New Playbook: The Radio

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New Playbook: The Radio
« on: March 15, 2011, 02:31:11 PM »
Hey all, long time lurker and first time poster!

I’ve had this playbook idea bouncing around in my head, and since Luxe Eternal is callilng for playbooks, and since my group can’t seem to meet up to play AW (sad!), I figure I should throw this out into the world’s psychic maelstrom so I can excise the idea out of my head.

This playbook has not been playtested at all and is more of an exercise of my rusty design skills. Comments and criticisms welcome!

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The Radio
Most normals think of the world's psychic maelstrom as this screaming, broken void hovering in the back of your brain, but the Radio, well, the Radio thinks that too, but they fuckin' believe it's a good thing. They see the maelstrom as information, just fucked up information tossed in a blender, and people’s brains as the meat for the blender. And these crazies actually think that they can and should ride this information.

To create your radio, choose name, look, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Names
Newsboy, Anchor, Mic, Shout Out, Feedback, Voice Over, Offscreen, Beat, Tagline, DJ, Turntable, Spin, Tape Deck, Fadeout, Blogger, Anon, Spam, Broadband, Router, Wireless

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

Moves
You get all the basic moves. You also get receivers and one more radio move.

Look
Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing, or concealed.
Rags, old military clothes, fetish-bondage wear, or t-shirts and jeans.
Disheveled face, grizzled face, emaciated face, plump face, or ashen face.
Dead eyes, sunken eyes, tired eyes, deep eyes, ruined eyes,  or sad eyes.
Flabby body, skeletal body, toned body, crippled body, or scarred body.

Gear
You get:
   1 personal weapon
   1 paranoid weapon
   oddments worth 1-barter
   fashion suitable to your look, including at your option, a piece worth 1-armor

Personal weapons:
 many knives (2-harm hand infinite)
 baseball bat (2-harm hand)
 machete (3-harm hand messy)

Paranoid weapons:
 sniper rifle (3-harm far hi-tech loud)
 shotgun (3-harm close messy)
 hunting rifle (2-harm far loud)

Hx
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:
   Tell everyone Hx-1. You keep to yourself.

On the other’s turns, choose 1 or both:
   One of them knows something or does something you really admire. Whatever number that player tells you, add +1 to that.
   One of them knows something or does something you really detest. Whatever number that player tells you, add +1 to that.
   Everyone else, you haven’t had the time to get to know them. Whatever number they tell you, subtract -1 to that.

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

Radio Moves
Receivers: You get a small stable of willing antennas. They function like willing subjects of ride the airwaves, but you gain full control of their bodies. For all intents and purposes, you are the same person as the antenna.

In order to ride an antenna, you have to manipulate them first. If successful, your body falls unconscious, and you wake up instantly in the body of the antenna. Each time you ride an antenna, everyone else changes their sheet to say Hx-3 with you.

Each antenna has a unique advantage compared to the other ones. When you ride a new antenna, choose one of the options below and cross it out:
+1 Hard
+1 Sharp
+1 Hot
+1 Cool
Once you cross out the fourth option, erase your marks and you can choose them all over again.

You can lose an antenna if they die or if they become unwilling.

[Note to the MC: Don’t forget to treat each antenna like a real person. Name them, give them desires, etc.]

Static: You can choose to roll+weird instead of roll+Hx when you interfere with someone who’s rolling.

Ride the Airwave: If you touch an unwilling or willing NPC, you can ride their senses and see and feel and taste what they see and feel and taste. It works like read a person with a roll+sharp, but you can spend your hold whenever you want to ask your questions. For each NPC that you have a hold, you suffer -1ongoing.

Remote Viewing: You don't have to be physically present to use the radio moves receivers, static, or ride the airwaves, but an NPC you have met must be physically present in the situation.

Ear-worm: During a conversation with a NPC, you can roll+weird. On a 10+, you gain 1-ongoing with them. On a 7-9, you gain +1forward with them,

Cloud sourcing: You can ask the world’s psychic maelstrom for the name of the person who can help you best with your current problem. State the problem and your proposed solution and roll+weird. On a 10+,  you get the name and +1forward if you interact with the person. On a 7-9, you get the name and +1forward, but someone else also learns the name and reason for your query. On a miss, someone else learns the info, but you don't.

Radio Special: If you and another character have sex, roll+cool. On a 10+, choose 1. On a 7-9, they choose 1. On a miss, they get to hold 1 and spend their hold at any time. As long as they have a hold, you have -1forward with them.
Choices:
 - You tell them a secret. They gain +1Hx with you.
 - They must give you something they think you want as if you had chosen that option for going aggro. They gain -1Hx with you.
 - They tell you a secret. You get +1Hx with them, but you get -1forward with them if you act on the secret.
 - Nothing else happens. It was pretty casual.

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

 get +1cool (max cool+2)
 get+1hard (max hard+2)
 get +1hot (max hot+2)
 get+1sharp (max sharp+2)
 get a new radio move
 get a new radio move
 get a holding (detail) and wealth
 get another four antenna
 get a move from another playbook
 get a move from another playbook
---
 get +1 to any stat (max stat+3)
 retire your character (to safety)
 create a second character to play
 change your character to a new type
 choose 3 basic moves and advance them
 advance the other 4 basic moves

*

Ariel

  • 330
Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 03:03:20 PM »
This is fucked up and awesome.

The moves all need a little polish but the core idea is brilliant.

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 03:10:22 PM »
Cloud-Sourcing is awesome!

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 04:27:41 PM »
Cloud-Sourcing is my favourite, too.

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 08:05:21 PM »
Good concepts. All the pluses and minuses and holds are a mess. It'd be a hell of a lot of bookkeeping to play in the state it's in. That said I'm sure it can be cleaned up with a bit of thinking.

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 03:03:37 AM »
Wow. I did not realize I had gone a little mad with all the forwards and the ongoings and the holds.

I think they need to stay with Ride the Airwaves, but I can definitely change Ear-Worm since I'm "meh" about it. I'm really not that excited about the sex move either...

And I can definitely cut the forward in Cloud-Sourcing. I don't even know why I threw it in there.

But I'm open to suggestions! Making playbooks for AW is all kinds of fun!

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 11:32:31 AM »
This is a really awesome concept. I'm a bit disappointed at how few of the moves allow for interaction with PCs though. Overall, I have to agree that the book keeping involved might make things drag a little. (Though I've never had a problem with the Skinner move Hypnotic, which I guess is about the same degree of action.)

I'm also surprised to see that you don't have an option for getting a cult. Radios seem like just the sort. (Maybe their Special move should just automatically make someone a Receiver?)

T-shirt and jeans!

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 02:41:07 PM »
Wow. I did not realize I had gone a little mad with all the forwards and the ongoings and the holds.

I think they need to stay with Ride the Airwaves, but I can definitely change Ear-Worm since I'm "meh" about it. I'm really not that excited about the sex move either...

And I can definitely cut the forward in Cloud-Sourcing. I don't even know why I threw it in there.

But I'm open to suggestions! Making playbooks for AW is all kinds of fun!

Maybe the sex move lets the partner know without a roll when they're talking to him when hes riding someone else?

-JC

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 10:02:37 PM »
I've been meaning to get back to cleaning up this playbook, but I've been distracted by running the game. It's a good problem to have.

I really like Tim Ralph's idea of having the special move create a new receiver. It fixes a couple of conceptual problems I had with the playbook in a simple, elegant solution. I'm haven't decided if the Radio has to give up something yet...

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 03:41:31 PM »
Hmm... I've been cleaning this playbook up, getting rid of all those ongoings and forward, eliminating all those NPC-only moves, and fixing the special sex move, when I realized a play issue:

As written in the new version, when a radio has sex with another player's character, that character becomes an antenna, but being an antenna means that the player's character loses control of their bodies at the radio's whim.

So, should I let it go as it stands, or make the sex move only work on NPCs?

*

Shane

  • 10
Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2011, 06:44:45 AM »
Well, sure NPCs can become antennae for the Radio. But PCs? They are just too fucking cool to be completely squashed - after all, the Radio gave up something to them too, y'know. Maybe if they go with the Radio's wishes they get to mark exp, otherwise they are acting under fire?

Regards,

Shane

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 03:23:45 PM »
How does this look?

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The Radio_version2
Most normals think of the world's psychic maelstrom as this screaming, broken void hovering in the back of your brain, but the Radio, well, the Radio thinks that too, but they also fuckin' believe it's a gift. They see the maelstrom not only as information, but a means to pass on that information to other people.

Radios are so eager to use that maelstrom to deliver their message, that they sometimes forget what the medium really is, a blender of razorwire and madness. Or maybe that's the point?

To create your radio, choose name, look, stats, moves, gear, and Hx.

Names
Newsboy, Anchor, Mic, Shout Out, Feedback, Voice Over, Offscreen, Beat, Tagline, DJ, Turntable, Spin, Tape Deck, Fadeout, Blogger, Anon, Spam, Broadband, Router, Wireless, Autotune

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

Moves
You get all the basic moves. You also get receivers and one more radio move.

Look
Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing, or concealed.

Rags, old military clothes, fetish-bondage wear, or t-shirts and jeans.

Disheveled face, grizzled face, emaciated face, plump face, or ashen face.

Dead eyes, sunken eyes, tired eyes, deep eyes, ruined eyes, or sad eyes.

Flabby body, skeletal body, toned body, crippled body, or scarred body.

Gear
You get:
   1 personal weapon
   1 paranoid weapon
   oddments worth 1-barter
   fashion suitable to your look, including at your option, a piece worth 1-armor

Personal weapons:
 many knives (2-harm hand infinite)
 baseball bat (2-harm hand)
 machete (3-harm hand messy)

Paranoid weapons:
 sniper rifle (3-harm far hi-tech loud)
 shotgun (3-harm close messy)
 hunting rifle (2-harm far loud)

Hx
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:
   Tell everyone Hx-1. You keep to yourself.

On the other’s turns, choose 1 or both:
   One of them knows something or does something you really admire. Whatever number that player tells you, add +1 to that.
   One of them knows something or does something you really detest. Whatever number that player tells you, add +1 to that.
   Everyone else, you haven’t had the time to get to know them. Whatever number they tell you, subtract -1 to that.

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

Radio Moves
Receivers: You get a small stable of 4 willing antennas. They function like willing subjects of ride the airwaves, but you gain full control of their bodies. For all intents and purposes, you are the same person as the antenna.

In order to ride an antenna, you have to manipulate them first. If successful, your body falls unconscious, and you wake up instantly in the body of the antenna. Each time you ride an antenna, everyone else takes -1Hx with you.

While riding your antenna, they continue to communicate with you and are fully aware of your actions in their bodies. At any time, they may attempt to push you out, and to continue riding them is acting under fire. After pushing you out, your antenna may remain willing or may become unwilling.

You lose an antenna if they die or if they become unwilling.

[Note to the MC: Don’t forget to treat each antenna like a real person. Name them, give them desires, etc.]

Static: You can choose to roll+weird instead of roll+Hx when you interfere with someone who’s rolling.

Ride the Airwave: If you touch an unwilling or willing character, you can ride their senses and see and feel and taste what they see and feel and taste. It works like read a person with a roll+sharp, but you can spend your hold whenever you want to ask your questions. For each character that you have a hold, you suffer -1ongoing.

Remote Viewing: You don't have to be physically present to use the radio moves receivers, static, or ride the airwaves, but a character you have met must be physically present in the situation.

The Medium is the Message: Each time you open your brain to the psychic maelstrom, you can insert information as if you have picked the same option under augury (cf. hocus). If anyone acts on that information, they get +1forward.

Cloud sourcing: You can ask the world’s psychic maelstrom for the name of the person who can help you best with your current problem. State the problem and your proposed solution and roll+weird. On a 10+, you get their name and current location. On a 7-9, you get the name and location, but someone else also learns the name, location, and reason for your query. On a miss, someone else learns the info, but you don't.

Radio Special: If you and another character have sex, the other character automatically becomes one of your antenna. If that character is a PC, then anytime you ride them as an antenna, they gain +1Hx with you instead of -1Hx. Also, if the PC's body takes Harm while you are riding them, they gain Hx with you as per rules of taking Harm.

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

 get +1cool (max cool+2)
 get+1hard (max hard+2)
 get +1hot (max hot+2)
 get+1sharp (max sharp+2)
 get a new radio move
 get a new radio move
 get a workspace (detail) and oftener right
 get followers (detail) and fortunes
 get a move from another playbook
 get a move from another playbook

[Note to MC: yes, if a radio chooses the psychic antenna option for followers, they are all receivers]
---
 get +1 to any stat (max stat+3)
 retire your character (to safety)
 create a second character to play
 change your character to a new type
 choose 3 basic moves and advance them
 advance the other 4 basic moves

Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 05:12:41 PM »
Please add "Three-Dog" to the list of names. =D

*

Orion

  • 69
Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 02:43:08 PM »
This is a really neat idea.  Looking at the revised version, it can still be streamlined. 

Receivers: Why specify that they have to roll to ride an antenna?  A Chopper has to roll to quell resistance in his gang, not just to give an order.  Adding dice rolls just to let the character use his basic ability seems like it slows things down. 

Also, this business of reducing Hx one point at a time is gonna get boring for the other players.  And give them experience.  I also don't understand why he permanently gets less familiar in his own body, every time he leaves it.  Why not try "when you are riding the airwaves, all other players treat their Hx with you as 0"?

Ride the Airwaves is good, but tracking the ongoings seems unnecessary.  Why not something like "you can only ride one person at once" or "if you are riding 2 or mroe people, your body is unconscious" ?

Static, Remote Viewing, and Cloudsourcing are perfect.  Cloudsourcing especially is a fucking jewel of a move. 

Medium is the Message is a really promising idea.  I'm not sure about +1forward.  It doesn't affect NPCs at all, and it doesn't give PCs an actual incentive to *do* what you want.  Giving an XP bubble might be more interesting, although you might need to make the move a little harder to use. 






Re: New Playbook: The Radio
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2011, 01:48:14 PM »
Thanks for the feedback!

Receivers: Why specify that they have to roll to ride an antenna?  A Chopper has to roll to quell resistance in his gang, not just to give an order.  Adding dice rolls just to let the character use his basic ability seems like it slows things down.

I included the roll to ride an antenna for thematic reasons. I envisioned the Radio trying to balance between viewing his or her antennae as mechanical receivers and as people. With the Radio's low Hot score (perhaps I should get rid of the +1Hot option to further illustrate my point), they will most likely have to offer something to their antenna (seduce or manipulate on a 7-9) just to get to ride them. I intentionally made riding an antenna full of personal complications compared to a chopper's gang or a hardholder's gang.

But if it "just doesn't work", that's another thing entirely.

I'm changing the other moves per your feedback. I'm thinking of cutting riding the airwaves, for example, since it copies the receivers move (and even has a too-similar name), and I'm rapidly feeling "meh" about it.