Thursday, August 24, 2017

Apocalypse World (actual) playbooks

Look what I made!

These are actual books with flippable pages, designed to be used by complete newbies to the game of Apocalypse World - or even new to tabletop gaming in general.

I've been MCing two games for the last few months, one with players who are well-versed in Apocalypse World and the other with a group of guys who have never played a tabletop role-playing game before. The newer players really prefer these books to the standard letter-size playbooks, and even the seasoned players who prefer the traditional 1st edition trifold playbooks have started gravitating to these flipbook-style playbooks. After the last few sessions, almost everyone in both groups has asked for one of these.

Note: I made a few adjustments to the writing of the traditional playbooks
click these pics to embiggen

1) the CREATING YOUR playbook section is more illustrative and explanatory. There is a step-by-step description for making a character out of the playbook on the back cover - and pages are numbered so everything is easy to find. The phrasing here is often what I say to new players, and rather than hand them a playbook that doesn't have these statements in text I inserted the statements into character creation. That way, I can just hand them the playbook and they'll have fewer questions.

2) under GEAR the word "fashion" is replaced with "clothing" to avoid confusion with the earlier use of the word "fashion" under LOOK, "clothing" is what you're wearing and "fashion" is how you're wearing it.

3) START OF SESSION moves are notated on the first page of text. This helps remind players that this is what we do when we start. LIFESTYLE is explicitly placed before CHANGING HIGHLIGHTED STATS or START OF SESSION moves (if any) based on how I personally MC the start of my games. Also, I never remind players to change their highlighted stats, I allow a player to remind everyone - you might be surprised how often it doesn't happen when you don't mention it.

4) BASIC MOVES are in the very center of the playbook so the book can be spread easily to look at them. ADVANCED versions of the MOVES accompany them with the choose-style circles that are present with a playbook's MOVES, so when players do advance the BASIC MOVES they can notate for themselves which MOVES they have ADVANCED.

5) lots of empty space for note taking and extra moves and shit. Because not every playbook afforded a lot of room, every one of these playbooks has a page dedicated for NOTES!

6) END OF SESSION move is on the last page of text before the back cover. This helps illustrate to players that they should be aware of the BARTER and HARM MOVES as well as the GANG and VEHICLE moves, since these take up the pages just preceding the END OF SESSION move.

7) these don't have artwork! When I first started making these I just didn't have time to scale the artwork onto the covers as I was more concerned with making these playbooks functional and printing them off for my players. Consequently, I've found my players use the covers to draw their characters or sometimes use the extra empty space for more notes. So, I'm leaving them blank for you too.

8) no BATTLE MOVES! This isn't really different, but I thought it was worth pointing out because I made an entirely separate playbook for the BATTLE MOVES! However, I don't print off enough for all of the players. If you've got 5 or 6 players then only keep out 3, if you've got 3 or 4 players then only keep out 2. This keeps the players constantly having to share or exchange the BATTLE MOVES when they come into play, and as an MC I really like watching this happen.

9) not really a thing but I made a CHARACTER MOVES playbook that incorporates all of the moves from the expanded playbooks, and I only printed one of these off - forcing players to share, yes, but I also keep the CHARACTER MOVES book next to myself during play for my own reference.

How to print and fold them: remember you can click these pics to make them bigger

Print double-sided, if your printer does this automatically then just select "flip on short edge" when you're printing. This pic shows what my printer specs look like before I print these off.
If your printer doesn't flip the paper automatically then obviously you're going to have to do this yourself. It's a little bit of a chore, alternately you could just print all of these single-sided and then have twice as many pages, but that's a waste of paper and you really won't need that much blank space for note-taking.

Every two pages has a line, fold along this line and (noting the page numbers) line up all of the pages in their proper order. Voila! An Apocalypse World playBOOK!

Staple them along the outer line if you want to get real fancy.
Be careful though, if you don't align your stapler properly you can fuck up the pages.

I fold the pages before I staple cuz I think it's easier.

Here are the links:
the Angel
the Battlebabe
the Brainer
the Chopper
the Driver
the Gunlugger
the Hardholder
the Hocus
the Maestro D'
the Savvyhead
the Skinner

the Battle Moves
the Character Moves

the Child-Thing
the Faceless
the News
the Quarantine
the Show
the Waterbearer

Sunday, August 6, 2017

state of the nerdwerds

I stopped blogging about my individual games, mostly because the history is getting too convoluted for both. Characters are running around the map, doing their own things, sometimes a player doesn't show up and we just ignore that part of the game world's drama, and I just found relaying a lot of that information tiresome. Especially for two games!

I run two games, and we've been playing every week. Every Saturday and Sunday I've just been busy MCing these two Apocalypse World games.

Last week one of the players finally used the lost move. This is Apocalypse World and lost does something funky: when you whisper someone’s name to the world’s psychic maelstrom, on a hit they come to you, with or without any clear explanation why. The player had been thinking that when he used the move, it would call the person to you in real time, and they would have to travel that distance to get to you. He used lost on another PC and I had the other PC just show up, next to his Skinner's side. He hit a 10+, so I just treated the result similar to bonefeel. The psychic maelstrom cracked a little and brought the other PC through.

That was fun!

I'm going to need a break from MCing soon. I've been buying components to build my own PC and once they've all arrived I want to spend a weekend just putting it together and setting it all up. I haven't had a really decent PC in almost a decade, and this one will be, well, if you know anything about computers you can see my part list on pcpartpicker - the only thing I have left to buy is the monitor.

New computer means new games. Most importantly, it will be fast enough to run the programs I want to use to make my own games. I have ideas for making little test games using gamemaker and unity. I used to make mods for Neverwinter Nights, way back in 2002 and 2003, and I want to get back into making things. I have ideas.

Consider this a state of the union for my blog. I've neglected this blog quite a bit because I'm not always gaming, and even when I am gaming it feels exhausting to just write up game sessions. I haven't been writing for the last month, and I don't want to lose that mental muscle. I want to get back into the habit of writing, even if it's just once a week. Going forward when I write something I'm going to talk about it here, when I work on my video games I'm going to write about it here, and when I play a game - even just a video game - I'm going to share that here.

Meanwhile, I have been working on this one project...
...I'll share more about it once its finished.