A couple weekends ago, I ran a room at Con of the North in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
I participated in three games of Apocalypse World there; I was the MC for one of them. Now that I've recovered my sleep and collected my thoughts, well, here some of them are.
Apocalypse World: basically a Lacuna hack
I ran three sessions of Lacuna over the weekend. It was my first time running Lacuna since I first ran AW last year. I was struck by how unexpectedly similar the GM role felt in the two games. When you run Lacuna, you track Static, which increases when the PCs do certain things. And whenever Static increases (most commonly, hey, when someone fails a roll), there's a list of things you can do. I found myself barfing forth surrealistica a lot.
Also, the books have similar approaches to the setting: really broad tonal strokes of color with a few precise details scattered throughout. But most of the space left blank. This seems important.
Maestro D: best playbook, or bestest playbook?
Holy crap! I got to play Jackbird, the Maestro D, in my final game of the con. I'd never seen one in play before, just read the playbook. Wow, it's a hot little box of plot generation in play! I don't think Jackbird ever left his establishment. He wanted something/one, he used fingers in every pie and, well, something showed up. My first roll of the session was a 12 to make Jackal, the Hocus, arrive at his castle. Jackal's player was like "when should I show up?" and I was like "LIKE MAGIC" and the MC was like "well, you're putting the word out, gotta keep it realistic" and I was like "THIS IS SOME AWFUL SLOW MAGIC THERE BETTER BE LIKE FORTY BUNNIES IN THAT HAT"
Oh, also, the special wasn't as boring as I thought it would be. It worked really nicely when I hooked up Allison the Hardholder with some stolen food.
Fun for the whole family!
I'm heading to North Carolina to visit my folks soon, and they've been asking me what this whole role-playing thing is all about anyway. I've been considering MCing Apocalypse World for them, but I get hung up on the idea of running a game where sex is so central to the characters.
So, waiting outside the room for the Jackbird game, I and Cait, the MC, were joined by a mom and her teenaged daughter. Cait was like, "Um, have you played Apocalypse World before? It does say 18+ on the event description" and the mom was like "Yeah, we thought the tickets were for a Call of Cthulhu game, but she's 18 and I can totes handle anything" so we went with it.
Well, the daughter fucking got it, like immediately. She made this Hocus, Jackal, and was like "My Hard's highlighted, you say? Seize your *face* by force." The mom seemed kinda bewildered by the game, like she was waiting for the real plot to start.
Spaceships are scary places
The session I ran was on an enormous, decrepit space station. And it was way more of a horror game than I'd intended. I realized that it was because, in previous games, when the PCs fucked up a settlement or hardhold or whatever, they could just go somewhere new on the map if they really wanted to. With that option out of the way, they really had to stay and face their consequences.
Also, it was really cool winding up with a much more heavily mapped area than I had before. At one point, the Skinner was arrestingly stripping, and, suddenly, I realized I could draw lines of sight to see who actually could see him. Also, he was by the docking bay window, so I had Mice, the head Earth-trader, crash his personal craft into the side of the station, since he couldn't pilot his ship anymore. SO HOTT.