First thoughts

  • 5 Replies
First thoughts
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:00:25 AM »
I've read through the playbooks and rules a few times, and am planning on running a game this weekend. It will probably be for a single player which will be interesting...

Anyways, I'm still studying, but here's what's stood out so far:
- It took me a while to really get to the core of what each playbook is and I'm not sure I still really get each one for sure. I think I do after studying every facet of their books, but not sure. I think Apocalypse World walked a line between mystery and clarity on each playbook that was just on the edge of enough familiarity, whereas so far I'm a little bit too much in the mystery column.
- Wicker-wise. I don't like the term. Love the playbook. This might go back to too much mystery. I'm sure it makes sense to some folks. To me it conjures wicker man and maybe wicker patterns, but doesn't really sell me on what the character is or make me want to play it at first glance. And sounds silly.
- Love the Fates. Said that elsewhere. Can't say it enough. I really like how they work into moves and how they fold neatly into the fiction. I love the Fate move of Outlaw Heir. Not sure how often it will come up in play, but it just reads cool. (I may play one just to take that move and try it.)
- I find the way battle has been reworked really interesting. My reading is, depending on the fiction of course, everyone takes their harm when they enter battle. Even if you miss. And then you still get to choose 1 on a miss. My assumption has been that Apocalypse World was set up to make violence a bad choice. I.e. NPCs can pretty much always inflict harm in a conflict in base AW, but PCs can entirely miss. However in Dark Age violence looks like a much more viable choice. That makes it different.
- I really like the experience change on paper. Forces players to do different things. I will like to see how it works.
- Dragon-Herald: I think it's a cool playbook, but I should mention this is another playbook where I was left confused as to what it is exactly. And probably still am. At first I was thinking Skyrim and then it took me awhile to grasp that maybe it was more like Daenerys.
- I am interested to see how the politics and followers work out in game. That said, I think it would be interesting to have a sub-system for war or when your followers fight. I do like the holdings, bounties and wants and the seasons changing. That looks great.
- I like the brief setting, and it seems just enough.
- I like the way magic items are handled for the Troll-Killer. The way they may or may not be useful or magical. I think there's overall quite a lot of room to make the magic real or not. Like Vikings. I think that's a good tone to have.

That's all for now, but I'll post more as I think of them and report back on how the playtest goes.



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Re: First thoughts
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 10:18:13 AM »
Thanks, Coyotegrey! This is helpful.

"Wicker-Wise" comes from a grand old misattribution of etymology that links the words "witch" ("wicca"/"wicce") with "wicker." It's the same kind of lie as "of Eagles" and "Bloodless."

"Willow-Wise" was the close runner-up, and is the same lie, but I've decided to go with "Wicker-Wise" instead.


Re: First thoughts
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 03:01:50 PM »
That makes more sense! Personally, I would still choose something else, but I like it more understanding where it comes from. Maybe if you inserted something in the text that explains the origin.

Re: First thoughts
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 04:17:49 PM »
I know a new and more terrible version is coming, but we played some over the weekend. Not much, mostly just a first session. I drew a map that I'll try to scan in later. There was 1 PC, a Dragon-Herald who was very much in the Daenerys mold. Some feedback:
- It would be nice to have somewhere to record genealogy (old blood, blood of eagles, etc.)
- Character creation was challenging. The concept really took awhile to come together and kind of pushed the player to create a lot of the setting. I helped with a lot of, "well, it could be like this..."
- I had to create a lot of names. We both did. For fantasy this is kind of hard, and prone to be cheesy or lame. At least that's me. I used your character name advice for everything. Going forward I think I'll pick some real world cultures as the basis for each background and then shift letters (roman for the empire, celtic for old blood, etc.).
- Once we began I was kind of lost, so I started with the old standby from Apocalypse World of following her through a typical day. That was hard with an unknown fantasy world. But it helped flesh out the world some more. I was still left hanging with nothing really going on, so I fell back on the old bangs technique and invented some on the spot. An argument between 2 followers that comes to blood. Who to support? A follower who appears injured. A summons from the local ruler. (She picked an estate in someone else's city.)
- I invented more details around the ranks, but it would be cool to have some of that fleshed out with suggestions. Like knight > baron > duke > earl > prince > king. Or whatever. Anything I don't have to take notes on. :)
- Speaking of notes, I'm sure you will have somewhere to record NPCs in like a journal or something like the map.

Re: First thoughts
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 03:30:49 PM »
I tried to run character creation with a friend. Coming with good names was small challenge. I chose Outlaw Heir and finding names for places was even harder. I'd like to see something strong and evocative - and if I were running a game I would use those from Sundered Land: Doomed Pilgrim.

Re: First thoughts
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 10:07:35 AM »
We played a second session, which led to more political intrigue, some follower on bandit combat, more experience, purchasing moves, and wakening a dragon! It was a lot of fun. The moves took a little getting used to, mostly in the form of stuff that wasn't really available in the form of basic moves. Like no seduction. The way manipulation works and threats. Just different, but I thought good different because to me it shows what kind of character you are playing.

- XP is all over the sheet. Hard to see what is checked off and where to check. Hard to count and hard to erase and know you are not "cheating". The way it works is cool, just how it is organized on the sheet and how you track it is bad.
- The weapons and armor seem a little off at times, but I'm not sure. For example, standard warriors with helms, armor and shields (3 armor) charging archers (3 harm) will take no losses. I guess on a miss they could. It feels like they should have to make a shield wall or something for -1 harm. :)