AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold

  • 10 Replies
  • 4177 Views
AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« on: January 03, 2017, 10:19:48 AM »
Hello my fellow nerds, today's questions are brought to by a new MC who has a gunlugger and a hardholder at his table.

My gunlugger has taken the silenced sniper with AP ammo . I know that I can't challenge him directly with NPCs cause he will outright murderbot them which is great . However I do want to bring some challenges that will bring out moves beyond seize by force and sucker someone. So my first thoughts were using vehicles and gangs inside of fortified holds. But since I'm new to system I want to run it by you veterans and see how you interpret AP ammo in these cases.

Our hardholder has taken the Shit garage option so I know that is somewhere I can Push , but again I'm worried about lugger being able to one shot a tank.

Thanks all.

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 02:20:27 PM »
That's sort of an MC call, reallt.

IMO, gang size reduces damage normally even vs. AP ammo, as do the various Moves that give non-physical armor (like Impossible Reflexes) but vehicle armor, like all actual physical armor, is ignored by the AP (though the person in the vehicle would still receive only the damage that blows through). I might make the exception of allowing the extra armor of a fortified hardhold to still work vs. AP ammo, since that's as much of an abstraction of the reduced damage for being in a building as it is anything else.

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 01:03:46 AM »
Our hardholder has taken the Shit garage option so I know that is somewhere I can Push , but again I'm worried about lugger being able to one shot a tank.

How would you 'one shot' a tank with a silenced sniper rifle? Like, even in a world where we have decided to respond to our Gunlugger being the ultimate murderer by trying to invent Things They Might Find Slightly Harder to Murder, this does not make sense. I mean, a silenced sniper rifle already makes very little sense... but back to the tank, things in AW don't have hit points. They take harm. The thing harming them has to be able to actually harm them. That harm has to actually be debilitating to debilitate them. No amount of stepping really hard on someone's toe is going to kill them, even if technically stomping on someone's toe might do 1 harm in any particular circumstance.

Obviously this is a figurative example but I assure you this response works figuratively as well: respond honestly and take the fiction seriously and concerns about metaphorically destroying a metaphorical tank with a single action should also vanish.

If you have ended up in a world where your Gunlugger actually can just shoot a tank with a sniper rifle and have it explode because the numbers add up that way, that's cool too -- but probably 'bigger tanks with even more armour' is not gonna help at that point.


Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 06:56:53 AM »
Honestly, I'd probably have an actual tank take damage like a building rather than a vehicle and otherwise seriously violate the default vehicle rules. Those are designed for semi-improvised 'war vehicles' in the sense of 'Fury Road', rather than the kind of thing modern militaries use.

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 02:57:01 AM »
That's sort of an MC call, reallt.

IMO, gang size reduces damage normally even vs. AP ammo, as do the various Moves that give non-physical armor (like Impossible Reflexes)... *snip*

Is this actually the case, though? I´ve been in three different AW groups, and in each one this has been discussed a lot, and there has been hesitation of how to handle it. Is there a reference or is this simply a "common sense" reading (which is not a bad thing in itself, note, but it doesn´t help my specific Battlebabe situation).

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 03:27:59 AM »
Is this actually the case, though? I´ve been in three different AW groups, and in each one this has been discussed a lot, and there has been hesitation of how to handle it. Is there a reference or is this simply a "common sense" reading (which is not a bad thing in itself, note, but it doesn´t help my specific Battlebabe situation).

Apocalypse World is a fiction first game, if something doesn't make sense in the fiction (like AP ammo making you inexplicably worse at dodging), it's probably the wrong way to do things  mechanically, too.

But no, I have no actual rules citation or anything. It's just my opinion on how things should function.

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 04:31:42 AM »
Is this actually the case, though? I´ve been in three different AW groups, and in each one this has been discussed a lot, and there has been hesitation of how to handle it. Is there a reference or is this simply a "common sense" reading (which is not a bad thing in itself, note, but it doesn´t help my specific Battlebabe situation).

Apocalypse World is a fiction first game, if something doesn't make sense in the fiction (like AP ammo making you inexplicably worse at dodging), it's probably the wrong way to do things  mechanically, too.

But no, I have no actual rules citation or anything. It's just my opinion on how things should function.

Gotcha. I guess I was considering it in a more mechanical design-space kinda mindset, like "is it okay that one Move pick gets to basically shut down out another advantage" and getting uncomfortable with that. I like your interpretion way better, though, and it certainly fits with the fiction-first principle (that I thought I had down by now, argh!).

Battlebabe dressed mostly in tattoos, here we go! :)

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 12:33:50 PM »
Well, from a balance perspective, this construction means the Battlebabe loses Impossible Reflexes in some situations that they wouldn't lose conventional armor, after all if he's somehow immobilized, his reflexes aren't gonna help him out at all, just for example.

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 12:57:59 PM »
My gunlugger has taken the silenced sniper with AP ammo . I know that I can't challenge him directly with NPCs cause he will outright murderbot them which is great . However I do want to bring some challenges that will bring out moves beyond seize by force and sucker someone. So my first thoughts were using vehicles and gangs inside of fortified holds. But since I'm new to system I want to run it by you veterans and see how you interpret AP ammo in these cases.

I don't think the solution is really what you think it is but let's go with your examples first. Here's a couple of solutions.
Ba's stronghold is is a prewar nuclear test observation bunker.
Custom Move: When you are outside Ba's stronghold and Seize By Force of Go Aggro on people inside it, reduce the harm you do by 2-harm.

Also, Ba's got a tank! Not a bus with some steel strapped to it, a motherfucking tank! The tank has  a heavy machine gun  and a FUCKING TANK GUN. The FUCKING TANK GUN is far, loud, messy, armor piercing, area, clumsy, terrifying 5-harm weapon. 
Custom Move: When you seize by force, go aggro etc against the machine gunner, use the regular rules. When you go after the driver and FUCKING TANK GUNner from the outside, reduce the harm done with weapons with the messy or area tag by 2. Weapons without messy or area do no harm.

So that 'solves' your problem but what it really does is create a whole new set of problems. Because if I'm playing the Battlebabe, my new objective is to steal that tank. Once I'm inside it with my 2-harm armor, I'm basically invincible. Or the Gunlugger can take his sniper rifle an shadow the tank on the theory that sooner or later the driver will get out to go to the bathroom. One scene with a lot of rolls that aren't Go Aggro or Seize By Force later, the Gunlugger has a new juggernaut to inflict violence with and you'll have to escalate again.

If you want rolls other than hard based ones to be the solution, come up with problems that can't be solved by hitting them. Murdering Ba still won't make him tell you where Dustwitch is conducting her blood sacrifice ritual with the children of your holding. You can't shoot a drought and make it rain, although I guess you could raid your neighbors for water. Hell, maybe Ba also has a FUCKING NUKE that's wired through some weird psychic shit to blow if he dies.

Custom Move:
When you Go Aggro on Ba, he never caves.
If Ba dies, his entire stronghold and everything for 5 miles around it are irrevocably destroyed. Radioactive fallout rains down for 100 miles in every direction for an entire season.

There's a problem you can't Hard your way out of.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 02:06:58 PM by nomadzophiel »

*

DannyK

  • 157
Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 03:06:33 PM »
Heh, this last post made me smile because in the PbP AW game I' running, there's an armored boat which is the scariest thing in town.  Of course, the Show just got the crew to panic with a really good world-breaking song and the boat ran aground in a skyscraper... and that's just the beginning of the problems this damn boat will create! I would also note that even if the PCs are able to grab hold of an actual no-fooling TANK, a tank is not a rental car; unless it's some kind of high tech robot tank, it requires a gunner, a driver, a loader, and a serious mechanic to keep it rolling.  Sure, I'd let a PC sneak into one and maybe fire off a shot, but there's a lot more to it than just jumping it and shooting up everybody else in the world.  Enforcing that kind of realism, that kind of friction on what the players want to do, is an important part of making the world seem real.

But seriously, don't try to keep the players from doing the stuff their playbook makes them really good at.  That just makes you frustrated and the players annoyed. The Gunlugger character is inevitably going to solve problems by shooting them whenever possible, from a great distance if possible.  That's OK!  They're going to do that, just like the Hardholder is going to order his men to seize control of stuff and the Brainer is going to figure out creepy stuff to do with his violation glove.  If you follow the game's agenda for the MC and keep making soft and hard moves, they'll find plenty of places where their sniper rifle isn't helpful. 

This can be problematic when the player isn't really addressing the situation other than through violence, in other words playing AW like a roleplaying version of Grand Theft Auto, but I think that's more of an OOC issue. 

Re: AP ammo against vehicles and gangs in a hardhold
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 05:47:59 PM »
I will say that the Gunlugger shadowing the tank, waiting for the driver to take a shit so he can use his sniper rifle is a scene that I want to see. It's still shooting things but it's so much cooler than just "I shoot Ba's gang with my machine gun. They die."