Netherlands playtest

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Netherlands playtest
« on: September 24, 2014, 05:50:33 AM »
This week we playtested the setup session in The Hague, Netherlands. We played at one of the tables in a local game shop.

I managed to get hold of four players with no previous knowledge of Apocalypse World (and one, Monir,  with not even any roleplaying experience, but who was intrigued by the setting description), which I thought would be an interesting experiment. Unfortunately one of the players were called away on his job on the game day, so we ended up with me as MC and the players Anna, Olivier and Monir.

We did setup and season moves in about 2 and a half hours I think.

Before describing what we came up with, here are some of the questions and suggestions from the players:

The players agreed that it would make more sense to create the stronghold’s dominant people before creating the stronghold. They thought that especially the people’s numbers would affect their stronghold choices.

We didn’t understand the “Improvement” and “Want” choices on the stronghold sheet.

One player would have preferred to choose rights before stats for his character - I explained that he could just go back and adjust his stats choice, but for some reason he was really hung on this.

The Harm season move confused everybody, including me, because it’s not really a move you choose to take, but an effect if you don’t choose the Recovery move.

As the MC, I struggled a bit with getting the players to make stuff up, come up with names, describing their households, religion etc. They didn’t know each other, and weren’t comfortable with this kind of game, so that was a factor as well. I was unsure about how magical weapons work - the court wizard though he should have some, and I allowed that, but wasn’t sure whether it I should have.

Here’s what we came up with:

Stronghold (unnamed) of the Gadiel people, who were former slaves and displaced by the empire of eagles. They brought their (yet rather hazy) religion with them to this land somewhere in Greece, and the stronghold is defending a temple from raiders by land, and the remnants of a former crown’s rule. They have archers, and a stone wall with watch and signal towers.

The Gadiel people have 50 souls in 6 households, with 8 warriors. They are known for their rich land (and farm their surrounding land - tomatoes, grain I think were mentioned), their indularity, sorcery and enchantments, archers and their physical prowess. The speak Arabic.

While the players where making characters, I cam up with two more people:

The Amintas, who are the local inhabinats of the region, of 300 souls in 40 households with 40 warriors. They are defined by being subjects of the same (former) crown, and known for their gods’ might, their loyalty, mercy to defeated enemies and strategy & tactics, as well and amber, ivory & fur and their powerful foreign allies. They speak Greek.

The Daba, a small Germanic-speaking people in an outlaw band, their 8 warriors on horseback. They are bone-pale and known for their fearlessness, vigilance vs. sorcery, cavalry, individual skill at weapons, and for their marvelous feasts.

The PCs:

Theron, the War-Captain, of the Amintas people. Retired captain from the Empire of Eagles, who has found his way back to his homeland, but feels displaced himself, and is now in charge of the defence of the small Gadiel stronghold here.
Descended fro a general, have your scouts observe, seize authority over council of war, wage war as he sees fit.
Theron chose the tenant labor season move working for one of the stronghold’s households.

Sabir, the Dragon-Herald, of the Gadiel people. A short and old man.
Hospitality of hall, hearth and board, look close at another person, protection from the dragons in the earth and speak truth to a crowd.
Sabir took the Rites and celebration season move and marked rights of the old ways

Monir, the Court Wizard, of the Gadiel people, a tall, dark and handsome necromancer.
Encounter something unnatural, literate in Arabic and Hebrew, throw down demons and whisper to ghosts.
Season move: rites and celebration, marked right of the other world.

The players were generally happy, and keen to play on, but this would take a fair bit of work on my part, which I will try to do.