Three more notes on Apocalypse World

From Jason D’Angelo’s “Daily Apocalypse”:

Who should adjudicate whether the immediate fiction meets a player move trigger? Baker —

If there’s a genuine disagreement, like if the player suckering someone can’t see how she could miss, in fact, then she shouldn’t automatically defer to the MC. She should hold the dice. The game can’t proceed until they come to an agreement, and the rules don’t care whose view prevails. It might be hers, it might be the MC’s, but somebody has to win the other one over.

Does the MC have final say? Sure! Does the MC have sole final say? No! Everybody has final say.


Note the assumption that the players are mature adults with reasonable levels of social functioning. AW is not built for teenagers, nor for people with major social disabilities.

In any interesting game, maybe we always “play to find out”. Games just differ in what we’re finding out about. Baker —

I’ve decided that I think that playing to find out is universal to games, not a principle special to Apocalypse World at all. What do you put in place at the start of the game, what do you hold constant throughout the game, and what do you leave for gameplay to settle?

In my games since Apocalypse World, I’ve spelled out more explicitly what you leave for gameplay to settle. …

In Apocalypse World, you have to piece it together, but it should be pretty easy: what will the characters make of their world? What will they choose to make of it, and equally, what will they be able to make of it?


Apocalypse World is a very particular kind of text, and it suits a certain kind of reader. D’Angelo —

“Respond with fuckery and intermittent rewards”

Every word in [the MC’s principles] has their place, as becomes apparent when you read the explanation that follows them. Here, the first paragraph defines what “Respond with fuckery” means. The second paragraph exemplifies the definition and makes clear what a “reward” is: “always give the characters what they work for.” And the final paragraph explains “intermittent.”

This is a carefully constructed text that teaches the reader that each word is laden with meaning and purposefully chosen. If you enjoy that kind of reading, you’ll love the text. If you don’t, you won’t.


For Baker’s statements above, you’ll have to scroll down the comments — Google+ doesn’t let you link to comments.

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