Cast and Characters: Jenna as Battie Royale, Queen Gunlugger Extraordinaire Cindy as Eliza Fixit, Making Vehicular Manslaughter an Art Form Gina as Norma, Escapist With an Eye, Heart, and Home in the Clouds Candace as Marie Furie, Rubber Boots and Goggles, Because things get messy Heather as Ophelia, a Cool-Headed Klepto in Need of a Bike Brooke as Gash, the Twitchy Stitch with the Rough-Wheeling Ride
Warning: Foul language and adult situations may lie ahead.
Apocalypse World starts out with character generation, then to relationship building, and finally to world imagining. We introduced the several core playbooks (classes and character creation rolled into one), and our players claimed their own, after a little passing around. No playbook repeats in Apocalypse World: - Jenna as Battie Royale the Gunlugger: Likes guns, knows how to use them - Cindy as Eliza Fixit the Savvyhead: Has workshop, knows how to make stuff - Gina as Norma the Skinner: Celebrates beauty, even after the Big End - Candace as Marie Fury the Brainer: Knows things, does things, keeps secrets - Heather as Ophelia the Battlebabe: Pure hot with guns, causes trouble - Brooke as Gash the Angel: Has an ambulance, pills, and scalpel; likes pills
Using the playbooks (which guide this all pretty darn well), our characters posed questions to the group that then created relationship values (which are asymmetric) between players. This is called the Hx (History) and is used like the other attributes (Cool, Hard, Hot, Sharp, and Weird) but to interact. It is also a major element of character advancement.
While we're on attributes, they're related to various actions like "go aggro" or "do something under fire." "Do something under fire," for example, is a Cool action, so when you do it (like picking a lock while being shot at) you roll 2d6, add or subtract that attribute, and evaluate success. Less than six is bad, and there is no "kind of bad" in AW, it is going to be real bad. 7-9 is a success, but with some hiccups for the player or tools for the MC (Game Master in AW). 10+ is an incredible success, often carrying extra bonuses. The MC isn't antagonistic, but AW emphasizes that characters will shine with trials, so bad stuff happens a lot. There is no status quo in Apocalypse World.
Then we got to world imaging. The apocalypse could be any number of things, so I went around and asked players what is something they could do or that the world could do. It took a bit to start, but quickly players popcorned around with idea. The ideas included: - Advanced Robotics like nano machines and nipple shields - Vehicles are fairly scarce, but present, and Gash has the Gash Wagon - Flight is a thing, and it is powered by art (thanks Gina!) - Fuel is human waste (later, plant matter, too) - Make up is rare (but Battie Royale needs it) - Nature is Overgrown (we're tired of desert wastelands) - Plants are carnivorous - Treehouses have archives from the beforetimes
Then we took a break and ate and talked. That felt good.
The Tendon holds a floater high above Skillet-town, a sandy wound on the green expanse. Its blue hide and sails catching the wind just enough to stay aloft. Decades' old tech goes chuggedy-chug inside as music farts out of it in the pre-dawn light. Norma's up there, dreaming of before the end of things when people played music in the streets and had whole buildings of pretty pictures; her cloud-head and scopes seeking the next bastion of what once was.
Below, Marie Fury got out of her hard-carved lab in the rock; its ongoing experiments whining away, triple-locked and booby-trapped door, and went in search of two things. After checking her boots and goggles, she want a-looking for buzz and gear. Caffeine she found quickly on the Skillet, handing over a bit of barter for it, but the best place for gear was Not Fucking Yours Yard run by Eliza Fixit. Eliza was dealing with a sometimes customer, always suspicious fucker, Cream, a member of I-Beam's gang of bike toughs.
Eliza had done some work for I-Beam and his gang, making sure their ungainly big-wheeled motor-trikes held up in the rooted wastes of the world around the Skillet as they explored the Burning Berg to the north and elsewhere. Eliza also sold fuel derived from the rotting plants that tried to encroach on the Skillet's bedrock outcrop. Eliza didn't want to lose business, but Cream's long, pale fingers had a way of lingering too long on her merch. Talking with Eliza, Marie made a bit more ruckus on the latest round of experiments and her skull-shaking psychic blaster, which was enough to spook Cream.
While the ladies talked business, Cream muttered his way through the tightly packed dusty streets of the Skillet toward until coming across the prone form of Ophelia, looking hot and bedraggled, Cream took a not especially wholesome interest. Ophelia, never one for an easy night, caught wind that Cream was offering a spot in I-Beam's crew, and a ride. The crew part Ophelia didn't much care for, but a ride between her legs she liked.
Battie Royale's foundation was running a little light, but she has more than a few bullets, so she thought she'd strapped on stilettos and go strutting. Looking good, though, is its own reward, so it took some time to come on Ophelia getting into trouble at the Fucking Yours Yard where other crews kept their rides. Don't make a payment at Fucking Yours? Well, then your ride gets sold to Fixit and it becomes Not Fucking Yours.
Gash, hearing I-Beam's crew's engines, decided to let loose some coolant outside the ole Gash Wagon. Need a stitch? Gash is the person to talk to. Fortunately for the popper, most injuries occur after lunch. This morning, though, Ophelia was picking trouble with I-Beam. "Oh, my shit runs," I-Beam retorted, before getting on his crotch rocket trike to do a loop around Fucking Yours, making the ride scream and belch.
Wanting to pick some trouble with the babe, I-Beam hauled ass at Ophelia who, cool as Siberian vodka, let him ride before stepping aside, leading him right into one of his crew's bikes, going a little airborne like Norma in the process, though landing unsubtly. Gash took note, checked the glaring sun overhead, thought a little more snoozing would have to wait today, but clinkedy-clink would be made.
I-Beam's boy Freezedry went hollerin' for a stitch since I-Beam's arm had a new elbow. Gash kept their distance as Ophelia got on Freezedry's ride and took it for a little spin. That got Freezedry's attention right quick, what is a crewmate without a ride after all, but Battie, seeing an opportunity for glam, hopped aboard and dropped a little ordinance on the scene.
Well, the best laid plan it was not. Ophelia hopped up, shifting Battie's aim downward, and those pretty fingers slipped on that grenade launcher of Battie's, and the boom sent them spinning. Spinning ins not what Freezedry did. His bulk hit smack someone behind and the blast did a number on others. Gash, maybe with a sideways smile, knew there would be debts after today. Ophelia righted herself, Battie in tow, and they went to get the steed a new look at Not Fucking Yours.
We're returning to Skillet-town and these troublemakers on Nov. 11th with a Previously On to follow! Curious about Apocalypse World? We'd love to introduce it to more players so let us know!