Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: New Playbook: Firebug  (Read 5199 times)

colinaut

  • User
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
New Playbook: Firebug
« on: September 08, 2012, 02:22:04 AM »
Just recently began delving into Apocalypse World and I love the bare bones story telling mechanics and the abstruse fill in the blanks as the story progresses concept behind the system and setting. While reading over the wonderful playbooks I saw a hole — the Apocalypse is all about fire and destruction so where was the wide-eyed pyromaniac? So I created the Firebug. While I'm pretty experienced with fiddling with game mechanics, I'm pretty new to the Apocalypse World system so let me know what you think.



PLAYBOOK: FIREBUG

You barely survived a horrible inferno when you were little. Your parents, your loved ones, everything in your life was reduced to ashes. At that moment, your mind was cracked open and the fire of the the Psychic Maelstrom which continues to rage in your head to this day. Anyone else would have left broken and terrified of fire, but not you. You are addicted to the lure of the flames which you feel more of a kinship than with any human.

Serious Explosives for Serious Business
The Firebug starts with enough detonators and dynamite, c4, or other explosive to do up to 20 harm of damage to any area, vehicle, or location. This can be broken down into smaller packs/bricks when less destruction is called for. Once these are used up you will have to get your hands on more. Explosives are hard to come by so once this stash has run out they must do some serious barter, lucky scrounging, or theft for more. Placing and setting an explosive charge is a Do Something Under Fire roll.

Weapons (choose 2):
  • Flare gun (2-harm, reload, loud, close, incendiary)
  • Molotov cocktails (2-harm, area, close, messy, incendiary)
  • Fireworks (1-harm, reload, loud, incendiary)
  • Rifle (2-harm far reload loud)
  • Pistol (2-harm close reload loud)
  • Grenades (4-harm close area reload messy)
  • Incendiary/Explosive ammo (+1 harm, incendiary; this is either for the rifle, pistol, or the grenades)
  • Flamethrower (3-harm, close, visibly loud, area, incendiary)

Explosive Tendencies
Due to your strange connection with the fire of the the Psychic Maelstrom you have an unnatural tendency to make things go dramatically catch fire and go boom! While you can’t make things burn impossibly—no matter how many matches you toss at that wet wood pile it won’t catch—seemingly impossible fires do start: a cigarette left smoldering quickly engulfs a couch in flames, a match tossed at a leaking fuel pump starts a fire that then blows up the entire gas station, a bullet shot at a car hits the gas tank and causes a spark.

When attempting to use Explosive Tendencies use Roll+Cool.
  • On a 10+ automatically impress, dismay or frighten your enemy and the target catches fire moving 4 spaces on the countdown if it is highly flammable and 2 if it is not very flammable. You choose 1 blowback.
  • On a 7-9 you automatically impress, dismay or frighten your enemy and the target catches fire moving 2 spaces on the countdown if it is highly flammable and 1 if it is not very flammable. The MC chooses 1 blowback.
  • On a miss the MC may still choose to make the target catch fire and explode (2 or 1 spaces depending on flammability; enemy is not dismayed). If so, the MC also chooses 2 blowbacks.

Explosive Tendencies Blowbacks
  • Fire and/or resulting explosion causes harm to you.
  • Fire and/or resulting explosion causes harm to people or things you care about.
  • An enemy escapes the fire/explosion damaged yet furious and out for revenge.
  • You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.
  • You miss noticing something important.

Fire/Explosion Countdown
Fire automatically moves up the countdown as the action continues unless it is put out. Damage listed is total not commutative.
  • 1-3 on fire, 1-harm
  • 4-6 on fire, 1-harm ap
  • 6-9 on fire, 2-harm ap
  • 9-10 engulfed in flames, 3 harm ap*
  • 10-11 engulfed in flames, 4 harm ap*
  • 11-12 engulfed in flames, 6 harm ap*
* If the target is explosive it will blow up at 9 or later depending on how explosive the target is, the fiction, and the whim of the MC. Explosive damage to nearby targets varies depending on the nature of the explosion. The explosion often will set fire to other nearby objects.

Putting the Fire Out
To put the a fire out you will need to stop drop and roll, smother the flame, use a fire extinguisher, etc. depending on the fire and situation. Use Roll+Cool. On a 10+ the fire moves down 2 spaces on the countdown. On a 7-9 the fire moves down 1 space on the countdown.

Barter
If you’re charging someone wealthy for your services, 1-barter is the going rate for: one act of murder, property destruction, extortion, or other violence; one month’s employment as explosive expert/thug-on-hand.

1-barter will cover a month’s living expenses, if your tastes aren’t too grand. As a one-time expenditure, and very subject to availability, 1-barter might count for: a night in high luxury & company; any weapon, gear or fashion not valuable or hi-tech; the material costs of resuscitation by an angel; repair of a piece of hi-tech gear by a savvyhead; a year’s tribute to a warlord; a month’s maintenance and repairs for a hi-performance vehicle well-used; bribes, fees and gifts sufficient to get you into almost anyone’s presence.

For better stuff, you should expect to make particular arrangements. You can’t just wander around the commons of some hardhold with oddments ajangle and expect to find hi-tech or luxe eternal.

ADDITIONAL RULES: Ψ-HARM (borrowed from Quarantine Playbook)
A person suffers Ψ-harm from exposure to the world’s psychic maelstrom. It might be first exposure, as in the case of people released from stasis, or it might be some subsequent unusual exposure.

When an NPC suffers Ψ-harm, the MC creates her as a threat if necessary, and then chooses any or all:
  • She aggressively pursues her threat impulse. Make moves on her behalf as hard and as direct as you can.
  • Her sanity shatters. She is incoherent, raving, raging or unresponsive, alive but gone.
  • She abruptly changes threat type.
For players’ characters, when you suffer Ψ-harm, roll+Ψ-harm suffered (typically, roll+1). On a 10+, the MC can choose 1:
  • You’re out of action: unconscious, trapped, incoherent or panicked.
  • You’re out of your own control. You come to yourself again a few seconds later, having done I-don’t-know-what.
  • Choose 2 from the 7–9 list below.

On a 7–9, the MC can choose 1:
  • You lose your footing.
  • You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding.
  • You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.
  • You miss noticing something important.
  • You take a single concrete action of the MC’s choosing.
On a miss, you keep it together and overcome the Ψ-harm with no effect.



CREATING A FIREBUG
To create your operator, choose name, look, stats, moves, gigs, crew/contacts, gear, and Hx.

Name
Match, Fireman, Pyro, Smoky, Smolder, Burnt, Scorch, Inferno, Sparky, Sooty, Boom, Shaky, Bang, Heat, Crispy,

Stats
Cool+2 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp-1 Weird+1
Cool+2 Hard=0 Hot-1 Sharp+1 Weird+1
Cool+2 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp=0 Weird+1
Cool+2 Hard=0 Hot-1 Sharp-1 Weird+2

Moves
You get all basic moves, Explosive Tendencies, and 2 more Firebug moves.

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:
  • Pick one person whom you were with when you were in the middle of situation involving a seriously dangerous fiery explosive destruction. Take them to the side and tell them in detail about the firey horrors in your mind and hint at the terrible aspect of your past that formed you. Tell them Hx+2.
  • Tell everyone else Hx-1. You don’t form connections with most people and are hard to read.

On the others’ turns:
  • You have trouble understanding people unless the world is burning down around you. Whatever number they tell you, give it -1 and write it next to their character’s name.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.

Look
Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing.

Singed torn clothing, utility wear, scrounge wear, fireproof jumpsuit, firefighter attire.

Soot covered face, manic face, emotionless face, scarred face, gaunt face.

Manic burning eyes, shifty nervous eyes, burnt hollow eyes, staring cold eyes.

Gaunt body, wiry body, small body, scarred body.

Gear
You start with:
  • a stash of serious explosives (see Serious Explosives for Serious Business above)
  • 2 weapons
  • oddments worth 1 barter
  • fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece worth 1-armor (you detail)

Firebug Special
If you and another character have sex, roll Burning Torment against them whether you have that move or not. Their character automatically gains Hx+2 for you; if this pushes them past +3 they gain experience and reset to +1. Brainers who have sex with you cannot use their deep brain scan as it is overpowered; however, they gain Hx+3 instead of Hx+2. You cannot gain any Hx from any PC specials as you can't find connection with other humans unless the world is burning down around you.

Improvement
Whenever you roll a highlighted stat, and whenever you reset your Hx with
someone, mark an experience circle. When you mark the 5th, improve and erase.

Each time you improve, choose one of the options. Check it off; you can’t choose it again.

__ get +1cool (max cool+3)
__ get +1weird (max weird+2)
__ get +1sharp (max sharp+2)
__ get +1hard (max hard+2)
__ get +1hard (max hard+2)
__ get a new Firebug move
__ get a new Firebug move
__ get 2 gigs (detail) and moonlighting
__ get a move from another playbook
__ get a move from another playbook

FIREBUG MOVES

Explosive Tendencies: Automatic. See rules above.

Fireproof: roll+Cool to avoid taking damage from any fire or explosion or smoke. On a 10+ you take -3 harm. On a 7-9 you take -2 harm and the MC can choose 1:
  • You lose your footing.
  • You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding.
  • You lose track of someone or something you.
  • You miss noticing something important.

Smoke Signals: roll+Weird to discover what caused a destruction from little more than the smoking remains. Treat a miss as though you’ve opened your brain to the world’s psychic maelstrom and missed the roll. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:
  • who caused this destruction?
  • what was destroyed and many people died?
  • what were the events that let up to this destruction?
  • what device or spark caused this destruction?
  • Is there anything or anyone important left that is worth saving?

Burning Torment: roll+Weird to open anothers mind to the burning fire of the Psychic Maelstrom causing Ψ-harm (see additional rules above). On 10+ it causes 1 Ψ-harm. On a 7-9 it either causes 1 s-harm or causes 1 Ψ-harm and the MC can choose 1 for you:
  • You lose your footing.
  • You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding.
  • You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.
  • You miss noticing something important.
On a miss it nothing happens and the MC can choose one of the above for you.
If you do this to a PC, add Hx+1 to their sheet for you as they understand you a bit more. If you have this move, it is automatically triggered by a deep brain scan.

Only Happy When It Burns: Compared to the psychic fire raging constantly at the edge of your thoughts, no real fire or explosion can shake you — in fact it gives you focus. You get +1 for all rolls when you are in the middle of a raging fire or surrounded by explosions (things must be really dangerously on fire or exploding in your immediate vicinity—typical gunfire does or a measly campfire does not cut it).

Scorcher: Increase the damage +1 harm for any incendiary weapon or explosion caused by you. Also, any fire started by you automatically moves one higher on the fire/explosion countdown.

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 612
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 06:46:21 PM »
Explosive tendencies, instead of blowbacks, just put down a list of things like "your fire does not slip from your control" and tell the player how many they can choose on a 7-9 roll. Generally, I'd make 7-9 cover all but one choice.

I wouldn't instruct the MC what to do on a miss. They have their agenda and principles for that.

Names are a bit on the nose. I would mix it up.

Again with fireproof, let the player choose rather than the MC.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Daniel Wood

  • User
  • Posts: 526
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 09:46:44 PM »

I'm not a fan of the playbook description -- if you look at the main playbooks you'll see that the character's past or backstory is rarely if ever mentioned, whereas the Firebug seems to make having survived a past fire (and then having a very specific psychological reaction to it) a prerequisite. This doesn't seem particularly necessary -- much better to let the player (and MC) decide why her character likes fire/has psychic powers/etc.

Overall the playbook seems extremely one-note, even moreso than (say) the Gunlugger. I think some moves that are based off fire's metaphorical properties, or just other aspects of the character type as-you-imagine-it, would be a good idea.

There's also a ton of moves that seem to just boil down to doing or reducing harm. That's not really that interesting to me, and certainly you don't need so many of them. Maybe think about ways to take the concepts for those moves and push them in interesting fictional, rather than mechanical directions.

You've got the phrasing backwards on your moves: remember, to do it, do it. Moves start with the fictional trigger: eg. "When you light things on fire with your mind, roll +Weird..." rather than "Roll +Weird to light things on fire with your mind." This isn't just an aesthetic thing, it helps make it clear (to yourself and players) what fictional action the move represents/deals with. For example, Explosive Tendencies currently does not appear to have a fictional trigger at all.

Daniel Wood

  • User
  • Posts: 526
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 10:02:27 PM »

Other notes:

* Does the Firebug need two weapons?

* That's a lot of stat-line increases in the advancement options, any particular reason?

* The sex move is way too complicated -- you want something iconic, not fiddly. And it's just not going to happen that often, why not just give them an automatic 10+ on the Burning Torment? (If it's because the 10+ result on Burning Torment is the least interesting... maybe think about that?) The exception for the Brainer sex move is WAY specific, and doesn't really seem to add anything interesting to the fiction -- the Brainer sex move is one of the best/most fun moves in the game (tied with the Savvyhead), it seems like a bad idea to try and cancel it out without any benefit?

* You need another Hx question, for sure. Characters who default to 'nobody knows you you are a loner!' absolutely need at least two high-impact 'now we are connected' Hx questions to ensure they are strongly linked in to the game. It's also an opportunity to add some more dimension to the character's emotional/social life, which the Firebug seems to sorely need.

* Fireproof is pretty underpowered/specific -- in most cases PCs are already going to have an opportunity to avoid harm by Acting Under Fire, which also uses +cool. Obviously the move is about being unnaturally immune to fire -- so why not run with that, fictionally? When your character walks through fire but is not burned, roll +Cool... and then give some interesting awe/social/intimidating type options? (Or just straight up rip off that Battlebabe move about being hot in a fight.)

* All these moves seem to depend on everything always being on fire. That's probably not actually a realistic expectation.




colinaut

  • User
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 10:51:33 PM »
Wow thanks everyone for your commentary and straightforward critiques thus far! Keep it coming as I'd like to cook this playbook into a more workable thing. i really feel there is a place for Firebug character but it obviously needs to be revamped from my initial go at it.

As I mentioned, I'm new to the system — haven't even had a chance to play it yet, though I'm signed up to play it soon at Big Bad Con. In any case, I dove into making a playbook as I thought it would give me more insight into  what makes the other playbooks tick and the game flow overall. I feel all your critiques are really great for that so thanks!

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 612
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:32:15 PM »
Strong recommendation to play the game and then take a look at the revising the playbook.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Reax

  • User
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 03:12:58 PM »
I really love the idea behind the playbook, and would go all-out on Daniel Wood's version of Fireproof to get something in between The Faceless and The Brainer.. Scary as fuck.. with fire..

evilseanbot

  • User
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 10:35:52 PM »
I agree with a lot of the criticism but I also think this could be a nifty playbook once it gets polished.

I'm confused about this line:

"Brainers who have sex with you cannot use their deep brain scan as it is overpowered"

* Are you saying Deep Brain Scan is overpowered when used against anybody?

* Are you saying Deep Brain Scan is overpowered when used against the Firebug specificly?

* Are you saying Burning Torment's reaction to Deep Brain Scan is overpowered when you're able to do it via having sex?

Daniel Wood

  • User
  • Posts: 526
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 08:19:23 AM »
Pretty sure it means in-fictionally overpowered/overwhelmed by the crazy Maelstrom shit that the Firebug is unleashing on the Brainer. Like 'my sex fu is stronger than yours' or something.

As If

  • User
  • Posts: 142
  • Tod Foley
    • View Profile
    • As If Productions
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 08:42:47 AM »
Soundtrack for the Firebug: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KB54p8_wh8

I'd be interested to hear how the modifications turned out.  Was the Firebug ever finalized?  Is there a trifold playbook?  For particular players, this could be a very interesting PC.

colinaut

  • User
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 07:35:48 PM »
Man I should really finalize this playbook.

Mikael

  • User
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: New Playbook: Firebug
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 07:24:08 PM »
Explosive tendencies should really be roll+Hot. Just, you know, because.