2014-03-03 : Apocalypse World: Dark Age 1st look

Apocalypse World: Dark Age

Hello! I've been working on this game, Apocalypse World: Dark Age, and I'm ready to give some people a first look.

It's a fantasy version of Apocalypse World. It's a pretty political blood-and-war kind of fantasy, inspired by Game of Thrones, Centurion, Vikings, Black Death and others.

Right now it's just 5 playbooks and 6 pages of rules, setting, and setup material. Ultimately it'll be a full stand-alone game, but that day is far off.

I'm looking for people to read it through and give me quick comments on what stands out to them. I'm not looking for editing or any substantial suggestions, really - that's down the line - just your observations and comments on what I've got so far.

I expect this first-look process to develop organically into early playtesting, so if you find that you want to give it a try in play, please do. Let me know you're starting and I'll tell you what I'm looking for.

The game is very close to Apocalypse World, close enough to warrant including the words in the title. The innovations here are real, but they're small, and they're under the roof. Like, I've inverted going aggro, I've recast the harm countdown, I'm handling the read moves a little differently, stuff like that. I'm taking the opportunity to update Apocalypse World to reflect my 5 years' experience with it. If you're looking for a real departure, not a more modest development, you'll be disappointed.

If you don't already have a good working familiarity with Apocalypse World, this document will probably be unintelligible to you. I don't mind sending it to you anyway, if you want, and I'll welcome your comments and questions.

In sum: If you'd like to take a look, email me. You can see my email address there in the right-hand column.

Thanks! If you have any comments or any questions you'd like me to answer first, please ask.

1. On 2014-03-03, Andy said:

"Inverted 'growing aggro'"...

Wow! I really want to have a crack at this...but I'm just not sure I can find the group. I'm not very good at getting people together, and I don't have a regular group of people to try new stuff out with.

Sounds awesome, though!


2. On 2014-03-03, Vincent said:

Andy, email me if you want to see it. I'm not even looking for playtesters yet.


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This makes...
Andy go "Okay!"

3. On 2014-03-03, Seth Ben-Ezra said:

I'm interested!


4. On 2014-03-03, Joao said:

Me too. email on it's way across the atlantic at ether speed.


5. On 2014-03-03, Sean said:

I'd certainly be interested in checking this out.


6. On 2014-03-03, E. Torner said:

I would run this at the drop of a hat, and it would get me players.
Oh boy, and then I could add monks.


7. On 2014-03-03, James said:

I'd be interested in taking a look at this. I've already sent you an email.


8. On 2014-03-03, Vincent said:

So, um, that's 96 of you in the past hour. I need to stop answering your emails now and get some work done!

If I don't reply to your email right away, it's because holy mackerel, friends. But don't worry, I'll get to you as soon as I can.


9. On 2014-03-03, caitlynn said:

How much of the innovative new business do you think could be applied to regular ol' Apocalypse World? Is this like when you guys played Mechaton for years, and then that evolved into Mobile Frame Zero? Is it stuff you wish had been done differently before?


10. On 2014-03-03, Vincent said:

Caitlynn: Some of it, for sure. Some of it is genre-specific.

If I ever make a 2nd ed of Apocalypse World, I'll include stuff from this, though, yes.


11. On 2014-03-03, Bean965 said:

I'd like to have a first look!


12. On 2014-03-03, Andy said:

HAH! Was the size of the ZIP file deliberate?


13. On 2014-03-03, caitlynn said:

Oh, also! You've done a lot with permutations of the Apocalypse World rules lately (Murderous Ghosts, Sundered Land, now this) - do you plan to eventually move away from that? Like, are there any ideas kindling around in your head that you feel you'd need something non-AW-ey to work with? Or do you feel you've found something very stable and quality with the Apocalypse World ruleset?


14. On 2014-03-03, Vincent said:

Bean965: Email me if you haven't already.

Andy: I wish!

Caitlynn: It is a good question, that I've been hearing pretty regularly these days. I'll try to answer it on my front page tomorrow.

Everybody: PLEASE AS YOU HAVE MERCY IN YOUR SOULS, please don't swamp my inbox overnight. Mercy!


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This makes...
JMW go "Ironically, emailed before I saw this!"

15. On 2014-03-04, Igor Toscano said:

I'd love to have a look, if you could send it to bonetm at gmail dot com


16. On 2014-03-04, Fealoro said:

Hi Vincent
Can you explain what you mean be "I've inverted going agggro"?


17. On 2014-03-04, Vincent said:

Fealoro: Sure. Claiming your right is the same as going aggro, except kind of inverted: your victim has to choose whether to go along with you or insult you.


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This makes...
F go "ok, got it"

18. On 2014-03-04, Gregor said:

And then also an inversion of insults in Sagas where you insult someone and they have to go out of their way to prove you wrong (including attacking you) or bear the social injury.


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This makes...
VB go "Yes!"

19. On 2014-03-04, Chris M said:

There shall be no quarter.


20. On 2014-03-05, Noclue said:

Vincent, are you sending out any more looks?



21. On 2014-03-05, Vincent said:



22. On 2014-03-07, Seanna M. said:

Looks really neat. I'd really like to hear a breakdown of where you think AW could've used fixes, how you want to fix them with these new rules, etc.

I think the help for instance sounds like it'd work a bit better than help did for AW. I think I may have drifted AW help closer to AW:DA help once or twice.

It seems a little more Monsterheartsy to me. What with Hold Steady, more +1s floating around, less direct force over other people's characters.

I'm curious about your thoughts about the Drawing people out. It seems very close to Read a Person, which I thought was underused in most of my play of AW. Did you think Manipulation/Seduction didn't quite accomplish what it should've in AW or is this just something that's appropiate to the setting?


23. On 2014-03-08, Vincent said:

I learned the problem with seduce/manipulate from the best-written seducers/manipulators in TV history, Batiatus and Lucretia.

Every time, to a one, that they undertook to seduce or manipulate someone, they did it by reading them and asking their player "how could I get you to ___?"

Then they decided for themselves whether they'd do it, and if not, what they'd do instead.

Any time they used leverage and promises, or offered XP or threatened distraction, it was really just because the other player said "if you promise me ___, I'll do it."


24. On 2014-03-09, Vincent said:

Oh, by the way, everyone, I'm still receiving your requests and I'll get to them soon. I'm revising the text extensively, and I don't need any more feedback on the first version, so please be patient.


I've made a couple of public G+ posts about this process, here:

Holy mackerel, friends!

+Christoph Boeckle asked me...


25. On 2014-03-12, Enrico said:

Just a fast question, sex moves, yes or no? ( say yes plese say yes...)


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This makes...
AD go "Nope"*

*click in for more

26. On 2014-03-12, Enrico said:

This game rocks! It's awsome!! Even if You decided to throw it away, it would be superb as it is, it can only get better IMHO, an I wanted to tell You something... THANK YOU VINCENT, this is what I was waiting! Good Job Man!


27. On 2014-03-12, Vincent said:

No sex moves is the right choice for this one.

Thanks, Enrico!


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This makes...
Andy go "PLOT TWIST"*

*click in for more

28. On 2014-03-14, Seth Blevins said:

Can't wait to see what you have this time around.


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