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Tag Archives: apocalypse world

So I think I can objectively lay claim to being awesome. Admittedly, in the limited arena of Role-Playing, but still.

Today I got a standing ovation during a game. When was that last time you got a standing ovation for anything, much less the accurate portrayal of an uplifted dolphin dealing with the confusing messiness of human relations.

I suppose I should back up a few steps here and start from the beginning, or something vaguely resembling it. We are playing Apocalypse World (the Actual Plays should start going up on I Podcast Magic Missile soon) and if you keep reading, there may be minor spoilers, but I’ll be frank, it doesn’t matter that much. Unless you’re an absolute purest, forge ahead, spoilers bedamned!

Anyways, we’re playing AW, we have a Brainer, Gun-Lugger, Maestro’D and Skinner. Also, we have one of the weirder Kickstarter stretch goals, the Space Marine Mammal (played by yours truly).  One of the caveats our MC put in place was that if I were to choose the SMM I’d have to run it straight, and I am. That’s not to say some hilarity doesn’t ensue, but Susan has nothing on Man as far as silliness goes. And yeah, our Gun-Lugger’s name is Man.

So anyways, last time Man got poisoned, and didn’t really start to kick in until this session. Susan ended up picking up Man and flying him to his mom’s house, and then, when it became apparent she couldn’t actually help him, and might be totes crazy, flew back to Silver’s Goldmine to seek medical attention for him. Once there it became apparent that his employer might not have Man’s best interests at heart, and so Susan sought the advice of onboard AI. You’ll just have to listen to the AP to hear justice done, because I certainly can’t reproduce the scene here with sufficient accuracy. However my rendition of the situation, and Susan’s reasoning was enough to cause two players to stand up and clap.

Yeah, I’m doing it right. Now I just need to figure out how to make enough money to live RPing.

monsterheartsA ghoul, a werewolf, and the chosen one walk into the bar… and then get kicked out because their fake IDs are crap.

So I just started running a game of Monsterhearts. This is a storygame, loosely based off of the Apocalypse World engine, but it’s a Teen Monster Sex Drama thing. I’ll admit, this isn’t exactly “my genre”, but at least it’s not fantasy. And here’s the wonderful, beautiful thing about AW hacks, I barely have to do anything. Unlike D&D or other traditional RPGs there are no rails for me to keep things on. In fact some of the best story happens when things don’t go as expected. My job is more to know when to switch scenes, to make sure everyone gets time in the lime-light. Keep things fun and interesting and complicated and messy.

Just thinking back, I can think of so many things I could have done better, but because the focus is on the players, not “my pet story” it doesn’t matter. I’d bet most of my “mistakes” went unnoticed. The other thing I love about this style game is the amount of prep required, which is to say barely any. There are a few things I plan to do before the next session, mainly come up with some lists. I want a nice list of a couple dozen names I can quickly nab for NPCs. Maybe a bunch of “descriptors” as well so instead of spending 45 seconds coming up w/ the name Theresa for a waitress, and spending so much time thinking of that that I didn’t even describe her, I can spend the same amount of time, cross out Theresa, Curly hair, Curvy and people will have a much better idea of who she is, even if she ends up only being a bit character.

My only disappointment is how excited I am. It’s been slightly over a day since our first session, and I’m already super excited about the next one. On a related note, our gaming group now has an official name I Podcast Magic Missile and we’re going to start blogging there as well as posting our Actual Plays. I may switch to 3 times a week here, and once or twice a week there, or find a way to crosspost. More info, and links coming once we get some content organized on there.

Or are you wrong, that is the question. For serious, I continue to be amazed by how awesome this game consistently is. I’ve been gaming for two and half decades. I cut my teeth on the Red Box and 2nd editions. Toon, Shadowrun, Paranoia, and Call of Cthulhu were all played with great abandon. In college White Wolf’s storyteller games promised Story based games and totes failed to deliver; I even larped for a few years, because the first few times were completely sweet and awesome. Disillusioned I ran GURPS with almost no rules, played D&D because that was all there was.

Still I do love a good board game, tactical strategy, miniatures. And really to a much larger extent than most people are willing to admit, that is what D&D is. A series of battles loosely (sometimes more or less, depending on the DM) tied together by story. There’s nothing wrong with that. I enjoy it. Love it even.

AW has won my heart over completely. I can’t wait to try my hand at it (albeit Monsterhearts, and AW Hack). I can barely stand the wait to play the game again next week (especially when we have to skip a week or more). Part of it is surely that we’ve got a rocking MC. No offense to Dave though, a huge part of it is just how the game itself is set up. I don’t worry so much about what my characters can do, or how I can make them better. No, I worry about how Eliza is going to fix everything. I worry about how Twice is going to keep all the promises that have been made. I empathize with my characters and then I do my best to be them for a few hours. That’s not to say I don’t think about how I can make the other players’ characters’ lives more interesting and entertaining for them, but I trust the players to play the characters, and I’ve gotten to know most of the characters.

It’s like watching a great ensemble cast TV show, but you get to be one of the characters. And maybe some episodes not everyone gets screen time, and usually even when someone gets what they want there are strings attached. And even though it seems like things just keep getting worse, hope is always there.

If you play table top RPGs of any stripe, you owe it to yourself to check this game out. There are tons of APs out there. I recommend checking out The Walking Eye* and Jank Cast, and of course our play group is posting our APs too (though we started a bit late.

*As I write this The Walking Eye is having some server troubles. You’ll just have to check back later and find the APs yourself.

So I finally bought a new computer. Or rather, I bought the parts for a new computer. Thursday or Friday I should have all the parts, and Lego-Like assembly can begin.

I also woke up at 5am this morning to the wonderful find of digital delivery of my Monster Hearts PDF… which I read most of on the ride up to Martinsville, where we demonstrated our Technology Petting Zoo to three or four dozen Librarian type people from the area. Enroute I also received notification that Apocalypse World’s Digital Delivery had also arrived. Once Curtis and I had all of the fancy eReaders, and tablets and the Wii and cameras set up, I tried to open the AW files on one of the Android tablets. Nope. So then I tried it an iPad. Still nope. Eventually with a bit of hoop jumping I was able to download it to a PC laptop, unzip it, and re-upload the PDFs to my Google Drive. Then I tried to access it again on the iPad. Limited Success… i could as long as I wanted to stay logged in. Downloading the Google Drive app for the iPad wasn’t much of an improvement, as while there was finally an option to save for offline use, I’d still have to stay signed in as me, and since it was Curtis’s iPad I didn’t want to do that.

Long story short, once through a fair bit of finagling we got the Actual PDFs on the Actual device, it was quite nice to be able to read it on the iPad.  I finished reading Monster Hearts on the way back to the ‘burg, and am terribly looking forward to running a game of it. Of course, I think I am more looking forwards playing some more Apocalypse World, especially now that I’ve pulled the curtain back a bit and taken a peek out how the game is run (or at least, how a variant is run, as I didn’t really delve into the AW rules much.)

Anyways, I’ve been up for 17 hours now and should probably get some of that mythical seeming thing called sleep. I expect I’ll update again in a year or so. (;

I’ll leave you with a random picture: