2011-06-26 : Q & A time

I love to answer questions. About my games, my approach to publishing, my approach to game design, my take on rpg theory, my take on fiction and art, even just my life if anybody's actually interested.

Ask away!

1. On 2011-06-26, Kit said:

I've been working on some games with some friends, and the biggest hole in our collective skillset is editing. Could you talk a little about how you do that? You have such a strong voice in all your games, but that's not all?they also are very clear as instructional texts. These are two hard and different goals in writing, I think, and I want to hear more about how you achieve them so well.


2. On 2011-06-26, Jim D. said:

Where does Storming stand?  It's something I'm really excited to try out in its final form.

Also, what Kit said.  I have a text I really want to polish, and that would really come in handy.


3. On 2011-06-26, Vincent said:

Kit: Thanks!

I don't hire an editor, but I have a pretty good self-editing process I learned in school. After I've written a piece, I set it aside until I'm not in love with it anymore, then read it as critically as I can, as though I'm skeptical of whoever wrote it. Anything that gives me even an instant's irritation, I mark. If I think I might not remember what I marked it for, I add a note like "get to the point, dumbass" or "wait, the what? COME ON." Then I go back and rewrite, and repeat, and repeat. It's piles of printouts by the computer, in the dining room, by my pillow, in the can, filling up with red pen.

With a first draft, it's rare when a whole paragraph gets through unchanged. That first-draft printout is a total mess by the end.

I also hand Meg text to read, and pay very close attention to when she frowns and what questions she asks. Sometimes she'll go through with a red pen too. Sometimes other people too.

All of Apocalypse World went through at least two cycles of this, even the ludography. Most of it went through three or four.

Not everyone thinks that my writing is clear, though! Take it for what it's worth.


4. On 2011-06-26, Kit said:

I think that your writing is very good at targeting the right audience, in any case, and speaking to them.

How important is the fact that it's printed out, to you? I'm paper-averse usually, but I'm willing to believe it can make a difference.


5. On 2011-06-26, Ry said:

How do you take a philosophical argument that's very, very important to you and express it in a game - without being pedantic?

(like you did with compassionate and uncertain vs. judgmental and certain in Dogs)


6. On 2011-06-26, Seth Ben-Ezra said:

What's your day job? How long have you been doing it? How does it affect your design?


7. On 2011-06-26, Jim D. said:

What's the secret to staying motivated in a project when your excitement wanes, and you're convinced that no one's going to be interested?


8. On 2011-06-26, juliusz said:

I second Jim: what are your plans for Storming...? Are you still working on it? Is so, do you have any news concerning its status?

Do you have any seekrit games you're working on right now?


9. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Jim, Juliusz: Storming the Wizard's Tower is on hold until after Dungeon World comes out and I have the chance to play it, in case Dungeon World does everything important that I wanted Storming the Wizard's Tower to do.

I don't think it probably will - I think those guys might be doing a different cool thing - but it might. If it does, hooray! We all get to play Dungeon World instead and be happy.


10. On 2011-06-27, Jason Pitre said:

What is your workflow like when developing a game?  Do you outline and slowly add more content to flesh it out?  Do your just start writing ans edit away the chaff?  Do you just rewrite until it's good?

I am remaking my own workflow so I am curious.


11. On 2011-06-27, Mathieu Leocmach said:

Very specific about DitV: can you escalate while seeing ? Or only while raising ?

And, hu ... did yu recieve my mail about translations ? My French translation of Poison'd is still sleeping in a google docs.


12. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Kit: There are a couple of reasons I edit on paper, besides just finding it easier to read. First: it lets me put pages side by side out of order and draw arrows between them and stuff. A stack of printout pages is less linear than a column of digital text. Second: it lets me take a break between editing and rewriting, same as the break between writing and editing. When I'm writing, I can't trust myself as an editor, and when I'm editing, I can't trust myself as a writer. If I edited directly into a working document, then I wouldn't be able to cleanly separate those tasks.


13. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Mathieu: If your opponent escalates with her raise, you can escalate to match with your see.

Otherwise, no, you escalate with a raise.

Thanks for reminding me! I'll email you.


14. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Juliusz: Nope, no secret projects.


15. On 2011-06-27, Weeks said:

What's the status of campaign rules for Mechaton?

Do you enjoy working on your games or do you just have to?

After you write a game and see the things that lots of people have trouble with, you could go back and write a new edition.  But you don't.  Is it just too much work and sort of going backwards for you or something else?  Ron seems almost deliberate in making Sorcerer hard to grasp but you seem like something else.  Particularly, I'd like to see IaWA rewritten because I think more people should play it and it's hard to pick up from the rules.

You recently wrote on SG that you could see $50K/year from games in your future.  Is there an amount you'd have to reach to give up the day job or is that not even a goal?

Meg posted on KF that you "recently came down with vegetarianism."  How's that going?  What's it mean for your lifestyle?  Is it actually a thing or just a coincidence?


16. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Seth: "What's your day job? How long have you been doing it? How does it affect your design?"

I program databases for the office of continuing education at a teaching hospital. We provide doctors and nurses (and social workers and lactation consultants and etc) the continuing medical education they need to stay certified. I create and maintain the databases and interfaces we use to plan courses, hold courses, keep everyone's transcripts, and report back to our accrediting bodies. I've been doing it for almost 10 years now.

My job is an accreted mess of cobbled-together temporary fixes and first draft solutions that we (of course!) don't have time to go back and make good. Plus these past couple of years have been an ever-worsening do-more-with-less crunch. So that's fun.

I don't know if my job has any direct effect on my game design. I love working with people in health care, and evidently it shows in my sense of humor and sense of priorities, which do make their way into my games. There's that, at least.

Weeks: I was hired in the last or the second to last year that employee benefits here included a pension(!), so I expect to stay in this gig just as long as I can. Maybe from now on. It's hard to argue with a pension.

Another part of the problem: as lumpley games gets more lucrative, I'm like the proverbial frog in the proverbial pot of water. By the time lumpley games' profits can support me without my salary, I'll have gotten quite accustomed to living on lumpley games profits PLUS my salary.

Also, I'll have kids in college.

So I dream, but no time soon.


17. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Weeks: "Meg posted on KF that you 'recently came down with vegetarianism.' How's that going? What's it mean for your lifestyle? Is it actually a thing or just a coincidence?"

Oh, it's not a thing, it's just a thing. I noticed one day while deciding what to get for lunch that I could eat all my most favorite foods* and nobody had to die for them. To be a vegetarian I'd have to give up only my second-most favorite foods, so why not? To be a vegan I'd have to give up only my third-most favorite foods**, but they happen to be my convenient short-notice fallbacks - grilled cheese sandwiches, for instance - so I'm not doing that.

Mostly it just means ordering from the really-quite-excellent veg sections of my favorite restaurants' menus, and not buying meat when I do the grocery shopping. It's no kind of trouble at all.

Now, when I get my panang curry tofu, I don't ask whether there's shrimp paste in the curry or if it's finished with fish sauce, because I'm not that kind of veg. I've also already put a deposit down on a share of local organic beef this fall, and I expect to do my part by it. So, y'know, there's how much veg cred I have.

* With a couple of exceptions, like kitfo and Hattapon's lap kai. When the time comes to eat kitfo, praise the cow and pass the injera.

** Plus eggs, which I can't imagine giving up ever under any circumstances.


18. On 2011-06-27, Jay Loomis said:

Do you have a Holy Grail or White Whale of game design? That one game or one gaming situation that, if you made it work, you'd be done?


19. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Jay: Nope. I have a list of things I'd like to do, soon or now or someday, but no White Whale.


20. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Weeks: "Do you enjoy working on your games or do you just have to?

Oh, of course I enjoy it, but yeah. If I stopped designing games, I'd have to, like, both write fiction AND hand-code my ideal web forum software. That might work for a while.



21. On 2011-06-27, Linnaeus said:

How much do you play games designed by folks outside your (Massachusetts) social circle? Do you read many RPGs that you don't play (while you may not be inundated, I'm sure grateful designers send or offer you a steady flow of complimentary copies)? How about non-RPG games? DO they have much influence on you as a designer any more?


22. On 2011-06-27, Sage said:

Hey Vincent, sorry for getting a little close to Storming. When I started DW I didn't even think about it in those terms, and now I feel bad for getting a little close.

For what it's worth, I think DW isn't the game you're looking for Storming to be, but I think it's the game that some other people thought/wanted Storming to be.

Or maybe not. Either way, it's been a learning experience for me, and a lot of fun. Thanks for being supportive.

As for a question: What, if anything, would you have done differently with your early games?


23. On 2011-06-27, Vincent said:

Sage: The opposite! I love it when someone designs a game so I don't have to. No feeling bad.


24. On 2011-06-28, Vincent said:

If I've skipped your question, don't worry! I'll come back to it.

Some of 'em deserve a whole front pager.


25. On 2011-06-28, Esoteric said:

Why is my rss reader not picking up on these new entries?


26. On 2011-06-28, Vincent said:

Esoteric: Because of their ampersands, is my theory.


27. On 2011-06-28, Neon Fox said:

Where do you live in Massachusetts?  Do you know Tom Courtney?


28. On 2011-06-28, John Mc said:

When did your kids start role-playing (pretending)?  Mine can't talk yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Anything happening with Knife and Candle?


29. On 2011-06-28, Weeks said:

Oh!  That reminds me to ask: what kind or role-playing have you been doing with the kids lately?  Back in the day there were a couple neat threads on the Forge about it.  If you've continued posting about it there, do you have thread pointers?


30. On 2011-06-28, Ben Lehman said:

Hey, what sort of pictures do you draw when you play tunnels and trolls?


31. On 2011-06-28, Vincent said:

Jim: "What's the secret to staying motivated in a project when your excitement wanes, and you're convinced that no one's going to be interested?"

No secret. Discipline, hubris, and resignation.

I keep a cycling stable of projects in progress. When my excitement for one project wanes, I procrastinate with another project, then another, and another, and eventually procrastinating on the last one means working again on the first. This way, sooner or later I'm bound to finish SOMETHING, right?

There is a stage in every project when I hate it and wish it would die forever. It turns out that this isn't when my enthusiasm wanes, though. This is when the project's almost done, and it drags me out of my bed and keeps me from my meals to finish it.

Mrs. Nacca always said that an unwritten thought is an incomplete thought. I add that an unpublished text is an incomplete text. When I have an idea, the only way I can be finished with it is to put it in front of its audience. I never worry whether they'll be interested - that's up to them. I answer to the idea, not to its audience.


32. On 2011-06-28, Michael Pfaff said:

Can you tell us more about how the OSR has influenced your recent design? (I remember you mentioning something about this in a previous post.)


33. On 2011-06-29, Bwian said:

What Michael said, also.  Please.


34. On 2011-06-29, Vincent said:

Neon Fox: I live in Greenfield. I don't know Tom Courtney.


35. On 2011-06-29, Vincent said:

John Mc: I have a notebook full of Knife & Candle notes, circling around and around the same dead hole in the design. Playtesting this winter showed me what I was doing wrong, but didn't suggest any right direction instead. No news.


36. On 2011-06-29, John Mc said:

Cool, I was curious.  The process is interesting.  Good luck catching some inspiration on that.  :)


37. On 2011-06-29, Matt Wilson said:

I don't have a good question, so here's a Chris Farley Show question.

Remember when we were at Gen Con and you played a faceless? And you wouldn't take off your mask to save Elizabeth's character?

That was awesome.


38. On 2011-06-29, C Luke Mula said:

How much does your religious upbringing influence your designs? Or did you deal with everything you wanted to religion-wise in DitV?

On a related note, what do you think of the Book of Mormon musical (if you've seen it or listened to the soundtrack)?


39. On 2011-06-30, Vincent said:

Jason Pitre: "What is your workflow like when developing a game?"

I do make lots of outlines, but not one, like, overall master outline. When I'm designing the game, I make conceptual outlines, relating pieces of the design to one another; later on, when I'm writing the text, I make an outline that will eventually be its table of contents. The two outlines aren't especially closely related.

The relationship between a game and its text is not straightforward, so writing a game is a big problem. I write a game in three stages.

Stage 1: the minimum that I need in order to play the game. For Apocalypse World, this was half a dozen character playbooks and a bare pageful of notes. I start playtesting with only this much written.

Stage 2: a "playtest document": the minimum that other people need in order to play the game. This is short! For Dogs in the Vineyard, it was 15-20 pages long. For Apocalypse World, maybe 50, because of all the damn gear tags and crap.

The playtest document will go through a a few revisions, as I start to get repeat questions from people. Eventually I realize that I can't possibly revise it enough, and that's when I move on to stage 3.

Stage 3: a final text. This is a from-the-ground rewrite of the whole game. Occasionally I'll get to copy and paste a whole paragraph over from the playtest document, but for the most part it's raw writing.

This'll go through a series of drafts and revisions too. Eventually I'll throw up my hands and publish, and hope that I've made, on bulk, good decisions. By then I have no idea what's good and bad and all I want in this beautiful blue world is to light the manuscript on fire and walk away. But I publish it instead.


40. On 2011-06-30, Vincent said:

Weeks: "What's the status of campaign rules for Mechaton?"

There are none, and none in the works. The ones we tried didn't work, for serious mechanical reasons I can go into if you want.

I have some notions, but nothing in development.

"After you write a game and see the things that lots of people have trouble with, you could go back and write a new edition. But you don't."

Sure I do. I revised both Dogs in the Vineyard and In a Wicked Age a year after I published them, for that reason.

Some of my games really, truly deserve new editions, and I'd love to find time to make them. Others won't deserve new editions until they get some new design, like In a Wicked Age.


41. On 2011-06-30, Vincent said:

Linnaeus: "How much do you play games designed by folks outside your (Massachusetts) social circle?"

Around a third of the rpgs I play aren't from here. We do tend to play our games more than anybody else's, but haven't cut ourselves off at all.

If you set aside our games in development, it goes up to around half and half.

"Do you read many RPGs that you don't play?"

Not many, but a few. Usually I'll read a game when we're going to play it, far less often when we aren't.

(People don't send me many free games, no. Which is good! It'd make me uncomfortable if they did.)

"How about non-RPG games? DO they have much influence on you as a designer any more?"

Yes, absolutely. I play about as many non-RPG games as I do RPGs, and overall learn more from them.


42. On 2011-06-30, Weeks said:

I'd be more interested in hearing your notions about Mechaton campaigns than the reasons the old ideas didn't work.  Also, did you discover they were borked during the campaign you were playing with J and Rob?  That ended mid-stride and you stopped posting about it, if I'm recalling correctly.

I didn't realize that Dogs was revised, I should look at what you've changed.  I suspect that the version of IaWA I play is the newer one—I think I came to it late.


43. On 2011-06-30, Vincent said:

Weeks: I bet you have the newer Dogs, too. The original edition didn't have illustrations.

About Mechaton campaign notions: they're really just "wouldn't it be cool if..." notions, they aren't a thing. "Wouldn't it be cool if Mechaton had named pilots? Wouldn't it be cool if repairing your mechs between battles was a thing?" Yes, yes it would.

So far, every single Mechaton campaign has ended abruptly mid-stride. I had to see it three times before I believed it, but now it's obvious to me why. One of those three times was the campaign with J and Rob, yes. Before that was the campaign with J and Emily, and there was also the campaign that the Mechatonic folks tried to play.


44. On 2011-06-30, Weeks said:

My Dogs has a cover illustration only.  Are the rules different enough that I should know about them?

OK, now I want to know why the campaign rules you were using didn't work. :)


45. On 2011-06-30, Vincent said:

Weeks: The rules, no. The text has a few real improvements. If I recall, "push for givable stakes" wasn't in the original. I forget what else.

You should already be able to download the illod edition from the Forge Bookshelf. If you aren't, email me, I'll fix it. Buying the game at all entitles you to the updates.

On the Mechaton campaign rules: the core game's battle setup and scoring system is great. It rewards desperate action, last ditch runs and Hail Marys; it creates nailbiters and high-energy finishes. The campaign scoring system is compatible with it at first, but around the third battle, they start to compete instead, and that means that the campaign scoring system overrides the core game's. Unfortunately, the campaign scoring system rewards conservative play and emotional divestment. It just guts the game.


46. On 2011-06-30, Moreno R. said:

Hi Vincent!

A more personal question: how much do you play rpgs? Do you play with different groups o with different people according of the game or the occasion, or do you have a single "regular" group? How much of the time is for playtwsting and how much for playing other people's games?

I am asking because I am interested in how other people can play a lot and concile that with work, family, etc, and you seems to me one of the ones who play more different games, and you add playtests to that, too...


47. On 2011-07-01, Jesse Burneko said:

Hello Vincent

What's the state of Knife & Candle?  I was very excited about that and then it kind of went quiet.




48. On 2011-07-01, Vincent said:

Jesse: I have a notebook full of Knife & Candle notes, circling around and around the same dead hole in the design. Playtesting this winter showed me what I was doing wrong, but didn't suggest any right direction instead. No news.


49. On 2011-07-01, Antoine Fournier said:

Hi Vincent,

I just re-read the threads about the Dragon Killer AW Hack and that left me wanting for more.

Do you think you'll come back to it someday ?



50. On 2011-07-03, Vincent said:

Sage: "What, if anything, would you have done differently with your early games?"

Not a thing. I did my very best by all of them, at that moment.

Some of them I'd go back and change now, but that's not the same thing.


51. On 2011-07-03, Vincent said:

John Mc:: I've written quite a bit about roleplaying with my kids, over the years. You can read it all here: 2010-02-08 : Seriously like the blink of an eye. I guess we started when they were 5 and 3, although I think Emily played pretend with them even earlier.

Weeks: Right now Eppy is running Tunnels & Trolls for all 5 of us plus Emily. It's great! I haven't written about it yet. There are a couple of very funny Tovey's-only-five stories I'll try to tell when I get to Ben's question.

Sebastian's also started playtesting his own games. Can you believe it?


52. On 2011-07-03, Simon C said:

Hee hee! Gaming with children can be funny. I remember playing a game with my cousin (he was maybe 10) and his friends. I described this dungeon entrance with all carved skulls and dripping slime. They'd been spotted by a sentry, so they could hear the menacing sound of goblin war drums echoing from the deep.

So they decided it was too dangerous, and they went home.

Talk about creative agenda clash!


53. On 2011-07-03, graypawn said:

So i may not have the most extensive experience with the game, but i get the feeling AW doesn't have a 'talks her way out of it' character that isn't Weird based.

I fell in love with the Touchstone character, and i'm working on my 6 or 7th session with that playbook.  But i can't seem to find a good combo to help me win people over with words.  I can attack them all bad-ass like, and i can Towering Presence them, and i can tell them about my hopes and dreams.  But i can't know, speak softly and get to their heart.

Is that kind of behavior counter to AW feel?  Is 'speaking from the heart with genuine compassion' not a 'seduce or manipulate' thing?  If it is, where can i get a Move to let me roll +Hard instead of my pitiful +Hot?  If it's not, can you tell us why?


54. On 2011-07-03, Vincent said:

Graypawn: To win someone over without violence or coercion, read a person and then decide what to do with what you've learned.

If I recall, the touchstone can read a person with hard, right?


55. On 2011-07-04, Jeremy said:


You've often talked about Your Three Insights.  Sorry if I've missed this elsewhere, but what would you say the three insights are for AW?

To me, AW seems to be dripping with little insights about the genre, real people, and role-playing as a practice.  I'm wondering if there's a single, cornerstone insight in each of these areas that the rest grow from.




56. On 2011-07-04, Gregor Hutton said:

Hey Vincent

I was talking about games stuff with Pooka here in Edinburgh at his 4th of July BBQ tonight. And we had a question for you.

A while back on the blog you posted up a bunch of "heretical" ideas that Indie Games should take on board (winners win, losers lose, hit points have a function - they're a pacing mechanism, etc.)—I can't remember when this was, maybe you can find the posts.

Anyway, have any of these turned up in your most recent games? (We wondered if the countdown clock in AW was a manifestation of the HP one.)

Gregor & Pooka


57. On 2011-07-05, Suna said:

Vincent, do you think you'll be coming to Italy one day?


58. On 2011-07-05, Vincent said:

Suna: I do think I will. I'm pretty sure it'll be in October.


59. On 2011-07-11, Vincent said:

Matt: I do remember. It's true, it was pretty awsome.

Antoine: It's very possible! I keep coming back to the Dragon Killer in my head. I might try to give it the World of Algol treatment.


60. On 2011-07-12, Vincent said:

Moreno: These days I'm in 3 or 4 overlapping groups, in sum 10 people (it used to be 12, but Shreyas and Elizabeth moved West). Each of the groups wishes it could meet weekly, but really meets twice a month or so. We typically play for 2-3 hours at a time. Most weeks, I roleplay two nights, for a total of 4-6 hours.

Playtests have to fit themselves in as best they can. Right now I'm involved in playtesting only one game - Eppy's Swords Without Master - but other people I play with sometimes meet to playtest other games, and I just haven't happened to be in on them.

Eppy also does this fun coffee & game design thing, more or less monthly, where we get together and talk game design for a bunch of hours on a weekend day. This is a bigger group, including maybe half a dozen more people who I don't happen to play games with.


61. On 2011-07-12, Marhault said:

Coffee & game design sounds hella fun.


62. On 2011-07-13, Mantisking said:

Vincent wrote "On the Mechaton campaign rules: the core game's battle setup and scoring system is great. It rewards desperate action, last ditch runs and Hail Marys; it creates nailbiters and high-energy finishes. The campaign scoring system is compatible with it at first, but around the third battle, they start to compete instead, and that means that the campaign scoring system overrides the core game's. Unfortunately, the campaign scoring system rewards conservative play and emotional divestment. It just guts the game."

It sounds like the campaign system does a good job of simulating the grind of real prolonged warfare.  Was your original intent to have a campaign system that simulates Giant Robot shows like Gundam 0083 and 08th MS Team?


63. On 2011-07-20, Suna said:

oh holy ****... this is the year of the great designers coming to Italy, now that Ben is also coming next week...

Ok, another question if you allow me on a totally different topic.

I know you do your own games' art yourself, and especially in Apocalypse World, it looks amazing, but any chance you may want to use my artwork in the future? I'd do it for the glory, really.


64. On 2011-07-22, Will said:

Vincent! I'm sure I saw somewhere your description of a "quick fix" to Storming the Wizard's Tower that solves some mechanical problem with it (something to do with HP / attack #s for monsters?), but I'm unable to find it again. Would you mind explaining what alterations to the pdf manuscript you'd make to bring the game "up-to-date"?


65. On 2011-07-22, Vincent said:

Hey Will.

That's precisely the problem! If I knew what changes to make, I'd make 'em.

If you're playing with GM plus 3-4 players, the game works pretty well as it stands. Here are a couple of things you might change:

- If multiple people shout orders to someone, only the high roller gets to give dice. If Alnar and Bobnar both shout orders at Cindynar, and Al rolls 2 hits and Bob rolls 3, Bob gets to pass Cindy 3 dice and Al doesn't get to pass her any.

- The default monster gets to make one attack per round for each of its attack abilities. If a giant snake has a bite attack ability and a crush attack ability, it gets to make both attacks each round, without having to buy the "additional attack" ability.

- Consider divvying the monster's XP up between the PCs, instead of giving all of it to each of them. I'm not sure you'll need to do this, and I'm reluctant to recommend it for my own dumb ideological reasons, but you might find it more sensible.

These won't solve the deep balance problem, but for 3-4 players - where the deep balance problem isn't too bad - they'll mitigate it.

If you're playing with 5 or more players, I can't recommend the game! It's broken.


66. On 2011-07-22, Will said:

Thank you kindly, Vincent! That's exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate the consideration.


67. On 2011-07-22, Vincent said:

My pleasure. If you play, let me know how it goes?


68. On 2011-07-23, Will said:

I dearly hope I'll be able to play it soon, and if and when I do I'll certainly return with my impressions and misguided attempts at analysis.


69. On 2011-08-02, Esoteric said:

So reading AW, just realized that there are no clear positioning rules (positioning as in forge jargon). What's up with that?


70. On 2011-08-02, Vincent said:

Esoteric: There are like a million. A playbook is fundamentally a bundle of positioning. Hx is pure positioning.

What do you mean? What are you looking for that you aren't finding?


71. On 2011-08-03, Tim Ralphs said:

Did the horror binge give you any inspiration for going back to Afraid? In fact, is there any progress on Afraid at all?


72. On 2011-08-03, Vincent said:

Tim: None and none. Afraid is a former project.

I am working on a horror game right now, but it's not Afraid.


73. On 2011-08-03, Weeks said:

In Apocalypse World, your section on how to build custom moves is great.  The way you break down the kinds of things the move can do was really helpful.

I'm sort of thinking about moves and how they might affect things with an Otherkind Dice resolution and I wonder if you have anything profound or interesting to say about it.  It seems like moves could: add a die with no extra choices to which you must allocate; add a die and an extra choice; modify one or more of the dice (+1, -1, ...); remove a die and choice; constrain die-choice assignment (you must allocate your highest die thus...).  What else?


74. On 2011-08-04, Josh W said:

Vincent, a while ago you said that the keys to stopping inter-character conflict turning into inter-player conflict were:

Distancing players from their character's current situation.


Finding ways to help players win without having other players loose.

Any more thoughts on how to do the latter?


75. On 2011-08-06, Ben Lehman said:

If you use the regenerator of the broken deprogrammed robot, does it program the robot?



76. On 2011-08-08, Esoteric said:

Oops. So I know what positioning is, but I got myself mixed up by reading this old post.
There's the bit that goes "Positioning matters, matters, matters. Usually you have a resource you can invest in the conflicts you really want to win."
What I meant to ask about is why the bold part isn't in AW. Just a stylistic choice?


77. On 2011-08-09, Alex D. said:

I'd love to see the answer to that, but my hunch is that there's plenty of that!


78. On 2011-10-03, Alex D. said:

"kill puppies for satan is the game my concerned aunt with the quilted homily pillows on her sofa thinks we're all playing all the time anyway."

Is this an actual aunt, or, like, a hypothetical aunt?

What's the origin of the name "lumpley"? You don't seem to have many lumps at all.


79. On 2011-10-03, Vincent said:

Alex: It is very likely that I have at least one such aunt.

One day, back around the year 2000, recommended to me that I accept vincentbaker_16440 as my email username. I was nonplussed. "I bet that nobody's taken, um, *lumpley* at!" I said, and I was right.


80. On 2011-10-05, Alex D. said:

Vincent: MC moves that dictate player action or behavior. Fair game? Legit?

(Example: I can separate them, right? So, hm, player misses a move, right, I can be like "Who does this guy think he is, right? You're all pissed off and just need to get away from him, so you go off down the hallway. You're not really paying attention, and when you stop to think, you're not sure where you are.")

Curious. I have opinions of my own, but I'm curious as to yours.


81. On 2011-10-05, Vincent said:

When I'm the MC, on a roll+weird, yes. On other rolls, no.


82. On 2011-10-05, Alex D. said:

Hah! Not quite the answer I expected. Any particular reason?
(Also: You imply that it's up to the MC, not a game-wide thing. If so, cool! Personally, I'd only do it situationally and if the players were open to such a thing.)


RSS feed: new comments to this thread