Playbook: A Boy and His Dog

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Playbook: A Boy and His Dog
« on: April 11, 2011, 10:52:04 AM »
(hearing this playbook mentioned on the latest Walking Eye podcast inspired me to update the playbook.  First thread is here:

A Boy and His Dog

A Playbook for Apocalypse World

No matter where you go, you're always alone in this world.  Sure, there's other people, but they all have their own wants and needs and they're looking out for number one.  Not you.  You've got a true friend.  You've got a Dog.

Creating a Boy (and a Dog)

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


Alfa, Basset, Bruno, Buddy, Bull, Buster, Cal, Davey, Dingo, Doberman, Dog Boy, Dog Girl, Dogmeat, Husky, Max, Mutt, Pa, Rex, Rocky, Scooter, Spots, Terry, Whisper


Boy, Girl, Ambiguous

Utility Wear, Casual Wear, Hunting Wear, Scrounge Wear, Ratty Wear, Way-too-Big Wear

Chubby Face, Droopy Face, Kind Face, Strong Face, Weathered Face, Baby Face

Curious Eyes, Bright Eyes, Inspiring Eyes, Quirky Eyes, Soulful Eyes, Tired Eyes

Compact Body, Healthy Body, Mid-Pubescent Body, Small Body, Husky Body


Choose one set:

Cool +1 Hard -1 Hot =0 Sharp +2 Weird +1
Cool +1 Hard =0 Hot +1 Sharp +2 Weird -1
Cool -1 Hard +1 Hot =0 Sharp +2 Weird +1
Cool =0 Hard +2 Hot -1 Sharp +2 Weird -1


You get these two:

Bond of Loyalty

When someone inflicts Harm on your Dog, you gain an equal amount of History with them.  When someone Heals your dog, you gain an equal amount of History with them.  If someone kills your Dog, they set their History with you to -3.


When you give your Dog a command, roll + Sharp.  On a hit, the Dog does it.  On a 7-9, pick one, on a 10+, pick two.
*Your Dog performs particularly well.
*Someone your Dog is helping gains +1 forward.
*Your Dog isn't harmed or hindered.
On a fail, the Dog will refuse the command, or will fail to carry it out.

Additionally, pick 2:

Animal Lover

When you Read an Animal, roll + Sharp.  On a hit, you may ask them questions as if you had used the Read a Person move on them.

Dog Wisdom

When you are with your Dog and wonder about what your Dog thinks is the best course of action, gain Insight.


When you and your Dog fight together, you count as a small gang.  Harm 3, Armor 1.

Get 'Em, Boy!

When you use your Dog to Go Aggro or Seize by Force, add +1 to your roll.  Increase the harm your Dog does by 1.

Somewhere Over the Wasteland

Name a person, place, or thing.  Roll + Sharp.  On a10+, you know exactly where it is.  Choose one from the list, and the MC chooses 1 more.  On a 7-9, you have a pretty good idea where to find it.  Choose one, and the MC chooses 2 more.  On a miss, you only have a vague idea where to find it, and the MC chooses 3, and picks one of those to have double effect.
*It's in dangerous territory.
*It's far, away.
*It's already been claimed.
*It's not quite what you expected.
*It's in danger.

Tough Doggie

Your Dog gains +1 Armor


Name your Dog.  Take a name off your Playbook or another one.

Choose it's Strengths, up to 2.
Bloodhound, Clever, Fast, Fierce, Friendly, Healthy, Huge, Independent, Obedient, Small

Choose it's Looks, up to 2.
Compact, Huge, Mangy, Mutie, Mutty, Pretty, Sleek, Well-Bred

Choose a Weakness:
Filthy, Fickle, Horny, Lazy, Loud, Mean, Sickly, Slow

If your Dog attacks someone, it does 1-Harm.  Your Dog has no armor.  Your Dog has the full Harm countdown clock.

If your Dog dies, you can spend an advance to get a new one.


In addition to your Fashion (worth up to 1 Armor, at your discretion), you get a Scrounged Weapon, and Oddments worth 3 Barter.

Scrounged Weapons:

Enough Knives (2 harm hand infinite)
Hatchet (2 harm hand messy)
Homemade Boomerang (2 harm close returns messy)
Molotov Cocktails (1 harm ap close area messy -loud refill)
One Grenade (4-harm close area messy loud expendable)
Trusty Pistol (2 harm close reload loud)


Tell each other player -1.  You're closer to animals than people.  But if someone else has an animal (like a pet or something), tell them +1.  You get along with other animal people.

On everyone else's turn, listen to what they tell you, and choose one or both of the following:
*One of them went out of their way to be nice to your Dog.  Whatever number they tell you, add 1 to it.
*One of them was mean to your Dog.  Whatever number they tell you, ignore it, and write down -2.

For everyone else, take the number they tell you and give it -1.  You're closer to animals than people.

Boy Special

When you have sex with another character, you have grown up.  Immediately choose a new playbook.


_ +1 Cool (max +2)
_ +1 Hard (max +2)
_ +1 Hard (max +2)
_ +1 Sharp (max +3)
_ +1 Weird (max +2)
_ Get a second Dog.
_ Get a new Boy and his Dog move.
_ Get a new Boy and his Dog move.
_ Get a move from another playbook.
_ Get a move from another playbook.
_ Get 2 Gigs and Moonlighting.
_ Get a Gang and Pack Alpha. (Your gang is kids, dogs, or a mix of both.)

The following Playbooks gain this as an advancement option: Chopper, Driver, Faceless, Gunlugger, Operator, and Skinner.
_ Gain a Dog and both Bond of Loyalty and Tricks.

Re: Playbook: A Boy and His Dog
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 10:54:53 AM »
The first playbook wasn't really certain on whether or not the Boy should have to be a kid or not; it's explicit in this one- you're a kid with a dog.  (Some inspiration, especially for gear, was taken from the other kid playbooks out there.)

Yes, the Boy starts with four moves.  Bonds of Loyalty really isn't that exciting- I count it as maybe half a move.  Tricks is now more interesting.  Dog Wisdom and Somewhere Over the Wasteland (both based on other folk's suggestions) are exciting.

Re: Playbook: A Boy and His Dog
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 01:44:47 PM »
I like the Boy special a lot. Also, do strengths, look and weaknesses have any effect, mechanic-wise ? I can see the Dog getting some kind of surplus and wants instead (after all, the dog can grant insight).

Re: Playbook: A Boy and His Dog
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 03:43:54 PM »
Crazy. I "got this idea" for a Boy & His Dog playbook a couple days ago but it clearly wasn't mine, I must have heard it at some level on the podcast.

Shamefully have to admit I haven't read the actual Harlan Ellison story (which is weird, because I've read a crapload of Ellison), though I did read the comic and see the movie.

I went more general - could be Boy & His Dog, could be Lyra & Pantalaimon, could be Huck & Jim, could be Newt & Casey (her little plastic doll head) ... or could just be a creepy sixth sense/The Ring kid.

I'm particularly proud of "If you and another character have sex, or if your companion is killed or destroyed, you grow up. Take the “Change your character to a new playbook” improvement.

Let's breed our playbooks together and create a new stronger playbook. [Shortly after I posted, noticed Feral Kid and Lost Boy ... must merge altogether into the ultimate child playbook!]

The Kid

Apocalypse World ain’t no place to have a kid. Maybe back in the day they would have been able to play on a playground, cuddle a doll, hug their momma. These days, they’ll do whatever to survive, just like anyone else. Course, for a kid to survive in Apocalypse World, they’re gonna need a friend.

Creating A Kid
Huck, Jody, Sawyer, Billy, Lyre, Timmy, Fin, Ichi, Wolfboy, “Kid”, Newt, Conrad, Jase

Cool+2, Hard+1, Hot=-1, Sharp+1, Weird=0
Cool+2, Hard=0, Hot=-1, Sharp+1, Weird+1
Cool+1, Hard+1, Hot=-1, Sharp+2, Weird=0
Cool+1, Hard=0, Hot=-1, Sharp+2, Weird+1
Cool+1, Hard=0, Hot-1, Sharp+1, Weird+2

Boy, girl, hard to tell
Tween, teen
Scrounged clothes, dirty clothes, overlarge clothes, fatigues with rolled sleeves
Expressive face, dirty face, freckled face
Shifty eyes, penetrating eyes, sad eyes, blaming eyes
Gaunt body, quick body, small body, fat body

Choose a companion: (counts as ally as if you rolled 12+ on advanced manipulate ... unless in want)
O doll, stuffed animal, blanket, charm - or a piece of one. can take 1 harm. +2 companion. want: desertion
O pet animal. can take 2 harm. +1 companion. want: desertion, hungry
O hunted adult. can take 3 harm and carry weapons or armor. +0 companion. want: desertion, hungry, found
O invisible friend. can’t be physically harmed, but can only take 1 harm from direct-brain-whisper-projection, etc. +0 companion. want: desertion

And choose two options
O is a “ghost” or is possessed by “ghost”. +read dead person. want: +haunting
O is tough or armored. +2 armor
O is vicious or armed. +sic ‘em, want: +savagery
O knows what’s going on. +insight. want: +judgment
O loyal. +1 companion
O scrounges/lucky. +1 barter

Companion names: Spot, Yeller, Paws, Tiger, Beelzy, Monkey, Blankie, Casey, Jimmy, Dolly, Mister Bun, Baby, Arnie.

At the beginning of each session, roll+Companion:
10+: everything’s hunky dory
7-9: choose one want
On a miss, choose two wants.
Companion wants only last one session even if you don’t resolve them in the fiction - if desertion, and you make your roll the next session, you find them / they come crawling back - if haunting, the -1 ongoing comes to an end.

Persistent Bugger: Use sharp instead of hot to manipulate.

Creepy Kid: +1 weird.

Scary Companion: take an additional option for your companion.

Slippery: you can get out of sticky situations and confinements. Works like eye-on-the-door, but can get you out of anything. What’s left behind will often be your companion, though ...

Little Monkey Wrench: you can aid at +2 instead of +1

Kid Special:
Kid cannot be your second playbook.

If you and another character have sex, or if your companion is killed or destroyed, you grow up. Take the “Change your character to a new playbook” improvement.

You can’t insight or sic’ em if your companion is in want, dead, or destroyed.

Insight: as per Hocus
Sic ‘em: go aggro +1 - 2 harm

Read Dead Person: You can read a dead person if you’re with their corpse / at their grave / at the place they haunt (up to the MC).
10+: ask 2 questions, they’ll answer truthfully (as they see it)
7-9: ask 1 question, they’ll answer truthfully (as they see it)
On a miss, they’re haunting you.

New wants:
Take -1 ongoing unless you’re doing what the haunt wants, until you’ve done what they want.

Your companion is found by people hunting him.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 04:04:59 PM by jdfristrom »