Outside the Dungeon

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Outside the Dungeon
« on: August 16, 2010, 12:44:15 PM »
I've just finished reading AW and haven't delved into the hacks here, but wanted to start a conversation going about how I envision using them in order to get advice and maybe shape the way others are developing things.

My White Sandbox campaign has used (house-ruled) OD&D to play through levels 3-7 and Jaquays' _Caverns of Thracia_. We're now at a point where the characters have become entangled in some factional disputes within the Nameless City.

My feeling is that the Apocalypse World structure is going to be really good at handling stuff that involves negotiations, alliances, threats and bluffs, etc. However, I expect that I'd still reach for OD&D when it comes to dungeon exploration. What I'd like to do is to run:
- some sessions that will have the usual dozen players using OD&D to take 3rd-5th level characters into a specific dangerous locale and get into trouble

- some sessions that will have fewer players with higher-level characters, factional powers, minor demiurges, demon princelings, etc., whose interactions will help define the campaign world (both reacting to & inspiring events at the OD&D level)

In other words, what I'm looking for from an AW hack is support for the mid- to end-game. For a variety of reasons (group tradition, handling large groups, ease of introduction to new players) I'm still going to be reaching for OD&D when the level of action deals in resources like a quiver of arrows, a flask of oil, or a second-level spell; the need I'm looking to fill is when the level of action deals in resources like the enmity of an assassin's guild, a bargain with Jubliex, or the interplanar trade relationships of a magic item broker.

Re: Outside the Dungeon
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 01:03:17 PM »
If you want to emulate higher-level play, I think it'd be simple enough to add on some special improvements that unlock after leveling up. In OD&D, the fighter would get men-at-arms and a keep, a wizard a tower or something, and so on.

Using the AW method, it'd be simple to do this with Tony's hack. Just have some improvements you can choose that unlock at certain levels, such as something like:

You can build a keep and attract a company of men-at-arms.

You can build a temple and attract followers and priests.

You can build a mage's tower and perform advanced spellcasting, rituals and item creation.

You can build a hideout and attract a gang of thieves.

And, so on...

Then, just use the Hardholder, Chopper, Savvyhead and Hocus as guidelines for the numbers.

This is pretty much what I did with my reflavoring of AW for the Dark Sun setting.



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Re: Outside the Dungeon
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 07:36:06 PM »
Michael, I'm looking to hack AW to help support the transition from mid- to high-level play in my existing OD&D game. I agree that, as players amass followers through events in the campaign, giving them moves from the playbooks you mention is a good idea.

My intuition is that AW as written is tuned for the kind of play OD&D does at higher levels - where PCs can survive wounds that obliterate ordinary mortals, may command the resources of a castle or lead a retinue of followers, and have mojo that is more reliable and potent than a single 1st-level spell or magic arrow. My experience suggests that, around this level, the kinds of things PCs get involved in and have the power to do - woo Gynarchs, hire gangs of killers, start cults - are very loosely supported by the OD&D texts. One of the principles you can find there, though, is "adapt an existing game to suit your needs," whether that's Chainmail, Outdoor Survival, or Apocalypse World.

I suspect that the range of advancement covered by OD&D spans enough range of styles of play - from "count your torches" to "count your hirelings" to "count the revenues of your barony" to "count your supporters in the celestial court" - that, to handle it all in an AW framework, you'd want to use the 'make your character into a new playbook' advancement option to allow the game to re-tune for these different tiers.

I think a goal for me is to be able to use AW or OD&D as the situation demands - so that the AW layer would ride above the OD&D one, with an easy & fast way to take an OD&D character and generate it's AW stats.

- take six D&D stats, convert to modifiers as follows:
- give each one +1 if >= 13, +2 if >=16, -1 if <=8, -2 if <=5
- give a suite of modifiers based on class
- compensate somehow for randomness in stats: e.g. maximum stat bonus is 12, so you have a pool of bonuses you can use to rolls in play equal to 12-your stat bonus totals
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 07:53:13 PM by Tavis »