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Author Topic: Apocalypse World - where is the love ?  (Read 6190 times)

BedrockBrendan

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2012, 04:16:11 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;602061
As Tommy says, one of the main stats is keyed toward the sex moves, also the sex moves are one main way to increase Hx, or history with a character, which is one of the main ways of getting experience.  Yes, I can fuck my way to better marksmanship.

Look at the cover, and tell me what the game is about:



I have no opinion of this game. Have never read it, and just did a quick search of reviews to catch up. But it is not hard to see how people might get the idea the game is a bit immature based on the cover and the fact it has rules for sex moves (when I found out about these, my first thought was it seemed somewhat juvenile). It could be a perfectly good game once you get past those things. I just can see how it turns people off by making a pretty big first impression with those details.

noisms

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2012, 04:27:23 PM »
Quote from: The Traveller;602092
I'm still trying to pin this down. What makes the game brilliant, which specific mechanics? I mean the general idea of influencing gameplay through mechanics is hardly innovative, D&D did it from the start by giving more XP for treasure than killing monsters.

Silva answered fairly well, but to boil it down to its essence, a roll has three outcomes: outright success (although this is usually qualified by some minor sacrifice), partial success (you succeed, but you face a tough choice), or failure (something bad happens). So there are always consequences to everything.

It's not something I always want in a game, because I do like more traditional games and play-styles too, but it in AW everything moves very efficiently. Playing it feels like a page turner, because with literally every roll there is some sort of imminent happening. Either the player succeeds, or succeeds but has to make some sort of sacrifice, or fails and something bad happens. So everything is always moving, moving, moving. This gives it a quite breathless feel and means that lots of stuff goes on in a session.

Not for everyone, perhaps, and not what I always want. But it's really enjoyable when it gets going.

EDIT: I should also add that Vincent Baker's writing style irritates me, as does the way he always eggs up the "edginess" factor, but his instructions for DMing the game are also genuinely really good. He does a great job of explaining the way everything works and how to run it effectively, using masses of examples.
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DKChannelBoredom

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2012, 04:30:43 PM »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan;602094
I have no opinion of this game. Have never read it, and just did a quick search of reviews to catch up. But it is not hard to see how people might get the idea the game is a bit immature based on the cover and the fact it has rules for sex moves


I can follow that, but book by it's cover'n'all.

And isn't that a thing with lots of games? LotFP springs to mind. And the first edition of Unknown Armies. And Countdown had a swastika on it. Etc.

I would probably describe Apocalypse World as looking mature, but I can see why one might look at it from the opposite angle.

I think Silva described why it is a  good roleplaying game really well, but as I said before, it's  acquired taste, like most roleplaying games.

It's just a a shame that you automatically get the "oh, you like game with sex moves, you freak"-vibe, when Apocalypse World is mentioned.
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Justin Alexander

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2012, 04:35:58 PM »
Quote from: The Traveller;602025
I mean, what, sex moves? I haven't really investigated the production but as far as games go that's a major alarm bell right there, I don't mind playing in someone else's imagination but not their creepy fantasy.

The sex moves are really a mechanic about relationships. Not only don't they require you to get into some sort of creepy sexual fetishist detail, they actually serve to discourage that by having a sterile mechanic kick in at the point where you'd otherwise have an opportunity to transition to that sort of thing.

The game basically performs the "fade to black" for you. While you certainly could choose to turn the lights back on and describe your character's sexual experiences, the game doesn't encourage it or even suggest it. In practice, these mechanics encourage the PCs to form really intense emotional relationships with each other... and then tear those relationships apart because there's still an incentive to go hook up with somebody else.

You know how a lot of post-apocalyptic dramas feature a group of characters who emotionally tear themselves apart even though the rational course of action would be to band together and trust one another? This is how Apocalypse World organically achieves that dynamic and it works.

But because it uses the word "sex", virginal neckbeards get upset about it. If it really bugs you, you can replace the words "have sex" with "start dating" and the mechanics of the game won't care.

A few examples that might help clarify things:

Battlebabe Sex Move: If you and another character have sex, your Hx with them on your sheet goes immediately to +3, and they immediately get +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet. If that brings their Hx with you to +4, they reset it to +1 instead, and so mark experience.

Brainer Sex Move: If you and another character have sex, you automatically do a deep brain scan on them, whether you have the move or not. Roll+weird as normal. However, the MC chooses which questions the other character’s player answers.

Driver Sex Move: If you and another character have sex, roll+cool. On a 10+, it’s cool, no big deal. On a 7–9, give them +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet, but give yourself -1 to your Hx with them on yours. On a miss, you gotta go: take -1 ongoing, until you prove that it’s not like they own you or nothing.

And so forth. You'll notice the complete lack of mechanical reach-arounds and blow-jobs.

Quote from: The Traveller;602044
So its just a system? For pity's sake.

In much the same way that D&D is "just a system": The mechanics of the game are not tied to a specific setting, but any game played in the system will clearly share a common milieu. It's setting from the bottom up instead of setting from the top down.

Quote from: CRKrueger;602061
also the sex moves are one main way to increase Hx, or history with a character

That's radically inaccurate.

Only 3 sex moves (angel, chopper, driver) have anything to do with Hx at all (and one of those is Hx neutral -- one character gains Hx while the other loses an equal amount). The other 8 sex moves (battlebabe, brainer, driver, hardholder, hocus, operator, savvyhead, skinner) have nothing to do with Hx at all.

It's actually really trivial to end up with a group who doesn't have an Hx-associated sex moves by pure chance. And even if you do have an Hx-associated sex move in the group, it still won't be the primary method of gaining XP.
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The Traveller

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2012, 04:45:17 PM »
Quote from: Justin Alexander;602099
The game basically performs the "fade to black" for you. While you certainly could choose to turn the lights back on and describe your character's sexual experiences, the game doesn't encourage it or even suggest it. In practice, these mechanics encourage the PCs to form really intense emotional relationships with each other... and then tear those relationships apart because there's still an incentive to go hook up with somebody else.

You know how a lot of post-apocalyptic dramas feature a group of characters who emotionally tear themselves apart even though the rational course of action would be to band together and trust one another? This is how Apocalypse World organically achieves that dynamic and it works.

That makes a little more sense, although most research shows that people tend to become far more socially aware and co-operative during disasters, but...

Quote from: Justin Alexander;602099
And so forth. You'll notice the complete lack of mechanical reach-arounds and blow-jobs.

...I also noticed the violation glove...
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noisms

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2012, 04:53:39 PM »
Quote from: The Traveller;602101
That makes a little more sense, although most research shows that people tend to become far more socially aware and co-operative during disasters, but...


...I also noticed the violation glove...


This isn't a disaster, though. This is the apocalypse. And there are genre expectations associated with that!
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silva

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« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2012, 04:56:35 PM »
Quote
...I also noticed the violation glove...


what da fuck is this ?

The Traveller

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« Reply #82 on: November 24, 2012, 05:02:30 PM »
Quote from: silva;602105
what da fuck is this ?

This is in your link, brainer gear:
Quote
violation glove (hand hi-tech)
For purposes of brainer moves, mere skin contact counts as time and intimacy.

Looks like a big ol' rape fist to me. Yes I read the whole thing, I read quickly.

Tell me that's not creepy.
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Ladybird

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #83 on: November 24, 2012, 05:06:38 PM »
Quote from: One Horse Town;602046
I love how people who try to make out that AW is a traditional game always seem to pretend that sexy sex moves aren't part of the game.

What about the explicit mention of sex in the game would prevent it being a "traditional game"?

I mean, when adventurers blow money on "wine, women and song", it's always somewhat assumed that they aren't inviting the ladies to play tiddlywinks.

Quote from: silva;602082
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What else could it be about?

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Tommy Brownell

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #84 on: November 24, 2012, 05:27:29 PM »
Quote from: DKChannelBoredom;602071

But that doesn't change, that there is a really good set of rules in there, that really caters high tension and dramatic roleplaying, just like the people who have actually played the game in this thread vouches for.


I agree.

As I said, I found the system worked quite well in tremulus.
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BedrockBrendan

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #85 on: November 24, 2012, 05:38:10 PM »
Quote from: DKChannelBoredom;602097
I can follow that, but book by it's cover'n'all.

And isn't that a thing with lots of games? LotFP springs to mind. And the first edition of Unknown Armies. And Countdown had a swastika on it. Etc.

I would probably describe Apocalypse World as looking mature, but I can see why one might look at it from the opposite angle.

I think Silva described why it is a  good roleplaying game really well, but as I said before, it's  acquired taste, like most roleplaying games.

It's just a a shame that you automatically get the "oh, you like game with sex moves, you freak"-vibe, when Apocalypse World is mentioned.


Certainly. I am not passing judgement on the game itself (nor am I passing judgement on you for liking it) never having played before. Like I said the system could be perfectly sound. I would even give it a try out of curiosity now if my group wasn't overscheduled at the moment. My only point is those kinds of things will shape peoples reactions and it is a somewhat understandable reaction. In general I find attempts at "mature content" in RPGs offputting (partly because my own experience has been it is usually, though certainly not always, the least mature of my players who buy such games). I don't know about the game with the swastika, and haven't seen the cover or read the book, but that is definitely a symbol I think needs to be used with caution (it may be totally appropriate for the game in question, but if all I knew about a game was it has a swastika on the cover, it would shape my opinion negatively).

noisms

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2012, 05:44:35 PM »
Quote from: The Traveller;602106
This is in your link, brainer gear:

Looks like a big ol' rape fist to me. Yes I read the whole thing, I read quickly.

Tell me that's not creepy.


This is kind of a sidetrack, but when was creepiness something to be avoided in a game?

Apocalypse World is dark, weird, and creepy (or can be), but so are lots of games. For what it's worth the violation glove has nothing to do with rape - it does what it says on the tin: allows you to do a brainer move through mere skin contact. Brainer moves are things like planting a command, reading somebody's mine, and other stuff that you'd expect a psychic-type class to be able to do. The violation glove means they can do it by touch. It's no more a "rape fist" than charm person is a rape spell.
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The Butcher

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #87 on: November 24, 2012, 05:54:56 PM »
noisms and silva are doing a pretty good job of selling me on the game.

Dibs on the Gunlugger.

noisms

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2012, 06:04:24 PM »
Quote from: The Butcher;602114
noisms and silva are doing a pretty good job of selling me on the game.

Dibs on the Gunlugger.


Glad you like the sound of it! It's nice when something positive comes out of one of these threads.
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The Traveller

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Apocalypse World - where is the love ?
« Reply #89 on: November 24, 2012, 06:55:28 PM »
Quote from: BedrockBrendan
I don't know about the game with the swastika, and haven't seen the cover or read the book, but that is definitely a symbol I think needs to be used with caution (it may be totally appropriate for the game in question, but if all I knew about a game was it has a swastika on the cover, it would shape my opinion negatively).

I find that more interesting than otherwise, since its a clockwise swastika, the reverse of the nazi symbol.

Quote from: noisms;602111
The violation glove means they can do it by touch. It's no more a "rape fist" than charm person is a rape spell.

In isolation I'd pay it no heed, but in the context of a game with plentiful "sex moves" it does give me pause. Its even called a violation glove.

Anyway yeah I'd probably have to see more specific examples of mechanics one way or the other, glowing recommendations (from people I admittedly respect) aren't very meaningful. Unknown Armies had a revolutionary sanity system, Exalted brought the battle wheel to the table, CP2020 was one of the best known systems to ground roleplaying in the skill+stat+dice mechanic, all of these I understand back to front, marvellous innovations.

How specifically does the game inspire and deal with in-group conflict, how does it promote harsh responses to situations of scarcity, give me numbers! I can work with numbers better than referrals.
"These children are playing with dark and dangerous powers!"
"What else are you meant to do with dark and dangerous powers?"
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Quote from: that muppet vince baker on RPGs
If you care about character arcs or any, any, any lit 101 stuff, I'd choose a different game.