Apocalypse World AP2

Last night, the second session of our Apocalypse World campaign. Things got incrementally more interesting—which is, I think, what I was going for. I came to the session armed with two fronts, each with plenty of threats. Maybe not enough custom moves, but I wasn’t really sure how the player characters were going to interact with them yet. I’ll probably be tweaking the custom moves I have and writing new ones as I get more comfortable with that process.

Gabe/Gabby got to triage about a dozen wounded bikers who were caught in an explosion. She tended to and started to make friends with the pregnant Ulla, Brace’s sister.

Robinson got into a shouting match with Putrid, the holder’s brother who’s been ordering around the teens that attacked Robinson last session. He also made a helmet that disintegrated in the green rain.

Heron seduced Putrid, convincing him to stay away from the teens. In return, Putrid was the recipient of our first special move. Putrid is now hypnotized by Heron. It’ll be interesting to see how she spends her hold.

Gremlin got to play chicken with a punked-out pickup truck, running it off the road. Then he interrogated one of the pickup’s occupants by trapping the guy’s head in the passenger window of the car, driving, and dragging the guy along with him. They guy wouldn’t talk so he got smashed to pieces. Cool.

There was a big town-hall discussion about food. There was some investigating into the mysterious tattooed men who attacked the bikers, and tracking them to their bunker along side the river. There was some pondering of this green rain.

At the end, Mill leveled the hunting rifle she stole from Robinson and shot Ulla with it just as she was leaving Gabe/Gabby’s ambulance-on-blocks clinic.

Those were the highlights anyway. I tried to play on the slow burn last night, laying off on the urgency, and trying to develop some relationships I could play with in the upcoming sessions rather than trying to resolve everything as it comes up. 

I’m still a little leery of making MC moves. If I look at the list of moves, I end up feeling a bit overwhelmed (especially now that I have threat moves to add to the list). So sometimes I usually just let that slide and do just what I want (though I can usually go back and identify what I did as a move after the fact). I’m hoping as I internalize the moves more and more, I will get more comfortable with MCing.

I’m hoping the players get more comfortable with their moves too. Right now a lot of the fun is the novelty of each of the moves, but the narrative halts as we take time to appreciate how cool the move is, parse how it’s worded, imagine what could result of it. I’m hoping as that process becomes more familiar, the mechanics will resolve faster, and we’ll be able to maintain the narrative flow better. I can see why people say that AW doesn’t really start going until after the 6th session.

  1. “So sometimes I usually just let that slide and do just what I want (though I can usually go back and identify what I did as a move after the fact).”

    That sounds suspiciously like the point to me.

  2. Possibly. Maybe. I just hope I’m internalizing the moves rather than ignoring them altogether. Overall it’s working, I think, I’m just looking forward to it working smoother.

  3. Improvising the rules is my preferred mode of play, anyway, so I say “stay the course, buddy.” Having to consult the moves _has_ been a stumbling block and I don’t feel like practice has been making it any smoother (yet). I appreciate the wiggle room, especially when reading people and sitches.

    Also, I feel compelled to share my favorite quotes:
    - “Woo hoo! I’m opening my brain!” ~Richardson, doing what he loves.
    - “So… will he be satisfied with just the hand job?” ~Heron, making her move.

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