Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: John Harper on June 09, 2010, 05:57:32 PM

Title: Maps
Post by: John Harper on June 09, 2010, 05:57:32 PM
Let's talk about maps.

Vx says, "Make maps like crazy," and he's right. We make all kinds in our AW games. Relationship maps, too.

That first map you make is key. If the sheet of paper is covered by the PCs hardhold, that's their world. When they decide where to go next and what to do, they'll be all, "I go over to Dremmer's shack, over here behind the chemical shed."

If the sheet of paper shows the whole coastline and the four settlements along it, plus the train tracks and the oil rig out at sea, then that's their world. When they decide where to go next and what to do, they'll be all, "I take the train to Salt River to talk to Cricket about those murders he needs done."

It's good to think about the scale and the size of your Apocalypse World. And when to add another sheet of paper's worth to it.

Recently, our crazy two-parallel-game-groups AW games sort of turned a corner and things were looking like they were headed for a resolution of sorts. The stuff on the map had been mined and mined and the key NPCs had been torn down, dispossessed, murdered, exiled. So when the Operator's crew stole a boat from the cult-leader, I told them they found a map on board -- a bigger one than any they'd seen before. It showed another coastline, across the water, and settlements there, with names and everything.

Our 1-piece-of-paper world doubled in size. Their eyes got big. I could see them thinking about all the fuckery they were gonna get up to over there. The game got a little boost of new life, just from that hastily-scrawled map. I figure each piece of paper added to the world is another dozen sessions, at least.

How are you using maps in your AW games?
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: Dionysus on June 09, 2010, 06:31:19 PM
Oh heck yes!
Our first map was just on a whiteboard. Camp site, hills, a road with an arrow to "Zoo Hope town", and the players ran with it and ended up at the town.

Second session I showed a map of the town, and they went visiting the bar, the gates with guns, the junkyard and mechanic, and the Greenhouse Gardens.

They were killing people, intimidating, bashing heads and making deals with everyone - and now I'm really starting to look to draw in some of the surrounding towns as well.

But a lot of the time we are adding to the maps in conjuction to the results of rolls and fiction.
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: Margolotte on June 09, 2010, 08:55:25 PM
In Alison's Holding, the very first game we played, Vincent made a map that looked like it was just a handful of roads, like a section of some city, with the key overpass marked out. It made the action much more intimate.

Also in that game, I made a cut-away map of the building that was my holding, figuring out how high the armor plating on the outside was (three stories), where the armory was (next to the cars, ground floor), my (Alison's) office (third floor, right over the infirmary), and the lay-out of the three stories of terraced 'roof-top' gardens. It was very helpful to understand the space so we could pace movement - if someone was on the ground floor and needed to get Marie's (8th floor, right under the gardens), there was time for something interesting to happen while they hiked up the stairs. If something was happening in my office, Cal could come through the hatch from the infirmary in zero time.

The last map in that game was Marie's detailed floor plan of her rooms, which mattered when she had multiple people in there that she didn't want running into each other.

Title: Re: Maps
Post by: marknau on June 09, 2010, 09:33:19 PM
I'm kind of blown away right now, because this is a really simple yet powerful thing. Obvious, and yet something I haven't really thought about before.

The scale and scope of the maps you present to the players will have a powerful influence over the scope of their play. And this can be used as a deliberate pacing device over time. Wow, yeah.

John, that part where you presented the new map. Yeah, awesome. I can feel the power of that move from here.
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: deleted213516 on June 14, 2010, 03:54:27 AM
This could be a good place to share scans of our maps. I love maps and seeing what other people are exploring would be very cool.
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: noofy on March 02, 2011, 02:11:30 AM
I know this is thread necromancy, but its very specific to this thread, and John's initial post is bookmarked by me cause its so awesome.

 Anyways, this weekend we went camping at Mystery Bay again (the real place!) and instead of playing Dungeon World, I pulled out one of its delightful parents; namely Apoc World.

The lads got into it straight away, and part of the ist session is making maps like crazy. I had purloined a free tourist map of the Sapphire Coast, which made it so immediate - there is a great regional map, with all the town maps 'zoomed in' around the margins. We scribbled all over this ragged, folded artefact establishing holds, tribes and territory.

When it came down to seizing by force we drew maps in the dirt by the flickering light of the fire, and our wayward headtorch beams. Folks were represented by shells and stones, cars by an old hot wheels relic uncovered in the detrius of our camp. It was surreal and poignant, and we respectfully left the map untouched during the light of day.

Come the following night, I had some time to think about fronts and we dived right in to the second session, the map in the dirt becoming a focus between our fold-out chairs. It began to take 3-dimensional form, the hold built up with beercans and cardboard boxes, roads widened and defined. It was awesome.

So yeah, make maps.... with anything. In fact the more basic, the more primal, the better. Play outside, play with headtorches and solar garden lights, play around a campfire, make maps in the mud.
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: John Harper on March 02, 2011, 02:39:13 AM
Wow. Yes. That sounds amazing.
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: Margolotte on March 02, 2011, 05:36:19 AM
Oh man do I want that!
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: Joe Beason on March 02, 2011, 09:44:04 PM
That's so cool.  Now I want to use Play-Doh for the Maelstrom...
Title: Re: Maps
Post by: Judd on March 03, 2011, 05:22:41 AM
For the Hudson River Valley game, I took a map of New York state and wrote all over it with different color sharpies and gave it to the players once they killed this one Hardholder, saying that it was his map.

They found another map of the federal prisons in New York state, as there is a growing empire, born from prisoners and guards, who use the prisons as fortresses.