World of the Apes

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World of the Apes
« on: July 19, 2014, 01:10:53 AM »
Starting to work on a hack based on the Planet of the Apes, focusing on the Apes and in the early context of the current reboot series. Not necessarily set in the cinematic world, but at a point that the apes are a mostly tribal community, with at most limited contact with humans. Given that AW already has mechanics for psychic/supernatural effects, I'd like to play up the spiritual aspects of a tribal society.

With that in mind, some thoughts on playbooks. Being tribal, I'm thinking the playbooks would fall mostly along roles within the tribe. some examples:


I'm thinking Ape breed would be mostly window dressing, but possibly adding bonuses to a single attribute or something similar.


As If

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Re: World of the Apes
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2014, 01:47:14 AM »
Man-Tech from the Forbidden Zone?  How about a class that specializes in digging it up and figuring out how to use it?

I think you could do stat mods based on breed, if you're so inclined.  Gorillas might get + to Hard and - to Hot or Cool.  Chimps might get the opposite (+ to Cool or Hot and - to Hard).  Orangutans might get + to Sharp or Weird and - to Hard.

I think the racial/social implications were pretty clear in the movies: Gorillas = Warriors, Chimps = Workers, Orangs = Politicians/Academics/Priests.  That said, the relative balance of power within ape society did change over the course of the movie series.  Here is a fascinating breakdown of that process:

Re: World of the Apes
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 03:12:30 AM »
I'm thinking of going a bit earlier than what we see in Planet of the Apes, more toward the state-of-Ape-culture seen around the time of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, otherwise we're really just looking at a stratified human society with Ape-shaped curtains. While species does determine caste in the original, I do like the idea of allowing flexibility within that structure-- an orangutan warchief, a gorilla nurse or teacher, that sort of thing.

Let me be more clear on intention. I'm not looking at hacking this as a straightforward Planet of the Apes/Rise fan adaptation. More as an extension of the intelligent-Ape thought experiment.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 03:43:58 AM by DimberDamber »

Re: World of the Apes
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 09:36:16 AM »
Grrr, so role-based playbooks are going to be a pain in the ass, I think. Maybe going with  breed playbooks, and throw variation in with the stat blocks, maybe a shared pool of available "Ape Moves" to pick from in addition to the playbooks.

Re: World of the Apes
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 03:11:39 PM »
Hm, why not go with a half-and-half approach, and make both breed and role playbooks?

Players could then pick one of each, and get (or choose from) all the moves in both.

That way, all gorillas could for example get a (hypothetical) "biggest and strongest" move, regardless of whether they are warriors or teachers or whatever...

Of course, if you choose the "obvious" combinations, the moves could very well complement each other (so gorilla warriors might be full of moves that make them very strong at what they do), but other combinations (chimp warrior, gorilla teacher, etc) could also prove to be very interesting to choose.

Re: World of the Apes
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 02:21:47 PM »
Auberney's suggestion is similar to the Race/Class system in D+D or DW, except that it's 50/50. Possible, but it would be easier (not necessarily better) for, like D&D, the race to provide some kind of stat boost, extra move, other modifier, or some combination of those three, and the player is still primarily their class/role. Perhaps all Gorillas have +1 Strength and access to the move "Smash Things", while Orangutans have +1 Intelligence and "Puzzle it Out".

Another option would be to do the regular class-only playbooks, but make sure each race is represented in more than one playbook. You could have let's say the Berserker and Guardian for gorillas, the Handychimp and Sneaker for chimps, and the Elder and Doctor for orangutans.

If a player wants to make a character who was a hybrid of more than one idea, that's what multiclassing (IE "take a move from another playbook") is for. For "ape moves", couldn't you just add them to the list of basic moves? Characters are already somewhat restricted in what basic moves they can make useful just based on their stats, so it might not be necessary to make players put skill points into them to restrict their use.

What was the problem you ran into with role-based playbooks?