[Ashen Snow] Out of Character

edited June 2012 in Out-Of-Game
I'd like to start up an Apocalypse World game here on Snails Pace. I've invited a few folks to play, but we can take on a couple more of you awesome Snails Pace regulars. This is not a first come, first served sign-up. I will leave the pitch open for a bit and I will make final decision on who I can take on based off of who responds to the pitch. If I haven't gamed with you, I may ask some questions, I hope this isn't offensive.

This will be an active game, similar to my pace on the Lady Blackbird game I ran here. One to two posts per weekday, at least a post on weekends.

I want to have a lines and veils discussion when we start up, but I'm declaring right off that rape on screen is off the table. Rape and sexual violence off the screen is something we should discuss.

If any of you have really compelling ideas for a setting, speak up!

But to get the ball rolling, here are some thoughts to spark conversation:

Massive earthquake faults, deep lava-filled chasms, toxic smoke clouds, boiling lakes, clouds of drifting ash coating everything in light gray. When it rains (when it rains clean) everyone emerges from hiding for a brief moment of bliss.

Who wants to play?
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Comments

  • I'm interested.
  • Count me in!
  • Re: setting — what about a the underground ruins of a city that was swallowed by a horrible earthquake? The city could be inhabited by a number of hostile and warring tribes, and also be the only source for some very scarce and in-demand resource (medicine?).
  • Apocalypse world!
  • Interested.

    Sounds like a hot world with cliffs and crags. Sweat, grime, and leathery-burned skin. Precious commodities in holdings might be AC, ice, cold beverages, and perishable foodstuffs like produce.
  • I can see a heavily guarded ice caravan traveling down from the North.
  • Brennen,

    I dig the underground city as I want a broken and shattered reflection of the civilization that was (part of me wants to have the area called Manhatt in homage to a Thundar episode). However, does that invalidate the idea of ashen snow and the pure rain that washes away all conflicts when it falls?
  • I was thinking of the underground city as a savage place inhabited by strange, violent tribes. A place where most people wouldn't dare go.

    What if the pure rain floods the underground city? An hour after the rain falls, those who live underground resurface.
  • Interested.

    I'm a big fan of using the Microscope Palette when it comes to establishing setting limits and content. What do you all think of using that?

    Documenting and tracking NPCs, Factions and Locations is a significant task. What strategies and level of detail are we looking for there?
  • Like worms.

    So most people live on the ashen surface? and the tribes emerge after rain like earthworms.

    I can also picture a vast array of industrial-grade freezers with hot motors making ice. Then shipments of Freon would be treasured, as would HVAC technicians. More luxurious holdings might be lined with ducts and channels (good for needed repairs or covert movements or trysts) conducting heat and cooling (and filtering ash into breathable air).

    Sweat, grime, everyone wearing face scarves so they don't breathe ash, and everyone windswept from vents and ducts and air currents.
  • hey folks, quick heads up.

    I've asked octoscott, aka "Scott", to be my co-pilot on this. I'll be the main voice, but he may run scenes and he'll be here to help from time to time. Scott is a very skilled player and has run several campaigns of AW. I'm lucky to have him on board.

    My hope is that with his help we can handle more scenes and possibly more players.
  • One more update.

    I don't like the Maestro'D playbook. Pitch me something else.
  • Hey all, hoping to help Rich make the game great! Thanks for having me aboard to help, Rich.
  • Just some more brainstorm thoughts.

    If the earth is all post-quakey, another valuable asset would be bridges and causeways over rifts or connecting fractured flat sections of land, as well as stairs, lifts, elevators, or natural paths up and down the cliffs, crags, and chasms. Lower levels might be valuable for relief from the ash and possible access to exposed minerals and ores, but would get little sun and are closer to potential dangerous tribes below (also subject to flooding and closer to lava and heat). If there are different cultures above and below, then the vertical connection points might be heavily guarded, or strict, exploitative tollways.

    By that logic, the surface might actually be cooler and dim due to ash clouds obscuring the sun.
  • I'm interested!

    An ashen world is intriguing. I wonder how food supply would work...plantations full of slaves who work endlessly at uncovering plants from the drifting ash? Or maybe huge greenhouses that are heavily guarded? I really like the face scarf idea!
  • Some really interesting seeds, y'all. Keep going, let's brainstorm here. Ask questions, too.
  • For some reason, the seasons have gone crazy. They're completely unpredictable. One hour, you're trudging through the desert, on the verge of heat stroke, and the next you're scrambling to find shelter as the snow clouds roll in.

    Is everyone struggling? What is the class structure like? Who are the haves and the have-nots?

    What happens if you get caught in a snowstorm?

    Maybe the snow actually burns if it touches something. Sometimes, if it touches you it's no worse than a mild sunburn. Other times, it's like spontaneous combustion.

    Where are the clouds coming from? Is it the way the world works now? Are they by-products of some industrial process that allows food to be synthesized?
  • I like the idea of burning 'snow,' nasty dangerous but subtle and unpredictable.

    Is the ash burned material? Are there huge sections/continents of earth continually melting into exposed pools or seas of magma, releasing carbon and sulfuric ash into the atmosphere. Depending on the sulfur content or other components, and the resulting ph, it could burn like lye or a strong base.
  • I'm not feeling the crazy weather thing. Most from an aesthetic look. I see the look of characters being an important part of how I "see" Apocalypse World. Crazy weather means lots of costume changes, which will make it hard for me to see characters as distinctive.
  • Burning Snow, ash... whatever it is, it looks like snow but it's potentially deadly. Shit drifting in the air is enough to kill you. But how do you live with this shit? What do you do to protect yourself? Just stay inside? You can't always just stay inside... what do you do when you have to go out? How do you travel? What do you wear to cover your skin? Is it safe to breathe?
  • Now ashen snow as a threat is cool. But desert-time to snow time whenever is where I was worried about the "look" getting wonky.

    Come to think of it, I haven't played in an AW game where there were seasons. Interesting.
  • Would more reliable seasons be better for consistent look? Dry, hot season and rainy season? Always ash snow.

    For some reason I'm picturing a Reign of Fire aesthetic. Grimy folks with face scarves and sun-scorched skin. Maybe some people get used to the slight snowburn, like tough skin. Then the folks with luxury might be softer, less leathery, but also more vulnerable to travel and the elements. If the snow is too serious a threat, then everyone would have to be all covered whenever they're not inside or underground, which I prefer less as a look, if only because it jogs with my image of magma and heatwaves on every horizon.

    Speaking of Reign of Fire, are beasts like 'dragons' out of the question?
  • This reminds me of the Mistborn trilogy. Has anyone else read those books? There's lots of ashen snow from volcanoes that aren't erupting, but continually spitting out ash. In that world it was "safe" to breathe (although not very healthy), but everyone was constantly filthy. Unless you were rich.
  • edited June 2012
    Sure, filthy shit everywhere sounds like a great foundation, maybe it doesn't matter where it comes from, or nobody knows. Just blows in all the time, most of the time anyway. Not literally snow, right? Just someone remembers something called snow or passed down that word and that's what you call it.

    It's hot? Paulos? Especially deep underground it gets unbearable and you can't breathe right down there.
  • Posted By: PaulosMaybe some people get used to the slight snowburn, like tough skin. Then the folks with luxury might be softer, less leathery, but also more vulnerable to travel and the elements. If the snow is too serious a threat, then everyone would have to be all covered whenever they're not inside or underground, which I prefer less as a look, if only because it jogs with my image of magma and heatwaves on every horizon.
    I agree that having evrone Eskimo-style is not a look that interests me. Along with Reign of Fire, I'd like to borrow looks from one of my favorite post apoc movies called The Blood of Heroes (I think in Australia is was Jugger or something like that). It starred Joan Chen, Rutger Hauer, Delroy Lindo and a very young Vincent Dinofrio. It had an interesting sport calll jug and underground cities and lots of cool visuals. So, I'll borrow from that one (and I recommend the movie if you get a chance to see it).
    Speaking of Reign of Fire, are beasts like 'dragons' out of the question?
    There will be things that aren't human, but I hesitate to say there are dragons right off the bat. I'd like to see playbooks and talk further.
  • hey folks, before we go to far afield, I wanted to ask Rustin about something he said up-thread.

    Rustin, can you expand on

    "using the Microscope Palette when it comes to establishing setting limits and content."


    And since I'm looking at that post, let me answer your question, Rustin
    Documenting and tracking NPCs, Factions and Locations is a significant task. What strategies and level of detail are we looking for there?
    I plan on having a separate thread for tracking People and Places following how Christopher Weeks did it in his excellent The Island game of AW on this forum. I will host image files on my website and link back from there to the Snails Pace thread. I want to keep everything needed on this site (because this site makes it through work firewal and to avoid confusion).
  • How about some introductions?

    I'm Scott. Been playing here for what, a year and a half now? Not sure... I'm a computer game artist in the SF Bay area, 39 years old with one son and an awesome wife. Been running apocalypse world in various flavors since it came out, really my game of choice these days.

    Just to throw this out there, we're hiring at my office. If you're a computer game artist, engineer, or designer, or know of any looking for work PM me and I'll tell you about it.
  • edited June 2012
    Oh yeah, who are we as people? Good idea!

    I'm Rich. I was invited here by Scott (we were playing Primetime Adventures over Skype and he suggested I give AW over PBF a try). I'm a 40 yr old husband and father of a six year old who is now "a first grader" as he proudly claims. In the walking around world I work for a gigantic world-wide bank in what's called capacity planning, which is in staffing and/or workforce management. Hobbywise besides PBF - I also do tabletop RPG podcasts (Canon Puncture show, RPG Crosstalk and I'm getting ready to do This Just In... From GenCon again this year). I like baseball. I own an XBox 360, too (gamertag is orklord). I like running (although at my pace, it's technically called "jogging").
  • I'm Brennen. I just created my account a couple of days ago, but a lot of folks might know me from Story Games, Twitter, or Google Plus.

    I'm a graphic (and web) designer/illustrator/writer/photographer. 37 years old with a beautiful wife and a three-year-old son. I've never played AW, but I've run upwards of 20 sessions of Dungeon World in the past year, both online and face-to-face.

    I'm pretty heavily involved in EpicTable's development, and I do a bit of freelancing for indie RPGs — mainly illustration, but occasionally writing. I wrote the "That Which Rises" supplement for Mortal Coil, did the layout for Cthulhu Dark, and am the illustrator for BPG's upcoming "Durance."
  • I'm Max. I joined in August of 2010 to play The Mez, which is, as far as the tags are concerned, the first AW game on this site. I've since played in The Chateau, The Menagerie, The Hulk, The Island, and the opening scene of The Jungle, as well as a game on a wiki with some people from here. As such, I'm a little concerned about this game's title. I'd frankly feel more comfortable if it were something like "The Snow."

    I was also in Rich's Lady Blackbird game, the only game I've played to completion on this site, and an aborted test of Horsies of Happiland. In real life, I ran an AW game wrong once, but it was still fun. I go to GenCon. Sometimes I play games in between GenCons. I like Paranoia a lot, but I'm not sure how that would work PbP, since there's a lot of PvP conflict, at least when I've played. Maybe a straight game, but where's the fun in that? I heart the hell out of Battletech the setting, but Mechwarrior the computer game has ruined me for Battletech the tabletop game. When I want to fire 100 missiles at someone, I do not roll 200 dice. I press the space bar. Come on, guys. Right now I'm a little buried in Mass Effect 3.

    I'm a software engineer in Indiana. If you're the perfect combination of bored and stalkery, you can see me talking on our weekly team meeting here:

    I start just under 8 minutes in, but I'm too lazy to make a link that skips to that.

    As for this game, I like the caustic snow idea. I also don't think random weather means a lot of costume changes. If there's a chance of caustic precipitation at any time, people are going to cover up outside no matter what. If the sun is out, we're also saving ourselves from sunburns. Good for us.
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