1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?

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1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« on: September 02, 2010, 12:12:31 AM »
I love the game, the book looks great, and the multiple PDFs are very useful. There are very few things I'd like to see changed in the game's text, but I would like to share my thoughts and hear your feedback.

#1) The section on how to Fill up your 1st session worksheet on page 130 talks about scarcities, but Fundamental Scarcities are not detailed until the next chapter on page 137.

#2) While I love the sample 1st session worksheet on page 131 and 133 (after the 1st session), it pains me that the same worksheet isn't used as a base for the sample Front on page 149. So there's no easily grasped, "oh, so that's how I go from my 1st session worksheet to creating my first front."

#3) Are resources only relevant After the 1st Session (page 132), when using the 1st session worksheet to create your first threats and fronts? Resources are not mentioned again in the Fronts chapter.

Plea for Help
Would someone please help me by creating a sample front using the sample 1st session worksheet on page 133 of the book? I'd also love it if someone would reverse engineer the 1st session worksheet that might have been used to come up with the sample front on page 149. These documents would be valuable as a supplemental download on this web site.

P.S. As relates to the book as a physical artifact, I would love more narrow margins on the outside of the pages, and instead have wider margins towards the middle of each page spread. I'm afraid I'll break the spine by how much I have to push open the book to properly read it.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 12:17:16 PM »
Would someone please share a completed 1st Session Worksheet, and how they used the Resources and other details to then cook up a Front for their second session?

*

lumpley

  • 1293
Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 12:42:09 PM »
It's kind of a pain to do! If someone will, that's great. I'll try to get to it myself when I have some time, but it won't be soon.

You should be able to open the book flat without damaging the spine. The book's spine is hollow, it's a cool and durable binding.

-Vincent

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 02:52:19 PM »
It's kind of a pain to do! If someone will, that's great. I'll try to get to it myself when I have some time, but it won't be soon.
Thanks Vincent. Yeah I would love to see what Front other people would cook up for a theoretical second session using the completed 1st Session Worksheet (page 133).

I have a related question, for those MCs that have run AW, do your 1st Session Worksheet have about as much info as the one in the book or more/less? Would anyone please share a completed sheet?

You should be able to open the book flat without damaging the spine. The book's spine is hollow, it's a cool and durable binding.
Ah, yeah, it actually seems to work just fine. I guess I was just afraid to give it a try and harm the book.  :)

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 01:24:44 AM »
Ok, transcribed my handwritten 1st session sheet to a jpg for all to see. I don't feel I had enough time in the session to ask enough questions, but even so I have several pages of handwritten notes in addition to this sheet, mostly names and more questions. No claim that this is a definitive example, but this is how I worked it. Any advice on getting better at this is truly welcome.



(If the embed doesn't work, image is here: http://img203.imageshack.us/i/1stsession.jpg/
 
The game was set (At players suggestion) in the ruins of the Vatican, some religious imagery and names appear in the game but no actual religion is present, nobody really knows what it all means any more.

What ended up in the fronts is based on the 1st session sheet, but with a lot of re-thought and work. (Really fun work!) Even so i don't think I'm especially good at this yet being my first time.  I feel I already want to start another campaign as this is something which i feel you get better at with practice.

Note, some of the moves are based on the book or sample moves or discussions found in the forums, thank you if you are responsible.

Here's the first of my 3 fronts, the others will be in my next post:

FRONT ONE
Is called: the mold
Expresses: fear
Dark future / agenda: the mold overtakes increasing numbers of people, the voices they hear call them to the wastes. People begin to disappear into the night, called silently by something just outside of perception. People fear each other and fear to go outside. The goggles begin to overact and punish anyone who leaves the hold. The hold disappears in a roar of engines and starvation.
Stakes: will the goggles discover Gabe’s relationship to the cannibals? Will the goggles overstep their authority and become oppressors? Will Gabe help the cannibals learn to extend their lives?
Cast: the cannibals, the goggles. PC Gabriel the Angel.
Overall Countdowns
   The mold’s spread:
  • 0:00 – 9:00 infection under control
  • 10:00 – breach in quarantine
  • 11:00 – infection widespread
  • 12:00 – epidemic, panic

Threat 1
Is called: the mold
Kind: affliction: disease
Impulse: To saturate the population
Description: The mold grows over everything. It spreads quickly, most often during the night as sunlight dries it into a nasty crust. It thrives on moisture and cool. The mold is connected to the psychic maelstrom, some think it is the psychic maelstrom. Those afflicted by the mold sicken physically but find it easier to open their brains but their passions rise quickly to anger and they often fly into a rage. Important, it is very difficult to grow anything edible in moldy soil.
Custom move: when exposed to the mold (lacking proper filter in the waste or while interacting with an infected person or food) roll+hard. On 10+, you avoid exposure: you are fine. On 7-9, you have been exposed but are resistant: start at 0:00 on the mold clock. On a miss, the mold owns you: within a day you are at 9:00 on the mold clock.
Custom move: once infected, roll+weird at the start of every session. On a 10+ your body resists the mold: you return to 0:00. On a 7-9, the mold is in hibernation: the mold clock does not advance. On a miss, the mold is spreading: advance the mold clock.
Custom move: when you use an angel kit to tread the mold, roll+stock spent. On 10+ you kill the mold: they will recover in a day or so. On a 7-9, you have to overdose them: spend 1 additional stock to kill it. On a miss, you’ve wasted your effort but may try again in a few days time.
Countdown:
  • 0:00 – 6:00 - Exposure to the mold.
  • 9:00 - You’re infected, -1 hot and you show black gums and dark around the eyes.
  • 10:00 - you’re contagious and gain +1 ongoing to weird and -1 ongoing to all else. You hear the wastes calling to you at night.
  • 11:00 - you succumb to the mold. Gain +1 ongoing to weird and -2 ongoing to all else. You are weak and hear voices all the time.
  • 12:00 - the mold owns you, wander out to the wastes to be with your own kind

Threat 2
Is called: the cannibals of the waste
Kind: grotesque: cannibal
Impulse: plenty, satiety
Description: the cannibals of the waste are prowlers of the dust. They live on the fringe of communities to prey on the weak and trade when they find a surplus of anything they don’t need. They are seldom found in numbers. They all suffer from the mold but are adept at dealing with it with drugs and harsh bodily scouring. The mold has some group intelligence here and it wants more to succumb. Note that most are not actually cannibals, but are called that by years of misunderstandings, generalizations and rumors from the goggles.
Cast: The leader of the organized cannibals is Dustwich, her followers include Fleece, Doghead, Kettle.
Resources: raw materials (herbal), information, drugs
Custom move: when you have close contact with a cannibal it’s like being exposed to the mold (See above)
 
Threat 3
Is called: the goggles
Kind: brute: enforcers
Impulse: to victimize anyone who stands out
Description: the goggles are one thing all holds of the area all support, they enforce a region wide quarantine against the mold infected. They ride Italian scooters and generally goggles and face masks. They are distinctively clothed in red garb and an air of authority. They are brutal and will banish if not kill anyone infected with the mold, especially cannibals whom they may kill outright. They are permitted to rest in any hold and are always watched over by their hosts. A goggles pack is a gang (small. 3-harm, 1 armor, rich)
Cast: Lead by Saint Peter, also Saint Paul, Saint Joseph, Saint Andrew, Saint Maria. (They take the name of a saint upon joining the goggles and give up their former name)
Resources: gasoline, Security, Authority
Custom move: stands out means anyone infected by the mold or known to associate with the cannibals.
 
Threat 4
Is called: what is that thing
Kind: grotesque: disease vector
Impulse: craves contact
Description: occasionally some poor soul or animal overcome with mold sickness develops a weird capability of walking around half dead and trying to infect people. These near-dead moldy wet carcasses are horrific and terrible. They moan and drip and cry and perhaps still feel and think, but I’m not waiting around to find out!
Resources: truth

Custom move: the first time you see one of these things roll+cool. On a 10+, you keep your wits about you: you can act normally. On a 7-9, what the hell is that thing: take -1 forward to any act which approaches or looks at it closely. On a miss, you freak out: doing anything but running away is acting under fire
Custom move: if you open your brain in the presence of one of these things roll+weird. On a 10+ you communicate with the creature to some degree. On a 7-9 you understand something new about the creature or about the mold. On a miss the creature exerts influence over you. Doing anything but slowly approaching it in fascination is acting under fire.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 01:39:08 AM »
Again, some aspects are inspired by stuff I saw in the book and on the forums, thanks for the inspiration!  Also I wouldn't us this as an example of how this SHOULD be done, this is just the way I did it, and this is my first time.

A lot of things changed between the 1st session sheet and now. Pope, the hardholder is now a collector, not a dictator. he is swayed by gifts. The players didn't pick a "core" type (hardholder, operator, etc) so are all in Pope's employ and will be given a special gig each starting next session.

A lot of the stuff in front 2 feels like it should be in the home front, but it ended up in it's own. It's a fuzzy line sometimes.

So far, most of the action has involved Wisher's family and the Goggles from front 1. The players will start the next session with their gigs and probably some opening moves designed to let them choose the direction of the game (Will they go to Circle town for water or supplies, or work on improving their standing in the hold, or will they possibly try to figure out the mold?  Or (I HOPE ) something I can't even anticipate!)

The remaining fronts:



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: pope is the hardholder of Vatican. 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. He has made so many deals over the years that he is indebted to just about everyone and there is little to go around if called on it. Meanwhile he collects gadgets and meaningless luxuries.
Cast: Pope, Newton, Gnarly and his gang (medium, 2-harm, 1 armor, vulnerable: obligation)
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: the auto mechanic Wisher arrived in Vatican as a child with his family. Wisher is kind of an abusive punk with little respect but his dad in high places and his big brother and sister 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.
Cast: Wisher is a mechanic, his father Newton is popes right-hand man, mother Minerva is the farm maven. Cousins Van and Garret can be found around the hold.
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: 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. She has a few poor patches of soil behind Vatican and has trouble making her ration. She has everyone believing that the cannibals are responsible for the blight however, and constantly scapegoats them for her troubles.
Cast: minerva the farm mistress, assistants Pedge, Gravel.
Resources: Authority, Open Space
Countdown Clock:
  • 3:00 – There is just enough for the indulged and a few more
  • 6:00 – Enough for only the indulged, plus they suffer strict rationing, scapegoats are named
  • 9:00 – Not enough to go around, foods may include mold infection, suspicion and violence
  • 10:00 – Barely enough to keep the gang together, violence rampant
  • 11:00 – Food supplies fail utterly

FRONT THREE
Is called: slavers
Expresses: despair
Dark Future / Agenda: the slaver gangs wandering the other side of the river grow bolder and begin to cross to Vatican. Circle town gains broad power and dominates the region, owning all who do not die in the battles to come.
Stakes: will anyone stand up to Circle Town? Will the slave Pierre escape to Vatican to be with his family? Will Minerva from Vatican need to resort to deals with Circle Town?
Cast: circle town: Ruled by Uncle and Lim. other: Tum Tum, Carna, Shazza, Chuck, Pierre. Slaver gangs led by Harridan, Rum, Ika.


Threat 1
Is called: circle town
Kind: warlord: slaver
Impulse: to own and sell people
Description: circle town is a rival hardhold located in the old roman coliseum. The hardholder here has embraced the feeling of the place and its cavernous prisons and engages in the worst kind of slavery. Might rules here and the leadership is violent and paranoid. Uncle will buy or sell anything for the right price including people and including to the cannibals. He intends to dominate the area and profit by doing so. He and his community are ruthless and violent. A large store of fresh water is concealed in the huge cistern beneath circle town. Water from here is clean and pure, but expensive.
Cast: Lead by Uncle and Lim, who’s (large, 2-harm, 2-armor, savage) gang includes 40-50 men. (Tum Tum, Carna, Hull)
Resources: water, Walls, Loyalty, Preserved Meats (Don’t ask)

Threat 2
Is called: the river
Kind: landscape: breeding pit
Impulse: to generate badness
Description: where the river ran is now a black unhealthy sludge of mold and death. Most of the bridges are out and only one known way to cross remains, but they demand tribute to pass. The river will sink anything heavy, poison anything alive, and belch forth moldy spores and noxious smells to sicken those nearby. The cannibals come here to pick herbs and sludgy growing things to trade for medicines and other necessities.
Resources: access (the other side of the river, circle town), medicine, raw materials
Custom move: while near the river roll+sharp. On a 10+ you find safe crossing: pick three. On a 7-9 you find a precarious crossing: pick two. On a miss, you find trouble, pick one.
      You don’t get exposed to the mold.
      You don’t run into trouble.
      You don’t see something you wish you hadn’t seen.
      You’re certain you can find a safe return.
 
Threat 3
Is called: slaver gangs
Kind: brutes: hunting pack
Impulse: to victimize anyone vulnerable
Description: Many small packs hunt the area, especially near the bridges or the roads from outside. These gangs will try to pick off small groups to sell their stuff, sell slaves, or steal necessities. They often ambush more than fight straight up.
Cast: Most are (small, 2-harm, 1 armor, savage)
Resources: Brute Force


Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 04:27:35 AM »
Excellent stuff octoscott (Scott?). The embedded picture worked fine too, thanks for sharing that. I like how you list Resources for each of your Threats, was that something you did just for this exercise, to illustrate how you got from the 1st Session Worksheet to a Front, or do you do this even for brand new Threats that you cook up?

As I mentioned in my third issue in the original post, I'm surprised that Resources aren't referenced again outside the 1st Session chapter, and not used at all for Threats and Fonts. It just seems odd to me.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 04:33:53 AM »
... you list Resources for each of your Threats, was that something you did just for this exercise, to illustrate how you got from the 1st Session Worksheet to a Front, or do you do this even for brand new Threats that you cook up?

Hmm, I listed resources in my actual work (what you see is pretty much word for word what I have in my game notes)  I figure the hold/players will need some resource or other at some point and this lets m see where they need to go on a moments notice.  need water?  Oh man you're going to have to cross the river to Circle Town.  Need some muscle? Maybe you can make a deal with the slaver gangs.  Stuff like that. Again, this is my first time doing this so no gospel here.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 05:42:51 AM »
Hmm, I listed resources in my actual work (what you see is pretty much word for word what I have in my game notes)  I figure the hold/players will need some resource or other at some point and this lets m see where they need to go on a moments notice.  need water?  Oh man you're going to have to cross the river to Circle Town.  Need some muscle? Maybe you can make a deal with the slaver gangs.  Stuff like that. Again, this is my first time doing this so no gospel here.
I completely agree with your thinking, so no need for excuses. This is why I was so surprised to not see anything about Resources in the Fronts chapter, nor on the actual sheet.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 06:56:01 AM »
hey Octo - awesome stuff :)
I'm just getting to the same situation in my game here

I LOVE the resources you have for each threat. Its a nice pointer for when the players need to get X, you can easily say - "hey, you know that those guys over the river have X" and it will lead to some nice conflict :)

The hardest part for me (I think...) is looking at a bunch of possibly related NPCs and threats and working out - which ones are tied together, which ones are unrelated enough to be on separate fronts.

Care to have a peek and venture some guesses as to fronts - or even ask some questions that can help my mind percolate some connections. :)

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 03:02:47 PM »
hey Octo - awesome stuff :)
Care to have a peek and venture some guesses as to fronts - or even ask some questions that can help my mind percolate some connections. :)

Yeah I'll take a look later when I have some time free.  Hope we can all share ideas and be awesome at this.

Something I did in my notes but removed here to save space is to list all the threat moves for each threat right in their description, and to separate the cast from the description so they look something like this.



Threat 3

Is called: the goggles
Kind: brute: enforcers
Impulse: to victimize anyone who stands out
Description: the goggles are one thing all holds of the area all support, they enforce a region wide quarantine against the mold infected. They ride Italian scooters and generally goggles and face masks. They are distinctively clothed in red garb and an air of authority. They are brutal and will banish if not kill anyone infected with the mold, especially cannibals whom they may kill outright. They are permitted to rest in any hold and are always watched over by their hosts. A goggles pack is a gang (small. 3-harm, 1 armor, rich)
Cast: Lead by Saint Peter, also Saint Paul, Saint Joseph, Saint Andrew, Saint Maria. (They take the name of a saint upon joining the goggles and give up their former name)
Resources: gasoline, Security, Authority

MC Moves for brutes:
  • Burst out in uncoordinated, undirected violence.
  • Make a coordinated attack with a coherent objective.
  • Tell stories (truth, lies, allegories, homilies).
  • Demand consideration or indulgence.
  • Rigidly follow or defy authority.
  • Cling to or defy reason.
  • Make a show of solidarity and power.
  • Ask for help or for someone’s participation.

Custom move:
stands out means anyone infected by the mold or known to associate with the cannibals.

*

DannyK

  • 157
Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2010, 01:37:35 AM »
Hey Octoscott, I hope you don't mind, but I made this image macro and put it up on my bulletin board, it cheers me up when I'm feeling down:



No offense meant to any Catholics (or Popes) who are on the board.

(EDIT: Resized it to prevent screwing up the display and annoying people)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 01:44:11 AM by DannyK »

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2010, 02:34:04 AM »
I'm just getting to the same situation in my game here

Wow, Dionysus.  That's a lot to look at, you've done some good work.
i like how you've adapted the fronts and threats to individuals and their fears or motivations for the horror genre, makes a lot of sense and is probably extremely helpful with a mystery-based story where remembering and being consistent in detail is so important.

Someone may have suggested this but maybe come up with some different "scarcity" categories which are genre specific to your setting/game. You can categorize threats by what kind of terrible horror they represent "Human Cruelty", "Despair", "Otherworldly Terror", etc.

I'll thin some more about it and post more if I come up with anything.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2010, 02:48:41 AM »
Just finished our 3rd session of Vatican.

HAHA Thanks DannyK I like that.

This game does some awesome things. I only had one of my original characters in the game today, and a second new player joined up (As a brainer by the way) and the Fronts allowed me to run a pretty good adventure for the two of them, still based completely in the world and it's events and perfectly suited to who was present.

I knew which NPC's care about the present characters and with a couple of opening moves to let the players steer things, the two players ran quickly through a character create Q/A for the new character and within about 30 minutes we were getting into what turned out to be a pretty good game.

I had changed some stuff since what I posted, mostly due to realizing some of the threats were a little lacking (Circe town is no longer a slaver, it's now a Dictator, and the slaver gangs are now called "Dust Scavengers" and not purely slave related.) Circle town is now much more interesting as it's now a place which has this complex, difficult to maintain water supply as it's feature, and no longer a 1-dimensional "they take slaves" kind of place. (Though the characters haven't been there yet)

I have said before that doing the fronts and threats is some of the most fun I've ever had as a GM/MC, and it really proved itself as a process to be prepared to run a fast paced and adaptable game.

Re: 1st Session Worksheet to a Front - How?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 08:36:17 AM »
It's kind of a pain to do! If someone will, that's great. I'll try to get to it myself when I have some time, but it won't be soon.
I agree with it being a pain to do, but even more so for me I would think, as I I still feel that there's a disconnect in the rules on how to actually get from the 1st Session Worksheet to creating your first Front.

Why are Resources not listed for Threats? Why are the Fundamental Scarcity not listed for Fronts? Sure, there's an "Expresses" heading on the Front Sheet, but in the example in the rules it lists "Corruption" which isn't one of the eight Fundamental Scarcities and there's no mention of why "Expresses" is a category on the Front Sheet.

Had the rules at least used the example 1st Session Worksheet as a base for the creation of the sample Front and four Threats, it would've been possible to puzzle out the procedure, but as it is I feel it's the weakest part of the whole book. It feels like some part of the process is left in the head of the designer, perhaps it was imparted to some playtesters, but I cannot find it from just reading the book.

By the way, octoscott, thanks again for sharing your process with me, of how you got from your 1st Session Worksheet to your Fronts.