Pitch: Apocalypse World

edited October 2010 in Pitch
Hey guys. I see there's an ongoing game of AW here. I was interested to see if anyone else wanted to start up a AW game with me. I'm down for MC'ing or playing. Whatev. I had been participating in a Wave game, but that folded after the announcement concerning Wave's end.

So, anyone interested?



  • Sweet! Anyone else? I guess 3 players and an MC would be the best.

    Christopher, do you want to be the MC or a player? If player, any dibs on a playbook?
  • Player, I think. I intend to MC eventually, but I want some more play under my belt first.

    And I'm flexible, so let's gather some other players first and let them have first pick. I'm playing a driver in a face-to-face game, so something different, but still pretty flexible.
  • Right on. Like I said, I don't mind MC'ing unless someone else is interested.
  • I think I'm interested, as a player. Not sure on playbook. I'll flip through them and see what jumps out.
  • I'm interested too, but as I'm already playing in one game, I'll defer if someone who isn't already playing wants to join.
  • Interested! Me! I am! Me! Pick me!

    Yeah, I'd love to get in on this. I'm interested in being a player, particularly because I'm not sure I feel like I've internalized the MC tips well enough as of yet.

    If I were to play...I'm thinking it's between brainer, hardholder, and hocus. I think my first choice is hardholder, followed by brainer, followed by hocus.
  • edited October 2010
    Really, hardholder is jumping out at me most. I'm thinking an aging warlord whose holding is really just a compound for his personal army (small holding, large gang), which he uses to lord over the surrounding territory (gig: protection). Like an ex-chopper who got old and went big. Still hard, but smarter these days and less direct ... I'd want to pick up oftener right quickly, if there's no savvyhead.

    Maybe a less blasted apocalypse world? Less desert and more, like, Appalachian or Pacific Northwest. Hills, mountains, forests, winding roads, little holdings that pay tribute to the old man on the mountain.
  • Not to go chicken-counting prior to the hatching season, but...

    I like the idea of the world with mountains and forests and so on. All white, cloudy days, with cold drizzle. Every day is the type of day that makes a forest into a shrine to sorrow, a melancholy wet-smelling labyrinth. Fog rolling in, hiding the things that lurk beyond the stone walls of the 'holds. Yeah, I like it.

    If you were going for a hardholder, yellowparis, then I'd be cool with going for a brainer.
  • edited October 2010
    Plugging in to what you guys are saying, I'm having some thoughts about setting and character.

    I'm wanting to play a Savvyhead who concentrates on psychic maelstrom stuff rather than fixing your old radios. There's still the workspace, so I'm thinking that we're sitting on a seed-bank, gene-lab, etc. kind of relic and I do stuff with that. And I think I'll "multi-class" for good extra moves. (Starting with Oftener right and Reality's fraying edges, probably.)

    I dig lots of fog. short mountains that rise out of the persistent fog. Lost hollows where some families live just like they have for two hundred years -- "what apocalypse?" And I'm imagining horses and carts as the normal modes of transport other than just walking.

    Also, this is the first time I've ever had an opinion about the psychic maelstrom. This time, I think it's lost souls. When the apocalypse hit (whatever it was), all those people died and whatever normally happened to them just kind of broke down. Hell, maybe that's what the apocalypse was. In any case, those dead folk are just hanging around -- barely at the edge of perception.

  • Since you guys already have enough characters, is it cool if I watch this game? I've been really enjoying watching the scene in our current game where my character isn't present.
  • So who is officially in?
  • edited October 2010
    Wow! Lots of responses since I last checked.

    So far I'm seeing:

    Christopher Weeks (Savvyhead)
    yellowparis (Hardholder)
    Saint Erebus (Brainer)
    Nuclear Bob

    Am I missing anyone? As far as I'm concerned, 5 players and an MC is fine. But, we can go less if you guys prefer.

    @ cwilbur and Nuclear Bob, do you guys prefer to play or MC?
  • I was thinking of playing, actually, and I'm thinking gunlugger, but I could go for an angel instead.
  • Right on.

    Updated list:

    Christopher Weeks (Savvyhead)
    yellowparis (Hardholder)
    cwilbur (Gunlugger or Angel)
    Saint Erebus (Brainer)
    Nuclear Bob
  • Seems good to me. I especially like what Christopher was saying...definitely has a feel that our apocalypse has left the world looking like something out of Lovecraft. All cold, wet, Massachusetts and inbred fish-people living in holes. Plus, the Maelstrom as overcrowded limbo afterlife thing is nifty, too. Gives a whole new meaning to the broken down, ramshackle New England haunted house.

    Heh. A Brainer ghost hunter. Man, that could be fun. Gimme some jingle, and I'll clean them spookies outta yer hole.
  • As a resident of Massachusetts, I must object! We have no fish-people!
  • edited October 2010
    You'd say that, wouldn't you? If fish-people had infiltrated your society and inducted your leaders into the cult of Dagon, I mean.

    Aw. No oftener right for me. Dibs on perfect instincts, then. Want some kind of move that shows off the old dude's smarts and low cunning.

    I'm thinking I might have a disease-ridden hardhold, which would give an angel some reliable work. Might just be savage or lazy, though, and gunluggers are fun in any case. My thought is:

    - smallish population, but not 'small' population ... 75-80 people, thereabout?

    - large gang with a shit armory (2-harm gang large unruly 1-armor), constituting most of the hold's population
    - standard +1armor compound: chain link, cinderblock, plywood, and handmade barbed wire

    - gigs: hunting and scavenging, sure
    - but mainly protection (for those who pay tribute) and raiding (on those who don't)
    - plus, a bustling market commons, fueled by tribute and loot ... a hub of commerce, this is

    The armory is shit because we just finished up a small-scale war of attrition with that guy, Dog Head. He's dead now, and we're drawing in tribute from his old territory, but we're just about out of bullets. Plenty of guns, just nothing to shoot. (Of course, elements of Dog Head's gang are still skulking around in the hills, all broken up into smaller gangs by his former lieutenants.)

    Not yet sure if the gang is (a) filthy, (b) lazy, or (c) savage. One of those. If there's an angel, I'll go with filthy, just so he can feel useful. Otherwise, I'll just pick one.

    Dunno about the maelstrom. I don't think this is going to be a very Weird character at all, so I'll probably just let the savvyhead and brainer influence my take on it.
  • So here's what I'm thinking. Some time back, Dog Head was a lot more powerful, and he had several lieutenants. One of them was young and gung ho, but not bright enough to play politics, and got his ass handed to him by the other lieutenants. He fled, taking his guns with him. He's not so good at making his own decisions, he's not so good with people, and he needs someone to point him in the right direction; but he's fiercely (almost stupidly) loyal, and when he's given a job, he gets it done. I'm thinking here I'd start with battle-hardened, fuck this shit, and NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH.

    So he'd really need someone to look up to and trust implicitly. yellowparis, I think you'd be an obvious choice, and you could have used him ruthlessly against Dog Head, but if someone else wants a pet dog....
  • edited October 2010
    Posted By: yellowparischain link, cinderblock, plywood, and handmade barbed wire
    The image that I've been getting from our brainstorming is a bit different than this. I'd been more expecting: patched wrought iron, stone blocks, planks and hand-made barbed wire. Where are we on this kind of color? Yellowparis, are you invested in the look and feel that you described? I don't *need* it to be any particular way, but I do want to feel like we're on the same page. Thoughts?
  • Hmmm. I guess in the end, I'm cool with whatever yellowparis wants, but I do kind of agree with Christopher that it feels like we've been describing more of a gothic-y setting, or at least that's how I'm seeing it in my head. The stone blocks and wrought iron do feel more in tune with that. Burnt out remains of old manors, that kind of thing. But then, this could be built in the remnants of some military base or something, so the cinderblock and chain link might make sense. I dunno. I think I'm just here for the ghosts.

    For whatever reason, I am really digging on the idea of Gritch, the sneering, grunting psychic ghost hunter. Maybe I followed a trail of the dead all the way to the 'hold, and I've been doing my duty ever since. After the fight with Dog Head, there's been more'n enough leaks from the maelstrom to be causin' us some problems. Got my work cut out fer me, patchin' up the holes somehow. Plus, it don't hurt that it gives me an excuse to be goin' all over the 'hold, whenever I want. Git to see the pretties in their skivvies. Heh.

    Though, I could certainly take the brainer a different direction, if this sounds too goofy. Which I'll concede, it might.
  • I like it. All of it. We can fine tune details (like what materials the hold is and all that), but over the weekend go through your playbooks and create characters. We can go around and do Hx on Monday - or earlier if everyone gets their characters up. Where do we want to store characters? Send me an email or post them in a thread?

    Just remember the setting expectations.

    • 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.
    • Your characters are unique in Apocalypse World. There are other medics, and they might even be called “angel” by their friends, but
    you’re the only angel. There are other compound bosses and warlords who might be called “hardholders,” but you’re the only hardholder.
    • Some of you get to choose armor. 1-armor can be whatever, it can be bulletproof vests, bike leathers, armored corsets, whatever. 2-armor,
    though, is serious body armor. Riot gear. I mean, it might be low-tech, it might be made out of a car or something, but the point is that you’re
    walking around in armor.
    • Hey, see where it says you have “oddments worth 3-barter” or whatever? Is there some medium of exchange you all use, or is it really one-time negotiated barter? Uncle, you’re the hardholder, is there something you use for currency in the holding? Or else Wilson, you’re an operator, is there some currency you like to take payment in?
    • I’m not out to get you. If I were, you could just pack it in right now, right? I’d just be like “there’s an earthquake. You all take
    10-harm and die. The end.” No, I’m here to find out what’s going to happen with all your cool, hot, fucking kick-ass characters. Same as you!
  • edited October 2010
    I don't see an advantage to keeping character information secret, in the main, and it can help a lot with group cohesion to discuss the non-mechanical stuff.

    Like, my character concept pretty much requires someone who's willing to have a loyal pet gunlugger. If nobody wants that, I'll reconsider the concept or play an angel instead.
  • edited October 2010
    Yeah, a thread. How are we tagging this game so that it won't get mixed up with the other AW game? I'm ready to enter my character stuff right away.

    ETA: Oh wait, is our game called "weird psychic mindfucks?"
  • Oh no. I was partially being facetious with the "weird psychic mindfucks" tag.

    Hmmm. A tag... suggestions? yellowparis, what's your hardhold called?
  • What hardholder isn't willing to have a loyal pet gunlugger? But yes, Uncle (that's his name) is very much the warlord, but he's also getting old enough that he doesn't really need to be right on the front lines. Competent field lieutenants would be highly valued.

    I ran out of time on my last post. I meant to mention:

    - This isn't going to be a particularly Weird character. Uncle's very grounded and concrete, so when it comes up I'll defer to the going thing with regard to the maelstrom. Reminder, though, that the maelstrom is generally supposed to be defined in play as each character opens his brain for the first time.

    - Uncle is, again, concrete and rational. He doesn't do the gothic thing (the better word, I think, would be 'romantic', as in House of Usher and Frankenstein). If that's what the world is like, though, that's fine. Romanticism vs rationalism is a pretty basic literary conflict, and this game is supposed to be about people capable of changing the world, anyway. He'll be trying to carve out a rational domain in an irrational world. That's basically the only reason he's better than people like Dog Head ... otherwise, he'd just be another warlord, not a Hardholder.

    I concede the cinderblock and the plywood, simply because simpler materials materials would be easier to manufacture. I do not concede the chain link: it's cheap, easy to repair and deploy, and it can be manufactured (slowly) by any idiot with a spool of wire and a pair of pliers. Perfect for a man in Uncle's situation.

    I suggest thinking of Uncle as something out of World War I. Picture something like a French chateau: stone, tile, ironwork, tall and narrow windows, marble fountain out front depicting satyrs and nymphs. Except, look, the grounds are riddled with craters and entrenchments, and the lawn has been turned into a maze of wooden posts and concertinaed barbed wire. The back has trucks and motorbikes lined up under tarps. The west wing is bombed out, but the east is sufficiently intact to serve as a field HQ.

    A buzzing gas-powered generator keeps camp lights and a field radio running for the commander and his staff - the oil lamps aren't bright enough, and the unit doesn't have any lamp oil, anyway. The room they're using is a library. The globe and reading desks are moldering outside to make room for the gear. The romances and treatises on natural philosophy that line the bookshelves are ignored for now, but they'll burn well when the weather turns to snow. There were, however, some atlases and maps of the surrounding area ... these are laid out on the table along with the unit's own maps, and they're coming in quite useful.

    None of this was like this before the battlefront passed through. But it's like this now ... the new, rational, warlike order superimposed on what had been here for decades. It's not native, it arrived.
  • Do you have a name for this chateau? Or, do people call it/the area/region by some moniker? It might be a good tag.
  • Also, are there any new craters in that courtyard? And what from?
  • As far as character threads, how about we post each character in it's own "introduction" thread. You can copy/paste stuff from this thread and we'll talk more about your character in particular (by asking questions and whatnot).

    As soon as we figure a tag, and you get your playbooks figured out, go ahead and post your character's specs.
  • I don't really know what the hold is called. Nothing comes to mind super-immediately, and it seems possible that Uncle hasn't really named the place. Anyone want to suggest what the locals call the place?

    It's probably up the mountain a bit, but not above the treeline or anything, on ground seized and fortified whenever Uncle arrived here however many years ago. Maybe an old minehead, or farmhouse, or mansion ... there was probably something already there, since Uncle and his people aren't good at building anything more than the very utilitarian. Easier to take something over.

    Other notes:

    I think the gang isn't lazy, since I'm picturing seriously enforced work rules, like: You have free time? Get a rock and a pair of pliers and start twisting barbed wire. No idle hands. That leaves them either filthy or savage.

    I'm picking the name Domino off the chopper list. Almost everyone calls him Uncle now, but someone who knows him from before might use his actual name.

    The gang is Uncle's Rough Riders, another left over from his chopper days. Most of them don't ride anything more than a truck, these days, but the name's still around.

    Most of the population of the hardhold is the gang. By the numbers, there are only 10-20 people not properly part of the gang, which itself numbers 60 or so riders. I reckon, though, that there's a number of smaller settlements around here that Uncle has less direct control over ... there's a protection/tribute/obligation thing going on, but he doesn't own them.

    Still, there's a close relationship. Many of his riders keep family in nearby towns, and there's always people coming and going from the market. I also expect to pick want:obligation and want:reprisals fairly frequently on the 7-9 wealth rolls, so Uncle and his men will be getting out of the hold and dealing with these other settlements pretty often.

    That does mean that it's probably not necessary for every PC to be living at the hold. There could easily be a couple different tiny settlements within 15-20 minutes of the hold.

    Still, gunlugger's a lieutenant. If the brainer's around, I doubt very much that I like you, but you'd be a necessary evil if there's ghosts and shit all around. That's not the kind of thing I care to deal with: you do it, so I don't have to. You'll be paid.

    What's the savvyhead up to? I think there's a machine shop/blacksmith in the hold, but that could easily be a crude affair that has nothing to do with the savvyhead. You were talking about a seed bank or something?
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