Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?

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Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« on: November 04, 2016, 08:34:31 PM »
I was reading the overview of the advances and thought it would be really strange in play. Baker's right that MCs control loads of guys so they can probably manage it, but I'm curious about how it works out in play.

Since apocalypse world has such an emphasis on inter-PC conflict, how would this work out with two characters under unified control? Would you argue with yourself like a ventriloquist, and what's stopping you from your skinner taking a Faceless bodyguard that obeys your every command and will never actually betray you or hold an independent agenda?

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Spwack

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Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 11:16:35 PM »
Yes! However, it was in a one on one game. I grew very attached to a particular NPC, and wanted to protect them. After much trials and tribulations and one severed foot, I figured the best way was to make them into an actual character, in this case, an Angel. Now, during combat I control both of them, but when my Battlebabe and "my" Angel are talking, the MC does the other side. When they are apart, I declare moves and general goals and share narrative control, however, she's not under the crosshairs of the MC any more.

Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 07:49:39 AM »
The book specifically recommends making them other people's friends rather than yours and forbids you from having mechanically relevant Hx between your two characters, thus making them unable to help or hinder each other. So having them be another player's friend or ally rather than yours is likely a better call than having them be your own ally (solo games aside, of course).

That said, you can certainly have your second character be an ally of your first, since nothing actively prevents it...but to be honest, you could usually get similar effects by taking the right moves on your primary character. I can create a Skinner with Hard+3 and Rasputin (or better yet, NTBFW) with only three improvements total, or (at the 'past five improvements' mark) could switch them to Gunlugger (or Faceless) and do it in two and get even more out of it. So...yeah, you can do this, but it's not exactly broken or anything. A lot of attacks even target multiple people, making even having two people to take hits of dubious use.

So, since it's of extremely dubious benefit and less interesting, why do it that way?

Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 03:56:28 AM »
and what's stopping you from your skinner taking a Faceless bodyguard that obeys your every command and will never actually betray you or hold an independent agenda?

Because that has to be the most boring of literally all possible uses of the advance? Is this hypothetical player trying to put themselves to sleep?

Anyways, I haven't taken this particular advance myself, but have run and played in several games where it got used. Generally by the time it was taken, the world of the game had expanded in enough directions that it wasn't difficult for a player to situate the new character in a relatively distinct part of the geography/story; in some cases, the original PC had also become more and more locked in to a specific place or set of behaviours/concerns, which both motivated the choice to take a second character but also made it, again, quite easy to ensure that they rarely if ever ended up in scenes together, or with directly overlapping concerns.

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Ebok

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Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 11:59:28 AM »
Yeah. The key thing to note is that players don't really own their characters, it's a shared aspect of the narrative. They should NOT be playing "on my team" they should be playing "together". So when you make a new character, it's exactly the same as if the MC made another warlord with his own army; the MC wouldn't just arbitrarily make a new Warlord to cover a weakness of the first. That's not a good story, that's the MC playing like he's on his own team. If you make a new character, you're making a new thread of the story, not buffing up the old one.

So yeah, there are rules to prevent it, it's called: You're playing together. Don't be a dick.

As for the logic of how, how does the MC do it with multiple characters on scene? Yeah? Exactly like that.

Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 12:48:55 PM »
Had a few of my players pick that advance the last game I ran; never really caused any problems that I can recall. As MC, when setting the scenes I'd set them separately and they never really made any effort to get them to stick together. Oddly though, nobody every picked the "Change your character to a new playbook", not really sure why that might be. I guess they just had more fun making a new character, playing two of them parallel, and then retiring the first one to safety when the new character was firmly rooted in the fiction.

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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 08:01:34 PM »
I've had change play-books come up far more, personally. But in our games we don't let moves carry over, or if they narratively must, they fill a "get this move form another playbook advance". That generally happens when something dynamic alters the character on a fundamental level; at which point it is a new character with some old world baggage almost. That's tangential to the OP though.

Re: Anyone ever taken "Create a second character to play"?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 01:32:42 PM »
That seems sad, to me!

"Change your character to another playbook" might, quite possibly, be my favourite aspect of AW's rules.

It's such a potent character-development tool, and creates amazing storylines. Forces you to consider really interesting questions about who your character is.

I like that it can be triggered by death in the 2nd Edition.

I think that - in my opinion - it's not terribly well supported mechanically (you're on your own, really, to figure out what it looks like), but is one of the coolest parts of the game.

A character who goes from Gunlugger to Hocus to Brainer... that tells a very different story than someone who went from Skinner to Battlebabe to Hardholder.