Ice World - A pleistocene hack

  • 6 Replies
Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« on: January 25, 2011, 02:03:22 AM »
I had a little idea for a AW hack for playing hunter-gatherers of the pliestocene. It'd be quite an extensive piece of work, so pretty daunting, but it's an interesting idea:

You'd have a handful of basic moves, maybe some things like "Stalk something" and "run something to ground" as well as some more basic stuff. But instead of playbooks, you'd have individual moves for the objects each person owns. For example:

Rope: When you test your rope's strength, roll +hand (or something) plus your rope's craft (or something). On a hit, it holds. 10+, haul something heavy, go somewhere inaccessible, tie something down, or hold something together. 7-9, the MC can offer you a worse outcome, a tough choice, or a compromise. On a miss, the rope breaks, and the MC will make a hard move.

Spear: When you hurl your spear, roll +eye (or something) and your spear's craft (or something). On a hit, you hit and do harm. 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 2.
- Your spear is buried deep
- Do terrible harm (+1 harm)
- Do little harm (-1 harm)
- Remain hidden
- Your target is knocked down, frozen in place, or pinned

Headdress: When you dance with your headdress on, roll +spirit (or something) and your headdress's craft (or something). On a hit, the spirits are pleased. 10+ hold 3. 7-9, hold 1. Spend hold 1 for 1 to:
- give someone dancing +1 forward
- heal someone dancing one segment
- something else cool.


Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 05:52:38 AM »

That's definetely cool, I'd try it.

Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 01:12:46 PM »
A few rambling thoughts, because I love this setting idea.

Rope shouldn't be +hand, it should be +arm.  Making something should be +hand.

When you've killed something you were hunting, roll (something).  On a 10+, you killed it right here and it drops; proceed to the butchering.  On a 7-9, choose 2; on a miss, choose 1 or the MC may offer you a hard choice:
-You don't have to chase it far
-It doesn't do any damage to you before it dies
-Nothing else finds it before you catch up

When you gather outside your normal territory, roll +eye.  On a 10+, choose 3; on a 7-9, choose 1.
-You find a whole lot of something
-You find something especially valuable or nutritious
-It's within easy distance of camp
-It won't go bad quickly

Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 02:41:31 PM »
Arm! Of course.

I'm thinking there'll be a paired set of hunting moves, one that's like:

When you stalk something...
10+ You get within hand range
7-9 You get within close range

and the other that's like:

When you chase something down...
10+ You close to hand range
7-9: It must choose one:
- Go to ground in dense undergrowth
- Retreat to rocky highlands
- Forge through impassible terrain
- Run itself into exhaustion
On a miss it's just gone.

Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 02:34:42 PM »
This sounds really cool! How realistic are you going for? Cos I feel like if you go with playbooks, your options will sort of be limited to "hunter" and "gatherer", since specialization was not the name of the game in primitive groups. You could always add in a "chief" and a "shaman" type, and the gender-based playbooks in "Sagas of the Icelanders" might have some useful material.

I think the focus on tools is really sweet, though.

Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 03:50:57 PM »
Yeah, no playbooks, just tools.

What I'd hope for is that culture and roles emerge in play from the interaction of people's abilities (stats) and social position with their tools.

I'm thinking about crafting rules, letting you add moves to items. So it's not just a spear, it's your spear, a symbol of your status.

Something like savvyhead workspace, maybe, that takes into account:
- time spent
- materials used (bone (mammoth/horse/human), wood, stone, sinew, hide)
- techniques used (drilling, braiding, carving, dyeing, chipping, polishing)

Or something.

Re: Ice World - A pleistocene hack
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 04:40:35 PM »
Neat, sounds interesting.

Oh yeah, and if you'd like some insights into the 'weird' side of things here, I can't recommend Joseph Campbell's 'Primitive Mythology' (Masks of God Part I) enough.