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So, I'm looking to run a game of Apocalypse World 2nd Ed (AW2) using the premise and setting for the tv show "Into the Badlands" S1 as an 8 hour con game.   Hardholder= Baron Quinn,  Gunlugger = Sunny, Battlebabe= the  Widow, Angel = Veil.  Essentially starting with the initial motivations.

Where I'm struggling  is how to include M.K.   He is the MacGuffin that everyone wants or interacts with - and while they could be handled as an NPC, it could be more interesting as a PC.  Where I'm struggling is that I dont see an obvious playbook to slot them into without writing a whole new Custom playbook.  Any thoughts?

Mucho gracias,


Apocalypse World / Tribe 8 with Apocalypse World?
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:41:42 PM »
So... mixing 90's era Tribe 8 setting with 2010's Apocalypse world system and attitude, what might we get?

You could do mix and match playbooks with tribes and factions, but that's arguably a little limiting.  Synthesis and its dangers works well with Weird, though the different Aspects can flavour what you get with it.

The apocalypse is already written, but I suppose the Z'Bri would need some conversion across- but their plans and schemes (and that of the Fatimas) works well as Fronts.

Hmmm... Anyone tried mixing these 2 games together before?


Monsterhearts / New hawtness- Convention mini-campaigns of MH
« on: February 11, 2014, 12:48:50 PM »
So after playing a wide variety of 1-shot con games of Monsterhearts, a group of us who play the most in UK cons decided to try some mini-campaigns.  We have several multiday residential RPG conventions which last from 3-5 days, so a minicampaign of 3-4 sessions is easily doable.

Organisationally we’ve hand-picked players , trying for an even mix of male and female players and found that 5 players + 1 GM seems to be about right for logistics and player interactions and spot light time.

 The advantage of these games has been in allowing the characters time to really develop and be teenagers and not just super-intense monsters the whole time.  Its allowed group tropes, sayings, quotes and shared understandings to spontaneously develop and be referred back to.  And its felt like a different game of MH – Sex moves tend to come a bit later, once proper relationships and pairings have formed, there isnt a rush to Darkest self either, and in a 4 session game, the appearance of Growing Up Moves can again change the dynamic as the teens mature and start apologising for earlier selfishness/cruelty. It makes it a fuller and richer game.

The issue of course is how such linked games fit with convention structures-  there can be issues getting a venue, or being allowed to sign up the same group for all 4 games if the con insists on public sign ups.

Anyway, it does make for a more intense and interesting experience and I’d recommend it for people who don’t have a home campaign or are fed up of convention one-shots.


Monsterhearts / Achievement unlocked- played all the Skins!
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:00:05 PM »
So, my quixotic quest is now complete- I've played every skin currently published for Monsterhearts- all 14 over the best part of the last 17 months! I feel I should mark XP somehow.   It was a gaming goal I'd set myself when I first experienced the Monsterhearts Skins readthrough in the first game and thought that they all sounded impossibly cool and interesting and I really wanted to play them all to experience it all and not miss out on anything. And while I backed the Second Skins Kickstarter, I  no longer feel I need to prove anything more to myself, and can start repeating past skins as the mood takes me as I visit UK cons and Indie meetups.

And y'know what, nearly every single one was a great game with fantastic memories - certainly my fave game of 2012.  Looking over my compiled stats, Neil Gow has GM'd 4  of them (fuelled by  my bribes of Relentless) , Scott  Dorward and Richard Williamson thrice each, and honoured mention to Alex Gwilt-Cox who ran the first 2 games I played and got me hooked at the London Indie Meetup. Thanks also to Declan Feeney and Guy Milner for 2 very memorable games, and all the wonderful players whose ever disturbing/memorable/entertaining teenage characters  turned me on, lashed out, shut me downed, held steady, ran away and gazed into the Abyss with my PC's.

Some observations from the 20+ games (I also GM'd 8 or so over the same period to give back to the player base).

The Angel is broken. Mechanically, 3 stats is too few to balance across. And the only character who could get a Move roll result of 18!
For some reason people go "oooh, removable pelt" and their eyes light up whenever the Selkie is read out
The Mortal is the most co-dependent masochistic victim ever who will usually make you cringe
Vampires are rubbish in fights, whereas Chosen can be unstoppable carnage machines should they choose to be- a Buffy game would be doable, but needs some tweaks.
Failing is usually the most fun option- don't be afraid to voice ideas on how to screw over your characters
Hollows and Fae are tough to play, being dependent on external factors more than others
Ghouls, Witches and Mortals seem to be the most popular choices
Chosen, Infernals and Serpentines bring their own Big Bads with them, and tend to be the centre of events. Queens to a slightly lesser extent (though they dont show up as much).
Hollows, Angels and Ghosts tend to show up the least.
Monsterhearts games are better with a mix of genders amongst the players as they bring better insights into being a teenage boy/girl and a more interesting dynamic than an all male player game.

the nerve core / Unnable to start topic in Monsterhearts forum?
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:22:43 PM »
I was trying to post a new topic in Monsterhearts, but keep getting a Forbidden 404 message- is that forum restricted somehow?



Monsterhearts / Re-imagining the Ghost
« on: April 10, 2012, 08:59:07 PM »
I'm a tremendous fan of Monsterhearts, having played in 2 great games, but at the moment I'm struggling a little with the Ghost (and no ones picked it so far, so I havent seen it in play).

My first thought was that if a PC dies then they should have the option of taking the Ghost Skin for their character, if appropriate.  Its a little bit Hex or Being Human, but I think it works.

My second issue was that I thought the ghost might need to treat harm differently - as its already dead, I'm not sure how punching a ghost might harm it - perhaps they need a move like "Incorporeal- you cannot normally be harmed by physical attacks - except for 3 exceptions. e.g. All Hallows Eve/salt/ defiling your remains/being forgotten.  List your 3 exceptions"



Apocalypse World / Hatchet City or any convention scenarios?
« on: July 18, 2011, 08:54:14 AM »
Just wondering - is there a ready made setting or scenario involving Hatchet City (I've seen some mention of it).

Also, are there any other convention-friendly scenarios or settings which are available for download anywhere?



Apocalypse World / AP: Into the Acid Jungle
« on: July 17, 2011, 11:14:35 PM »

Apocalypse World: Oasis amongst the Acid Jungles and Poison Seas.

The Apocalypse: The end of the world came through environmental pollution (acid rain) and GM crops. As the skies and oceans were poisoned by pollutants, plants either died or adapted to the acidic rain.  If they adapted, they became inedible, if not poisonous or mutagenic to humans. A supercrop was needed, and created by a Biotech company - a non-seeding corn substitute called Florins (TM) which grew incredibly fast and was incredibly nutritious - it only needed clean water and sunlight. The biotech company also released a virus to wipe out competitors crops, but this spread faster and further than planned and killed off the remaining edible types of plant and thus all grazing animals. With climate change accelerating and the soil and surface water poisoned, society collapsed in a mass die-off of humanity. Without a sufficient population base, trade, technology and government collapsed. Survivors gathered around sources of clean water to grow Florins- either deep wells or alkali sources, as the Acid Jungles sprung up in the intervening wilderness, thier mutated plants and animals now lethal and dangerous to humanity.  Now men must go out to scavenge for Florin seeds in old farms, factories, or seek the wild White Florin variety which manages to seed even in the Acid Jungles. Seeds of Florins are a defacto currency.


Colonel Vega - A Hardholder with more gold braid and medals on his chest than Gadaffi. His number 2 is Sgt. Vespa. He sees her as a mother figure.  He inherited his well-defended Hardhold, Oasis from his father. His paramilitary gang are disciplined but savage and protect his cave  complex set into a sea-cliff.

Verity - Locus - elected by the Daughters of Truth, all women cult. No. 2 is Lillian, also Io. Looking for the Messiah to fix the planet or reverse the Apocalypse. They have wandered the hardholds, guided by their visions and have recently come to Oasis.

Dornier - Savvyhead - a stunted but intelligent dwarf he lives in a private cave, cultivating acid-plants, trying to make them edible to humanity.  Then when the Florins run out, he can rule the world through hydraulic despotism!  He is brother to Vega and possesses a nuke. Children attend to him and aid him in his experiments and he often needs replacements. He is close to a breakthrough in making the Poison Pear fruit edible.

Waters - a transgressive, gas masked, rubber-clad Operator.  Has travelled between nearby Hardholds and knows the lands well.   Team of assistants: Apple, Cherry, Vanila and Cola.  Knows Verity from Roughs Place- past history there, she let Waters down there somehow. Gigs include deliveries, brokering and murders. Has a map of the local jungle from Lillian in the Daughters of Truth. Seems to have no fear of the blustering Col. Vega.

Roughs Place - a floating aircraft carrier, which roams the Poison Coast- it regularly changes its character as Captain Rough force off the existing inhabitants and take on new crew every few years. They have been traders, pirates and explorers over the years. Rumour is that they are coming to Oasis next.

The Brewery
- The Last Pub on Earth, they offer Southern Comfort to the poor and homeless. Staffed by monks who follow the Cider House Rule, they have a enough clean water to produce alcohol. Vega has been barred from their pub.

Rutina - a former hardhold in the jungle, nothing has been heard from it since half a year ago when there were reports of a great light and then a pillar of smoke in the sky.

Oasis NPC's

Nana Sun - an old woman who remembers the World Before and has a kind word and wisdom for all.  Much beloved by the people.

Dufus - a not very bright soldier in Vega's army. Fancies the pretty girls in the Daughters of Truth.

The Bushwhackers  - a chopper gang who roam the Acid Jungles, scavenging for Florins. While they use Oasis as a local base, they are independent of Vega, who needs them to supply the Glasshouse.  Led by a man called Balls, they havent come back from their recent foray yet.

First Session/Establishing Shots:

Oasis is running out of Florins and rations need to be cut - Vega approaches Waters to get some more, and Waters tells him of a Florins factory that he could annexe out on the coast. Vega is suspicious and reluctant to venture out of Oasis. Waters gives Vega proof in the form of seeds wrapped in scrap paper.

Vega gives the seeds to Dornier for him to eat. Dornier discards the scrap of paper (with writing on it- it goes into a corner) and finds the seeds seem newly created.  He turns back to his project - deciphering Rutina's near breakthrough in making Poison Pears edible to humans. Unfortunately he cant make it work, meaning that his destruction of the city by backpack nuke was a waste.

Verity is suffering from a crisis of confidence within her cult - they believe the Messiah is not in Oasis. She appeals to them to keep the faith and if not, they can sacrifice her in a year. The cult performs an augury and senses a buzzing, terrible darkness approaching through the Acid Jungle.  She goes to warn Vega, but he is contemptuous of her weirding ways.

Apocalypse World / 10 Questions for 1st Session
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:52:35 PM »
So, first session on Tuesday, and I wrote myself up a checklist of 10 questions to ask the characters. There will be more questions based off their answers, but thought this would be a good framework. If they dont want to answer one, I can chip in, but thought this would help guide a collaborative world creation approach.

Let me know if I've missed out anything obvious.


10 Questions for your 1st Session

1. (To Hardholder if present, otherwise to all players) - What is your hardhold named? What is it like? Who is your number 2?
2 - You look out to the North/South/East/West, over the post apocalyptic landscape - what do you see?
3.- Yours is not the only Hardhold around - what are the others? Which ones do you need and which ones do you hate? Why?
4. A threat lurks out there in the wastes - what is it?
5. What do you fear the most? The weather? The night? Hunger? The Cannibal Horde? The unknown?
6. Someone in the community has their own independent power base. Who are they? How did they manage to achieve that? How do you feel about them?
7. Someone in the community is a good soul - somehow the Apocalypse hasnt ruined them like the rest of the world - who are they?
8. What is left of the World Before? An old person? A building? A resource? A tradition? A danger?
9.  Is there a Future, or just the Here n' Now? What do you see yourself doing or having in a years time? A decade?  
10. What do you want to change about the world or your situation? What is your plan to do that?  

Apocalypse World / Playbooks in the Movies
« on: June 21, 2011, 03:37:33 PM »
So, I've been reading through Apocalypse World and trying to mentally peg the different characters - you know that human thing of mentally labelling things for ease of mental shorthand. While the game doesnt have a setting beyond "post-Apocalypse" & "psychic maelstrom", its inspirations and homages are writ large in the playbooks.

My thought was "If I was playing this playbook, which movie character would I be?" This is what I've guessed so far (though nearly half the archetypes can be found in the Mad Max series)-

The Faceless: V from V for Vendetta.
The Driver- Mad Max, natch.
Battlebabe- Barb Wire? (lots of other choices - Violet perhaps from Ultraviolet or Warrior Woman from MM2)
Chopper - Clay Morrow from Sons of Anarchy
Touchstone - a mix of Eli from Book of Eli and the Postman
The Operator- Vic Mackey
Hardholder - most recent example I've seen was Carnegie from Book of Eli Earlier example would be Pappagallo from Mad Max 2
Hoarder- Noland (Lawrence Fishburne) from Predators
Angel - Doc Cochran from Deadwood
Gunlugger - I want to say Man With No Name from the Dollars trilogy
Maestro'D - Cy Tolliver or possibly Al Swearengen from Deadwood
Hocus - Brother Justin from Carnivale
Savvyhead - J.F. Sebastian from Bladerunner (Master from Beyond the Thunderdrome)

Skinners, Brainers (definately not River Tam) I've got less of a clean grip on. Thoughts?


Apocalypse World / Opening your brain to the Pyschic Maelstrom?
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:33:22 AM »
I don’t get opening your mind to the psychic maelstrom – partly since the examples in the rulebook are not too helpful. Is it essentially a way of getting information you couldn’t otherwise know? And getting insight into the current situation – well what does that mean? Since many PC’s might be in a bunch of situations (in the midst of a firefight with scavengers, breaking up with their girlfriend that day, the Cannibal Horde slowly feasting their way north towards the hardhold), then which situation do they gain insight into? And do they know which situation it is they are getting insight into?

And is a 7-9 getting the peyote visions-type of insight, whilst 10+ is the Cliff Notes professor explaining things slowly and simply for the slow kids at the back?

And are there any limits to the psychic maelstrom? What is the point of keeping anything secret if anyone with Weird+3 is going to have a good chance of knowing it?  Its mentioned that things cut off from the psychic maelstrom are out of scope – how would you accomplish that? Have a Savvyhead build you a no-room? Breed your own Siona Atreides?  Lobotomise your 3rd Eye?

And how have people defined the maelstrom in their AW games?



Apocalypse World / Random Apocalyptica Table?
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:21:37 AM »
I dont suppose there is a list anywhere of random Apocalyptica that we could put in a random 1d100 list and use as inspriation for the tired and hungover GM who hasnt seen any post-Apocalyptic movies for a month?



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