Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?

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Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« on: February 15, 2012, 12:41:35 AM »
I'm working on writing about how to end my game Left Coast. It has some in-the-fiction events that act as indicators that you're moving into the endgame phase.

When I played Apocalypse World, our game felt the same. A lot of stuff was coming to a head and all of a sudden it became clear that a few key questions needed to be resolved in order to create a satisfying ending:
- Would we kill the NPC Hardholder who was making our lives miserable?
- Could we hold off the horde of psychic cannibals?
- Could we successfully complete construction of The Machine and then activate it?

Does AW have any guidance about when to end the game? I'd like to read its take on it and compare it to my own thoughts. I just had a quick skim through the AW rules, but nothing leapt out at me.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 08:53:08 AM »
None!

Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 03:18:22 PM »
Love it!

It was actually pretty cool, when we were playing, how intuitive it felt that now was the right time to end things. (However, this came after our group working its way through how we felt comfortable balancing our desire to play a short run of AW with our desire to keep adding cool new characters and situations to resolve into our setting.)

Anyway, it's neat that AW leaves the issue of 'when to end' completely up to each group to decide.

And even having this little discussion has given me some good insights into how to approach this section in Left Coast.

Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 05:47:09 PM »
...although I suspect the "retire your character to safety" advancement option may have something to do with this. Just maybe!

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DWeird

  • 166
Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 07:02:26 PM »
I have a notion that AW's whole advancement system, ungiven future especially is about drawing a game *towards* a close.

As in, as you're playing the game, you eventually end up with characters that can deal with any problem the setting throws at them - seeing beyond the maelstorm, making allies, etcetera. At some point, you're inevitably going to say - if anyone's going to fix Insurmountable Problem, it's going to be Player Character! And then you play to see if he does, and whichever way that falls, the game is done.

Or you could go on forever with a new character + retire to safety / change playbooks, but those mean you're not playing the same game anymore - you bring new characters with new interests that change the 'end game' conditions.


So, uh. Advancement-based story-pacing? That doesn't sound like it's a new thing, but it's there.

Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 07:30:21 PM »
DWeird, I absolutely agree: the ungiven future is a great way of defining one particular boundary of your AW game (the 'What is the Apocalypse' boundary). When we figured out that boundary, it really helped us define the limits of our game.

Re: Does AW have any guidance for when to end the game?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 11:26:37 PM »
Quite right.

The way advancement works gives the game a shape very closely related to The Shadow of Yesterday (which is listed in the inspirations for the game).