A year ago, I wrote a short piece about why I like Apocalypse World’s system. In the past few months, I’ve had a chance to work on a few Powered by the Apocalypse games (games that use the base system from AW) and have been glancing over at what’s going on with the second edition of Apocalypse World. You know, I’m still intrigued. I like how it is fast and gets to the point of the conflict without a lot of dicking around, has a lot of player buy-in, and how the philosophy of the game carries through the design. So yes, my Favorite Game SystemÂ hasn’t changed.
Here’s what I wrote last year.
Iâ€™m going to make this a different answer than the one for the â€œfavorite RPG of all timeâ€ writing prompt.1 I will have to go with Apocalypse Worldâ€™s system: roll 2d6 + stat, succeed on a 10 or higher, succeed at a cost on a 7-9, fail at a 6 or lower. But sometimes itâ€™s succeed at a cost at 10+, succeed at a greater cost at 7-9. The actionsâ€“movesâ€“often are written with options your character can take with the ones you donâ€™t take acting as prompts for the GM. Hereâ€™s a typical example:
On a 10+, choose two. On a 7-9, choose one:
- You donâ€™t get hurt
- You donâ€™t hurt someone you care about
- You donâ€™t lose a thing you care about
So if you succeed, and you donâ€™t choose â€œYou donâ€™t get hurtâ€, you get hurt. Similarly, if you donâ€™t choose losing a thing, you lose a thing.
Not everything is set up like this, but itâ€™s simple enough to go between the â€œitâ€™s impossible to succeed without costâ€ and â€œyou can succeed cleanlyâ€ settings with this system.
The system itself is so simple (and the writing in the AW book strongly drives play in a specific direction), the AW system has been co-opted by several other games for several other genres. Itâ€™s a light, fast, fun system that can be surprisingly gritty. I think it’s pretty cool.
- This will be on the 31st. [↩]