[AW - OOG] Apocalypse World: Setting

edited July 2010 in Out-Of-Game


  • edited July 2010
  • Amusingly enough, the Psychic Maelstrom in the AW game I am currently running is also based around radio -- at least for one of the PCs -- and static. Is the idea that this is how the Maelstrom will be for everyone? The game defaults to having the MC ask questions about what each character experiences when they Open Their Brain, which in theory allows for any number of very idiosyncratic perspectives on the Maelstrom -- regardless of what it 'really is' underneath.
  • Makes sense. I dig the mostly-underground thing, especially the crowded claustrophobic elements, but definitely agree that we will find reasons to go 'out' -- exploring, scavenging, private rendezvous, whatever. Maybe there are other aboveground holdings (semi-mythological or practical trading partners) or the like.
  • I like the mostly-underground thing too.

    I wonder about food. Do we eat mainly mushrooms that grow between the rusted tracks in the dark tunnels, with an occasional rat for flavor? Send scavengers out to find lumpy and bulbous plants, some of them poisonous, all of them fibrous and chewy, none of them recognizable? In a pinch -- when the storms are raging outside, and the last crew to go foraging didn't come back, maybe there's a nest of inch-long ants that we raid for the crunch and the protein. Maybe the most valuable possessions in the holding are a few surviving chickens -- or what we think chickens were, based on oral history of the Golden Age -- and it's a great honor to be served eggs, whatever they are, and people are wondering what the 'bacon' of legend really was.
  • edited August 2010
  • I meant to post this earlier, but I really like the idea that we're in a kind of leftovers/outsiders/holding tank sort of area that is not particularly a hold. There's Proper's place and maybe a market (but hardly THE market, except maybe for really sketchy shit) and definitely a lot of people, but these are mostly people who can't or won't join up with some of the more well-known communities/holdings in the area.
  • edited August 2010
  • I'm not a big fan of the 'neutral ground market' RPG/fantasy genre cliche. Not that there can't be some of that, but I'd rather it not be like this assumed thing. Side deals, maybe, or meetings between mid-hierarchy types, but I think if two hardholders wanted to deal on neutral ground they would pick a giant field that everyone on both sides can put snipers around, not a crowded transient marketplace.
  • edited August 2010
    Yeah, I don't see this as neutral ground, enforced by a council of warlords or something - I think this is just territory that isn't interesting enough for anyone to try to seize and hold, but it's geographically convenient and there's space for a market, and there's a good nightclub, and for people who don't need or want to live under a hardholder's thumb, it's just the ticket.

    Maybe it's just too porous to be held without a lot of work. Too many tunnels, too many underground warrens that someone could use to sneak in. Maybe someone tried to carve out a holding and was unsuccessful, and it's just a trade center because it's halfway between two random places that someone might want to be.

    And maybe Proper's nightclub is one of the linchpins holding it all together - because it's here, it's a convenient place to meet, and the turnip gin isn't so bad, and occasionally there's a good act.
  • Okay, yeah, I just jumped to conclusions -- if it's neutral in the sense of simply 'not being controlled by anyone or all that important,' that makes fine sense to me.
  • We need a few subway stations and underground structures, and maybe a building basement that's connected to them with a private rail spur.

    We need a source of water - maybe an artesian well somewhere? We need a place for sewage and garbage to go, away from the water. (If we mix them, we're all likely to die of cholera. Maybe we do mix them, and it's just that some of us have hardier immune systems.)

    We need to know where Proper's nightclub is. Maybe it's in one of these mezzanines like the Westlake station in Seattle or the underground plaza part of Grand Central or Penn station. Maybe it's in a junction tunnel, or a train station with a couple of platforms.

    Which tunnel or station has the giant ant colony in it? (Or do we know?)

    What's immediately outside? If we're under a city, there must be building ruins up there. Which exit is closest to the Farm? Where are the nearby holdings, and how far away are they?

    What do we do with our dead people? Do we have a cemetery, or do we go outside for a funeral pyre in between black-rain storms?

    Are there tunnels or stations that we don't use for some reason? Unsafe roof, cave-ins, icky standing water?
  • I think a general idea of how far we can travel underground -- and how much of that is considered 'safe' -- is the main thing. Are there holdings that we can reach without going up to the surface? Are there other important places we can't get to without overland travel? Collapsed tunnels are good too, and otherwise blocked-off areas.
  • The storm sewers are dangerous because you never know when there's going to be a sudden storm. There are probably a couple staircases that turn into waterfalls when there's a sudden downpour, and the storm sewers are ten times worse. You don't want to be outside in that black, sticky rain, so you really don't want to be in the storm sewer when it's draining.

    I like the idea of a big ruined building, offering partial shelter, but treacherous to get in and out of. Maybe the last thug who tried to claim this place as a holding built deathtraps in, because he knew he could get in and out through tunnels, and took the memory of all of them with him. Maybe the building was treacherous enough before he got to it, and he just made it worse.

    Have people built any kinds of shelters for privacy and security on the platforms, or do they just find a place to curl up when it's time to sleep?

    I like the idea of an honest-to-God farm, but that's uncomfortably like a tidy status quo. I like the idea of greenhouses. I like the idea of a hydroponics/sunlamp arrangement, especially if it depends on the crazy savvyhead.

    Frost is new here, and unless the nearby holds are well hidden, he probably came here via one of them. I don't know that that means it needs to be all that detailed, but we should at least agree on a couple broad strokes.
  • edited August 2010
  • Maybe 10 or 12 miles, roughly northwest, along one of those great highways that the ancients loved to build, there's a holding, Kreider's Town. Used to be some kind of a marketplace or bazaar, very luxe, lots of glass and windows over avenues, very defensible, surrounded by well-cleared flat areas with no trees. Well, lots of glass and windows when it was built - half of the window panes have been broken and are covered with whatever the locals can scrounge up. Fortunately it's a big building, and there are lots of rooms without any windows. They've got a well somehow, and they've turned one of the wide arcades into a greenhouse, and maintained the glass in the roof there the best they could, scavenging from other parts of the building as necessary. You still don't want to go outside if you can avoid it, but as long as you stay inside, you can pretend that it's not such a hostile world out there.

    Frost thought he might settle down there. Plenty of space, real vegetables, a couple decent musicians, a big open space surrounded by plants with actual sunlight in it. Only thing is, it was run by a guy named Kreider and his pet mindfucker Smith, or more likely Smith and his pet Kreider, and it didn't take long for them to notice Frost. And, well, some of those mindfuckers, what they can't control, they want to destroy, and Frost didn't like either of those choices.
  • Mike said post on "Where" - so it's in the mezzanine. It's open enough to make it hard to defend (ie, if Proper wants to get violent with Gams about his debt - her influence probably does the heavy lifting so far as keeping rival gangs out of it), but having three walls of uncrossable junk / earth defines it as an area distinct from the cinderblock hovels and open sleeping which fills the mezzanine.

    There are probably two entrances to Proper's Vox Populi. The first and most obvious is the public entrance, the Door. It enters the joint from the mezzanine. VP itself was probably an Applebee's or anchor pub to a food court.

    The other entrance would have been an emergency kitchen exit, but it just opens out over a deep hole now. Proper's got chicken wire or chain link over the opening itself, and he keeps a few tables stacked in front of it. Woland doesn't favor the area.

    What were the manager's offices are on a second level directly above the Bar, and Proper's carved them into a bedroom (his) and a common room (a few employees on cots, bunks, hammocks). It's close quarters, but them's the breaks.

    The joint itself, when entered from the Door spills into an open area of cushioned benches along the walls (also occupied by sleeping staffers in the early hours) with defunct restrooms on either side. A few paces in is the L shaped bar, with the short arm facing someone entering the bar. The long arm faces the stage area -there're booths along the wall, and tables set on the floor with chairs (ok, more crates than chairs on the floor, but the booths are cusioned).

    The women's rest room is to an entering person's left - it also shared a wall with the stage at one point, but now it serves as a dressing/ backstage area. On the opposite side of the entry area is the men's room, where Proper keeps a few trash barrels full of rocks, sand, charcoal for filtering water.
  • Frost has found an out-of-the-way nook in the mezzanine where two walls intersect at an odd angle, where he can put the things that really matter to him and which might have value to others (his guitar and his jacket, basically) on the other side of him as he sleeps. This is about the most security he has; he carries his belongings with him when he's awake. But he's only been here a few days - as soon as he has a better sense of the land, he figures he'll work his way into a more permanent lodging or find someone who needs a kept man until he can get himself established.
  • edited August 2010
  • Oh, looks like I got Lits and Toyota mixed up in my post elsewhere. I mostly just wanted to nod towards existing NPCs rather than creating a new one for every made-up situation -- so it could really be any of Proper's regulars.
Sign In or Register to comment.