58 votes
Accepted

What to do about the NPC massacre?

As a baseline for why they should care: the NPCs are their resources. Self-sufficiency is an illusion in Apocalypse World. Someone grows their food, someone patches their clothes, someone makes the ...
Alex P's user avatar
  • 29.2k
41 votes
Accepted

Can a player choose not to trigger a Move?

No When a player character makes an action that fulfills the conditions for triggering a move, the move is triggered. This is explicitly stated in Dungeon World rules, under Making moves: A ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
37 votes

What's the difference between Apocalypse World 1e and 2e?

New and changed moves There are several new moves, with the largest additions being Road war moves (vehicular combat) Subterfuge moves (cat and mouse -style tracking) Tactical and support moves (...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
25 votes
Accepted

What if my Apocalypse World doesn't have cars?

Cut playbooks that don't fit As a general rule for all such cases, I would recommend removing playbooks that rely heavily on features that conflict with your own version of the Apocalypse World. Let ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
25 votes

Do the rules allow unlimited experience through Hx gains?

There's some subtleties about how the rules interact but let's just sorta focus on the big picture… Congrats on your new pain cult! You're sitting at the table narrating, "We sit around cutting each ...
Alex P's user avatar
  • 29.2k
24 votes
Accepted

Do the rules allow unlimited experience through Hx gains?

I'd like to challenge the word "trivially" in your original assumption. Inflicting harm is definitely not going to be quick or trivial, because even taking a single point of Harm takes days to heal. ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81k
21 votes

What to do about the NPC massacre?

I think these: Do I just need to keep inventing NPCs until they find some personalities they attach to? Do I just keep bringing in new threats from elsewhere whenever they annihilate the current ...
SeaWyrm's user avatar
  • 1,727
19 votes
Accepted

How to GM "An arresting skinner" in a balanced, fair and fun way

You are not the first GM thinking about this, and there has been quite some discussion about it on Barf Forth Apocalyptica, the forum run by Vincent Baker. All quotes below are taken from posts there. ...
Anaphory's user avatar
  • 3,965
19 votes

Can a player choose not to trigger a Move?

Triggers happen in-fiction. Never assume a player shares your fiction. Dungeon World introduces the idea of disagreement between GM and player on what's actually going on in the basic moves chapter. ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Trying Again and "group perception" problem in AW

Well, in Apocalypse World the moves flow from the fiction. So if he fails that first roll, and you "put him in a spot" - what is that? What does it look like? Is it just something "more sneak" can ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 175k
16 votes
Accepted

How can I, as the MC, manage conflict between PCs?

Keep calm. This is exactly where you should be. Apocalypse World is about telling stories from out of the wastes. They're not all happy stories. Maybe this is the story of how an army bearing down on ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k
14 votes
Accepted

How to modify Apocalypse World for a one-shot game?

Not much. Apocalypse World is one of my go-to games for one-shots, and I find that it shows off well in a single 3-hour (preferably slightly more) session, even without changing too much. This ...
Anaphory's user avatar
  • 3,965
12 votes
Accepted

Can anyone give me examples of Breeding Pits?

I find it helpful when coming up with ideas for AW to ignore what the game actually calls the threats, and just focus on their trigger. Breeding Pits generate badness. A Breeding Pit can be many ...
Vandalheart's user avatar
11 votes

Can a player choose not to trigger a Move?

Only indirectly To do it, do it. If you do it, you do it —Vincent Baker, Apocalypse World A move is triggered when a character does something that triggers it. If a player wants a move to trigger, ...
edgerunner's user avatar
  • 17.5k
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a stacking limit for roll bonuses in Apocalypse World?

Nope, there are no bonus limits or rules about stacking limitations. Getting +ongoing is hard (and losing it is comparatively easy), and getting +forward is inherently temporary, so high bonuses are ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What triggers the "open your brain" move?

"Cool, what's that look like?" So, first I should say: there's never any question that your character is capable of opening their brain to the psychic maelstrom. The existence of the psychic ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k
9 votes

What to do about the NPC massacre?

It may already be too late. I'm not sure which version you're running, but as far as I know the Child-Thing was only around in v2, and this is what v2 says you should have been doing from the first ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Is character improvement mandatory in Apocalypse World?

Improvement is mandatory. Living in Apocalypse World changes you — you can't avoid its scars and lessons. Whenever a player fills in her fifth improvement circle, she improves her character and ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
7 votes

Negative effects of the Help move in social interactions?

Help or Interfere is the move with the most breadth. It can be applied to virtually any situation, to aid or hinder any move. As such it's not possible to list every possible consequence of success or ...
Longspeak's user avatar
  • 7,108
7 votes

What triggers the "open your brain" move?

This only requires opportunity and the player’s stated intention to do so. Opportunity can be as elaborate as a snowball of moves over sessions of play, or as simple as a PC deciding they’re going to ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
6 votes

What happens if a character has more than one gang?

I had a player who ended up in that exact situation in a game. We ended up agreeing that the gangs could be used separately, or together. When used together, they would count as a 2-harm gang medium 0-...
Rubberduck's user avatar
  • 2,051
6 votes

What to do about the NPC massacre?

In a comment, you tell us that the Driver feels unattached to the plot. Explain him, out of game, that NPC triangles are what makes the game alive and that fighting for or against them is a great way ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 35k
6 votes
Accepted

Can I pump my damage repeatedly when using the 'Burned Over' battle move?

You can spend as much of your hold as you want on whichever option you want. This is true in general, though in a lot of cases where you get hold, some of the options you have to spend aren't likely ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k
5 votes

What constitutes "seeing a Faceless unmasked"?

I am in favour of reading it as "whenever somebody sees you without your mask on and recognizes you". Mechanically, because the next feature reads Unmasked, you are (choose 2): Vulnerable......
Nox's user avatar
  • 1,531
5 votes
Accepted

A player character is threatening another character with violence. Which move should be triggered?

This answer applies equally for both the first and the second edition of Apocalypse World. In the event a Go Aggro roll is successful, the MC or the PC playing the targeted character may always ...
kviiri's user avatar
  • 54k
5 votes

PbtA System Making Custom moves and Classes for Mech Pilots

Apocalypse World actually has a Mech Pilot like playbook in the limited playbooks section. If you've bought it on the main website, it should be in your collection somewhere. There is one called the ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81k
5 votes

Is character improvement mandatory in Apocalypse World?

A player can maybe stop picking improvements for his character… I'm using a version of Apocalypse World that on page 182 has a section titled The Ungiven Future, which says You can keep choosing ...
Hey I Can Chan's user avatar
4 votes

Apocalypse World without Fronts: Are we missing out?

As long as you build good Threats, you don't need explicit Fronts or countdown clocks to run an excellent game of Apocalypse World. I feel confident saying this because the game's 2nd Edition straight-...
Alex P's user avatar
  • 29.2k
4 votes

What if my Apocalypse World doesn't have cars?

I've never played AW but I sure have been reading the book, discussing actual plays of the game with people who were playing it and know enough of it to tell you that it's the MC who chooses which ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 35k
4 votes
Accepted

How does the lifestyle move work in the first session?

At the start of the first session, everyone pays 1-barter and goes on to live the 1-barter lifestyle. Imagine that there are three (or more) qualities of life available. The first is the typical ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible