Two Apocalypse World hacks worth highlighting

20 June, 2012

While I’m not completely convinced that I understand the full complexity of Vincent’s Apocalypse World game, I think it’s wildly interesting and I want to learn more about it. One of the hurdles for me is the kind of post-apocalypse setting it comes with, and the thematic language that accompanies it. It’s not a critique, but somehow it doesn’t swing with me.

That’s why it’s super cool that all sorts of interesting AW hacks are popping up all over the place. Two that have caught my attention lately are John Harper and Paul Riddle’s sizzling war hack The Regiment, and Jason Morningstar’s Lives of Others-inspired secret police hack, so far without a title. In what might just be the bleakest game in a long time, you play Stasi-like operators, criminal investigators, working for a totally totalitarian and totally corrupt and paranoid state.

First version includes a GM toolkit and how to get a game up and running, as well as loads of information about the many (many MANY) different and opposing government agencies, from the Ministry of State Security’s 26 departments (nobody fucks with Department 15!) to the People’s Police, the Ministry of Defense and Minustry of the Interior. Also included are seven playbooks.

I want to play this.


  1. I have always wondered why The Regiment uses the AW base. I have a hard getting gangs and big fights rolling in AW, and the core in AW is focusing on the individual. But maybe that’s why The Regiment works. Maybe it focuses on the individual and not the whole war (?). I haven’t studied it yet though.

    The Secret Police hacks sounds awesome.

  2. Per, I love your taste in fiction but how you play so much classic role-playing in the 80s and 90s I do not understand.
    Classic fantasy is a no go.
    Classic sci fi is a no go.

    Was Call the only game you played or what?

  3. I played a lot of Call from 87-91 perhaps. A lot of Star Wars D6 and Shadowrun as well. Lots of GURPS and Warhammer FRP.

  4. Per,
    What are your thoughts on Apoc vs Mouse Guard? I’ve not had a chance to do ApocWorld yet and wondered what your take was?

    • MG and AW are two very different creatures. MG is somewhat based on a more traditional GM vs players structure, at least in the GM turn, where the GM gives the player characters an order to execute, and then sets up obstacles in their way. MG’s player turn is more player driven, and thus a bit more like AW. AW on the other hand is completely player-driven – the GM never rolls, but responds to what’s going on in the game’s fiction, where everything is handled via “moves”, which are when the game’s mechanics kick in. Characters are made of stats and moves, mostly, while in MG they have stats, traits, skills.

      Both games are superb examples of how game mechanics can enforce and support setting and genre.

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