Your Group's 'Feel' of AW

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Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« on: September 27, 2010, 01:56:29 AM »
I've got all this apocalyptia maelstroming around in my brain, ready to barf forth at our first session in a few days, and whilst nodding along to the really great thread on Love and Kisses (from your MC), I was struck by something Arvid said:

We're from Gothenburg, Sweden, but I feel that the language of Apocalypse World (the game, not the world) cannot be separated from the game as a whole, so all the hand-outs are in english. Apocalypse World (the world, not the game) is just so american.

Which I think is awesome for a bunch of Nordic gamers to dive headlong into Americana!

For me though, I really want to pitch to the player(s) an Australian Centric 'feel' to our AW. Sorta like that montage by Tsunehisa Kimura on the cover of Midnight Oil's Red Sails in the Sunset. I will be scrabbling together (and defacing) tourist maps of Sydney, Melbourne and perhaps even the 'radback' of Alice Springs. I want to push for Character Achetypes from the Proposition, the Piano, Rabbit Proof Fence or Mad Max - which (to me) are distinctly Antipodean in their flavour.

Which brings me to my question. What feel does your AW have? What underlying cultural wreckage clings to its sordid underbelly and gives it strength? What is the bile that binds your Barf?

Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 04:53:56 AM »
Cool question.

My current game, Vatican, is set in the ruins of old Rome and the Vatican. But beyond a few incidentals there is nothing identifiably Italian or really religious about the setting. The hardholder is Pope and the Goggles, a sort of roving anti-cannibal police force are called Saints but nobody really knows what those words mean any more.

Yeah, even set in Italy/Vatican it doesn't feel very European or specifically tied to any culture. Think it's good that way but not necessarily so.



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Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 09:17:40 AM »
Cool thread!

As you mentioned, our game is some sort of Americana, and also some sort of Apocalypse Vanilla, desert landscape and so on.
Here's kind of the theme song:
Actually, it's Rolfball's theme song, but just listen to it. It sets the tone perfectly.


There is a big gap in the technology: We have horses and rifles. Cars, gasoline, heavy weapons, explosives and electricity shows up very seldom. At the same time, the characters have seen things such as bio-nano-machinery, and plasma weapons. These are mystic and scary tings, in the control of mystic-tribal societies.

Also, Daimyo the hardholder wishes to become "king of California", and the intrigues and power grabs that goes with that have just started.

So there is also a slight historical vibe to the whole thing, with feudal-level conflicts and weird people with scary occult powers, kind of like sword and sorcery. This isn't a big and explicit thing in the setting, but I can see it as I look back over these seven sessions.

Maybe it all started with Martina picking a spear and a gun for Canaveral the Battlebabe, and us imagining her kind of like a knight for New Jerk.

That's interesting.

We're definitely going for another campaign later, probably with some other feel.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 09:30:39 AM by Arvid »

Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 10:03:36 AM »
Our game doesn't have a lot of cultural referents; it's mostly been a tale of survival as the population balances on the edge of starvation, and the PCs keep having biker gang and/or cannibal problems.  We have recently introduced a nearby town called Carny, built up around one of those travelling carnivals with amusement park rides that set up in parking lots for fund-raisers, or as part of county fairs.  I hope to get some play from those images.  We've also done a little with art and music, which I hope to get back to.  The Hocus pulls music from the Maelstrom of the time before, and pushes  music in of the Time Now.

Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 10:30:38 AM »
Typically it's: blasted, flat, and gray, like a desert on the moon. Now it's frosty, expansive, and scary.

Culturally, though, I'm drawing on my hometown. I live in Savannah, GA, and we're a weird combination of rustic / historic, haven't-changed-since-the-fifties buildings and corner shops, old civil war houses and architecture, and progressive, new era hippie art movements. You'll see an old department store that's still got the same signage and charisma attached to it from being the first Macy's, or whatever, but now it's a Quizno's. Imagine if half your town was in one time period, and the other half was eagerly embracing the future. It's weird.

So my Apocalypse Worlds are all like that: flat, open area with lots of landmarks, dotted with cultural hubs and a surprising (for the setting) amount of technology. Go meet the tree-people in our current game: they're savage hunters in the snowy forests, simple traders, but they've got night-vision goggles and stealth tracking equipment, and like, walkie-talkies.

Anachronistic is the word, maybe? Not quite.

There's history everywhere, too. Dig deep enough, and you'll uncover ancient cities, or relics of a bygone era. But everyone knows about that, they're just so accustomed to it being there that it's not even a thing.




  • 777
Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 01:23:03 PM »
Thanks for sharing Gang, there is some awesome barf out there.

Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 11:06:16 PM »
When we sat down to start our new game, I mostly had the standard wasteland kicking around my head, but sort of amorphous and unrefined.

When our MC said, "OK, here's what you need to know to start: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses..." it was sort of like a bomb went off in my head.

The idea of a skinny, inbred, albino Chopper leading a gang of redneck teenagers on mud-encrusted fat-ass 4-wheel ATVs wearing mining helmets with headlamps threw itself up in my mouth immediately after.

The water? With the pretty rainbows? Seriously, don't drink it.