Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => brainstorming & development => Topic started by: Ardhanari on December 15, 2016, 03:22:48 AM

Title: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Ardhanari on December 15, 2016, 03:22:48 AM
A quick one-page rules-set / character sheet inspired by Westworld. The theme is character self-actualization.
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: zefir on December 26, 2016, 08:15:06 PM
Is the "attributes change when you roll something" mechanism working well? Did you play it yet? Isn't it making attributes changing too fast?
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Ardhanari on December 26, 2016, 08:20:25 PM
It's intended as a "short-play" kind of game, so "too fast" is a matter of taste. I was actually worried that they would increase too slowly to have an Awakening in a handful of game sessions.

What I've found is that the early game focuses on the repetition of the loop and enjoyment is gained by exploring variations on that loop. The late game is dominated by characters exploring their Reveries / alternate prior builds and actively trying to go off-script to accelerate their stat evolution in a race to Awaken.

Once an Awakening occurs, it's a matter of spending some time wrapping the game up, playing the Host revolution as more of a game denouement than an active campaign.

But this is based on just one playtest.
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Oldy on March 16, 2017, 12:11:04 AM
Hi! Threadromancy perhaps, but I've just stumbled upon this.

Have you played the game since, and are there any other insights you can offer? Do the players know ahead of time that they're hosts, or is it a surprise?

I'm considering running this for some friends in a few weeks' time, and I'm leaning towards 'unnamed dystopian sci-fi setting' where the players won't even know about hosts until one of them awakens. The loops themselves will be pretty much their only clue.
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Ardhanari on March 16, 2017, 01:00:39 AM
This was created more as an experiment and potential short-run game / one-shot. I haven't run it as anything long-term.

The system (such as it is) makes it pretty hard for the players to remain in the dark about what their characters are. While the players may know they're playing androids, the characters certainly may not know what they are until they awaken.

I suppose you could change some of the terms I used to hide the ball a bit from your players. I imagine any of them who have seen Westworld would pick up pretty quickly on what was going on though :)
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Oldy on April 10, 2017, 12:43:40 AM
Ok, so I ran this Friday evening, for my mates Action Man, Raggie, and Mister Q. I skinned the game with Games Workshop's Necromunda setting to throw them off the scent a little, and had the following characters:

Cleve Malo (played by Action Man), an Imperial Guard deserter based on Teddy Flood, whose loop was
Clockwork May (played by Mister Q), a House Van Saar Heavy based on Armistice, whose loop was
Loriel (played by Raggie), the madam at The Lucky Pearl, based on Maeve Millay, whose loop was
I had another character, Zak Fellhand, the leader of the Van Saar gang, based on Hector, but my mate Tachy couldn't make it, so he became an NPC.

I gave them additional stats taken from the Western hack The Evening Redness in the West, so everyone had a character sheet with Consciousness, Self-Interest, Improvisation, Memory, Quick, Rough, Smooth, Wary and Vice scores. That way I had a mechanism to 'resolve Necromunda encounters'  like gunplay, and then run the consequences through the Consciousness-Self-Interest-Improvisation-Memory engine.

What a screaming success. The game was awesome, with the guys being quite shocked when Cleve suddenly up and died in the duel with the Goliath (after rolling a 5), and then starting to twig when Cleve woke up on the shuttle again. By the time all three had 'died' and woken up again, they'd recognised the Westworld model, and began to start Groundhog Daying their loops. Great fun, and Raggie laughed so hard he had a stitch at one point.

Great stuff, thanks to Ardhanari and Michael Pfaff for the tools!
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Ardhanari on April 11, 2017, 12:12:16 AM
Awesome, I'm glad it worked out for you so well. As a fan of the WH40k setting as well, I'm particularly amused at how you disguised the Westworld themes.
Title: Re: Westworld Hack (Host-play)
Post by: Oldy on April 11, 2017, 02:01:15 AM
It was always going to be either Necromunda (which is a Western anyway), or Aliens - and I was kinda intrigued at the idea of a different team of Colonial Marines waking up in hypersleep each time, then the dropship and brutal rippybiteyburstyacidy death, but in the end that had too many moving parts to get quite right in time.

Perhaps another day, but I think you called it correctly when you said yours was a one-off. Fun experiment I think, but hardly campaign material.