09 July 2013

Apocalypse World: Stormer Playbook - Part 1

My first entry was one year ago. I recently asked if there were any special requests for posts to mark this occasion and got three responses: An Apocalypse World Playbook, more on my Lords of Gossamer and Shadow "retooling" and an Earthdawn adventure. They are all going to happen.

The Earthdawn adventure is going to take some time to do it right, but it will appear here. Lords of Gossamer and Shadow will be going up on my column at Apathy Blog. Here is the Apocalypse World playbook.

This going to be the first draft and I will almost certainly be revisiting and revising the concept, hopefully with some feedback from those reading.



The Maelstrom is all around us, it is everywhere and part of everything in this Apocalypse World. It doesn't take much to see it, it's right in the corner of your vision. It is powerful like the sun, vast and uncaring. At least, you would think that. 

I was once like you, before the Maelstrom took me and remade me. Now it is inside of me and I am whole. I can see it and it can see me. It can also see you. It knows about you and what you want, how you're so alone. It whispers secrets to me. Secrets of the world and what it wants. If you come with me, I can show you and we can remake this world together.


To create your stormer, choose a name, look, stats, moves, gear and Hx.


Man, woman, ambiguous, transgressing, or concealed.

Casual wear, fetish wear, formal wear, leather wear, or scrounged wear.

Baby face, bony face, emotionless face, pale face, scarred face, sharp face, striking face, or sweet face.

Caring eyes, dead eyes, deep eyes, merciless eyes, pale eyes, or ruined eyes.

Angular body, battered body, bony body, crippled body, hard body, slim body, or tall body.


Choose one set:

  • Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot=0 Sharp-1 Weird+2
  • Cool+1 Hard+1 Hot-1 Sharp-1 Weird+2
  • Cool=0 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp-1 Weird+2
  • Cool=0 Hard+1 Hot+1 Sharp-2 Weird+2


You get all of the basic moves.

  • You get +1cool (cool+2), the it knows your heart move and a Mark.
  • You get +1hard (hard+2), the eye of the storm move and a Mark


These are the marks that the Maelstrom has left on you and set you apart from everyone else. They can be obvious or subtle, like blackened eyes or a symbol carved on your forehead that bleeds reality. No matter what, they influence the people around you. For each Mark, choose a surplus and a want that gets added to wherever you are staying.


Choose 1:

Eye of the storm: when you read a sitch, roll+weird instead of roll+sharp.

Guided by a force much greater than luck: whenever you act on answers from a weird roll, take an additional +1forward.

It knows your heart: when you read a person, roll+weird instead of roll+sharp.

Once more into the breach: you are touched by the Maelstrom again, take one you don't have. If another playbook takes this move, they are infected with the Maelstrom and the only new type they can pick is Stormer.

Stares back: when you open your brain, you gain additional insight than normal from the Maelstrom. You can only use this move once a scene. On a hit, the additional effects happen: 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 1. On a miss, someone sees you and can hold 1 against you. Hold can be spent 1-for-1 on the following:
  • You see all of the pieces fall into place, +1forward.
  • What do they want?
  • How do you make it fall apart?
  • Where do you start looking for something?
  • Gain +1Hx with another character.
Postcards from the edge: you have an item that is a physical manifestation of the Maelstrom on the world (+augury). Choose it and name it. If it gets taken from you, you have -1forward until you get it back. You get +1forward to getting it back, but have to do it the hard way.

We are legion: if you give someone what they are missing (this is on a pretty fundamental level), or get them to completely lose it at you, roll+weird. 10+, they are infected with the Maelstrom and you take +1forward against them. 7-9, the are infected with the Maelstrom. On a miss, take -1forward and things are going to get weird for you. Oh, yeah, just because they're "on your side", doesn't mean that anything has changed between you. See how that works out. Mark experience whenever you infect someone with the Maelstrom.


You get:
  • 1 nasty weapon
  • 1 quiet weapon
  • oddments worth 2-barter
  • fashion suitable to your look, including your option a piece worth 1-armor (you detail)
Nasty weapons (choose 1):
  • magnum (3-harm close reload loud)
  • shotgun (3-harm close messy)
  • smg (2-harm close area loud)
Quiet weapons (choose 1):
  • knives (2-harm hand infinite)
  • machete (3-harm hand messy)
  • silenced 9mm (2-harm close hi-tech)


Everyone introduces their characters by name, look and outlook. Take your turn.

List the other characters' names.

Go around for Hx. On your turn, choose 1, 2 or all 3:
  • One of them knew you before you were infected. Tell that player Hx+2.
  • One of them has seen the abyss in your eyes. Tell that player Hx-2.
  • You have helped one of them see the light. Tell that player Hx+1.
Tell everyone else Hx=0.

On the others' turns, if you chose any of the above:
  • If they knew you before you were infected. Whatever number that player tells you, give it +1 and write it next to the character's name.
  • If they saw the abyss in your eyes. Whatever number that player tells you, give it +1 and write it next to the character's name.
  • If you helped them see the light. Whatever number that player tells you, give it +1 and write it next to the character's name.
Everyone else, whatever number they tell you, write it next to their character's name.

At the end, find the character with the highest Hx on your sheet. Ask that player which of your stats is most interesting, and highlight it. The MC will have you highlight a second stat too.


If you and another character have sex, use stares back even if you do not have the move. You gain an additional option: infect them with the Maelstrom. If they are infected with the Maelstrom, the only new type they can pick is Stormer.


Whenever you roll a highlighted stat, and whenever you reset your Hx with someone, mark an experience circle. When you mark the 5th, improve and erase.

Each time you improve, choose one of the following. Check it off; you can't choose it again:
__ get +1cool (max cool+2)
__ get +1hard (max hard+2)
__ get +1hot (max hot+2)
__ get +1hot (max hot+2)
__ get a new stormer move
__ get a new stormer move
__ get a new stormer move
__ get a gang (detail) and pack alpha
__ get a move from another playbook
__ get a move from another playbook