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[AW] Apocalypse Finland - Fronts

Started by Mikael, February 15, 2009, 05:55:42 PM

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Warning - This one turned out to be very long, and might need to be split into two posts, one for each Front.

Comments and guidance on the actual content of the fronts are very welcome. What follows is a sort of a "live" account of the Fronts creation, with weird mix of present and past tense. This will probably only be of interest to those setting up their own games.

--- Here goes ---

Ok, so I need to create fronts. The players don't have characters yet, which will bite me somewhere down the line.

I am going with the basic setup, which is basic because I can see the influence of Graham's fronts in there, and because anyone playing with no hardholder PC will end up creating a front for the holding:
1. First front is somehow weird and mystical, almost inhuman, and individual.
2. Second front is very physical, some sort of a gang, that will have some distinguishing feature which will make it seem like it is tied to the first one, while it is not.
3. Third front is reserved to the case where none of the players choose to be the hardholder. I think this is a distinct possibility, given the players. This front will have a very nice, firm and just warlord leading the holding, with something nasty up his or her sleeve. Is it a problem if I want to have a third front? At least it will not fit on the Fronts book. Fix the problem by turning the second front into just another threat, a part of the first front. Anyway, I guess I can have this front even if one of the characters is a hardholder, provided I decree that the hardholders have established a sort of a feudal system, and the PC hardholder is a subject of a more powerful holding nearby.

But after that, no idea. An oracle for the Apocalypse World would be just right for a lazy person like me, but since I am too lazy to create one - and Vincent is probably overdosed on Oracles - I will just try the IaWA Oracle. For Apocalypse World, all the original Oracles have evocative names, but for our game, I think A Nest of Vipers is most appropriate.

Ok, so for the first front, I get:
- A wealthy merchant-priest with much political clout.
- The private garden of a noble house, and the two children meeting there.
- A slight and subtle demon, child of blasphemy, craving mischief.
- One mistakenly condemned, fled into hiding.

FRONT 1 - created in the order it is written, unless noted otherwise

Is called: Brainer Coming Home
Expresses: Hunger
Dark future: Basic stuff - Death and destruction as Mystique struggles to free itself. When free, dangerously powerful, mischievous and insatiable.

THREAT 1 - which turned out to be very similar to the Birdie in Vincent's example, plus something ripped from Sorcerer for good measure:

Is called: Mystique
Kind: Grotesque - Mindfucker
Move: exploit someone's needs or fears

Description and cast:
This is the big bad, the mind or a soul of a brainer, lost in the maelstrom. The fate of its body is unknown, and it does not even remember whether the body was male or female. Now it is desperately trying to inhabit a living, breathing body again. There is something it needs to make this happen, but I don't know yet what that might be.

- Before 4:00, Mystique has arrived on the scene, but can do nothing except be felt as a creepy feeling, or perhaps movement in the corner of your eye.
- Before 7:00, Mystique can whisper things to people's mental ears.
- Before 9:00, the whispers can drive people mad, at least temporarily.
- From 9:00 to 12:00, Mystique gains the ability to possess people for extended periods of time, but is not very powerful.
- At 12:00, Mystique permanently inhabits a convenient body, and begins its reign of psychic terror.

Custom things:
- When characters see someone controlled by Mystique, roll+weird. On 10+, they see that the person is clearly controlled by something beyond. On a 7-9, they notice something is wrong with them, but cannot really say what. On a miss, they are blissfully unaware. The tell-tale is eyes that go completely black (the classic).
- When a possessed person is read, the replies they get come from Mystique.
- Opening your mind to the psychic maelstrom seems risky when this thing is running around in there.
- To try to exorcise Mystique from the controlled character, go aggro, but roll+weird instead of roll+hard.

THREAT 2 - I originally had "one mistakenly condemned" person here, but decided to replace that with the Black Eyes, who might be mistakenly condemned for the actions of Mystique

Is called: Black Eye Chopper Gang
Kind: Warlords - Alpha wolf
Move: cunning attack

Description and cast:
15 violent bastards (small mobile gang, 2-harm 1-armor, want: grounded)
All paint the surroundings of their eyes black, and have a symbol of a black eye somewhere on their clothes.
Leader: Juck
Scout: Snake Eyes
Point: Dice
Most violent: Hammer

- Before 4:00, the gang is seen to approach the holding, then veer away while still far enough not to be seen clearly.
- Before 7:00, Snake Eyes enters the holding, on foot.
- Before 9:00, Snake Eyes learns the lay of the land, prepares a secret entry point and leaves.
- From 9:00 to 12:00, gang sneaks in and attacks the holding's fuel reserves.
- At 12:00, gang takes off with all the fuel they can carry, threatening to burn the rest with a remote if someone follows.


Is called: Boys of Pocus
Kind: Brutes - Enforcers
Move: victimize someone who stands out

Description and cast:
Enforcers of Pocus the Hocus, always ready to pound on anything Pocus declares morally suspicious.
Pocus is a Fucking wacknut (+1weird) able to Frenzy his followers.
The 40 Boys of Pocus are his followers, dedicated and hard-working (+1barter). (2-harm, 1-armor)
Lieutenant: Bright
Bruisers: Lost, Spider, Jackal

Don't know about the clock yet. Something to do with increasing aggression against the pleasures of the flesh.


Is called: Dangerous Lovers
Kind: Affliction - Condition
Move: make someone vulnerable

Description and cast:
Marlon, Driver hauling stuff between the holdings
Gabe, Angel daughter of Pocus
Meet in a natural garden near Pocus' encampment

Clock will have something to do with promoting free love and being the target of Boys of Pocus. I need to tune this to make it an actual threat to player characters.

Getting back to
STAKES - are for some reason really hard for me

- Is there a palatable future for Mystique?
- Can Marlon survive Mystique's influence and get away with Gabe?

For the second front, I was already tired being creative. The Oracle gave me this:
- The flight of a prince and his forbidden lover into hiding.
- A midwife, weary and appalled, having delivered a tenth consecutive stillbirth.
- A poor home shared by many families of beggars.
- A wizard jealously guarding her magical territory.



Is called: Our Benefactor
Expresses: Ambition
Dark future: After leeching the PC holding of all valuable resources in the name of protection, abandons said holding to an attack that destroys it.

Is called: Mother Superior the Benevolent
Kind: Warlord - Collector
Move: rob someone of something

Description and cast:
Mother Superior the Benevolent is the hardholder of the Benevolent holding, and the feudal lord of the PC holding as well. The relationship is based on the larger Benevolent holding offering "protection" to the PC holding; the arrangement has been agreed by either Nbeke or the PC hardholder's father, in his time.
Mother Superior is all about soft and considerate on the outside, and egotistical greedy unfeeling bastard on the inside.

Is called: The House of Beggars
Kind: Brutes - Sybarites
Move: consume someone's resources

Description and cast:
People thrown out by the Benevolent holding, with next to nothing beyond some rags on their backs. Have made their way to the PC holding, where they are now a clear strain on the holding's resources.

Clock will have something about all the beggars having stillbirths and other misfortune, while continuing to plead for the mercy of the holding.

Is called: Nbeke
Kind: Affliction - Custom
Move: make someone vulnerable

Description and cast:
Either the hardholder of the PC holding, or the second-in-command of the PC hardholder. Nbeke's main failing is the focus of jealously guarding what he has, instead of seeing opportunities and promoting growth. Under Nbeke's leadership, the holding will stagnate and die even without external pressure.

Clock will indicate Nbeke making more and more disastrous, if earnest, decisions, then somehow betraying the holding to Benevolent.

Is called: Tax Collectors from Benevolence
Kind: Brutes - Hunting pack
Move: victimize someone vulnerable

Back again to

- Can the beggar refugees stand on their own before being somehow destroyed? Who will they take with them to that destruction?
- Can Nbeke learn to be a true leader?

Playing Dogs over Skype? See everybody's rolls live with the browser-independent Remote Dogs Roller - mirrors: US, FIN


Oh yeah, I am being 100% open on the fronts, because the other players in our group do not frequent Forge - I think. So if you are one of them, you should not have read any of the above.
Playing Dogs over Skype? See everybody's rolls live with the browser-independent Remote Dogs Roller - mirrors: US, FIN


Yeah, that's pretty much not how you should set it up.

It'd be better to have a (short) character creation session, then go away to create fronts, then meet the next week to begin play. Create your fronts using the players' creations as a springboard, applying the evocative stuff in front creation as pressure to their stuff. As it is you've essentially substituted an oracle draw for the players' creativity.

(The questions you've asked on the ecretsay ogblay, I'll answer there!)