Images of ApW

  • 15 Replies
Images of ApW
« on: June 17, 2010, 11:47:30 AM »
- A hardholding in the Appalachians, with mountain-top removal mining pits and lots of third-growth forest. The holding is platforms build out from an old cell-phone tower, with long rope ladders that get pulled up after you to keep whatever got messed up by the mining pits from getting to you while you sleep. Not zombies, but seriously, the stuff those animals carry now, you don't want in you 'less you've boiled it in five changes of water first. Lots of music, and the struggles are mostly about arable land. Solar ovens on the roofs of the aeries, beautiful belts made of woven telephone wire, and cancer from pits. The Angel is a granny midwife, the Savvy-head thinks he can find the source of the leaking toxins, the Skinner can make violins and guitars.

- A city Zoo that's now a freak-show/mental hospital run by an enterprising Operator-type or Brainer-type. Caged people, their 'keepers', the gawkers, etc. Not everyone in the cages is crazy or dangerous, of course. And not everyone outside is safe and sane.

- Pig-maggots.  Food animals with nearly no legs and lots of muscle and fat. Good for disposing of things you no longer need. Also useful for tallow and wax for wax writing tablets.

- An old reel-to-reel movie projector and a stash of movies. The holding is the theater, and the movies are what the holding barters for food and etc. Recently, a Hocus-type has started seeing hidden messages in the films, and there's a cult following growing up fast.

- A garden underground, in the parking garage of an old office building. When the wind blows wrong, which is often, the air up-top's not fit for breathing, and everything down here is held together with tape and wire, and the glow of the grow-lights is everywhere. It's damp, too, and there's this guy who keeps licking the walls and going on about how pure it is. Some folks are starting to lose decent vision in sunlight.

- A row of squirrel skulls strung on a necklace.

- Someone shot over a handful of seeds.

- The halls and tunnels connecting a university complex. The old tradition of sticking things to the walls didn't stop, but now it's this odd collage of stuff, like flattened dried frogs and weird melted plastic lids and tattered bits of nylon tents.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 01:53:03 PM »
Mine aren't nearly as good.

-A savvyhead that's still alive only because he operates the town's big old rusty water pump, cobbled together from old car parts which he strokes and whispers to when he's alone (or not).

-A little girl with a lazy eye, her brain forced open to the maelstrom by a psychic mutant grotesque, unable to sleep because the storm assaults her mid every time she closes her eyes now.

-A crook posing as an angel, plotting to bring down the local hardholder because he thinks he's in love with the hardholder's chick.

-An old woman full of stories that no one ever listens to, left to mumble to herself in her stuffy cabin, walls full of memorabilia from Before.

-An old hotel building, crumbling and overgrown, known to the locals as the Hot(el) P(a)lace, inhabited, no, infested by an impossibly fat old brood mother with her dozen sons and extended family that goes into hundreds, impossible to feed.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 09:53:20 PM »
Y'know, I'm seeing a connection between the IaWA oracle lists and ApW imagery.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 11:35:51 PM »
-The Museum of Man holding. The warlord runs the holding like something between a kleptocracy and a theocracy. A charlatan psychic warlord with 12 wives and 36 children presides over the holding. He claims to be a descendent of the woman who killed God. His children are tricksters and false prophets who claim Brainer and Hocus abilities. One of them is the real deal, though. She lives, breathes, and eats in the psychic maelstrom.
The residents use the musuem's artifacts, without their original context, as common household items and clothing. Most of the books, particularly the ones without pictures, have long been burned as kindling. The warlord sends his daughter out into what's left of the world when doors leading to nothingness, that scream when you open them, appear on the walls. Many years later, his daughter walks out of the remaining door, dressed in the skins of her friends and enemies, wearing gloves that enable her to reach into one's brain, carrying an infant who looks disturbingly normal compared to his mother.

-Gentleman cannibals enjoy a succulent roast prepared by their host's mischievous and sweet-faced chef. The chef serves Pop Tarts for dessert. He playfully rolls a bone between his palms as he watches the third guest on the left of the host choke, vomit blood, and fall dead to the floor. "Well done, my boy." The host says, and the other guests nod their approval.

-Warring cults stage their final battle between the empty aisles of a Piggly Wiggly.

-At the flooded entrance of the old subway, a band of children trap and kill four giant rats. There's good eating tonight. Back at a half burnt library, three more girls prepare a firepit. The oldest girl knows this could be home when she finds a lonely car with a good sense of humor and a decent engine in the parking lot.

-Lost, cold, the rest of their raiding party killed in an ambush, a gunlugger and a chopper hunker down and huddle together for warth in a wet, crumbling basement in a wet, crumbling city. The gunlugger traces the deep scars on the chopper's face and realizes she's the most beautiful thing he's ever touched.

♥ Julia

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 08:33:40 PM »
Like the dead eye of a white carp, the black sun stares through the haze at the rooftop islands of The Wake.  The Wake.  A massive bay of murk, water poisoned by toxins and the psychic miasma of the maelstorm that came with the End.

In the Before, here was a gleaming city full of promise, its spires raised with Promethean defiance towards the heavens.

But now it is half submerged.  Fewer than a hundred towers rise above the surface, and of these only a few as much as a hundred meters.

A few of the towers are close together and are bridged with metal and bio-cord.  The towers house Those Who Remain.

Carrier pigeons and fanboats flit between them now and then.  And pestilence.  And war.

At the south end of The Wake rises its finest tower, its least haunted ghost.  For now.

Here is Babbel.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 07:31:20 AM »
^ Ooh, good one!

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 12:10:40 PM »
--This hillside was ready for a subdivision.  Now there are rice paddies on the terraces.  Nice thing is, there are some paved roads.

--A sheltered bulletin board in the train station still holds homemade Missing posters and messages: "Will, if you read this, I'm taking Robin to the cabin.  Please find us there.  I love you."

--She has to pollinate the blossoms by hand, but by God she'll have apples come fall.

--He's weird and mutters and kind of smells, but he can tell when the bloodstorms are coming so they feed him.

--Snowshoes work on ash too.

--She remembers when she couldn't hear the voices.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 04:42:08 PM »
"--A sheltered bulletin board in the train station still holds homemade Missing posters and messages: "Will, if you read this, I'm taking Robin to the cabin.  Please find us there.  I love you.""

THIS IS GENIUS.  I think of evidence of the apocalypse in such broad, idiotically violent strokes sometimes (gaping holes in the earth, rain of ash, radiation zones) that I forget about the subtle, heartwrending shit.

God damn. 



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Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 05:15:53 PM »
Oh, yeah. It's like the grocery list in Canticle of Leibowitz. Everything's bad, but the personal makes your heart skip two beats.
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: Images of ApW
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 08:17:51 PM »
Did most of this stuff come from play?

Because I'm in the "dream up some apocalyptica" phase of prep for our first session next week, and I'm having a hard time coming up with anything (at all and) near as good as what you guys've got. I believe I'm making it too hard--perhaps I just need to go for a walk and think "what would all this look like in Apocalypse World? Thanks for the images.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2010, 03:54:53 PM »
I know a couple from my list and a couple from Parthenia's list are directly from our games.

For me, there's two big steps to getting to good apocalyptica. First, figure out a basic state of the world. Dry and cold and grey? Moldy and hot and damp? Over-run lush, with broken stuff sticking through? Then I layer something everyday onto that, like say, clothes on a line.

Dry etc: There's a clothesline with the usual shapeless drab garments, but on the end is a little girl's party dress dancing in the wind, so bright a blue your eyes nearly weep with relief. (or else: It's too cold to wash anything, and there's no water to spare anyway, but there are some people beating clothes against a pole. Little clouds of dirt billow around them. Some of the specks are florescent.)

Moldy etc: Nothing's ever *really* dry, but people keep trying. If you don't need to wear it at the moment, you hang your clothes on pegs. If you wear wet stuff too long, red goo starts to form in the creases. The goo eats through clothes, and maybe through skin, too?

Over-run: The vines have started to creep along the clothesline already. The flowers have violet centers and smell like fruit three days past ripe. They drip gobs of sticky sap on everything. It sounds like a thousand leaky pipes all out of sync.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 04:33:23 AM »
This is awesome stuff, guys. Would anybody mind if I compiled these into a random generator on Abulafia? (

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 06:46:59 PM »
I'm extremely sorry for resurrecting a 15ish-month-old thread, but I found it in a search and it's amazing.  I was going to start a thread about how I need help "barfing" and while this didn't have a lot of participation, it's been incredibly helpful and I'd love to fire it up again.

My contribution is not nearly as amazing:
  • The gate of a hold is made of reinforced traincars on a section of track, pulled back and forth with an elaborate pulley system.  (Alternatively, a toll gate run by bandits, only using entire trains.)

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 10:42:44 PM »
Wow, the idea of a Driver who drives the last working train on the last open track between a series of little hardholds? C-o-o-l.

And oh my goodness, my 15 year-old son had a dream recently that was pure ApW setting. Check this out:

A black city, everything coated in slick shiny black (maybe oil condensing from the air?). Occasional gashes of orange.

There's a vapor called the Illness, that's orange and misty, and if you breath it in, you slowly become a zombie-like scavenger. It moves around the city with the wind, maybe, and if you see it coming, you run inside Fast.

The zombie-scavengers eat garbage and rats and people if they catch one.

Somewhere in the city is a zoo with a giant gorilla who Will eat you.

Fronts are: zombies, the Illness, and the giant gorilla. I want to run this.

Re: Images of ApW
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 01:02:12 PM »
And I want to play it!