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Play to find out

18 April, 2011

I’m re-reading Apocalypse World, among other things, to prepare for this week’s game, where I’m MC’ing a local face-to-face game. It’s a marvellous book, up there with another favorite of mine, the Sorcerer book, or books, rather. You may like or dislike the book’s genre-appropriate language like “barf forth Apocalyptica” or “go aggro”, I was not annoyed the least by it, but the play advice in here is pure gold.

Commit yourself

One of the basics for playing Apocalypse World is the phrase “Play to find out”, which shouldn’t surprise anyone with a Story Now preference. Apocalypse World is a game design firmly rooted in Ron Edward’s old essay Narrativism: Story Now, which by itself completely changed my own gaming habits. I went back and re-read the essay as well. It’s dated, yes, mostly because we have more language and knowledge acquired through discussion and actual play than nearly 10 years ago.

Vincent writes: “Play to find out: there’s a certain discipline you need in order to MC Apocalypse World. You have to commit yourself to the game’s fiction’s own internal logic and causality, driven by the players’ characters. You have to open yourself to caring what happens, but when it comes time to say what happens, you have to set what you hope for aside.”

Couldn’t be much clearer, could it now?

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One comment

  1. Vincent also has one of the best intro to any gamemastering chapters:
    “There are a million ways to GM games, Apocalypse World calls for one way in particular.”
    And then he lays it out, with very few assumptions left untouched.



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