So this past weekend I got a delightful surprise. By random luck I found myself getting to play in an Apocalypse World game. So I sat down along with David (our MC), Rick, James, Ingrid and we handed out the core play books. David said since we were doing a one shot he would give us each three improvements. Woot! While David was explaining the setting, which I’ll get into in a bit, my fellow players started picking out play books. I held off since I wanted to fill in any gap. David explained that we were going to be on a huge space ship in the farthest reaches of the known galaxy, examining a weird planet that is surrounded by this psychic maelstrom. We were there to study it. There was also a disease that was infecting the crew that we simply called Blue Eyes due to the cosmetic nature of the disease. As a group we decided that the ship was corporate owned and each of us would have a special job and title on the ship. Ingrid was playing an angel so she became Chief Medical Officer. James, our savvyhead, became Chief IT Support and Rick took up the hard holder so he was the Captain. Now Rick and I have known each other since we were very little, and we love to mess with each other as much as possible. So I decided to be head of security by picking up the battle babe and taking a few moves from the gun lugger, then to make things interesting we decided that I became head of security when the old head of security died of natural causes. He bled out of 6 holes in his back during a riot when food was really short. Since my character, Smith Andy Weston, took the naked=armor move I mostly walked around in leather pants and an open button up shirt. For some reason throughout the game whenever there was any sort oil, grease, or food condiment nearby it always ended up smeared all over my glistening pectorals. It was odd 😛 I also picked up all of the fun moves for the battle babe such as dangerous and sexy, and ice cold. (You can find all the playbook here)
We went through histories where I made sure to make it a point to say I think the captain is incompetent and only follow him since it’s the easiest way to get what I want, for now. Think of it like Jayne and Capt. Mal from Firefly, but with way more snark from Jayne. My original goal was to become the captain by the end of the game. Once we started playing we learned there was some nutter shooting up a bunch of scientists. The group came together to check it out and we find my former boss, you know…the dead one…whose body we launched into space…, executing the nerds. I force him to set down his weapon and I haul him to the brig along with a small security detail. While down at the brig I discover that this guy has no memory of the past few years and assumes he’s been in charge of security for the gap between his death and now. Since I wasn’t getting anything out of him, no emotions or reasons, I just left a tape of him dying and being launched into space playing on a viewer in his cell.
I eventually headed back to the science lab and talked to our techie. He says the doors had been ripped open and off its frame via brute strength. Which is terrifying since the doors are 6″ thick steel doors. I meet up with the doctor and find out one of the victims wasn’t dead but has gone feral and tried to kill the doc before she was able to knock him out. Well looks like I’m earning my paycheck this week.
I go to sickbay to see if the doc is ok. She seems fine, but I insist that I keep a close eye on her, at diner, later that night, maybe keep her company through the night…well I at least got her to agree to get coffee with me (which nets her an XP if she follows through, woot seduction). Things start to go sideways really quick. In no particular order we end up dealing with:
- Another riot. Disarmed one just by looking at him, how bad ass is that.
- Planet exploding and hitting our ship.
- The engine fell out. Literally fell out.
- The people who are sick with Blue Eyes are going feral and trying to kill everyone. (At this point my only objective was to make sure I made it back to Earth)
- We lost our techie somewhere in the maintenance tunnels of the ship.
- The AI core of the ship decided to try to kill us because reasons.
- The captain has a brain implant that allows him to interact with the ship via thought. He tried to get it out using a DIY lobotomy. Did not go well.
- I got to electrocute the captain to save him. The second time I zapped him was just to be sure he was alright…
- We got the group together and the techie made an EMP bomb to fry the AI. Captain and I needed to put the bomb next to the core, which is missing a wall and is exposed to a lot of outer space.
- Captain and I put on some spacesuits and head outside. We had a moment where we almost started understanding each other right before he pushed my out the air lock. What a buzz kill.
- I fry the AI…and most of the ship systems. Hey the techie now has job security. Just as soon as he doesn’t get eaten by the crazies.
- Cap and I get back inside, clean up some Blue Eyes and get shit under control
We are eventually able to repair the ship and get us home. Once there we discover that the company we were working for were trying to turn us into a tax write off by just having the AI scuttle the ship since we sent all the data to them. Turns out my zombie former boss was actually a clone the ship made to take out anyone who could save the ship. It was a really fun game. I found having a personal objective in a game like Apocalypse World really helps keep you in character. Whenever a choice came up I would just ask myself “What will get me home faster?” and went with that. I never did get that date with the doctor, but I did get everyone home (at least in my mind it was all me, but in reality the angel and savvy head definitely bailed our asses out a few times).
Apocalypse World 10/10, would highly recommend.