Apocalypse World: The Beacon

Man, I am waaaaaaay behind on my blogging. The reasons why are numerous, but I’m hoping to get back on track with a couple of posts leading up to GenCon, and then my usual GenCon daily report. So, thanks for bearing with me.

This first catch-up post is pretty sparse – enough time has passed that my memory of the game session is worse than usual. It’s just going to be the skeleton of the session, and I’m hoping that the players ((I know Elliott will be all over this, because, well, Elliott. 😉 )) will jump in on the comments to add any important bits that I’ve missed.

When we got together for the last session, I decided to jump time forward again, just a few weeks. In contrast to the last time I jumped things forward, I took stuff away from the players ((The Take Their Stuff move.)). This time, I gave them stuff – a point or two of barter each. Then I gave a couple of them a chance to exchange the barter I gave them for a different benefit – refilling an angel kit, getting an ATV, stuff like that. ((For those keeping score at home, this is the Make Them Buy move.))

In the interim between the last two games, I had the players start thinking about what they wanted for their characters in the game. The campaign is limited to twelve episodes, and this session is number seven, so I wanted them to start thinking about the endgame for the campaign. A couple of the characters had nicely intersecting goals that we picked up this session, and it kept us busy for the session – and probably for at least one more session.

This is one of the things I like most about the *World games: the game is driven by and shaped by player/character desires and actions in a wonderful, strongly reinforced feedback loop. Even the way the default Apocalypse World campaign starts – just following the characters around on a normal day – lets the players set the agenda, and their actions ((Especially their failed rolls – this is a topic big enough and interesting enough that it’s coming in its own post in a couple of days.)) shape the story in an action-reaction loop.


The intersecting goals were Snow wanting to find his way back to the cryofacility he woke up in some months before, Magpie wanting to get her hands on Snow’s tech for her hoard, and Nils and JB mainly wanting to figure out where Snow had come from, and what they could get out of that information. ((I’m ascribing motivations to Nils and JB that never came up in play, so it’s just my impression of the way they acted and responded to the suggestions to go find the cryofacility.)) In a previous excursion into the Ruins, Snow had spotted one of the marker beacons that should lead him to the facility – his memory of its exact location is somewhat fuzzy, thanks to his first encounter with the Maelstrom and some time wandering through the maze of the Ruins.

And so, back into the Ruins, scouting for the beacon. They had some trouble finding the beacon, allowing me to make some moves from my various fronts to fill in the time and make the world seem dynamic and alive. Our heroes found hints of the very polite, ghillie-suited  soldiers that they’ve taken to calling Canadians, and carefully avoided an interesting event that they might have witnessed, but instead wound up happening off-screen. ((It still happened, though, because the world keeps moving even when the characters aren’t there to see it.))

In the end, the team found the beacon and reactivated it, though they had some difficulty with the elevators in the abandoned building. There was some scrambling, some climbing, some jumping, some falling, some shooting, and in the end, they made it back to the safehouse that Nils had set up in the Ruins, where they could start using the beacon to backtrack to the cryofacility.

That’s where we wrapped things. The next session was supposed to be this past Friday night, but I wound up sick as a dog, and had to cancel. So, I’m really looking forward to the next one, in about three weeks.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Apocalypse World: The Beacon

  1. Elliot says:

    To be honest my memory is also a bit spotty. JB pushed a desk down an elevator shaft at some point. There were Spongebob walkie-talkies. Also the razor weasels made an appearance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *