Author Topic: the battlebabe  (Read 21521 times)

lumpley

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the battlebabe
« on: July 01, 2010, 07:13:06 PM »
Imagine a table. Lying on the table are ten needles, scattered a little, pointing all different directions but all lying flat on the tabletop. There's an eleventh needle too, though. Someone's stabbed it hard into the tabletop, so it stands up instead of lying down like the rest.

The eleventh needle declares the whole space to be 3-dimensional. Without it, you have the convenient plane: you can describe all the needles and their positions in only x- and y-terms. But that eleventh needle requires the z-axis, and so gives z-positions to all the others too.

The battlebabe violates several otherwise-consistent patterns in the character playbooks. Its value as a character-to-play isn't obvious from a casual reading; it breaks otherwise-evident mechanical standards; it includes apparent self-contradictions. Its sex move is an example of all three, but just an example; the whole character type is like its sex move. It seems aberrant.

It's not! They're all needles, straight, solid and sharp. It's just that the battlebabe declares the 3-dimensionality of the space. Don't try to understand the battlebabe in the other characters' x-y terms, it doesn't fit, it doesn't lie in the plane like that. Instead, try to understand what the battlebabe reveals about them. x-y-z.

-Vincent

This is related to this. Accordingly: "imbalance between the characters is an essential part of the game's color-first design, by the way. Balancing the characters overall would be counter to the game's design philosophy and goals."

Antisinecurist

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 08:15:25 PM »
Insight about the fiction, or game design, or both, wrapped up into this playbook, right? (Insight in the "3 Insights" sense).

I feel like people are gonna have a huge lightbulb moment when they figure this thing out; me, I still don't have it, yet.

lumpley

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 08:42:55 PM »
And insight about real live human nature, too!

I'm not looking for lightbulbs, in this case, as it happens. I think people will just gradually come to a deeper understanding, through play and analysis over time. Understanding the battlebabe will mostly follow, not lead, understanding the system as a whole.

My plan here in this thread is just to reassure everybody that if you're affronted by the battlebabe, that's because she's affronting. She sticks up out of the table instead of lying flat on it like the rest.

-Vincent

Ariel

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 08:53:27 PM »
As Kieran said to John Harper, on the topic on playing AW at GPNW with strangers: sometimes you have to stop being a whiny little bitch and just bring it.

AW obliges you to bring it.

Orpheus

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 05:22:54 PM »
Still a bit cryptic, but whatever, fair enough. (Vomit apocalyptica, make your move but misdirect and never speak its name.) It's a bit like interpreting the meaning of any relatively complex work of art - knowing the creators intention is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant; what it's 'about' is a product of you, the viewer.

I will note that far from being affronted by the 'babe, it's the character I most want to play, likely because of her obvious if slight incongruence with the other playbooks: Yeah, these characters all work within this framework, but this one works a bit differently from the rest.

Here's a question: If the Brainer was the first playbook, and the Angel was derived from that, where did the Battlebabe fall in the lineage? What sparked it and what came after, both in a literal design sense, and in the sense of 'inspired by that and responsible for inspiring this...'  

Also, wasn't one of your characters a Battlebabe, V?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 05:25:05 PM by Orpheus »

lumpley

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 06:12:52 PM »
The battlebabe was the 4th. Brainer, angel, hardholder, battlebabe.

3 points to define the plane, then a 4th point to define the space. By then the design space was clear to me; it was clear that I needed the battlebabe out there to declare it.

I don't remember the order of who came after. I think it was the skinner, the savvyhead, the gunlugger, and the chopper all in a mix. I do know that the last three were the driver, the operator and the hocus.

The battlebabe was the last one to get a major revision, though. I think that the operator and the angel both got minor revisions after the battlebabe's, but hers was the last major one.

I haven't played the game myself, yet!

-Vincent

John Harper

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 07:53:00 PM »
I'll run it for you at GenCon. :)

Willow

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Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 02:58:55 AM »
Tim plays a Battlebabe in my game and is concerned about what he should be doing as a Battlebabe.  Any advice?

Also, he wants to know if Buddy from Six String Samurai is the inspiration (or an inspiration) for the playbook.

Willow

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Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 03:53:15 AM »
Arg, I wanted to post that in the Battlebabe thread.

lumpley

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 04:45:27 AM »
(Turns out I can split and merge threads! Who knew?)

My only advice is very general: he should figure out what his character wants, and then have her do whatever she would do to try to get it, I think. If other people have advice, great!

I've never seen Six String Samurai.

-Vincent




benhimself

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Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 07:11:00 AM »
Tim plays a Battlebabe in my game and is concerned about what he should be doing as a Battlebabe.  Any advice?

Also, he wants to know if Buddy from Six String Samurai is the inspiration (or an inspiration) for the playbook.

When in doubt, look at the section on barter, consider what people will pay you money for, then figure out how you're going to make this month's jingle. Or, if your tastes are fairly grand, today's jingle.

fnord3125

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Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2010, 01:44:38 PM »
Also, he wants to know if Buddy from Six String Samurai is the inspiration (or an inspiration) for the playbook.
I asked about Buddy and what playbook would be best for him in another thread.  Battlebabe probably makes the most sense for someone like him out of the lot.  He was, as someone else pointed out, all about cool.

(though that movie obviously has a very different vibe from AW. i don't think any battlebabe is going to take on an entire army with just a sword)

Elizabeth

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Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 01:53:46 PM »
Also, he wants to know if Buddy from Six String Samurai is the inspiration (or an inspiration) for the playbook.
I asked about Buddy and what playbook would be best for him in another thread.  Battlebabe probably makes the most sense for someone like him out of the lot.  He was, as someone else pointed out, all about cool.

(though that movie obviously has a very different vibe from AW. i don't think any battlebabe is going to take on an entire army with just a sword)

Nope. Speaking from experience, being a Battlebabe is great for being just competant enough to get into trouble in style. You can get out of trouble too, just not by doing violence. A battlebabe might take on an entire army with a sword, but he'd get out by sweet-talking the army into doing him a favor, not by decimating them.

Orpheus

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2010, 07:40:18 PM »
Six String Samurai is a fun film, but as Vincent's disavowed ever seeing it, it's not going to make the cut as far as influences.  By extension, I don't really feel like 6SS really maps very well to AW - the tone and themes are fairly different, IMO.

It does raise the question of what did inspire the Battlebabe.  I don't really see any characters from the works in the Immediate Media Influences that map all that closely. However, this may be more because of how characters and action are portrayed in film/TV; Nearly everyone is a good looking ass-kicker.  So the Battlebabe is kindof the archetypical protagonist in this sort of thing, although specific characters are often better represented using some other playbook.

Before the discussion of the Battlebabe's Special Move falls by the wayside, I'll posit this:  There isn't a specific mechanical impetus to engage in or abstain from sex for a Battlebabe or their partners.  As such, the character doesn't have a sex drive beyond whatever the player assigns to her, and whether they do it or don't do it is going to come from the fiction; basically the players have to decide when it happens solely because it makes sense to them and they want to do so.  (It's all happy-faces and clouds, no boxes involved…)

I can also see some situations where the Battlebabe's Special would contribute to generating triangles of conflict/interest with other PCs, alone, or in conjunction with NPCs.

I'm still not sure I get what Vincent's talking about with x-y-z axes though.

Jeff Russell

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Re: the battlebabe
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2010, 08:11:59 PM »
Before the discussion of the Battlebabe's Special Move falls by the wayside, I'll posit this:  There isn't a specific mechanical impetus to engage in or abstain from sex for a Battlebabe or their partners.  As such, the character doesn't have a sex drive beyond whatever the player assigns to her, and whether they do it or don't do it is going to come from the fiction; basically the players have to decide when it happens solely because it makes sense to them and they want to do so.  (It's all happy-faces and clouds, no boxes involved…)

I can also see some situations where the Battlebabe's Special would contribute to generating triangles of conflict/interest with other PCs, alone, or in conjunction with NPCs.

I'm still not sure I get what Vincent's talking about with x-y-z axes though.

I'm still not sure either, but your post just gave me some possible insight. So, I remember in one of Vincent's posts from a ways back that he said that he'd like to see more sex in RPGs. I think AW is pretty clearly related to this desire.

What really triggered a 'wait a minute!' moment for me in your post, though, was the fact that the battlebabe has no mechanical impetus to have sex (or not) whereas the other characters all have some mechanical influence on their sex drives. So, specifically in an x, y, z sense, the x and y defines various mechanical pulls towards sex moves, and the y defines the fictional causes and/or the players vision for the character. More broadly, I'm thinking that those same axes could apply to any character action in the game. The x and y are the mechanical pushes and pulls on particular behaviors (a gunlugger will likely be violent to get what he wants, a skinner will be pushed to manipulate people, et cetera) but the y there represents the interactions on a fictional level and the player's desires for their characters as characters. So maybe the battlebabe is pointing out to us that as cool as the mechanical incentives for story are, they're not the whole system.

But I could be making shit up off the top of my head.