Here is a quickstart for your next Apocalypse World game. Say the bold words out loud and follow along. Be sure to ask lots of questions and own the hell out of this. Make it your game, and not just something you printed off the internet.
This was written for my home game with 5 players. If you only have 4 players, take out the hired help. If you only have 3 players, skip the treasure as well. You’re going to want to print off the Chopper, Battlebabe, Driver, Brainer, Gunlugger, Skinner, Show, Savvyhead, and Angel.
The basic idea is that the group is in a convoy that is making their way to Paradise, the mythical city of green and blue. Your group will be on the last leg of the trip. Think of it like you’re starting on session 4 of an ongoing game. Anyone who wants a vehicle gets one, otherwise they need to ride with another PC or with the Chopper’s gang.
“Who here is in charge?”
(Wait for someone to take charge and hand that player the Chopper playbook and the following love letter.)
Good luck, sucker.
It was so nice to hear that you decided to put a convoy together to get you and yours to Paradise. I wonder what you’re getting out of it. Might be worth thinking about that. Don’t forget to name as many people in your gang as you can, and don’t forget about Beta, your lover. They have been with you since before you started this trip. So what does Paradise have that you want? Think about that one for sure, cause I’m going to ask you in a bit.
So I heard that you have been running into a bit of trouble for the last couple of miles. How did the last fight you had go?
Roll +hard. On a 10+, your gang came out on top and has only suffered 1 harm, you included. On a 7-9, your gang took a few losses and are sitting at 2 harm, you included. On a miss, your gang is in a really tight spot. Take 2 harm, like the 7-9 result, but you are also low on ammo and gas. You’re going to need to get more before you make the last leg of the trip.
Who were you fighting anyway? (Choose 1)
- Cannibals of the Flowing Wastes
- Ghouls of the Dead Cities
- Magnaminus, the Warlord of Splendor
Geez that sounds rough. Well good luck mate. Ride hard.
Love and kisses,
“Who here is the outsider?”
(Wait for someone to volunteer and hand them the Brainer and Gunlugger playbooks. Tell them to pick one, then hand them the following love letter.)
Hear ya go you shifty bastard.
Damn it was lucky that the Chopper took you on board. Of course it was only because you kept the convoy out of some serious shit. What did you do for them?
Roll +cool. On a hit, when I ask you, tell the group that you helped them ambush an ambush. On a 10+, you have +1 forward as well. On a miss, tell the group you warned them of the ambush, but don’t tell them that you were the one who set the ambush up in the first place. Once you saw the convoy, you knew you had a better shot at getting to Paradise with these guys instead of the losers you were with.
When I ask you about the wastes and what the group should expect, choose one of the following to tell us only the first part, not the part in parentheses:
- There is a holding up ahead where we can resupply (but honestly you want to burn it to the ground for what they did to you)
- There is an old junkyard that has gas and bullets aplenty (but it’s the territory of some really messed up people that the Chopper has been dealing with)
- The way up ahead is devoid of raiders (because a weird psychic creature lives there and does who knows what to people that get too close to its turf)
Remember that the group probably won’t trust you, and they are probably right to do so, but you need them to get what you want. So do what you need to, to stay with the group, or take it over.
Love and kisses,
“Who here is the navigator?”
(Wait for someone to volunteer to know where the hell they are going and hand them the Angel and Savvyhead playbooks. Tell them to pick one, then hand them the following love letter.)
May your way be true.
I hear you are the only one who knows how to get to Paradise. That makes you pretty important to everyone else in the convoy, huh? Of course the question is going to come up with how you know how to get there. When I ask, either choose 1 or make something up.
- You’ve been there before but were taken away when outside of the holding
- You saw a map once, but had to destroy it so someone horrible couldn’t find it
- You have been researching it for years and are pretty sure you figured out where it is
Now there is a little thing you’ve been hiding from the group. For the love of whatever you hold dear, don’t tell the group… until I ask you. So what is it? (Choose 1)
- Paradise died years ago. You just wanted to see it one more time.
- Paradise is dying, and you were looking for people who could help save it. These were the best you could find.
- Paradise really is a utopia. All you have to do is have a very minor brain surgery to be let in.
Remember that the rest of the group probably doesn’t trust the outsider, and you are the only hope for everyone to get to Paradise. That might come in handy if you need to turn possible wrath away from yourself. Be invaluable.
Love and kisses,
“Who here is a treasure/most prized person of the convoy?”
(Wait for someone to volunteer and hand them the Show and Skinner playbooks. Tell them to pick one, then hand them the following love letter.)
(just wink at them)
Must be nice to have the attention of the entire convoy at all times. Well nice is a nice way to put it. I heard you had someone from the Choppers gang come after you. Roll +hot, and when I ask you what happened with Dremmer tell me. On a 10+, s/he wanted you badly, and you indulged them as you wanted. Now they are your little well armed puppy. On a 7-9, s/he knew what they wanted and are looking to keep you to themselves. You have a body guard/warden now and they command a few of the Chopper’s gang. On a miss, you spurned Dremmer, badly. They are not going to take that lightly.
I heard you joined the convoy to get away from someone. Who was it? (Choose 1)
- A spurned lover
- Your family
- Your owner
Did you ever tell anyone that you are being chased? Probably not, but maybe you did. I’m sure either way won’t bite you in the ass.
Love and kisses,
“Looks like you are the hired help then.”
(Hand the last person the Battlebabe and Driver playbooks. Tell them to pick one, then hand them the following love letter.)
Dear Poor Sap,
So you’re working for that asshole? Sucks to be you. How’d you get mixed up with the likes of them? (Choose 1)
- They are you only way of getting your drug of choice. If you don’t get a regular hit you become pretty damn useless.
- The Chopper picked you up years ago and you’ve been riding with em ever since.
- They are your best chance to get you and your lover, Pip, to Paradise.
That’s pretty rough. Hang in there though. Could be worse. I’m not sure how, but if you give me a minute, I’ll think of something. Oh hey, that’s right. The Chopper’s lover, Beta, told you some things that are going to make your life really difficult. Roll +cool. On a 10+, only the top one is true. On a 7-9, the top and one more are true. On a miss, all three are true. Good luck with that.
- You and Beta slept together one night when you got really drunk
- Beta wants to be in charge of the gang, and you’re going to help her
- Beta hates the Treasure (Show or Skinner) and is looking get rid of them
Well no one said life was easy. Have fun with that.
Love and kisses,
These letters are a little rough, cause I had to get them done in a hurry. If you have some suggestions I’d love to hear them.