Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?

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Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« on: January 12, 2013, 10:19:08 PM »
Just finished up a campaign of Apocalypse World and our brave PC's managed to rally together to kill their most terrible enemy and defend their holding from a vicious night attack. There were serious losses and prices to pay, but at the end of the day they had basically... won.

Not sure if I've ever seen this addressed.  The fronts are a huge pressure on the player characters and they need to deal with them, but can the players make the world better? In whatever way is meaningful to their PC's? Can or should they overcome the shit that Apocalypse World throws at them and more or less... win?

Or is the world truly doomed to spiral downward forever.... man I hope not.

Guess another way to ask this is can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 10:35:34 PM »
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

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DWeird

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Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 10:20:58 AM »
I have an inkling that it's a happy end more often than not, just because of the way character advancement is structured.

Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:18:31 PM »
Can you extend on that, DWeird? I'm curious about it.

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DWeird

  • 166
Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:49:32 PM »
Sure!

The playbooks all have advancement that increases their heft in the game, and the game doesn't really do anything to systematically counter this.

5 advancements and beyond you have a bunch of characters who are the most competent and important people around. This leads to them being in position to pretty much settle the major problems they face - a happy ending.

There's also the fact that you get not only powerful (i.e., hurt dudes better) but transformative abilities opened up beyond 5 advancements, like removing threat status from NPCs or seeing beyond the maelstrom.

Of course, this only means that it's likely that player characters will (eventually) get what they really want. It might be that they want something that doesn't mesh well with what we'd call a happy ending. It might also be the case that the PC's wishes conflict, in which case you'll likely have a more dramatic ending.

Beyond that, though, I seriously doubt the world's ability to resits the PCs is all that great. AW's inherently a bit of a "making a home" story.

Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 08:24:23 PM »
I agree completely.

Re: Can Apocalypse World have a happy ending?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 04:34:24 PM »

Sure, of course. But in my experience the meaning of 'happy' has usually been pretty thoroughly re-defined by the time that end-point arrives.