Playbook Draft: The Load-Bearer

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Playbook Draft: The Load-Bearer
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:22:58 AM »
Hi all,

So I'm making another run at a custom playbook. The idea with the Load-Bearer is kind of the "down in the dirt hero who can't stop taking on other people's burdens." My initial concern is that the moves are a little too straightforward and not "apocalypse-y" enough yet. I'm also curious if this concept sounds like something that would be interesting to play. Anyways, I wanted to put it before ya'll for public scrutiny and peer review. Please toss me your feedback!

The Load-Bearer


There were once these things called productive industry and division of labor and civil rights. Now those things lie in crippled husks among the other dead memories of the golden age. Now we work to just keep ourselves alive. Now we live off our own blood and sweat, our broken backs and calloused feed and gnarled hands and tired hearts. We toil beneath the hot sun and the angry eyes of the maelstrom, always fighting an uphill battle for our lives, our hopes, and our dreams.

Some of us just aren’t cut out for this type of life. But some of us are strong enough to carry others through it.


Cool+2 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp+1 Weird+0
Cool+2 Hard+1 Hot+1 Sharp+0 Weird-1
Cool+2 Hard-1 Hot+1 Sharp+0 Weird+1
Cool+2 Hard+0 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Weird-1

(choose 3 or 2 - not sure yet)

No-nonsense: When you read a person, roll+cool instead of roll+sharp.

Atlas: When you take on completely someone’s burdens or cause, mark experience and take +1ongoing with that person until you betray their trust.

Protector: When you fight to defend someone, or drive off an attack against them, you get +1ongoing for the duration of the fight.

Of the people: When you are in a community that you have sweat, fought, and bled for, you get hold 2. Spend your hold 1-for-1 to receive a gift from the people as though they were a Hardholder granting a gift (your MC will decide exactly which options are appropriate given the community). Any time you take on a significant risk or task for the people, add 1 hold.

Take a bullet: As long as you are within hand reach of someone, you can choose to take harm they would have instead taken from an incoming attack.

Unbreakable: Ignore the effect of your first debility, as it is taken or ongoing from this point forward. You still are whatever debility was chosen (shattered, crippled, disfigured, or broken), it just doesn’t keep you from doing what needs to be done anymore.


If you and another character have sex, you may use Atlas even if you don’t have the move.

Your Labor
You are a major cog in your community. Choose 1 or 2 labor jobs that you are involved in:
? Pit Mining (construction/deterioration)
? Smelting (tools/waste)
? Dirt Farming (food/hunger)
? Holding repair (protection/vulnerability)
? Junk Collector (wealth/without needed items)

When the Hardholder rolls for wealth, roll+cool. On a 10+, add your surplus to the community, regardless of the wealth roll’s result. On a 7-9, you don’t modify the results either way. On a miss, add your labor's want to the community, regardless of the Hardholder’s result.

If no one is playing the Hardholder, use this roll when a weath roll would normally be called for.
Welcome to Jwokalypse World

Re: Playbook Draft: The Load-Bearer
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 06:42:44 AM »
the "down in the dirt hero who can't stop taking on other people's burdens."

If they can't stop doing it, why do you keep giving them a choice?

Atlas: When you take on completely someone’s burdens or cause, mark experience and take +1ongoing with that person until you betray their trust.

How about:

Big 'ol Softie: Whenever someone tells you their sob story or otherwise presents their miserable, shitty situation to you, you feel compelled to take on their burdens or their cause, no matter how awful or stupid they may be, and must act under fire to avoid doing so. If you decide to support them, mark experience and take +1ongoing with that person until you betray their trust.

I would also suggest modifying the Special move to explicitly not give them any choice; something closer to the Driver or Operator move seems to make a lot more sense.


In general the playbook just seems to need more torque, or more teeth, however you want to think of it -- maybe this is what you mean by 'not apocalyps-y enough'. The character reads like a particularly competent NPC. The concept makes claims for a sort of tragic flaw -- kind of a self-destructive Boxer-from-Animal-Farm type -- but it doesn't really manifest in any of the moves, which are mostly straightforwardly-positive instead of powerful-but-double-edged. (The hardholder-modifying one is closer but it's so abstract, it doesn't feel personal -- and presumably this is a PC who takes everything super personally.)

Of The People could definitely use more personality, and seems like it should be (along with Atlas) the key to making the playbook work. Making the trigger both more concrete and less ethically-clear, and the consequences/benefits significantly more tenuous (i.e. requiring a roll, or involving a trade-off of some kind) might be one approach.