AP report - family game

  • 2 Replies
AP report - family game
« on: August 23, 2011, 06:02:29 AM »
I've never been motivated to post an AP report before, but this game was a lot of fun and the prospect of getting access to a fuller version of the rules appeals to me. I ran the game using the Version 11.03.06 - which I hope is the latest one.

Players: my wife, son and daughter (13 year old twins). Everyone has played some rpgs before; my wife and daughter weren’t too keen on 4e, but the prospect of a game more centred on story created by the players appealed to them - my son on the other hand will seize any opportunity to play a game regardless of what it is!

I’ve played AW a few times so I’m familiar with the rules, but I’ve not run it.
Character creation was easy and fun for everyone. The character sheets make that a breeze.
My wife has a female dwarven cleric named Fingolfr. She was taken in by the ‘Cult of Stone’ after her mother died in childbirth. This Dwarven cult commune with spirits embedded within rocks and minerals. Her father went on a quest in to the northern mines and was never heard of again.
My daughter chose to play a halfling thief named Hobolous (Hob). Hob grew up in a small desert town where he learned snake charming and sleight of hand trickery. Hob had a business (The Art of Burglarization) for some years and has mob contacts and enemies.
My son is playing a human Paladin, Ugbert (Ug), from the mountains of the north. He found religion and joined ‘The Brotherhood’, a fraternal organisation devoted to the acquisition of arcane knowledge.
I asked what Ug knew of the ‘fountain of youth’ and was tole that it is said to be located in the mountains of his home. I found the asking of questions worked well. When I asked my wife why she disliked the leader of her cult she said she didn’t, but when I encouraged her to accept the loaded question and go with it, she responded that the cult leader was a lecherous old dwarf.

The bonds set up some good ties between the characters, with both the cleric and the paladin wanting to convert the thief to their respective religion.

All that took perhaps an hour to an hour and a half. There was a lot of chat descriptive detail, and I tried to note down pertinent points which I though I could later incorporate.

We then played for about an hour. I decided to throw them in to a simple action scene akin to the start of Indiana Jones. I told how they’d gone on a quest and asked them what had led them to search the mines? Ug said his order had sent him in search of the Horn of Keshorn, the dwarf sought strange minerals and the thief great wealth. That seemed enough motivation. I set the scene; a dark tunnel, skittering sounds ahead in the shadows. Behind lay an abyss which they had recently leapt, losing a hireling in the process (we didn’t play that, I just said it had happened).

So there the three of them were, peering in to the gloom. Hob tries to Discern Realities and is successful. She’s a little unsure which questions to ask and how. But I prompt her to simply pick 3 questions and the provides some inspiration for me to describe the spidery creatures and a figure hanging in a web further up the tunnel. Hob goes for sneaking through the tunnel past the spiders to the figure. I ask for a Dodge roll (acting despite imminent threat) and she score an 8. I struggle to think of a hard bargain, worse outcome or ugly choice - or should that be on a fail? Perhaps it should have been stumble, hesitate of flinch? I figure that it should be limited success and Hob gets to the body but has a spider thing on his back - it’s not attacking at present. Fingolfr follows.

Ug hacks and slashes several times while the other two investigate the body. I keep the damage low (D4+1 per spider) but hardly scratch Ug as he has plate armour. I play it by the ‘round’; allowing each player a move and dice roll then moving to the next player - hope that’s right?

Fingolfr attempts to spout lore about the body in the web (the difference between spout lore and discern realities seems hazy to me at times). Anyhow she fails and I move against her, stating that as she touches the leg of the man the corrupted flesh bursts open and a gush of viscous fluid pours on to Fingolfr’s hand - it is acidic and appears to contain spider larvae.
I move against them, saying that disturbing the eggs attracts the spider’s attention. I’m not really sure when to move against people - is it when they fail rolls?

With a spout lore of his own, Hob knows what to do about this and douses Fingolfr’s hand with water, following that up with (‘what will make the spiders leave?’) using one point of his adventuring gear to grasp a lantern and oil and shine a bright light in towards the advancing spiders.

Ug still has a +1 forward from earlier which he spends to boost his attack on the spiders, which combined with the light kills or drives them away.

I felt they should find something on the body and presented them with a large axe at the feet of the feet of what turns out to be a dwarf bearing tribal tattoos similar to Fingolfr’s, though clearly of a different religion. I fumbled around a little here to improvise some future plot hook.

So they then rolled to strike camp, picking 2 of the 3 options, allowing for themselves to have been followed. I told Finglofr that she had a feeling they had been followed, Fingolfr speculated whether the follower was mortal or a spirit. Ug laid hands on Hob, who with the point of healing from camping was fully healed. One thing I can’t find in the rules is when you die? I assume its if you fall to zero or less hit points, and fail the ‘last breath’ roll? Can a PC make a last breath roll regardless of how low their hit points fall?

Everyone enjoyed the session. My daughter asked if it was all about fighting and when she would get to use the carousing and parley moves as she couldn’t really talk to spiders. I assured her we’d get some of that next session and that I’d just wanted to start with some action.

On reading Apocalypse World afterwards in bed, I realised that I hadn’t focused on naming NPCs enough, if at all. I think I need a list of names as MC to draw upon and allocate in play. Also I launched them into an action scene rather than following the PCs around for a day - opps.

Should I still be using the countdown clocks in DW for threats and so on?

I hope this AP report is useful and if someone can answer some of my questions that would be much appreciated.



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Re: AP report - family game
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 04:48:13 AM »
Awesome Paul!
I would read the thread over on story games about not getting DW combat and the whole concept of 'turns' (in the conversation) as it relates to the moves snowball.

Otherwise, what a great start! I'm excited to hear more. I especially like the hooks that you generated in chargen, and how the group re-incorporated some of that into the actual play of the first session.

No worries that you started with an action scene! That's good DW practice, it allows you to 'fill in the blanks' about how why and where with great story conversation and narration.

I only allow the last breath roll at 0 hp or below, though lowish hp allow for some rather good fictional grist (if no mechanical effect).

Also, when you find yourself fumbling for a good impro - throw it back on the players. Ask how what they think, see, feel, know, do. Often that will spark a move all its own. Put them in a spot and ask them what do they do?

Keep it up! More More!

Re: AP report - family game
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 05:48:55 PM »
I read through your reply and the links. Very helpful, thanks.

Session 2

Having now been invited to join the Adventurer’s Guild I’ve downloaded the full rules, but not had chance to print them off. Have had a read of them but mostly stuck with previous rules as they were. So I’ve not planned any fronts or whatever. I just figured I’d wing it with a mini-dungeon.

Having broke camp the trio came to a split in the passageway. I decided to describe the two ways, one a little up the other a little down. Without deliberation they chose the downward one. I expected them to make a discern realities roll here, but no.
I’d read about making groups of monsters and wanted a low level group and went for rats (the size of cats). Ingolfr spouted lore on rats, knowing that they would only attack if you threatened them or their food and that they were of little value. They bypassed the rats and I didn’t force the issue as no one seemed interested.

I then had them come to a dead end. I didn’t know what would happen here and wanted to see what the PCs would do and what the rolls might yield. Ingolfr failed a discern realities roll and so I made a hard move against her, telling how the floor fell away and she fell in to a pit taking 3 damage. At the bottom of the pit was a rat feeding on a corpse. Hob (spending another adventuring pack point) came out with a rope. Ingolfr decided to investigate the corpse, which she should have known would aggravate the rat (having been told that messing with their food antagonised them - she handed me that on a plate!) so it attacked her. She tried to escape up the rope. I called for a dodge roll, which she made, thus escaping.

They then backtracked to the split in the passage and went the other way. They soon came across an injured dwarf. They helped him out of the tunnels, leaving him with a fire at the entrance. He tells them of the ogre.

Returning to the ogre, Hob creeps up on it, declaring a backstab. I ask for a dodge which she fails. She is disappointed about this and I reconsider and backtrack - there wasn’t really any threat in the fiction - the ogre is asleep and Hob is a thief. So I let her simply make the attack without a roll. She stabs him in the eye! He wakes up (no kidding), screams and tries to strike her. She goes for his other eye and I call for a Hack and Slash roll. An 8 means both sides take damage. Hob is saved by her armour, with 1 hp left she moves away as Ug advances making a couple of attacks of his own. Fingolfr sneaks around to search the pile of bones, backpacks and dead rats. Making a loot move she finds the horn of Keshorn and a magic ring which holds a moonstone which glows when held against a magic item. However this leaves it open for me to allow a little trouble (she didn’t choose ‘find it with little trouble’) and a bunch of metal trinkets fall to the floor - the ogre turns yelling ‘treasure!’ and charges over. Ug springs to her defence (move roll).

Hob threads her rope between 2 stalagmites (previously described) and tries to get the ogres attention. I ask her for a Parley roll and she succeeds and gets him to do what she wants. He comes charging towards her. I ponder whether there should be another roll to see if he falls over the rope or not, then decide that’s not required and have him fall, landing badly on a stalagmite. I offer the Emily 2D10 or 10 damage on the ogre, she takes the roll. BTW I made the ogre 3rd level with 25 hp and 6 damage, no armour.

Its in a bad way now. The Ogre pulls the broken stalagmite from his shoulder and throws it at Hob, Ug comes to Hobs protection and rolls a 7 on his Defend move, taking the damage himself. Ug has risen a level now (level 2). The ogre goes for another blow on Ug and I ask Ug’s player what he’s doing. He tries to play it, between dodge and hack and slash. I push him to tell me what he is actually doing, rather than which move he’s using. I describe the ogre swinging at him and he tells how he ducks - clearly a dodge. There a few rolls here - and some very low damage rolls.

Fingolfr dashes in to stab with a dagger. I call for a dodge roll to achieve this as the ogre is stamping around and she might get kicked. She fails the move, gets kicked for 6 damage, reducing her to 0, which I take as unconscious. Hob tries the same move and stabs the ogre in the leg (reducing it to dead), it falls backwards landing on a stalagmite, dead.

A bit of healing and they strike camp to rest. They study the horn which with a roll they spout lore to know that it allows travel through the shadow world (I’m using an item description I found on another forum with some cool moves), but it is dangerous in that it may draw the attention of shadow monsters.

We fast-forward to them getting to the local town and throwing a party (carouse). They meet an interesting PC among other things. I need to make plans for the next session.

Really enjoying the flow of the game and the way the sharing of the story creation works. The prompts for making stuff up are really constructive, and almost take away the feeling that one is making the stuff up, it becomes an organic flow of answers to questions. The moves raise the right questions. When I don’t have an answer myself I ask one of the players.