by Delos

RPG World

This is an ongoing project I’m still playing with. If you’d like to suggest ideas or write up a playbook for this caffeine induced insanity go here to help edit.

For some reason my coffee addled brain thinks it would be a good idea to make some Apocalypse World game where you play people playing an RPG. That’s right. It goes:

  • You
    • Your character who is playing a RPG
      • Your character’s character who is in a RPG

You may be asking yourself, “Why would anyone do this?” My answer is, boredom and caffeine mostly. So without further ado I give you RPG World. Play books will follow in an upcoming post.


Cool- Your ability to stay focused and not panic. Even when the GM is looking right at your character sheet.

Sharp- Your knowledge of every splat book written for every edition ever made.

Hot- Your ability to convince the other players that you know what you are talking about.

Hard- Your ability to convince the other players that you know what you are talking about, through being a pain in the ass.

Weird- Your ability to make everyone at the table uncomfortable.

Basic Moves

Cheat- When you just have to have the dice roll well, roll +Cool. On a 10+ no one noticed and your dice roll max. On a 7-9 increase derailment by 1 and choose 1:

  • The GM notices and makes you reroll, you can’t cheat this time and you take -1 forward to the reroll.
  • Choose another player, they notice you cheat. If they tell the GM they get XP, if they keep it quiet you get away with it.

Bribe the GM- When you have leverage on the GM (food, drink, favors owed) and want something from her, roll +hot. If you actually can bribe the GM in real life and they accept, then treat this move as if you rolled a 10+. On a 10+ the GM gives in, but it’s up to you if you need to follow through. Decrease derailment by 1. On a 7-9 they’ll give you what you want but you need to give them the leverage right now. Decrease derailment by 1.

Whine- When you piss and moan to someone to get your way, roll +hard. On a 10+ they choose, either they do what you want or they force your hand and suck it up. On a 7-9 they can instead choose:

  • give you something they think you want
  • roll their eyes and stand firm against you, increase derailment by 1
  • tell you what you want to hear
  • they blow up at you

Blow Up At Someone- When you finally lose it and blow up at someone, name something you want from them and roll +hard. Increase derailment by 1. On a 10+ choose 3. On a 7-9 choose 1.

  • You get what you want
  • You suffer little harm
  • You inflict terrible harm
  • You impress, dismay, frighten everyone at the table

Roll the Dice- When it’s time to see what fate has in store for your character’s character, roll. On a 10+ you roll a 10+. On a 7-9, you rolled a 7, 8, or 9, your choice. On a 6- ya dun goofed. May God and the GM have mercy on your soul.

Manipulate the Party- When you convince the party that your idea is the best course of action, roll +hot. On a 10+ you get both. On a 7-9 choose 1.

  • If they do what you want they mark XP.
  • If they go against your plan they are cheating.

Read the GM- When you analyze the GM and the situation she has set up, roll +sharp. On a hit you get to ask the GM questions and if you act on those answers, take +1. On a 10+ ask 3. On a 7-9 ask 1.

  • What is the best way around the obstacle before us?
  • Which enemy is most vulnerable to me?
  • Which enemy is the biggest threat?
  • What should I be on the lookout for?
  • What can I do to get out of this mess?
  • What are you about to surprise us with?

Read a Player- When you read a fellow player, roll +sharp.  On a 10+ hold 3. On a 7-9 hold 1. When you are interacting with them you may spend your hold to ask the following, they have to answer truthfully.

  • Is your character telling the truth?
  • What is your character really feeling?
  • What is your character really planning?
  • What do you wish I’d do?
  • How could I get you to ____?

Get in Character- When you really get in character (with voices, props, costumes, gestures, etc), and I mean REALLY get into character, roll +weird. On a hit the GM will tell you something useful that your “character” thought of that would help in your current situation. On a 10+ the GM gives you a clear detail. On a 7-9 you get an impression. If you already know all their is to know the GM will tell you.

Help or Interfere- When you help or interfere with someone who’s making a roll, roll +Hx. On a hit they either take +1 or -2 to their roll. On a 7-9 you expose yourself to danger, retribution, or cost.

End of In Game Session- At the end of every in game session, roll to see if you level. Roll +XP earned. On a hit, lose all XP gained. On a 10+ you level up and your character’s character gets a new class feature! Choose an improvement for your gamer and their character. On a 7-9 you level or your character’s character levels. You choose. On a miss you get to keep whatever XP you have so far.

Ego, Harm, and Healing

All players can only take so much before they leave the game for good. When your feelings get hurt (harm) you mark off a number of sections of the harm circle, starting at 12 and going clockwise, minus Ego. Harm before 6 heals over time, every 30 minutes of real time. Harm after 9 gets worse over time. Every 15 minutes that passes increases harm by 1. If the player marks off the harm from 11 to 12 their character is ready to leave the game, but can still be talked back into the game. Any harm after that and that player is gone.

When you suffer harm, roll+harm suffered (after Ego, if you have any). On a 10+, the MC can choose 1:

• You’re out of action: leave the table to pout, cry, complain, look up rules etc.

• It’s worse than it seemed. Take an additional 1-harm.

• Choose 2 from the 7–9 list below.

On a 7–9, the MC can choose 1:

• Your character’s character loses their footing.

• Your character’s character loses their grip on whatever they’re holding.

• You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.

• You miss noticing something important.

On a miss, the MC can nevertheless choose something from the 7–9 list above. If she does, though, it’s instead of some of the harm you’re suffering, so you take -1harm.

The Play Books

The Munchkin

The Min/Maxer

The Noob

The Old Guy

The Nothing Better To Do

The Outsider

The Awkward

The Veteran

The Character’s Character

The Warrior

The Cleric

The Thief

The Mage

The Druid

The Monk

The Bard

The Paladin

New Rules

When GMing RPGW you need to put out a countdown clock. This clock is labeled DERAILED. Everyone should be able to see this. As the game progresses the party will do things to derail your carefully crafted adventure. How dare they! Whenever a move says so, or the player’s character does something to really throw a wrench in your plans. Increase derailment by one. Every 15 minutes of real time that passes lowers the derailment by one. When the campaign becomes totally derailed, then the in game session (not real life session) is over. Players do the end of session move and can improve their gamer if they scored any improvements. Once that is done then a new session starts up, since the GM has now calmed down and couldn’t find anyone else to play in his campaign.

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