Friday, August 31, 2012

Apocalypse World, Art: The Gunslinger Playbook!

Hey y'all. First off, thank you all! I made my goal of 1000 hits through the month of August. That breaks the previous record by over 300 hits, and is triple the growth rate I'd had pretty consistently before. I like to think I'm producing more good content and folks are looking, but Twitter definitely helped, as did doing more original art and advertising in new places. Also, I'm sure posting around has been upping my spambot count :/ . But seriously, thanks, and I hope to just keep putting out better and better stuff.
 Music now! I like putting the music first so you can listen while you read, it feels more natural.
I've done Bastion before - refer to February Songaday Day Four cuz I want to get right into content. Slinger's Song is thematically appropriate here.

OK, so, Apocalypse World. I've talked about it before, I've done extensive posting about Dungeon World, and I own and have played, in combination, seven Apocalypse Powered systems, not counting the free Regiment or World of Dungeons. It's awesome. I love the system, I love the fiction, I love the writing and it makes me want to just play and play and play.
And yet, I haven't played the original piece, Apocalypse World. I own it - have since Christmas. I have all the LE playbooks, which I got at Christmas. I recently dove into the playbook-trading world and emerged with almost everything there is to have. But I haven't played it. Why? In short, Kris. Now, I do not begrudge him for this one little bit at all, but Kris isn't really a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. It's just not his schtick. He's not particularly thrilled by it, and it gets a bit on the dark side for him (which I think is hilarious because the stuff he runs in like D&D is way darker than anything any of us ever come up with). This is entirely fair - I'm not going to push him into a game he's not into, especially if I have other games to show off and try.
Now, though, school is starting back up, and Kris is back at uni, too far to game in person. Like usual, we'll be Skyping him in. Also, like usual, I expect for there to be a good number of days where he just can't make it due to classwork and stuff and other obligations - also fine. However, instead of just canceling when he's not free, an idea hit me - take the others, who are cool with the genre, and play Apocalypse World with THEM when Kris is too busy, and just keep AW on the side when Kris is here! It works perfect. Only problem: I'm not confident about running AW for JUST Dan and Kenny - despite hearing about it working, I want one more player. I could find folks, but I also have been a bit weird about introducing new folks into our existing dynamic - it's why I've stuck to this group and just this group. The perfect situation came up though. See, we have a former member named Luke. Admittedly, in the past, Luke has kind of a flake to the game. He'd start out really excited, start playing, and after two sessions start coming up with excuses not to come, despite claiming excitement. I can't know if the excuses were real or not - I know he's busy, and has a hell of a lot more of a social life than I do. So we were talking about needing another member, and were saying, hey, maybe Luke - his playstyle even fits great for AW. As we were discussing it, who calls Kenny's cell but Luke, asking, in the most bizarre coincidence, if we've got any games going on anytime soon that he might be able to Skype in and play with us!
I'm now coordinating what's happening for that. This Saturday I'd set up a plan to game, and Kris wasn't available, so hey, AW. Now, Kris might be able to join, which not only means I need to think fast about games but also need to figure out what I'm going to do about the fact that I need Skype Premium to video-chat two people at once. Shit. But it's exciting, maybe we play AW or whatever, but it'll be fun regardless!
EDIT: Kris will be playing, and he's cool with AW! In fact, after doing some closer reading of a couple of playbooks, he's actually pretty excited. Thinking Maestro D' or Hoarder.

So,that's all the backstory. Luke contacted me about having read through the playbooks and was wondering if there was a way to plat, like, a dual-pistols specialist. I actually couldn't think of one. I asked over at Story Games, and got a couple of neat brainstorms that I liked, but I wanted something nice to give Luke for the game. So I set about to build a small supplemental playbook called The Gunslinger.
I had a choice to go with the Battlebabe or the Gunlugger as a base - honestly, I was just feeling the Battlebabe, but I think it can apply decently to either of the two.

First off, a little flavor text!

In the old days, before even the Golden Age hit its prime, there was another lawless time, where peace wasn’t kept with courts and lawyers, but with a pair of revolvers at twenty paces. These days ain’t so different, and you? Your pistols are ready and your reflexes are sharp. White hat, black hat – in Apocalypse World, what’s the difference?

I hope that sounds cool. *I* think it sounds cool. For now, it'll do.

So, how do you get this supplemental playbook?

When you master the art of wielding dual pistols, you can take the following as new Battlebabe moves or as moves from another playbook.

I plan to give Luke this by default though. This trigger is one of my meh spots.


(___) Fastest Gun In The Wastes: When you pull your guns before anyone else can react, roll+Sharp. On a 10+, your guns are out and ready; maybe you even fire off a couple shots. On a 7-9, your guns are out, but you weren’t quite the fastest gun in the wastes this time. On a miss, the MC makes a move, as hard as he likes.
 I like the name. I have several variations on this, but this is my favorite so far. It pairs quite well thematically with the Battlebabe's Reflexes move to make a lightning-fast character.

(___) Speed Shooter: When you unload the whole clip of both your pistols into your foes, you can choose to either deal an additional one harm to a single target or to make an area attack (as if your guns had the autofire tag). Your guns are empty now though!
 The ability to unload their revolvers at high speed is a gunslinger thing from Western flicks, and I wanted a move like this. The Area Fire option is from Johnstone in the S-G thread - it's way better than what I had before (which was +1 harm, +2 is you empty all your ammo, and that is way lamer and potentially stronger).

(___) Town Sheriff: You’ve got the law on your side. When you round up a posse to get your business done, you get a gang of deputies (2-harm gang small 1-armor vulnerable:desertion) until the job is done.
 This was something I really liked the idea of. That said, I must say I liked the idea in the S-G thread of a Touchstone as a sheriff. Your nature as a sheriff though, while it lets you deputize a bunch of people, comes with a lot of obligations (probably to the local warlord or Hardholder). Also, the Sheriff that deputizes people for personal vengeance and not for actually crime-hunting won't remain the sheriff for long, especially if he gets some of the deputies killed.

(___) Trick Shot: No one can do what you do with those pistols. When you try to make a clever shot instead of just outright shooting you can Seize by Force or Go Aggro with Cool instead of Hard. If you already have the Ice Cold move, when you Go Aggro with a trick shot you get +1 to the roll.
 I just couldn't make it really work. I originally had it work with Sharp, but then you'd never take this instead of Ice Cold. In the end, I just combo'd it up. This is my major spot of discontent, but hey, it's on a trial basis right now.

So that's what I have for the playbook. It was fun to actually try to put something together. I'll be composing up something more official-looking than the Word doc I have right now, probably once I feel better about the moves as a whole.

However, maybe you're here for art, not for stats.
I actually started working on the playbook with the art. A bit backwards. But hey, it's fun.
I worked off of this piece of stock art from deviantart. Thank you very much to dragon-orb!
I don't want to embed it and siphon his own views. Check it out though, especially if you occasionally use stock art yourself - he has a lot of really great stuff and is really relaxed on his rules for a lot of it. And so, AW'itize!
I cropped this in such a way that it fits the box on the right side of the trifolds for a true playbook. However, I made more of an image. Not just a wider amount of it done - I pulled in a mid-tone color and it makes it way better! I was inspired to add a middle ground cuz that's what J. Walton (I think) did with his Supplemental Playbooks.
To be honest, I think this looks fucking AWESOME.

But that's it for today! Tomorrow is the game, and I'll be busy, but the day after I might have some AP, or I'll do the AP for Geiger World from GPNW. Also, go buy The Basement Collection, it came out on Steam today! Edmund McMillen's name alone makes it solid gold!


  1. Maybe...

    Trick Shot: When you take a shot (or shots) to impress someone with your flair and skill, roll+cool. On a 10+, spend 3. On a 7-9, spend 1. Spend 1 to name an NPC who saw you shooting and choose one:

    • this person must meet me
    • this person must have my services
    • 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. If you're shooting for another purpose (say, to harm someone or seize something), do that at the same time.


    Yes, I know it's kind of weak for a Battlebabe who can take Artful & Gracious (since it's effectively the same move!), but maybe switch up the options some? (they fear me, they respect me, etc?). I think the basic structure is sound.

    - Alex

    1. Dude, that is a great idea for it. I'd been puzzling over "do something cool with the shot", but "be really impressive with the shot" is a way better side to take with it. Working off the Artful & Gracious framework is a great idea for it. Doesn't really mess with the shift over to Gunlugger either (may make it run off Sharp instead though).

      And the playbook trigger is way better than mine. Gonna muse over an exact wording, but those are really nice triggers.

      Thanks very much for the help man!

  2. Also, for the trigger, maybe...

    "When you've killed a man just to watch him die, or killed a man from some misbegotten sense of justice,..."?

    - AD

  3. Did you turn this into a trifold?

    1. No, I don't think I ever actually did! I still totally could though if you're interested. Actually, it would more likely be a booklet-style thing - similar to Jonathan Walton's supplemental playbooks (The Fallen, The Loner, etc) if you know those. Still a good-looking pdf, just not a literal trifold since this isn't meant to be a full playbook in and of itself.

      Totally could do it though.