by Delos

AW Quick Start: Rage Against the Machine

I wrote an article last week coming up with a quick start to help folks get their Apocalypse World game started quickly. This works great for one shots and cons, but you could use it to help get a longer game running as well, or if you have new players that may be stuck in D&D mode (everyone helps each other and plays nice). To use this, ask your group the first question, then whoever says they want to be that, you give them the followup question that leads to one of three play books. These questions will give you a rough set up and make sure you have some pc vs pc conflict. This is not all encompassing and your players and yourself will need to still establish setting details. Once again I’ll put links in for public play books, core play books will simply have a name, and limited edition play books will have a LE after them. So without further ado:

  • Who here is coming to destroy the remaining survivors?
    • Are you an alien invader (Space Marine Mammal LE), the leader of a pack of vicious bastards pillaging their way through the wastes (Chopper), or do you have a pet monster that needs to feed (Beast Master)?
  • Who here has been keeping everyone together?
    • Are you the one that has been patching everyone up (Angel), the one that has visions of a brighter future (Touchstone LE), the one that keeps them together whether they like it or not (Shield Bearer)?
  •  Who here wants to take over this group of survivors?
    • Are you going to do it with threats of violence (Battlebabe), with your suitcase full of secrets (Wolf), with weird psycho mind games (Brainer)?
  • Who here is just using this group to ensure their own survival?
    • Are you using your looks and charm to keep yourself safe (Skinner), using your size and “innocence” (Kid), using your training so you can get back home (Agent)?
  • Everyone else, what’s your deal?
    • Hand out remaining sheets. I’d avoid the driver, gunlugger, hardholder, and operator. They will probably throw the tone of this too much.

And to expand on this here are a few love letters to the players. You write these out and hand them to individual players. They don’t have to do these moves but it will definitely help steer the game to conflict and excitement. Each of these are intended to be used once.

  • To the destroyer
    • When you scout out the survivors encampment, roll +sharp.
      • On a hit you find a weakness in the survivors encampment. Gain +1 forward when you attack the encampment.
      • On a 7-9 a survivor sees you and notices the weakness as well.
  • To the leader
    • When you go out to seek help, alone, roll +weird.
      • On a 10+ you are found passed out within the encampment at dawn. You have in your possession a strange device brimming with power. The MC will know what it does when you push the green button, but not the red button. Hell if you know where it came from or where you went.
      • On a 7-9, as 10+ but you take 2 harm ap. Your everything hurts.
  • To the usurper
    • When you talk to the survivors as a whole, roll +hot.
      • On a 10+ they heed your words and will either bring you someone or something you ask of them.
      • On a 7-9, as 10+ but they fight about it first. Many are injured.
      • On a miss, they turn on you.
  • To the survivor
    • Put a countdown clock somewhere on your sheet and label it, Retribution. Gain +1 ongoing when you screw someone over to save yourself. If you use this bonus, mark a tick on the Retribution clock. The MC will let you know what happens when it fills up.

So what did you think? I changed up the play book combos a few times before publishing this. I’m trying to get more 3rd party play books and open up different tones based on selections. The love letters are new to me but hopefully they will add something to your game. Thanks for reading.

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