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.

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The Damned, by Johnstone Metzger
The apocalypse came and went, now its leftover terrors lie across the land like a plague of fear. The weak cower in their hovels, content to eke out a meager life, praying that demons in the guise of men will pass them over. For those demons have no fears, they refuse to kneel, they want your crowns. And how will you threaten them from atop your thrones? How can you reason with a fiend when all it knows is hunger?

Johnstone Metzger once granted me permission to convert his Heralds of Hell playbooks into a legal-size format, and he granted me permission again to revise those same playbooks to the second edition rules for Apocalypse World.

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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.

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The Grotesque, by Avery Adler
They talk about the apocalypse like it’s a curse. They talk about the apocalypse like it took something from them - the golden age of once upon a time. They talk about the apocalypse like it’s an act of betrayal, perpetrated by some malign entity.

They talk about the apocalypse as if they don’t realize you’re standing right there.

Thanks to the generous permission granted by Avery Alder, I have revised the Grotesque playbook to fit with the second edition rules for Apocalypse World, with all new artwork provided by Marie Ann Mallah!

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The Haunted, by Johnstone Metzger
Everything we have is robbed from graves, from corpses entombed in their own homes, from the dead cities buried under dirt and water, from the past and its memories. Do you think they see you, with their crowpicked eye-holes? Can you hear them speak, with their black and bloated mouths? Yeah, go ahead, son. Brush it off. But there’s more things under these shattered heavens than you think. The dead far outnumber the living now. And I have to wonder: is there still room enough in hell?

Once upon a time Johnstone Metzger granted me permission to convert his Heralds of Hell playbooks into a legal-size format, and I asked him again for permission to revise those same playbooks to the second edition rules for Apocalypse World, which he granted.

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The Horseman, by Johnstone Metzger
Those seals are broken and the end has come.
Seems like we didn't all get the message, huh?
Well, somebody has to break the bad news to the fools gone deaf.
Better be one tough sonofabitch though.
These motherfuckers are likely to kill the messenger.

Johnstone Metzger once granted me permission to convert his Heralds of Hell playbooks into a legal-size format, and now he has granted me permission again to revise those same playbooks to the second edition rules for Apocalypse World.

The Red Shirt, by Patrick Mallah
They say some people were born to lead. They weren't talking about you.

The red shirt is a henchman to someone else's agenda, an expendable but not forgettable character. Play a red shirt if you want to be a support character. Warning: prepare to die, but give yourself permission to change allegiances if you need to.

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The Unstitched, by Patrick Mallah
You're on a crusade to save your home, you've stepped sideways through the maelstrom to fulfill your duty, only to find yourself dancing with death. You're here now, unstuck from your own time, and you know that all of this happened already, more or less.

An ingratiating infiltrator who knows too much, struggling to find their own peace. Play an unstitched if you want to have access to the most dangerous knowledge about anyone else, or anywhen. Warning: failing your mission from the future can seriously change your plans, unless that IS your plan.

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The Wolf, by Patrick Mallah
The world is a dangerous place filled with smoke and mirrors, it's a steaming pile of crap where others bicker and fight over meaningless twaddle. They circle each other like dogs, waiting to bite the closest friend with a leg up. You're in this world too, but you see through the smoke, you're above the crap, and you have the leash. You just have to teach them who's really in charge.

The wolf is a villain. It gives a player the opportunity to be an additional threat impulse, but still has to contend with threats the MC throws at them. Play a wolf if you want to stir up shit and start trouble. Warning: you will be considered a threat and a nuisance by everybody else.

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The Last Child, by Johnstone Metzger
We knew we’d never live enough to grow old, but our children never even grow up. Between cannibals, plague and the black wind howling in our minds, the souls of our young are snatched from our homes nearly every day.

Except for that one, the youngest. The last one born, who looks at you like they say the sun used to, before all of this. Don’t speak of kill or be killed, this one has other means, so strange to see. Is this child really the last of us, or the first of something else?

Johnstone Metzger once granted me permission to convert his Heralds of Hell playbooks into a legal-size format, and now he has granted me permission again to revise those same playbooks to the second edition rules for Apocalypse World.

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legal size
full book 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


    1. Replies
      1. send it to nerdwerds at gmail
        Thanks for your help!

    2. I love this. As one of the people that searched high and low for playbooks. I love the idea of having a central location for accessing them or at least the method needed to get them.

      Once you update the list I will be happy to add to it with what I have

      1. Thanks Dave! I update the lists as I receive new information or links. The Turncoat only went up about an hour ago, and if something isn't hosted somewhere I upload it to my google drive. Cheers!

    3. Hollow, Selkie and Serpentine are all Joe McDaldno. See also the Angel,

    4. This resource is much needed, and I agree with you that not sharing playbooks is an obstacle to the appreciation of the game. Good job.

    5. Be advised The Raksasah is NOT by the author of the game MotW, but rather from another person

    6. Well done, man. The community has needed this for a long time, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    7. You know what? Do what you want to do. The rest of the world are weiners! Fuck 'em.

      You're doing a service.


    8. I'm pretty sure your first update isn't from December 2013. :)

      1. When I first started the page I ended up updating it every other day, so there were lots of updates in December instead of one singular update actually. That December update was something I had written between Christmas and New Year's.

      2. You missed my point. :) December 2013 hasn't happened yet. It should be December 2012.

      3. Oh wow! Awesome typo, and I failed to spot it twice. ;-)

    9. Wow dude, I posted Zombie World two days ago! You are on POINT!


      I thought I should probably let you know that this exists. I am the gnome7 who maintains that post, and it is loaded to the brim with Dungeon World content.

    11. Great stuff! Ive been trying to get my group into AW for a couple months but I havent been able to find it anywhere. All the websites seem to be down when I check. Do you know of any other websites to try besides the main ones?

      1. The main website has been down for the last week. I'm not sure if the server is having issues or what's going on, but I know Vincent is aware of the problem and is working on it. I would give it a couple of days and keep checking back.

    12. Hi! I'm "Whispering Willows'" writer, Michael Tangherlini. Thank you for featuring my game in your page! If you need it, here's the actual link you can add to the description:

    13. Hi. My friends and I are playing AW and we want to create our own playbooks but I could not found a way to do it. The mechanics, not only to calculated the move, how many, the stats, but almost the rest. We want to create new playbooks that could be consistent.
      There is some formula? Like All the stats must give x number, if you start with one in +3 take a move away, etc.
      What things (in a mechanical way) must be considered?
      Thank you very much for your answer.

    14. Man, I feel your pain. I started a thread on the Hero System boards years ago, where I asked people to submit creepy NPC ideas for a particular setting. The thread generated twenty pages of truly outstanding (as well as mediocre) ideas. One of the board members created a wiki and transferred the individual entries to it, so that people could search/comment/etc. and even made a random generator to speed up making an assortment of the weird character for games.

      He got several members asking (and threatening) him to take their work off of the wiki. I respect people's right to profit from their own ideas, but if you post in a public forum, I would argue that the expectation is that people will take and modify the work for their own needs, but whatever.

      1. I haven't seen anybody actually try to make money off of writing Apocalypse World playbooks. That seems to be something that only Dungeon World players try to do.

    15. I've got something that might interest ya---new official-ish playbook that is A DOLPHIN IN A ROBOT SUIT (though you can also have it be for a human or whatever). And this is a very different beast from the Juggernaut playbook:

      I don't have a copy but if I get one I'll see if I can hook you up.

      1. According to Vincent the Space Marine Mammal is officially unavailable at this time. When Vincent sees fit to make it available on his website it will be categorized as a limited edition playbook here.

    16. Can I get a way to contact the creator Raksasha

    17. Thought you should know about this update to The Afterborn. I hope Jonathan Walton decides to finish it someday.

      1. Yeah, no prob. I just found certain aspects of the first alpha rather vague and confusing, so I thought I'd look into it some more. The new draft is much better, though the old one is good to keep as a historical document of development. It only seems to be linked on the following story games thread, which combined with the last update being a year ago makes me think that the project has sadly been abandoned:

    18. Easy access to an increased variety of interesting options helped nudge me towards buying a hard copy of Apocalypse World. Seems like a win/win/win situation to me.

    19. Replies
      1. Thanks! This page was always meant to showcase and share the AW playbooks, I wasn't sure if the thumbnails would work but it gives me the opportunity to write a little more about each playbook now.

    20. Does anyone have the link to the Starwars hack that originally contained the Death Moves?

      1. Well, for one thing you're on the right page already. Shift+F and search for "star wars"
        or it is literally the first link!

    21. A World of Ice and Fire - playbooks, a Game of Thrones hack, by Andrew 'Pheylorn' Medeiros

      This one is down.

      1. He's put both the moves and the playbooks under one link instead of two. The entry above is fixed now.

    22. Seems I have to type it again. Oh well, might as well get it over with and finally POST the damn thing. When you log in to publish your comment, Google flushes it. Genius. Anyway: Black Stars Rise by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel. I really want to insult everyone with all of my hate right now. Trying to post this was just the last straw. Even if it hadn't happened I'd still hate everything and everyone.

    23. Hello, could someone please tell me where I can get the limited edition Playbooks?
      In the link "" there's only the AW pdf which I already have.
      Thanks in advance.

      1. They are literally the first link, read the instructions

    24. excited to hear about a l5r hack

    25. Hello, I'm the owner of the "Whispering Willows" game hack. I'm writing to ask you to remove the game from your list, since I'm stopping its development. Thanks for the support, anyway.

    26. Hey, your link to "Crystals" is broken.

      Do you know if it can be found anywhere else or if there are any copies floating around anywhere?


      1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      2. I'd avoid to put links to that website. It hosts almost all illegal stuff, like that fanzine.
        PS: this is the legal link, if you want to support them:

      3. Thanks for the heads up! I just used a little google fu to find that link and didn't consider the source.

      4. Original comment, without link:
        Sorry, I don't have any other information on that one. It's also one of the few pdfs I didn't download a copy of. You might try asking around for it on the Apocalypse world forums or subreddit.

    27. I'll have to get you a copy of The Firestarter monsterhearts skin I made for Jackson Tegu's second skins. It hasn't seen a lot of circulation. There's also some interesting ones I've worked on with others, The Mole, The Abomination, The Gremlins...

    28. What is the stance (officially or unofficially) of converting 1e AW playbooks to 2e?

      1. I think you could ask to the AW creator, D Vincent Baker. You can reach him at: lumpley AT that famous domain related to google that we always use .com

        He's a very kind and helpful, I'm sure you'll have a reply.


      2. Thanks! (And IDK why its showing Unknown as I've got a profile showing in my "Reply as" but still thanks!)

      3. Vincent keeps a real hands off approach to what other people do with the playbooks. I can't say for certain whether he's even read any of them, but I know he enjoys seeing all the work people put in to expanding on his game.

        If you want to convert a playbook from 1e to 2e then I'm going to tell you to do it and please share it. I feel a bit embarrassed that I haven't converted more playbooks to 2e already, but I also haven't been playing AW for almost a year now.


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