Apocalypse Galatica

  • 21 Replies
Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 03:58:03 PM »
Varying stats for moves. Sounds cool. I think I'll switch up the stat block so that for every move there is an option that works well with it, but that means others moves will be tougher. Contemplating two +2s. What do you think:

Moderate option:

Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot+1 Sharp+2 Faith-1
Cool+1 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Faith=0
Cool-1 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Faith+1
Cool=0 Hard-1 Hot+1 Sharp +2 Faith+1

+2 Options:

Cool +2, Hard -1, Hot 0, Sharp +2, Faith -1
Cool -1, Hard +2, Hot -1, Sharp +2, Faith 0
Cool 0, Hard +1, Hot +2, Sharp +2, Faith -1
Cool +1, Hard 0, Hot -1, Sharp +2, Faith +2

Plan a Mission: This looks too much like Brief the Squad. I mean, I think for most purposes it is the same. I'm gong to look at what I can steal from that though for briefing.

Strong hand on the reins: This is the leadership move I need for the CAG. It overlaps some with brief the squad though in what it does. (+1 Harm). I might shuffle things around between this, your ideas for Plan the Mission, and Brief.

Dearly Departed: YES. I love this move. It's in.

Heart as a stat. Yeah, Jason's suggestion was I use faith. But "failth" has too much meaning in the context of the setting. My response to him, which I'm still thinking about is, what about rename faith to "Belief" and have the CAG operate out of that?

Once again thanks for all your thoughtful insights.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 06:23:50 PM »
I'd say only have 2 +2s when both stats are pretty key to the core of all CAGs.  To me, that means +2 hard, +2 sharp.  For the other 3 options, use the moderate stat lines.  That's my opinion, anyway.

Regarding the moves:
Yeah, as you may have gathered, I came up with them on the way home from work, and just quickly threw them up here before I forgot them.  Treating them as inspiration only is indeed the correct reaction.  Glad you like dearly departed.

I'd say no to basing CAG on belief.  My reasons are a bit 'airy', though.  Firstly, 'belief' just doesn't have the same emphasis to me that 'faith' does.  I believe that it will be sunny tomorrow vs I have faith tomorrow will be better.

Secondly, it's different to how faith/belief 'works' in other playbooks (well, okay, there's only one faith-based playbook, but there are moves) - there, it's relating to something bigger than yourself.  To me, Apollo just isn't about that.  He always projected from the inside out.  What he did, he did because *he* thought it was right.  It's hard to define.

Thirdly, faith is, as you said, such a big thing in the BSG story that to change it would, for me, be a mistake.  It should be there, front and centre, and your reactions to it are definite character choices that will have consequences.

I actually did a quick tally as to how many playbooks were centred around each stat.

Cool: 4
Hard: 3
Hot: 2
Sharp: 3
Faith: 1

So, I'd say you might want to consider making one of the cool-based playbooks faith-based (or hot based, at a pinch).  I'm kinda considering putting Captain forward.  Okay, the example in the show I can come up with is the commander, but at the beginning when everyone was despairing, Adama gave them hope by restoring their faith.  There was a lot of 'for all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again' going on.  I can see the leadership role on ships being closely tied to faith.  What do you think?

Also, while I'm here, I'll just say that I've been looking askance at the Partisan since day 1.  There are some fantastic moves there, and I understand it's directly inspired by one of the characters.  But within the fleet, what *function* does this playbook serve that isn't (or couldn't be) served by the Marine?  It's kinda like the Gunlugger/battlebabe divide, but as you said earlier, the Pilot is taking up the 'headspace' of the Battlebabe, which leaves the Partisan and the Marine awkwardly crammed into the same locker.  Okay, weird analogy, just wanted to get that off my chest.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 06:44:05 PM »
I've been trying to keep a decent balance between the stats, with the exception of faith that I know is low. I think I'll leave the characters as is, knowing that my Cylon playbooks will look like this:

Three, Six (to some degree), and Five: + Hot
One and Four: + Sharp
Two and Six (to some degree) + Faith

What I'm not sure is what to do with Eight (Boomer, Athena).  Because she was so closely identified as a Raptor Pilot sleeper agent (and never really was much more than that in the show), I may just leave her out.  A player could create her easily by playing a pilot and revealing as a Cylon.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 07:11:10 PM »
Since you mention it, thought I might as well ask now how you expect the cylon playbooks to work.  Do you *start* as an exposed cylon?

See, it's slightly strange to me.  All the cylons we were were first exposed to (however briefly) as 'humans'.  If we're playing with a different battlestar, why do we have to have the same 8 cylons?  If we have a faithless commander who takes the advance to say he's a cylon, why can't he be a number 2 in this game?

The most interesting cylons, to me, were the ones who'd had significant interaction with humans before being 'exposed' - they had history, desires, conflicting emotions and goals.  Starting as a cylon seems to be cutting out the best part, to me.

But that's all rambling if you intend to take it a different way.  If you just intend for them to be different 'advance books' (or prestige classes) for after someone's exposed as a cylon, that's rather different.  So yeah, how do you intend to handle them?

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2012, 07:24:31 PM »
I'm going to start with just a single book, number Six and then I'll play with these options:

1. Advanced move to change your playbook to a Cylon. Only available after you've ressurected.

2. Like the Opportunist or Partisan, Six starts with an "how to you fit in" option that explains why she is needed. She's got information, she's changed sides, she'll help them, etc.

3. You start in the brig. Relations are tense. You're an other to them, with them being the other players.

This is one of those things that I'm not 100% sure how I want to introduce until I try it.

I agree COMPLETELY that human interaction is a must. Playing the split game (some of the players humans, some cylons, with little interaction) would drive me insane. That's why I haven't even tried it yet. That said the relationship between Caprica Six and Baltar, between Galen and Boomer/Eight and Helo and Athena/Eight, was some amazing stuff. I really want that in my game.

Now just gotta work on the how.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2012, 12:15:59 AM »
Okay, working on the Strong Hand on the Reins move and something is coming into focus. I don't get what the leadership move does.

I get pack alpha. Getting your gang to behave is tough, they're going to fight you, this how you put them down.

But, if your gang is under control, why isn't the character in charge of them, any character just making basic moves?

Need your gang to stay sentry and watch out for intruders trying to sneak in? Read a sitch.

Need them to put the hurt on someone and get them to pay their debts? Go aggro.

Need them to stay the fuck out of site while you lure your enemies into an ambush? Act under fire.

It just seems to me that Leadership is superfluous unless you need it to control your gang, and that's not exactly what leadership does. Sure, on a miss, you lose control, but on a hit you get things like "make a hard advance". What is that? Is it going aggro? Is it seizing by force? If so why not just roll those? If not, what does it do.

In the book Vincent suggests spending hold along with using moves (his example is making hard advance and seizing by force to take a wall). But again I ask what does the Leadership part of this doing? Why couldn't the Hardholder just roll seize be force to take the wall?

He also mentions using the gang as weapons (p.253) but that also just looks like you do basic moves with them.

What am I missing?

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2012, 09:54:48 PM »
First off, I'm not an AW expert by any means. My first (and so far only) attempt to MC the game failed miserably, so it's advisable to take a lot of sat with what I say. :)

It seems to me that everything you said in the previous post is correct. When a character with Leadership uses their gang to do something, the player should probably make a Basic Move. But I think the important part is the second paragraph of the Leadership move on pg. 226.

When the gang is fighting but the hardholder doesn't spend hold, they fight conservatively, for their own survival, or else they fight according to their impulse as a threat.

The section called Gangs and fronts on pg. 253 notes that when a gang is present, it'll either be listed as an entirely new threat, combined with an existing threat, or be listed on the home front. Vincent notes that gangs will usually be some flavor of Brute (unless they're a really weird gang, I suppose) and they'll have an appropriate threat impulse.

So if, for example, the gang is denoted as being a Brute: Family (impulse: to close ranks, protect their own) and the hardholder doesn't spend any hold, I could see the MC narrating how "Oh shit. Plover's been hit. He's down. III and Churchhead run over laying down suppressive fire, standing over his body. Isle scampers towards them, dropping her gun as she clamps her hands over Plover's wound. She's screaming for an angel. Plover's coughing up blood and jerking like an electric current's going through him. What do you do?" Now, instead of doing whatever it was the hardholder's player wanted them to do, they're acting on impulse; protecting their own. They're standing there in a little knot over the body of their wounded gang member with bullets whizzing all around them when they should probably just leave his ass and find some cover.

I think the other important thing to note is the Leadership move specifically says "when your gang fights for you". Not just "when you make them do something". It seems that the hardholder's gang is naturally more disciplined than the chopper's bikers are. So I think your stand sentry, put the hurt on, and lay in ambush examples are spot on; the gang's not really fighting. They're also not really acting in a way that goes against self-interest. "Stand sentry? Sure. My ass doesn't want to get sniped." "Go collect a debt? It's what? 5 of us against a single dude? OK." "Keep my head down so I don't blow the whole ambush and get myself killed? Hells yes."

Basically, I think the hold from the leadership move represents the hardholder getting their gang to do something even if they wouldn't normally do it. Unlike weapons and gear, gangs are people, have their own agency, and don't want to get hurt or killed. Spending a hold means you sort of suppress that, force them to hold their shit together, and act against instinct.

No hold spent example.
Hardholder: Go take that heavily fortified bunker!
Gang: What?! Half of us will die getting to it. Fuck that.

At this point, I suppose that the player could Go Aggro on a few of the gang members or maybe Manipulate them, but do you have time for that? If a few of the members choose to suck it up, are you really going to inflict harm on them? Right here in front of everyone with the enemy shooting at you? Do you even have any leverage to Manipulate them? All of them?

So when shit gets real (i.e. there's a serious chance people could die), I think the MC is will within their rights to *not* have a gang comply with the hardholder's order if they don't spend hold. That's what the leadership move does.
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