by Delos

Apocalypse West Quick Start

Last week David Benson asked me to consider doing a quick start for the PbtA hack, Apocalypse West, a pseudo supernatural cowboy spin off. You can find the play books here. Once again, the MC asks the first question to the group, and whoever says “Me!” gets asked the second question. At the end there will be a few love letters to the players. These are custom moves that will help push a character to do things they probably wouldn’t bother with otherwise.


  • Who here is in charge (Leader)?
    • Are you in charge because you own this town (Hard holder), people are afraid of you and your thugs (Black hat), or you are the law (Law dog)?
  • Who here is a no good sonovagun pain in the ass to the leader?
    • Are you the owner of a prosperous piece of land the leader wants (Homesteader), some one bringing hope to the people (Saint), the best damn gun in the west (Gunslinger)?
  • Who here is liked by everyone in town (Celebrity)?
    •  Are you the person that fixes things for folks (Junker) or the most “popular” person in town (Siren)?
  • Who here knows that the celebrity is up to something and your gonna figure out what?
    • Are you just passing through and saw something that needed tending (Drifter), working for a dark force or master (Gambler), just a person with a horse trying to make this town a little better (Lone rider)?

Love Letters

  • (Leader) When you make a point by hanging someone (doesn’t matter who) roll +hard.
    • On a 10+ the town once again fears you and will stay in line.
    • On a 7-9 the town won’t act against you but they are itching for violence.
    • On a miss they mob you and your men.
  • When you explore the old gold mine by yourself, roll +cool.
    • On a 10+ you find something useful, the MC will tell you what.
    • On a 7-9 you find something useful, but something also finds you, the MC will tell you what.
    • On a miss, “OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD….” the MC will know what that means.
  • When you poison the water hole, roll +sharp.
    • On a 10+ the town is in want something fierce. Good thing you stocked up first.
    • On a 7-9 the town is in want something fierce. Good thing you stocked…up…first…dang’it.
  • When you call someone out and deliver a fantastic (and drawn out) insult, roll +hot or +hard.
    • On a 10+ the victim can’t raise a hand against you for the remainder of the scene.
    • On a 7-9 the victim is thoroughly embarrassed by that tongue lashing. They take -1 forward.

Well there ya have it partner. Something to get you in the saddle a little faster. Thanks to David Benson for showing me this hack and thank you for reading.


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