[pitch] The Apocalypse World Pitch Strikes Back

edited January 2011 in Pitch
So! Time for yet another Apocalypse World game pitch! Let's do this thing.

If you're interested, chime in. I'm aiming for something like six players, though I might go to seven. First come is first served, more-or-less, but I may need to mentally reserve one or two slots for specific people.

Hm ... looking for a pretty quick-paced game. Steady activity, posting every day, and that kind of thing. That said, I warn you in advance that my work schedule wildly varies, so my end of things will occasionally slow down considerably (for a period, like for two weeks or for a month).

I think that's it for logistics.

I am thinking about playing with the horror dial turned up a good bit. This genre usually already has some horror going on, but I'm curious about putting some more focus on those elements. We can talk about that.

Beyond that, I'll fire off a few off-hand setting elements, none of which I'm particularly attached to:

- a landscape entombed in ice, glacier-style
- psychic bugs
- weird technology
- a psychic maelstrom that is a place, in some way
- ...
- your turn?


  • I have the maestro d' and the quarantine, incidentally, so those are on the table. If someone wants to play faceless, I'll just ask that you get me the pdf somehow.
  • I'm interested (as usual) but I don't want to hog a spot if some new people want to give it a try.
  • edited January 2011
    I'm in if you'll have me. Was interested in an ice setting, nearly ran a game in an icy setting which died due to the holidays and work, so I got some ideas worth bringing I hope.

    Think that's about as much gaming as I can handle though.
  • I'm in. And I *do* want to hog a spot. :)

    Weird technology means what?

    Horror turned up sounds good. Do you have examples of things we'd see in play?
  • The ice station from "The Thing" 100 years later.... muahahah! Bad place for a hardhold, mister.
  • edited January 2011
    No! I do not. And I knew someone was going to ask me that.

    I'm not sure I can give examples until we know the setting. Like, in the Chateau game here, I'd probably go to the ghosts, because ... well, obvious, right? In the Menagerie game, I'm not sure. Maybe some body horror, mixed with horrible monsters, Alien-style. In my home game, I'd probably go Lovecraftian, since messing with the maelstrom already drives people mad.
    I'm interested (as usual) but I don't want to hog a spot if some new people want to give it a try.
    That's kind of you. I suppose. Are you sure?

    Weird technology: Probably, that's seeing stuff like the brainer gear, to some greater degree. But, heck, it could also be the alien spacecraft that the hold is built inside the hull of.
  • Frozen old psychiatric hospital on a hill near a graveyard and the nuclear plant on the horizon, of course, still steaming.
  • What if aliens came, devastated the Earth and left. So they left critters and technological detritus?
  • Uck. Post alien apocalypse... nasty. Don't think I've seen that before.
  • I suppose this isn't affected by the setting so much, I'd like to play a Brainer.
  • Allow me to suggest the violation glove.
  • edited January 2011
    I'm going to let people and ideas filter in for a bit. Might be a little slow, since it's the weekend? We'll see.

    I could get behind a post-alien setting, though, if that's what grabs people. Weird, but certainly doable. I can't see myself running an AW game that would not support the presence of a brainer.
  • Posted By: Michael LoyMight be a little slow, since it's the weekend?
  • Don't think I'd like to see aliens, but having the wreckage and aftermath of that war.. holy hell.
  • No, actual aliens wouldn't work. It'd have to be all aftermath.
  • Okay, I want in on the post alien game. I'll roll a savvyhead if that's not too obvious.
  • I think huge!, unprecedented destruction all frozen over in ice forever is pretty compelling.
  • I'm down. I've read the AW book but I haven't played yet so I might be a little slow at the start though.

    Icy horror... maybe blighted Alaskan tundra. What about McCarthy's The Road, unknown event, forest burning and trees collapsing. Crazy bastards running around eating people.
  • So, aliens and ice. Let's go with that, and start putting some flesh on it.

    Anything I say here is up for debate, of course.

    We'll go with the standard AW approach to the apocalypse, in that nobody really knows exactly what happened. Most people think it was aliens, though they don't have a real clear idea of what that means (basic astronomy being no longer common knowledge). Theoretically, the leftovers of the apocalypse could be human in origin ... but people who mess around with the stuff don't put much stock in that idea. It's too weird. But certainly nobody knows what the aliens were like, anymore.

    I'm picturing a landscape that's pretty much entombed in ice, but maybe not just a straight-up glacial layer. That strikes me as slightly boring terrain, mostly flat, with things sticking up out of it. The occasional ice cliff.

    I'm thinking the ice isn't pure water ice, so it's all whorled with tinges of color. Not usually bright colors, but maybe a hint of blue, or a little green, or whatever. The colors signify the presence of trace chemicals, some of which dramatically reduce the melting point of the ice. The temperature never climbs above 0ºC, but some of the ice melts away at lower temperatures.

    The results are canyons and formations of ice like eroded rock, like this, this, or this. Except carved out of ice by warmth/water/wind, and all banded and swirls with subtle colors.

    It may be that some of these strange kinds of ice have properties beyond altered melting points. The chemicals may even have been intentionally impregnated into the ice, in cases.
  • Most pieces of alien 'technology' are really just fragments of strange materials. Like, they had this black glass they were fond of - used it like we use steel. It comes in these smooth and organic forms, but whatever process they used to shape it is opaque to us ... best we can do is use a diamond-tipped chisel to cleave and chip it into useful shapes, like working a kind of extremely hard obsidian.

    Makes good blades, since a good sharp splinter of it never seems to dull. It's also strong and hard, working pretty well as building materials, or as big, thick armor plates.
  • edited January 2011
    So how do you get by? What's life like?

    Everything's frozen, but we could peel that back some. Maybe there's a glacier edge right here, shedding slabs of ice and grinding its way southward, but - for the time being - most of this valley (or city, or whatever) is not yet crushed under the ice.

    Or maybe it's all ice caves and surface outposts, with hydroponics and greenhouses. High-tech, but constantly on the edge of collapse due to limited resources for maintenance.

    Maybe you're coastal, and you hunt seals and walruses, even put out whaling vessels for oil, food, and bone. Neo-Inuit.
  • edited January 2011
    And we already have a brainer and a savvyhead. What's the psychic stuff like? Is that brainer gear alien technology? Or were psychic powers totally 'alien' to the aliens, and all of that (maybe the maelstrom itself, who knows) is a homegrown means of defending against superior tech?
  • I'm thinking the savvyhead's workspace is a working bit left over from something hulking from before. Maybe it's a wrecked alien monstrosity, or maybe it's what we were using to fight them; hard to say at this point. It could be a small place with just the workspace, or maybe it's a big place everybody's using as a hold, and the workspace is just one of the more interesting bits of it.
  • I was thinking alien technology initially for brainer gear and savvy stuff, but I like the idea that humans invented the psychic technology to beat them back, and some colossal fuckup with it ended the war, but also brought about the apocalypse and the maelstrom.
  • Picturing some huge steaming de-icing machinery. Either around a holding, or some mobile thing they use to carve holes or tunnels. People in some rubberized weird suits and steaming nozzles connected to the huge machine spray the ice off of living spaces and machines like you might de-ice a plane. Ice grows all over everything and it's a constant battle to keep it down.
  • I was totally imagining my Brainer gear to be alien tech, but it doesn't have to be that way.

    Maybe we're someplace like Yellowstone that's geothermally active. We get heat from underneath and have heated green houses to grow foods.
  • I want a rubberized weird suit, that sounds awesome.
  • edited January 2011
    Green houses, that makes sense, yes. Could see brainer gear as remnant alien tech, so with the savvyhead's stuff. He can use the stuff but it's very much weird.

    What's the surface like? Snowing? I see blizzards which create thick ice over everything (Ever watch deadliest catch? They were always using sledgehammers (and steam in my apocalypse)to smash inches of ice off the machinery which had accumulated just overnight) What makes us have to deal with the weather? Trade? Danger? What makes us go outside?
  • edited January 2011
    The thought of creeping ice isn't really realistic in most situations - ice doesn't behave that way. To get snow and ice, you need moisture in the air, and cold air doesn't hold much moisture. So, the colder it is, the less precipitation you get. In truly frigid areas, like the Antarctic, there really isn't much snow at all - it just piles up over time because it never truly melts.

    What you're thinking of is glaze ice, which really only happens in temperate areas, and maritime black ice. Maritime black ice is what happens aboard ships: the sea around you is constantly throwing up spray, so if the air is freezing cold the spray immediately ices onto the ship, and that can get thick, quickly ... in fact, the greatest danger of it is that it will get thick enough to make the ship get top-heavy and capsize.

    If the hold is in a maritime area, like on a seashore or an oil rig, icing would be a serious concern. If it's inland, there just wouldn't be enough moisture to make ice grow like that without something special going on. I think steam would just make it worse - steam is water vapor, after all, so it's going to condense and freeze exactly like ocean spray, if the air is cold enough. On planes, they're usually spraying antifreeze, or using steam in a heated hanger where refreezing isn't an issue.

    Of course, you could do that: use steam to get ice off of something once it's inside a heated area. Regardless, it sounds like you're describing a general aesthetic: rubber suits, pipes, tubes, big heavy machinery. Combine that with geothermal and you're looking at a lot of steam power, probably. Human tech might even go a little steampunk.

    The aliens can be psychic. They can also be non-psychic, with those powers and technologies being a human weapon. I'm fine either way. What's cooler?
  • Sounds like we're cold enough that there's probably no lakes with liquid water at the surface, and probably the oceans are frigid, it would take immense time to freeze them so I don't think that's happened. We can be coastal, maybe? I like yellowstone but there's really not much around there but wilderness. Would be a very wild place probably but I keep picturing heavy industry type stuff.
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