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Author Topic: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World  (Read 841 times)

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Offline meikleTopic starter

[interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« on: March 29, 2013, 04:08:34 AM »
It is so fucking hot here.

For the past fifty years, there's been summer, and there's been the cooler part of summer; it's ninety degrees in the shade, if you're lucky, and if you're not, get in the fucking water -- if you can find any, if it hasn't all boiled away into the atmosphere and out of sight (but never out of mind.)   Huge stretches of what used to be healthy, livable land are burnt out desert; elsewhere, cities overgrow with teeming plant life buoyed by the overabundance life-giving water that buries them, crashes into them in waves a hundred feet high.  This world was ours, say the old folks who remember what it was like when the Apocalypse came -- say the brainers, who delve deepest into the maelstrom, who say they still hear the voices of those who came before, the ghosts of the first days, in the spring time, when there still was a spring.

This world, though, this place is hotter than hell, and that's just about how it feels anymore.

What It Is
  It's Apocalypse World.  Here's an indie game about some interesting people living half a century after the end of the world.  It's not a traditional RPG, but it's easy to learn, and it's pretty damn hot.  Pretty much everything you need from the player's end of it can be found here.  That's got the Playbooks (think character class, if you like), and the playbooks got everything you need.  The summary for each playbook, flavor-wise, is in the middle of the page where they're introduced.

What To Expect
  You should expect a rough game; violent, exciting, occasionally miserable, always interesting.  Sexy sometimes, but that's not all there is to it (and if it's all you're after, you'll probably be disappointed.)  You should expect to spend just as much time in the game's OOC thread talking about the game as you probably will writing posts, because there's going to be a certain degree of meta to it, for sure, that can't be avoided.

Like any traditional RPG, once we get into the gritty of it, your character is in your hands, and the rest of the world is in the hands of the Master of Ceremonies -- that's me.

You Wanna Play?
  Awesome.  Me too.  I got some criteria for potential players, but they aren't terribly hard to fulfill.  Here they are:
If you're interested, tell me a few of the playbooks that interest you.  Two or three, say.  Don't set your heart on one and then list off a bunch of others and get upset if you don't get your first choice.  Playbook selection's gonna be done once a group of players is finalized.  No first-come-first-serve out here.
If you're still interested, just tell me a little bit about what you're into in Apocalypse World, or maybe just some trivia about what you think life might be like after the end of the world.  Since I'm not taking character concepts right this moment, think of this as the application.

I'll make selections after I've got at least four applications, and four is the number of players I'm looking to include.  From there, we'll move onto Playbook selection and character creation, and things will get really awesome really quick.


Offline Winterborn

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 06:14:18 AM »
Going through the playbooks now, and the only one that doesn't really grab my interest is the Skinner. Generally, the characters I play are the ones who turn every head in surprise when they drop a hint that they have any idea what 'beauty' or 'fashion' is. The Chopper and Hardholder stand out above the rest, because they allow for a larger organization than your single character, in the form of gang or 'hold.

That's partly what gets my attention, in Apocalypse World, beyond the fact that I love post-apocalyptic settings in general. It's clearly a well though-out game that doesn't leave you all alone with your gang, all alone against the world. If you need muscle, go hit up your Chopper, and he can bring around a dozen psychos who just love crackin' skulls. Need a place to duck your rivals? The Hardholder has a few extra bunks, and his people know better than to rifle through your shit... Or else. I can't think of any other game that gives a player that level of control over the world itself, and it's a really excellent hook.

Mechanically, I like how the system itself is comprehensive, but in game-reality terms, everything is completely fluid. Each roll of the dice could have an infinite number of different impacts, and that's really how life works. Especially after the Apocalypse, where every move you make changes the number of days you've got left in this crappy world. Better hope you're pushing that number up, not dragging it down.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 10:21:05 AM »
Love to get in on the ground floor of this game as a Battlebabe, a Gunlugger, or a Hocus. I'd potentially be interested in the Hardholder and Driver as well.

The world seems intensely invovled and intriguing and taking up just about any roll in it I think would make for a grand time. Gritty action/adventure driven and with plenty of opportunities for richly developed characters who don't level up so much as they grow. All the makings of a great RPG, and I always love learning a new system.

The addition of a maddening psionic element is intriguing to me. Adds a splash of eldritch horror to the game and opens a lot possibilities. I'm curious as to just how sci-fi this setting gets and wondering if there's more material out there? Will our characters expect to be facing down leftover military robots and mutants a la Fallout, or just our more deranged and mercenary kin a la The Road or Book of Eli?

I'd really like to play a character oddly at home in Apocalypse World, someone who takes to the vagaries and miseries of the present perhaps not with relish, but with a sort of pragmatic optimism, not the defeatist resigned to surviving day by day in a nightmare world, but the true survivor who knows that every day lived is never a day wasted.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 11:57:14 AM by chaoslord29 »

Offline CurvyKitten

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Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 11:51:32 AM »
I may be interested in this one, reading over the information now. Looking at possibly driver or battlebabe? But like I said still reading over it.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 01:10:18 PM »
Are we to presume it's more or less like a cast of characters thing? The idea is each person plays a particular role in the story as much as the team, based on the playbook they pick?

Hence, the more diversity of characters, the better, and not 'dibs' on any roles now? I definitely prefer when no one goes about claiming a particular role as their own, but also enjoy when games are open to having a less than balanced team.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 01:36:23 PM »
I would be interested in The Faceless, The Gunlugger, and the Battlebabe. I'm not as interested, but The Quarantine and The Touchstone are also neat books.

I like Apocalypse World, despite only having gone through chargen and a few posts before the game imploded, because it is a game that gives the player characters an agency that you just do not get with a lot of other games. In a lot of games, you do not play someone who is at the heart of events that change the status quo and a meaningfully active participant. And you get to be unique in Apocalypse World. Maybe there are other dudes and dudettes out there who have a lot of guns and people call them gunluggers, but there is only one Gunlugger. It would definitely be stepping outside of a comfort zone for me to play this, because I do have a lot of experience with other games where the GM is an adversary and not a fan, and where the player characters were expected to ride along the rail road all the live-long day, but I really do want to give it the honest try.

I like to imagine The Road Warrior and the two original Fallout games as what the Apocalypse World generally looks and feels like. Maybe less of the retro-futuristic elements of the Fallout world that you get into in late game, but wasteland wanderer parts where you fight against slavers, humans regressed to tribalism, mutated wildlife and so forth seem pretty spot on, and what human life there is generally exists nestled in the crumbling remains of the old world. But also with caravans of vehicles that still have fuel, and whether they are trader caravans or roaming bands of psychotic raiders are just something you risk when you do not get the hell out of the way of that dust cloud on the horizon heading your way.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 01:51:00 PM »
I would be interested in The Faceless, The Gunlugger, and the Battlebabe. I'm not as interested, but The Quarantine and The Touchstone are also neat books.
I didn't see the Faceless, Quarantine, or Touchstone. Were those later in the PDF?

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I like to imagine The Road Warrior and the two original Fallout games as what the Apocalypse World generally looks and feels like. Maybe less of the retro-futuristic elements of the Fallout world that you get into in late game, but wasteland wanderer parts where you fight against slavers, humans regressed to tribalism, mutated wildlife and so forth seem pretty spot on, and what human life there is generally exists nestled in the crumbling remains of the old world. But also with caravans of vehicles that still have fuel, and whether they are trader caravans or roaming bands of psychotic raiders are just something you risk when you do not get the hell out of the way of that dust cloud on the horizon heading your way.

All great source material to draw on. The vehicles element is always something I felt was missing from Fallout, and while I can understand why, games like Apocalypse World really seem to offer the freedom to let the players make their characters into something perfectly suited to any possible other post apocalypse setting.

Offline CurvyKitten

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Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 01:55:32 PM »
Reading over driver and I can't help but think of tank girl. :P

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 01:57:27 PM »
Reading over driver and I can't help but think of tank girl. :P
We get a that particular 'Move' caught my eye as well, and I thought exactly the same thing. We get a Gun Lugger and a Battle Babe, and a Tank Driver all on the same team, and I say we start our own rampaging horde!

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 02:32:49 PM »
Oh, right. I forgot that The Faceless, The Quarantine, and The Touchstone are limited edition playbooks not included in the basic set on the Apocalypse World site.

I am willing to share the largess, if people wish it. I won't post a link here, but it is more or less condoned by Mr. Baker at http://apocalypse-world.com/le-playbooks.html when he says "They're out there! People have them and I know they're willing to share and to trade. My advice is to go to someplace like rpg.net or story-games.com and ask." Maybe send me a PM about it and I'll hook you up with a link.

On an unrelated note, what does Vulpes inter Leones mean?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 02:33:56 PM by Cold Heritage »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 02:42:44 PM »
Oh, right. I forgot that The Faceless, The Quarantine, and The Touchstone are limited edition playbooks not included in the basic set on the Apocalypse World site.

I am willing to share the largess, if people wish it. I won't post a link here, but it is more or less condoned by Mr. Baker at http://apocalypse-world.com/le-playbooks.html when he says "They're out there! People have them and I know they're willing to share and to trade. My advice is to go to someplace like rpg.net or story-games.com and ask." Maybe send me a PM about it and I'll hook you up with a link.
Hey that'd be really cool! I'd owe you one to look over the special edition. Also any help you can offer with the jargon and play style is equally appreciated.
Quote
On an unrelated note, what does Vulpes inter Leones mean?
It's a bad Latin translation of Fox amongst Lion.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 03:03:37 PM »
Cool.

I don't really have any good advice to offer about jargon or playstyle since my experience is extremely limited. One thing I want to get out there that did not get as integrated as I think the game requires when I did play is this:

"Your characters don’t have to be friends, but they do have to know each other, and they should be basically allies. They might become enemies in play, but they shouldn’t start out enemies."

It might have just been the brevity of the game and the '1st session' involving following our characters around in their own day-to-day affairs, but despite doing Hx and all that I did not really come out feeling like our characters knew each other or were basically allies. Like Winterborn says, if one character wants/needs some guys for back up, they ought to go hit up their Chopper and ask for help, maybe throwing in some moves to convince the Chopper and to make it all interesting. Or if your place gets trashed by the Bloody Sundaes and all your luxe shit is gone like dust in the wind, you go hit up the Hocus or the Hardholder for a place to stay . . . and maybe you grit your teeth at what it costs not to be sleeping out in the cold.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 03:10:12 PM »
Cool.
Thank you kindly.
Quote
I don't really have any good advice to offer about jargon or playstyle since my experience is extremely limited. One thing I want to get out there that did not get as integrated as I think the game requires when I did play is this:

"Your characters don’t have to be friends, but they do have to know each other, and they should be basically allies. They might become enemies in play, but they shouldn’t start out enemies."

It might have just been the brevity of the game and the '1st session' involving following our characters around in their own day-to-day affairs, but despite doing Hx and all that I did not really come out feeling like our characters knew each other or were basically allies. Like Winterborn says, if one character wants/needs some guys for back up, they ought to go hit up their Chopper and ask for help, maybe throwing in some moves to convince the Chopper and to make it all interesting. Or if your place gets trashed by the Bloody Sundaes and all your luxe shit is gone like dust in the wind, you go hit up the Hocus or the Hardholder for a place to stay . . . and maybe you grit your teeth at what it costs not to be sleeping out in the cold.
I like where this is going . . . I am a little baffled though by the Hx thing. I mean, I assume once the GM rolls around back online to the interest thread they'll go into more detail, but in the mean time it strikes me as something like Spirit of the Century? Where players shuffle their respective "First Adventure" on index cards and then draw and write down a blurb on how they all guest starred with one one another. I wish more RPGs had an element like this.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 03:20:15 PM »
I guess, from your description, it's kind of like that. From what I gather, it's a lot like how people will just work out history between their characters, just codified. It works, I think, to reinforce character identity and give the different playbooks their flavour: look at the Gunlugger, for example - two of their options are about other people being violent with you, and the other is about having the hots for someone. Contrast that with the Hardholder, whose options are all about their resources, their authority, their regime, and how other player characters interact with it. It's not just having history with other characters, but it's having meaningful history that draws from the stuff that gives your character meaning.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 03:49:45 PM »
Precisely, it's an integral part of the character creation process, but too often I find my players getting hung upon the rolling or the point spending. It's why I prefer storytelling systems like this and Fate.

Here's hoping we here from Meikle again soon, I'm chomping at the bit to get in on the ground floor of this game.

Offline meikleTopic starter

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 05:45:34 PM »
I didn't introduce special edition / limited edition / non-core playbooks because I don't want to bury the game in mechanics just yet.  There is a lot of variety in the core playbooks, and they're all very archetypical to the setting, whereas the non-core playbooks are increasingly niche or setting-defining (the "I'm a soldier leftover from cryogenic sleep before the apocalypse!" one, for example.)  Since I expect most of the players here to be new to Apocalypse world or at least not incredibly familiar with it, I'd rather play from the core book rather than bog things down in optional rules right off the bat.

Quote
I like where this is going . . . I am a little baffled though by the Hx thing. I mean, I assume once the GM rolls around back online to the interest thread they'll go into more detail, but in the mean time it strikes me as something like Spirit of the Century? Where players shuffle their respective "First Adventure" on index cards and then draw and write down a blurb on how they all guest starred with one one another. I wish more RPGs had an element like this.
Hx stands for 'history', and it's a way of measuring how familiar a character is with another.  Before/during the First Session, the initial Hx values are determined, but they will change in play.  They influence certain rolls, mostly when dealing with other characters, depending on playbook and move, and they change pretty often.  Increasing Hx is one of the ways you earn experience/improve your character.

So don't think of Hx as 'relationship' or how well your characters get along, but more of how well your character knows the other.  Also, don't think of it as a character creation trait; it's active in play, and it changes often.

Quote
Are we to presume it's more or less like a cast of characters thing? The idea is each person plays a particular role in the story as much as the team, based on the playbook they pick?
Apocalypse World assumes that everyone in the cast knows one another, and begins play on at least somewhat positive terms.  It doesn't assume they'll stay that way forever.  The game is going to he hectic and hopefully exciting, but it's not going to be a classic adventure RPG, so having everyone stick together and provide the benefits of their class to tackling threats, dungeoneer style, isn't really much of a big deal (but it's good to have friends, hey?)

Quote
I'd really like to play a character oddly at home in Apocalypse World, someone who takes to the vagaries and miseries of the present perhaps not with relish, but with a sort of pragmatic optimism, not the defeatist resigned to surviving day by day in a nightmare world, but the true survivor who knows that every day lived is never a day wasted.
Most characters will have been born into this world; it's the only one they've ever known.  It's hot as hell, the dogs out there'll fucking eat you, and sometimes if you wander far enough, you'll find the crippled remains of cities that make the sturdiest holdings look puny -- but that doesn't mean you have to hang your head in fear and resign yourself to misery.

Quote
I'm curious as to just how sci-fi this setting gets and wondering if there's more material out there? Will our characters expect to be facing down leftover military robots and mutants a la Fallout, or just our more deranged and mercenary kin a la The Road or Book of Eli?
Apocalypse World's setting is very vaguely defined; "The apocalypse happened about fifty years ago, some people who are still around kind of have hazy memories of it from when they were kids, and the psychic maelstrom is out there."  I threw a little more loose definition onto the world for this game: "This place is hotter than hell."  For now, you should think more The Road and the Road Warrior, maybe a little The Postman (did you know that that movie is set in This Year?), maybe a little bit of Fallout but with less people running around in huge power armor with plasma guns.  And more heat waves.

Quote
Hence, the more diversity of characters, the better, and not 'dibs' on any roles now? I definitely prefer when no one goes about claiming a particular role as their own, but also enjoy when games are open to having a less than balanced team.
I don't want people to choose roles right off the bat because I want to pick players for the players, not for the role they've signed up to play.  Because there is no playbook overlapping, this means that if I have a couple of players who both like the same playbook, I don't have to pick one over the other, they can talk it over once we head over to the OOC and start hashing things out.  Since it's more like a 'cast' than a 'team', without any real assumption that the group is going to be held together by the metapower of Plot, balance isn't a huge concern for me.  The playbooks are pretty neatly balanced individually, though, at least in that they all make for interesting play.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 05:52:59 PM by meikle »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2013, 05:57:08 PM »
Great to hear from you Meikle! You seem to have answered pretty much all of my most annoying and nitpicky questions. I only hope I haven't completely deterred you from picking me as a potential player for the game  ;D

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2013, 07:09:41 PM »
Quote
I didn't introduce special edition / limited edition / non-core playbooks because I don't want to bury the game in mechanics just yet.  There is a lot of variety in the core playbooks, and they're all very archetypical to the setting, whereas the non-core playbooks are increasingly niche or setting-defining (the "I'm a soldier leftover from cryogenic sleep before the apocalypse!" one, for example.)  Since I expect most of the players here to be new to Apocalypse world or at least not incredibly familiar with it, I'd rather play from the core book rather than bog things down in optional rules right off the bat.

Works for me.

Offline Winterborn

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 05:50:25 AM »
I just keep getting more and more psyched up for this game! The nitty-gritty, the visceral action, the might-makes-right attitudes! The squalor, pain, misery, joy, destruction, hate, indifference! The wind over the scorched desert, roaring bikes and whooping riders, cinderblock fortresses and oasis bazaars!

I think I may have overloaded on prep imagery.

Offline yesiroleplay

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 12:31:56 PM »
Wow.  I read that pdf and came up with more questions than answers - but I have to say every single one of the playbooks were interesting.  If I had to choose the two most interesting to me, I'd say operator and skinner.  But there's a lot of cool in hocus and or either of the two 'badass' types - battlebabe and gunlugger.  Probably the only archtype I wouldn't' care to play is the brainer.  There's enough shit in my own head - I don't need other folk's in there too.

Angel or Driver are also cool - controlling a resource people want is always good.   Though I wince at all the MC-choice lists for complications healing the severely wounded.  Wince in the good way, as in "ouch, but awesome"

Offline Shjade

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2013, 02:35:55 PM »
Man, I thought the Dungeon World layout was confusing at first glance. Harm measured on a clock? That'll take some getting used to. xD

Interested in large part because of a Dungeon World game getting started but stalling out before it even got off the ground. I was really interested in the seemingly simplistic (if a little hard to initially grasp) mechanics for character interplay, particularly the interactive "history" as a mode of character progression to provide mechanical incentive for everyone helping to move a story forward together. The tools here are a little different, but close enough - made by the same folks, I'm guessing?

Seems like you've already got enough for your goal of four here, but what the hey, may as well toss a hat in.

The Skinner and the Angel both stand out for me. Feels like they have fewer group mechanics to worry about juggling, too, but maybe I'm just not seeing them.

Offline meikleTopic starter

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2013, 10:14:35 PM »
Hey folks,

I'm just about to head off to work, but don't think I've forgotten you!  I'll be peeking over the potential players on Monday and then we'll move on from there, but in the meantime, feel free to weigh in, chat a bit, wax apocalyptic, and so on!

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2013, 10:55:13 PM »
I was watching this special on invasive species and one of the ones that came up was Giant Gambian Pouch Rats in the Florida Keys. I imagine that things like those could be a food staple for people in the post apocalypse, and maybe pythons too. It could be a gig to go get their meat or maybe they could be a threat.

Offline meikleTopic starter

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2013, 07:41:02 AM »
The Skinner and the Angel both stand out for me. Feels like they have fewer group mechanics to worry about juggling, too, but maybe I'm just not seeing them.
Idly, I'm not sure what you mean by group mechanics.  Skinner and Angel are both characters who are very much built around interacting with others -- on the other hand, they're more self-contained, without worrying about keeping people happy the way that hardholders or hocuses or choppers might be.  That's one of the balance points of Apocalypse World, though, the difference between a character's ability to personally direct action vs their ability to call on some kind of external resource (like a hold or a cult or a gang.)  Useful strengths, either way.

Offline Winterborn

Re: [interest/recruitment] Apocalypse World
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2013, 08:00:06 AM »
I think what Shjade was talking about was the mechanically complex groups (cult, hold, gang) of their associated classes, rather than the group as in us players and our characters. I don't think anyone could mistake that this is a system designed to make the most of interaction between players, playbooks, and the world the characters reside in.

I know I found the idea of using a gang as a means of causing harm or absorbing it to be daunting at first, but now I find it very intriguing. Definitely going to shoot for the Chopper slot, even though I know you said not to get our hopes up; I won't be turned away if I don't get it, that's for sure. So many ideas are shooting around my head, I've even come up with a name for the gang, a list of NPC names, and some basic personalities. Don't worry about me getting to attached, though, it's just something I'm doing for fun while we're waiting for the game to get going.