Author Topic: Apocalypse Feedback Thread  (Read 4312 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« on: January 03, 2010, 05:02:29 AM »
Anyone who is reading the posted sessions of this RPG arc, feel free to post any comments here.

Comment about what seemed good or bad, ask me anything about the game, or what was happening 'behind the scenes' (assuming I can remember) or whatever...

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 11:14:23 PM »
EQUIPMENT:
The synopses mention scrounging and equipment, but there isn't an inventory mentioned.  This sort of thing was tracked by each player.

When characters were first created, I had an elaborate system of tables for all kinds of equipment, from weapons and vehicles to canned foodstuffs, comfort items and sports magazines.  Based on their character type each person got 'X' many rolls on each table and got to choose to keep 'X' number of what they rolled.

Once the game was in progress, they could decide to search/scrounge an area for items.  They picked which type of items they were primarily looking for and then made the roll on their scrounge skill.  Each attempt took 2 hours, and depending on the location a certain number of rolls were made on certain tables.  Of course there was always the chance to get nothing...or an encounter with a zombie or feral animal or whatever...

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 07:11:13 AM »
Hey there.

Just wondering if anyone is actually reading this stuff?

If so, let me know and I'll make the effort to keep posting stuff on it...assuming people want to see it.

If not, then that's fine too.  None of it's current, so it'd saves me picking through my old files.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

  • Disgruntled MMORPG
  • Commander
  • ******
  • Posts: 2356
  • Gender: Male
  • Hates Bioware officially.
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 08:31:05 AM »
I'm reading and enjoying it...
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 09:10:36 PM »
No questions, comments, rude remarks?

Here's a tidbit:

For the group's travel, I allowed them to go anywhere they wanted.  We used Google Earth.  (If anyone doesn't know what that is...check it out!)

I had my computer near our gaming table.  I zoomed in so that the the road they were on was centered, and the screen showed about a square kilometer.  If it was night time and dark, I'd zoom in tighter.

If they had good visibility, like day on the plains, I'd zoom out.

Then they'd say "We're goin on this highway North."

And I'd get the map a drag-drop so that it scrolls at a steady rate on its own.   And we'd all watch the screen and the terrain go by, almost like they were seeing it as they were driving,  (though the actual rate the terrain passed was about double or triple their travel rate...it was like fast-forwarding the travel.)

When they'd see an interesting group of buildings or a turn they wanted to make, someone would call out, 'Whoa! Stop!' and they could discuss their options.

I had a list of types of encounters made up ahead of time, and when they happened across likely spots where they might occur, I'd generate the encounter.

Other times they'd decide to stop and scrounge an area.  I had tables to dictate the results of the scrounges based on the type of area they were in, and of course the chance encounters that went with it.

Now that they have that Google-Map thing where you can see the area as if you were at street level....its kinda cool going to some of the places where events happened in the game and 'see' them.  It's almost like going on a tour of famous historical landmarks!

On Google Earth, the barn they spent their first night in is located at: 40 degrees 37 minutes 33.48 seconds North, 105 degrees 06 minutes 04.48 seconds West for instance.

On Google maps you can see it by standing on the road and looking north at approximate address of 1526 U.S. 287 Fort Collins CO, United States.

 8)


« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 09:24:11 PM by dredwulf60 »

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 04:51:58 PM »
So, before I post the next portion, anyone care to comment on what they think might have happened next?

Anybody have any favorite characters or moments so far?

Anybody feel like they would have had fun in this game, or done things differently than the characters did?

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

  • Disgruntled MMORPG
  • Commander
  • ******
  • Posts: 2356
  • Gender: Male
  • Hates Bioware officially.
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 05:07:19 PM »
Um, I'm enjoying it so far, shab yeah, I woulda had fun in the game.

I really enjoyed reading it, moar pleaze!
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 07:10:43 PM »
Um, I'm enjoying it so far, shab yeah, I woulda had fun in the game.

I really enjoyed reading it, moar pleaze!

:D

Thanks for the feedback my friend!

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010, 03:22:29 PM »
Anyone have a favourite character?

Bruce: The ex cop
Sawyer: The ex con
Debbie: The quiet woman.
Stacey: The mouthy woman.
Will/Ben: The personality disorder dude
Delmore: The ex National Guard
Vinnie: The ex Ranger
Ken: The ex Yakuza

Curious, because I've been talking recently with some of the players who participated in this game, and they are pretty thrilled to think that somone is following the adventures they had, serial-style.  One grinned wide and said, 'Wait till they read what's coming up next...'


Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

  • Disgruntled MMORPG
  • Commander
  • ******
  • Posts: 2356
  • Gender: Male
  • Hates Bioware officially.
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2010, 08:24:20 PM »
All of them...but I liked Lucas a lot...too bad he died...
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 06:10:08 AM »
All of them...but I liked Lucas a lot...too bad he died...

Yeah.  That was a tense scene.

Lucas wanted to recover his arrows after that night of zombie-shooting.  He knew there was a chance of nicking himself while removing the broad heads, which are basically an arrangement of razor blades.  He's a bow-hunter in real life, so he was aware of the risks.

He was skilled enough that it was just a small chance, but he had to pull a lot of arrows out, and it only takes one infected blood particle to enter the blood stream...

He did fail a roll on one of the last few arrows.  He was wearing leather biker gloves, which offer decent protection.  It was assessed at a 1 in 10 chance of the blade happening to penetrate a weak point in the frayed leather.

And that die came up a '1'.

The adrenaline levels ramped up after that.  Moments later, when I described the first stages of the violent change, Ken was closest.

He failed his 'Hardness' roll, which froze him for 1-4 seconds before he could attempt to kill his former ally.

Sawyer had no such compunctions.

Interestingly enough, 'Ben/Will', which is the replacement character unscrews his arrows when he uses them, and leaves the broadheads in the target.  He makes his own replacement arrow tips when he can.


dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 03:01:50 AM »
The problem with Brock.

I liked to think of the Apocalypse game as a weekly TV show.  I encouraged my players to think of it like that too.  

So, like a TV show, the actors portraying the characters sometimes have things going on behind the scenes.  This was the case with the Brock character.

As you may recall, the player lost his first character in the first 10 minutes of the first game.  Bummer.

He watched the rest of the game unfold, and saw that Sawyer was an interesting character, an ex-con.  He noticed that Bruce was his opposite number, an altruistic ex-cop and was also interesting.  Both seemed to fair well in the areas of dramatic exposition and action oriented scenes.

So, by the next week he had a new character created:  Brock, who was described by the player as being a ' bad kid from the streets, who was into criminal activity.  Then he got his life together, became a cop and soon joined the L.A. SWAT.'

I nearly vetoed this character right on the spot.  It was clear to me that Brock was really just a bizarre frankenstein merger of Sawyer and Bruce, and yet designed to be somehow superior to both.  But he convinced me to let him give it a try.

The problems began almost immediately, with the character's first introduction.  Imagine: you meet a new survivor by chance in the parking lot of WAL*MART.  30 seconds later, he's telling your group that they are inept and clumsy and if they want to stay alive they better listen to him.  And he neglects to mention his name...for like a whole day.

Not too believable is it?

So he has established Brock as a loud-mouth know-it-all.  Then he goes on to show that he is a lecherous misogynist, by the attitude he shows to the females of the group.  This quickly morphs into a lecherous potential rapist attitude.  

Then he gets into a nearly lethal fight with Sawyer the ex-con over something as trivial as a salvaging an armoured car...but within 48 hours he is making plans with Sawyer to help him overthrow the tower colony.  Also, while he's at the tower colony, he suddenly shifts from wanting to bed down with Hope, to wanting to be a 'father figure' to her and teach her about the world.  No wonder she's skeptical.

When Bruce confronts him about the plan to overthrow the benefactors, he swears he's only spying on Sawyer to help control him.  Brock then threatens to outright murder Delmore by throwing him off the building in an off-hand remark.

So what it comes down to is this: Brock was all over the map as far as characterization.  It was like the guy playing him had no idea how he wanted him to be.  He started as a bunch of stats...thrown together so that the character would have the useful survival skills...with little practical thought as to the PERSON.

By this point, I had a private conversation and told him to have another character prepared.  He asked why.  I told him that at least two of the NPCs was likely to try to kill him when he was vulnerable, and possibly one or more of the other player characters as well.  I told him that the character was getting increasingly erratic, and the others would have no logical reason for WANTING to travel around with this guy.  Therefore it would be unnatural to keep him in the group for much longer.

Having seen my points, he agreed.  Thus we have Brock preparing to depart on his own, as a graceful exit.  Then he got killed that game anyway. (and no, the death was not staged...it was a legit result of the combat game system.)

Enter: Sampson.  The main criteria for his new character was that he make sure that people would actually *want* him around for some reason.

Lets see if he succeeds, shall we?

« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 03:05:55 AM by dredwulf60 »

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 02:14:22 PM »
Yeah, so....

Exit Sampson.

Do you think this guy was getting frustrated by this point? 

It was sad because he couldn't keep any character around. 

Sampson had his own problems, but they were pretty minor compared to Brock's.  Sampson's problem was that when he was made, the player described to me this agricultural society he came from.  A whole bunch of farmers who had banded together for survival.  He described it as quite utopian.  He also described that when a child kills his first zombie, they cut his face as a right of passage, so they get this scar.

I was like...'uh...no.'

As the game master that sort of thing is my responsibility.  I set the stage.  You can make a background for your character, but creating this whole seemingly perfect society was too much.  Not that there weren't survivor groups out there; the Bedrock, The Tower colony, the insane rednecks were all proof that I had those elements.  (and I had another few down the road...)

and the ciutting of the face because you killed a zombie?  In a place where antibiotics are so precious? That was a little off the wall.

So instead of just tossing all that background stuff out the window, I told him that his character actually believed all that stuff, that when he was young there actually was a group of farmers that banded together.  But they were all overrun and slaughtered.  Sampson go the scar as a boy during his escape. (I photoshopped the scar on his character's face)  Sampson has created this fantasy that it all still exists.  So when he was offering to the others to come home with him, he was actually going to lead them to a dead colony.  It would have been a pretty good dramatic scene too.  A lot of cool characterization and exposition.

But as luck would have it, he went down into a dark cellar and failed a couple rolls in a row.... and became zombified.

But that's okay.  He already had a new character in mind.

He wanted to be a Shao-lin monk.

WTF?!!

We had some more chats and came up with a compromise...

Vargas

  • Guest
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 07:44:43 PM »
LOL, good read for sure. All of the said characters were all over the place from that player. What he forgot to realize is that in a world such as that, it's not all about stats to survive. You need proper role playing and either getting along with people or at least giving the illusion of getting along with them, or simply killing them / double crossing them when the time is right. As the player for Sawyer I felt I mastered a few of those traits.

Ky'ram Parjai'Kote

  • Disgruntled MMORPG
  • Commander
  • ******
  • Posts: 2356
  • Gender: Male
  • Hates Bioware officially.
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 08:22:03 PM »
NOOOO! Not San Antonio!

I do like how this story is going. Fortunately, Texas is my area, so I'm familiar with the topography.
Lists of games I play:
-- Star Trek Online
-- KOTOR (1 and 2)
-- SWTOR
-- Terraria
-- TF2
-- Magicka
-- Left 4 Dead 2
-- Garry's Mod
And nearly any other F2P game on this planet.

dredwulf60

  • Republic Provost Marshal
  • ******
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • "Show me your hands...and other appendages..."
Re: Apocalypse Feedback Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2010, 03:32:04 PM »
Bikertown






Bikertown with overlay:



Now the concept behind Bikertown, was that I wanted to bring a bit more of the mad-max influence on the game.  The characters had been wandering more or less aimlessly for a while and they knew what mere survival was about.  Bikertown provided a post-apocalyptic society that they could choose to integrate into.  It was brutal but relatively ordered, much like 'bartertown' of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

I had a whole history and timeline written up at one point, but I can't seem to find it.

To summarize though, when the world began to fall apart, the big oil companies brought in some heavy-duty private security to keep their facilities safe.  'ARMS' was just such a private security/ mercenary unit, modelled loosely after Blackwater and the type.  I can't even remember what A.R.M.S. stood for exactly...it was along the lines of 'Armed Response Maximum Security'.

Anyway, as the situation deteriorated, the ARMS members, most of them ex special forces and veterans began to fortify the site with a wired-up perimeter.  Local civilians fled to the site and as oil company was no longer intact, they were their own bosses, so they allowed the civilians in to take shelter with them.

As years wore on, they continued to build up and expand the perimeter.  It became a viable community.  They repelled many waves of marauders.

Eventually however several large marauder groups of outlaw bikers united into the Apoc Angels, an evolution of the Hells Angels.  As a large and united force they layed siege to the colony and eventually overthrew it, with some help from some insiders.

Instead of ransacking the place, the leader of the bikers recogized the value of an intact society to operate as a base of operations.  They spared the captured ARMS members and set out the laws of the newly dubbed Bikertown.  The arrangment was that the colony was allowed to operate much as it had before, except that the bikers were a class above common citizens, with some higher entitlements. ARMS was maintained as the necessary law and order of the site, under the sanction of the biker council.

It was kind of analagous to the rise of the noble class and serfs of the Dark Ages.

The commoners lived and worked there, growing crops, tending livestock and refining oil into gasoline.  Transients came to Bikertown to barter for things they wanted, and officially registered Biker groups could wander the countryside indulging their waderlust, organizing large scarvenging operations, and come back to Bikertown to cash it in for material wealth and indulge.  Of course the unit of currency was the 'can', as in a can of food.

 Everything was assigned a value in a certain numer of cans.  For very expensive items, they used 'plates'; literally car license plates which represented several hundred cans' value.  The plate number was recorded in a big book held by Bikertown's 'bank', and endorsed at the Bikertown shops.  This prevented having to carry around a truckload of actual cans of food i order to buy something like a vehicle.  Like most economies, the 'can' became very much a symbolic form of currency; much was still arranged by barter, with the can-value a good indicator of relative worth.

The players were starting to learn how bikertown operated from the bottom up.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 11:46:27 PM by dredwulf60 »