[AW] Ambrose - The Skinner

edited June 2012 in Out-Of-Game



  • edited June 2012
  • edited November 2012


    Man, luxe/casual wear, striking face, laughing eyes, steady hands, toned body


    • Cool +2
    • Hard -1
    • Hot +3
    • Sharp +2*
    • Weird 0*


    Artful & gracious: when you perform your chosen art — any act of expression or culture — or when you put its product before an audience, roll+hot. On a 10+, spend 3. On a 7–9, spend 1. Spend 1 to name an NPC member of your audience and choose one:
    • this person must meet me
    • this person must have my services
    • this person loves me
    • this person must give me a gift
    • this person admires my patron
    On a miss, you gain no benefit, but suffer no harm or lost opportunity. You simply perform very well.

    Hypnotic: when you have time and solitude with someone, they become fixated upon you. Roll+hot. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 2. They can spend your hold, 1 for 1, by:
    • giving you something you want
    • acting as your eyes and ears
    • fighting to protect you
    • doing something you tell them to
    For NPCs, while you have hold over them they can’t act against you. For PCs, instead, any time you like you can spend your hold, 1 for 1:
    • they distract themselves with the thought of you. They’re acting under fire.
    • they inspire themselves with the thought of you. They take +1 right now.
    On a miss, they hold 2 over you, on the exact same terms.

    Lost: when you whisper someone’s name to the world’s psychic maelstrom, roll+weird. On a hit, they come to you, with or without any clear explanation why. On a 10+, take +1forward against them. On a miss, the MC will ask you 3 questions; answer them truthfully.

    Skinner Special: If you and another character have sex, choose one:
    • You take +1 forward and so do they.
    • You take +1 forward; they take -1.
    • They must give you a gift worth at least 1-barter.
    • You can hypnotize them as though you’d rolled a 10+, even if you haven’t chosen to get the move.
  • edited July 2012


    • 1 gracious weapon: Ornate sword (3-harm hand valuable)
    • 2 luxe gear
    ~~ Pet (valuable alive)
    ~ ~ ~ Eurydice the bonzai tree
    ~~ Skin and hair kit (applied valuable)
    ~ ~ ~ Soaps, ochres, paints, creams, salves. Using it lets you take +1hot forward.
    ~ ~ ~ Good for dramaturgical performances, and it never hurts to smell, feel, and look pleasant in this shithole world.
    • Oddments worth 1-barter
    ~~ Small old books
    • Fashion suitable to your look
    ~~ Light open linen shirts, aladdin pants, colorful scarves, multiple wide leather belts with ornate buckles (pirate style), shoulderbags, boots, sandals, or barefoot, long dreads, occasional bodypaint designs, thick bright-colored leather straps and bangles on arms and legs, occasional short red leather aviator jacket and aviator glasses
  • edited October 2012


    How well I know you.

    Amiette -1 -- I can't wrap my head around you. Sometimes you creep into my dreams.
    Bones +1 -- I've seen everything you've seen. I just wish you’d open up more than your body to me. I've seen your tear and panic, and that's something, but now my body's beholden to Domino to protect you.
    Grekkor +2 -- Good in theory; not my style of execution, but all's fair.
    Alonzo +2 -- He's an open book. I like books.
    Winona +2 -- You're in love with me, but everybody needs something they can’t have.
    Never +3 -- I belong with my friend. She's a bright star in bleak twilight.
  • edited November 2012


    XP: [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [>]
    _X get +1cool (max cool+2)
    __ get +1cool (max cool+2)
    __ get +1hard (max hard+2)
    _X get +1sharp (max sharp+2)
    _X get a new skinner move
    _X get a new skinner move
    __ get 2 gigs (detail) and moonlighting
    __ get followers (detail) and fortunes
    _X get a move from another playbook (Battlebabe: Impossible Reflexes)
    _X get a move from another playbook (Gunlugger: Not to be F'd with)

    __ get +1 to any stat (max stat+3)
    __ retire your character (to safety)
    __ create a second character to play
    __ change your character to a new type
    _X choose 3 basic moves and advance them.
    __ advance the other 4 basic moves.

    XP History:
    1.1 Good Morning Ambrose!
    Read Camaro
    Seduce Camaro
    Read Chin
    Artful & Gracious with Camaro/Chin/Balls
    Read the Sitch
    -----> Advance: Impossible Reflexes (Battlebabe)
    Read Skinless on the Maelstrom Stage

    1.2 Seen My Sword?
    Seduce Bones
    Angel special move in the root cellar puts Hx at +4 so reset for XP
    Read Bones
    Seduce Bones
    -----> Advance: +1 Cool

    1.3 The Baths (with Grekkor)
    Read Grekkor

    1.4 Unexpected Encounter
    Read Sitch
    Artful & Gracious with Shantytown mob
    Read Camaro

    1.5 About Frost... (with Grekkor and Domino)
    Read Domino
    -----> Advance: Breathtaking (+1hot)
    Manipulate Domino to back Norvell as hardholder
    Artful & Gracious: "Acceptance speech"

    2.1 Norvell Arrives
    Read Domino (miss!)
    Seduce Domino
    Manipulate Yoyo/Tootsweet to beware mistreating women/Camaro
    -----> Advance: +1 Sharp

    2.2 Cleansing Ritual
    Read Bones
    Manipulate Bones to come back to Waterberth with me and talk.

    2.3 Back at the Lab
    Last night with Bones. Angel Special sent my Hx with Bones from +2 to +3, then Session Hx bumped up by +1 to +4. Reset to +1 and mark XP.

    3.3 The Moot
    Failing to keep my shit together after seeing what I didn't want to in the maelstrom, and coming out with Bones' eyes boring into mine.

    3.5 Gym Party
    Acting Under Fire bravely descending into the Bride's web
    -----> Advance: Not To Be F'd With

    3.7 Never Again
    Read Never
    Open Brain about Eurydice

    4.2 A Punch in the Nose
    Read charged sitch in the Big Top when 'delivering' Never
    Read Domino when everyone's throwing authority around
    Read Grekkor about how to win Domino respect and Never dignity
    -----> Advance: Advancing 3 basic moves: Manipulate/Seduce, Act Under Fire, and Read a Sitch
    Read Never before delivering her death
    Opening Brain about Domino and what it means that she produced an inhuman child
    Opened Brain toward Camaro and why she's being unusual and smelling of bonsai

    5.1 Ula's Summons
    Going aggro on Pryers to get through to break up Bones' "death ritual"

    ------>Advance: Lost
    Speaking Emmy into the maelstrom
    Aggro on Mac to drop his pistol
  • I love your choice of pet. Also your choice of pirate belts. Good times.
  • Q: Poetry, huh? That's crazy stuff. Do people generally like your stuff because you speak to them? Or do they like it because they pretend they get it? Do you write stuff down or is it all performance-based?

    "Good paper's shit to come by, and too easily soaked or burned back to snow. Thus, old books are a treasure, precious vintage, lost friends. By the same argument, however, writing is seldom worth the effort. Few can read it, fewer care to. Rather agonize over more urgent concerns, like the blade in your guts, the snow in your lungs, or the burning in your loins.

    Keeping the treasures I've found in the coffers of memory, however, renders the lovelies immortal. Sure any insensate gunlugger could set Alexandria ablaze again, laying sighing Dido's on the pyre beside the bloody shreds of Orpheus, oh Orpheus, all by sliding a single bullet between these nonplussed brows, but where's the fun in that? What but our fine words lift us from the masses of savages? Kill me and like Orpheus, I’ll find my love in hell, while this tale fades with the closing page and you all with it.

    I tell the tales, acting the parts, reciting the lines, and evoking passions most have forgotten how to feel. For most, I only stir slight memories of long-dead (or wholly new) yearnings, buried under leagues of numbing cynicism, raw lust, and besotted violence that rot a wholesome breast. In the moment, they think they might understand, but how the hell can they, honestly. The question is how quickly they move on.

    A few though, shake off the snow coating their calloused souls to dare laugh or cry with me but a moment as befits the current turn of our tale together.They don’t understand either, but they at least notice the haunting tickle that the dancing words make them feel human again.

    A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
    And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
    The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
    And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
    A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
    And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
    The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

    It never really lasts long, buried by hunger pangs, deforming disease, the urge for violence, or the craving to rut some fellow soul. But yeah, some get it without getting it, you know? And I love them for it, the wonderer-struck believers, they’re not an audience but a passionate and longing supporting cast with me on the stage of this waking dream."
  • Q: Who taught you how to read?

    "Words strain,
    Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
    Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
    Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
    Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
    Always assail them. The Word in the desert
    Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
    The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
    The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera

    Yeah, sorry. Carried away there, but isn’t it hot? Damn. I tell ya what.

    Whoo. Ok. Eurydice, my immortal love and Muse, daughter of Apollo, being of pure radiant light (and, well, sometimes wood), taught me the art of language when we first met. No joke. Woke from a fit of hallucination (unprovoked, I swear) and all around me was poetry, words on the air like dancing rain on fresh wind.

    Love is most nearly itself
    When here and now cease to matter.
    Old men ought to be explorers
    Here or there does not matter
    We must be still and still moving
    Into another intensity
    For a further union, a deeper communion
    Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
    The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
    Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

    Eurydice?" He nods reverently at the desperate bonzai enshrined atop the scavenged furniture. (Skinner luxe gear: pet - living, valuable)

    "She stands there, stubbornly refusing to bare herself to me once again. We’re working through some things right now, but I have hope. The tale's hardly begun." He bares a wide, white smile with limpid patient eyes.
  • Who is your biggest fan?

    Who is your biggest critic?
  • edited June 2012
    Strange as it seems, Stripes' can't get enough of my art. Mate doesn't seem to think about much beyond tuning his hog, cleaning his guns, and slaking his animal appetites, but he actually goes teary whenever he hears me. I know, right? Blubbering nut, his long 'stache dripping as much tears as filthy beer onto his mesh and studded leathers.

    His pack gives him hell about it. Called him Pan Poesy until he shattered Manx's hipbone with his crowbar over it. She was his second, tough as corrugated steel but mouthy as hell. She couldn't ride for months after that and while missing out on the gang's raids, she doped herself to oblivion, nearly gambling herself away as a snow slave to get a fix. Stripes dragged her back and sat her down with me for a private session, said if I couldn't make her see some value in her sorry life then good riddance to the bitch. Not sure what I did, but she's kept coming back on her own since. It's a challenge being wild as she is, yet gentle with that hip. Stripes brought me a book of dirty limericks from somewhere for my trouble. I hadn't asked for anything.

    Another time he killed a guy that stole Eurydice once when she was in bloom, looking worth a gorgeous barter. He dragged her all the way back from Crespin Fens, even though it took weeks to for his gang to clear the filth from their bikes.

    Stripes is all right. Doesn't understand most of what I say, but has an ear for beauty and a heart for the sublime. You don't see that too often in the hairy, alpha, guns-n-gas types but there you have it.


    My dear Madame on the other hand, has never seen me as much of an asset to the holding. I think she's jealous. What she can't do with a threat and a whip, I can do with just a smile and silence, maybe a word or two. She's got ice and trunks of jingle, and a heavy mantle of power on her shoulders, while I'm content with air to breathe, honest passions, and conflict as it serves a richer tale. I can live with that; every hero needs an antagonist. Of course, life would be much easier with an antagonist less connected than the local hardholder, but hero's don't get to choose their tale, they only choose to take the stage until the final curtain. The greater challenge leads to greater glory and if not that, then at the least to greater catharsis. They'll find me settling into my denouement with a laugh on my lips.

    Don't get me wrong, she runs a damn fine holding, finer than others I've seen anyway. You could say we just don't see things eye to eye. I don't push, even though I'm convinced she could be a beautiful soul if she had a mind to, scars aside. Last time I suggested my help to that end, however, she had Crawley break my jaw. They say those weeks with my mouth wired shut were my dear Madame's best in years. I don't buy it for a second.
  • What does the psychic maelstrom look like to you?

    The maelstrom is like walking backstage while a play is in progress, or just waking up to realize it’s all a play at all. Behind the thick curtains obscuring the setpieces from the audience--joyfully suspending its disbelief--it’s all flat facades and hand-painted backdrops, unpainted support timbers, ropes, bags of sand, discarded broken props, little dark-clothed antsy technicians in headsets, anxious and self-important actors rushing to the wings, half costumed, maybe missing their heads--I mean their ludicrous masks or wigs and makeup--rehearsing lines in their heads as they listen for their cue.

    The thing is, outside the maelstrom, the actors are at once the players on stage and the ignorant audience.

    To be completely honest, however, the maelstrom is actually like pages, massive vellum things traced with veins of ink and skeins of lines running all throughout like thread, or guts, or tiny coursing streams of angst. When I wake up playing my role with vehemence and notice the tickle of the false beard, or the ill-fitting costuming, or the paint that emulates greater-than-humanly possible muscle definition on my torso, I often wander backstage, as long as the techs and other players allow me to so flagrantly break the script.

    The stage and its accoutrements seems to be all there is. If you go back far enough, though, there’s usually a dirty little door that opens onto the spreading plains of seeming infinite pages, strewn with scribbles like almost unintelligible metropolitan streetways. A heavy line here is an influential life, pulling the thinner lines of text into its orbit like a massy star. I don’t dare venture far from my own place on the stage, though, because the further from my place I travel, the thinner my own line strains and stretches, ever tethering me to Fate’s allotted point in the plot. I love to sit and watch it though. The lines weaving mad and wild, careening into one another and resolving like a symphony in a harsh minor key. Despite the wildness of it, it’s still clearly laid down by some artist, some intelligent, if heartless author.

    It seems to me few of the other players realize there even is a stage, that we’re all at once players and audience, readers and cursive text. Maybe I’m the only one that knows. Maybe I’m the protagonist.
  • Advancing 3 basic moves: Manipulate/Seduce, Act Under Fire, and Read a Sitch
    From the Apocalypse World text:

    When you try to seduce or manipulate someone, tell them what you want and roll+hot. For NPCs: on a hit, they ask you to promise something first, and do it if you promise. On a 10+, whether you keep your promise is up to you, later. On a 7–9, they need some concrete assurance right now. For PCs: on a 10+, both. On a 7–9, choose 1:
    • if they do it, they mark improvement
    • if they refuse, it’s acting under fire
    What they do then is up to them.

    On a 12+, only if they’re an NPC, they do it, and furthermore you change their nature. Choose one of the following; tell the MC to erase their threat type altogether and write it in instead.
    • ally: friend (impulse: to back you up)
    • ally: lover (impulse: to give you shelter & comfort)
    • ally: right hand (impulse: to follow through on your intentions)
    • ally: representative (impulse: to pursue your interests in your absence)
    • ally: guardian (impulse: to intercept danger)
    • ally: confidante (impulse: to give you advice, perspective, or absolution.)

    When you do something under fire, or dig in to endure fire, roll+cool. On a 10–11, you do it. On a 7–9, you flinch, hesitate, or stall: the MC can offer you a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or an ugly choice.
    On a 12+, you transcend the danger, the pressure, the possibility of harm. You do what you set out to do, and the MC will offer you a better outcome, true beauty, or a moment of grace.

    When you read a charged situation, roll+sharp. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. Whenever you act on one of the MC’s answers, take +1. On a 10–11, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:
    • where’s my best escape route?
    • which enemy is most vulnerable to me?
    • which enemy is the biggest threat?
    • what should I be on the lookout for?
    • who’s in control here?

    On a 12+, ask any 3 questions you want, not limited to the list.
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