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Author Topic: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard  (Read 8236 times)

elkin

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New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« on: June 06, 2011, 09:17:15 PM »
I decided to try my hand at crafting a new playbook. I really want to play this guy, which probably means I'm somewhere in the right direction. I still need help with the LOOK, and with phrasing in general. Maybe the Hx should be changed to make the Wildcard more friendly with the other PCs. If anyone can think of potential problems or improvements, I'd appreciate that too.

Mechanically, the Wildcard can get a roll modifier of between +2 and -2. Combined with stat and help/interfere modifiers, this can mean modifiers of +5 (unfailable) or -6 (unwinnable). Are such modifiers acceptable, or should I try to replace them with something else?

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INTRODUCING
The Wildcard
There is no status quo in Apocalypse World, and there's sure as fuck no certainty. Will you find something to eat for lunch? Will you find a place to sleep tonight? Will your friends and loved ones still be alive when you wake up? Nobody knows. Might as well take a wild guess.

Lucky Charm
Your lucky charm gives you random insight when making difficult or fateful decisions. It is (choose one):
* A coin (worn, shiny, antique, novelty, odd)
* A deck of cards (standard, ornate, tarot, naughty)
* A pair of dice (shiny, heavy, big & fuzzy)

Maybe it has a name like Sally or Truman. You need to have an actual representation of it at the table, readily recognizable and available exclusively for your use.

When you are on a roll, everything goes your way. People come to you with beneficial offers, take shit from you and still leave happy and with empty pockets. Any events that hang on pure chance resolve to your benefit. When relying on a combination of chance and skill, you take +1 ongoing. Good things come your way, and bad things stay away, mostly.

When you are down and out, nothing goes your way. People come to you with problems, and heap them on your shoulders. Anything that can go wrong, does. When relying on any combination of chance and skill, you take -1 ongoing. As long as you are without your lucky charm, you are always down and out.

You are either on a roll or down and out, never in between.

Flipping for it
means narrowing your options in a difficult or fateful decision down to two choices, and choosing one at random, at a near 50-50 chance. This could be face or tail, black or red, high (8-12) or low (2-6), or any other way you can quickly think of and explain. Make it simple and consistent, please.
Before flipping for it, declare the stakes at hand:
"Red I take the job, Black you go find someone else".
"Face I kill you, Tail I let you live".
"Better hope I roll high, boyo, or I'm not going to believe that silly story of yours".

After flipping for it, you're free to do whatever. If you follow through on your lucky charm's advice, you take +1 forward and are on a roll. If you defy it, you take -1 forward and you are down and out.


CREATING A WILDCARD
To create your Wildcard, choose name, look, stats, moves, gear, and Hx. Choose in any order you like.

NAME
King, Queen, Dame, Jack, Knave, Ace, Dagger, Cups, Snake Eyes, Boxcar, Loaded, Crimp, Baccarat, Holdout, Martingale, Poker, En Prison, La Partage, Sweepstakes, Hold'em, Crazy Eight

Bellagio, Mirage, Palace, Circus, Caesar, Royale, Riviera, Palazzio, Desert, Rancho, Vegas, Reno

LOOK
Man, woman, ambigious or transgressing

Luxe wear, elegant wear, vintage wear or scrounge wear

Emm.. gambly face. Or something (needs more!)

Twitchy eyes, crazy eyes, squinting eyes, hungry eyes (needs more!)

Stocky body, stout body, lean body, gorgeous body (something else?)

STATS
* Cool+2 Hard-1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird=0
* Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot+1 Sharp+2 Weird-1
* Cool-1 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird+1
* Cool=0 Hard-1 Hot+2 Sharp+2 Weird=0

MOVES
You get all the basic moves. You get Lady Luck, and then choose a second wildcard move.

GEAR
You get:
* Your lucky charm (detail)
* 1 small, practical weapon.
* Oddments or debt worth 4 barter (flip for it).
* Fashion suitable to your look.

HX
Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn. List the other characters’ names.

Go around again for Hx. On your turn, choose 1, 2 or all 3:
* One of them frequents your favorite gambling spot. Tell that player Hx+3.
* One of them you owe something that you can't possibly repay. Tell that player Hx+2.
* One of them tried to get you to change your ways. Tell that player Hx-2.
Tell everyone else Hx=0.

On the others’ turns, choose 1 or both:
* One of them owes you something. Whatever number they tell you, instead write +1.
* One of them you got to have. Whatever number they tell you, instead write +2.

Everyone else, write whatever number they tell you next to their character's name.

Wildcard special:

When you and another character have sex and you're on a roll, they take +1 forward, and they get 3-hold which they can spend 1 for 1 to make you flip for it.
When you and another character have sex and you're down and out, they take -1 ongoing until you're on a roll again.

IMPROVEMENT:
__ get +1 cool (max +2)
__ get +1 hard (max +2)
__ get +1 hot (max +2)
__ get +1 weird (max +2)
__ get a new wildcard move
__ get a new wildcard move
__ get followers (detail) and fortunes
__ get a holding (detail) and wealth
__ get a move from another playbook
__ get a move from another playbook


WILDCARD MOVES:

(X) Lady Luck: At the beginning of the session, roll+Sharp. On 10+, you're on a roll. You've got 2, maybe 3 barter worth of newly-acquired valuables (detail with MC), and the MC holds 3. On 7-9, you can either choose to take the 10+ result, but your family, your friends, your work or your dreams suffer; or you can take the 6- result. Either way, MC holds 1. On a miss, you're down and out. Your oddments and gear put together are worth no more than 2, maybe 3 barter (the rest is probably pawned pawned at Sharpie's). You also have a crushing debt, an unwanted job or an unsavory obligation.
During the session, the MC may use her hold 1 for 1 to make you flip for it.

( ) Good for it: When you give someone a promise or an IOU worth 1-barter, it counts as manipulating them and rolling 10+.

( ) Cheating Death: When you take a debilitating or lethal blow, you may flip for it to avoid harm.

( ) Loaded Dice: Once per session, you may defy the will of your lucky charm with no adverse effects. This does not work in conjunction with Cheating Death.

( ) Ace up the Sleeve: When you try to hide something important or valuable, roll+Sharp. On 10+, all three. On 7-9, choose two:
* It will remain unchaned and unharmed.
* Nobody else knows where it is hidden.
* You can get it back with little trouble.

( ) Changing Fortunes: When you are down and out, you may publically reveal a secret or secretly betray a friend to be on a roll again.

( ) Poker Face: If you can see their face, you get +1 when rolling to read a person. When another player tries to read you and you interfere, it automatically counts as you rolling 10+.


BARTER

Barter comes and goes: either you have it now, or you'll have it later, so no worries. 1-barter is what you might expect to gain from a successful night of low-stakes gambling, a week of working a system or a scam, or a month of honest work as a croupier or a pit boss.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 09:23:13 PM by elkin »

Arvid

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 09:38:58 PM »
That's pretty neat, I like the concept! The archetype of Two-Face or Anton, yes?

I'm not sure about Lady Luck - I'd like my characters to work for their barter. How about you remake it into opportunities and problems instead? Opportunities could be stuff like - There is this gambling spot that looks good right now, someone is offering you a job, there are riches for the taking in the wilderness or there is an oppurtunity to heist someone. Problems could be you owe someone, you have an obligation to someone, something bad happened by chance (like a case of mistaken identity...) Kind of like a drifter-operator. Maybe instead of gigs, you could have circles or places you're active in - The wilderness, Mama's place, Barnum Town... These could offer oppurtunities or problems according to the Lady Luck-roll. Should be easy to cook something up according to prep and fronts, yes?

I'd like to see more moves about gambling, if that is what the Wildcard do.

And maybe a weird move relating to the lucky charm, like scrying or fate-manipulation or something.

The sex move and the names doesn't really speak to me. I see what you're going for with the names, but I'm not really feeling it, naming my Wildcard after gambler terminology, so that scratches all of them.

Mr Nay

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 04:26:25 AM »
Is the Wildcard's luck tied to the psychic maelstrom somehow. I just love characters with luck as an ability. Have you seen the movie Intacto?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intacto

elkin

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 11:16:05 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

That's pretty neat, I like the concept! The archetype of Two-Face or Anton, yes?
On the surface, maybe he's got some of Two-Face's quirks. Mostly, though, I wanted to make a post-apocalyptic version of Charles Bukowski.

I'm not sure about Lady Luck - I'd like my characters to work for their barter.
Avoiding hard work is one the things the Wildcard is about. This is what sets him apart from the Operator. The downside is that he can't accumulate any wealth either: he's either on a roll and has no money problems, or he's down and out and got nothing but debt.

That said, there is a problem with Lady Luck in that it provides opportunities and plot hooks only for failed rolls. Maybe I can rephrase it:

(X) Lady Luck: At the beginning of the session, roll+Sharp.
On 10+, you're on a roll. You've got 2, maybe 3 barter worth of newly-acquired valuables (detail with MC), and you either have someone is in your debt or some valuable information.  The MC holds 3, and may use her hold 1 for 1 to make you flip for it.
On 7-9 it's almost the same likewise, but your family, your friends, your work or your dreams suffer.
On a miss, you're down and out. Your oddments and gear put together are worth no more than 2, maybe 3 barter (the rest is probably pawned pawned at Sharpie's). You also have a crushing debt, an unwanted job or an unsavory obligation.


I'd like to see more moves about gambling, if that is what the Wildcard do.
Basically, if gambling is a game of chance, it is covered by the rules for on a roll and down and out. Either you make a killing at the tables, or you lose your pants.

What about this, instead of the move Changing Fortunes.
High Roller: When you gamble away your money, roll+barter spent (max 3). On 10+, choose 4. On 7-9, choose 2. On a miss, you're down and out, the MC makes a move.
If you're on a roll:
*You get your money back, and then some.
*Someone is in your debt (Honeypie, maybe).
*Your luck doesn't change.
*Your gambling spree is relatively short.
*You don't attract unwanted attention to yourself.

If you're down and out:
*You get some of your money back (at least 1-barter).
*Your luck changes.
*Your gambling spree is relatively short.
*You are not in debt to someone (Drench, maybe).
*You don't end your gambling spree alone and in the gutter.

And maybe a weird move relating to the lucky charm, like scrying or fate-manipulation or something.
I'm drawing a blank here. Maybe you've got a more concrete idea?

Same for names. I agree that the gambling terminology isn't that evocative (I do like the casino names, though!). What sort of suggestions do you have? Maybe things like Buck and Chuck?

The sex move ... doesn't really speak to me.
I really wanted other players to be able to force the Wildcard's player to flip for it, but that does complicate the move unnecessarily. I'll try to rewrite it:
Wildcard special: When you and another character have sex and you're on a roll, they take +1 ongoing until your luck changes. When you and another character have sex and you're down and out, they take -1 ongoing until your luck changes.

What I'm trying to accomplish here is to represent an addiction, much like in the Hoarder's playbook. When you go with the flow, and leave your destiny at the hands of fate, you're hot, everything goes your way and everybody wants you. When you try to take control of your own life, nothing goes your way, and nobody wants you.

Quote from: Mr Nay
Is the Wildcard's luck tied to the psychic maelstrom somehow
I thought of making him a sharp-based character, but tying it to the maelstrom is an interesting idea, I just don't know how to insert it into the playbook as implied setting. The part about the lucky charm already takes all of the crap section of the playbook, I think.

Evan Torner

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 12:51:20 PM »
Quote
When you go with the flow, and leave your destiny at the hands of fate, you're hot, everything goes your way and everybody wants you. When you try to take control of your own life, nothing goes your way, and nobody wants you.

Sounds like Entropomancy from Unknown Armies.  It'd be interesting to see how a holding would deal with such a guy.

Mike Sands

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 06:54:27 AM »
And maybe a weird move relating to the lucky charm, like scrying or fate-manipulation or something.
I'm drawing a blank here. Maybe you've got a more concrete idea?

One easy one would be a move allowing them to use a game of chance for augury. Maybe every they you that, then you have to flip for it?

elkin

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 08:30:04 AM »
Great idea, Mike! I think I'll keep it a +weird roll, because flipping for it doesn't give you that delicious 7-9 result, which usually means bleeding, which usually means fun.

Weird Luck: You can use your lucky charm to preform augury, as per the Savvyhead's and Hocus's playbook.  How this affects your luck is up to the MC, according to her principles.


I also want to add this to the crap/peripheral section - or is this perhaps stepping on the creative toes of the group during 1st session?

Your contacts:
A person with your lifestyle has to know certain people. These contacts are by default filled by NPCs, but do offer the wealthier player characters (Hardholder, Operator, Maestro d', Chopper, etc.) to fill them instead.

* You know someone, maybe Mama, who runs a gambling den when you are welcome most of the time, as long as you don't drain the other patrons dry.

* You know someone, maybe Sharpie, who carries enough oddments to trade for bulkier items when you need disposable income and quickly. This person knows you're good for it, and will keep most of your pawned items around for a while, but not forever.

* You know someone, maybe Hulk, who plenty of disposable income and who is willing to give you a loan when you hit hard times. Hulk is not your friend, and there's no such thing as free favors.

---

I want to see how much space I have left on the playbook. What font and font size does the game use?

Arvid

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 09:17:27 AM »
I also want to add this to the crap/peripheral section - or is this perhaps stepping on the creative toes of the group during 1st session?

Your contacts:
A person with your lifestyle has to know certain people. These contacts are by default filled by NPCs, but do offer the wealthier player characters (Hardholder, Operator, Maestro d', Chopper, etc.) to fill them instead.

* You know someone, maybe Mama, who runs a gambling den when you are welcome most of the time, as long as you don't drain the other patrons dry.

* You know someone, maybe Sharpie, who carries enough oddments to trade for bulkier items when you need disposable income and quickly. This person knows you're good for it, and will keep most of your pawned items around for a while, but not forever.

* You know someone, maybe Hulk, who plenty of disposable income and who is willing to give you a loan when you hit hard times. Hulk is not your friend, and there's no such thing as free favors.

Just add:

To whom do you go when you need to win some barter?
To whom do you go to pawn and trade?
To whom do you go to get a loan?

I'm not sure about Lady Luck - I'd like my characters to work for their barter.
Avoiding hard work is one the things the Wildcard is about. This is what sets him apart from the Operator. The downside is that he can't accumulate any wealth either: he's either on a roll and has no money problems, or he's down and out and got nothing but debt. [/quote]

What I mean is, you should provide delicious oppertunities rather than straight up barter. Alright, how about this...

Lady Luck
Roll +Sharp. On a hit, you're On a roll, on a miss, you're Down and out. 10+, choose three. 7-9, you may choose three, but if you do, you're Down and out.
- You have obtained 1-barter worth of handy trinkets
- You have obtained something really useful worth 1 or 2 barter, but it is trouble: Big, fragile, dangerous or stealalicious.
- Someone owes you a favor
- You have somewhere to sleep and eat
- You have caught wind of a delicious opportunity
On a miss, you are Down and out. You also have a crushing debt, unwanted attention or an unsavory obligation

Shouldn't this be a Cool playbook, maybe?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 09:15:51 PM by Arvid »

Evan Torner

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 09:39:46 AM »
Quote
Shouldn't this be a Cool playbook, maybe?

My vote, too.  There are already numerous Sharp playbooks.  This guy should join the Battlebabe in the devil-may-care zone.

Madu

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 05:40:39 PM »
The faces and eyes I imagine seeing on the Wildcard:

Blank face, grinning face, rat face, weathered face, sweaty face, florid face, sour face, quizzical face, tired face.

Cold eyes, hungry eyes, twitchy eyes, beady eyes, calculating eyes, squinting eyes, guileless eyes, hooded eyes, moist eyes.

But that's just me.  A very cool playbook!

elkin

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 02:58:13 PM »
Excellent stuff, Madu!
I'm currently reworking the playbook to fit into a trifold. I'll try to post a pdf when it's available.

I've taken your suggestions and changed the primary stat to cool, with sharp as a secondary stat.

As If

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Re: New Character Playbook: The Wildcard
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 10:56:38 PM »
Not sure whether that playbook ever got made, but I couldn't find it.  So I made one. 
Legal-sized trifold for The Wildcard.