by Delos

Apocalypse World Quick Start

So this past weekend I ran a fun AW game and I did playbook selection a bit differently. Instead of just putting a pile of sheets in front of people I instead asked leading questions like “Who is in charge?” and then offered three play books for that person to pick (Hardholder, Hocus, Chopper). The next person got to be a pain in the leader’s butt and offered three play books the fit that role. I had a lot of fun coming up with these sets so I figured I’d go a step further and write up a quick start AW game. The MC and players would still come up with most of the story but this is a great way to help establish backstory and pc vs pc conflict. I’m going to be pulling from I Spilled the Root Beer for some player made play books, which I’ll link directly to them below. The core play books I won’t bother linking. The limited edition play books will have a (LE) after the name but no link. You can find a few on Root Beer’s page but you can buy all of them here along with the rest of the game if you haven’t yet. Anyway, on with the quick start.

Ask the first question then offer the three play books to whoever jumps up and says “I am.”

  • Who here is in charge/the boss?
    • Are you in charge because you own everything (Hard holder), people want to follow you (Hocus), or you lead the biggest gang of violent bastards in town (Chopper)?
  • Who here trying to take over?
    • Are you running a bunch of projects that will lead to taking over (Operator), literally taking people over (Macaluso LE), putting the fear into all those around you (Faceless LE)?
  • Who here is the enforcer to the boss?
    • Are you the most violent person in town (Gunlugger), the sheriff of the town (Shield Bearer), or a kennel master (Wrangler)?
  • Who here is planning on betraying the boss?
    • Are you secretly working for someone else (Turncoat), planning everything cooly and calmly (Battle babe), or are you getting your boys ready for a fight (Chopper)?
  • Who here is known and liked by just about everyone in town (Celebrity)?
    • Are you the best performer in town (Skinner), a nice kid that everyone helps out (Kid), or someone who helps everyone (Angel)?
  • Who here wants to kill the celebrity of the town?
    • Are you after the celebrity because they stole from you (Hoarder LE), took credit for something you made (Savvy head), or you hate the way their brain sounds (Brainer)?

You don’t need to use all of these questions. Just be sure to use ones that put players in direct confrontation. This makes for a fast and furious game right out of the gate.

If you liked this and want me to write up more AW quick starts let me know. I’ve been on an AW kick as of late and would like to know if y’all could use more of these. New questions and new combos of play books. Thanks for reading!


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