Playbook Directions

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Playbook Directions
« on: September 22, 2010, 02:07:34 AM »
Howdy-- I just picked up the AW book online a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking about using it as the glue that holds my WoD/Smallville RPG mashup game together.  That is, scrapping huge chunks for the vicious simplicity of AW.

So Vincent mentioned in the battlebabe thread that the playbooks sat on an x-y axis.  Care to illuminate those axises?   And what the directions on those mean?  IT would really help me get my head around designing playbooks.

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lumpley

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Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 08:52:39 AM »
Uh oh. This is rapidly going to become just crazy-talk from me. Look out!

X and Y are, like, mechanical effectiveness and fictional effectiveness. Z is something we've never talked about, but I'll call it mindshare effectiveness as a very crude first stab.


Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 09:00:41 AM »
Okay, that actually makes sense.  I was figuring that the axises were Internal/External and Direct/Indirect.   

I set my axis as Mystery Effectiveness and Horror Effectiveness.  On one end, you have the brilliant Sherlock, who can solve mysteries in his sleep, but is mentally unstable, and on the other you have the Dead-Eyed, half a monster in her own right who approaches every problem with a hammer.

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 02:16:16 PM »
wait, what?  That made sense?

Ok, mechanical effectiveness:  How their moves help to up their statistical chances of acting the way they want?  So for instance, gunlugger has two moves that switch hard in for basic moves as well as a move to max out that stat?  I definitely see the gunlugger as being one of the most mechanically effective classes to play.

Fictional effectiveness: uh buh huh?  Are you talking about how much they introduce or control the fiction around them?  So moves like frenzy, or wealth, or fortunes are inidcative of a character that is fictionally effective?

I don't really know what Mindshare effective means.  I'll be staring squinty-eyed at the Battlebabe to see if I can figure that one out.
My real name is Timo

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 02:36:30 PM »
Motipha, it seems like you're getting it, because you just unpacked it. No?

Vincent, who's maxing out those axis?
If I were to guess:

Mechanical Axis: Gun Lugger, Driver.
 Fictional Effectiveness: Brainer, Hocus and Hardholder.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 02:52:19 PM »
Don't ask me questions unless you want the crazy-talk!

So characters aren't balanced in mechanical effectiveness, they're balanced in mechanical effectiveness x fictional effectiveness. If you picture a grid, X by Y, they're all points on an arc equidistant from the origin.

I don't figure that any of them are pure X or Y, pure mechanical effectiveness or pure fictional effectiveness. The gunlugger is in the Xward half of the arc, sure, and the hocus is in the Yward half, but it's pretty clear to me that you could push a character playbook much further toward X or Y than any I've made. Mine are all somewhere in the middle of the arc.

And but then, they aren't even balanced in mechanical effectiveness x fictional effectiveness, they're balanced in mechanical effectiveness x fictional effectiveness x mindshare-or-whatever effectiveness. It's just that for most of them, their mindshare-or-whatever effectiveness is 1, right? Most of them are points on that arc in the Z=1 plane. The battlebabe, though, shows that it's not an arc, it's a segment of a sphere.

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Bret

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Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 03:02:51 PM »
I'm calling the nuthatch.

Actually, no, this is really cool stuff. I just wish I understood it.

Could you lay out examples of mechanical effectiveness, fictional effectiveness, and mindshare effectiveness as play anecdotes (even made up ones)? Pretty please?
Tupacalypse World

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 03:49:26 PM »
So, the Hardholder isn't great at killing people or making people do what they want or getting shit done. They can do that a bit, but they're not the best at it. But! If you're playing a hardholder, you're probably playing in their holding, and you're probably playing members of their gang, and what they say about those things, and what the hardholder is like is going to have a big effect on the fiction of the game.

If you're playing a Chopper, you're better at getting shit done. You can fight and kill pretty good. You've also got this gang and what you say about this gang, and what you're like, is going to have a pretty big effect on the fiction. Not as big as the hardholder, but pretty big.

Gunlugger, you've got no gang, and no holding, and no crew, so what you say about the world pretty much only applies to you. But when you want shit done, you can get it done.

Now, the battlebabe is different. You've got no gang or shit, but you're not as stone-cold deadly as the gunlugger (close, but not quite). What do you get instead? Who's more likely to be the hero of the story, the gunlugger or the battlebabe? Who is going to make us sit up and listen closer when they're in the spotlight? Who does what they want and damn the consequences? Who can start trouble and then just leave? Who is this story about?

Like, if you've seen Kick Ass, we all remember Hit Girl more than the dude in the wetsuit. That's my take on mindshare effectiveness, but maybe I'm all wrong. I still couldn't tell you exactly what qualities make the Battlebabe this way (though I'm guessing the sex move is part of it), so I would like to hear more crazy-talk.

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Bret

  • 285
Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 03:57:48 PM »
Ooooh, I get it. Thanks Simon.

Huh! That has me thinking that maybe I plopped the Faceless somewhere up on that Z-axis. Kind of on accident.
Tupacalypse World

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 04:11:54 PM »
Oh yes. The faceless is absolutely off that Z=1 plane. In fact, that's why I pounced on it so hard.


Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 05:02:33 PM »
So, to reword in order to get another look at the topic:

if fictional effectiveness is "how enmeshed in the world the character is" and mechanical effectiveness is "how well the character can navigate the world" then our mythical z is... "how much the character instigates change in the world?"

That's not right, the moves are inherently about instigating change.  Hrm.  "How much the character reflects/highlights the nature of the world?"  There's something there like the contrary in Hyemeyohsts Storm's Seven Arrows.

gah!  My mind boggles!
My real name is Timo

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Bret

  • 285
Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 05:24:50 PM »
"How much the character reflects/highlights the nature of the world?"
Timo, I like that.

So it's like mechanical effectiveness, fictional effectiveness, and PURE STYLE.
Tupacalypse World

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 02:13:48 AM »
So we're not talking about an X-y axis, but a slider labeled maybe 'implicit/explicit power'.  And then you have something connected to it like 'narrative autonomy/dependency'.   The Battlebabe can pick up and go from situations that any other character is locked into.  I could imagine a Golem playbook, moving in the opposite direction as the Battlebabe, where having sex or bartering with another character binds him to a course of action.

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 10:28:39 AM »
So we're not talking about an X-y axis, but a slider labeled maybe 'implicit/explicit power'.  And then you have something connected to it like 'narrative autonomy/dependency'.   The Battlebabe can pick up and go from situations that any other character is locked into.  I could imagine a Golem playbook, moving in the opposite direction as the Battlebabe, where having sex or bartering with another character binds him to a course of action.
Not really.  If were looking at it from a mechanical point of view, the gunlugger and the driver are at least as untethered.  The drivers special move is explicitly about picking up and getting away: prove that your not tied down.

We are most definitely talking about axes though.  The concepts that Vincent describes are not opposite from each other, they are orthogonal.  You can imagine a character who is both fictionally and mechanically effective, and can even create that character by selecting appropriate combinations of moves when you improve.
My real name is Timo

Re: Playbook Directions
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2010, 02:15:24 PM »
Like, if you've seen Kick Ass, we all remember Hit Girl more than the dude in the wetsuit. That's my take on mindshare effectiveness, but maybe I'm all wrong. I still couldn't tell you exactly what qualities make the Battlebabe this way (though I'm guessing the sex move is part of it), so I would like to hear more crazy-talk.

So, Hit Girl has lots of Mindshare Effectiveness & Mechanical Effectiveness. She's a shit-hot warrior, and also she's pure magnetism.

Big Daddy has lots of Mechanical Effectiveness & also Fictional Effectiveness. He's a badass assassin, and he drives the plot in serious ways, due to his dark history and his mission. But we aren't drawn to his story.

Kick-Ass has lots of Fictional Effectiveness. His story is plot-driving. I'm unsure about Mindshare - we care about him because the camera is on him, but if the camera were to catch this as an ensemble movie, would Kick-Ass be the protagonist, or just a plot driver?