Apocalypse Galatica

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Apocalypse Galatica
« on: June 07, 2012, 11:58:18 AM »
After a year of fiddling with it, I finally have a usable draft up of of my Battlestar Galatica hack.*

Download the hack, see design notes, and actual play here:

Apocalypse Galactica

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* Sorry, I originally posted this in the main Apocalypse World forum, when it should have been here. I tried to move it but didn't have permissions. Please feel free to delete the original http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2783.0

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 07:34:34 PM »
Enjoyed reading this, but I had a fair few comments, etc.  Hope you don't mind.

This is purely based on the core playbooks document.  I'll probably get around to the others later.

All following comments are purely opinion, ignore or utilise at will, no offence is intended.


Activist
Why do they get an option to add a new option to the battlestar?
Does 'choose a new option for your command' mean for their criminals?

CAG
Raptor scouting: isn't 'where do I find this' kind of a prerequisite for everything else?  Wouldn't it make sense that if you roll a hit, you find it automatically?
Brief the Squad: Remove a weakness: I am unclear as to how the MU could get most of those weaknesses (unruly, fatigued, out of formation).  Purely from the narrative?
Wingman: Is the harm moved before or after armour?  In other words, you have 2-harm applied to a viper with 1-armour.  Do you move 1-harm before armour, so both absorb the damage, or does the primary target only apply armour, resulting in 1-harm applied, which can then be moved around as AP harm?
Raiding party: Isn't the 7-9 downside too much?  1-harm ap, when you're definitely in a dangerous situation, is bad enough for a success, but to also have to choose 1 of 3 additional bad things on top just seems excessive.  (Also, is it the player or MC who decides which option?)

Captain
I think brief info on what the surplusses do might be useful – stuff like what's the effective difference between 'salvage' and 'supplies'?
To confirm: strengths are what you get on surplus, right?

Commander

You're the commander.  Do you really have to select an option to have private quarters?  What's the alternative?  Top bunk in the barracks?
I always look at faith -2 with suspicion.  Out of all the stats, weird/faith is the easiest for a player to avoid, if they so choose, so it's not nearly so much a hindrance as, say, sharp -2.
Special: I don't get this.  I mean, I get what it does, I'm just having difficulty picturing why 'right place, right time' is something the Commander is notable for.

Engineer
You are aware you have both +1 sharp (max +3) as an advance and a move that gives +1 sharp (max +3)?  While there are circumstances where one is preferable to the other, it does seem a bit redundant.

Marine
Unless I vastly misremember the base AW rules, there's no such thing as '3-sharm'.  S-harm is just s-harm.
Final line of stats only seems to add up to +2.
If you don't have 'master at arms', and take 'choose a new weapon available to you', should you be able to select restricted munitions?
Boarding party: as Raiding Party.
Watch my back: as Wingman.

Opportunist
Pretty sure the advancement list is just flat-out wrong.

Partisan
Change your bond to another PC means what, exactly?
I'm giving 'get your gun' suspicious looks, since it's a move not usable by other playbooks.
Protect your mark: as Wingman.
Leave no one behind: too similarly named to the CAG move 'leave no man behind'.

Pilot
In 'good pilot', youseize lacks a space. /pedant.
When it came up in a previous game, our MC ruled (fairly enough, we felt) that if you read a situation then acted on the answers, you were acting tactically, which was hedging your bets somewhat.  As such, it's slightly surprising for the same playbook to have both 'Daredevil' and 'Perfect Instincts'.
'Versatile' seems weaksauce.
From the way I read 'New tech', if you also have 'Versatile', you still don't get both, you can only ever have one upgrade or the other.  Correct?

President
Campaigns confuse me.  What exactly does it mean when the president is campaigning 'bodyguarding' (for example)?  Stuff like 'Colonial relations' and 'law enforcement' make sense, 'Deliveries' less so.
There is mention of 'Political sway', which doesn't seem to exist.
Well connected: given that you can just spend a favour to get an automatic 10+ result in seduce/maniplate, what use is this move?  Going aggro?(!)
There don't seem to be any advances to get new campaigns.

Supplemental Playbooks
I'll probably have more later, but I just wanted to ask now: what's meant by 'crossfire'?  I have it in my head that 'crossfire' is where you have multiple weapons able to fire at the same point from different angles.  In other words, a good thing, but it seems to be here as a weakness.


Hope you find at least some of that useful.  Thanks for making it!

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 08:16:44 PM »
SoylentWhite,

I love your reviews. Thank you so much for looking so deeply into everything. Here's my response to each comment.

Activist
Why do they get an option to add a new option to the battlestar?
Does 'choose a new option for your command' mean for their criminals?

Both of those are typos, or rather accidental carry overs from the Commander. They should be new Criminal options. I'll fix that in ver02

CAG
Raptor scouting: isn't 'where do I find this' kind of a prerequisite for everything else?  Wouldn't it make sense that if you roll a hit, you find it automatically?
Brief the Squad: Remove a weakness: I am unclear as to how the MU could get most of those weaknesses (unruly, fatigued, out of formation).  Purely from the narrative?
Wingman: Is the harm moved before or after armour?  In other words, you have 2-harm applied to a viper with 1-armour.  Do you move 1-harm before armour, so both absorb the damage, or does the primary target only apply armour, resulting in 1-harm applied, which can then be moved around as AP harm?
Raiding party: Isn't the 7-9 downside too much?  1-harm ap, when you're definitely in a dangerous situation, is bad enough for a success, but to also have to choose 1 of 3 additional bad things on top just seems excessive.  (Also, is it the player or MC who decides which option?)

Raptor scouting: Good point. There are plenty of options on that list. I'll either change it to "How can I get the fleet to this" or just remove it from the list.

Brief the Squad: There are several weaknesses in the Fleet/Battlestar playbook, there are also some that come up in the narrative. I'm considering formalizing that as conditions (like Joe did in Monsterhearts). I don't have a perfect answer for this yet though, still thinking on it.

Wingman: I should say "as AP harm" so it's clear that if you take it, you're taking it.

Raiding party: Hmm... I'll think on this, I want it to ensure you're in danger. Maybe I'll just drop the harm.


Captain
I think brief info on what the surplusses do might be useful – stuff like what's the effective difference between 'salvage' and 'supplies'?
To confirm: strengths are what you get on surplus, right?

Hmm... well first off I should remove +supplies, as that is confusing with the term "supply" that I use in place of "barter". I'll change that.

Otherwise, I think I'm okay with +skilled passengers and the like being a narrative tool.

Yes, strengths plus supply (equal to influence) is what you get on surplus.  Damn... too many words that start with "s" in that equation.

Commander
You're the commander.  Do you really have to select an option to have private quarters?  What's the alternative?  Top bunk in the barracks?
I always look at faith -2 with suspicion.  Out of all the stats, weird/faith is the easiest for a player to avoid, if they so choose, so it's not nearly so much a hindrance as, say, sharp -2.
Special: I don't get this.  I mean, I get what it does, I'm just having difficulty picturing why 'right place, right time' is something the Commander is notable for.

Private Quarters - The point there is you have secure place to put stuff with guards and such. You can bunker down, use it as an impromptu brig, etc. Without the option, it isn't secure. So I'll change it to "Secure Quarters".

Faith -2. Yeah, good point. It's a dump stat, especially for a role that (in the show) showed a total lack of faith.

Special: It seemed to me that Adama and Caine were never far from the ones they cared about, but perhaps they were only close in effect but not person. (Like Adama helping Starbuck by giving her fire support from the CIC). I'll ponder of other options here.

Engineer
You are aware you have both +1 sharp (max +3) as an advance and a move that gives +1 sharp (max +3)?  While there are circumstances where one is preferable to the other, it does seem a bit redundant.

Yeah. Hmm, I'll think on a different advancement option. I like it being something the Engineer can pick at the start.

Marine
Unless I vastly misremember the base AW rules, there's no such thing as '3-sharm'.  S-harm is just s-harm.
Final line of stats only seems to add up to +2.
If you don't have 'master at arms', and take 'choose a new weapon available to you', should you be able to select restricted munitions?
Boarding party: as Raiding Party.
Watch my back: as Wingman.

S-harm: you are right.
Stats: Yep, because it is Hard +3, Just like stat blocks that have two +2s only add up to net +2.
Weapon advancements: Yes, there are still heavy weapons and side arms available to you, thought they may not be as ideal as if you had Master at arms. I'm okay with that.
Boarding Party: Yeah. I might give one of them 1-harm AP and the other a condition to make them different.
Watch my back: AP

Opportunist
Pretty sure the advancement list is just flat-out wrong.

It is, accidentally taken from the Commander.

Partisan
Change your bond to another PC means what, exactly?
I'm giving 'get your gun' suspicious looks, since it's a move not usable by other playbooks.
Protect your mark: as Wingman.
Leave no one behind: too similarly named to the CAG move 'leave no man behind'.

Changing your bond means taking an new "Fit In" option. I'll reword that.
Get your gun: That is very intentional. There are too many +Cool playbooks out there that I don't want being able to use this to turn Hard into a dump stat. I also don't want the Partisan to be able to dump harm all the time.
Protect your mark: Gods Damn, I have this move 3 times? I gotta change that.
Leave no man behind: agreed. I'll tinker.

Pilot
In 'good pilot', youseize lacks a space. /pedant.
When it came up in a previous game, our MC ruled (fairly enough, we felt) that if you read a situation then acted on the answers, you were acting tactically, which was hedging your bets somewhat.  As such, it's slightly surprising for the same playbook to have both 'Daredevil' and 'Perfect Instincts'.
'Versatile' seems weaksauce.
From the way I read 'New tech', if you also have 'Versatile', you still don't get both, you can only ever have one upgrade or the other.  Correct?

Good Pilot: Thanks, will fix.
Move combinations: Yeah, that's worth tinkering on. Pilot used to be a +Sharp character (built off the Driver) that I changed to +Cool (because, c'mon Starbuck is the epitome of the battlebabe), so there is some lingering Driver-esk stuff in there that maybe shouldn't be.
Versatile: You think I should just give them both Viper and Raptor from the start?
New Tech: Correct. You can only ever get a stealth raptor or a FTL viper, never both.

President
Campaigns confuse me.  What exactly does it mean when the president is campaigning 'bodyguarding' (for example)?  Stuff like 'Colonial relations' and 'law enforcement' make sense, 'Deliveries' less so.
There is mention of 'Political sway', which doesn't seem to exist.
Well connected: given that you can just spend a favour to get an automatic 10+ result in seduce/maniplate, what use is this move?  Going aggro?(!)
There don't seem to be any advances to get new campaigns.

Politicking: Hmm, any suggestions on replacement campaigns. Some of them are definitely fringe, but I've enjoyed seeing the president do some pretty shady/questionable jobs.
Political sway: Thanks, that was a move I took out, but there are still remnants of it. I'll clean that up.
Well Connected: Indeed. You're friend with the big guns for going Agro. Your contact with a private ship to get you off the Battlestar for Acting under fire, etc.
Adding campaigns: There should be advances to do that. I'll add it.

Supplemental Playbooks
I'll probably have more later, but I just wanted to ask now: what's meant by 'crossfire'?  I have it in my head that 'crossfire' is where you have multiple weapons able to fire at the same point from different angles.  In other words, a good thing, but it seems to be here as a weakness.

Crossfire is "you are caught in a crossfire" as in they might hit friendly ships. I'll think on how to reword.

Hope you find at least some of that useful.  Thanks for making it!

Very, thank you for the feedback. Also, I'm going to copy all of this over to http://www.seannittner.com/apocalypse-galactica-beta-version_01-released/ to keep it all in one place for me later.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 08:17:09 AM »
SoylentWhite,

I love your reviews. Thank you so much for looking so deeply into everything.

Thanks.  It's nice to be appreciated.

CAG
Raiding party: Isn't the 7-9 downside too much?  1-harm ap, when you're definitely in a dangerous situation, is bad enough for a success, but to also have to choose 1 of 3 additional bad things on top just seems excessive.  (Also, is it the player or MC who decides which option?)

Raiding party: Hmm... I'll think on this, I want it to ensure you're in danger. Maybe I'll just drop the harm.
Maybe the harm could be just one of the options the player chould choose?


Commander
Special: I don't get this.  I mean, I get what it does, I'm just having difficulty picturing why 'right place, right time' is something the Commander is notable for.

Special: It seemed to me that Adama and Caine were never far from the ones they cared about, but perhaps they were only close in effect but not person. (Like Adama helping Starbuck by giving her fire support from the CIC). I'll ponder of other options here.
The 'help or interfere from any distance' move would make more sense to me, personally.  (Though the President has that currently, which also makes sense.  Maybe change the President's one to 'you gain 1-favour.  At your option, they gain 1-favour as well.' or something?  On the other hand, with Personable, that's outright broken.  Hmmm.  Only they get the favour, and only at the President's option?  That means lots of people will want face-time with the President, which seems appropriate, and makes the President definitely something of a power broker.)

Marine
Final line of stats only seems to add up to +2.
If you don't have 'master at arms', and take 'choose a new weapon available to you', should you be able to select restricted munitions?

Stats: Yep, because it is Hard +3, Just like stat blocks that have two +2s only add up to net +2.
Weapon advancements: Yes, there are still heavy weapons and side arms available to you, thought they may not be as ideal as if you had Master at arms. I'm okay with that.
Okay, you're treating stats differently to how base AW treats them, then.  Compare with the Battlebabe.  If you check, you'll notice that the +3 cool is treated as if it were actually +2.  In other words, in statlines with no (other) +2, the total adds up to +4, and in the line with Hot +2, it 'only' adds up to +3.
Regarding weapons, you seem to have answered the question, but not really understood what I was asking.  So, an example.  I am a marine, I don't have Master at Arms, and have taken the maximum 4 marine moves, so I cannot take it.  I take the 'choose a new weapon' advance.  My question was whether I could take any of the restricted weapons 'unlocked' by MaA.  Your answer seems to be 'no', which is the right answer to me, but I think you might want to make it clearer.

Pilot
When it came up in a previous game, our MC ruled (fairly enough, we felt) that if you read a situation then acted on the answers, you were acting tactically, which was hedging your bets somewhat.  As such, it's slightly surprising for the same playbook to have both 'Daredevil' and 'Perfect Instincts'.
'Versatile' seems weaksauce.

Move combinations: Yeah, that's worth tinkering on. Pilot used to be a +Sharp character (built off the Driver) that I changed to +Cool (because, c'mon Starbuck is the epitome of the battlebabe), so there is some lingering Driver-esk stuff in there that maybe shouldn't be.
Versatile: You think I should just give them both Viper and Raptor from the start?
How about this for daredevil (possibly needing to be renamed to 'hotshot', or something): When you show off and take needless risks, being a danger to yourself, take +1 armour.  When you are totally reckless, hog the glory and are a danger to those around you, take +2 armour.
Mechanically powerful, yes, but will narratively totally screw them over if they use the more powerful side too often.  (making an enemy of their CAG and their fellow pilots does not a good pilot make.)  But then I am perhaps overly fond of moves that tempt characters into acting foolishly. ;)
Versatile: yeah, I say they can 'choose to be qualified on 1 or both' to start.  Being able to use both doesn't make them directly more powerful, but does give them more stuff to do if they want it.

President
Campaigns confuse me.  What exactly does it mean when the president is campaigning 'bodyguarding' (for example)?  Stuff like 'Colonial relations' and 'law enforcement' make sense, 'Deliveries' less so.
Well connected: given that you can just spend a favour to get an automatic 10+ result in seduce/maniplate, what use is this move?  Going aggro?(!)

Politicking: Hmm, any suggestions on replacement campaigns. Some of them are definitely fringe, but I've enjoyed seeing the president do some pretty shady/questionable jobs.
Well Connected: Indeed. You're friend with the big guns for going Agro. Your contact with a private ship to get you off the Battlestar for Acting under fire, etc.
Campaigns: well, there's certainly stuff like 'Shady deals (2-favours, -EXPOSED)', 'Fundraising (2-favours, -COMPROMISED) [edit: or maybe 'Fundraising (1-favour OR 3-favours+OBLIGATION, -COMPROMISED)]', maybe more later.  My understanding is that when doing stuff like 'Law Enforcement', you're not actually doing law enforcement yourself, you're doing something like going around giving speeches encouraging people to join the police, 'rat on a rat', that kind of thing.  Is that right?
Well connected: I still feel I'm mentally missing something.  What's stopping someone who doesn't have this move from using 1-favour to get your friend with the big gun to help you?  Or using it on the captain of the private ship?  Does this move simply 'cut out' the need for groundwork, so you can say, 'okay, this negotiation is going worse than I thought, I'm using well connected and spending a favour to *retroactively* state I got a guy with a big gun waiting conspicuously outside to give me +1 to my go aggro roll'?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 10:01:55 AM by SoylentWhite »

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 11:14:10 AM »
I'm breaking out of the quotes, as parsing them three deep is too murky for my tastes.

Commander/President Specials: I'd like the president to have an advantage after intimacy. I think I'll give them "You get +1 going forward the next time you interact with this person, and at your option they get 1-favor, at no cost to you."  Then I'm free to give the president's special to the commander.

Martine stats: Hmm, having a +3 seems problematic then unless you're going to give it across the board (like a Battlebabe does). I think I'll either give it across the board and remove a move option or drop it to +2 and raise another stat by +1 on the last stat block option.

Marine Weapons: Yeah, that might need more thought. I don't want an option to look lame because you didn't choose a different option. But I want "Master at Arms" to stand out.

Pilot Moves I love "hotshot" That sounds great (as I took like it when people expose themselves to danger.

Pilot Vehicles I find the picking stats (power, tech, weakness) and the stat options to be slow enough as is for a single vehicle, so I worry about always giving the option for them to have both. But yeah, I also have never seen a pilot who couldn't fly a viper (people have flown Raptors, but only by taking versatile, never as their only vehicle) so yeah, I might as well bite the bullet on that one.

President Campaigns: I'll keep working on these. I should probably look at real world politics more and see how various campaigns/initiatives have blow up in politician's faces.

President "Well Connected" Move: Yeah, I had envisioned it as a retroactive, like a Kender in 1st Edition AD&D Dragonlance, who might just have the thing in his pocket. But the more I think of it, that betrays the spirit of the show and AW, because things never come easy or out of nowhere. What I would like is for the president to extra options on how to spend favors. It used to be that the Political Sway move allowed them to use them to move back the Crisis Clocks but that move (besides being super powerful) was deemed too abstract. I'd like something pretty rockin. The other idea that I had was:

Political Sway: You can call in your favors to assert your will on an individual or group. You can spend 1 favor to do one one of the following:
Name a place. You’re there.
Name a person. You've got a private audience with them.
Name a person and their stance on an issue. Whenever they stand up for that stance or act on that stance, they act under fire from political pressure.
Name a person and an action. They take +1 going forward to do it, and when they finish mark xp.

Any thoughts on other cool things to do with favors?

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 04:14:50 PM »
Commander/President Specials: I'd like the president to have an advantage after intimacy. I think I'll give them "You get +1 going forward the next time you interact with this person, and at your option they get 1-favor, at no cost to you."  Then I'm free to give the president's special to the commander.
I would suggest that you drop the 'the next time you interact with this person' and just give them +1 forward.  Your version makes *sense*, but then the player has to make a note of against who exactly they have +1 forward against if they don't use it immediately, which adds unnecessary bookkeeping.

President Campaigns: I'll keep working on these. I should probably look at real world politics more and see how various campaigns/initiatives have blow up in politician's faces.
I actually do follow American politics.  I recommend against following suit unless you don't mind losing all faith you may have in the future.  I'll have a think about options and get back to you.

President "Well Connected" Move:The other idea that I had was:

Political Sway: You can call in your favors to assert your will on an individual or group. You can spend 1 favor to do one one of the following:
Name a place. You’re there.
Name a person. You've got a private audience with them.
Name a person and their stance on an issue. Whenever they stand up for that stance or act on that stance, they act under fire from political pressure.
Name a person and an action. They take +1 going forward to do it, and when they finish mark xp.

Any thoughts on other cool things to do with favors?
I like that move.  Don't think it needs anything more, to be honest, many more options and the player probably will keep forgetting what they can actually do with it.  One point I would clarify is: on the last option, do you mean 'forward' or 'ongoing'?  Forward is fine, but 'oftener right' and 'eager to know' (for example) gives +1 ongoing.
If I do come up with something cool, I'll let you know.
Additional: this move made me think of the President as a Hoarder hack.  Can get favour easily, but spends it on a lot of their best moves.  Rather different from how they currently are, but it was an intriguing image.


Okay, that's probably enough damage to the main playbooks by now.  Supplemental playbooks!

Battlestar
When do tags like 'Ammo' come into effect?  Are they just something the MC can use to make a hard move?
You mention having exactly 37 green marines, but only 'several' raptors, but I imagine the raptors are a lot harder to replace than rookie marines.  Is there a reason for the sudden vagueness?
There are 6 battlestar strengths.  You start with 3.  3 playbooks (engineer, CAG, Commander) can take an advance to add one.  You can actually max out the strengths of your battlestar (with a very specific playlist combination, certainly).  Is this deliberate?

Cylons
I can see them working as they are for one-shots at cons, but I can see a problem in campaigns of if a cylon is 'killed', they spend the rest of the campaign on a different ship, not really directly interacting (except maybe violently) with the human PCs any more and almost requiring the MC to be running 2 campaigns.  I kind of feel that resurrection needs something like 'at the end of the session, retire to safety aboard your basestar'.
Experiment: the miss condition, I understand being a direct port from the base brainer move, but have you considered alternatives?  The Brainer move inflicts harm because they're rummaging around in your brain.  Is that what the Cylons are doing?  Thinking of the 6/Baltar relationship, I think that maybe the miss condition should be something along the lines of 'on a miss, they hold 2 on you, on the exact same terms.' (like the skinner 'hypnotic' move).
Inhuman strength: you are aware of just how unbalancing setting hard to +2 can be, right?  If it's that character's dump stat, we're talking +3-4 for a single move.
Ambush the fleet: given that what this does is tells the basestars where you are, doesn't it make more sense for this to set the security crisis clock to 9:00 if less than that, but have no effect otherwise?
Projection: miss condition: you do like your 1-harm ap, don't you?  As a possible alternative, I'm thinking of the 'ghostly' Gaius 6 sees (okay, eventually in the series that was shown to be nothing to do with the projection ability, but to be honest, I just ignore most of what happened after season 3 anyway ;) ) you've got your own visions haunting you, how about taking inspiration from the Faceless's 'Norman' move? 'Your projection has its own agenda and you act under fire if you don't follow it'.
Oh, and the 7-9 condition's a bit odd, too.  This move basically allows you to ignore the need to 'act under fire', but then on a 7-9, whenever someone interacts with you, you're acting under fire.  Seems kinda counter-productive.


And that's enough damage for the moment, I think.  I may or may not (even need to) comment on the scenario books.

Hope that's helpful!

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 04:27:43 PM »
Huh, I could have swore I replied, but it isn't here. I thigh I might have gotten distracted and closed my browser before hitting send. Anywho, here goes again.

Commander/President Specials: I want the president getting something specific to that character, so I think I'll go with take +1 Hx with that character and, at your option give them 1-favor, at no cost to you.

American Politics: Many thanks for saving my faith in humanity. Any ideas you have for campaigns/catastrophes would be greatly appreciated.

Political Sway: +1 ongoing to do it sounds good. Yeah, I like the hoarder a lot, I'm glad to introduce some of those currency exchange dynamics.

Battlestar: Ammo just exist to run out, a complication for the MC to stick the Battlestar crew with. I'll get specific with the Raptors. I need to look at Battlestar Galactica Wiki to see what the standard compliment of Raptors was. An yeah, I intended for at most, for all options to be picked in the Battlestar strengths. That means the battlestar itself is something the character's invested in... Which makes me really wonder what other was I could treat it more like a character.

Cylons - Resurrection: Hmm, yeah, maybe that is the way to retire your character to safety (since it doesn't exist as a normal advancement). I agree, a revealed cylon is problematic to fit into the game, but as we saw in the show it happened several times (Boomer, 6, the rebels).

Cylons - Experiment: I was thinking about how Simon was experimenting on Kara, that was a straight up surgical operation. Or how Caval was trying to crack open Ellen's mind, or Hera's code. I imagined if it went wrong, people got hurt.

Cylons - Inhuman Strength: Yeah, it's a crowd favorite (possibly because it is so strong, the other one I see a lot is Ambush the Fleet, probably for the same reason). I could change it to +1 Hard (max +3), but I also want to convey that there is a narrative trait to go along with it allowing the Cylon to clearly exert inhuman strength. Perhaps I could add the tag "messy" to their hard stat? That's is pretty non-standard though, so I'd have to see how it worked in play.

Cylons - Projection: I haven't been happy with that move either. It has never been taken. I think it's going to change to "when you are projecting, don't roll to act under fire from distractions or threats, you automatically succeed as though you rolled a 10+.  I'll have to play more with it.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 06:04:39 PM »
Commander/President Specials: I want the president getting something specific to that character, so I think I'll go with take +1 Hx with that character and, at your option give them 1-favor, at no cost to you.
That sounds great.

American Politics: Many thanks for saving my faith in humanity. Any ideas you have for campaigns/catastrophes would be greatly appreciated.
Let's see . . .
Ones that should stay:
Surveillance
Health care
Labour relations
Infiltration
Colonial Relations
Law Enforcement
Ship Defence (Though I think the fail condition should be something like '-OPPRESSIVE' - you've gone too far, too many liberties have been sacrificed for the sake of security.)
[Maybe add: Liberty (2-favour, -INFILTRATED) as a counter-point?]

Assassination is cool, but I don't think would be something used all the time.  I'd make this a part of 'shady deals', below.  (i.e. the shady deal that you're offering is you kill someone in exchange for the favour of someone important).  If you do keep 'assassination', I'd recommend a name change to 'suiciding'.
Ones to add:
Shady deals (3-favour & -OBLIGATION, -EXPOSED) extra-legal deals with power-brokers.
Wedge issues (2-favour, -MARGINALISED) If you don't know, wedge issues are issues which a notable proportion of the population have a passionate opinion about, but don't matter in the 'big picture', such as abortion (which I *think* comes up in the series).  The 'Marginalised' is when you find that you've taken too extreme a view on the matter, and the 'moderates' lose trust with you.
Mud slinging (1-favour, -LOOK UNLIKEABLE) usually done indirectly, get bad things about opponents (true or not) into the public consciousness ('McNasty', 'not a US citizen', 'Vulture capitalist', etc.).
False accusations (1-favour, -DISTRUSTED) 'false accusations' doesn't really cover it, but there's a particular tactic that the Republicans in particular have mastered and use often, so it could have it's own thing: basically, you accuse your opponents of doing what you're just about to do/are doing.  Say you're about to pass a law disenfranchising thousands of voters?  Accuse your opponents of voter fraud.  If they then point at your actions and cry the same, it looks like just particularly unimaginative mud-slinging ('I know you are, but what am I?' kind of thing).  If you can come up with better names/mechanics for that, by all means, I'm not entirely happy with it, but it's such a common tactic, thought I'd mention it.
Limit media access (2-favour, -UNRECOGNISED) you only give exclusives, interviews, etc. with media organisations who make you look good.  This limits your exposure, but what exposure you get will always be good.
Incite Frenzy (3-favour, -LOSE CONTROL) Angry people?  Make them angrier and give them a target.  Doesn't matter if they have anything to do with it - lie enough and they'll believe it.  (Example: Iraq.)
Construct reality (2-favour, -LAUGHINGSTOCK) Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes true in the minds of the majority (the economy is recovering, Iraq has WMDs, social security is bankrupt, etc.).

Now, I haven't put a lot of thought into how these 'fit' into the setting and mechanics of the game, this was just me brainstorming what American politicans do to get and keep power.  Feel free to use them purely as a jumping-off point for your own ideas.

Actually, thinking about it, there's two things here: issues and tactics.  'Health care' is an issue, 'infiltration' is a tactic.  Hmmm.  Do the obligation campaigns really 'fit' a President?  I know Rosen had 'Fighting illness', but that was not inherent to her presidentness.  Maybe issues should be more like 'obligations' (your supporters will desert you if you don't push their agenda), while 'campaigns' are instead 'tactics' - how you get the message across.  Or something?  I dunno, that just came to me.  Might require more thought.

Battlestar: Ammo just exist to run out, a complication for the MC to stick the Battlestar crew with.
Well, my 'thing' is that there's specifically an option to remove the 'Ammo' tag in the Commander playbook.  If all that does is change the disaster that hits from 'low on ammo' to something just as bad, what's the advantage in taking that option?

Cylons - Resurrection: Hmm, yeah, maybe that is the way to retire your character to safety (since it doesn't exist as a normal advancement). I agree, a revealed cylon is problematic to fit into the game, but as we saw in the show it happened several times (Boomer, 6, the rebels).
Sorry, I was unclear: I have no problem with revealed cylons staying around.  It's after they've died and gone to their baseships that I feel the trouble arises.  As long as they're on the same ship, it's fine.

Cylons - Inhuman Strength: Yeah, it's a crowd favorite (possibly because it is so strong, the other one I see a lot is Ambush the Fleet, probably for the same reason). I could change it to +1 Hard (max +3), but I also want to convey that there is a narrative trait to go along with it allowing the Cylon to clearly exert inhuman strength. Perhaps I could add the tag "messy" to their hard stat? That's is pretty non-standard though, so I'd have to see how it worked in play.
Maybe +1 hard (max +3) *and* the ability to permanently transfer points from non-negative stats to hard as a one-time thing?  Hmm.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 01:39:59 AM »
Campaigns: Awesome: I'm going to take a few of those. Shady deals. Mud Slinging, Limit Media Access, and Incite Frenzy. Maybe Wedge issues, but truth be told I didn't know what that meant, so I'm not sure players will. I'll play around with it.

Issues vs. Tactics. Yeah, I'm down with both of those under the category of "campaigns". Like you might have a campaign to infiltrate someone or some organization, and that is really specific, or you might have something general, like improving health care.

Battlestar - Weaknesses: Hmm, my understanding of traditional weaknesses in AW was that they exist for is to be activated as one of the MC's moves, instead of requiring a hard move. So, if "Ammo" wasn't chosen, or didn't even exist, Ammo could still run out as a hard move, but if it is a weakness, the MC can open with, "so, Commander, you've just a report in from the knuckle draggers, Ammo is low the manufacturing ship says they need ore to refine more", etc.

Cylons - Inhuman Strength: Yeah, I'm not a fan of swinging stats. I'll think on it more.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 03:58:49 PM »
Soylent, I thought you might like to see some of the changes in progress (Note, I'm still looking for a move to replace perfect instincts, the Pilot really shouldn't have more roll boosting moves):

Pilot: http://www.seannittner.com/first-swing-at-a-letter-bi-fold-pilot/
Activist: http://www.seannittner.com/the-activist-has-folded/

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 07:04:41 AM »
I'll have more thoughts later, when I have time, but I wanted to share a suggestion for a replacement move for the pilot before I forgot it:

Hothead
When you speak truth to power, take +1.  If this winds you up in the brig, mark xp.

Still a roll boosting move, but one that typically would be used outside your viper/raptor.

Edit: okay, couple of things about the pilot:
Why 'faith' for the special move?  The only stat you roll for your moves is faith as well.  Kara Thrace may have had faith-related stuff going on, but this isn't necessary for every pilot.
Also, with the President's move to make any interaction count as an intimate moment, this special is *brutal*.  Also, you *may* need to re-phrase the 'prove you don't love them' part to account for the fact that sex isn't required to trigger the move in this hack.

New Hx system/phrasing is better.  (But should probably be 'commanding' officer.)

Activist
In advances, presumably should be 'two campaigns'.
Is it deliberate that you can start with no way to actually control your gang?  (Actually, you made 'leadership' a basic move, didn't you?  Never mind.)

And I'm out of time.  Maybe more later, maybe not.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 08:09:59 AM by SoylentWhite »

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 11:40:46 AM »
Hothead: Dig it. That's in. What I renamed Hothead is being changed back to Daredevil. Perfect Instincts is coming out.

Why Faith? Several reasons. 1) When the Commander says "Sometimes you gotta roll a hard six" that is as close as he comes to saying "sometimes you've got to pray". It's really just hoping you'll be lucky, hence faith. 2) Yeah, Kara and her faith. 3) The move used Weird in AW, so I'm keeping that part the same.

Special move: Yep, I'm totally down with this being brutal. The pilot is a crazy powerful playbook, this represents the emotional fragility that accompanies the otherwise insanely capable character. I will change the wording somewhat though from "love" to "care about".

Activist Campaigns: Yeah, it should be two. I'll fix that.

Activist's gang: Actually, Leadership will totally eclipse Crime Lord. I thinking of yanking leadership from the basic moves, giving it back to the Commander, giving Activist Crime Lord automatically, and then figuring out a new move for the CAG to leader the vipers.

On that note, if you don't mind take a peek at my troubles with the CAG over here: http://www.seannittner.com/still-unhappy-with-the-cags-moves/

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 11:49:45 AM »
Why Faith? Several reasons. 1) When the Commander says "Sometimes you gotta roll a hard six" that is as close as he comes to saying "sometimes you've got to pray". It's really just hoping you'll be lucky, hence faith. 2) Yeah, Kara and her faith. 3) The move used Weird in AW, so I'm keeping that part the same.
You misunderstood me, sorry for being unclear.
No problem with faith being the stat for 'hard 6', that makes sense.
I'm talking about the *special* move.  The one that triggers on intimacy.  The one that every pilot has.  Why 'faith' for an 'assert independence' roll?  Cool works (keeping it together), as does hard (being callous).  Faith is a bit odd, to me.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 11:55:05 AM »
Oh. Yeah. Totally. It should most definitely be +Hard or +Cool. I'm not sure why I even put in +Faith now. Bleh.

Hmm, make it easy on them (+cool) by keeping it together or a little tougher (+hard) by being callous. I think I'm in favor of the latter. You need to cut out the infection in your heart before it consumes you.

Re: Apocalypse Galatica
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 01:43:02 PM »
Hothead: Dig it. That's in. What I renamed Hothead is being changed back to Daredevil. Perfect Instincts is coming out.
I think it was hotshot, though I appreciate not wanting two names so similar.
Hotshot alternatives: ace, egotism is my armour, Daredevil
Hothead alternatives: brash, call it like I see it, unwanted honesty

Special move: Yep, I'm totally down with this being brutal. The pilot is a crazy powerful playbook, this represents the emotional fragility that accompanies the otherwise insanely capable character. I will change the wording somewhat though from "love" to "care about".
I'm fine with the result, but I find your reasoning interesting.  The pilot is incredibly powerful *when outside the ship* (in their cockpit), typically when fighting cylons (which makes me look askance at the stat line with hard -2 - at best, they'd be rolling hard 0 on what should be their main task).  The rest of the time (i.e. the majority), they're flat out worse than everyone else.  The one thing they do have going for them is the same 'armour of necessity' the engineer has.

On that note, if you don't mind take a peek at my troubles with the CAG over here: http://www.seannittner.com/still-unhappy-with-the-cags-moves/
Regarding the CAG, I personally would go with a different tack - you've got stuff like 'Leave no man behind', which is a really cool move, but I feel kinda suits the Marine more, and the CAG could take it as a non-playbook move.
Stuff central to the CAG, to me, is:
Organising scouting (raptor scouting)
Planning missions (the plan, below)
Briefing the squad on the mission (brief the squad)
Keeping the squad focused and cooperating (strong hand on the reins, below)
Helping the squad to deal with loss (the dearly departed, below)
I feel that perhaps the right approach to this book is like the battlebabe.  No, not making it a 'cool' playbook, I mean look at the BB's moves - in terms of stat use, they're all over the place.
Raptor scouting - use sharp.

Planning missions:
roll +sharp.  On a 10+, pick 3, on a 7-9, pick 1.
You plan a good way in
You plan a good way out
You plan a good way to accomplish the objective
You have good contingency plans should unexpected events happen
When your pilots are following the plan in the area you've chosen, take +1 forward when appropriate.
On a miss, you've missed something important.

Brief the squad - use hot (passionate speeches)

Strong hand on the reins
When leading a mission, roll +hard.  On a 7-9, pick one, on a 10+, both.
Focused fire: squad do +1 harm this exchange
Defensive flying: squad have +1 armour this exchange.
On a miss, you've dropped the ball, your squad are OUT OF FORMATION and vulnerable.

The Dearly Departed
When the squad are struggling to cope with the loss of one of their own, roll +faith to help them.  On a 10+, pick 2, on a 7-9, pick 1.
They are able to move on.
There's no lingering resentment.
They are bonded together stronger for the experience.
On a miss, their death is all your fault.


Lastly, don't introduce a heart stat for a single playbook, and it doesn't fit the others.

And yeah, I say move leadership back to commander.

And I'm out of time again.  Might have time again later this evening.