Setting up (what to look for?)

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Gwion

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Setting up (what to look for?)
« on: November 10, 2011, 01:05:21 PM »
What do you look for when setting up a new AW campaign?

From my previous games, what I would be careful to look for:

- Having at least one or two major scarcity that the player have a buy-in for. Stuff they can't ignore and that they have to take care right from the start.
- Identifying at least one strong personal goal or drive for each character.
- Talking a little bit about the apocalypse, not defining it too much, but just to have at least some buy-in from the players for some post-apoc colors to barf forth.
- Make sure that players have a buy-in for each other characters and that we find them hot. Also check if there is at least some potential attraction between the characters.
- Having a talk about characters's followers and gangs to see if the other players also have a buy-in for them.
- PC-NPC-PC triangles.  

Re: Setting up (what to look for?)
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 05:23:56 PM »
These all sound pretty good. How would you go about establishing some of these, though? Overtly or implicitly?

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Gwion

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Re: Setting up (what to look for?)
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 10:16:48 PM »
Hi Paul, I would say totally overtly. I admit that I am a little bit burn up from multiple bad/tepid AW startup and If I had the occasion to play again I would really want to involve the group in seting up the game.

That said, I guess it easy to establish all this normally through the first questions. But I would prefer to discuss this together with the group clearly in the open.  

Re: Setting up (what to look for?)
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 05:00:57 AM »
That list? Is amazing. And after seeing how a tepid start can make the campaign list along I fully endorse making these things overt and asking questions and poking players until you're satisfied.

There have been times when, as MC, I've been frustrated that all I have are Threats and Fronts, when I've needed some other techniques to tie people together. And it's usually been when I just didn't set things up right, where some characters just haven't had adequate amounts of interesting stuff coming there way.

Re: Setting up (what to look for?)
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 06:40:39 AM »
On that topic, Tim, I've been thinking as well (tell me if I'm too OT for the thread!). Sure, it's a good way to view AW that "everything and everyone" is a threat, but I keep thinking about the thing on the Fronts playbook: "Threats are people, places nad conditions that (...) threaten the players' characters." What if they only concern themselves with one of the player's character? What if they, and this is probably the worst that could happen if you do the "everyone's a threat" thing right, threaten different PCs in different ways? I mean, if an NPC hired gun is hired by the hardholder to root out the hocus' cultists, sure, he can be a threat to both, but in different ways, and his countdown clocks probably say different things.

For our hack, we use Stages with different agents involved rather than fronts. But then again, AW is unique in that the setting makes someone's existence be a threat to you inevitably, since there's got to be something you can't both have. Scarcity.

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Gwion

  • 18
Re: Setting up (what to look for?)
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 10:45:44 AM »
AW is unique in that the setting makes someone's existence be a threat to you inevitably, since there's got to be something you can't both have. Scarcity.
From my experience, scarcity is not automatically a given (especially for the PC). With two of my group setup, the players complained that they din't felt the scarcity. We had a clumsy setup (lack of experience with the game) and the NPC had needs related to their scarcity, but the PC din't have those need. So the NPC/threats were just constant problems (they even once felt like annoying tasks to deal with) instead of being gripping challenges that oppose the PC need and goals.

I think when PC are directly affected by the scarcity instead of only the NPC, it push them to act and it really move the game forward. In a way the PC themselves become threats to other people and now it really rock instead of having the PC just being reactive to NPC threats and trying to conserve/protect what they have.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 10:49:58 AM by Gwion »