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jueves, 4 de abril de 2013

Review of Apocalypse World

Today I will show you the review of Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker, published in Spain by conBarba thanks to the patronage I contributed.

Apocalypse World is a post apocalyptic game (the world as we know it don't exist anymore and characters survive among the ruins) of the story games type, namely ones which function with the interaction between characters helps to build the world around them).

To achieve it the book contents of Apocalypse World is divided in the following general parts:

Lo fundamental (The basics)

In this first part we have a little introduction to begin with and the presentation of different kinds of characters that players can interpret (this includes many archetypes, like the chopper belonging to a gang, the savvyhead capable of rebuild any junk or the brainer who can use his powers to go inside the mind of others) and a summary of the basic foundations for playing: printing the character's playbooks, dice use, and moves (what characters can do), description of the character's stats (Cool, Hard, Hot, Sharp, Weird and History), equipment they can take with them and general rules for harm and character improvement.

After this introduction goes a detailed description of every character archetype, including rules and basic moves common to all of them and the set of specific moves for every one, which will change in every type of character.

Moves are put into practice rolling 2D6 plus the score in the relevant stat for the action to do: with 10 or more you achieve what you are looking for (or you can choose some advantages depending on the move type), with 7-9 you achieve it but not in a so complete manner (if you can choose advantages there won't be so numerous) and with a 6 or less you clearly failed.

To finish this firs part we have a detailed description of the operational mechanics of basic moves (common to all characters) and peripheral ones (like ones of harm and healing) and a summary of character creation with an included example.

Now it's feasible that you are asking yourself what the hell is the psychic maelstrom, but this shouldn't worry you because you will decide about it when you begin to create the world in your gaming sessions.

El Maestro de Ceremonias (MC) (Master of Ceremonies, MC)

The second part introduces tasks to be developed by the referee, thus including some advises to make easier the MC task regarding character's interaction and creation of the world where adventures take place as well as a description of MC own moves (let's shed some light: in Apocalypse World the referee don't roll any dice, he has enough work mastering the game session and choosing the effects of character's moves).

Preparación para jugar (Preparing for playing)

After these explanations comes advises for the first gaming session of Apocalypse World, including printing character's playbooks to be used and MC sheets (1st session, MC and fronts), writing notes during the first session to pick characters' impressions for filling the 1st session sheet (do not forget that in this moment the world's background is beginning to be created).

The previous step will take us to the fronts' creation (opposing dangers and characters' enemies) after the first session and develop them in the following ones. Fronts can be of many types and include, for instance, the surrounding environment or NPC groups (savages wanting to storm the characters' settlement, warlords wanting to grab their resources, etc.), fronts also will have move as characters and also have the chance to create specialised moves for a more detailed management.

Reglas de juego (Game rules)

Here we come to applying rules of Apocalypse World, including a developed use example with various previously described moves and a detailed explanation of harm management in PC, NPC, gangs and vehicles and healing and advancement processes, also considering the chance of improving stats and moves.

En detalle (In detail)

Although the various moves (basic and of the characters) are previously mentioned in the book this part again explains them with clear and complete examples as a reference during gaming sessions.

For finishing this part we find a chapter devotes to equipment that characters could have and related rules, like bartering (to be able to obtain new equipment) and workshop use (for repairing and creating new equipment pieces) as well as other matters like gang and settlement creation and obtaining jobs for gaining benefits to enter in bartering economy.

Y más (And more)

In the last part we have a miscellany of optional rules, as much as those appearing in game tests and those designed by referees and players who worked in Apocalypse World variants or created games based in it (this part also offers an analysis of the move structure for creating our own).

Apart of the optional rules we also have a list of works that had influenced in the making of the game, including other games, books, music works, films and television series.

Just for finishing I only have to recommend you to try it, I acknowledge that it can seem to be very different regarding games we know, but, for the rules' viewpoint, Apocalypse World is, after all, easy and stylish, a fact apparent by the many variants of characters, rules, derived games and conversions of games that exist and can be found in the following links:

ConBarba forums
Apocalypse World forums
Nerdwerds blog
Mighty Atom blog and One Seven Design
Blog of Maqui Edicions, that has translated to Catalan the game Ghost Lines

This entry it's also available in the following languages:
Castellano Català

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