[AW - OOG] Apocalypse World: Characters



  • edited August 2010
    Uh oh, playbook cross-post! (And yes, I really did have that post open for 40+ minutes, damn.)

    I can switch to the Operator if necessary.
  • So at this point, we have a maestro, a brainer, a battlebabe, and a skinner?
  • So at this point, we have a maestro, a brainer, a battlebabe, and a skinner?
  • Whoops, double post. I think I'm going to roll Hocus. I'll post it in a bit.
  • The name of my Hocus is Horse. The reason for this is left as an exercise to the reader, with the promise that this will be the best exercise the reader has ever had. Horse's stats are Cool=0, Hard+1, Hot-1, Sharp+1, Weird+2.

    He is a fat man, with an open face and mesmerizing eyes. His clothing was once formal, but appears to have been the only thing he has worn for a long time, making it a bit tattered, and very faded.

    Horse's court consists of seven women of various backgrounds, wearing mostly scrounged items but each with some fetish elements. They are dedicated to their life together, which is as joyous and celebratory as it is decadent and perverse.

    In addition to the Fortunes granted to every Hocus, Horse is Charismatic, and can bring a crowd to Frenzy. He has a steamer trunk of oddments which only his court is permitted to peruse, but their nature and purpose does not deviate from his usual milieu.

    Though he often talks of his urgent need to travel and spread his message, he has been here for some time. It is assumed his court would travel with him should this change.

    Horse wants:
    More followers.
    A bed that will hold more followers.
    To find out why he's shooting blanks (not openly, but he'll inquire if he thinks someone could help.)
    If he can solve that one, to repopulate the earth.

    Horse needs:
    A place to sleep.
    A place to party.
    Party supplies (alcohol, drugs, rich food.)

    Horse provides:
    Something that keeps his court absolutely loyal to him.
    Reciprocal loyalty to his court and anyone he thinks can help advance his interests.
    Access to "the list" for all the best parties.
    A friendly ear.
    Hedonism for what ails you.
  • edited August 2010
    I am simultaneously terrified, excited, and amused that my Hard+1 is tied for highest.

    yellowparis and njhenry, what do you think about kicking off a Frost's Open Mic Debut?
  • edited August 2010
    I have +1 hard too. Also, I get to take a Maestro move which will let me roll Hot instead of Hard, but don't have it yet. Besides, I have a 3-harm dog named Woland. He's no Behemoth, as he prefers blood to vodka.

    [edit] I need to stop sneaking looks at this at work. I'm not reading very thoroughly.

    [edit II] Proper's dog, Woland, is shaped sort of like an English Mastiff that's been stretched out and folded back up and doesn't have a lot of hair. He's a front-heavy beast of about 200lbs. One ear is perforated, the other has an assortment of piercings, some missing.

    Instead of a shotgun under the bar, Proper has a dog that eats as much as a person does, so make inferences about that.

    Characters are welcome to have whatever relationship they like with Woland -but Charmer if you fuck my dog there will be major problems.

    Mike - Can we work out a move for Woland where he "marks" a person by slobbing on them/getting their scent, making him less likely to chomp on their nuts if he gets deployed? I'm growing attached to this mutant-freak beast. Also, can he supplement his diet with the wasteland rats?
  • edited August 2010
  • Okay, I'll just start it. If we get Hx worked out by then, it can turn into an early scene.

    That said, since we've all got characters, should we start working out Hx?

    (Random other thing: I'm Charlton. I've been answering to cwilbur online for ages. Either works. If there's something you prefer to be called, let me know.)
  • If it's known around the establishment that a newcomer with +2 hot will be at open mic night, Horse and his retinue will be in attendance. If Frost's presence is a surprise, they may have other business to which to attend.
  • Sure, this hot+2 newcomer with a guitar case has been around for a bit, and where else would he go but the next open mic night? Especially if he wants a job....
  • Some more on Horse:

    Horse dislikes buzzkills.

    Horse hates slavers.

    Horse wants more followers, but doesn't seem to be actively recruiting, and his band has not grown since he's been here. Those in the settlement may hear rumors from time to time that he's saved someone's life, freed them from slavery, gotten them medical care, etc., but he doesn't like to talk about this, and doesn't have much further contact with his beneficiaries after he helps them, even if they were previously on good terms.

    Horse is looking for people with advanced medical technology or knowledge, to help with the third thing he wants, but he doesn't talk openly about that particular want.
  • So I guess, hearing no objections, I'll kick off the Hx round.

    I think only Kite could really fit as a friend, and I could see Frost opening up to her. Daniel, that's Hx+2.

    I think it's plausible for Frost to be any of the characters' lovers, but none of them say, "Yes! that fits!" to me. Likewise with someone being in unrequited love with Frost. So everyone else, Hx=0.

    Other characters:

    Unnamed Brainer, if you pay any attention at all to Frost, it's clear that he's abjectly terrified of you and that psychic woo-woo you do. If that counts as "dislike and distrust," it's all yours.

    And more on Frost:

    In the long term he wants a home, a family, real friends, a lover. He's pretty sure he's had these things in the past and managed to lose them.

    He's got a crazy theory that music was the psychic maelstrom of the Ancients, and the difference between their psychic maelstrom and the current psychic maelstrom explains a lot about the state of the world. He wants to learn more about their music, because he's got an even crazier theory that music will fix the psychic maelstrom. This is all probably nonsense, but it's how he copes with the voices and static screaming just at the back of his perception. And if the psychic maelstrom were universally bad, he'd just never go near it, so he's got a couple tunes in his notebook that he learned from the maelstrom. Maybe he chose to trade his memories of the lover who drew his tattoos so that he could learn "Ain't Misbehavin'."

    In the immediate term he wants human contact, hot food, and a comfortable place to sleep. He's willing to accept physical intimacy as a poor substitute for emotional intimacy, especially if it's the only human contact he can get. I can see him fitting in with Horse's followers really well, although it might take some convincing for him to become one himself. Which might be irrelevant if Horse only wants female followers.
  • I'm supposed to give Hx 0 to everyone except my followers. Right now the only potential follower I see out of the PC's is Kite. I'm not sure if the abject loyalty required by Horse fits well with Kite's unreliability, but she is the sort of follower Horse would want, so we can discuss that if it's something of interest.

    I've got a more fleshed out idea now of where Horse came from, how his group got started, and how he adds to it, so I can post that here or save it for exposition later, whichever makes more sense.

    I'm supposed to choose the character whose soul Horse has seen, and it seems like this could be anyone. Maybe, late one night at Proper's, Proper dished about his dream to bring a circus to his daughter, and Horse saw a kind soul dedicated to making people happy. Maybe Frost pours himself out so much at open mic that Horse knows what he's about. If Kite is a follower, then Horse would think he knows all there is to know about her, and if she's not, maybe he saw her soul in the reasons she rejected him. Not sure about the brainer yet, but all of these seem like they'd be a deliberate action on the part of the character, so I don't want to pick one without the appropriate player's consent.

    Horse can help provide for the needs of Frost, since a hot musician sounds like someone he'd want around and at parties. He's suspicious that Frost's desire for emotional intimacy could destabilize his band, so he'll try to keep things physical between Frost and the girls, within his ability to do so.

    As for Proper, Horse hangs around his place a lot, and maybe throws parties there if that's a thing that Proper allows. He's always polite and does his best to keep his tab paid, no matter how extravagant. Horse's cult doesn't know his secret, but Proper might.

    Horse wants Kite. He'd love to have her as a follower, but he'll take whatever he can get. If at some point in the past he had an opportunity to rescue her, he would have done so, with no strings attached but the strong hope she would inquire about joining his group. If the opportunity has never arisen, he waits for it, and pesters her with party invitations in the interim.

    Horse wants to make the world a better place to party. He talks about being fruitful and multiplying "when the time is right," but that time never seems to come.
  • I think it makes perfect sense that you'd have seen Frost's soul, so you've got my consent. I think Horse is perfectly positioned to push all of Frost's buttons, since he sure seems to have what Frost wants, and Horse seems like he'd be able to figure that out. The open mic can't hurt either.

    What would Horse do if someone else fathered a child with one of his girls? Or does he have precautions to prevent that? Would he claim it as his own? In that case, having a few male followers might cover up his problem, especially if the kids would be considered Horse's anyway.
  • That's a great question. This is going to be a good game. Horse asks his girls to take steps to prevent this from happening, but nobody's perfect, and they could get caught up in the moment and not bother. He would be mad as hell, but possibly terrified to do anything about it. In Frost's case, he's as Hard as Horse and much Hotter, so Horse would be afraid of losing his hold on his group. If it were some random shmoe, Horse would try to have him killed or discredited quietly. He would definitely want the child to be born and raise it as part of his community, but he'd be wary of claiming it as his own if he wasn't yet able to repeat the feat. He'd rather accept someone else's mistake with an outward appearance of graciousness than reveal his secret. I like the idea of getting a few male followers and pretending all the kids are Horse's, but we'll have to see whether he's imaginative enough to think that up.
  • [edit with more info]

    Type: Brainer

    Name: Charmer (because Charmer's not) Has no actual name, but those who are familiar with Charmer, use Charmer.

    Stats: Cool +1, Hard +1, Hot -2, Sharp +1, Weird +2

    Look: Concealed, Environmental wear improper to the local environment, bony face, dead eyes, awkward angular body

    Moves: Preternatural at-will brain attunement (+1 Weird), Unnatural Lust Transfixtion (roll +weird instead of +hot for seduction)

    Charmer isn't the sort of person you know. Charmer is not a well-respected member of the community. Everyone's seen Charmer, they know who charmer is. Charmer's the sort of person who knows things, or can find them out, if you can pay. Charmer sits around at Prosper's, waiting. Everything about Charmer is repulsive and offputting. Charmer wears a gasmask [1 armor?] (imagining something like this, but with the tubing connected to nothing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gas_mask_501556_fh000007.jpg ) over a bald, skeletal face and a giant hooded cloak, out of which a bony clawlike hand, and a dark gloved hand are sometimes visible.

    Charmer caters to the wealthy, mostly, but he'll work for anyone who can pay, finding things out.

    Brainer Gear:
    Charmer wears his violation glove on the right hand, constantly. It is made of tight, worn dark leather, although leather from what is anybody's guess (you'd probably rather not guess), and clawlike fingernails poke out from the ends of the fingers.

    Charmer also carries receptivity drugs inside one of the pockets in his cloak, to help with obtaining information.

    Charmer carries an ornate dagger, the hilt made of white gold (now a dirty gray) encrusted with rubies, so that it appears to have drops of blood along the center of the blade and on the hilt.

    Charmer wants: knowledge and understanding, and subconsciously human connection, which manifests in his desire to discover where he came from. (history details can be provided here or brought up in-game, whichever is more suitable)

    Charmer needs: information to provide to people, people who want information, physical contact with people, although they slightly repulse him too.

    Charmer provides: information
  • Oh yeah, there's no way Frost is going to get closer than 10 feet to Charmer unless he's physically restrained.

    Just FYI - I've started a thread for the Open Mic night, and a thread for metagame chat, if anyone cares to join in.
  • edited August 2010
  • edited August 2010
  • edited August 2010
    Kite wants: to be around people who don't want anything from her; some way to live that doesn't involve her friends dying; to go outside more often; to hurt people who make demands of her.

    Kite needs: a room of her own; new shoes; food and water; serious fucking therapy.

    Kite provides: danger; the threat of violence; scavenged oddments; nearly suicidal fearlessness; a lack of respect for borders; listening without judgement; the promise of something more.

    For Hx:

    Everyone gets +1 with Kite by default. "You put yourself out in the public view." Sounds about right; Kite has some of that total-unselfconsciousness often found in spaced-out hippies, very young children, or the mentally damaged.

    Kite trusts Horse the least -- because he seems to want her the most -- and that never works out. When he or she first arrived, there may have been some interest or intimacy, but it didn't last and she barely seems to acknowledge it anymore -- not an unusual pattern for her. She might still be friends with some of his girls, though.

    I like the idea that Horse did something for her, without strings attached -- maybe quite recently, or at least well after this initial interaction -- because I don't know how she would react. It would have to be something different than she is used to -- she doesn't seem to have any problem exploiting people's desire/hope when it comes to finding somewhere to sleep, or something to eat. A rescue from physical violence might not even register with her, but who knows, maybe that would freak her out even more. Max, if you want to straight-up invent something that Horse has done for her, that would be fine by me. In any case Kite starts with +3 Hx with Horse due to her trusting him the least.

    Charlton, it makes sense that Frost and Kite might get along -- Frost seems like the sort of person she could just be around, without having to worry too much. And it sounds like they have some desires and frustrations in common, under the surface.

    It is conceivable that Kite has at some point, or could at some point, work for Proper -- she's no Skinner, but she does like to dance, and people do like to watch her when she does, and for whatever reason that doesn't tend to bother her. As for work as muscle -- there is a sense in which simply having Kite around acts as a deterrant to violence. Not because she seems likely to hurt anyone; rather, the feeling that if violence erupts in her vicinity, it will somehow escalate beyond anybody's control. She's not the kind of person you start a casual fistfight around, but she's unlikely to dissuade somebody with a serious, calculated agenda for violence.

    Kite likes hanging out near Charmer because then everybody leaves themher alone. If she thinks he's creepy she's not letting on.


    Really though I am still getting a handle on what Kite wants, concretely, and what she provides to get it -- I think once play starts, and we see what our world is willing to offer, that should clarify itself fairly quickly.


    Oh, and Kite owns a hi-powered, semi-automatic shotgun (4-harm close, messy) and a remarkable collection of knives (2-harm, infinite). She doesn't usually carry the gun, but most people have seen her with it often enough to know it must be stowed somewhere nearby. It looks like its seen some serious use.
  • Summary of Kite's Hx (so far):

    +3 with Horse
    +2 with Frost
  • Kite: At some point, you were hired by Pliskin, a local gang boss, to guard an incoming shipment. You flaked, and the shipment was stolen on the way in. Pliskin wasn't dumb enough to threaten you with violence, but you found it very hard to get work after that. Rumors circulated that Pliskin was becoming uneasy, and that something in that shipment was very important to him. When you were near the point of leaving the settlement to find work elsewhere, another of Horse's invitations arrived. That man must have access to the last supply of ribbon and frilly stationery in the world. You'd received many invitations before, but the hunger in his eyes would have put you off if the constant unsubtle propositions hadn't already done the job. That time, there was a box with the invitation. The box contained several dozen filled syringes, and a note:
    My dear Kite,

    Due to the interminable vagaries of the market, it seems the supply of Jet in our fair home has been quite scarce of late. Our mutual acquaintance Mr. Pliskin is powerfully agitated by this. The contents of this box represent the last of my personal reserve, so I can assure you, it is of the highest quality. Do with it as you like.

    The contents of the box were worth a lot of money, so you could have either sold them and paid off Pliskin, or just given them to him to make your problems go away and ensure he'd always have work for you. After that, Horse stopped propositioning you, but you could still see the desire in his face when he looked at you. He asked for nothing, and if you offered anything other than the pleasure of your company (in any sense of the phrase) he refused to accept it. If you did come to the party, he was an excellent host, and made no requests or demands of you.
    Let me know if that doesn't work for you.

    Horse is a regular but resentful customer of Charmer. He's had the information broker gig in previous settlements, and liked it quite well, but grudingly respects that Charmer is better at it than he ever was. He never invites Charmer to his parties, but if he does show up, Horse will grit his teeth and try to ensure that everyone, Charmer included, enjoys themselves.

    Right now Horse has Hx+3 on Frost, and Hx+2 on Kite.
  • For the record, the skinner special ability is to add +1 or -1 to any Hx another player gives him.

    So here's how we stand:

    Horse -1. Frost likes Horse, but he really doesn't get on a gut level what makes him tick.
    Kite +2. There are ways she's a lot like him.
  • edited August 2010
    A brainer has "Tell everyone Hx-1. You keep yourself secret." for the first half, so I'll go ahead and fill that in.
    with Charmerwith Frostwith Horsewith Kitewith Proper
    Charmer has—=0, +?=0, +?+1, +?+1, +?
    Frost has-1, -1. for -2—=0, -1, for -1</>+1, +1, for +2</>+2, +1, for +3
    Horse has-1, +1, for =0=0, ignored for +3—+1, +1, for +2+1, +1, for +2
    Kite has-1+2=0, ignored for +3—+1
    Proper has-1, +1, for =0=0, +1, for +1=0, ignored for +3+1, +1, for +2—
    That leaves us lacking: Charmer's 2nd half, Proper's material, and Frost's thoughts on Charmer and Proper.
  • Frost is totally freaked out by Charmer, so -1 + -1 is -2.
    Frost gets what Proper does and some of why he does it, so +1 to whatever Proper says.
  • The maestro gives +2 to the most attractive character. Proper finds Frost the most appealing. This is probably more avaricious than libidinous.

    +2 Hx to Frost!

    +1 Hx to the rest of you! Let the gin flow!

    Horse is Proper's favorite because he seems to represent a similar civilizing influence...in that getting everyone drunk and partying way. His extravagant tabs are probably making Proper's weekly payments to Gams _and_ restocking his liquor possible. We might actually be buying /making liquor together. Proper is also a sucker for manners and hospitality.

    The table says you gave me +1 - hell with that I get +3.

    I add +1 to whatever else the rest of you gave me.

    That makes Horse the character with highest Hx on my sheet so...Horse, which of my stats is most interesting?

    (0 Cool, 1 Hard, 2 Hot, 1 Sharp, -1 Weird. I roll hot instead of cool for under fire and I have my fingers in every pie.)

    Charmer - You're sick, man-thing. But it takes all types. You ever feel like holding a seance in my joint, maybe we'll charge admission. ::won't shake hands::
    Frost - You're pretty special, kid. You looking for a regular gig?
    Horse - A pleasure to doing business, sir.
    Kite - Toyota thinks you're nice and all, but take it easy on the kid OK? Let Lits take care of him, she's loopy over that wheel-bound little squirt.
  • Just to get this out in the open, too -- OOG I have no issues with same-sex liaisons, and I-the-player will not be offended by any suggestions in that vein. As far as Frost goes, I haven't figured out entirely where his natural inclinations lie. But my gut tells me a couple things: it was a woman that made his guitar, but as far as business transactions go, money spends the same whether it came from a man or a woman.
  • edited August 2010
    Gah. If there's one thing about this board's software, it's that tables are a bitch to work with.
    with Charmerwith Frostwith Horsewith Kitewith Proper
    Charmer has—=0, +?=0, +?+1, +?+1, +?
    Frost has-1, -1. for -2—=0, -1, for -1</>+1, +1, for +2</>+2, +1, for +3
    Horse has-1, +1, for =0=0, ignored for +3—+1, +1, for +2+1, +1, for +2
    Kite has-1+2=0, ignored for +3—+1
    Proper has-1, +1, for =0=0, +1, for +1=0, ignored for +3+1, +1, for +2—
    That leaves us lacking: Charmer's 2nd half, Proper's material, and Frost's thoughts on Charmer and Proper.

    As mentioned before, Charmer's player is traveling (until the middle of next week, I think), so while I'll try to get him back here to finish up, we might as well go ahead and highlight stats - we have everyone else's numbers.

    • Horse highlights one of Proper's stats and one of Kite's stats.

    • Frost highlights one of Horse's stats.

    • Proper highlights one of Frost's stats.

    Highlighting is, of course: pick whichever of the character's stats you find most interesting - the one you want to see them rolling more of. Whenever the character uses that stat, succeed or fail, he/she gets to mark experience.

    I'll do my highlighting after you guys.
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