Pitch: Once More, Apocalypse World

edited December 2010 in Pitch
So, this is a pitch for another Apocalypse World game. The Chateau game here is fantastic, wonderful, and excellent, but I'm enough of a game glutton that I want more game, especially when The Chateau goes into a lull. Furthermore, I'm very interested in improving my own MC skills, and getting some experience in that area. So there's that, too.

Just wanted to see who, if anyone, is interested.

A few other comments: I kind of want to have some relatively strong, cohesive understanding about the Maelstrom in the game. This can be as simple as the book example of saying "it's all about love" (which I think is awesome and would love to play), or it can be as intricate as the Chateau game, where it's all about a spiritual world and whatnot. But I think having some understanding is beneficial, because it adds coherence between all the different characters' brain-openings.

I also wanted to throw out there, as some apocalyptica that's been sitting on my brain for a while, that I really like the idea of giant animals. Huge animals. I watched the utterly idiotic trailer for Megashark vs. Giant Octopus, and then Megashark vs. Crocosaur (or whatever it was), and while they were hilarious, what they made me start thinking about was an apocalyptic setting in which giant monsters are all over the place. Maybe there's only one giant monster in the local area, even, but that's enough. And everyone knows that beyond this critter's domain, there are more.

Other apocalyptica that hit my brain was psychic maelstroms. Storms that ravage the surface of the earth, scorching everything, never ending. But they're psychically reactive. So if you open your brain, and you fail, you'll have called the storms to you. Or something like that.

None of that is set in stone, obviously. Just brainstorming (heh) apocalyptica.
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Comments

  • How big are the animals? And if you mean Godzilla-big, there are physical reasons that doesn't happen -- do we just handwave that away or fight over the physics of it?
  • Well, Megashark, Crocosaur, and Giant Octopus were ridiculously big. I believe that the artistic trailer for Megashark vs. Giant Octopus (truly an elite film) featured Megashark hurtling out of the ocean and snatching a jet liner out of the air. Pretty freaking huge.

    Like I said, I'm not snapped into any particular constraints about this, not at all. So I'm good with anything, really. But I had been envisioning freakishly huge things. Giant alligators, swallow a man whole. Giant bears, one bat of a paw is a downed wall. Giant cats, hurtling across open ground faster than ferraris. Kind of Godzilla-big, yeah, I guess.

    And yeah, I'm totally with you that there are physical reasons for why that doesn't happen. Part of the angle at which I approach AW now has been influenced by reading a post from Jared Sorensen, when he compared FreeMarket to Apocalypse World and said FreeMarket was science fiction, while Apocalypse World was fantasy. I think that's actually pretty accurate; AW has to have a strong connection to realism in character, personality, decision-making, and internal logic, but it doesn't have to be particularly realistic in terms of physics or science, I think. But again, I'm fine with whatever. Even no big animals, whatsoever, is cool.
  • I'm down with big animals. But I'd prefer we're just up-front about it being fantasy.

    A driver who rides a giant lizard would be HOT.

    But I'm calling dibs on the Faceless playbook, OK?
  • Dinosaurs would be cool and have precedent in real life. Maybe the apocalypse was that some damn-fool scientists broke time and our timeline looped back into the jurassic or whatever.
  • Totally cool, dibs on Faceless go to you. Do you have the playbook for Faceless? I certainly don't, so if you do, you're a lucky devil. I guess you could just take the stats from the thread on BFA, though.

    And yes, now sugarplum fairies are bringing me visions of this hard bitten, weathered man on the back of a giant iguana, wearing a harness that lets other men ride on it, and has rotating machine gun emplacements on either shoulder. That's awesome.
  • edited December 2010
    Just try to start an apocalypse world game on here without me, I dare you!

    After the thing in the carrier, I kind of want to play a character that leads a squad. Chopper would be the obvious choice, except that pack alpha is kind of the opposite of the dynamic I want; I'm interested in a group that consistently cooperates, or if they don't, at least doesn't try to eat the leader when she fails a roll. A hardholder with a disciplined gang could work, but I'm kind of thinking operator, with the "crew" being some squadmates, and the gigs being combat-related? If we're doing giant animals, a hunting team could work for that.
  • A chopper gang on giant lizards would also be fun, unless we want giant-lizard-riding to be the driver's "car."
  • Giant lizards for everybody!

    I think Operator with a hunting crew would be pretty sweet. I think the biggest issue with the choice between Chopper and Operator would be the mechanical efficacy of the two groups. From what I gather (feel free to correct me on this), an Operator wouldn't be able to wield his or her crew as a gang, not like a Chopper could, unless the Operator then took the appropriate move. Right? Or am I not thinking about it correctly?

    Regardless, it does sound like an Operator is what you'd be looking for if you want a loyal, well-trained crew.
  • Naw, the chopper-gang rides giant milipedes!
  • I agree with you on the mechanics of chopper vs. operator; the operator would need a move to make the crew into a gang, while the chopper just has to worry about the gang turning on her.
  • Very very interested! Thanks for stepping up Brendan.
    Giant animals are cool, but I really find the connection to reality important in ApW, so let's keep it in the realm of "possible" not fantasy if we can. Huge fricking crocodiles, oversize beasts, cool. Towering bear-a-saurus.... hmm... not sure that's cool (ok sounds a little cool but not for keeping things real)

    Got to think about which playbook sounds like fun.

    I have the faceless playbook if someone needs.
  • Count me interested.
  • I distinctly remember reading something over on Barf Forth about dealing in scale.
    AW main obstacles are other people, maybe a gang.
    But in one hack -- i think maybe it was against demons or something, the scale is adjusted, and the mechanic is tweaked.
    I'll continue to google for the thread, but just an idea if you want to tinker with scale of obstacles.
    If big things are there just for color then I suppose it is a non-issue.

    I like notions of Dunesque wormy things. Or Nausica of the Wind sort of creatures.
    More specific giant animals, I'd need to know more about the context.
    But count me enthusiastic.
  • What are we calling this game then? We should start tagging with something to keep posts together and easily distinguishable from the other game that's going on.
  • edited December 2010
    ""I like notions of Dunesque wormy things. Or Nausica of the Wind sort of creatures.""

    Oh like the Nausicaa stuff, stuff reminiscent of real animals, but changed, evolved, different. Giant flying things, growing stuff which is poison to us but they thrive upon.
    Could see a driver thriving here, though not sure I want to be so tied to a "thing" so want to take a look through the playbooks and see what sings to me.
  • So, the psychic maelstrom and the nature of the apocalypse seem like they are necessarily intertwined. And from that pair comes the rest of the apocalyptica. At least if you want verisimilitude. So what are we thinking about this apocalypse and maelstrom? So maybe there are these psychic storms and giant animals/monsters -- what caused that? I think that'll clarify the maelstrom.
  • To me, what caused it is less important that what is. Not knowing is actually part of the appeal in a way. SOMETHING made creatures grow and change, SOMETHING killed most of the people or caused them to die off. Was it a dramatic change in some virus? Bacteria? The water went bad? Did WE do this? For sure my character doesn't know and not sure I want to either. Also avoids the whole problem of making it "feasible" if you don't address it concretely.

    The Maelstrom may involve the billions of tiny voices of the creatures and plants, and spores and all the living things with which human beings and the "Old" life simply don't match any more. We don't belong together and the storms and the maelstrom and all are crying out against us old humans. There's certainly much more to it than that though.... but it may be the only way to communicate with this new "alien" life.

    Was thinking, a large animal could simply fight like a gang.... step up the damage inflicted and down the damage suffered. A huge rhinosaur is simple "NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH" as much as the baddest ass human being is.
  • Well, as for the giant monsters critters stuff, my first question is a blatant "Giant version of normal animals, or weird otherworldly animals?" I'm fine with tailoring it however people want it, but we need a consensus of some kind. Octoscott isn't interested in Bear-a-saurus, which is fine (DAMN IT I WANT A BEAR-A-SAUR), so let's figure out what we do want. Anybody have any examples of anything they'd like to throw out, specifically, if we're doing weird or otherworldly? I had initially been thinking of just real animals, hugified, but I'm fine with weirdo crap too. Dunesque wormy things came to my mind, too.

    We can think about scale if we decide to keep this up. Frankly, I'm thinking that the biggest of these giant animals would just be incredibly deadly, like large gangs in how they're dealt with mechanically. But maybe there are smaller ones which aren't as scary.

    For the Maelstrom, I'm in no way attached to the storms. If we want to get rid of them, that's fine, but if we're combining them, that's cool too. So, which are people up for? Storms? No storms?

    I actually think that a good starting point for the Maelstrom is picking a simple notion or emotion to get it going. Is there any emotion we want strongly represented in the Maelstrom? Hate, love, fear, pity, love, passion, anger, sadness, love? Anything? Love? How about a simple rule or statement? "Entering the Maelstrom is entering the mind of the giant beasties"? "The planet is alive, and the Maelstrom is its dreams"? Anything come to anyone about that?

    Because we're talking about critters and monsters for the moment, how about "The Menagerie" for a name for the game right now?
  • Octoscott:

    Ooo, I like the idea of swathes of alien flora and fauna sprouting up, kind of like a plague. And the Maelstrom is the overall consciousness or something of this encroaching life. Neat.
  • I like "The Menagerie" for a title, but I also want Bearasaurs, so maybe I'm wrong. Reading over the emotion stuff reminded me of the plot of Firaxis's Alpha Centauri, and made me think "rejection." The world doesn't want humans for some reason, and in an effort to kill us, it's gigantifying other life? Storms could work for that too; deputizing all forms of nature to exterminate us. This sounds to me like PvE, which is what I like in video games.
  • That sounds good Max. Hell, there can be some monstrosity WE (the humans) call bearasaurus, but I don't literally want to see a half dinosaur half bear walking around going rawr.
    Yes, PvE is cool, but of course the environment going nuts will drive people against each other and (hopefully) TO each other as well.

    Nausicaa, Alpha centauri, yes, those actually have the thread in common, the environment/the planet/whatever you call it just doesn't seem to be made for us any more and is rejecting us.
  • edited December 2010
    Sure, humans pushed and pushed at Earth's ability to survive our hostile, greedy polluting asses. She tried to get along -- to give us enough slack to figure things out and turn back from the brink. But just like Sodom and Gomorrah and the great flood, sometimes she has to wipe us out and start over. So it's a Gaia strikes back thing. She changed the rules and now there are new life forms; strange new flowering buffalo, vampire ravens and twelve-foot long millipedes.
  • A big polar bear stands ten feet tall. What if a bear stood eighteen feet and bullets only pissed it off? That could be bearasaurus.
  • edited December 2010
    Posted By: Christopher WeeksA big polar bear stands ten feet tall. What if a bear stood eighteen feet and bullets only pissed it off? That could be bearasaurus.
    Yikes!
  • I'd love to join in if there's a spot. I'm not particular about playbooks, though I have a heart-on for Skinners and Gunluggers. Storms? Monsterized creatures? Gaia hypothesis-type "she rolls over and rubs us off" planetary pain? Heck yes.
  • Man, if there are Strana Mechty-style Ghost Bears, I'm going to my double secret happy place.
  • edited December 2010
    Wow. This is all pretty sweet.

    Madu, sure, you can join in!

    Okay, so, to codify:

    Title: Menagerie

    Maelstrom One-Word: Rejection

    The world has begun to reject the humans who so tormented and mutilated her. Storms wrack its surface, never ending, sweeping at terrible speeds across the scorched earth, leaving fire and glass in their wakes. The creatures that once might have been beneath the contempt of humans now tower above the foolish hominids. Bears, 18 feet tall, possessed of a terrible fury and an uncanny ability to strike without warning. Millipedes, as long as a grown man's leg, which wrap around the heads of their human prey and possess the bipedal bodies, until they are done extracting all the juices from the human flesh. Ravens, grown large and strong on the taste of blood, hunting in the night. Titanic deer with a longing for meat, serrated antlers, and breath of poison.

    The world is coming to kill you. What do you do?


    That about sum it up?
  • Posted By: Brendan ConwayWow. This is all pretty sweet.
    Title: Menagerie

    Maelstrom One-Word: Rejection

    The world has begun to reject the humans who so tormented and mutilated her. Storms wrack its surface, never ending, sweeping at terrible speeds across the scorched earth, leaving fire and glass in their wakes. The creatures that once might have been beneath the contempt of humans now tower above the foolish hominids. Bears, 18 feet tall, possessed of a terrible fury and an uncanny ability to strike without warning. Millipedes, as long as a grown man's leg, which wrap around the heads of their human prey and possess the bipedal bodies, until they are done extracting all the juices from the human flesh. Ravens, grown large and strong on the taste of blood, hunting in the night. Titanic deer with a longing for meat, serrated antlers, and breath of poison.

    The world is coming to kill you. What do you do?

    That about sum it up?
    Sums it up nicely. We agree on the somewhat evolved/odd animals as well as just larger ones? Things you might find in Nausicaa? Strange plants?
  • Posted By: octoscottStrange plants?
    Fuck yeah! He just didn't want to scare us!
  • I think the Toxic Jungle/Nausicaa-critters sounds splendid. Admittedly, as a Miyazaki devotee you could probably pitch Howl's Moving Murder Machine and I'd at least perk up. Now to pick a playbook, hrm.
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