Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[Apocalypse World] New players...

Started by Dionysus, May 20, 2010, 12:41:44 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Howdy all.

I wasn't 100% sure where to put this. Is this playtesting or actual play? In here is probably the best for the moment - if it should be elsewhere feel free to move it mods :)

Anyway, I've tried apoc world as a one shot, and it went swimmingly. This timetried to get a bunch of friends who were not "RP'ers" to try out, and to try playing a series of sessions (6+?)
B plays vampire The Eternal Struggle CCG.
M has never played these "RPGs", but has heard of D&D.
T used to play many many years ago (15 or more), and plays many board games and card games
S has played a lot, but usually heavy crunch like Exalted, Call of Cthulu, etc.

Character creation was a joy. We walked into the room with no idea what we'd be playing, other than "the world is shit, the PCs are making it a better place - for themselves". I had all the playbooks printed out on the table.
T latched onto the Gunlugger "Man".
M found it hard to choose between the Operator and Driver - but went for the Driver eventually as the gigs seemed complicated. "Frankie"
B wanted a Skinner or Brainer, and eventually took a Brainer who acts/looks much like a Skinner. "Amiette"
S was laughing at many of the special abilities, but the "visions of Death" won over the Battlebabe "Shadow".

Making the character was pretty straight forward. M needed a little handholding, he found the layout a little confusing as to what was a choice, and what was an option within one of those choices. Picking the vehicle took as long as the rest of the character.

The Hx part was awesome. up until now we'd had no idea of what kind of game it would be. Some were voicing "Lets stay in one spot", others wanted a "walk the land" game. The sharing of histories and the modifiers really gave everyone a backstory.

Man was "not to be fucked with", and had ought alongside Shadow. They worked out that Shadow was an orphan who had been saved by Man. They had gone their separate ways but Man still remembered Shadow as a pretty little girl. He had been left to bleed by Amiette in the last town. The players were swapping stories about movies and books, and they gave Man a drinking problem - when he drinks he becomes a problem. So they worked out that Man had been staying in a town and had been worked over by the local Hardholder (who Amiette worked for). Then he went to the bar, got drunk, and went and killed everyone who had been involved (the Hardholder and his gang of lackeys). Amiette was now on the run from the town that distrusted her and was following the Man, who she'd been watching for some time and believed was her best hope for safety.

I was just sitting and listening, all this was player proposed. Prompted by the Hx rules and the character descriptions on the front of the handouts.

Frankie and Shadow had been on the road together for a while. They worked out that Shadow was looking for something (The Crimson Kite), and had hired Frankie as her driver.

The players prompted the first scene. Man was camping out in the badlands, and Amiette wanted to play out their moment of meeting each other. The did some "read a person" and "read a sitch", and it all flowed really well. They also received some idea that there were creatures stalking them in the badlands. It was also established that the "oddments" they had were things they had stolen from the hardholder when Man left - water cans, supplies, guns, and BBQ sauce.

Frankie and Shadow were lost in the badlands. The battlebus/truck which looks like this but with metal spikes and armor was sounding very sick (unreliable tag) and they were looking for a mechanic to fix it. Supposedly there was one in a nearby town. They spot the campfire and drive over. There is a brief standoff until Shadow and Man manage to recognize each other. (lots of read a situation and some going aggro until Shadow did read a person - the responses for the moves always seem to escalate a situation. The players found it fun and very "in genre" for a post apoc feel).

The players were keyed up and wanted to try some shooty shooty, so I launched an ambush by badland scavengers. We found it really hard to work out initiative. There was a lot of talking over each other and retcons (hang on, if you are doing that, i will do this). As we got a few moved out we also found that when they just wanted to shoot, there wasn't really something for that...(actually S-shadow had the most problem with that).

Ended up with Shadow spotting the ambush and trying to gain the initiative and failing, but knowing that the Scavvie leader would die. Frankie revving the engine and shining lights into the scavvies to scare them, the Amiette walked out and scared them to a standstill (direct brain whisper), then Man firing off his tricked out assault gun - and killing the leader in the process which scared the rest away.

They then carved up the Scavenger (which was a kind of mutated hyena looking thing that walked on two legs), and used the BBQ sauce to good effect.

Next scene was getting to town - played out beautifully. Walled town with closed gates and a couple of guards. The moved of the players prompted me to provide information, and it filled out the scene. Turned out that the guards were feeling scared, after their friends had been killed by Man earlier. There was a big man giving directions from behind the gate. Man and Amiette were hiding in the truck, and when the guard came to check out what was there, Ameitte used her violation glove and in-brain puppet string to make the Guard give the all clear. (these are not the dregs you are looking for... move along, move along). Shadow then had a stare down with the leader of the guards, a big man called Kettle who Amiette remembered as the town thug.

They parked the truck outside the mechanic's place. Rum. When he spotted Man he started drinking his best whiskey - "may as well before I die". Amiette and Shadow went to the bar, Man and Frankie tried to get the truck overhauled. The barter move worked well here, but he only agreed to work on the truck immediately if they took the heat from complaints about the bikes that were supposed to be next (and some barter).

Shadow and Amiette found the bar without trouble, but everyone was on edge - and the psychic maelstrom told them "eager for violent entertainment". Accosted by three off duty guards, Shadow went aggro (with a quick slice of their belts - and a roll of 12) and scared them away. We were using natural 12s as a kind of critical, describe what you are doing in an extra cool way. :) They also asked about the Crimson kite, and eventually the bartender gave up information that they should speak to Brewster (the medic/alcohol maker) after they had bought an expensive drink (1 barter).

Thats where we left it.

Questions/Observations follow


Overall it went really well. I actually found myself sitting back and just listening at times as the players really got into character and addressed each other by character names and started putting on accents/speech patterns. The Hx rules really make setting up the team really easy - they had stories to build upon, and ideas of what the characters found important.

"Man" was described (and acted) like a cross between Marv (Sin City) and Heavy Weapons Guy (Team Fortress 2)
"Frankie" came across as Han Solo (star Wars) mixed with The Fonz (Happy Days)
"Amiette" is a little scary, but seemed like Rogue (X-Men) in fancy clothes
Shadow was definitely channeling Hit Girl (Kick Ass)

The troubles the player had often was how to describe what they want to do as a "move" presented in the book. The worst offenders were "do something under fire", and "sieze by force" Needs to be clearer in the playbooks that fire == stress, and the somethign that is being seized doesn't have to be a physical object.

Another observation made by all of us - the moves really seem to always escalate. Not sure if this is bad or good, but all the moves seemed to make the overall situation worse - to get rid of any immediate problem nearly always resulted in a future problem. Everyone was having fun with this though, and it turned out more "what do we not mind blowing up".

Of course, the next issue I have is the Fronts. Never made them before, and the "foldable" sheet in the playbook doesn't help so much with clarity. Some possible hints for fronts from the above post might be helpful :) Also a full page layout for fronts would be awesome :)

At a guess I have the Scavvies as a threat, Kettle and his new thugs/guards. Rum was sounding like a threat, and the overall fear and uncertaintly of the townfolk might be another...


Gah - hate I cant edit.
was just sitting down and chatting - and something else came up.

We were taking the lists in the moves very very literally. The choices were taken as the "be all and end all" of what could happen. It felt at times a little strange. I dont think we were doing it wrong, but I dont think we were doing it quite right yet either.

How much room to interpret those lists of choices in the moves should we have?