Unexpected Reaction to AW

  • 2 Replies
Unexpected Reaction to AW
« on: July 19, 2010, 04:52:30 PM »
So I'm talking to someone about AW, and I say something about, "Now that I have the game, I really want to play this. But I bought it as much for the 'advice text'; Vx tends to be very clear and concise about procedures of play in his games."  I then go on to reference the following bit from AW:

"There are a million ways to GM games; Apocalypse World calls for one way in particular. This chapter is it. Follow these as rules. The whole rest of the game is built upon this."
       -Apocalypse World, p 108

Now, I like this approach; here's a game that actually does tell me how to run it, in simple and direct language, as opposed to some vague and generalized advice. ("Be fair, be knowledgeable, make it fun!" - Ok, great. HOW do I go about doing that?)

My friend's reaction however, was, "Wow! What an arrogant bastard that Baker guy must be! How can he possibly think there's just one best way to run that game and that's how he runs it?"

I didn't do a very good job of answering his questions - I felt like I'd have to start with  relating the entirety of the "System Matters" and "Story Now" essays just to continue the conversation...



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Re: Unexpected Reaction to AW
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 05:00:04 PM »
I dunno, man. Show him the rules, ask him how HE'D run it. Maybe he's right!


Re: Unexpected Reaction to AW
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 05:14:28 PM »
Well, the thing is, if you really break down that quote from the book, Vincent never says that this way is the "best" way.  He says that the game "calls for" one particular way to GM and that the game is built upon the assumption that you will be GMing the game this way.  Now, if we assume that Vincent is a good game designer and he really has designed the game based on the idea that this is how people will run the game, it makes sense that this is the way that is "best" to GM it... but that's not actually what that quote says.

But, ya know, I've always been kind of bewildered when people are shocked and offended by a game's designer and author suggesting that a particular way to run a game will work the best.  Considering that to be "arrogant" just seems really weird to me.  Who else would know better than the guy who designed and playtested the crap out of it?