The Freelancer: First Pass

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The Freelancer: First Pass
« on: February 13, 2013, 12:59:58 PM »
You're not Buffy.  You're not with the government, the Conspiracy, or the Watchers.  You don't have any special powers or mystic weapons.  But someone's got to keep people safe, and it looks like that someone is you. 

Good thing you have this shotgun.

Stats, pick one line:
-Cool+1 Tough+1 Hot+2 Sharp 0 Weird-1
-Cool 0 Tough+2 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird-1
-Cool+1 Tough+2 Hot+2 Sharp 0 Weird-2
-Cool 0 Tough+1 Hot+1 Sharp+1 Weird 0
-Cool+1 Tough 0 Hot 0 Sharp+2 Weird 0

Moves, pick three

I Know A Guy: You have a bunch of old friends and contacts you can call on for help, knowledge and backup, anything from doing tricky research to playing the Home Office for suspicious locals to showing up with an extra gun.  When you call on one of them, give them a name and a role and roll +Hot.  On a 10+, they provide what you need, no strings attached.  7-9, they can provide it, but you'll owe them a favor.  On a failure, either they can't give you what you need or they can, but you've pissed them off or exposed them to danger in some way; if the former, -1 to your next interaction with them.  If the latter, you might have to go bail them out...or the Keeper might tell you how you haven't heard from Terry in a while.
Been Around The Block: When you discover that you need some particular item or knowledge to defeat your current opponent, roll +Sharp.  On a 10+, it turns out you've got just the thing in your closet/trunk/duffel bag.  On a 7-9, either you have something but it needs some work before it'll fit the bill, or you have a lead on it but it'll take some time or effort to get ahold of.  On a failure, well, you thought it was the right thing, but when you go to use it it turns out?  Not so much.
Badge and Gun: You're very good at convincing people you have every right to be there, poking your nose into this business; get +1 to rolls for this purpose.
Jack of All Trades: This hunting thing ain't exactly a pro-ball career, and you've had to learn to make do.  You get a +1 to rolls involving jury-rigging, improvising equipment, and the like.  You can attempt to provide first aid, for yourself or someone else, with a Cool roll any time you aren't actively in combat, and if you succeed they erase 1 harm--but on a 7-9 the fix is only temporary.  Failure on this roll may, at the Keeper's option, make the damage worse.
Saving People: When you attempt to protect someone who, in your opinion, is a "civilian", you get +1 ongoing for the rest of the fight if you pick "the target takes little harm" or "the target is out of immediate danger".  Your fellow hunters are never civilians for this purpose.
The Touch: One of the reasons you took this gig instead of settling down in the suburbs is because you're not exactly normal yourself.  You have kind of a feel for this sort of thing; you can roll +Weird to go with your gut about the current mystery.  On a 10+ hold 3, on a 7-9 hold 1, and spend your hold one-for-one to add bonuses to investigate a monster or read a bad situation.
Hunter's Journal: You have a source of useful monster knowledge; it is broad but shallow.  When you use it to help investigate a monster, get a +1 to your roll.

Gear

*Haven't worked this out yet*

History

When it's your turn, pick one of the other hunters; that person is your oldest friend, sibling, or otherwise very important to you.  Tell them History +2.  You may also pick one with whom you have a rivalry, friendly or not at your option; tell them History +1.  Everyone else, tell History 0--you're pretty good at being friendly but forgettable.

On the others' turns, whatever your important person tells you, add 1 to it.  For everyone else, write down the number they tell you.

Advancement
-+1 Cool
-+1 Tough
-+1 Hot
-+1 Sharp
-take another Freelancer move
-take another Freelancer move
-gain one contact like you'd get from I Know A Guy.  You don't need to roll to get their help, but they only provide one specific kind of aid, which must be set when they're created.  If you have I Know A Guy, one of your Guys has branched out and can provide two kinds of help now, and you only have to roll for one of them.
-someone you've saved is very grateful; the next time you need a place to hole up and lick your wounds, they'll provide it, no questions asked.
-take a move from another playbook
-take a move from another playbook



As is probably obvious, this playbook idea is born out of my abiding love for Dean Winchester.  I'm afraid I've made the moves too powerful; anyone got any ideas?

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 01:23:28 PM »
Cool!

Don't worry about the moves being too powerful, they are fine. I'll post some more feedback later, when I have a chance to read through it again.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 04:05:20 AM »
Okay, I have time to give you a few more thoughts...

Basing a playbook on Dean is a little hard, because there's elements of him in a few of the other classes. That's no surprise, I expect.

I like "I Know A Guy", "The Touch", "Badge and Gun", "Jack of all Trades", and "Saving People" moves.

The "Hunter's Journal" is a great idea, but I think a +1 to investigate a mystery is fairly bland. Maybe you could add some new questions to ask when investigating instead? Things like:
 - According to the sketch, what does it look like?
 - The journal has a detail we haven't seen here yet - what is it?
 - What does the journal say about the last encounter with a _______? (especially good if, like the Winchesters', it's an inherited journal)

I'm not sure the healing option really belongs in "Jack of all Trades". It has good colour already and is already quite broad.

The gear has to include a classic car, yeah? And probably a bunch of old and jury-rigged weapons.

Your history is in the Apocalypse World style: for MotW you just need a list of links, there's no rating attached to them.

For the advances, the contact one maybe should just be "gain a contact like from 'I Know A Guy' (even if you don't have that move). You never need to roll for this contact - they'll always help you out, but still need a favour now and then."

Also, after this week's episode of Supernatural, I feel like one of the advances should be "a room of your own" :)

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 08:21:16 AM »
Basing a playbook on Dean is a little hard, because there's elements of him in a few of the other classes. That's no surprise, I expect.

Honestly, I came up with this because I don't think Dean fits as a Wronged.  John does, no question, but Dean not so much. :)

The "Hunter's Journal" is a great idea, but I think a +1 to investigate a mystery is fairly bland. Maybe you could add some new questions to ask when investigating instead?

Oh, yes, I like that.  Much more flavor.

I'm not sure the healing option really belongs in "Jack of all Trades". It has good colour already and is already quite broad.

Yeah; I was just trying to get the "do you own stitches with dental floss" thing in there somewhere.  Perhaps it should go.

The gear has to include a classic car, yeah?...Also, after this week's episode of Supernatural, I feel like one of the advances should be "a room of your own"

I was originally thinking that one of the Freelancer moves should be a choice between a home base or a cool car. :)  I am not going to grumble about More Sam Angst, I am not going to grumble about More Sam Angst...

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 09:38:08 AM »
OK, revised...

Hunter's Journal: You have a source of useful monster knowledge; it is shallow but broad, and often includes details that aren't available elsewhere.  Add the following questions to the list you can ask when investigating a mystery:
--What does the sketch suggest it looks like?
--What kind of victims does it prefer?
--What's the detail we haven't seen here yet?
--How did the last encounter with one of these go?


Modify The Touch to add "On a miss, your gut leads you wrong and you take -1 forward next time you act on what you thought you knew."

I'm also thinking about a move called Been Through This Town Before, which would be used to generate people like Lisa: not supernaturally aware, but probably willing to provide a meal or a couch to crash on.  I think it would be: success, they will give you stuff; soft success, they don't remember you fondly; failure, either one, but it doesn't matter because the MotW is targeting them.  But that might be one move too many.

For the advances, the contact one maybe should just be "gain a contact like from 'I Know A Guy' (even if you don't have that move). You never need to roll for this contact - they'll always help you out, but still need a favour now and then."

I like that wording, it's simpler.  Clearly Dean has taken this advance! Somewhere around the end of S1, I think. :)

History options:
-This person is your younger sibling, or at least you treat them like they are.  Specify, and ask them how they feel about that.
-You've run into them before, and you're not certain about their methods, motives or both.
-You're blood relations, though not necessarily close ones.
-You saved them from something, but they weren't useless; if they'd known what they were doing at the time they could've handled it.  Now that they've got some knowledge, they're pretty good.
-They helped you out of a serious jam once; decide with them what it was.
-You look up to them.
-They're one of the very few people who can give orders you'll follow without question; decide with them why that is.
-You don't think they're cut out for this life.
-You think they're really hot.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 09:56:20 AM by Neon Fox »

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 01:17:02 PM »
Cool.

For the move about returning to the same town, I'd expect to see recurring characters from previous mysteries whenever this happens anyhow. Possibly the move could be more about having anyone who you helped before ready to return the favour? And for new characters, there is the contacts move already.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 01:19:41 PM »
Oh, and I just noticed something in the rating lines, too. Line three should have another -1: having a second +2 counts as one more point spent.

I think lines with no -1 rating should be avoided too, so I would adjust at least one of the last two to have a bad rating. That's more a matter of taste than anything else.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 02:13:53 PM »
Possibly the move could be more about having anyone who you helped before ready to return the favour?

That could work.  "For Services Rendered", maybe:

When you return to a place where you've solved a mystery before, roll +Charm.  On a 10+, one of the people you met last time remembers you fondly.  They'll provide information if they have it, and small favors like a place to crash or a hot meal.  On a 7-9, someone from last time remembers you, all right, but they aren't necessarily happy to see you.  On a failure, pick one...but it doesn't matter too much, because they're on the current mystery's hit list.

I forgot about the second +2 counting as +3.  I'm tempted to make that one Tough +1 and Sharp +1.

I'm usually in favor of having a weak stat, but for this playbook it didn't seem so necessary.  *ponder*

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 02:56:17 PM »
That could work.  "For Services Rendered", maybe:

When you return to a place where you've solved a mystery before, roll +Charm.  On a 10+, one of the people you met last time remembers you fondly.  They'll provide information if they have it, and small favors like a place to crash or a hot meal.  On a 7-9, someone from last time remembers you, all right, but they aren't necessarily happy to see you.  On a failure, pick one...but it doesn't matter too much, because they're on the current mystery's hit list.

Yes, that's great.

Quote
I forgot about the second +2 counting as +3.  I'm tempted to make that one Tough +1 and Sharp +1.

I'm usually in favor of having a weak stat, but for this playbook it didn't seem so necessary.  *ponder*

Yes, +1 Tough and Sharp would work pretty well alongside Weird -2.

For lines with no weak stat, I think many classes work with one option that has a minimum of 0, but for me two of them is too much. The last line could maybe have -1 Tough or -1 Charm, so there's an option to be weak in one of those ratings.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 03:03:08 PM »
I think of the two I prefer Tough to be the low stat; that's the line for someone who wants to be a Freelancer who relies on wits rather than brawn, clearly.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 04:40:44 AM »
Great.

When you're ready to do layout, you're welcome to have a copy of my hunter playbook template, so you can make it look like the others. You'll have to source art on your own, though!

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 02:45:47 PM »
OK, gear is annoying me.  I want the Freelancer to have ALL THE GEAR, and somehow that doesn't seem practical.

Seems like they should have one "special" item--silver knife or the like--but I'd rather stay away from them starting with anything actually magical, if for no other reason than that seems like the Chosen's schtick.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 03:07:34 PM »
Hm. If the player wants an arsenal, you have the "Been around the block" move that can get you pretty much anything.

From your comments about weapons, I'd say do a "freelancer weapons" list, giving them one special item and then let them pick three or four more standard ones.
The freelancer weapons list could include one or two magic-style items, amongst more mundane things.

Another option for the demon-killing knife would be to make that a move: "you have a weapon that is enchanted against a particular type of monster. It always counts as a weakness for them, and does an extra 2-harm to those creatures. Pick a weapon from your gear to be the special one, and write here what it can kill: _________"

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 02:45:23 PM »
OK, gear.  I'm fairly sure I'm messing up at least some of the tags here.

Pick four:
-shotgun (2-harm close loud reload messy)
-couple of good knives (1-harm ap hand)
-machete (2-harm hand messy)
-9mm (1-harm close concealable)
-rifle (2-harm far reload)
-taser (2-harm stun close reload)
-crowbar (1-harm hand)

At your option, one of your weapons is special--made of a particular material, or enchanted, or the like--and counts as a weakness for a particular type of monster.  It does an extra 2-harm to those creatures.  If you decide to take this option, specify which weapon, which monster type, and why it's special.

--

Do you think it'd be interesting or useful to include a ward or charm option in gear?  I'm thinking of the Winchesters' anti-possession tattoos here.

Re: The Freelancer: First Pass
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 02:59:27 PM »
For the optional special weapon, I'd be surprised if anyone ever opted not to have one, so it might be better if it was just "pick one weapon that is specially made or enchanted to hurt a particular sort of monster...."

Wards are a good idea too. Perhaps something like: you have some special wards or amulets that give you some protection. Choose one:
- I am not recognised by one sort of monster
- I cannot be magically harmed by one sort of monster
- I cannot be detected or spied upon by one sort of monster
- A specific individual monster cannot harm me directly

Those are my quick ideas before I start work, but I think you should aim for some things that are a bit odd.