Nathanael Cole / Alliterated Games

Hero image

Apocalypse World

“Sufficiently Advanced” – an Apocalypse World Hack

An old, old idea of mine came back to me all of a sudden today, and now that I revisit it, I think it’s perfect for an Apocalypse World hack:

In countless numbers, the husks hang in the silent darkness of the space left behind after all the stars died. They slowly crumble into the void, keeping one another company as all that is left of the universe decays around them. A seemingly endless mass of these once-great arks and flagships house a seemingly endless number of isolated tribes, descendants of the crews and occupants that once piloted them, generations ago.

Yours is one such tribe. Your people have grown up knowing nothing but the ship and its stories. Maybe old Creakbones knows the stories that came before, or even that there was a before. Maybe you’re in contact with the tribe on that husk that you can just barely see from your remaining portholes, illuminated by the farthest reaches of your home’s fading lights. Maybe you’re one of the lucky tribes that has kept its hoppers in some semblance of function, and you can even get to that other husk. Maybe, just maybe, your own husk can still move, too.

But water is running low, and the graskevyns are pounding at the airlock. The ancestral leader has just died without an heir. Puddles of something oily and orange are bubbling from Below, and touching it makes your pee burn. The air got thinner and slimy in the old houses so you had to seal them up forever. Another husk is on a slow but certain collision course with yours, and you have no way to escape. And from the Place Beyond the Dark, It is calling your name and it’s getting louder and your skin is starting to flake on your thighs and you feel like you’re going to throw up but you haven’t eaten in days and ohmigodit’scomingrun…

Sufficiently Advanced is an Apocalypse World hack which takes place after the end of the universe. Empires have risen, warred, and destroyed each other, leaving behind nothing but a seemingly-infinite graveyard of spaceships, all floating near each other in the void. Generations of people have grown and died in these ships, the last remnants of the people who once occupied them.

Very heavily inspired by the movies Pandorum, Event Horizon, Screamers, and Serenity, this game uses most of the Apocalypse World rules as they are written. A few of the playbooks will be tweaked, and I think the Chopper won’t work at all. New ones would fit in well, one based on scavenging, one based on space-walking (and void madness), maybe more. Maybe some new Moves involving using and/or deciphering old tech.

I think I’m gonna take a break from the usual course of things and work on this one some more tonight.

Read More »

Apocalypse World Inspiration Within Fallout 3

Apocalypse World – the new game from Vincent Baker – has been making the rounds through all the gaming blogs I regularly follow. It’s a grim’n’gritty, totally player/character-driven game of post-apocalyptic inter-personal relations. I’ve heard it described on more than one occasion as “Firefly, but after the bombs.” It’s wicked fun, and I’m currently involved in two steady games of it.

On more than one of these aforementioned gaming blogs, the writers have made comments to the effect of “this ain’t the tabletop version of Fallout, kids” or “if you’re looking for the apocalypse Fallout, try Gamma World instead.” My first instinct was to nod my head and think “yeah, this game is way more mature than Fallout, that’s totally right.” But upon recent deeper play-throughs of Fallout 3, I realize that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Apocalypse World is perfect for bringing the world of Fallout to life.

Let’s face it: the Fallout universe is right fucked from the get-go. It’s the blasted remains of a world scorched by a global nuclear war started in the 2100s – a war fueled by civilizations that never shed their 1950s ideals. As you wander the wasteland in any direction you wish to explore, you see the remnants of those elitist, isolationist ideals everywhere. You never once forget that the way things are now was caused by the smothering hubris of the last generation of powers-that-be, and in their stead you find only ruin and chaos.

The Fallout franchise is frequently remembered for its tongue-in-cheek humor, but what tabletop game session isn’t, as well? I’ve played all the games in the franchise to date, and while I agree that that humor is there and in droves, the most recent game in the series at times takes a stark turn towards the depressing and macabre. As a prime example of how Fallout 3 can definitely work with Apocalypse World, let’s look at the town of Grayditch. Yes, there be spoilers behind the cut. Read More »

Read More »

Apocalypse World² – Sludge Pump vs Wasteland Graceland

I’ve very recently been lucky to land myself a place in two separate Apocalypse World games, as a player in one and the MC of the other.

The first one takes place in the small holding of Sludge Pump, an age-old water treatment plant that is now a fortified fountain with some hard-ass raiders inside it’s concrete walls. I’m taking on the role of CJ, a tough sumbitch gunlugger with an old west code of gunslinger’s honor. The two other primary players on the scene are a hocus named Dust and an angel named Key. Dust leads a rabble of filthy Armageddon-obsessed psychopaths, while Key does her best to keep folks alive while she plays at pulling the strings of internal power. So far, it’s set up to be something of a violent go at the game’s themes.

The game I’m actually MCing has been named “Graceland of the Wasteland” by the players, and it fits very well. I’ll go ahead and post one of the player’s basic notes here: Read More »

Read More »