NPC Hardholder

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NPC Hardholder
« on: August 23, 2010, 06:43:03 PM »
The players are holed up in a steady base of operations lead by an npc hardholder (not the playbook, just calling him that as the leader of the hardhold) Is this individual typically a threat? I can see the characters wanting the hardhold to succeed and therefore the hardholder, but sometimes a hardholder may be dysfunctional or dangerous to the PC's or to the hardhold itself.

Do you see an NPC such as this as part of a threat? In what circumstances?  And would he be part of the home front?

What I have in mind for my game feels a little strange cause he is a threat to the pc's and others due to his actions, he in fact seems to embody ignorance and I thought he might be a threat in the ignorance front, however... here he sits firmly at home and ostensibly sharing the PC's best interests, at least to a degree.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 06:55:13 PM »
My understanding from the rules is that all NPCs, unless specifically excepted by the rules*, are threats, no matter how close to the PCs they may be.

*For instance, when the advanced moves are in play and someone rolls a 12+ on a seduce or manipulate someone roll.


Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 07:13:39 PM »
All NPCs, when they have / developed an agenda.

Like Matt Wilson said here:
http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=37.msg136#msg136

Quote
I dunno if Vx means it this way, but I'm reading "threat" as "people in your life who don't do exactly what you want them to because they have their own pesky wants and needs" and not "dudes you have to fight." They threaten the easiness of your life. They threaten its boringness.

But, when it comes to hardholders, for me - they are perfect threats, even if they are hiring PCs. Think what would he do, if they will take some job and totally blow it?

*

DannyK

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Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 08:25:34 PM »
Definitely a threat, may not be a Front until they get associated with a deficiency and start rolling on some agenda.  Until then, the hardholder might just be a hassle, but then you match them up with a threat type, probably a warlord, and you're off.  Could easily be on the Home Front unless that guy lines up with a bunch of other threats. 

And "the holding falls into civil war and the survivors are sold into slavery by their neighbors" is a pretty good all-purpose Dark Future for this kind of thing.

Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 08:38:53 PM »
Great comments everyone, thanks.

This guy pretty much embodies ignorance as he fails to accept the situation he's in and rules as if there are no worries at the door and plenty of resources at hand. He may waste the hardhold into famine if given the chance. Yes, that countdown clock when he develops into a real threat will likely end in starvation and slavery.

Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 11:16:50 PM »
Great comments everyone, thanks.

This guy pretty much embodies ignorance as he fails to accept the situation he's in and rules as if there are no worries at the door and plenty of resources at hand. He may waste the hardhold into famine if given the chance. Yes, that countdown clock when he develops into a real threat will likely end in starvation and slavery.
...but this is already a threat.  That would be something I would need to do something about.  I'd just write up the front, add a couple more threats that embody ignorance, and count it a blessing.

Not doing so seems to me like ignoring the obvious.  Every time you narrate him in to the scene, you're going to want to threaten them with his willful ignorance.  May as well get the front mechanics working for you as well.
My real name is Timo

Re: NPC Hardholder
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 12:35:24 PM »
Here's the complete text of my (work in progress) Front based around the guy I have been mentioning (pope) and the hardholds problems.
Any comments are welcome, first time I'm doing this. I can say that the process of making the fronts is great fun and I think will contribute to a great game. It really makes me think about what's out there and how it all relates.

The other two fronts (not mentioned here) are 1) Things relating to the mold mentioned, it's psycho and makes people go all weird. and 3) The slaver hardhold nearby and their gangs and dangerous landscapes.

And yes, the game is set in the ruins of the Vatican. Players ask for odd things sometimes.



FRONT TWO

Is called: inside vatican
Expresses: ignorance
Dark future / agenda: pope is a strong but somewhat delusional leader. He fails to see that while he is growing his hold and gaining skilled people, he does not have the resources needed to feed and maintain such a holding. He begins to feel entitled to anything he wants, and will lash out of not satisfied.  As people begin to abandon the hold it will fall into unrest, and the survivors of the civil war will be picked off and sold as slaves by their neighbors.
Stakes: will someone stand up to Pope and stop the spiral? Will Wisher get his way over Ethan? Will Minerva have to resort to deliberate poisoning or cannibalism?
Cast: pope, his cardinals, wisher’s family
Overall Countdowns
      Poor leadership:

3:00 pope is a little demanding but not intolerable
6:00 – pope asks for things of questionable merit
9:00 – pope beings making unreasonable and unrealistic demands
10:00 – hardhold falls into severe unrest
11:00 – hardhold falls and the survivors are sold into slavery by their neighbors

 

Threat 1
Is Called: pope
Kind: warlord : collector
Impulse: to own
Description & Cast: pope, the hardholder, his cardinals Gnarly and Newton and his gang. (3-harm 1 armor medium gang) Cardinal Newton is Wisher’s father and mouthpiece of Pope. Cardinal Gnarly is leader of the gang.  Pope falsely believes the hardhold has plenty and often makes offers of lavish food and gift to visitors who please him, but can seldom follow through.
Resources: walls, Security, Living Space, Luxuries
Custom Move: when you present pope with a gift, roll+hot. On a 10+, he is quite pleased: he gifts you with a boon. On a 7-9, he is unimpressed: he will call on you again though. On a miss, he is displeased with the gift: you can choose to face his ire or suck it up and promise him the moon.

Threat 2
Is called: wisher’s family
Kind: family
Impulse: to close ranks & protect their own
Description & cast: the auto mechanic Wisher arrived in Vatican as a child with his father Newton, now a cardinal to pope and two older cousins Van(f) and Garret.  Wisher is kind of an abusive punk with little respect but his dad in high places and his big brothers give him a feeling of invulnerability. He is a decent mechanic, and although Ethan is better, his connections are stealing work away from the Savvyhead.
Resources: skilled Labor, Authority (False)
 

Threat 3
Is called: nothing good will grow here
Kind: affliction : delusion
Impulse: to dominate people’s choices and actions
Description & Cast: the ground near Vatican is made up of gritty remains of pulverized architectural stone and crusted over with the mold. Very little can grow around here and most of what does is tainted with a black rot which may inflict the mold upon anyone unfortunate enough to eat the stuff. The farm mistress is in charge of food for Vatican and she is desperate. She has a few poor patches of soil behind the Vatican and has trouble growing anything. There is a walled are of strict security behind the Vatican where she farms. If seen it is very clearly not capable of producing what it seems to produce.
Cast: minerva the farm mistress, assistants Pedge, Gravel.
Resources: none
Countdown Clock:
3:00 – Minerva is barely able to get enough food for a strictly rationed hardhold
6:00 – Minerva can’t keep up, she begins stealing in order to trade for food from neighbors
9:00 – Minerva begins to feed mold infested plants or cannibal meat to people
10:00 – People begin to starve and confront Minerva and Pope about the lack of food
11:00 – Minerva is likely banished or killed as a failure and someone else will be made to take her place. They will have an easier job, many have already died.