New Playbook: The Shell

  • 15 Replies
New Playbook: The Shell
« on: March 07, 2011, 08:24:52 AM »
So, I'm after the Quarantine booklet, and I figured an interesting way to go about trying to get it would be to write a playbook of my own. It's a bit of a work in progress, I've put the things I'm still thinking about in marked parenthesis, but I'm open to any comments.

The Shell
(*Not convinced on the playbook name. Thoughts?*)

Apocalype World hurt you. It cut you up, shaved bits off, and did a damn untidy job of welding the scraps back together. It doesn't matter how it happened; whether the sky rained fire or a convoy ran over you or you just didn't fit right in your mother's womb. No, what matters is that you aren't dead yet. Because that which does not kill us, right?

To create your shell, choose name, look, stats, mark debility, moves, gear and Hx.

Names: Mock Tyrtle, Hazy, Squint, Grey, Hermit, Auntie, Nails, Zombie, Lucky, Fallout, Stumps, Mannequin, Patches, Hook, Lobster, Pieces. (*Needs more names. Any ideas?*)

Scrounge wear, environmental wear proper to the local environment, tattered uniform.

Male, Female, Ambiguous, Transgressing.
Inspired face, pale face, crazed face, leering face, weathered face, scarred face.
Bloodshot eyes, hollow eyes, sleepy eyes, piercing eyes, missing eye(s).
Rangy body, twisted body, bony body, heavy body, withered body.

Choose one set:
Cool+0, Hard+1, Hot+0, Sharp+2, Weird+0
Cool+0, Hard+0, Hot+0, Sharp+2, Weird+1
Cool+1, Hard+0, Hot-1, Sharp+2, Weird+1
Cool+0, Hard+1, Hot+1, Sharp+2, Weird-1

Mark a debility
Shattered (-1cool), Crippled(-1hard), Disfigured(-1hot), Broken(-1sharp).

You automatically have:
It only makes me stronger
Whenever you mark debility choose a move from your own playbook. That debility you marked just now? It's already factored in below. Merry Christmas.

Now choose 3 from:

Saw that coming
When you read a situation, on a hit you may ask an additional question. When you're acting on one of the answers to your questions, you have +1 armour.

When you read a person, on a hit gain an additional hold. In addition to the questions listed, you may spend your hold 1 for 1:
+1 to interfere with that person,
+1 to act under fire where the fire is coming from that person.

I've had worse
If you or a person you're directly trying to patch up has just suffered harm and there's a risk they might die, roll + cool. 7-9 they are stabilised. 10+ stabilised and they heal 1 section. For NPCs this means that if they weren't dead outright, they'll live.

Everybody bleeds
When you inflict harm, if it would be reduced to 0 or less you still inflict 1 harm.

Everybody talks
When you have time and physical intimacy with someone, mutual or one sided, roll + number of debilities you have.  If the intimacy is one sided, they choose whether to have you inflict 1 harm AP on them. On a hit, ask them a question or give them a topic to talk about: On a 10+ they'll give you good detail and you get +1 forward if you act on the info. On 7-9 the info is mostly good, but parts may be patchy or inconsistent. If they're a PC, they can choose for you to take +1 Hx or -1Hx with them.

(*Could do with a miss result? This move feels clunky.*)

Everybody sleeps
When you come for someone while they're sleeping, roll +sharp. On a 7-9 choose 1 to be true, on a 10+, choose 2. On a miss, you don't get any, and you take -1 forward.

You know their exact position and what to look out for.
They don't have time to raise an alarm before you're on them.
They don't have time to reach for a weapon before you're on them.

Twitchy as all hell
When you act under fire, if you're outside of battle, roll +sharp rather than +cool.

See what I've seen
When you inflict harm, if it's with your bare hands, you may instead choose to inflict 1 psi harm.

Glimpsed the beyond
Whenever you go to 12 on the harm clock, you get +1weird (Max +3).

(*There's a lot of moves here. Maybe one should go? Could more be off a roll of +debilities*)

Shell Special
When you and another player character have sex they mark experience. Then they choose: either you mark experience, or they move one of your highlighted stats.

You get:
1 questionable weapon
1 worthwhile scrounge
Fashion suitable to your look

Questionable weapon:
Sawed off (3 harm close reload messy)
Crossbow (2 harm reload)
Crowbar (2 harm hand messy)
Prosthetic limb (2 harm hand)

Worthwhile scrounge:
Stun gun (S harm hand reload)
Hidden knives (2 harm hand infinite)
Scrounged mismatched pieces worth 1-armour, detail suitable to your look
Some mongrel animal (alive). Your choice and yours to detail

Everyone lists their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn.

List the other character’s names

Go around for Hx, on your turn choose whether your past makes you closed or open.
If closed, tell everyone Hx-1
If open, tell everyone Hx+1

On others’ turns
Choose one or both:
One of them is a blood relative of yours. Whatever number that character tells you, ignore it; choose a Hx from -3 to +3 and write that number next to their name instead.
One of them you blame for something. Whatever number that character tells you, ignore it; write Hx+2 next to their name instead.
Everyone else, write whatever number they tell you next to their character’s name.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

Shell Improvement
Whenever you roll a highlighted stat, whenever you reset your Hx with someone, mark and experience circle. When you mark the 5th, improve and erase.

Get +1 Sharp (Max Sharp+3)
Get +1 Cool (Max Cool+2)
Get +1 Hard (Max Hard+2)
Get +1 Hot (Max Hot+2)
Get +1 Weird (Max Weird+2)
Get a new Shell Move
Get a new Shall Move
Get 2 gigs (detail) and moonlighting
Get a move from another playbook
Get a move from another playbook
(*These don't feel particularly inspired. Thoughts?*)



  • 259
Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 10:09:17 AM »
The Shell
(*Not convinced on the playbook name. Thoughts?*)

"The Survivor", or, perhaps, "The Scarred".

Looking forward to seeing more of this.
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 01:01:33 PM »
It's an interesting playbook all right.  I have to admit I really like the idea of rolling +debilities... 

As for the stats, when I read the flavour text for The Shell I thought 'okay, this is gonna be a Hard playbook, or maybe Weird...' 

I'm not sure I understand the move It Only Makes Me Stronger.  You gain a new move every time you mark a debility?  The part about the debility being 'factored in below' is what's throwing me off.... 

Everybody Talks has a couple pretty obvious miss results.  Your victim tells you what you want to hear rather than the truth, or dies from your efforts.  Maybe he has friends who come for him.  Maybe he's not quite as restrained or helpless as you thought.  You could include a miss result with the move if you like, but as always the MC can just use it to make a move as hard as she likes.  As for PCs taking +1 or -1Hx, you could just let the default rules about taking harm from another PC stand.  Since you've just inflicted 1-harm, they would gain +1Hx with you.

Glimpsed the Beyond seems a little harsh with the 12 harm clock requirement.  The Angel has a similar move and all they have to do is lose a patient.  Maybe gaining +1weird whenever you mark a debility?

Overall, I'm liking the feel of this.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 09:10:13 PM »
I don't like Everybody Bleeds. I think it should be cut. My mind doesn't get where the fiction is coming from. You've been beat around a bunch, so now you can cut through flak jackets with your guns? You get to be somewhat armor-piercing? It doesn't make sense. Also, as written, suddenly when you slap someone (0-harm), it deals 1-harm. That's weird, too. Everybody Bleeds is the least interesting (it's worse than just getting AP), and also the least coherent with the character concept.

Paranoia is an awesome move. It lets you choose between asking questions and holing up in a mental trench. That's both a cool direction to take the question holds... and a hella flavorful option for the Shell. Awesome.

Saw That Coming is rad, too. For much the same reasons. I'd make clear that the +1armor granted from questions doesn't stack (with other questions). Otherwise I get like +3armor or +4armor from a solid hit.

I feel like having those two AND Twitchy as Hell is a bit of an overkill situation, though. Three different moves that are about using Sharp to navigate dangerous situations and escape harm? I think that's excessive, and I'd cut Twitchy as Hell. If they want their Sharp to help them when they're acting under fire, they can read a sitch with Saw That Coming.

Final feedback: you said that Everybody Talks felt a bit clunky/messy. Here's a suggestion for how to tighten it up, and also to add a set of PC options. At current, Everybody Talks doesn't have a set of options for interrogating PCs.

Everybody Talks
When you have time and physical intimacy with someone, and you want them to tell you something they've been keeping secret, roll +debilities. With NPCs, on a 10+ they tell you what you want to know, and you carry +1forward when acting on that information. On a 7-9, they talk earnestly, but their answers are patchy and incoherent. With PCs, on a 7-9, they can force your hand and suck it up, or cave and do what you want. On a 10+, same options, but if they force your hand then it counts as you rolling a 10+ to read a person, and if they cave and do what you want, they mark experience.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 10:24:26 PM »
Call it The Survivor.



  • 330
Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 08:14:34 AM »
See what I've seen should be time & intimacy and not harm with your bare hands, IMHO.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 04:24:25 PM »
Thanks people! Full reply when I have more time, but I'm working on the tweaks and things, and this has been helpful.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 11:32:02 PM »
Possible class names; I was thinking "The Ruined", "The Maimed", "The Wreck".

PC Names: Richard, Sand, Grit, Turner, Blister, Scorn, Nightcrawler, Vurm, Wayside, Rusty, Nail, Tom Screws, Gunderson

Move Ideas:

Do Unto Others...: When Siezing By Force Roll +Debilities instead of Hard (Max+3)

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 07:39:40 AM »
I believe you should trim it to 6 moves.  While they need tweaking I personally like It Only Makes You Stronger, Twitchy as Hell, Saw it Coming, Everybody Talks, Glimpse the Beyond.  If you are interested in hearing my move tweaks let me know.

One I will mention: I'm not a fan of the special move.  I don't read that and see the character concept in there or say ewww or Awesome.  Since I don't believe in naysaying without suggestion here's some possibilities...

Special Move
When you have sex with someone roll+weird. On a 10+ you see their death and gain a +1 forward when helping or interfering in situations similar to their death scene. On a 7-9 they see your first death and you both gain +1 Hx with one another.  On a miss they see their death and won't have sex with you again until similar circumstances arise and they don't die.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 07:45:41 AM »
Oooo, how about this:

When acting against you PCs are at -1.  On a miss that player should factor in how your disability lulled him into a false sense of security.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 08:13:35 AM »
Eruditus, I'm interested in hearing your tweaks. I can't trim it to six moves though: you start with four, you can gain another three from debilities and pick up two from advancement. Any less than nine and the character is being set up to suck.

And hey, Joe Mcdaldno might be sorting out layout and art. Which is a massive weight off my mind.

Full replies and tweaks coming.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 09:52:19 AM »
He's my thought on the moves thing... ( note: said with an air of suggestion. It's your design.  You asked for opinions and I'm giving mine but no worries or judgement if you don't take them.  I just approach this by saying, would I add this to my game. Your game might be different)

First, don't start with four.  Start with two or three.  Second, change advancement.  Have getting moves be through It Only Makes Me Stronger.  You really don't want a character whose schtick is " he gets more moves than everyone else." I wouldn't think.  You get moves through disabilities and push for violent conflict to get new moves.  You can then focus on getting OTHER improvements for your initial six.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 10:24:27 AM »

It only makes me stronger
Whenever you mark debility choose a move from your own playbook.

Choose 2:

Saw that coming
I would take out the additional question and just say if you are acting on a read a situation or read a person you gain armor+1.

I'm not seeing paranoia here nor do I see where this furthers the concept.  By all means sell me on it but I'd lose it to begin with.  If you are really keen on paranoia for the character (which makes a certain sense) then may I suggest: If you are the target of a character manipulating you, going aggro or taking something by force you may roll to hinder them first. Failure also indicates they gain a +1 to the roll as you were distracted by other worries.

I've had worse
I'd say keep the healing to the Angel.  If you'd really like some healing, get the Angels move in improvement.  Maybe something that stabilizes and gives you +1 Hx for it.

Everybody bleeds
Maybe make it a roll where you find a weakness and exploit it delivering 1-harm (ap) instead of whatever harm you would normally deliver.  This becomes a good decision point - more harm from weapons or moves or definite 1 harm.

Everybody talks
I get a torture vibe here and I think I see where it's going.  I'd make it exclusively one sided and if pillow talk is important to you then make it part of a special move.  Otherwise I dig this.

Everybody sleeps
This is an interesting stealth move that doesn't add much to the concept.

Twitchy as all hell
I dig this one.  Pretty standard stuff.  How does using sharp make him Twitchy, though?

See what I've seen
I don't know what you are going for here.  I'm not sold on it.

Glimpsed the beyond
This is rough but I like it.  If you are going to have more than six (ie seven moves, I'd keep this). Each brush with death makes him crazier.

Hope this is helpful

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 05:49:03 PM »
In response to Eruditus' feedback:

Number of Moves
I agree that having a bajillion moves for The Shell isn't the best solution to the fact that they gain moves through It Only Makes Me Stronger. I'd just have fewer "Gain a move from your own playbook" options on the advancement chart, and let people expand The Shell through collecting debilities. Hell, I'd even add an entry in the advancement chart saying "Gain a debility, and choose again."

Saw That Coming
I agree that the extra question is superfluous. His feedback is good.

Unlike Eruditus, I love Paranoia and think it's spot-on at present. Rather than asking questions, you can immediately leap to the conclusion that they're out to get you, and start setting up a defensive position. Instead of asking, you can just assume the worst. This move is brilliant as is.

I've Had Worse
I agree with Eruditus, that this move is stepping on the Angel's toes. I'd scrap it and add an advancement option: "Get an angel kit with 6-stock"

Everybody Talks
I agree that if it were exclusively about one-sided interrogation, it'd be more focused and rad.

See What I've Seen
I'd never choose to take this one. I don't find it very interesting. Others seem to like it.

Shell Special
What about this: When you have sex with someone, each of you mark experience equal to half the number of debilities you have, rounded up.

Re: New Playbook: The Shell
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 11:00:51 PM »
Shell Special
What about this: When you have sex with someone, each of you mark experience equal to half the number of debilities you have, rounded up.
Man! This crippled dude gets to fuck more often that the skinner!