Crazy. I "got this idea" for a Boy & His Dog playbook a couple days ago but it clearly wasn't mine, I must have heard it at some level on the podcast.
Shamefully have to admit I haven't read the actual Harlan Ellison story (which is weird, because I've read a crapload of Ellison), though I did read the comic and see the movie.
I went more general - could be Boy & His Dog, could be Lyra & Pantalaimon, could be Huck & Jim, could be Newt & Casey (her little plastic doll head) ... or could just be a creepy sixth sense/The Ring kid.
I'm particularly proud of "If you and another character have sex, or if your companion is killed or destroyed, you grow up. Take the “Change your character to a new playbook” improvement.
Let's breed our playbooks together and create a new stronger playbook. [Shortly after I posted, noticed Feral Kid and Lost Boy ... must merge altogether into the ultimate child playbook!]
Apocalypse World ain’t no place to have a kid. Maybe back in the day they would have been able to play on a playground, cuddle a doll, hug their momma. These days, they’ll do whatever to survive, just like anyone else. Course, for a kid to survive in Apocalypse World, they’re gonna need a friend.
Creating A Kid
Huck, Jody, Sawyer, Billy, Lyre, Timmy, Fin, Ichi, Wolfboy, “Kid”, Newt, Conrad, Jase
Cool+2, Hard+1, Hot=-1, Sharp+1, Weird=0
Cool+2, Hard=0, Hot=-1, Sharp+1, Weird+1
Cool+1, Hard+1, Hot=-1, Sharp+2, Weird=0
Cool+1, Hard=0, Hot=-1, Sharp+2, Weird+1
Cool+1, Hard=0, Hot-1, Sharp+1, Weird+2
Boy, girl, hard to tell
Scrounged clothes, dirty clothes, overlarge clothes, fatigues with rolled sleeves
Expressive face, dirty face, freckled face
Shifty eyes, penetrating eyes, sad eyes, blaming eyes
Gaunt body, quick body, small body, fat body
Choose a companion: (counts as ally as if you rolled 12+ on advanced manipulate ... unless in want)
O doll, stuffed animal, blanket, charm - or a piece of one. can take 1 harm. +2 companion. want: desertion
O pet animal. can take 2 harm. +1 companion. want: desertion, hungry
O hunted adult. can take 3 harm and carry weapons or armor. +0 companion. want: desertion, hungry, found
O invisible friend. can’t be physically harmed, but can only take 1 harm from direct-brain-whisper-projection, etc. +0 companion. want: desertion
And choose two options
O is a “ghost” or is possessed by “ghost”. +read dead person. want: +haunting
O is tough or armored. +2 armor
O is vicious or armed. +sic ‘em, want: +savagery
O knows what’s going on. +insight. want: +judgment
O loyal. +1 companion
O scrounges/lucky. +1 barter
Companion names: Spot, Yeller, Paws, Tiger, Beelzy, Monkey, Blankie, Casey, Jimmy, Dolly, Mister Bun, Baby, Arnie.
At the beginning of each session, roll+Companion:
10+: everything’s hunky dory
7-9: choose one want
On a miss, choose two wants.
Companion wants only last one session even if you don’t resolve them in the fiction - if desertion, and you make your roll the next session, you find them / they come crawling back - if haunting, the -1 ongoing comes to an end.
Persistent Bugger: Use sharp instead of hot to manipulate.
Creepy Kid: +1 weird.
Scary Companion: take an additional option for your companion.
Slippery: you can get out of sticky situations and confinements. Works like eye-on-the-door, but can get you out of anything. What’s left behind will often be your companion, though ...
Little Monkey Wrench: you can aid at +2 instead of +1
Kid cannot be your second playbook.
If you and another character have sex, or if your companion is killed or destroyed, you grow up. Take the “Change your character to a new playbook” improvement.
You can’t insight or sic’ em if your companion is in want, dead, or destroyed.
Insight: as per Hocus
Sic ‘em: go aggro +1 - 2 harm
Read Dead Person: You can read a dead person if you’re with their corpse / at their grave / at the place they haunt (up to the MC).
10+: ask 2 questions, they’ll answer truthfully (as they see it)
7-9: ask 1 question, they’ll answer truthfully (as they see it)
On a miss, they’re haunting you.
Take -1 ongoing unless you’re doing what the haunt wants, until you’ve done what they want.
Your companion is found by people hunting him.