New Playbook: The Turncoat

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New Playbook: The Turncoat
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:17:50 AM »
I've had this playbook on the back burner for quite a while and finally put the finishing touches on it...

Introducing the Turncoat:

In a world filled with concrete compounds and gangs of gunluggers, hardholders war upon each other with abandon, making moves as hard and direct as they like.  It's just that sometimes hard and direct won't get the job done.  Sometimes they need a watchful eye, a deft hand, a knife in the dark.  Sometimes they need somebody like you.

Who knows?  If you keep your target in sight, your employers happy, and the locals in the dark, you just might get out alive.


https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_XJtVbYj_jjcS10RjRzZURTTktTUjYtdGJhdDNwdw

It hasn't been playtested, and comments/feedback would be most welcome.  Also, thanks go to Michael Pfaff for his pants on fire move!

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 08:08:29 AM »
Damn, this looks awesome! I would love to try it out. Well done.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 04:28:14 PM »
Excellent! I especially like how trust mimic Hx but in a way that is easier to grok in the fiction (if someone is doing that well they have to be working for the other side!).

There is some overlap between In the wind and Break and enter as well as the 9mm you can chose as weapon and as covert gear. It would be fun if Break and enter only worked getting in to places.

*

silva

  • 39
Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 07:25:50 PM »
Awesome.

(mind if I rob it for my Shadowrun hack ? It would be the perfect Convert Ops Agent :D )

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 07:40:05 PM »
I am curious why you would lose 2 trust on a risky task? I mean they know its risky, so should't you get by with no loss on something risky if you fail... instead maybe there should be something that would measures how sensitive the task is to the Cabal's agenda?

Twisting the Screws is nice... but there should be a Countdown for being Burned.

I am also curious about the Sex move, what was the reasoning behind it? I like it (its one of the only -1Hx I have seen), but I would like more explaination in the design thought process.

Knife in the dark is good, I like that its not just a Name this NPC and their dead but could have a lot of teeth in the right players hands.

Pants on Fire is awesome!

Do you plan on doing more with the Cabals?

*

DWeird

  • 166
Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 08:20:19 PM »
Oh cool! I've actually been working on a somewhat related concept, the Abacus. Take a look if you want!

The Abacus is a hitman for 'the boss', so basically a more direct version of the Turncoat - worse gear and default fictional position, better moves.

More importantly, I wanted this playbook for so long, right since my first AW game! Playing that bitch from Firefly is going to be awesome with this.

Could I steal ambition/cabal as an advancement option for the playbook? I tried to do much the same thing you did with it, but yours is perfect where mine is thrown together haphazardly.


Oh, and a slight worry of mine is that some of the moves are very dependant on other players taking action in regards to the Turncoat. Which is cool in a lot of cases, since the Turncoat is by default situated so that other players will want to interact with her if they want to stop her from blowing shit up. But what if they don't, what if they want to be fellow agents? Just as cool a game to be played fiction-wise, but then it narrows down the mechanical advancement options a Turncoat gets by quite a bit.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 10:49:26 PM »
There is some overlap between In the wind and Break and enter as well as the 9mm you can chose as weapon and as covert gear.
Yeah, the silencer was kind of the point for the covert gear choice and I almost made it just the silencer, not the silencer & gun combo.  I might also ditch one of the enter/exit moves and replace it with something else entirely.  You're right about the overlap.

(mind if I rob it for my Shadowrun hack ? It would be the perfect Convert Ops Agent :D )
Please do!  Everybody is welcome to do anything they want with it!

I am curious why you would lose 2 trust on a risky task? I mean they know its risky, so should't you get by with no loss on something risky if you fail... instead maybe there should be something that would measures how sensitive the task is to the Cabal's agenda?
Maybe the -2trust is too much for botching a risky job.  I suppose the fact that you just botched a risky job is already rife with ugly consequences, so that the standard -1trust is enough.

Twisting the Screws is nice... but there should be a Countdown for being Burned.
I think so too.  With all the Cabal stuff and the task stuff I was worried that the playbook brought too many brand new elements into play already (not to mention that there's only so much space on those darn trifolds)

I am also curious about the Sex move, what was the reasoning behind it? I like it (its one of the only -1Hx I have seen), but I would like more explaination in the design thought process.
Sex has always been a part of tradecraft, as far as I know, and so I was looking for a sex move that let the turncoat get close to somebody in order to manipulate them.  Since there are some moves that require rolling +Hx against folks, I thought it would be fun to throw in something that put the turncoat's sexual dupes in a tight spot, where they're thinking all this time we've spent together, and I just don't know this person at all...  At least, that's what I think I was going for.  It was one of the first bits I wrote for the playbook, which was quite a while ago.

Pants on Fire is awesome!
Yes!  It's pure Michael Pfaff; name, effect, everything.  I'm more than a little jealous that it's my favourite thing on the whole playbook!

Could I steal ambition/cabal as an advancement option for the playbook? I tried to do much the same thing you did with it, but yours is perfect where mine is thrown together haphazardly.
Steal away!  As far as I'm concerned I practically stole it from the Hoarder playbook anyways... A cabal and a hoard are mechanically the exact same thing: something that exists externally to the character thats got it's claws into them. A cabal/hoard has demands but can be mollified, and can be generous with its resources if it's happy.

Oh, and a slight worry of mine is that some of the moves are very dependant on other players taking action in regards to the Turncoat. Which is cool in a lot of cases, since the Turncoat is by default situated so that other players will want to interact with her if they want to stop her from blowing shit up. But what if they don't, what if they want to be fellow agents? Just as cool a game to be played fiction-wise, but then it narrows down the mechanical advancement options a Turncoat gets by quite a bit.
Well, I think a quick look around the table would tell the turncoat's player if the PC-on-PC moves are going to be useful.  If another player is taking a hardholder and you're playing a spy who's working for somebody other than them, you might well want slippery or pants on fire.  Let's face it, you're gonna be lying to them and facing their scrutiny, or even harder moves.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 11:45:23 PM »
Seems pretty neat! I'm considering tossing it into my AW game.

I kind of wish that the Hx options were a bit more robust, maybe including other player-involvement with the cabal.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 12:19:33 AM »
I kind of wish that the Hx options were a bit more robust, maybe including other player-involvement with the cabal.
Oh!  For some reason that didn't occur to me.  That's a great idea.  Do you have any specific examples?

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 11:05:00 AM »
Maybe:
- Tell someone they work with the cabal, possibly without knowing they're a -cabal-. Tell them Hx+1.
- If one person is a member of the cabal, they get Hx+3, and an interesting life.
- Somebody is someone the cabal -wants-, add +1 Hx to your number.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 12:22:45 PM »
Maybe:
- Tell someone they work with the cabal, possibly without knowing they're a -cabal-. Tell them Hx+1.
- If one person is a member of the cabal, they get Hx+3, and an interesting life.
- Somebody is someone the cabal -wants-, add +1 Hx to your number.
I like these.  One result of allowing the turncoat to wrap a number of other PCs into the cabal's story is that the turncoat playbook becomes a very defining force in the campaign.  Similar to having someone play a hardholder (where most of the other PCs live under her rule) or the hocus (if many of the PCs are members of her cult).  There's nothing wrong with giving that much narrative weight to the turncoat playbook, but I think you'd want to be aware of the implications before adding one to your game.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 05:16:06 PM »
It seems to me the playbook is better without "In The Wind". It's just a reworded "Eye On The Door", and it's far more interesting for this playbook to get into something or somewhere and need help getting out.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 08:51:10 PM »
Maybe:
- Tell someone they work with the cabal, possibly without knowing they're a -cabal-. Tell them Hx+1.
- If one person is a member of the cabal, they get Hx+3, and an interesting life.
- Somebody is someone the cabal -wants-, add +1 Hx to your number.
I like these.  One result of allowing the turncoat to wrap a number of other PCs into the cabal's story is that the turncoat playbook becomes a very defining force in the campaign.  Similar to having someone play a hardholder (where most of the other PCs live under her rule) or the hocus (if many of the PCs are members of her cult).  There's nothing wrong with giving that much narrative weight to the turncoat playbook, but I think you'd want to be aware of the implications before adding one to your game.

Totally agreed. Though in my experience people don't choose the be-a-member-of-the-hocus's-cult* option very much, and I'm not sure how often people would want to be a member of the cabal - I guess its cooler and less subordinate than being a cult* member.

(* I suspect people would choose the option more if someone played a Hocus less CRAZY cult leader and more community-leader/teacher, but what would be the fun in that?)

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 02:26:35 PM »
It seems to me the playbook is better without "In The Wind". It's just a reworded "Eye On The Door", and it's far more interesting for this playbook to get into something or somewhere and need help getting out.

Yeah, there's some definite overlap with these two.  If I were going to sub in a whole new move, In The Wind is what would probably get dropped.

The current frontrunners for replacement moves are:
a) something that covers sabotage for messing with a hold's equipment and infrastructure
b) something that lets the turncoat retroactively declare some kind of contingency plan or arrangement, similar to this bit from the (IIRC) Advanced Fuckery chapter:
Quote
When you declare retroactively that you’ve already set
something up, roll+sharp. On a 10+, it’s just as you say. On a
7–9, you set it up, yes, but here at the crucial moment the MC
can introduce some hitch or delay. On a miss, you set it up,
yes, but since then things you don’t know about have seriously
changed.

Personally I'm leaning towards sabotage, but I haven't come up with any details for what it would look like.

Re: New Playbook: The Turncoat
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2012, 03:49:59 PM »
It seems to me the playbook is better without "In The Wind". It's just a reworded "Eye On The Door", and it's far more interesting for this playbook to get into something or somewhere and need help getting out.

Yeah, there's some definite overlap with these two.  If I were going to sub in a whole new move, In The Wind is what would probably get dropped.

The current frontrunners for replacement moves are:
a) something that covers sabotage for messing with a hold's equipment and infrastructure
b) something that lets the turncoat retroactively declare some kind of contingency plan or arrangement, similar to this bit from the (IIRC) Advanced Fuckery chapter:
Quote
When you declare retroactively that you’ve already set
something up, roll+sharp. On a 10+, it’s just as you say. On a
7–9, you set it up, yes, but here at the crucial moment the MC
can introduce some hitch or delay. On a miss, you set it up,
yes, but since then things you don’t know about have seriously
changed.

Personally I'm leaning towards sabotage, but I haven't come up with any details for what it would look like.


Man, that works so much better. Ever watch Burn Notice? That happens twice an episode. Suddenly, "In The Wind" becomes...

In The Works

When you wreck a working system, roll +sharp.
On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9 choose 2.

- You leave no trace of yourself.
- You leave trace of someone else.
- It costs nothing
- Someone (or no one) is hurt/killed

The MC will tell you what it costs, if anything.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 05:21:22 PM by JoeNobody »