sell me on weird

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Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 02:09:12 PM »
I sort of get it.

In the real world there are weird people, and those weird people are outcasts because they have lousy social skills, poor hygiene, personality hangups. Something's fundamentally wired up a little different in them. So it sounds to me like Shreyas is asking "why do these fundamentally miswired people get cool magical powers? Why aren't they just weird?"

I guess I'd come at it a few ways.

For one, it might be a chicken/egg thing. In AW, cool powerz might be what *make* you weird. Not that being weird makes you powerful.

For another, and I prefer this one, there aren't a lot of good ways in an RPG to model what it's like inside the head of a truly weird/miswired person. Personally I think mystical empowerment is a pretty good way to get at that. I mean not to put too fine a point on it or spread gamer shame/hate but look at your (stereo)typical fanboy: He really does believe he's smarter, better informed, more creative, whatever. And he believes this while he repels the "mundanes," can't maintain a conversation, apparently can't/won't maintain basic hygiene, can't look you in the eye. So I guess I'm not sure how to get at that head space without extrapolating that maybe weird people really are better/smarter/more powerful...and then give them really gross, unsuitable power that normal people would have no interest in.

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Chris

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Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 02:36:51 PM »
Shreyas, I don't understand this thread at all.

This is like going to a Star Wars forum and saying "Sell me on the Force."

Yeah, or why does it need all those space ships in it?

If "weird = analogy for real world dysfunction" is actually a "statement" Vincent's trying to make through the game, and I'm not saying it is or isn't, then saying "Why make weird into fantastic powers?" is just like saying "Why does Lord of the Rings have all that fantasy shit? Why not just write a book about industry and get it over with?"

It seems to be against metaphor and analogy in general.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 11:15:49 PM »
Shreyas, I don't understand this thread at all.

This is like going to a Star Wars forum and saying "Sell me on the Force."

Yeah, or why does it need all those space ships in it?
Well, if you don't get the question you don't get the question. Why are you trying to answer the question?

It seems like the answer is, universally, "To make socially dysfunctional people okay," which kinda squicks me out, so...thanks guys. I guess I get Weird and I just...don't like it at all. I appreciate your trying.

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 11:31:28 PM »
I think Weird is the way it is because Vincent designed the Brainer first, and said that it was good, and we (all, sort of) know that it is good.

But I'd like to hear Vincent's opinion on this matter.

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2010, 11:43:14 PM »
It seems like the answer is, universally, "To make socially dysfunctional people okay," which kinda squicks me out, so...thanks guys. I guess I get Weird and I just...don't like it at all. I appreciate your trying.

See, that's not what I'm saying at all. I can't speak for everyone, but, y'know, I'm a scifi/fantasy fan. I admit it: I want lasers on my sharks, sometimes, so the inclusion of weird psychic shit in my post-apocalyptic brew hits me just right. Look at Visions of Death on the Battlebabe and Healing Touch on the Angel. It's not about creating "distance" in either of those cases (at least, I don't see it); it's just about adding color to the setting. And the weird splats, like the Brainer, the Hocus, the entire world's psychic maelstrom, it's all about embracing that color full on and giving it a big wet sloppy one.

I think it's not that people are trying to answer the question without understanding it. I think it's about trying to understand the question so they can answer it. I mean, you're asking "Why weird shit?", and most of everyone else is just saying "Why not?" Which, to be fair, isn't really an answer. But what makes a socially dysfunctional person with psychic powers worse than a socially dysfunctional person with some knives and a gun?

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2010, 03:05:42 AM »
It seems like the answer is, universally, "To make socially dysfunctional people okay," which kinda squicks me out, so...

If by 'okay' you mean 'powerful', sure. If by 'okay' you mean 'socially acceptable' or 'capable of genuine human relationships' or any of the other things you might consider important, then I really don't see it.

Their abilities give them a prominent place in Apocalypse World -- a place on par with the other playbooks -- and some ability to make a different as to how that world turns out. The fact that these sort of people have more power in Apocalypse World seems completely in line with the general thematic set up -- that Apocalypse World fucking sucks, especially if you're trying not to be a shitty person. Brainers have an even harder time not being shitty people, because that's where their power comes from. I don't think it really makes them okay, though.
 

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Chris

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Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2010, 08:29:55 AM »
Shreyas, I don't understand this thread at all.

This is like going to a Star Wars forum and saying "Sell me on the Force."

Yeah, or why does it need all those space ships in it?
Well, if you don't get the question you don't get the question. Why are you trying to answer the question?

It seems like the answer is, universally, "To make socially dysfunctional people okay," which kinda squicks me out, so...thanks guys. I guess I get Weird and I just...don't like it at all. I appreciate your trying.

Nah, I get the question fine. It's just not a fair question. The whole "makes socially dysfunctional people okay" is not anywhere in the thread. Literally no one said that. I don't know where you're getting that.

The answer really is "because".

Why make Superman fly?

Why does Firefly have to happen in space? It's clearly a western.

It's because this is a roleplaying game and the designer of the game likes those elements, so they are in there. Coming along after and trying to make value assertions based off of that decision is just sort of meaningless.

Like people have said before in the thread, most of the other classes that are not weird based also have social dysfunction. So "weird = social dysfunction", which is sort of the basis of this whole thread, is not a particularly apt statement.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2010, 08:59:28 AM »
Chris is right. Shreyas is winding you guys up, and you're falling for it. It's his way!

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2010, 01:33:55 PM »
I actually see the social dysfunction and weird powers as separate things arising from the same source: It's Apocalypse World. There is no status quo. Everything and everyone is broken, from the people to the world.

Social dysfunction doesn't give anyone superpowers, nor do the superpowers make people dysfunctional. The fact that the ground and air is poisoned, the food is dangerous and scarce, the sun is broken in the sky, the minds of the dead are eating the minds of the survivors, water is as likely to hydrate as it is to infect with puppet-string parasites… those are why people are dysfunctional.

Those are also why some of those dysfunctional people happen to be able to do some weird shit.

So the question, given that pile of badness, is: What do you do?

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DannyK

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Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2010, 03:15:55 PM »
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This is me sending silent mind control beams encouragement to Shreyas to write a hack of AW which highlights dysfunctional people without weird powers of any kind.  I'd totally like to see that.

I am also looking forward to seeing the Brainer PC in my game blowing people up with his mind, Scanners-style.

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2010, 07:12:15 PM »
Because Gandhi was weird.

No, seriously. Dude was fucking wacknuts. Went about sleeping next to half naked 14 year old girls, encouraging people who hung blindly on his every word to get the shit kicked out of them, called the nation that tried to kill him "his greatest lover", starved himself, corresponded with Hitler, and.. wait for it... claimed he had magical powers. The magical powers to see through the pain of the world and find something really true beyond it, and once grasping that real truth, make the world better.

Plus, dhoti+glasses is a weird look.

I'm pretty sure I could do a quite accurate Gandhi as a Hocus.

Lets see here:

Name: Bright
Look: Man, tattered vestments, ascetic face, clear eyes, bony body

Cool +1
Hard +1
Hot -1
Sharp +1
Weird +2

Fortunes (Your students, congregate in their own communities, eager & enthusiastic, dedicated, violence, judgement)
Charismatic
Frenzy (just never use it for violence)

Get an advance and probably take Fucking Wacknut and maybe pick up Oftener Right or Spooky Intense. (You can't take the Hardholder because Nehru snatched it.)

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2010, 11:08:34 PM »
Brand, I think I love that.

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2010, 07:18:57 PM »
Another one occurred to me today, as I was reflecting on how I'm very tired of the "Brainer as abusive ex" stance for Brainers.

Sigmund Freud was weird. Deeply. Dude spent a year dissecting eels trying to find their private parts. He got hooked on cocaine, thought we all wanted to fuck our mothers, had followers who would get deeply involved in (and deeply influence) the occult,  believed that 90% of people were sexually abused by their parents when they were children (and later thought that wasn't true, its just that we wanted to be sexually abused by our parents when we were children) and thought that without the help of special people, people who could see through dreams and deep, painful examination of the recesses of our minds, none of us could be fully happy in life. Which, of course, gave him all sorts of reasons to ask girls with histories of inappropriate sexual behavior questions about what turned them on.

Plus, he invented Penis Envy. No, serious. Dude was weird.

Maybe he also helped some people.

So, Freud the Brainer:

Name: Brace
Look: Man, high formal wear, plump moist face, soft eyes, soft body
Stats: Cool +1, Hard -2, Hot -1, Sharp +2, Weird +2
Moves: Deep Brain Scan ("tell me about your mother"), Preternatural at-will Brain attunement.

Get a couple advances and pick up Casual Brain Receptivity to get all Sherlock Holmes on people's psyche's, and (as with Ghandi) Oftener Right is going to be up your ally. Lots of Angel moves are going to be sweet too.



Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2010, 08:43:26 AM »
Freud would normally just have +1 weird, but he's the only person in the holding -- and maybe in the world we know -- who speaks with that weird accent.

"I sink I know vaht vee kin doo about ze raiders."

"Dude, what? Sink? You're weird."
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

Re: sell me on weird
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2010, 09:37:55 PM »
After a read-through of the book and several descriptions on people's games, it sure seems like the maelstrom is there so that it's possible to 'complete the game'.

If the world is inevitably dying a prolonged and painful death, there's not a lot of fun in that at the end of the day. If there's a mysterious thing out there, no matter how remote or alien or difficult to access or understand, that if we could understand it, and figure out how it works, we might just, maybe, be able to somehow do something and FIX it, well... you've just taken a depressing dark social tragedy and made it into a darkly humorous superhero
game.

For me: 'Weird' powers and the maelstrom are the ultimate dangling carrot: the possibility that you can save the world. I'm sold.

Shreyas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_2000   : )

-Jim C.