Friday, December 14, 2012

ALL of the Playbooks

If you want to contact me to share a new playbook, inform me of a dead link, or anything about this page, put "AW page" in the subject heading and send it to nerdwerds AT gmail dot com

Keep checking back! Last updates...

December, 2021 = moved my own playbooks to itch
November 22, 2021 = I'm getting rid of all of the non-AW links on this page. I gave up following all of the individual PbtA hacks a long time ago, and it's not my place to support games that in most cases I know nothing about. This page has gotten entirely too long and bloated, and it's already quite large with all of the playbooks that have been made! (also, I haven't been playing AW for several years, but I am set to start a new game soon, and hopefully that will push me to finish converting more of the 1st edition playbooks into 2nd edition.)
September 29, 2021 = it's been awhile! Google Drive has updated their service twice over and it changed all of the sharing options on the pdfs, I want to find a new place to host the pdfs and until then trying to download a pdf requires me to "approve" the download, sorry about this, I'll try to get it fixed soon
October 1, 2017 = Added the Dog playbook, removed 1st edition version
August 31, 2017 = Added flipbook-style playbook links

If you download anything from this page, please donate a little money to Doctors Without Borders. Thanks!

2nd edition!
"old school" legal-size playbooks
Angel playbook link to download
Battlebabe playbook link to download
Brainer playbook link to download
Chopper playbook link to download
Driver playbook link to download
Gunlugger playbook link to download
Hardholder playbook link to download
Hocus playbook link to download
Maestro d' playbook link to download
Savvyhead playbook link to download
Skinner playbook link to download

Child-Thing playbook link to download
Faceless playbook link to download
News playbook link to download
Quarantine playbook link to download
Show playbook link to download
Waterbearer playbook link to download
Landfall Marine playbook link to download

Unnofficial Playbooks

The Beemaster, by Zach Staads
In olden days, folks told tales of fantastic places and bold adventurers. Some fought with steel, some with smarts, and some through furred, scaled, or feathered friends, animalistic companions bold and loyal.

Aint no one telling fantastic tales any more, but the real weird makes up for it; you might not have a direwolf or a chimera, but you've sure got a hell of a lot of bees.

Inspired by Drawfee and the Beeforged fan class from 5th edition D&D.

legal size

The Dog, by Patrick Mallah
Man's best friend.

If they only knew.

A playbook for Apocalypse World that puts the player into the role of a psychic dog, heavily inspired by the novella A Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison.

The dog is a telepath, and is supported by their own human companion and/or the other players. If you've ever wanted to play a psychic dog, this is the playbook for you. Warning: you are still just a dog, and all that implies.

letter size

1st edition!
Apocalypse World - tri-fold pdfs of player-made Playbooks

the Agent, by Madu - the 3rd version, but if the pdf doesn't work for you HERE is a link to the 1st version

this playbook was originally posted to the AW forum HERE

the Beast Master, by Tim Franzke & Patrick Mallah

the Behemoth (original)
, by J. Walton (alpha, possibly subject to change)

the Behemoth (trifold), by J. Walton (alpha, possibly subject to change)

the Boy and his Dog, by Dragonraven (seems incomplete)

the Boy & His Dog, by Willow Palecek

the Coot, by Dan Hull

the Damned, one of the Heralds of Hell playbooks, by Johnstone Metzger

Basically a vampire but they feed on sin, they get close to people find the worst ones then feed their hunger. If you want to be sneaky and have moral ambiguity, play a Damned. Warning: your hunger dominates everything you do, and it is also your greatest sin

the Feral Kid, by Mike Sands

the Giant & the Kid, by Davide

the Grotesque, by Avery Mcdaldno - follow instructions at the link, IT'S WORTH IT!

Basically a mutant. Unpredictable and alien, the Grotesque is sometimes defined by their mutations but they also have something good to offer the community that accepts them. If you want to be a capital-W weird outsider, then play a Grotesque. Warning: being grotesque doesn't make you a threat, but it does make threats zero in on you

the Haunted, one of the Heralds of Hell playbooks, by Johnstone Metzger

the Horseman, one of the Heralds of Hell playbooks, by Johnstone Metzger

the Juggernaut, by Mike Sands

the Kid, author unknown, based on Mike Sands' the Feral Kid

the Last Child, one of the Heralds of Hell playbooks, by Johnstone Metzger

the Man in the Box, a not very serious playbook by Yragaël Malbos

the Orphan, by Jamie Fristrom & Matt Strickling

the Radio, by Monte Lin

the Rat-Pack, by Gerald C.

the Ruin Runner, by Jeff Russell

the Scholar, by dheeney

the Shieldbearer
, by Markus Öhman

Basically a sheriff. They exude authority and people listen to them. If you want to push people around just by being canny and smart, play a Shieldbearer. Warning: by setting yourself up as the authority who can muscle into anybody's shit, and everybody will be coming to you looking for help with their shit

the Shieldbearer - Officer Dangle artwork, by Markus Öhman

the Sorceror, one of the Heralds of Hell playbooks, by Johnstone Metzger

the Spectacle, by Sean Musgrave

Basically a gladiator. They're decent fighters all on their own, but mostly for show and adulation. If you want people to love you and still be a badass, play a Spectacle. Warning: being in the limelight is not always the best place to be, and fans can also be fickle if they feel mistreated

the Synthetic, by Nathan Roberts (noofy)

the Tribal, original artwork, by Dragonraven

the Tribal, by Dragonraven

the Turncoat, by Nick Doyle

the Witch, by Christopher Weeks

the Wolf, by Patrick Mallah

Warning: you will be considered a threat and a nuisance by everybody else

the Wrangler, by Tim Franzke

Basically an animal handler. They own a pack of animals and have a strange connection to them, which means security, happiness, and peace, as long as your pack is fed and alive. If you want to do awesome and weird things and still keep others at a distance, play a Wrangler. Warning: your pack is awesome, but you’ll be at a pretty significant disadvantage when they aren’t around, plus people will think you smell funny

Apocalypse World - Expansion Playbooks
  • the Broodmother - a Brainer expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Catalyst - a Battlebabe expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Devoted - a Brainer expansion, by Dylan Boates
  • the Fallen - a Quarantine expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Living God - a Hocus expansion, by Johnstone Metzger
  • the Loner - a Gunlugger expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Maelstrom Incarnate - a universal expansion, by Joshua Bailey
  • The Mendicant - a Touchstone expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Valkyrie - a Battlebabe expansion, by Jonathan Walton
  • the Witch King - a Hocus expansion, by Ben Wray
  • the Wurm - a Hoarder expansion, by Jonathan Walton

    Apocalypse World - Party Favors
  • Advanced Moves - basic moves playbooks with the advanced versions of the moves added into their descriptions
  • The Afterborn - an MC and player resource for role-playing young adults in Apocalypse World, by Jonathan Walton
  • Blank Cards - for Customs Moves, +1s, and Mysteries, by Patrick Mallah
  • Blood & Guts - an alternative to and more detailed version of the Harm move, by Simon C.
  • generic playbook - a Scribus file for creating your own trifold playbooks
  • Harm Moves - alternate or extra harm moves, by Paul Taliesin
  • the 11 Core Playbooks + Moves - the core playbooks and pamphlets as single-page sheets, by John Harper
  • MC Toolkit - random settlements, NPCs, hazards, etc., by Michael Bay
  • NPC Generator
  • Playbook Template
  • Supplemental - a trifold containing information from the Mysteries and Walkingsuit supplementals
  • What is Apocalypse World? - an informational brochure for introducing new players to the game

    Apocalypse World - downloads or forum posts where a new playbook is described but no tri-fold pdf exists (yet)
  • the Abacus
  • the Firebug
  • the Hound
  • the Revenant
  • the Swashbuckler
  • the Transmitter
  • the Traveller
  • the Wildcard

    Many of the player-created playbooks for Apocalypse World are hard to track down, and that's kind of annoying. I'm actually surprised at how many comments I've seen online from people saying "I don't have that one" or "I only have these."
    It looks like about a year ago there was this trading community happening with a handful of people on a few forums, probably because there was no single place to upload files to, but as somebody who is relatively new to Apocalypse World it feels like there are players hoarding playbooks and not sharing them with the rest of us who are late to the party, and that attitude seems really childish.
    When I do searches for playbooks the first page almost always links back to multiple forums where one person is spam-asking for the same playbooks over and over again, yet he refuses to share what he's acquired unless somebody else trades him something new. Today he offered to sell me all of the playbooks he's accumulated for $15. So, you know, if you wrote a playbook that you intended to share with other players there's one guy out there trying to profit from your work without sharing the profit with you. In contrast, the stuff that I spent the last few weeks working on I make publicly available on my blog for anybody to use.
    I feel that this whole trading and keeping it hard to find attitude also runs counter to the spirit of encouragement D. Vincent Baker wrote into the game by asking people to hack the game and make it their own. I think there needs to be a unified place for those who've contributed to AW, even in a small way, to share their work and get recognition for it. The Barf Forth Apocalyptica forums are difficult to navigate at times, there isn't a list of links to others' work, and there isn't a single sticky-ed thread that lists all of the great work that's come out of the community.
    I'm making this post in the hopes that other people with player-made custom playbooks will upload their work to the internet and share their work with the rest of us. Here are links or instructions for getting all of the playbooks I've managed to find online. (If I know who wrote it, I also credit them.)

    UPDATED, November 2013
    When I first started this page I thought there were only about a dozen playbooks that had been made by other players. I'm truly surprised at the abundance of work that has been done, the shared enthusiasm so many people hold for the Apocalypse World rules, and the generosity so many of the creators of these links have shared. There are also TONS of hacks!

    edit edit edit

  • Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Adventure World: of elves and regents

    Okay, I'm just going to put this out there: I don't like elves. The fact that they're wedged into every setting as these mysterious, nearly-immortal beings with access to ancient and otherworldly magics and then a player is allowed to just take one as a character seems dumb. If the elves are awesome then the player's character should be equally awesome, which signifies one of two things:
    1) that elf character is not awesome and therefore elves are dumb
    2) that player just wants to play an awesome character and wants to fast track it with an elf, which is dumb
    I'll eventually sit down and write up an elf playbook for my Adventure World hack, but right now I have no interest in it. It feels like a chore.

    Chalk it up to personal experience but I've only seen two players choose an elf in any game I've run before.
    One was a player with no imagination, and every character he played was an elven fighter-mage. As a fellow player, it was kind of annoying because he was always just playing the same guy no matter what happened.
    The other player used his status as an elf to halt the adventure. I was GMing the classic GDQ1-7 series of modules and when we got to the first drow section he said "Nope, these guys are elves, I'm leaving."
    Soured, doubly so.

    And as for the Regent? I'm not going to post the stats here, because 95% of the playbook is just taken from the Hardholder playbook. Leadership and Wealth play off of Valor (as opposed to Power), so that starting stats are:

    • Valor+2 Power=0 Alert=0 Moxie+1 Magic=0
    • Valor+2 Power+1 Alert+1 Moxie-1 Magic=0
    • Valor+2 Power+1 Alert-1 Moxie+1 Magic=0
    • Valor+2 Power=0 Alert+1 Moxie+1 Magic-1

    And the
    If another character swears fealty to you, they immediately change their sheet to say Hx+3 with you. At your option, you mark +1Hx with them at the start of every session. If they ever break their fealty, you mark experience and they can never be trusted by you ever again, change their sheet to say Hx-3 with you and it will never change from this point forward.
    When another character does what you say and they haven’t sworn fealty to you, you get +1Hx with them.

    I thought about giving the Regent playbook a Bloodline from Birthright, but that might dramatically alter the playbook. That's a little too much work for me right now, I want to focus on getting the basics of the game down now and tweak the playbooks as needed.

    That's about it.

    ADDED: A friend of mine thought that Regent special was too powerful, saying "Why not just order all non-vassals to do what they were going to anyway?"
    I think intention is important for this kind of move, plus if the fiction doesn't support it than common sense dictates that that wouldn't work. Right? Here are a few examples:

    Klepto (a thief):
    I failed to pick Pluto's pocket.
    Pluto (a warrior): I punch Klepto in the face
    Bitch-trog (a regent): I command Pluto to attack Klepto
    MC: Um... Pluto was already going to punch Klepto.
    Bitch-trog: Yeah, but now I'll get History.
    MC: No you won't! He was going to punch him before you told him to, stop being such a bitch Bitch-trog!
    Bitch-trog: Awwww!

    I command Pluto to attack Klepto
    Pluto: I'm not going to do that!
    Klepto: Well, I *did* steal your gold.
    Pluto: You what?! I punch Klepto in the face!
    Bitch-trog: Yay! I get History!
    MC: Um... no you don't. He's punching Klepto because he stole, not because you told him too.
    Bitch-trog: Awww!

    I command Pluto to attack Klepto
    Pluto: Yeah, why not? I stab Klepto in the face with my knife.
    Klepto: What?
    Bitch-trog: Yay, I get History!
    MC: Yes. Yes you do Bitch-trog.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Adventure World: the Dwarf

    Introducing THE DWARF

    Azag, Bain, Dalin, Durin, Gimin, Khaz, Nogre, Telchar, Thorli
    Akrip, Azduk, Kilild, Nalre, Nodred, Nurre, Ovbryn, Vulthra, Yurun

    Choose one set:
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie-1 Alert+2 Magic-2
    • Valor=0 Power+2 Moxie+1 Alert=0 Magic=0
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie=0 Alert+1 Magic-1
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie=0 Alert+1 Magic-1

    You get this 1:

    Stoneheart: when you come within melee range of a stone structure or any kind of stonework, it’s as if you examined the environment and rolled a 10. You notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. As long as it’s made of stone or rock, you can ask questions as if you rolled a 10. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone is instantly recognizable as NOT-stone, but that is all you know until you examine the environment as normal. You can also intuit depth, and always know exactly how far underground you are and which way is up.

    Then choose 2:

    Commander: when you help or interfere with someone, roll+power instead of roll+Hx.

    Know the Land: you never get lost in the wilderness, and you avoid all natural hazards, such as quicksand, rockslides or foul weather.

    Master Your Craft: any project you finish in your workshop is worth +1gold.

    Never Run Away: if you go straight into danger without knowing what you’re up against, you get +1armor. If you happen to be leading a warband or followers, they get +1armor too.

    Never Trust Magic: you get +1ongoing when you defy magical danger. All uses of magic on you suffer -1ongoing or +1armor, depending on what was used the MC will declare where the penalty falls (magical healing would suffer -1 to the roll or the effect, +1armor would apply to a spell but not a magical weapon, etc.)

    Stout Hands and a Solid Swing: when wielding a 2-handed melee weapon you get +1armor, when wielding an axe of some kind you deal +1damage, and yes you get both if you’re wielding a 2-handed axe.

    Venom in Your Blood: you cannot be poisoned. You don’t get drunk either.

    Workshop: you have tools and the space to make some kind of craft. Choose 1:
    • carpentry (projects: furniture, shelter; cost: 3gold; wants: wood)
    • leatherworks (projects: clothing, armor; cost: 1gold; wants: skins)
    • smithy (projects: armor, weapons; cost: 2gold; wants: metal, coal)
    • jeweler (projects: rings, necklace; cost: 3gold; wants: metal, gems)
    During downtime, you may attempt a project provided you have the materials needed by paying the cost. Roll+alert. On a 10+, you make the project in the time allotted and have items worth twice the cost. On a 7-9, you’re lacking in materials and need to fulfill your want before you can finish. Your final project will be worth as much as the cost to build it. On a miss, the project is a disaster and you lose all the materials associated with the project. You can take this move multiple times, specifying a new craft each time you take it.

    You get:
    • 1 weapon
    • oddments worth 1-gold
    • custom armor

    Choose weapon:
    • bastard sword (4-damage 2-hand melee messy)
    • battleaxe (3-damage 2-hand melee area messy)
    • handaxe (2-damage melee messy) + shield (+1armor)
    • morningstar (3-damage melee) + shield (+1armor)
    • spear (3-damage 2-hand reach)
    • trident (3-damage 2-hand reach)
    • warhammer (3-damage 2-hand melee)

    Custom armor (2-armor and choose 1):
    • ancient (+rare)
    • masterwork (+valuable)
    • military (+military)

    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 whether you are by nature generous with your trust and resources, or reserved. If the former, then tell everyone Hx+1. If the latter, then tell everyone Hx=0.
    On the others’ turns, choose 1 or both:
    • One of them has been with you since before. Whatever number that player tells you, give it +1 and write it next to the character’s name.
    Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, 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.

    If you escort another player out of danger and to safety, make something for them, or give them or receive from them a gift worth 1-gold or more, you both mark +1Hx with each other.
    When you die, everybody else marks experience.

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Adventure World: an explanation

    I keep hearing criticisms from gamer friends that my Adventure World playbooks are unnecessary because somebody already made an Apocalypse World hack and it's called Dungeon World. Yeah, I know. I have a copy of the Dungeon World pdf and it's an impressive piece of work. But if I wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons using an Apocalypse World design philosophy, I would probably just play Dungeons & Dragons and use the MC moves out of Apocalypse World.

    I am not a fan of level-based role-playing game systems. D&D is usually the game everybody starts with and so they just get used to this idea that power ascends gradually, but it's always felt disconnected in some way. I remember trying to learn the magic system for the first time and it took me a while to grasp that a 2nd-level wizard doesn't really have access 2nd-level spells. (I was 7 years old, and you'd think it didn't make sense too if you were that old.) When I first got exposed to GURPS and a purely skill-based system it was to play a Star Trek game where I suddenly had a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted and so I focused on playing a fighter-type. It's what made me comfortable, and I've found that I gravitate toward the same play style every time I'm exposed to a new system.

    Apocalypse World is probably the first RPG I've ever not played a warrior-type my first time playing. Without knowing anything about it, it just seemed like a very alien kind of game at first and I dove in with a somewhat random choice of playbook. I've come to really appreciate the game, and when I was recently asked if I wouldn't mind taking over as a GM sometime soon I thought "Well, I'd like to keep playing Apocalypse World, but in a fantasy setting."

    That's where my Adventure World playbooks ave been coming from. I read through Dungeon World and didn't like that they retained the level system of traditional D&D, so I decided to make my own fantasy-themed playbooks that would owe more to the core game of Apocalypse World. I take inspiration from multiple sources: the Apocalypse World playbooks and bonus playbooks, the Dungeon World rules, and the Barf Forth Apocalyptica forums. I'm trying to make something unique for my game and my group of players, that still recognizably looks like the core game I started with.

    And I've only just started. These playbooks I've been writing are first drafts.

    Adventure World: the Bard

    Introducing THE BARD

    Cormac, Gilles, Gorse, Iolo, Jacques, Johan, Mikhail, Odo, William
    Brenna, Dori, Helena, Hildy, Isadore, Onioth, Tara, Venus, Zara

    Choose one set:
    • Valor=0 Power=0 Moxie+2 Alert+1 Magic=0
    • Valor+1 Power-1 Moxie+2 Alert=0 Magic+1
    • Valor=0 Power+1 Moxie+2 Alert+1 Magic-1
    • Valor-1 Power+1 Moxie+2 Alert+1 Magic=0

    You get this 1:

    Music Moves the World: when you perform your instrument before an audience, roll+moxie. On a 10+, spend 3. On a 7–9, spend 1. Spend 1 to name an NPC member of your audience and choose one:
    • this person must meet me
    • this person must hire me
    • this person must do something for me
    • this person must fight for me
    • this person loves me
    • this person must give me a gift
    • this person admires my patron
    On a miss, you gain no benefit, but suffer no harm or lost opportunity. You simply perform very well.

    Then, choose 2:

    Around the World: choose a move from another playbook. (During initial character creation, choose it from a playbook that isn’t otherwise in play.)

    Let the Music Do the Talking: you get +1moxie (Moxie+3).

    Jack/Jill of All Trades: at the beginning of the session, roll+moxie. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 2. You can spend a hold at any time to use +1forward for yourself. You may spend more than 1 on the same roll. On a miss, you’re feeling out of it and suffer -1ongoing for the session.

    Jamming Good: while you perform your instrument during combat, but don’t fight, roll+moxie. On a 10+, everybody you choose gets +1ongoing. On a 7–9, one person you choose gets +1ongoing. On a miss, you become the primary target of your enemies.

    Legend Lore: when first confronted with local notable peoples, interesting animals, unusual items, or noteworthy places, you may ask the MC to answer one question about the thing. The MC will then ask you what tale, song, or legend you heard that information from.

    Motley Crew: you have two fellow musicians that follow you around and play support instruments. At the beginning of the session, roll+alert. On a 10+, your band have surplus. On a 7–9, they have surplus, but choose 1 want. On a miss, they are in want. If their surplus lists gold, like 1-gold or 2-gold, that’s your personal share. These two are loyal to you but not fanatical, and they have their own lives apart from you (surplus: 1-gold want: desertion). Name them. Characterize them.
    Choose 2:
    • Your bandmates are dedicated to you. Surplus: +1gold, and replace want: desertion with want: idle.
    • Your bandmates are educated and worldly. Surplus: +insight.
    • Your bandmates are joyous and celebratory. Surplus: +party.
    • Your bandmates are shrewd and frugal. Surplus: +1gold.
    • Your bandmates are hard-working, no-nonsense. Surplus: +1gold.
    • You travel with a full compliment. Add four more musicians. Surplus: +1gold, and replace want: desertion with want: hunger.
    Choose 2:
    • Your bandmates aren’t really yours, more like you’re theirs. Want: +judgment.
    • Your bandmates rely entirely on you for their lives and needs. Want: +desperation.
    • Your bandmates disdain fashion, luxury and convention. Want: +disease.
    • Your bandmates disdain law, peace, reason and society. Surplus: +violence.
    • Your bandmates are decadent and perverse. Want: +savagery.

    Under Pressure: when you read a person, roll+moxie instead of roll+alert.

    Universal Language: you can mark 1 segment in a language wheel for free when you first interact with somebody who speaks a language you don’t know.

    You get:
    • 1 hidden weapon
    • 1 fancy instrument
    • 1 unusual item (you detail with MC)
    • oddments worth 2-gold
    • fashion suitable to your look (you detail)

    Hidden weapon:
    • dagger (1-damage ap melee/thrown)
    • dart (1-damage thrown infinite)
    • net (s-damage thrown grapple)
    • sap (2-damage ko melee)
    • short Sword (2-damage melee)
    • throwing knives (2-damage thrown infinite)

    Fancy instrument:
    • mandolin
    • lute
    • pipes
    • horn
    • fiddle

    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, 3 or none:
    • One of them is your friend. Tell that player Hx+2.
    • One of them is your lover. Tell that player Hx+1.
    • One of them is in love with you. Tell that player Hx-1.
    • Tell everyone else Hx=0.
    On the others’ turns:
    • For everyone, whatever number they tell you, give it +1 and write it next to the character’s name. You read people pretty easily.
    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.

    If your advice is asked for, it acts as insight for the other player’s character (p.212).
    When you take something from another character, under any circumstances, you get +1Hx with them.

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Adventure World: the Halfling

    Introducing THE HALFLING
    Standing about 3 feet tall, halflings prefer simple lives, comfortable homes, and practical clothes. They prefer actual comfort to displays of wealth. Halflings only adventure when they are pressed into it by others, or when some form of deep curiosity must be sated. Sometimes both.

    Berilac, Fosco, Hob, Longo, Mertram, Nob, Popo, Samwise, Togo
    Bella, Blossom, Esmerelda, Honeysuckle, Marlyn, Pansy, Pepwin, Polly, Rose

    Choose one set:
    • Valor+2 Power-1 Moxie=0 Alert+1 Magic+1
    • Valor+2 Power=0 Moxie+1 Alert+1 Magic-1
    • Valor+2 Power-2 Moxie-1 Alert+2 Magic+1
    • Valor+2 Power-1 Moxie+1 Alert+1 Magic=0

    You get 1:

    Small: halfings are small and almost unnoticeable. A number of things are different about you because of this:
    • armor needs to be specially crafted for you and thus paid for.
    • your smaller size means you are less useful in combat. Opponents effectively have +1armor.
    • you can fit into places where most others can’t, attempting to hide or escape is +1ongiong for you.
    • when you take payment or split treasure, you don’t need as much and take less but somehow it ends up being worth just as much. (If an NPC pays you 1-gold, you receive 2-gold. If your share of the treasure is 2-gold it’s actually worth 3-gold.)

    Then, choose 2:

    Entourage: you travel with 3 to 5 other halflings. By default, they are rowdy and naïve with makeshift or scavenged weapons and no discipline (2-damage gang Halfling loud 1-armor). Then, choose 2:
    • there are actually a lot of them following you, 12 to 18 of them. +1armor.
    • they’ve lived outside of a Halfling village for some time now. +1damage.
    • they know how dangerous the world is. Drop loud.
    • they are self-sufficient and able to provide for themselves. +rich.
    • they are strong individuals with their own ideas. +insight.
    And choose 1:
    • they don’t take care of themselves and they need constant attention. Vulnerable: reckless.
    • they are picky and always hungry. Vulnerable: slow.
    • they aren’t that loyal, coming and going as they choose. Vulnerable: desertion.
    • they, and you, are in significant debt to someone powerful. Vulnerable: obligation.
    • they are filthy and unwell. Vulnerable: disease.

    Extraordinary Resilience: you always suffer -1damage. This is not armor, this is applied to damage after armor has reduced it.

    Full of Surprises: when you take damage, make this move instead of making the normal damage move. Roll+damage taken. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7–9, choose 1:
    • It’s not so bad. Take -1damage.
    • Someone present drops 1-gold (doesn’t increase to 2-gold with small).
    • Take +1forward against your attacker.
    Treat a miss on this move as a 7–9 hit on the normal harm move.

    Incredibly Capable: when you lay siege, roll+alert instead of roll+power.

    Never Abandoned: when another character rolls+Hx to help you, they mark experience.

    Stout Heart: when fighting unarmed, you inflict your +valor in damage.

    “What have I got in my pocket?”: when you search your pockets and saddlebags for something, roll+valor. It has to be something small enough to fit. On a 10+, you happen to have just the thing, or close enough. On a 7–9, you happen to have something pretty close, unless what you’re looking for is valuable or rare, in which case no dice. On a miss, you used to have just the thing, but it turns out that somebody stole it from you.

    You get:
    • 1 sentimental weapon
    • oddments worth 2-gold
    • fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece worth 1-armor (you detail)

    Sentimental weapon (choose 1):
    • dagger (1-damage ap melee/thrown)
    • gauntlet (1-damage melee)
    • hammer (2-damage melee)
    • handaxe (2-damage melee messy)
    • pick (1-damage ap melee)
    • sap (2-damage ko melee)
    • short sword (2-damage melee)
    • shortbow (2-damage ranged)
    • sling (1-damage ranged)
    • throwing Knives (2-damage thrown infinite)

    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:
    • Who was the first non-halfling you met outside of your home? Tell that person Hx+2.
    • Tell everyone else Hx+1.
    On the others’ turns:
    • Whatever number everyone tells you, give it -1 and write it next to their character’s name. You don’t really understand these tall folk sometimes.
    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.

    If you cook for another character and they eat the whole meal, you take +1Hx with them and they take +1forward.
    Whenever you have a chance to rest, eat well, smoke a pipe, and get drunk, mark an experience circle.

    Adventure World: the Priest

    Introducing THE PRIEST
    You reach for the stars, shake the pillars of heaven and pull them down around you. Someday your guidance will instruct kings on how to behave and where to give money. Anybody who doesn’t appreciate your vision needs to get slapped, and you have planned to do a lot of slapping! You know you’re right, because you work for god.

    Achard, Enbane, Hezak, Laderic, Nidale, Perol, Sithik, Tousba, Zigmal
    Chani, Errinaya, Gronalyn, Ilene, Lolinda, Peri'el, Teresse, Wellisa, Zynoa

    Choose one set:
    • Valor+1 Power=0 Moxie+2 Alert-1 Magic+1
    • Valor+1 Power-1 Moxie+2 Alert=0 Magic+1
    • Valor+1 Power-1 Moxie+2 Alert+1 Magic=0
    • Valor+1 Power+1 Moxie+2 Alert=0 Magic-1

    You get this 1:

    Dedicated: choose a deity to whom you have dedicated your life’s work and committed your soul to infinite spiritual service to. Each one grants you a unique move that requires some form of material component and uses roll+valor:
    • Abzu: Pathfinder (Find the Path spell literally)
    • Cthulhu: Turn Animal (like Turn Undead, but works against mundane animals)
    • Horus: Divination (see into the future)
    • Sucellus: Bacchanal (gets others instantly drunk)
    • Vishvakar: Antimagic Field (the literal spell from the PHB)
    • Yinglong: Control Weather (make it rain! Or something)

    Then choose 2:

    Aid: when outside of battle, you can choose 1:
    • take -1forward to give somebody else +1forward
    • take -1ongoing to give somebody else +1ongoing.
    • take 1-damage to give somebody else +1armor. Once you heal, the armor is reduced.
    Each choice can only be made once per session.

    Blessing/Curse: when another player’s character moves and you are not present, you can help or interfere but you reset your Hx with them to +0 afterward. This cannot be used with NPCs.

    Charismatic: you get +1moxie. (max Moxie+3)

    Communion: when you tap the arcane nexus, roll+moxie instead of roll+magic.

    Divine Counsel: when a character comes to you for advice, tell them what you honestly think the best course is. If they do it, they take +1 to any rolls they make in the doing, and you mark an experience circle.

    Lay on Hands: when you put your hands skin-to-skin on a wounded person and pray to your deity, roll+moxie. On a 10+, heal 2 segments and take +2Hx with them. On a 7–9, heal 1 segment, take +1Hx with them, and you have potentially incurred your deity’s disapproval. On a miss, you don’t heal them and your deity definitely disapproves.

    Turn Undead: when confronting an undead being with your holy symbol, roll+moxie. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
    • deal +moxie damage ap
    • flees out of reach from you for a short time
    • momentarily dazed and take -1forward
    • all undead that you can see are affected
    • the effects of the turning last for the rest of the day
    On a miss, the MC will declare how the undead react.

    You get:

    • 1 practical weapon
    • oddments worth 1-gold
    • fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece worth 1-armor (you detail)

    Practical weapons (choose 1):
    • Hammer (2-harm melee)
    • Handaxe (2-harm melee messy)
    • Mace (3-harm melee)
    • Quarterstaff (2-harm melee)
    • Sap (2-harm ko melee)

    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:
    • Any of them who follow your deity, tell their players Hx+2.
    • Any of them who don’t follow your deity, tell them Hx-1.
    On the others’ turns:
    • Choose the character whose soul you want to convert to your deity. Whatever number that player tells you, ignore it; write Hx+3 next to the character’s name instead.
    • Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, give it +1 and write it next to their character’s name. You’ve insinuated yourself into their lives.
    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.

    If another character takes communion with you, you each hold 1. Either of you can spend your hold any time to help or interfere with the other, at a distance or despite any barriers that would normally prevent it.
    When another character heals you, you get +1Hx with them.

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    Adventure World: the Ranger

    Introducing THE RANGER

    Avalin, Duren, Ellrin, Feddeth, Mezur, Nyfan, Seth, Teeves, Tyrad
    Avile, Charon, Coren, Iska, Kelkale, Releri, Senes, Shadren, Vala

    Choose one set:
    • Valor=0 Power+2 Moxie-2 Alert+2 Magic-1
    • Valor-2 Power+2 Moxie-1 Alert+2 Magic=0
    • Valor+1 Power+1 Moxie=0 Alert+2 Magic-1
    • Valor-1 Power+1 Moxie+1 Alert+2 Magic=0

    You get this 1:

    Animal Companion: you get a loyal animal companion that accompanies you and serves as a mount, sentry, scout, or hunting animal, as appropriate and rather than as a protector.
    Choose one of these animals:
    • Boar: Power+2 Moxie+1 1-armor 1-damage weakness+1
    • Cheetah: Power+2 Moxie+2 1-armor 2-damage weakness+2
    • Hawk: Power+1 Moxie+2 0-armor 1-damage weakness+1
    • Wolf: Power+2 Moxie+2 0-armor 1-damage weakness+1
    • Horse: Power+2 Moxie+1 1-armor 1-damage weakness+1
    • Crocodile: Power+2 Moxie+1 2-armor 2-damage weakness+2
    • Bison: Power+3 Moxie+1 0-armor 2-damage weakness+2
    Choose strengths equal to its power:
    Fast, aggressive, huge, uncomplaining, alert, attentive, quiet.
    Choose looks equal to its moxie:
    Sleek, powerful, muscular, pretty, scary.
    Choose its weakness or weaknesses:
    Slow, loud, sloppy, lazy, picky, messy, unreliable, skittish.
    …if you defy danger, add your companion’s power to your roll.
    …if you try to seize something by force, add your companion’s power to your roll.
    …if you go aggro, add your companion’s power to your roll.
    …if you try to seduce or manipulate someone, add your companion’s moxie to your roll.
    …if you help or interfere with someone, add your companion’s moxie to your roll.
    …if someone interferes with you, add your companion’s weakness to their roll.
    Whenever you issue commands to, care for, or otherwise have to interact with your animal companion, roll+alert instead of the normal roll.
    If your animal companion dies or leaves your service for any reason, it requires days/weeks of searching and weeks/months of training to acquire a replacement.

    Then, choose 1:

    Iron Horse: your animal companion (or one of them) is a giant or demonic version, your call. You can ride it like a horse, it has some kind of special attack (3-damage melee area messy) and a chitinous or extra thick skin (+1armor).

    Menagerie: you get 2 additional animal companions.

    Pack Rat: when you search your many pockets and saddlebags for something, roll+magic. It has to be something small enough to fit. On a 10+, you happen to have just the thing, or close enough. On a 7–9, you happen to have something pretty close, unless what you’re looking for is valuable or rare, in which case no. On a miss, you used to have just the thing, but it turns out that some thief stole it from you.

    Two Hands Are Better: when you wield two weapons, you can use them both to inflict damage or use the smaller one as +1armor.

    Weather Eye: when you access the arcane nexus, roll+alert instead of roll+magic.

    You get:

    • 1 handy weapon
    • oddments worth 2-gold
    • fashion suitable to your look (you detail), worth 2-armor

    Handy weapons (choose 1):
    • handaxe (2-harm melee messy)
    • scimitar (2-harm melee fancy messy)
    • longsword (3-harm melee messy)
    • flail (3-harm reach area)
    • longbow (3-harm ranged)
    • spear (3-harm reach)

    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 or both:
    • One of them has been with you for days on the road. Tell that player Hx+2.
    • One of them once got you out of some serious shit. Tell that player Hx+2.
    Tell everyone else Hx+1. Everybody knows a bit about who you are and where you’ve been.
    On the others’ turns:
    • You aren’t naturally inclined to get too close to too many people. 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.

    If you escort, guide, or protect another character, they get +1Hx with you on their sheet, but give yourself -1Hx with them on yours.
    Whenever any character (NPCs included) gives you anything, take -1forward. You’re no good at taking compliments or faking social graces.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Adventure World: the Criminal

    Introducing THE CRIMINAL
    In Adventure World, versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness will carry you further than words or praying.

    Bendrix, Buckley, Dixon, Dolarhyde, Leo, Nero, Prosser, Rook, Shade, Turpin
    Amalia, Clodia, Dagny, Fox, Grace, Juli, Marozia, Mona, Sierra, Titania

    Choose one set:
    • Valor+1 Power+1 Moxie=0 Alert+2 Magic-1
    • Valor+1 Power-1 Moxie+1 Alert+2 Magic=0
    • Valor=0 Power+1 Moxie+1 Alert+2 Magic-1
    • Valor=0 Power=0 Moxie+1 Alert+2 Magic=0

    You get 1:

    Night Moves: you are a member of a thieves’ guild and get 2-racket. Whenever there’s a stretch of downtime in play, or between sessions, choose a number of your jobs to work. Choose no more than your racket. Roll+alert. On a 10+, you get profit from all the jobs you chose. On a 7–9, you get profit from at least 1; if you chose more, you get catastrophe from 1 and profit from the rest. On a miss, catastrophe all around. The jobs you aren’t working give you neither profit nor catastrophe. Whenever you get a new job, you also get +1racket.

    pretty much identical to the Operator's Moonlighting move

    Then, choose 2:

    Bat Out of Hell: when you defy danger, roll+alert instead of roll+valor.

    Go Your Own Way: +1alert (Max Alert+3)

    Reputation: identical to the Operator's Reputation move, uses roll+moxie

    Sympathy for the Devil: when you are clearly unarmed, unarmored and surrendering, you cannot be harmed by any person present.

    Take the Money and Run: When you are in close proximity to a person or could conceivably pass by them, you can try to swipe one of their belongings. Roll+alert. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 2:
    • you can see what they have before you grab
    • you get what you want, if it’s there
    • you take it undetected
    • nobody else can see you
    On a miss, against an NPC they either catch you or you get nothing. Against another character, they get +2forward against you.

    The First Cut is the Deepest: whenever you do damage to an opponent before they’ve done damage to you or been damaged by you, ignore armor.

    Tools of the Trade: when you pick a lock or disable a trap, roll+alert. On a 10+, you do it. On a 7-9, choose 1:
    • your tools break
    • you set off the trap / jam the lock
    • are caught in danger
    On a miss, the MC chooses 2.

    Your guild can consist entirely of the other players’ characters, or entirely of the MC’s characters, or any mix. If they include any of the MC’s characters, sketch them out — names (eg Gabble, Jaim, Pe, Wasted) and 1-line descriptions — with the MC. Make sure they’re competent and suited to the jobs you’ve chosen.

    You get:

    • 1 signature weapon
    • oddments worth 1-gold
    • thieves’ tools
    • fashion suitable to your look, including at your option a piece worth 1-armor (you detail)

    Signature weapon (choose 1):
    • folding hand crossbow (1-harm ap ranged reload concealed)
    • ornate dagger (2-damage melee valuable)
    • hidden knives (2-damage thrown infinite)
    • ornate sword (3-damage melee valuable)
    • antique sword (2-damage melee rare)

    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 or both:
    • One of them once faced down dedicated violence to get you out of a fix. Tell that player Hx+2.
    • One of them once let you down in a pinch and left you holding the bill. Tell that player Hx-1.
    Tell everyone else Hx+1.
    On the others’ turns:
    • For everyone, whatever number they tell you, give it -1 or +1 and write it next to the character’s name. Your choice for each.
    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.

    If you give another character a gift worth 1-gold or more, choose one:
    • You take +1Hx and they take -1Hx.
    • You take -1Hx and they take +1Hx.
    Whenever another character takes something from you that you don’t want them to take (gold, a weapon, a lover, etc.), you take +1forward.

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Adventure World: the Kruoserer

    Introducing THE KRUOSERER

    Kruoserers are strange experts on magic. They have electric fingertips, poor dress sense, creepy minds, dour expressions, and eyes like gilded knives. They stand at the back of the room and stare out at everybody else like they are ants on a windowpane. They know your secrets before you do.
    They’re just the sort of tasteful retainer that no well-equipped lord can do without.

    Akiro, Endlor, Gritch, Humfrey, Idelfyn, Montagar, Niven, Thulsa, Trent, Zarih
    Atheri, Delia, Elinore, Iris, Jael, Judith, Kahina, Martine, Morrigan, Rezia

    Choose one set:
    • Valor=0 Power=0 Moxie=0 Alert+1 Magic+2
    • Valor=0 Power+1 Moxie-1 Alert+1 Magic+2
    • Valor+1 Power-2 Moxie+1 Alert+1 Magic+2
    • Valor+1 Power=0 Moxie+1 Alert-1 Magic+2

    You get this 1:

    The Basic Arts: you twist energies out of your body in order to assist you with simple tasks. To activate this spell you simply take -1ongoing and choose an effect which lasts as long as you want it to, or until you rest:
    • a small light with the size and luminescence of a torch appears, either at arm's length above your head or from an object held in your hand.
    • an independent telekinetic force will carry half your weight in items directly behind you.
    • minor illusions capable of producing incoherent sounds or a slowly moving image.
    • any nonmagical item that can be held in one hand can be mended or repaired.
    You can choose to activate multiple effects, each one requires you spend -1ongoing. When you end the spell, or rest, the -1ongoing also ends.

    Then choose 2:

    Arcane Armor: you are always protected by an arcane energy field and are always considered to be wearing 2-armor. This doesn't add to worn armor, and if you're wearing armor with a better rating, use that instead.

    Breath of Life: you can breathe underwater. Alternately, if you prepare for it, you can hold your breath indefinitely but suffer -1ongoing until you breathe air again.

    Clairvoyance: when you examine an environment, roll+magic instead of roll+alert. You do not have to be present to examine a room, as long as you know the location exists or have been there before.

    Evocation: in battle, cast this spell to summon arcane energies to damage opponents. Spend 1-crystal, and roll+magic. On a 10+ you inflict 3-damage ap to a perceived enemy. Choose the form:
    • fireball which sets things on fire
    • energy bolts which pierce objects and armor
    • icy spears which shatter on impact and momentarily blinds the target
    • black clouds which billow around your target, suffocating them
    • bolts of lightning that travel through the air and along objects
    • rats that burrow up out of the ground and bite at your opponent's feet
    • player details
    On a 7-9, choose 2:
    • lose ap
    • -1damage (may be chosen twice)
    • the arcane nexus twists and you suffer -1magic ongoing until you rest
    • it works this time but you lose the Evocation spell until you rest
    On a miss, the MC can choose 3.

    Familiar: many kruoserers employ animals in their service. When you first acquire a familiar, and any time you need to replace it in the future, you must first select what kind of animal it is: bat, cat, hawk, lizard, owl, rat, raven, snake, toad, or weasel.
    Second, while the familiar is in your presence, choose 1 of these stats to receive a +1ongoing: valor, moxie, or alert.
    Third, the animal is telepathically linked to you and can communicate easily and from any distance, you can expect a familiar to be as intelligent as a well-educated child.
    Lastly, the familiar grants you a special move. At the beginning of the session, roll+magic. On a 10+, hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1. You can spend a hold for the familiar to either have some special knowledge which helps you or allows the familiar to interfere with another character without fear of being harmed. On a miss, your familiar is absent (not dead) for the session.

    Identify: whenever you handle or examine something interesting, roll+magic. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:
    • who handled this last before me?
    • who made this?
    • what strong emotions have been most recently nearby this?
    • what words have been said most recently nearby this?
    • what has been done most recently with this, or to this?
    • how was this made?
    • what’s wrong with this, and how might I fix it?
    Treat a miss as though you’ve tapped the arcane nexus and missed the roll.

    Invisibility: this spell can conceal you from sight. Spend 1-crystal and roll+magic. On a 10+, the invisibility is complete and lasts for as long as the kruoserer wants. On a 7-9, choose 2:
    • the invisibility is hard to maintain, you cannot do anything more than move while invisible
    • the arcane nexus twists and you suffer -1magic ongoing until you rest
    • the invisibility is not complete, others can detect you if you move
    • it works this time but you lose the Invisibility move until you rest
    On a miss, the MC chooses 2.

    Paralyze: this spell lets you cripple an opponent by freezing them in place temporarily. Spend 1-crystal, roll+magic and choose options. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1:
    • you don't have to touch them
    • they're paralyzed for a longer time and are effectively helpless
    • they fall over
    • they are completely unaware of what is happening around them while paralyzed
    On a miss, the spell doesn't work at all and cannot be used against the same character for the rest of the session.

    Summon Entity: with this spell you may call upon the arcane nexus to fashion or conjure a companion who will defend and fight for you until their dying breath, until you summon a new one, or until the current situation ends. Roll+magic. On a 10+, describe what your ally looks like and choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1 and the MC will describe what your ally looks like.
    • has natural weapons that deal 3-harm (e.g. claws, bite)
    • has natural 2-armor (e.g. leathery skin, chitinous plating)
    • it has some power or ability that is useful right now
    • there is more than one (up to 3, MC decides)
    • pure arcane connection, while the ally is present and alive you get +1magic ongoing
    • telepathic connection, the ally grants some move to the kruoserer (MC chooses)
    On a miss, the MC chooses 3 and whatever you summoned is not an ally, but might still help you.

    You get:
    • 2 fancy weapons
    • 2 kruoserer gear
    • a Kruos crystal
    • oddments worth 2-gold
    • fashion suitable to your look

    Fancy weapons (choose 2):
    • dagger (1-harm ap melee/thrown)
    • dart (1-harm thrown infinite)
    • hand Crossbow (1-harm ap ranged)
    • quarterstaff (2-harm melee)
    • short sword (2-harm melee)
    • shortbow (2-harm ranged)
    • sling (1-harm ranged)
    • throwing knives (2-harm thrown infinite)
    • whip (1-harm reach grapple)

    Kruoserer gear (choose 2):
    • animal carrier (3-armor)
    This is an ideal resting place for a your familiar.
    • arcane powder (tag alchemy)
    Tagging someone gives you +1forward if you then use a move on them.
    • flashpowder (tag blind)
    This can be used to temporarily blind an opponent instead of inflicting damage on them.
    • healing salve
    For purposes of healing, gives you +1forward.
    • spellbook
    With lots of time and study, allows you to switch out one kruoserer move for another.

    The Kruos crystal: this is how you focus and shape the arcane nexus to your will. It is a unique item because it can't be stolen or taken from you by force (except through magic). It is always considered on your person even if you are bound and stripped of all your clothing and belongings. You must have it in one of your hands when you use a move above that has the word 'spell' in it's description, thus you must have one of your hands free to use those moves.

    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 the character you find most intelligent. Tell that player Hx+1.
    • Tell everyone else Hx-1. You keep yourself secret.
    On the others’ turns:
    • Choose the character you figure for the biggest potential problem. Whatever number that player tells you, give it +1 and write it next to the character’s name.
    • One of them, you’ve been watching carefully for some time, in secret. Whatever number that player tells you, ignore it; write Hx+3 next to the character’s name instead.
    Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, give it -1 and write it next to their character’s name. You’ve got other stuff to do and other stuff to learn.
    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.

    If you sleep in the same room as another character, you automatically Identify them, as though they were a thing and you’d rolled a 10+, whether you have the spell or not. The other player and the MC will answer your questions between them. Otherwise, that move never works on people, only things.

    When you die, everybody else advances face danger.

    +1 Valor (max. +2)
    +1 Power (max. +2)
    +1 Alert (max. +2)
    +1 Magic (max. +3)
    get a new Kruoserer move
    get a new Kruoserer move
    get a new Kruoserer move
    get a laboratory (detail) and followers
    get a move from another playbook
    get a move from another playbook

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Adventure World: the Warrior

    I started working on an Apocalypse World hack this week that I'm calling Adventure World. It's essentially going to be my take on a fantasy setting for AW since I'm not too fond of the Dungeon World hack.

    Introducing THE WARRIOR

    Ash, Björn, Elmgen, Grendel, Koraxil, Maddox, Roland, Thorgrim, Wagner, Zukala
    Amina, Bellona, Cordelia, Enyo, Freyja, Lillian, Qin Liangyu, Sonya, Valeria, Yennenga

    Choose one set:
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie-1 Alert+1 Magic=0
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie=0 Alert+1 Magic-1
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie+1 Alert=0 Magic-1
    • Valor+1 Power+2 Moxie=0 Alert=0 Magic=0

    Choose 3:

    Battle Stance:

    Blood and Thunder: in battle, you count as a gang

    Bloodthirsty: +1damage.

    Lightning Reflexes: always have 2-armor

    To Live and Die By the Sword: roll+magic
    On a 10+, name one NPC who’ll die and one NPC who’ll live.
    On a 7–9, name one NPC who’ll die OR one NPC who’ll live.
    On a miss, you foresee your own death.

    Tough as Nails: all damage rolls made at +0

    Veteran of War: when you’ve examined the environment and you’re acting on the MC’s answers, take +2 instead of +1.

    Violent Attraction: in battle, when another character suffers damage, roll+valor.
    On a 10+, you protect them from all of the damage and suffer none yourself.
    On a 7–9, choose 1:
    • you protect them from most of the damage but you both still suffer at least +1damage,
    • you protect them from damage by taking it yourself,
    • you protect them from damage but your armor is destroyed somehow.
    On a miss, the MC will cause you both to suffer the damage or declare something equally bad.

    Warband: you have 5 followers who wish to fight with you and on your behalf (2-damage gang small 1-armor). Then choose 2:
    • your warband will not betray you. +loyal.
    • your warband is well-armed. +1damage.
    • your warband is well-armored. +1armor.
    • your warband is well-educated. +insight.
    • your warband will fight to the death. +brave.
    And choose 1:
    • your warband is filthy and unkempt. Vulnerable: disease.
    • your warband is indebted to somebody important. Vulnerable: obligation.
    • your warband is unruly and undisciplined. Vulnerable: savage.
    • your warband depends entirely upon you for their needs. Vulnerable: poor.
    Followers who die will not be gradually replaced, but new followers can be acquired by visiting towns and impressing the locals. If mistreated they might leave, but in time a warrior will be able to recruit replacements. Consult your MC for details.
    You also get the Leadership move.

    You get:

    • 1 custom weapon
    • 1 serious weapon
    • 1 backup weapon
    • custom armor
    • oddments worth 2-barter

    Custom weapon (choose 1):
    • bastard sword (4-damage melee messy)
    • battleaxe (3-damage melee area messy)
    • double-bladed staff (3-damage melee)
    • glaive (4-damage reach slow)
    • lance (3-damage reach slow)
    • longbow (3-damage ranged)
    • spear (3-damage reach)
    Options (choose 2):
    • ancient (+rare)
    • big (+area)
    • magical (+2damage)*
    • masterwork (+valuable)
    • ornate (+fancy)
    • spiked (+1damage)
    *counts as 2 options

    Serious weapon (choose 1):
    • flail (3-damage reach area)
    • scimitar (2-damage melee fancy messy)
    • short sword (2-damage melee)
    • spiked chain (2-damage reach)
    • throwing knives (2-damage thrown infinite)

    Backup weapons (choose 1):
    • darts (1-damage thrown infinite)
    • dagger (1-damage ap melee/thrown)
    • hand crossbow (1-damage ap ranged)
    • pick (1-damage ap melee)
    • whip (1-damage reach grapple)

    Custom armor (2-armor and choose 2):
    • ancient (+rare)
    • magical (+1armor)
    • masterwork (+valuable)
    • military (+military)
    • ornate (+fancy)
    • spiked (+1damage)

    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 or both:
    • One of them has fought shoulder to shoulder with you. Tell that player Hx+2.
    • One of them once left you bleeding and did nothing for you. Tell that player Hx-2.
    Tell everyone else Hx=0.
    On the others’ turns:
    • Choose which character you think is smartest. Whatever number that player tells you, add 1 to it and write it next to the character’s name.
    • Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, 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.

    If you have sex with another character, you take +1 forward. They take +1Hx.
    Whenever another character does something for you without expectation of payment (ex: healing, crafting, gifts, etc.), you take +1Hx with them.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    alternate armor

    I have been considering the idea of using an alternate system for armor in D&D-like games. Instead of increasing the character's Armor Class, the armor would reduce the die type of an incoming attack. Depending on the dice chain that a GM uses this could be marginally deadly or make damage virtually nonexistant. This means combat would also be bloodier as everybody would be getting hit more often, but warriors and clerics would take less damage respectively since they are typically more armored than rogues and wizards.

    Leather -1d
    Chain -2d
    Plate -3d
    Shield -1

    The way those are read is Leather reduces incoming damage by one die type, Chain armor reduces damage by two die types, and Plate armor reduces damage by three die types. A Shield would reduce damage only by -1 point. Reducing a d4 would simply add a -2 to the total damage inflicted and damage could never be reduced lower than 1 point, so a successful strike will always deal at least 1 damage.

    This is something I've toyed with because I've always wanted to create a system where every PC starts with the same amount of Hit Points (20) and very little variation exists between classes. Monsters would also have a similar amount of Hit Points, but could get increases due to size or supernatural traits.

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    1d20 vs 2d6

    My group has been playing Apocalypse World for the last few weeks and the players' reactions to the mechanics has revealed a stark discrimination towards the dice. When we were playing Dungeon Crawl Classics I would hear complaints that having a 50% chance of success was "too random" and sometimes players wouldn't even take action if they knew they needed to roll a 14 or higher, saying the chance of success was too slim (35%). Yet here we are playing Apocalypse World where a 7 or better is a marginal success (41% chance) with negative repercussions, and a 10 or better is a success (17% chance) that still comes with a negative cost (regardless of the action rolled), and there have been no complaints about the slim chances, "randomness" of the dice results, or even the uniform unfairness of the rolls.

    I roll my eyes every time they excitedly pick up the dice.

    As for Apocalypse World itself, there are a few minor things I don't like about the rules but there are many things I love about it. The concept and use of the History stat, character progression, simplified combat resolution, and even the consistent 7+/10+ success results needed for every dice roll, are all pretty sweet.

    I just received my print copy of Carcosa this week, and it is a fucking gorgeous book!

    Now that I'm able to flip through it and leisurely take it in, I think it's negative and "controversial" reputation is undeserved. It's a pretty sick and twisted supplement, it also has a few minor things I don't like, but overall I love the artwork, the descriptions of monsters, the weird psionics system, and the randomized damage system. It's all very weird and strange but exotically beautiful.

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    wizards of the third age

    Idelfyn was a wizard, an architect, and a student of the dark lord Saprodei. He is perhaps best known for having built a series of towers across the world which were all destroyed simultaneously at the time of his death.

    Idelfyn's parents were members of the Cult of the Dweller, though the exact time and place of his birth is not known. Either he was sold as a slave to Saprodei or left the cult of his own free will, but for a hundred years Idelfyn trained and served the dark lord Saprodei. He is said to have had a hand in the dark lord's destruction, though his actual role is unknown.

    He constructed a series of seven towers which were almost certainly used as safe places to teleport, he was often seen entering one tower on the same day he would exit from another. He is credited with helping to stabilize the nation of Zenev after the dark lord's destruction. It is well known that he employed otherworldly servants made of living rock and constructed metal golems, both of which could prevent unwanted intruders from entering any of his towers.

    After two centuries, all of Idelfyn's towers were simultaneously destroyed by a magical rift that gouged each tower out from the landscape. It is assumed a teleportation accident of some kind destroyed the towers and that Idelfyn died in the incident. His sudden absence from the politics of Zenev left a power vacuum and it is considered the primary reason for Zenev's decline into barbarism.

    Saturday, November 10, 2012


    Characters have four ability scores, with 7 points to distribute amongst them
    Power +0 : strength, stamina
    Quick +0 : reflexes, agility, speed
    Moxie +0 : willpower, personality, grit
    Valor +0 : bravery, fortitude, luck

    Originally I was thinking that these abilities would simply play off the standard ideas of having an attack roll, an armor class, and hit points.
    Power would add to a base Attack of +0
    Valor would add to a starting pool of 10 Hit Points
    Armor Class would be on an ascending scale, starting at 10 and going up with Quick

    I tried to break the classic four classes down into two traits and if every player would be allowed to select two traits, they could mix and match class characteristics. I had a hard time coming up with something simplistic, so I just created a list of categories for modifications to Attack and HP.

    CHAMPION = add Valor to Attack
    PUGILIST = add Power to HP
    HOOLIGAN = add Quick to HP
    RAKE = add Quick to Attack
    APOSTLE = add Moxie to Attack
    HEALER = healing ability (roll using Moxie)
    MAGUS = add Moxie to HP
    ENCHANTER = magic (magic uses HP to cast)

    As I examined the math of these traits I realized that maxing out Quick and picking the Hooligan and Rake traits would make an uber-character. There was no reason to create any other combination unless you wanted to heal or cast magic. I started to revise how these secondary abilities would work.

    Instead of having a base starting score for Armor Class and Hit Points, I devised a calculation that would force players to truly examine where they would be putting their points. I wanted to force a "pure" Wizard concept character to put points into other abilities, instead of just maxing out Moxie, and I wanted a "pure" Fighter concept character to be forced to examine Moxie's role in their secondary stats.

    base Attack score would be a total of Power and Valor together
    Armor Class would be the total of Quick and Moxie added together and doubled
    Hit Points would be the total of Valor and Moxie added together and doubled

    With these numbers I would have to change how points were distributed, and I couldn't allow for an ability score of +0 otherwise somebody might accidentally start with a 0 HP character. All characters would start with +1 in each ability score and then get 7 points to distribute on top of that.

    The real kicker to all of this is that I wanted my math to work out with rolls being made using 2d10 added together instead of the traditional 1d20. Partially this was because I wanted a simplification of the target numbers for rolls, and partially it was because I wanted the target number to be rolled to never exceed 20.
    Target Numbers would have to: 10, easy; 15, difficult; 20, impossible

    The last thing I came up with were the spells for Wizards, which I always intended would cost Hit Points to cast and some spells would require Moxie rolls to succeed.
    Destroy Chaos: 1 HP, roll Moxie vs TN 10, destroys any Chaos creature with less HP than the Wizard
    Disarm Trap: 1 HP, no roll
    Light: 1 HP, no roll, +1 HP permanent
    Magic Missile: 1 HP, no roll, hits one target, 3 damage
    Fireball: 2 HP, no roll, hits one target, 1d10 damage
    Necrosis: 3 HP, roll Moxie vs target's AC, reduces Attack and Quick to +0 (re-calculate AC = cut in half)
    Teleport: 4 HP, roll Moxie vs TN 10, +1 HP no roll
    Death Bolt: 5 HP, roll Moxie vs target's AC, kills target

    I wanted to simplify the Cleric's ability to heal as well. I didn't want any roll to be involved but I wanted a cumulative cost for the use of a multi-purpose power. This is what I settled on...
    Healing: heal 4 HP, cure poison, or prevent death (if body not destroyed)
    Cleric must touch target of the healing, each use lowers all of the Healer's ability scores by -1 (including Armor Class and Attack), all lost points recovered after rest

    Here are examples of characters that I wrote up in the way I would want to play each class...
    Power +1 , "zero level"
    Quick +1 , Attack +2
    Moxie +1 , AC 4
    Valor +1 , HP 4

    Power +2 , planning on being a WARRIOR
    Quick +2 , Attack +7
    Moxie +2 , AC 14
    Valor +5 , HP 14

    Power +1 , planning on being a ROGUE
    Quick +6 , Attack +2
    Moxie +3 , AC 14
    Valor +1 , HP 8

    Power +2 , planning on being a CLERIC
    Quick +2 , Attack +5
    Moxie +4 , AC 10
    Valor +3 , HP 14

    Power +1 , planning on being a WIZARD
    Quick +2 , Attack +2
    Moxie +7 , AC 6
    Valor +1 , HP 16

    Looking at how the numbers break down, the only thing left would be to design the classes (instead of picking two traits which could be min-maxed)
    WARRIOR = add Power to HP, add Valor to HP
    ROGUE = add Quick to HP, add Moxie to AC
    CLERIC = add Valor to Attack, healing (uses Moxie and Valor)
    WIZARD = add Quick to HP, magic (uses Moxie and HP)

    With these additions the characters change into
    Power +2 , WARRIOR
    Quick +2 , Attack +7
    Moxie +2 , AC 14
    Valor +5 , HP 21

    Power +1 , ROGUE
    Quick +6 , Attack +2
    Moxie +3 , AC 17
    Valor +1 , HP 14

    Power +2 , CLERIC
    Quick +2 , Attack +8
    Moxie +4 , AC 10
    Valor +3 , HP 14

    Power +1 , WIZARD
    Quick +2 , Attack +2
    Moxie +7 , AC 6
    Valor +1 , HP 18

    The really glaring things to me are with the Warrior, he does not have much of an advantage outside of the boost to Hit Points and I intended Power to be an important ability but the math forces Valor to become prominent. Others might notice that Wizards have lots of Hit Points, but that's because their spells require HP to use.

    A quick breakdown of the mathematics
    Attack = Power + Valor
    AC = Quick x2 + Valor x2
    HP = Moxie x2 + Valor x2

    These are just ideas at the moment, but this is where my ideas have been trailing off to.

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Keeping Time

    "The 1 minute melee round assumes much activity - rushes, retreats, feints, parries, checks, and so on. Once during this period each combatant has the opportunity to get a real blow in. Usually this is indicated by initiative, but sometimes other circumstances will prevail." - Player's Handbook, page 105

    In the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules, a round lasted for 1 minute. The explanation above encapsulates many of the rule-making decisions within that show how abstractly the concepts were being used. In actual play, I've never known a gamemaster to use this literal explanation for what is occurring in the round. The 1 minute round was meant to be broken down into 10 six-second segments. Spell-casting during combat was meant to endanger wizards as much as it was to spoil their magic. Consider the following statement:

    "Spell-casters will always insist that they are able to use their powers during combat melee. The DM must adjudicate the success of such use. Consider this: The somatic (movement) portions of a spell must be begun and completed without interruption in a clean, smooth motion. The spell as a whole must be continuous and uninterrupted from beginning to end. Once interrupted, for any reason whatsoever, the spell is spoiled and lost (as if used). Spells cannot be cast while violently moving - such as running, dodging a blow, or even walking normally. They are interrupted by a successful hit - be it blow, missile, or appropriate spell (not saved against or saveable against)." - Dungeon Master's Guide, page 65

    Such a rule today would be considered harsh and inviolate of the inherent "fun" of playing a wizard. I suspect this rule being contested by players is what led to the Concentration skill in later editions.

    Speed factors look to be an important part of 1st edition, where strange advantages present themselves:

    "When weapon speed factor is the determinant of which opponent strikes first in a melee round, there is a chance that one opponent will be entitled to multiple attacks. Compare the score of the lower-factored weapon with that of the higher. If the difference is at least twice the factor of the lower, or 5 or more factors in any case, the opponent with the lower factored weapon is entitled to 2 attacks before the opponent with the higher weapon factor is entitled to any attack whatsoever. If the difference is 10 or greater, the opponent with the lower-factored weapon is entitled to 2 attacks before the opponent is allowed to attack, and 1 further attack at the same time the opponent with the higher-speed-factored weapon finally is allowed to attack." - Dungeon Master's Guide, page 66

    This implies that a thief using a dagger (speed factor 2) will always get to attack twice against a fighter with any kind of sword (speed factor 5 or more). Is it any surprise that most groups of players never paid attention to speed factors? I remember using speed factors with only one GM (as a negative modifier to initiative), but then he also didn't use the official explanation of 1 round equaling 1 minute of time.

    Time keeping isn't essential for determining combat. You don't really need to know how long it takes to wield a battleaxe against a dagger-wielding thief or a pseudopod-swinging otyugh. Time keeping becomes a huge factor once you add magic though, many spells require a full round to cast or are pared down to segments. Just flipping open to a random page in the Player's Handbook one third of the spells require 1 round, another third of the spells take 5 or 6 segments, and the final third require a full turn to cast. And there's the rub!
    1 segment = 6 seconds
    10 segments = 1 round = 1 minute
    10 rounds = 10 minutes = 1 turn

    Just as many of the Old School Renaissance rules systems use a 10 second combat round as the ones that use the classic 1 minute round, and almost all of the OSR games keep the use of 10 minute turns. Though most simply instruct the players to track time outside of combat with regular minutes and hours.

    Third edition D&D did away with this complexity entirely! A round represented 6 seconds of time, and the 10 minute turn was abolished. Initiative was now much more abstract and rolled with a d20 instead of rigidly timed with the round segments by rolling a d10. Speed factors for weapons disappeared. Casting times for spells were no longer broken up into a strange calculation of time and were simply described as "1 action" or in the cases of complex and powerful magics an actual time of "1 minute" "30 minutes" or "1 hour" was listed.

    I appreciate the simplicity.

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    magic blades for DCC RPG

    Because Dungeon Crawl Classics has a design philosophy that every magic item be unique, and because the creation of a random magic weapon is so extensive, I've decided that it would be useful for me to have some pre-generated magic weapons to be able to litter in mid- to high-level adventures later on.

    Inghem was a long sword ensorceled by a lazy wizard in the city of Wallengard, where the captain of the watch paid handsomely for possession of the sword. His son inherited the sword and believing that Inghem's potential as a survival tool was priceless. He ventured out to lands unknown, never to be heard from again.
    +1 to hit, damage 1d8+1
    Chaotic, Int 6, no communication
    wielder and all allies within 30' gain +2 to hit and damage vs unicorns
    Detect Water, 70' at will

    Wit was once used by a famous assassin by the name of Zag. Zag used the dagger to backstab, garrote, and slay wizards from one end of the world to the other. He would keep the wealth from these killings but destroy the magic items. Nobody knows why he set out on this personal quest against magic-users, but everybody knows he eventually met his end at the hands of the Watery Graves, a band of mercenaries renowned for drowning their targets who had been hired by a secretive (and still unknown) wizard.
    +2 to hit, +1 critical range vs wizards, damage 1d4
    Neutral, Int 11, empathy, become one with nature
    Detect Magic 2/day (21 effect)
    Detect Corruption, 1000' at will
    Acid Resistance, ignore 3 points of damage, +1 to saves vs acidic attacks

    In the 7th century of the Arkadan Empire's supremacy, a priest of Gorhan wielded Filbey against the third Army of Chaos Beasts. He hunted their lich-dragon general into the Kerbennian Mountains and was said to have used his last breath to slay the un-dead Chaos dragon. Where the sword ended up after that final battle is anyone's guess...
    +2 to hit, +1 critical range vs undead, damage 1d8+2/+6 vs. Orcs
    Lawful, Int 11, empathy, wants to slay Chaos and undead
    Locate Object 2/day (26 effect)
    Detect Secret Doors within 10' at will
    Whirlwind Strike: Instead of making his normal attack, the wielder can make two attacks in a single round, but rolls 1d10 for each attack instead of his usual action die. He applies his normal attack bonus. Critical hits are not possible when attacking in this manner.

    the Razor of Argis
    This dagger that was crafted by the hands of a Lord of Chaos whose name has been forgotten for thousands of years, but whose influence still extends under the watchful eye of the Hidden Lord.
    +4 to hit, Damage 1d4+4
    Chaos, Int 18, speech and telepathy, punish interlopers and those who interfere with clearing the world for the invasion of the Lords of Chaos
    +1 to hit & damage vs Humans
    +1 to hit & damage & critical range vs dragons
    +2 to hit & damage vs Clerics
    +2 AC bonus vs Lawful while wielding Argis
    Berserker Fury when facing Clerics; ego check or wielder gains +4 Strength and Stamina for 2d6 rounds, then is exhausted at -4 Strength and Stamina for 1d6 turns thereafter 1d6 then 1d6+10
    Unreasoning Hatred: sword urges wielder to attack Lawful creatures at every opportunity (ego check)
    Globe of Darkness obscures surroundings within 20’ at will
    Armor-breaker: On any critical hit, the opponent’s armor is destroyed, in addition to other effects.
    Weapon-breaker: On any critical hit, the opponent’s weapon is destroyed, in addition to other effects. If the creature has natural weapons, they are maimed (e.g., claws are broken, teeth are shattered, etc.).
    Throwing Blade: Sword can be thrown up to 20’ to make a ranged attack. It always returns to its owner’s hand after a throw.
    Un-dead Touch: The weapon scores critical hits as an Un-dead creature, rolling 1d30 on crit table U whenever a crit is scored.
    Summon Troll: The sword is magically keyed to Trolls and the wielder can summon such a creature 2 times per day.
    Eviscerator: When rolling damage, the wielder rolls an additional damage die every time he rolls a 4. For example, if the PC rolls a "4" for damage, he then rolls another 1d4 and adds that to the damage result. Continuing to roll an extra die with every "4" that is rolled.
    Rift Ripper: A creature struck by this blade must make a Fort save vs DC 13 or is banished to a random plane of Chaos.

    I rolled randomly for the first three, using the stats of a wizard getting increasingly stronger in level and skill, but the last one I starting with the highest possible characteristics and rolled randomly from there. I massaged the results for many of the Banes so there wasn't anything that seemed out of tune with the blade's purpose, and I replaced the Medusa's Touch power with Rift Ripper, but it works essentially the same.