What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?

  • 27 Replies
  • 15873 Views
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 02:19:25 PM »
Its also worth noting that with a high Cool but not that high a Hard, the Quarantine is more of a tech officer or commando than a front line infantryman.

Huh, sure! Ooooor everyone in this f'd-up future is just that much Harder than even the gritty soldiers and kick-butt marines of our day.

*

Munin

  • 417
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2015, 10:23:24 AM »
Kick-butt marines have never had to sell one of their own children into slavery in order to afford meds for their wife. Or had to gun down a doe-eyed Hollow Daughter because they know what she will become if allowed to live.

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2015, 10:21:53 PM »
I disagree with Cool and Hard assessments of Modern military in a setting like this. It is quite apparent that modern tech, training and professionalism would make short work of even the most brutal post apoc warlord. It has nothing to do with how hard they different groups are. The comparison between modern and post-apoc might be more aligned when it comes to how the individuals deal with the act of murdering someone that didn't need to die, a child, a woman, an elder. You can be an extremely deadly marine, drugged up on all types of shit to make you massive and keep you mean, but still not be okay with shooting a kid because they're giving away your position in hostile territory. The military even has rules against it. In post apoc, that would be the test of your hard, to kill the kid or not.

Honestly, sometimes in my games I like to emphasize this point during a missed hard roll, I'll still let them kill they guy like they wanted, but I'll have it fuck them up, or have their soft reaction to the kill put them in a worse spot. Depending on the fiction.

Anyone can kill anyone else. Humans are very squishy creatures. The Harder (post apoc) you are, the more prone you are to killing them first. Reacting more viciously and before your opponents can catch up in hate and wrathfulness. Or in terms of modern society, the more psychotic / sociopathic you are, the better you're able to handle killing. In terms of cinematic examples, the best popular show that expresses this change would probably be Walking Dead. You have those with morals that are shaped by the past, and those with morals shaped by their present reality. Being strong before doesn't alone make you strong after. Being trained in killing doesn't make you more willing to kill, or able to handle what the world's become.

In Postapoc, you don't have that duality in place very often, because "modern" "liberal-values" or "religious-morals" don't mean shit and according to your world-view, they never did. Even the softys of the post apoc would be "hard" when compared too anyone in modern society. This is expressed primarily because being SOFT is a luxury.

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2015, 11:37:56 PM »
Firstly, hi everyone! It's my first post here.

Secondly, I disagree a bit: There's certainly an element of 'people are harder after the Apocalypse' but frankly, the Quarantine is also actually harder than many other playbooks...and certainly way more dangerous than most NPCs.  Two of its four stat lineups are at +1 Hard, after all. Only the Chopper, Hardholder, Touchstone, Faceless, and Gunlugger (ie: playbooks with Hard as their highest stat) are notably harder than that. So...the only way for them to reasonably be a lot Harder would be to be less Cool, and Cool should definitely be the high stat for disciplined soldiers. And as for NPCs, well, with +1 Hard you've got a better than 2/3 chance of killing most NPCs pretty thoroughly most times. That's fairly badass, actually. Plus, the -1 Hard stat-line almost certainly is a technical specialist given its +2 Sharp.

That's not 'everyone is way harder after the Apocalypse' that's 'certain really dangerous people after the Apocalypse are a bit more hardcore than most combat soldiers'. Which sounds plausible enough to me.

And then there's thinking about it narratively:

From a narrative perspective, if you're gonna have someone from the modern world wake up after the apocalypse, it's not really very interesting story-wise if they can simply enforce their own will and standards on even the most dangerous natives of the new world. It's much cooler and more interesting if they need to adapt to the new world because they lack the ability to force all of it to abide by the standards of their own lost age.

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2015, 03:30:12 AM »
There is nothing exceptionally hard about having two +1 hard lineups.... I mean, nearly every single playbook has the ability to start with +1 hard. +1 is an alright stat, not a strong stat, and it certainly isn't making a HARD statement. That said, Quarantine  has moves that revolve around combat, and since all combat in AW is hard, it would be rather backwards to the class to have no skill in the systems basic fighting moves.

In sum: Only classes that start with +2 hard are HARD classes.

As a counter point, yes, everyone is harder after the apoc. Because life is harder. The Quarantines' life is also hard, its not like they're set up with all the shit of the golden age, or even some of it. Plus there is the weird, and the fact that nothing is civil. Much like my walking dead example, you get hard quick, or you die. (barring the very few exceptions)

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2015, 12:44:06 PM »
There is nothing exceptionally hard about having two +1 hard lineups.... I mean, nearly every single playbook has the ability to start with +1 hard. +1 is an alright stat, not a strong stat, and it certainly isn't making a HARD statement. That said, Quarantine  has moves that revolve around combat, and since all combat in AW is hard, it would be rather backwards to the class to have no skill in the systems basic fighting moves.

Well, yeah, my point wasn't that they were a lot harder than most playbooks, just that they weren't exactly below average either. Meaning the Quarantine is as hard as (or even harder than, in a few cases) most other PC types in Apocalypse World.

And that any PC with a +1 Hard is basically an action-movie hero compared to NPCs. Because that's important to note, too. Because even at Hard +0 (never mind +1) any PC is a believable combat veteran and will usually take most NPCs in a fight. So a Quarantine doesn't need to be especially dangerous in a fight by PC standards to be a believable soldier.

In sum: Only classes that start with +2 hard are HARD classes.

Yep, that's pretty much where I was going with that.

As a counter point, yes, everyone is harder after the apoc. Because life is harder. The Quarantines' life is also hard, its not like they're set up with all the shit of the golden age, or even some of it. Plus there is the weird, and the fact that nothing is civil. Much like my walking dead example, you get hard quick, or you die. (barring the very few exceptions)

Harder in some senses, sure. But not necessarily or universally in a way that's actually useful. After all, Brainers and Battlebabes can both have -2 Hard and be notably worse than any Quarantine in the sort of confrontations the Hard stat is used for...and from playbook descriptions, it's rather unlikely that this is due to them leading especially sheltered lives by Apocalypse World standards.

In short, there's certainly some overlap between being ruthless and dangerous and having a high Hard stat, but the two aren't the same thing. Nor is having lead a difficult life the same as being good in a conventional fight. Exactly what high and low Hard ratings mean narratively varies pretty widely and thus this isn't necessarily the case. It certainly could be in a particular game of a particular Quarantine, but in another game something else entirely might be going on.

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2015, 10:32:16 AM »
One thing to note is that a *+1* is the average, flatline stat and not +0. Not sure where, but I'm 90% sure I saw this confirmed and mathematically it makes sense.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some of those +2-hard guys are/can be effectively +3 at startup (I think at least the lugger?).

- Alex

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2015, 11:24:34 AM »
One thing to note is that a *+1* is the average, flatline stat and not +0. Not sure where, but I'm 90% sure I saw this confirmed and mathematically it makes sense.

Yeah, the game's author has mentioned that explicitly.

But that's only true counting all the playbooks...including the ones who focus on it (ie: the +2 Hard books in this case). The average for playbooks not focusing on it really is more like +0 (actually, looking it over, it's a bit lower than that on Hard...negative Hard ratings are more common than negative ratings in most other stats in non Hard-focused playbooks).

And again, that's average for PCs. PCs in Apocalypse World are all pretty badass by just about any reasonable standard...and for those with Hard +0 or more, that includes being better-than-competent combatants. Because, barring very specific GM rules, a PC with Hard+0 wins more fights than they lose against even the most badass equivalently armed and armored NPC opponents.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some of those +2-hard guys are/can be effectively +3 at startup (I think at least the lugger?).

Only the Gunlugger and the Faceless. And 5 xp down the road, that distinction becomes pretty meaningless, since the +2 playbooks can all have that +3, and the Quarantine can have +2.

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2015, 05:15:16 AM »
Can have, and will have are big differences. The only *high* stat that you can assign to a playbook is the ones where they must have a +2 in it. Otherwise its all optional and can vary, thus no generalized statement about how badass Qs are in comparison to other play-books has any weight as an argument. Quarantine's hard choices are average at best relative to any other playbook. +1 hard as your starting maximum makes them as good as most at best. There are very few playbooks that cannot keep up with any build, aside from those that have hard substitution moves inherently.

As for winning and losing fights, AW is set up so that one PC versus those couple of guys (small gang) are roughly equal. small gangs get the same harm counter as a single pc, and with crap weapons and armor, the harm/armor values can be pretty similiar if not slightly favoring the gang. The point is, that PCs are relatively badass period. That doesnt really speak to the subjective standards of the hard new world and those living in it.

Let the meaningless bickering stop at this point. It's derailing whatever this thread used to be. If you want to continue, make a thread devoted to the topic.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 05:19:23 AM by Ebok »

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2015, 08:21:11 AM »
Can have, and will have are big differences. The only *high* stat that you can assign to a playbook is the ones where they must have a +2 in it. Otherwise its all optional and can vary, thus no generalized statement about how badass Qs are in comparison to other play-books has any weight as an argument. Quarantine's hard choices are average at best relative to any other playbook. +1 hard as your starting maximum makes them as good as most at best. There are very few playbooks that cannot keep up with any build, aside from those that have hard substitution moves inherently.

Well, yeah, I'm not saying they're better in a fight than most playbooks, not meaningfully anyway. I'm just saying they're on par.

As for winning and losing fights, AW is set up so that one PC versus those couple of guys (small gang) are roughly equal. small gangs get the same harm counter as a single pc, and with crap weapons and armor, the harm/armor values can be pretty similiar if not slightly favoring the gang. The point is, that PCs are relatively badass period. That doesnt really speak to the subjective standards of the hard new world and those living in it.

Which was actually my main point, since this all started with someone saying the Quarantine wasn't Hard enough to be a believable front-line soldier. :)

Let the meaningless bickering stop at this point. It's derailing whatever this thread used to be. If you want to continue, make a thread devoted to the topic.

Sure.

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2015, 02:33:47 PM »
One thing to note is that a *+1* is the average, flatline stat and not +0. Not sure where, but I'm 90% sure I saw this confirmed and mathematically it makes sense.

Yeah, the game's author has mentioned that explicitly.

But that's only true counting all the playbooks...including the ones who focus on it (ie: the +2 Hard books in this case). The average for playbooks not focusing on it really is more like +0 (actually, looking it over, it's a bit lower than that on Hard...negative Hard ratings are more common than negative ratings in most other stats in non Hard-focused playbooks).

Oh, no. I mean maybe yeah but, actually I meant average not as in... most common. Instead, average mathematically on the scale of the 2d6 / miss/7-9/10+ resolution.

At a +0, you have 5 "miss" numbers, 3 "medium" numbers, and 3 "good" numbers, and your average roll is a 7 (low end of the middle scale).
At a +1, you have 4 "miss" numbers, 3 "medium" numbers, and 4 "good" numbers, and your average roll is an 8 (middle end of the middle scale).

In either case, it's on a curve, so it'll tend towards middle-area rolls, but the +1 balance is still more average weighted...
I otherwise agree with most comments, just interested in the math aspect of it...

- Alex

Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2015, 05:58:28 PM »
In a sense. +1 is the point where the most common roll is 7-9 and both 6- and 10+ are equally common...but I'm not sure that's any more 'average' than +0, where 6- and 7+ are equally common and 10+ is a bit rare.

It's a matter of how competent you expect PCs to be which of those is more reasonably 'average' per se.

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: What playbook combinations do you find most interesting?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2015, 04:51:05 AM »
If you want to determine what the median stat for characters is, then +0 is the starting and +1 is the more then likely soon thereafter. If you want to determine the average, then the average starts at +1 and can reach +2 given the standard playbook. However the "median" stat (discounting the largest two and smallest two) while it might look good, isn't narratively applicable. Since in reality the only way to determine PC competency is to look at the types of moves they make in any given week, and then take the average +stat associated with each move. Which means any stat substitution, any highlighted motivation, and player-to-character choice of problem resolution has far more to do with a determined average then looking at the five numbers.

So if a player asks, whats an average stat? They're really asking a question they haven't determined yet. If you have a hard of +3, and every other is a hard move, and the leftovers alternate between +1 and +0 respectively... over the course of say 20 moves... you have a total stat spread of (3*10)+(1*5)+(0*5) = 35. 35/21 = 1.67. That could mean in this example, a character with a stat spread of  +3+1+0+0+0 could have a most common effective stat of 3, and an average effective stat of 1.67 despite the median being 0 and the average being 0.8.

So really, whatever stats a character chooses to roll to resolve a sitch are their average stats, regardless of what moves they employ. The the following three statements provide detail: +0 means you have a slightly better then 50/50 shot, higher means you get your way more, lower means things will spiral out of you control more; +1 is the true and actual standard for badass play-books; and NPCs don't have numbers, they succeed if you don't stop them. They in the latter case meaning, the one that most seems like they'd succeed, when pitted against each other.

Really, even the above math fails to handle this statement well, because when it comes down to character competency, what should be looked at is... What does this character try to achieve, and how often do they succeed in doing so? Best rationalized in the game world by asking, how does this character behave on average, and how often does that behavior get them what they want, rather then backfire?

TDLR;; +1 is always the expected average mathematical competency for any PC not hamstringing themselves intentionally. However the numeric value is hardly a reasonable assessment of skill or behavior within the narrative.

P.S. You could play that same stat spread outlines above... but pass nearly every +0 roll with a 10+ while at the same time failing nearly every +3 roll with t miss. If this randomness continued, then narratively you're not actually above average in hard, you're below, and you're not average in whatever else, you're significantly above. Although if you have a high hard and you try to be hard more often, this might make you look more like that thug who cant fight then a badass who can, even if the rare other rolls are amazing. Just the same, if you never roll hard cause you're trying to be hot or cool instead and we assume your luck continues then you're going to be far above average hottness and coolness.

PSTDRL;; You are what you try to do, not what the stats say. Those just serve as guidelines / probabilities for what situations you might need to play one way to retain your authority. In the end, it just comes down to "What do you do?"
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 05:05:33 AM by Ebok »