Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: J. Walton on August 10, 2010, 06:31:58 PM

Title: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: J. Walton on August 10, 2010, 06:31:58 PM
Here's a new character type I've been thinking about, based loosely on the "Broken Rainbow" post-apocalyptic valkyries-on-hovercycles game I ran this past year using Mouse Guard.  We probably should have used Apocalypse World, but I wasn't aware of it then.  This is me making up for it.  Right now it's a hack of a bunch of different existing character types, but it may move in a more independent direction.

Suggestions and feedback are most welcome, of course.


They're either the bastard daughters of some long forgotten god or a coven of death cult witches.  All I know is that they call the Maelstrom "daddy" and cackle to themselves like fucking hyenas. Do not enter.




Pick from the Hocus sets, for now. Probably eventually create a new set that leans towards Hard and Weird.


You get these 2:

Soul Ripper: (variation on Seize By Force, for now) when you have time and physical intimacy with a recently deceased body, you can stick your fingers in its flesh and assert your mastery over their lingering psychic essence. Roll + Weird.  On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
* You take definite hold of their soul, drafting it into your ghost army (see below)
* You can force the deceased spirit to truthfully answer 1 question.
* You suffer little harm.
* You impress, dismay, or frighten the soul.

Ghost Wrangler: (Pack Alpha / Leadership / Frenzy hybrid, for now) when you try to impose your will on your ghost army (see below), roll + Weird.  On a 10+, all 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
* They do what you want
* They don't fight back over it
* They unite and fight for you (2-harm gang small invisible invulnerable)
* You don't have to make an example of one of them

On a miss the ghosts turn on you or make you vulnerable to your enemies.

Might be other optional moves, to choose between.  Specifically I'm thinking of one with some real fictional positioning, like "Dark Wings: when you attack from a higher position, take +1 forward."


Identical to Chopper, for now.


By default your army consists of about 15 fucking poltergeists that you ripped untimely from the violent womb of the Psychic Maelstrom. Likely, you murdered at least half these fuckers personally, with your bare hands, and for half the rest you were watching appreciatively as the killing was done.  They don't rightly believe your promises about riding out to glory in the end times, seeing as how the end times have come and gone without no glory to be had a'tall.  And the best part is: no one can see these fuckers but you, the occasional dog, horse, or child, and madmen who ain't full right in the head.


You get 1 custom hand weapon, as per Battlebabe.  Valkyries generally like to do their murdering up front and personal, where they can enjoy the wetness of blood between their fingers.


If you and another character have sex, you make them vulnerable to your ghost army. Roll + Weird. On a 10+, you decide which ghosts leave your army and begin haunting the other character. On a 7-9, as above, but the GM can make one change to your muster order, shifting one additional ghost or preventing one from leaving your service. On a failure, the GM decides who the ghosts leave with.


I really like the way that Wants and Obligations work and am still thinking about how they might work with this character type.  Does the Valkyrie owe her ghost army anything to keep them relatively satisfied?  Or does she just exert her will on them?  Is she driven by a drive to prepare for the end times, when she will lead the army to glory in the final battles?  Is she trying to collect as many souls into her army as possible?  Not sure yet.  Maybe some of these are decided in play, by individual players, and don't need mechanical backing.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: amnesiack on August 10, 2010, 07:07:09 PM
Thinking about that game always makes me smile.

I don't know how far you're wandering from the game we played, but from the perspective of our game, LOOK would have to include:

Red hair, orange hair, yellow hair, green hair, blue hair, indigo hair, or violet hair

Gender would also probably be restricted to woman, ambiguous, or concealed.

Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: Bret on August 10, 2010, 08:06:32 PM
I like this a lot, but I feel like I would have to siphon off some of the excess supernaturalness to bring it more into line with the other playbooks. Someone who can deal with the dead is great, though.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: John Harper on August 10, 2010, 09:27:42 PM
This is a really rough first stab, but I like the idea. When this shapes up into its own, rather than a mishmash of other types, I'll have more to say.

Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: mcdaldno on August 10, 2010, 09:55:38 PM
Right now, the Valkyrie is a warlord/slaver, with supernatural colour.
Is that what you're looking for?
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: J. Walton on August 10, 2010, 10:06:48 PM
Yeah, I'm leaning towards making it more ambiguous whether the Valkyrie actually collects ghosts or whether she's just crazy and siphoning echoes of dead people off the Maelstrom.  In the end, she shouldn't be any more supernatural than the Brainer, I think.

The slaver parallel you mention is interesting, Joe.  I really like the sex move where you swap / inflict spirits on someone, though, which wouldn't be possible with a slaver.  Maybe that should be a class move and not a sex move?  Not sure.

I think a lot of things will get clearer when I come up with better stats for the Ghost Army, including the different options you can select from at start.  There's probably one where the Valkyrie is basically a serial killer and collects souls of a particular type.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: Bret on August 10, 2010, 10:09:01 PM
I love that idea. Like a radio receiver transmitting the the speech of people who died 50 years ago. Oh like someone collecting stamps, but instead of stamps they're fragments of ghostechoes.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: mcdaldno on August 11, 2010, 01:31:50 AM

What if Soul Ripper were the only automatic move?
Valkyrie are badass bike warriors who harvest souls.

What do they do with those souls?
Some lead ghost gangs.
Some channel dead souls through their weapons.
Some harvest memories and motives.

Including "Ghost Wrangler" as an automatic direction for the Valkyrie seems like you're making all my character choices for me. I'd rather you held up "Ghost Wrangler" and "Soul Wielder" and "Channeler of the Ghost Field" and "Temporal Magic" and let me choice one.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: nemomeme on August 11, 2010, 01:37:59 AM
This is poetry I want.  You got spooky magick warrior wymen?  I'm in line all day long.

Seriously, this is a great start.  Just a little cheer-leading.

Are you reading Brian Wood's Northlanders by any chance?

Maybe the Valkyrie won't fit in some campaigns but it would fit in mine.  I've got an NPC in my game that just might be a Valkyrie.  I'd tell more but there are eyes everywhere...

I'm off to thumb through old Defenders and Ghost Rider issues.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: J. Walton on August 11, 2010, 07:00:00 PM
Bret, yeah, definitely.  Like that.  Basically, they would collect echoes and imprint them on themselves as kinda minor psychoses or extra personalities.

Joe, I definitely like that suggestion, moving the various things you could do with a collection of echoes to a set of optional moves.  That way one could be a "make them fight for you as a gang" and one could be a "they give you Insight" and one could be a "inflict them on other people" and one could be "they let you use Weird for Hard."

Nemo, I've read the first volume of Northlanders but stopped because I didn't like its lame depictions of women (can't even make their own bows, etc.).  The original post-apoc valkyrie game was inspired by seeing Die Walkure earlier last year.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: fnord3125 on August 12, 2010, 01:10:00 AM
This is super cool, and I, personally, don't mind the supernatural-ness, but there's one thing you'd need to keep in mind:
As written, if it's included in a game, it imposes certain "truths" upon the nature of the psychic maelstrom which, by default, is very vague and open to interpretation.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: J. Walton on August 12, 2010, 01:28:17 AM
Yeah, I'm keeping an eye on that.  Right now, if I revise it based on the suggestions here, the only thing it requires is for violent deaths to leave brief echoes in the Psychic Maelstrom, which doesn't seem too restricting on individual groups.  Or am I missing the wider implications?
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: fnord3125 on August 12, 2010, 03:26:34 PM
Are you missing wider implications?  Not that I know.

Personally, I kind of wish the maelstrom and opening your brain were less vague and subject to interpretation (or had some cool lists to pick options from) but I'm probably the only one.  I, and my group, have been struggling with it a bit so far.
Title: Re: Playbook: Valkyrie
Post by: Suna on January 11, 2011, 01:33:01 PM
Can't help voicing my suggestions on a couple, maybe of secondary importance things.

Names: Banshee, Lamia, Lament, Whisper, Keening, Morrigan, Celaeno, Alekto, Urd, Shade, Mire, Tongues.

sad eyes, bewildered eyes, soulless eyes, ferocious eyes, laughing eyes, compassionate eyes

Lithe body, strong body, thin body, tattooed body, scarred body

just my tuppence :)