D game is a Drow Sorcerer named Maelstrom, so there's lots of jokes about that.)
Shit Head the Chopper, played by Len.  While I can't take the name seriously, there's a lot of good stuff going on with Len's gang- they are well disciplined, coming from some sort of military heritage survivalist settlement somewhere, and have a baseball theme.  Len has expressed an interest in taking over the hardhold.
Wolf, the Gunlugger, played by Misha.  Like the Battlebabe, a bit of a mystery.  But most of the action in the session was triggered by a chain of action starting with Misha.  I look forward to seeing how she'll react in other situations.
And finally, Frost the Skinner, a male exotic dancer, played by Sabe.  Frost works at The Shakedown, a club owned by greasy fat perv Jarvis.

We establish that the Shakedown, Kim's Infirmary (which is invite only), and Dark's cult all operate out of a small hardhold called Lincoln Town, in the middle of Wreck City, which is some sort of large, semi-ruined metropolis.  We start with Dark's cult augury opening a psychic vortex in the Shakedown and staging an impromptu party, Kim trying to inject Beastie with anesthesia and it going horribly awry.  Then Shit Head decides no one throws a party without him and his gang, but it stopped at the door- maximum occupancy, you know, first come, first served, and ends up deciding to have his gang party in the parking lot.  (Most of the important town buildings are in an abandoned and reclaimed strip mall.)  Marsh goes into the club to talk psychic philosophy with Dark, and possibly turncoat worshipper Winkle, 80-year old ecstasy cultist.  Dark reads Marsh, and learns that he'd most like her to touch his hand.  Why the hell not?  He deep brain scans her, and learns that she abandoned her little brother Shit Head as a kid.

Oh, and Wolf storms into the infirmary and kills one of Kim's lab assistants.

I was worried, especially at this point, that with a group of hardened IAWA players, everyone would be going for the throat right from minute one, which I don't think AP supports as well- you have significant safety nets in IAWA- more ephemeral characters, being at zero dice meaning many different things, only one of which is death, etc.  AP has actual hit points, and Wolf does 4 fucking harm with her Magnum Pistol.

During character creation, Sabe decided that Kim and Frost are lovers, but Wolf loves Frost.  (Sabe and Misha are a couple in real life, for what it's worth.  An adorable couple.)  So Wolf decides that Kim is in her way, kicks down the door to the infirmary (seize by force, inflict great harm on the door with her boot), goes aggro on Char, overgrown burncovered lab assistant, and shoots him right in the chest, then goes aggro on Kim.  There's some discussion about what you can do when you are went aggro on, especially when it's a +3 Hard Gunlugger who rolled 10+ against you.  Wolf's command was 'bug out,' so Kim flees- into the arms of pissed off Beastie, who's still waiting nearby.  Beastie decides to forgive her for now, and side with her versus Wolf.  Wolf comes out, sees Kim, and is mad at her.  Aggro may have been went.  Beastie picks up Kim and flees with her one way around the stripmall, and Wolf saunters around the other.  Kim is, of course, fleeing to Frost, who Wolf is now also on the way to see.

Everyone ends up in the parking lot, where Shit Head's bikers are partying.  Some of the Hardholder's boys show up.  Everyone has guns, and there's a nice big mexican standoff.  Shit Head sends one of his guys in to get Frost- it gets out that this dispute is somehow about him.

Frost gets everyone to shut up, and Wolf and Frost have a standoff of their own, which goes Frost's way.  Wolf, a woman of few words, decides that Frost is a total bitch, and decides she doesn't need him.

That was a whole exchange of moves having consequences and building on each other.  I didn't get to ask as many questions as I'd intended to- there's still a lot I don't know about the holding that I wanted to come from the players, and I don't think I have enough established to make more than a front or two, and I feel if I author more stuff than that, I'll be creating too much.  I don't know- still getting the hang of this.  Certainly a great session, everyone's eager for more, and I've already got some great ideas on how to push the characters' buttons.



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Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 05:37:45 AM »
SEVEN PLAYERS! Me and John were bitching about FOUR.

Fuck me, I would not even know where to start with managing the spotlight.



  • 285
Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 08:47:20 AM »
Shit head is my favorite name in any of the playbooks. I hope someday to play my own Shit head the Chopper, but in the meantime I am glad it is getting some use.
Tupacalypse World

Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 06:49:08 PM »
I have fronts!  Players, don't read these.  Other folks, read them, and let me know what you think.

(If someone starts to seriously make a bid for hardholder, I think most of the Home Front moves will become an actual Front Front.  Also, the Screwfly stuff disturbs me something fierce, as it should.)

The Home Front:

Threat: Abe & Company
(Dictator: Impulse- to hang onto Lincoln Town, no matter the cost.)
Cast: Abe, his enforcers (Sunny & Lugnut) his wives (Princess, Anastasia, 12 year old Kitty)

Threat: Jarvis & The Shakedown
(Slaver: Impluse- to own this fucking town, and turn it into his personal playground)
Cast: Jarvis & his crew (Shan, Starburst)
Jarvis starts asking around to local badasses.

Threat: Shit Head's Gang
(Hunting Pack: To hunt out and victimize any vulnerable, especially those not in the gang.)
Cast: LT, Catcher, Wite Out, Shortstop

Threat: Way the Moon Eyed Nurse
(Family: impulse to run and hide)

Custom Moves:
Can you live with yourself in the morning?  If you have sex with Jarvis, take -1 forward. 
Can you look Abe in the eye and lie to him?  If you have sex with one of Abe's wives, the next time you talk to Abe, it's acting under fire.  (fire is, he knows)

The Psychic Storm:

The Dark Future:  If nobody does anything, Mr. Sharp darkens the psychic maelstrom 'round Wreck City, the cult tears itself and Lincoln Town apart, and the sky turns blood red, spews out psychic and real tornadoes, and that fucker Sharp sets himself up as some sort of dark wasteland prophet god.

Will Dark's Cult rise or fall in prosperity?
What will the effects of the maelstrom have on Hannibal and Scanner?
Will Mr. Sharp corrupt the psychic maelstrom?

Threat: Dark Enlight's Cult
(Sybarites: Consume, consume, consume, and party.)
Cast: Cultists: Winkle, Kelly, Starburst

Threat: Mr. Sharp
(Mindfucker: Impulse: Destroy the world, come out on top.)

Threat: Hannibal
(Cannibal: Impulse: Keep up the status quo.  Eat people and make go-juice.)

Threat: Scanner
(Collector: Wants to own lots of pre-war tech, especially Kim's stuff.)

Threat: Satan's Crossroads
(Mirage:  Corrupt psychics.)
A weird dirt crossroads between Lincoln Town, Mercer, and two other hardholds.  Someone hung up a set of street signs reading 'Damnation' and 'Purgatory'

Custom Moves:
When you stand on Satan's Crossroads, you get +1 weird.
Scanner has a workspace and can work on tech like a savvyhead.
Mr. Sharp is a potent psychic, and can cause harm like a brainer.
When the cult parties, someone gets stuck paying the bill.  Somebody's got to cough up 1 barter.

You can't Seduce or Manipulate Mr. Sharp.  But you can make a deal with him.
When you make a deal with Mr. Sharp, roll + sharp.
On a 10+, he'll get you what you want, but you got to do something relatively minor in return.
On a 7-9, he'll get you what you want, but you got to do something in return.
On a miss, he says he'll get you what you want, but either asks for something huge but seemingly minor, or asks for something and then leaves you out to dry.

The Screwfly Outbreak:

The Dark Future:  Biggs and his guys find Dr. X and kill him, stopping any work on a possible cure.  Biggs sends someone (Vinny?) into Lincoln Town to start infecting people, then sparks a bloodbath, which leaves lots of people dead.

Will Dr. X complete his cure?  Will he live to see it implemented?
Jenns is still in the Mercer area.  What will happen to her?
What will happen to Bigg's new brutal society?
Will anyone in Lincoln Town get screwflyed?

Threat: Ruins of Mercer
(Breeding Pit- source of the Screwfly Outbreak and other assorted medical badness.)
Mercer was a hardhold sprung up around Mercy Hospital.  But then they got screwflyed.  Poor bastards.

Threat: The Screwfly Outbreak
(Disease: To infect men.)
The Screwfly Virus is a weaponized virus that alters men's sexual behavior.  It makes them associate killing with sex.

Threat: Screwflyers
(Disease Vector: Rape and kill women)
Includes- Mr. Biggs, former posh hardholder and now more of a brutal gangleader, Phineas and Torque, and Vinny, a trader from Lincoln Town.

Threat: Dr. X
(Mutant: Craves forgiveness.)
This bastard is responsible for the whole outbreak- he figured he could modify the screwfly virus, and use the positive properties to use the virus to create a bunch of supersoldiers.  All the Screwflyers were originally injected by him personally.  He's hiding in the hospital- they're pretty darned pissed right now.

Custom Moves:
When you salvage through the ruins of Mercy Hospital, roll + Sharp.  On a 10+, you find some useful piece of medical equipment- 3 stock for an Angel Kit, or some sort of high-tech equipment.  On a 7-9, you find one barter worth of useful stuff.  On a 6, you find trouble- maybe a mysterious vial, or maybe some of Bigg's men.

If you come into contact with the Screwfly Virus (either through injection, or somehow having sexual contact with another victim), roll.  On a 10+, you aren't affected.  On a 7-9, you contract the virus, start at 3.  On a miss, you contract a full blown case of the virus, start at 9.  Women are immune.

Screwfly Countdown:
3:  You're more irritable than normal.  Also, at the start of every session, roll.  On a 10+, you're cured.  On a 7-9, the virus doesn't get worse.  On a miss, it advances one step.
9:   You're starting to feel the effects.  You get +1to Go Aggro or Seize by Force against women, but -1 to Seduce, Manipulate, or Read them.
10:  You can't Seduce, Manipulate, or Read women.
11:  If you're in the presence of a woman, and you don't rape and kill her, it counts as acting under fire.
12:  As 11, but you get -1 to the roll.

An Angel with an Infirmary can research a cure.  The cure can be applied like healing harm:
Roll + stock spent.  A 10+ eradicates the infection; choose 2 downsides from the angel healing list.  A 7-9 eradicates the infection; chose 3 downsides from the angel healing list.  A miss: You think you got the infection taken care of, but you didn't.  MC picks one thing off the healing list.

Outbreak Macro Countdown:
0: It's just Biggs and his guys, they infect Vinny.
3: Vinny finds Jenns and kills her.
6: Biggs finds Mr. X.
9: Vinny goes back to Lincoln, infects some dudes.  Violence ensues.
10:  Someone important gets infected.  Abe, maybe.
11:  Biggs sends his guys to take over Lincoln Town, and infect any survivors.

Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 11:27:02 PM »
Session 2, AKA "Ways to Control People, that aren't Power, Money, Influence.... or Sex"

We were missing Amelia and Shari last night, so their characters were stuck in the lab, and out on hippie spirit journey, respectively.

We meet our, well not heroes, but survivors maybe, a week after the events of the first session.  Wolf and Frost have had time to heal up.  I've made my fronts, and come up with some questions to ask the players here or there, or questions just to pose to myself and see what happens.

One of those is "Will Frost sleep with Jarvis?"  Jarvis needs to give Frost a gift worth 1 barter, so he does- and hands over a snowflake pendant, and sort of nervously asks Frost to come to bed with him.  Frost reluctantly agrees.  Now we get to apply sex moves- not just Frost's Skinner move, but Jarvis has a sex move too: Can You Live With Yourself in the Morning?:  If you have sex with Jarvis, take -1 forward.  The players love it.

Other leading questions: I ask the chopper who's maybe planning on usurping the hardholder how long he's been screwing Abe's wife (since I got into town), and the Battlebabe who's bounty he's trailing (no one, I'm the bounty that someone's trailing.)  I think it's interesting that the player rejected my hook that I offered and instead countered with his own- certainly good for player agency, but it meant I had to step back and evaluate it, and the potential of a bounty hunt was shelved for at least a session while I had time to rethink the situation.  Tim's battlebabe was fairly parched for direct bangs for the night- he was offered a fairly simple job by Jarvis, which he did.  He spends most the rest of the session wallflowering.

Frost complains of a headache to Marsh, and wackiness ensues: Marsh assumes Jarvis is a brainer and is screwing (mentally) with Frost.  Frost puts his arm around Marsh while they go for a walk (to get time and intimacy for fascinate), blows his fascinate roll, and made the mistake of giving time and intimacy to the brainer.  Marsh blows his brainer roll for whatever he was doing, and deals harm to Frost.  More headaches.

Marsh:  "Frost, Jarvis is a bad man.  He controls people.  And I don't mean with his power, or money, or influence."  (Pause)  "And not with sex either."

Meanwhile, Abe has Shit Head the Chopper pull Wolf the Gunlugger in to speak with him, and decides what he's going to do with her for killing Char- and decides to make her Shit Head's responsibility.  Shit Head and Wolf go off to another hardhold, Mercer, to find some missing traders.  Along the way, Wolf wanders off to find supplies, gets horribly lost, gets ambushed by a cannibal family at a Big Boy Burger restaurant, knocked out, and taken in for meat.  Shit Head goes off alone to find her.  He kills the whole gang, but not before they put him to 10:00 on the harm dial and he finally passes out.  Later, Wolf recovers, and drags them both back to the gang, where she's now acting as temporary leader.

(This is going to lead me to create a free custom move for the Chopper:  When you put another character in charge of your gang...)

People see Frost walking around town with his arm around Marsh, so people assume they're a couple (especially given Frost's employer's reputation).  Later Marsh attunes to the psychic maelstrom, and gets a vision of the slaughter at the Big Boy Burger from the perspective of one of the ferals (and presumably sees his friends die), and cries.  A lot.  Frost learns how to open his brain (from Winkle, the 80 year old ecstasy cultist), and learns Mercer is bad news in a big way.  Wolf finds Vinny the trader, who says Mercer is bad news in a big way.

Marsh goes in a truck with 2 of Abe's enforcers to rescue the gang, blows his read another roll, so I ask him (as Lugnut) "what does your character wish I'd do?"  Marsh's default answer is "touch my hand."  Lugnut is understandably creeped out.  Frost and Beastie steal the local NPC savvyhead's truck (yeah, he'll be real happy about that) and take Winkle with them.  Somewhere along the way, pretty much everyone meets up, and Sunny, Lugnut, and Winkle split off to search the Big Boy Burger for clues, Wolf sends some of the gang to scout out Mercer, and everyone else goes back to get Shit Head medical attention.

Other fun quotes:
"Misha: So, is there any chance that one of Shit Head's gangers has a medkit and knows how to use it?"
"Ha ha ha ha, no."
(Though for what it's worth, if the player had called for a Fucking Thieves roll, he totally could have.  I didn't think of it at the time.)

"Tim: I want to read Jarvis.  What does he intend to do?"
"Oh, he's looking for muscle so he can overthrow Abe.  (As Jarvis): Yeah, it's just bouncing work to start, but if you take to it, maybe there will be growth opportunities."

Also, I learned that a small gang can seriously screw up 2 PCs, even fighty ones (Chopper and Gunlugger)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 11:29:49 PM by Willow »

Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 11:05:15 PM »
When you put another character in charge of your gang, that character gains Pack Alpha.  They use their Hx with you for all such rolls.

(Yes, even if you command your gang with Leadership.  And what happens if they don't want to give the position up?  Heh.)



  • 1293
Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 12:29:07 AM »
Their Hx with you! That's great!


Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 02:02:02 PM »
The player of the ambiguously gendered Hocus asked me if there was some way she could switch genders back and forth during play.  So I offered her this move:

Open Your Body:  When you Open Your Body to the psychic maelstrom, roll + weird.  On a 7-9, you change your character's physical sex.  On a 10+ you may make larger alterations to your physical build, changing your body type under look, and the next time you have sex, you hold 2 for your Focus move.
On a miss, the psychic maelstrom warps your body, and you can't use this move without an Augury.

When you use an Augury, you can Open Your Body as an Augury effect.  Treat it as if you got a roll of 10 when you made that move.



  • 1293
Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 02:28:12 PM »
Sweet damn.




  • 285
Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 02:31:51 PM »
I have watched a movie adapation of The Screwfly Solution and DANG.

I don't know if I could deal with that in a game.
Tupacalypse World



  • 26
Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 04:16:23 AM »
I like that!  But I also like this:
When You Open Your Body to the Psychic Maelstrom, roll+wierd. 
On a 10+ choose 3. On a 7-9 choose 1.  If someone aids or interferes
successfully, one of the choices is their's (for you). Changes are taken from your playbook (or optionally, other playbooks as well).

- Change your gender (male, female, etc.)
- Change your face
- Change your body
- Change your eyes
- Change your hands
- Change your age
- Everyone remembers you the way you are now
- Don't take 1-harm ap loud

Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 11:37:56 PM »
Session 3:
"Oh Daddy, You're The Best Daddy Ever!"

We were missing Wolf's player this time, and Kim and Dark were there to join us.  I gave their players start of session rolls- Kim's resulted in the cybernetic Pain Dampener being ready to go, just needing a host, Way having a mysterious black eye, and one of her sickbeds being full with a townie, Bongo.  Dark's went badly- the cult is talking up Winkle, Dingo ended up going to Mercer and hasn't been heard from, and Anastasia has been decrying the cult in public.

So the first fifteen minutes of play sees Jarvis round up his guys and burn down Abe's place, shoot most of the survivors, and take Anastasia and Kitty into 'custody.'  No status quos in Apocalypse World, right?  Dark comes down to hide with Kim.  Kim and Dark decide that Dark and Catcher will go try to rescue Anastasia with Kim's backdoor key.

Catcher is very opposed to this plan, but they keep badgering him, and against his better judgment, he goes.  When called upon to kick down the door and shoot Bingo, he hands his shootgun to Dark and turns to leave.  She points it at him, goes Aggro on him, orders him to stay.  He does.  She gives the shotgun back.  Catcher thinks long and hard about what he's going to do.  He kicks down the damn door.

I ask Dark's player to roll to Seize By Force.  She gets a 7-9.  Catcher shoots Bingo AND wings Anastasia with his shotgun.  Bingo shoots Catcher with his SMG.  Jarvis shows up, shoots Catcher and Anastasia.  ('Clearly you're more trouble than you're worth.')  Jarvis lets Dark go after having sex with her (now him) and extracting a promise that the cult will support Jarvis.

Later, the other characters show up.  Shit Head goes in the infirmary.  Frost goes to the Shakedown.  Marsh is Marsh.  Some random stuff happens:

Beastie has a confrontation with Jarvis and is walked out at point blank with shotguns; he could have thwomped Jarvis if he wanted to, but they would have gotten some shots off.  The player is very concerned with the potential damage of this.

Kim buys some medical supplies from Vinny, the survivor from Mercer.  Remember him?  He's acting weird.  Really weird.  He ends up restrained on one of her tables while she runs tests: he's suffering from some sort of bloodbound virus, and is really frigging violent.  She ends up curing him, but he bites her.

Shit Head comes to his senses.  He threatens Babe, one of his gangers and Kim's new assistant.  He heads off to reassert himself as the pack alpha.

Jarvis gives Kitty to Frost.  Frost tells Kitty he's going to "make her a star."  In spite of his best intentions, the former slave is convinced she's a slave again (and maybe she is).  Cue the title of the session, followed by orgasm noises, as she tries to show her new Daddy what a good girl she can be.  The less said about that scene, the better.

Marsh heals Bingo, and has lots of Weird visions.  He tries to brainfry Beastie into not trying to kill Jarvis yet.  We learn that he came from a settlement built around a malfunctioning cryogenic facility, where they ate dethawed but lifeless corpses.  Eventually the corpses ran out, and the settlement dispersed.

Two Regulators from the Mint, Dremmer and Balls came into town.  They work for Millions, a hard Hardholder who has a bounty on Jarvis.  They gave Shit Head's gang a huge arms shipment (they are well armed and in obligation to someone powerful).  Balls bought some testosterone and estrogen blockers from Kim; the reason they call him Balls is because he doesn't got any.  There's future badness right there: those hombres will have Beastie in their sights next session.

Re: AW AP- "Why'd you kill him?" "He was in my way."
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 11:39:21 PM »
Oh, and Sonny, Lugnut, and Winkle haven't been heard from.  I wonder if they're okay?

Dremmer and Balls, as fairly badass badasses have a move that lets the two of them count as a small gang.  (Not as badass as a gunlugger with the appropriate move, but still badass.)  I imagine Sonny and Lugnut probably have a similar move.