New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario

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New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« on: August 31, 2011, 10:49:28 AM »
Bandlands Banditos and Canadian Survivors

Female players and characters welcome!

Looking to start a medium-length campaign (12 -- 16 sessions) of Vincent Baker's post-apocalyptic game.

Thinking of setting it somewhere in the Canadian prairies, near the ruins of the Alberta tar sands. Imagine Mad Max taking place in the ruins of Dog River. Soundtrack: "100th Meridian" by T. Hip.

Looking for serious badass protagonists. Your characters will be tough, competent, but human and have things that they care about above simple survival, which will be hard enough.

It's going to be a long-running thing meeting on alternate Thursdays. Looking for maximum of 5 other players.

Same Page Tool
Do you play to win?

- Good play isn’t a win/lose kind of thing, and your characters are not fragile, but you will never be comfortably in control of your situation

Player characters are:

- expected to work together; major conflicts might erupt and never see reconciliation - think Firefly: Mal and the doctor guy need each other but too much history has passed between them to ever fully let their guard down in each other's presence

- your characters can develop through violent or romantic interactions between each other, so be prepared for drama

The GM’s role is:

- The GM has no plan – the GM simply plays the NPCs and has them act or react based on their motivations

- this is my default GM style

The players’ roles are…

- to fling their characters into tough situations and make hard, sometimes, unwise choices

- "unwise" doesn't mean "suicidal": it's really hard to put your badasses in the dirt, but your guys are the sort who flip the bird when some biker dude says "submit to Lord Humungous!"

Doing the smartest thing for your character’s survival or thriving

- is what a good player does: in this game you have to work hard to get the food, water, fuel, love you need to keep going

The GM’s role to the rules is…

- my default approach: follow them, come what may. (including following house rules)

- that said, the game system is straightforward and full of consequences, not fiddly bits

After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is…

- a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.

- BUT only going to last until the other player characters find out and do something about it, including killification

Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 03:31:39 AM »
Sounds great. Wish I was still in the area. I think the Hip make a great AW soundtrack.

Has it started yet? How's it going?

Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 10:34:30 AM »
It has started

1st session was a little short, so the feel wasn't as jelled as I would like it to have been.

2nd session was violent and bizarre.  Some details of life around The Fort but some crazed apocalyptic pseudo-messianic business involving the Quarantine.  Wasn't doing the Harm move right, but things will work out.

The Wiki
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 04:30:30 PM »
http://apocalypseworldfortscott.wikia.com/wiki/Fronts

The only content so far is the Fronts map


Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 07:09:10 PM »
Cool, Erik!

I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops.

What did you feel we did wrong about the Harm rules?

I felt you did some strange things with the go aggro/seize by force moves, but the harm seemed by the book to me.

For me, it was cool to see some of the less obvious implications of the Quarantine playbook, and how it leads the group to discover the past of the apocalypse.

I really like how we discovered together that my character doesn't remember the apocalypse... but may, indeed, have been *responsible* for the apocalypse. That's pretty heavy stuff!

Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 11:23:22 AM »
>What did you feel we did wrong about the Harm rules?

I forgot about the rolls!  That didn't matter because the harm that was exchanged was "harm as established" and rolling might have produced worse results for the PCs.

The game flowed together despite my inattention to the rules

>I felt you did some strange things with the go aggro/seize by force moves, but the harm seemed by the book to me.

There was some glitching.  What I need to see is more people using Read Person or Read a Sitch.  People were saying what they were doing or how they were interacting in ways that suggested a very different understanding of the situation than what I had.  The "Read" moves will help me feel that a shared understanding of the fiction is unfolding at the table.

Listening to the AP, I can hear me making calls without really having thought through the implications.

> my character doesn't remember the apocalypse... but may, indeed, have been *responsible* for the apocalypse. That's pretty heavy stuff!

"Responsible" in the sense that you might have been IT support for the evil dictator that destroyed the world, or was the janitor at the bio-warfare facility, etc.  Or maybe you were the evil dictator.  But when the shit went down you were definitely working for The Man.

And it is basic psychology: one can have a strong impression of being guilty for "something" without being able to explain why, or without even a specific impression of what one is guilty about.

Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 11:16:21 AM »
I'm totally with you there, Erik.

As for the harm rules, well, it says they're at the MC's discretion, and that makes sense to me. I asked we roll them for my character and fell unconscious! And that's all good, too.

Looking forward to the next game. Have you seen The Faceless? There's an interesting move there called "Norman", which I'm thinking could be a fun way of mechanizing the interaction of my character with some kind of "AI" in the stasis ship/pod/station, should we ever go there in play.

Re: New Apocalypse World Campaign, Toronto Ontario
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 11:24:15 AM »
I will check that Faceless out.

Changes in Apocalypse World
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 01:06:16 AM »
Some notes on the state of affairs.

Fronts ready to go:
Fort Scott
Hagar's Tribe
The Storms

Fronts not ready to go
The Mounties
The Pumps
The Eye

I have a strong ideas and details worked out for the "Ready to go" but any interaction with "Not ready" fronts will be sketchy and shadowy.

I encourage use of the "read" moves.  They force us to slow the pace of inter-player exchanges and clarify the fictional reality.  They will impel me towards some consistency too!

Keywords
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 10:39:12 AM »
If you want to know some of the Apocalyptical imagery that I am riffing on, do a search of:

* Atlantropa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantropa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcqB26jemwA
* Aral Sea
* Messinian Salinity Crisis

Questions in progress
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 11:02:34 AM »
Terms to Describe Apocalypse (based on revelations so far)
* Fascism
* Space satellites
* psychic power
* mini nuclear generators

Questions Answered to My Satisfaction
* will Newton give ammo?
* what is Hagar's prophecy?
* what is the storm?

Questions Still Open
* will scavenger dudes return?
* how did a digi-cam survive?
* what will Putrid's revenge be?
* what is the disease?
* how do the Pumps/petro work?
* how is the storm linked to the Psychic Maelstrom?
* where do basic food staples (grain, sugar, salt, pepper, cooking oil, fundamental proteins, coffee) come from?

The Moves
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2011, 11:54:10 AM »
Paul, you noted some wonkiness in my use of the seize by force and aggro moves. 

Any comments on how I should approach them in the coming session?

Re: Questions in progress
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2011, 10:43:57 AM »
Terms to Describe Apocalypse (based on revelations so far)
* Fascism
* Space satellites
* psychic power
* mini nuclear generators

Questions Answered to My Satisfaction
* will Newton give ammo?
* what is Hagar's prophecy?
* what is the storm?
* will scavenger dudes return? (they did, you wasted them and stole an ATV)

Questions Still Open
* how did a digi-cam survive?
* what will Putrid's revenge be?
* what is the disease?
* how do the Pumps/petro work?
* how is the storm linked to the Psychic Maelstrom?
* where do basic food staples (grain, sugar, salt, pepper, cooking oil, fundamental proteins, coffee) come from?
* what are the effects of the drug that Flare has been feeding to Big Dog's pack?


Session #3
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 11:32:00 AM »
Cliffhanger from last session complicated by player absence
* Widow (Brainer) and Big Dog (Chopper) are face to face after W. had killed a henchman
* Widow attempts a brainer move, Big Dog seizes the situation by force, gets Widow into the stasis chamber opened by the Quarantine

Ethan (after rolling his cool move) shows up on the scene right on time
* Big Dog scrounges for flammable material outside of the crashed and buried orbital escape pod
* they head down to the pod, Quarantine comes awake
* arguments about what to do with Widow and Bloodhound's corpse
* Big Dog tries to establish dominance, Ethan the Savyhead peace, as Quarantine backs into a corner, refusing to act as dogsbody and carry the corpse to the surface
* a flurry of gunshots, a jammed pistol, Ethan backs out, hefting the corpse himself
* Q. and BD come to an understanding and some measure of trust
* stasis pod is turned on

On the surface
* E. picks out strange lights in the dust storm, a tempting will-o-the-wisp that he declines to follow, but makes a mental note
* People keep calling him "Messiah" and he is unsure of what is real and what is fake, so he tries to resurrect the comatose Bloodhound.  It works
* freakout follows
* E. volunteers to ride ahead on his horse and take Bloodhound to Fort Scott
* Q. and BD drag foot to the Fort, bump into members of the scavengers who have the drop on them, but bold, insane action and powerful rolls turn the tables and net them an ATV

Back at the Fort
* E. rides in with the body and gets the worse of a negotiation with Newton, having to pay upfront for the services of the Medic (name?) and has to promise a free repair job.
* a jet of exploding methane from the Dwellers' complex draws his attention
* it turns out that the line carrying bio-derived methane leaked into a heating shaft and a spark ignited a fire
* the Dwellers were panicking and the militia unsure how to deal with it
* Rum impeded E.'s efforts, but he entered some of the maintenance tunnels despite her, and made it to the scene of the accident.  In the confusion, Rum got trapped near the source of the fire, and E. had to abandon her while he ran to get help and fire retardant.  The intense heat overcame her.  Ethan does get the fire under control.
* The repair job will take resources and tools that neither Ethan or Newton have.

Drugged Bikers
* B. and Q. show up at the gate.  Militia leader Gnarly gives no guff, but the creep Corbett shows attitude
* Q. and E. and B. meet up, much dumping of information follows
* Newton barges in and inquires about Q.  The story B. tells is that he is a trader from The Pumps, but N. too distracted by disaster to follow up.  She leaves with the notice that Big Dog had better get his guys under control has they have been drugging and drinking while he was gone.  Poodle comes up to invite the crew to a party at the Militia's headquarters, and his state demonstrates how messed up the gang is.

Party with the Gas Mask Crew
* the militia are returning to a party-in-progress to unwind from the night's adventures
* the Pack are lying about in an absolute stupor
* B. gets his crew back in line, despite their state, but Fuse, a low-ranked militia lieutenant interferes
* B. gets into a show down with Fuse, but the militia are in fact not drug and drink besotted -- they have been staying sober while plying the bikers with a strange brew.  The leader is cut off from his boys and they get slapped around by the militia and are too bagged and apathetic to do anything about it.
* Gnarly defuses the situation by calling his team to order.

What will happen next?

Why AW rules!
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 11:49:21 AM »
Die resolution, character advancement, and fiction, all gear together in an incredible way.

The Quarantine makes a bunch of rolls in a standoff with the Chopper.  I was concerned that we might just be rolling for rolling's sake, but the negotiation scene was pretty tense.  Then, when Q. got to the surface and saw the dead body, he decided to bring in a character advancement that he had just earned by the preceding rolling (so much for my concerns). 

His first encounter with the Brainer involved being called Messiah.  Given that he could not sort reality from hallucination, he tried to resurrect the comatose biker.  And he chose the advance that allowed him a "healing touch."  And the dice came together to allow him to do it, freaking out the dubious Chopper and Savvyhead.

The player had made such a bold intervention in the game's fiction, and did it by using the experience system and a clever move choice, that I felt compelled to jump out of my chair and give him a hug.  Really, if there were instant replay moments for RPG-ing, the resurrection move would have been ESPN's "play of the day."

Way cool!