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New playbook: The Transmitter

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Hi everybody, I've been playing for a few months, but only just joined the forum. It seems somebody had a similar idea in The Radio; instead of body snatching, it's more like a kind of hivemind effect. Input is very welcome.

Concept: A living, infectious antenna for the psychic maelstrom, who has implanted psychokinetic weapons.

Shadow, Spider, T, Key, Zero, Chivo, Carrie, Brainlord, Channel, Zobat, or Master.

Mindfang, Hunter, Receiver, Antennae, Fox, Ozma, Fire, Captor, or Witch.

HX: Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn.

List the other character's names.

Go around again for Hx. On your turn:
*Tell everyone who has BROADCAST SIGNAL Hx+2. They know what drives you, as it drives them.
*Tell everyone else Hx-2. You're really freaky and unnatural, and it's hard to relate or understand you if you're not tuned in.

On the others' turns:
*Choose the character you think would benefit the most to having their mind opened. Whatever number that player tells you, ignore it; write Hx+2 next the character's name instead.
*Everyone who has BROADCAST SIGNAL are people you really get, you know? Whatever number they tell you, give it +1 and write it next to their character's name.
*Everyone else, you're not really in touch with. Whatever number they tell you, give it -1 and write it next to their character's name.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing.

Casual wear, utility wear, scrounged wear, fetish wear, or archaic wear.

Scarred face, weathered face, serene face, blasted face, or focused face.

Spooky eyes, spinning eyes, glowing eyes, crackling eyes, blank eyes, or dilated eyes.

Fat body, thin body, clentched body, strange body, levitating body, or possessed body.

Choose one set:

*Cool-1 Hard=0 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird+3
*Cool-1 Hard-1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird+3
*Cool-2 Hard+1 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird+3
*Cool=0 Hard-1 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird+3

You get all the basic moves except for open your brain, instead you get BROADCAST SIGNAL. Choose 2 other transmitter moves.

You get:
* 3 psychic powers.
* oddments worth 1 barter.
* fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece worth +1armor (you detail)

Whenever you roll a highlighted stat, and whenever you reset your Hx with someone, mark an experience circle. When you mark the 5th, improve and erase.

Each time you improve, choose one of the options. Check it off; you can't choose it again.

__get +1hard(max+2)
__get +1hot(max+2)
__get +1sharp(max+2)
__get a new psychic power
__get a new transmitter move
__get a new transmitter move
__get a gang(detail) and leadership
__get followers(detail) and fortunes
__get a move from another playbook
__get a move from another playbook

If you and another character have sex, you may use BROADCAST SIGNAL as if they were opening their brains; make a roll as normal.

* BROADCAST SIGNAL: Your brain has been tuned open to the psychic maelstrom. You no longer need roll to look into the psychic maelstrom, and may ask the MC about it any time; if someone in your prescence opens their brain, you may see what they see without rolling. Additionally, if you are touching someone while they're opening their brain, you may attempt to tune them it. Roll +weird, and on a hit, you've propped open their third eye. On a 10+, they should now cross out open your brain and replace it with BROADCAST SIGNAL. On a 7-9, their moves stay the same, but their brain will stay open for the rest of the session; the MC should keep this in mind while describing situations.
o We all saw what you did: When you want to look through the eyes of another character with BROADCAST SIGNAL, roll +weird. On a 10+, you can look through their eyes and hear through their ears. On a 7-9, you can see what is happening in the psychic maelstrom around them, but not the real world. On a miss, they look/listen/tune in to you instead.
o Group mindlink: You can read a person on any character with BROADCAST SIGNAL at any time, regardless of distance or other circumstances.
o Psionic battlemage: When you go aggro or seize by force with one of your psychic powers, roll +weird instead of +hard.
o Focus the transmission/Open the door: When their is at least one other character with BROADCAST SIGNAL present, you may use augury.
o Internal Reconfiguration: At the beginning of the session, roll+weird. On a 10+, hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1. At any time, you can spend your hold to temporarily use a psychic power you don't have (i.e. for one task or one tick of a battle). On a miss, the MC will tell you how your brain is changed.

During character creation, choose from among the following choices. Psychic powers count as gear, but they're implanted; they're a part of your body. Additional mutations can be gained via advanced or through the move Internal Reconfiguration.
o crown of prostate submission (implanted s-harm close)
o gaze of burning rage (implanted 2-harm close area burning messy)
o call forth the psychic storm (implanted 1-harm close area ap messy)
o lifting the telekinetic projectile (implanted +1harm reload close/far loud)
o grasp of madness (implanted psi-harm hand loud)
o lightning leaps from the fingertips (implanted 3-harm close loud)
o forcefield breastplate (implanted 1-armor)
o legs astride the mindcrafted hellsteed (implanted Power+2 looks+2 0-armor weakness+1)

Hey eeyore!

I like the idea of an infectious playbook, and hey a psychic horse that's pretty zef

I think it drinks the Brainers milkshake a little too much though.

Brainer: A weird (+2) person that can use their brain as a subtle, but weak and specialized weapon, plus read you deeply or implant commands under inconvienant circumstances, and a hand full of weird gear.

Transmitter: THE WEIRDIST (+3) person that has powerful, flexible psychic weapons, can make everyone into freaky psychic radios and read them anytime, and has a psychic horse.

Daniel Wood:
Way, way too much. A weird-substitution move for go aggro AND seize by force is not something I would want to include in my AW; making it immediately-available to a +3 weird playbook is almost a secondary concern. The Battlebabe's +3 cool/go-aggro-with-cool power combo is already one of the most powerful in the game, but it at least leaves them with a crucial vulnerability (relatively speaking) for Seize by Force. And high Weird is vastly, vastly more available to PCs than high Cool.

A character who with one advance will literally never or almost never fail on 3 of the basic moves -- arguably the 3 most potentially volatile and high-risk/MC-opportunity basic moves, at that -- is going to create a very different sort of game, pacing-wise. I am generally pretty firmly in the 'there is no such thing as an overpowered AW character' camp -- the game is not as dependent on PC-failure as many people seem to think -- but this just seems excessive, and more importantly the move seems actively superfluous to the core character concept. This guy is about broadcasting/receiving -- why does he also need to be an enormous psychic combat badass?

Edit: and I hadn't even looked at the Psychic Weapons yet. Yikes. It's like an Ultra-Brainer, a Gunlugger, and a new playbook all in one.

Thanks for your input! I agree that the Brainer was an inspiration, as well as the Broodmother, though I thought the focus on psychokinetic effects versus telepathic influencing/controlling of the Brainer still made it a bit more distinct. And I did use the Gunlugger for some inspiration on the psychic powers, though I tried to make them weaker than the Gunlugger's choices. Oh, and of course the Grotesque for how implanted weapons can work.

As for the move you're referencing, Daniel, I guess I was using the Maestro D's blade move as an example to base it on, but in hindsight, it is too powerful. I'll change it to just seize by force, as well as change how the powers are arranged a bit. As for how it would effect the balance of power in a game by boosting multiple basic moves, well, this playbook doesn't have open your brain; BROADCAST SIGNAL replaces it entirely. And since that move is infectious, I figure that would tend to be a more disruptive effect than the dice bonus.

Well what badness happens when your brain to the maelstorm is always open? The playbook itself doesn't really give us a clue. If I am to MC the maelstorm like I usually do, Broadcast signal would pretty much mean that this and all of the other playbooks that get 'infected' are unplayable at all. Am I to pull my punches? What does always keeping my mind open to the maelstorm even mean - as MC I know what to do when a player flubbs a open your brain roll. On this thing that's happening here, I need guidance.

It seems like you went around the playbooks and took every cool thing you could find. Which is neat, but you could fill several playbooks with this stuff!

Weird+3 - the usual way to go about this is to put a move or an advance for this. Not a problem in itself, though. Only gets eyebrows raised when we see some of the moves the dude could be getting.

Psionic battlemage - It leaps out at you, doesn't it? I could do without Weird being turned into a direct violence stat. You kind of need it so all of your psychic weapons could be useful instead of just clutter, though. Which makes me think that you maybe need to rethink the way you use your psychic weapons in the first place.

Focus the Transmission/Open the door - oh my god. You know what a failed augury roll does to the 'workspace'? And here you have a move that not only takes away the Savvyhead's and Hocus's little thing (which is thematically appropriate for the playbook, at least), but, instead of being a move that threatens the one thing that makes a playbook special (Savvyhead's workspace, Hocus's followers), threatens other player characters instead.

S-harm - serious deal, Angel/Quarantine lose being special, just a bit. S-harm is supposed to be rare, and goes to the playbooks that care about people not dying. I sincerely dount this dude is one of them.

Implanted - serious deal, how is anyone supposed to disarm you? Kinda cool on its lonesome, but kind of exacerbates some of the problems already present.

Lifting the telekinetic projectile - weaponized telekinesis! Cool, unique and maybe what the whole playbook should have been about. Slips in the whole "I can move objects with my mind" thing way too silently, though.

Psi-harm - okay, maybe, I don't know. Aren't those rules, fictionally, only for people who haven't experienced the maelstorm before?

Hellsteed - okay, so, conceivably, this guy could take a move from another playbook in one advance and go +2 on all of his basic stats.

So, this is how many playbooks this one is better than or equal to in one of their "I am a special snowflake" areas:

Brainer, Gunlugger, Savvyhead, Hocus, Angel, Quarantine, Grotesque, Driver.

If you pull out the offending bits, what you're left with is pretty cool:

Infectious maelstorm that maybe changes around your basic moves (still needs clearer direction for the MC on how to react to it, as well as a NPC version).

Telekinesis - I would *love* to play a telekinetic character in AW. But maybe the way to go is a bunch of moves that put a different spin on it (like the Brainer's moves put a new spin on telepathy powers) instead of gear?

Focus the maelstorm/Open the door - I like one implication of that move, and that is the fact that you can use *your own body* as a basis for augury rolls. That's the same kind of risk the savvyhead or hocus face, amped up to 11! The move would be one of the coolest I've ever seen if that was the only thing it did.

So you've got cool ideas and you know your way around the existing playbooks. What you haven't done, as far as I can tell, is think how the kind of person represented in your playbook fits into the world - the Brainer is an outcast creep, the Gunlugger is a grenade launcher for hire, the Battlebabe is a violent person everybody's drooling over. The Transmitter, though? It'd seem weird if this guy had stopped at anything short of world domination before chargen even begins (Not that Psychic Overlord isn't a legit fictional position to occupy - there just need to be ways to challenge that position later).


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