Breaking the game...

  • 9 Replies
Breaking the game...
« on: July 05, 2010, 05:58:53 AM »

After our last couple of sessions - I've found that the players are caring less about the world and descending into full scale carnage...

The problem here (i think) is that the characters never really had any real connection to the places they were at. They were wanderers who came into town for a vague reason looking for work, and ended up destroying the town's defenses, letting it get savaged by mutated raiders and then running away after looting parts of the town - they stood by and watched the townsfolk be herded away by the raiders - presumably to be eaten...

Now they have moved onto another town on the outskirts of a ruined "old city". And already they are planning on how to rip apart the town...

They turned into raiders themselves.

Have they broken the game? (semi-sarcasm)



  • 330
Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 06:01:56 AM »
They haven't even started playing.

Set them on themselves.

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 07:38:14 AM »
I don't think anything is so wrong with playing raider, but there need to be problems facing them directly. You can't let them feel like the characters have control over the situation. They can totally be ruthless dicks, but oh shit they have to deal with X now.

I think maybe the next step is thinking about what would happen if the world were real. Do these psycho raiders really make honorable deals? Would the next town be so clueless as to let these guys in? Word of their assholeness has spread around the wasteland, and nobody will deal with them.

In the real world, if you're a murdering psycho, you can't go to a hospital if there's some weird glowing green fungus all over your crotch. How are the psycho raiders set for medical science? You know, that sort of thing.
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 07:46:09 AM »
Keep in mind your goal is to make their lives interesting, to YOU. Some ways I might do it if the PCs were set up to be a band of vicious and heartless raiders, personally:

See how far they're willing to go. You can just ask this when they open their mind to the world's psychic maelstrom, or put it into practice. This innocent camp of defenseless people, whose warriors all got wiped out a few years ago fighting off the last batch of raiders? What about this holding full of sick and starving diseased people, that barely have anything worth stealing?

Give them a challenge. A warlord with a fortress of stone and metal and a well-armed gang of vast size, and you don't have enough food to just wander off into the wasteland and find another target. Or maybe a less well-defended holding, but there's another band of raiders going after it, too: can you fight them off without destroying the prize you're fighting over?

Barf forth all the weirdness of Apocalypse World. Raiders have to deal with the fact that weird shit like Brainers and Hocuses, Perversions of Birth like Blind-Blue, Breeding Pits, Mutants, etc. And the World's Psychic Maelstrom, always there, always waiting for you to open up.

And if you've got a Chopper (or a Hocus, or an Operator, or anyone with a gang or crew improvement), man, use those NPCs the way the game tells you to. Name them, make them human, and then use them for PC-NPC-PC triangles before you put them in the crosshairs. And invoke their stuff's downside: If they don't have a savvyhead, where do they go when their bikes need maintenance? If they don't have an angel, what do they do when somebody gets sick? Things they'll need to find the services of an NPC for? It's a little bit complicated to just ride in, grab who you need, tie them up, and procure their services at gun-point.

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 08:11:47 AM »
What we have at the moment is a battlebabe, savvyhead, driver, and brainer, with a rescued medic NPC from the last place. They dont seem like much on first view, but the driver has his tank-like truck, the savvyhead keeps it in working order and makes his weird explosive weapons.. The battlebabe is a battlebabe :) and the brainer tends to keep the medic in order..

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 08:57:25 AM »
The brainer tends to keep the medic in order..

That spells juicy plothook to me! How does the brainer keep the medic in order? Unnatural Lust Transfixtion? All sorts of ways that could go "interestingly" even if it works, ala Vincent's advice on the move. Puppet Strings or Direct Brain Whispers? What happens the medic decides enough is enough, and forces the Brainer's hand?

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 11:38:54 AM »
I don't know, man.  My instinct is to say that it's not the MC's job to challenge the characters or make life difficult for them.  Your job is to be a fan of the PCs and your job is to play your Fronts.  So I feel like answering your question requires me asking: so what are your Fronts?  There's nothing wrong about being a gang of murderous assholes in AW, so I would suggest embracing it and trying to think about how to bring your other Fronts into play so the PCs can murder them too.

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 04:20:27 PM »
Yeah, Fronts might be key here. There's gotta be a hook in one of the PCs that you can use. Even completely weird stuff, like having an identical twin to one of the PCs show up in a camp, or just make the hard move and get some of the PCs captured, or break their transport and bring the badness to them. Creepy-ass dreams are good, too.

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 07:36:50 PM »
Yeah, you should be making that medic a threat, and figuring just what the hell (s)he wants.  To get away?  Get revenge?  Kill herself?  Maybe the Brainer's got her so screwed up he'll have to blow up her head to stop her- I don't know.  Pose yourself an I wonder question.

I wonder how far they'll go to keep the medic under control.
I wonder how they'll react to 'unusual' threats (weird mutants, perversions of birth, etc.)
I wonder how they'll react if a powerful hardholder sends an envoy with an offer of employment.
I wonder what they'll do if a powerful hardholder in a nuclear bunker puts a 100-Barter Bounty on their collective heads.
I wonder what they'll do if they have a chance to get their hands on a nuclear missile.

Re: Breaking the game...
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 06:21:04 AM »

Thanks all :) Very helpful :)