Carnage Amongst the Worlds

  • 5 Replies
Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« on: June 09, 2012, 10:09:13 PM »

I love the way Apocalypse World handles drama. And I love the way 3:16 handles scenes of carnage. A while ago we played Dungeon World wrong and got a touch of Gregor Hutton's 3:16 in our AW, and it was very, very cool.

There are a range of genres that combine (melo)drama and carnage. And I pretty much like them all:
- Martial arts massacres
- Samurai epics, like 13 Assassins
- Spaghetti westerns
- Zombie apocalypses
- Clone Wars (no blood, but count how many clones and droids die each episode)
- The grim-dark of the far future
- The butchering "heroes" fantasy stories, like Conan

I've already made and played a bunch of games that tried to get to this fun by using AW or 3:16, including Butchers and Thieves, Deathwatch 3:16, and Clone Wars AW. But the 3:16 hacks lack (melo)drama and the AW hacks lack carnage. We also only play them as short 3-5 campaigns so I want commonality of rules so we can shift quickly.

So I'm going to bring (melo)drama AW rules together with 3:16 carnage rules to make a fast-play core game that does both. Then I'll be able to quickly reflavour with just playbooks and gear to hit a different genre. I'm aiming for a fiction based (melo)drama game, that shifts seamlessly to a tactical carnage mini-game and hits all the genres I want.

I've written up a bunch of moves that people would recognize, but here is some of the more interesting stuff:

Flashback (vs Focus)
When you have a flashback cross off a List item you have with another PC that relates to this situation, describe a flashback with them to a critical point and then roll vs Focus.
- 1 to 3: The flashback is indecisive. Choose 1.
- 4 to Focus: The flashback is a good outcome for you. Choose 3.
- Miss: The flashback brings only pain. The MC will make a very hard move.
- You are the Master
- The other PC is not the Master
- You are not as badly wounded as you thought, uncheck one box
- You gain extra energy or an insight, take +2 forward to your next roll
- You have something you got from them earlier
- Both of you may add new List item with each other

Resolution mechanic:
- Roll d10 and compare it to the relevant Stat:
- A roll of 1 to 3 is a partial success
- A roll of 4 to Stat is a full success
- More than Stat is a miss
- A roll of 10 is always a miss
- If the action causes damage the roll also equals the damage dealt, or number of enemies killed, or the amount looted.
- Taking +1 forward or +1 ongoing both temporarily increase the Stat not roll.

I realize this isn't what everyone is looking for from an RPG, but I welcome people's suggestions and ideas. I'm pushing on with it because I've done enough hacking to know it will give me exactly what I want.

Re: Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 12:49:41 AM »
Having been just introduced to 3:16 recently so I would love to see more of what you have worked up.

I am mainly courious about the List Items between characters, is this like a Hx?

Re: Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 01:32:28 AM »
I have something but it is a bit too rough to post yet. I've been distracted by a Dungeon World project right now, but I will tidy it up and post it when I can. If you set up the thread to notify you it will let you know when I do.

List is sort of like Hx, but every +1 has a descriptor attached to it, and it doesn't reset. Things like "Sgt Freedy made me clean the latrines when it wasn't my turn". Essentially you add up the descriptors to get a List total. It's like Bonds in Dungeon World, but we've been using the term List since we started playing Goblin World as we like saying: "That guy is such a jerk, I'm putting him on the List".

Re: Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 09:19:32 PM »
Do you address Threat (in the 3:16 sense)?  Seems like you would have to create a MC-centric "Hold" economy if you do.. or at least that was my thought

Re: Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 09:29:46 PM »
Hold is a great way to think about it, and I might shift to that. Hmmm: lots of ideas sparked by that suggestion.

At present, in terms of the danger economy, I've been using HP as the threat currency right now. A swarm is 2 for 1 HP (because you kill two for each point of damage), minion is 1 for 1, elite is 3 for one and so on. The monster powers / moves also have a HP cost. The GM gets a total HP for the session and a maximum HP per adventure.

Re: Carnage Amongst the Worlds
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 02:56:47 AM »
Been doing some more work on this now I've finished Number Appearing. Toying with the title 'caedite eos' (slay them all), as this fits the idea to recreate a wide range of action media where the 'heroes' kill hordes of enemies but may well die themselves pretty well.

Right now my design principles are:
- No GM, because the type of game I want shouldn't need one. Plus I want to play.
- Flows like an action movie. So I have gone with Remember Tomorrow or Burning Empires style scenes.
- But you can die like an action video game. Tactical combat matters and death is very present. But also an option to turn this down to play things like Clone Wars.
- Emergent characters and character tension. So start quickly and flesh out the character as they survive. This means it has to handle both tensions between characters and with threats.
- As simple as possible.


Principle is to reduce the complexity of rolls so you get back to the action faster but also that rolls spiral up the tension. So limiting addition required and cutting a separate damage roll or assessment. It looks like this at present:

Roll d12 and compare it to the relevant Stat:
- A roll of 1 to current HP total is a pushed success (two choices, so up to x2 damage, and +1 HP)
- A roll more than current HP and up to the Stat is a full success (one choice, so x1 damage)
- A roll of more than Stat is a miss (+1 HP, so your chance of pushed goes up)
- A roll of 12 is always a critical miss (roll to see if very bad things happen)
- If the action causes damage the roll also equals the damage dealt (and amount looted).
- Take +1 forward an +1 ongoing increase the Stat rather than the roll.


I'm pretty happy with how these are coming along. Scenes will flow like in Remember Tomorrow, but you can't follow a scene with one of the same type.

1. Challenge (roll vs varies)
In this scene the player challenges another player's character with a situation that requires a roll. If they try and miss the challenge the Controller gets 2 XP.
- ... physical challenges: kicking doors, opening chests, swimming rivers, duels
-, climbing, picking pockets or locks
- or intellectual

2. Conflict
This is where it will focus down into 3:16 type combat.

3. Escalation
Cut-away to Threat and announce future badness, like kidnapping someone or otherwise escalating the situation. Increase resources and experience value of the Threat. If an NPC significant to a PC is kidnapped or killed, they write down a Flashback Hook.

4. Preparation (roll vs varies)
A montage when you prepare, grab your gear or train roll vs any one Stat. Let's the characters heal, gain moves or otherwise prepare for tough fights.

5. Refresh
The Controller can choose two or more characters to have time together to" talk through an issue, bind each others wounds and make revelations. Have the characters talk, and when discussion is at a critical point of your choosing resolve. To resolve each player simultaneously points at a player (index cards with names for web game). For every player that points at you, you refresh -2 HP. if you point at yourself you refresh -1 HP. If no-one points at you, you get a Flashback Hook to this event.

This is not a scene itself, but an improvement on something I've posted before fits into scenes:

6. Flashback
If you don't like the result of die just rolled and you have a relevant unused Flashback Hook you can immediately interrupt the action with a Flashback scene. Once you have played out the Flashback scene you re-roll the die. During the Flashback go back to event and recreate it. If the event was resolved previously because it was played out in the game, just relive it quickly and use it to fuel a re-roll. If the event was not resolved because it was not played out in the game work it through it with other players taking on the role for their characters or NPCs as necessary. For these unresolved events, the re-roll is used at it pivotal point to resolve the result of the Flashback (benefits not accruing, just success or failure for the character) and the current scene. You can't follow a Flashback with another Flashback to get a third roll of the dice.

More soon.

But in the meantime if you like the concept but think my rules suck, check out Tactical Ops ( I ran across today. It has a somewhat similar concept in GM-less tactical rules for special operations games but different rules approach.