IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?

  • 7 Replies
IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« on: December 05, 2012, 08:49:29 AM »
I've recently started running a campaign of Monster of the Week over IRC with a group I've been gaming with for about a year.

Admittedly, I haven't been doing a great job of asking questions during the game to help build the world, but when I tried to do so one of my players got annoyed. I explained that part of running the first session involved me asking questions in order to build up a picture of the world and the people in it. The player responded that this was stupid, that with an IRC game the GM needs to do some planning beforehand. Afterwards, one of the other players agreed that perhaps we should have had a separate world-building session before starting the game off.

I need an opinion from more experienced Apocalypse World/AW Hack GMs who may have run over IRC before: do things need to be done differently for IRC, am I maybe not doing a great job of running things, or what? It's made me a little worried about how to continue the campaign. :<

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 09:52:57 AM »
I've played a bunch of Apocalypse World and a bunch of IRC.  But haven't played AW over IRC, so take this for what it's worth.  I can't see any reason in the world that it would be particularly problematic.  I've played in great games over IRC with no GM prep.

What exactly did they think was stupid?  Why would an IRC game need prep any more than a F2F game?

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 10:44:13 AM »
Basically, the way the conversation went was as follows:

The Chosen's player asked if his character had a title in-game (like the Slayer), and I said, "Well, what do you think?"

Another player (playing the Flake) then responded that I should 'stop doing that', i.e. offering the player the opportunity to answer their own question.

I then explained that there was no fixed setting as such, that my job as Keeper was to ask them leading questions about their characters and the environment to build up a picture of the setting.

The Flake's player immediately responded with: 'that's stupid though[...]With an IRC game you need to have some planning to it'.

That was pretty much the extent of his argument and I was feeling too frustrated at the time to try and argue the point. But I spoke with another player, and she said she'd been thinking that maybe for IRC there needs to be a seperate world-building session.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 10:57:11 AM by lost_zeppo »



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Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 10:56:05 AM »
My primary venue for playing AW (though not MotW) has in fact been IRC. There have been absolutelly no problems - except one time I tried to run with as many players as there were playbooks, which crashed and burned four(!) sessions in.

A number of my friends, who spend most of their time doing freeform RP on IRC, have also gone to playing as well as running consecutive, inter-crossing campaigns of AW with extreme ease.

The game is not a problem, especially not with three players total.

Your player either needs to lose both some preconceptions and attitude, or you can play a different game with him. AW (and its hacks, I presume) don't run well with players who want to avoid involvement.

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 10:56:48 AM »
I dunno, it feels like there might be nuance to which I don't have access.  But short of that, I think the Flake's player is simply wrong.  Do you normally play high-prep or railroady games with these players?  Are they normally OK with world-building?

I wonder if there's something specific about the phrasing you use that might be changed?  Is "I dunno, would you like there to be a title?" any different/better than "Well, what do you think?"  Or whatever -- I'm not trying to hold you to exact wording.  

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 11:03:59 AM »
We've only really played one campaign since I joined the group, and that was one where the GM basically came up with all the setting and stuff. I don't know if they've previously played a lower-prep game with free worldbuilding, but I don't think so.

It's possible that the Flake's player just isn't used to/doesn't like that style of play.

I also feel that I haven't really been pushing hard enough with the questions during the session, mainly because this is my first attempt at an AW-based campaign and I'm not used to running it, so I haven't got a hang of asking the right kind of questions. That's a somewhat seperate issue though.

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 12:45:18 PM »
In my experience, any online play tends to run a bit slower / less steady than face-to-face gaming (and, anecdotally, I've heard the same from many people).

If they've experienced this in the past, they might be eager to cut out what they see as "unnecessary" preparation that could take away from the "fun-to-time" ratio.

If they've played (especially more traditional games, like D&D/White Wolf/Etc) games where there's extensive character creation, world building, etc... they may have had situations where it seemed like it took them a long time to actually get to "playing"... which can be exacerbated by the aforementioned general slowdown for most (not all) online games.


- Alex

Re: IRC No Good for AW/AW-based hacks?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2012, 11:47:29 PM »
Hey LZ,

It sounds to me like this is not a problem with the IRC format of your game. It sounds like your players just didn't cotton to the procedures of an AW-style game. You'd have been asking the same questions at a table top. There's no distinction in these games between "character creation" and "worldbuilding" -- they both happen at the same time. That's just something you kinda gotta be on board with when you sit down to play, whether in person or online, I tend to think.

I played AW over online chat, with no prep, with great success.

Hope this helps!