Flying Circus Ep 4: Into the Woods Pt 1
With their rookie’s plane going down in tatters and the capabilities of their rotted adversary still unknown, Zelig and Francesca make a rough landing in the wooded glade. Things get complicated when Geneve and her crashed plane aren’t in the same place…
If you feel like there just isn’t enough aeropunk fantasy adventure in your life, Erika Chappell is working her heart out to get Flying Circus ready to print. While you wait, check out her other games at Newstand Press.
Flying Circus Ep 3: Birds of Ill Omen
After a bender culminating in some ill advised purchases, squadmates Francesca, Zelig and Geneve find themselves once again on the wrong end of debt collector’s attention. Despite not really understanding how the homeless mystic will pay them, they decide to take Drifty’s offer to clear the skies over the mountain pass… and run into the horrors of both Maralto’s magic, and its past.
Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indie-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!
Flying Circus Ep 1: Flying High Pt 1
With Dandy’s return to the table, the Liberation Industries crew dive in guns blazing to playtest Erika Chappell’s Flying Circus, the game of high passions and deadly airplane combat in a fantastical post-apocalyptic world.
In the turbulent seascapes and scattered settlements of Maralto, squads of pilots fight for glory and the adulation of the masses. The problem is that currently Francesca, Zelig and Geneve are all a long way from home, dirt broke in the merchant towns of the Span, and have just been robbed. A pirate raid could not have come at a better time…
Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indy-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!
Longshot Ep 1: Journey’s End Pt 1
Happy New Years imaginary listeners!
We break in 2018 with an episode of Nick Wedig’s scarcity driven space western, Longshot! Is this an ill omen? Maybe! But more importantly, will the residents of Journey’s End find out who murdered Sheriff Torkelson – and enough to eat for that matter – before dwindling resources finish them off?
Nick Wedig continues to make fantastic Creative Commons games. Check them out over at Teapot Dome Games!
Apocalypse World Retrospective: Otherpocalypses
Well then folks, that was it. The last gasp of our Apocalypse World game, Frozen City. I feel like now that we have produced the greatest ever piece of post apocalyptic fiction ever, its time for a change. George Miller, I’ll be expecting those Oscars in the mail.
Its been utterly wild, its been weird, its been feral (just like the fantastic McDaldno taught me not so long ago). I love Apocalypse World, and though dropping newbies in what might be called the deep end felt like a risk initially, our little ducks swam on just fine.
I mean, they destroyed the paltry remnants of any civilization the Frozen City had been able to hang onto, but… hey, it was good while it lasted. I feel like with new catchphrases along the lines of “weird highlighted episode”, “NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH” and “the Winter of our discuntent” now circulating happily in our vernacular, I would say that the end of the end of the world was a reasonable price to pay.
Anyway, I felt like you might get lonely for post apocalyptic shenanigan now that we’ve hit our little finale, so I figured I’d point you in the direction of some of the stuff I was devouring while the Frozen City was crystalising like lake water in my brain.
If you like Actual Play Podcasts, I would recommend the following for their rather charming post-apocalyptic playouts.
The Jankcast‘s Apocalypse World sessions, both the original run of Leviathan and the follow up Black Diamond make great listens, both as great stories and fun gaming groups. Its got everything; comings of age, lost love, and the fires of revolution. They also play AW’s younger siblings, Monsterhearts and Dream Askew (McDaldno again!) which are great, and you’ve probably already heard me ranting about.
You Don’t Meet in an Inn are a charming bunch from Canada with a taste for playing more obscure RPGs, Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts once again among them. I would say that their take is a little more classic than that of the Jankcast, complete with scooter gangs, fuel wars and surprisingly jovial cannibals. Don’t let that put you off though; their gloriously awkward senses of humour put them in a realm of their own.
If you don’t mind a stash of text, Derendel’s long running Apocalypse World game The Climbers is one of rpg.net’s jewels. It has also influenced me to include ‘retire as Conan’ as one of my long term life goals.
Then there was this. But I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about this any more than I have.
Anyway, hope y’all are still having fun. All the best, and I won’t see you all in our upcoming casts. Cause that’s not really how this medium works.
Apocalypse World Ep 14: Mementos of the Frozen City
All things end. With the last bastions of civilization burning and the sanity of saviours falling apart, Barbarianna the Gunlugger, Dent the Faceless, October the Skinner and the Angel called The Doctor decide who will live and who will die.
Witness the end of the end times.
AW 14 Mementos of the Frozen City
If you would prefer to stream it, the episodes are available on Podomatic. At least until I learn how to make widgets…
Apocalypse World is a product of Vincent Baker and Lumpley Games, soon to enter its second edition. Feast upon its furious corpus.
Apocalypse World Ep 12: Melancholy of the Frozen City
The Frozen City is a weird place, and with the last vestiges of civilization crashing down around their ears, some are left out in the cold… will Dent the Faceless, Lemma the Savvyhead, October the Skinner and the Angel called the Doctor puzzle a way out of this long night?
AW 12 Melancholy of the Frozen City
Apocalypse World is a product of Vincent Baker and Lumpley Games. Buy it, and be devoured by its numerous tendrils.
Apocalypse World: The Season of Self Determination
There’s a pretty big appeal to the Post-Apocalyptic genre.
Yeah, I know. Statement of the century. This is well trod ground – this isn’t a first on this topic, even for me – but I promised y’all an article, so I suppose you’re getting it whether its decent or not.
I’ve thought quite a lot about the appeal of stories following a civilization annihilating catastrophe, and its one that persists across every medium I can call to mind; it is especially prolific in gaming, but lets just say that George Miller didn’t find all of those Oscars under the couch.
On pondering what it is that draws us to these kinds of stories, I’ve heard a few threads echoing back around. Some theories, particularly those that follow the zombie subgenre, gather that we gain a kind of catharsis from watching otherwise good people crack under the pressures of scarcity and violence. A theme that seems to surface in a lot of roleplaying games, from Dungeons and Dragons to Numenara, is the appeal of a return to an age of exploration, and the chance to grow rich picking over the bones of a dead civilization. Some works use the breakdown of law as an excuse for gratuitous hyper-violence, but others use it to examine the formation of culture and faith in times of flux. Fury Road even found a way to do both.
I’ve never felt particularly satisfied with any of these assumptions. Desperation isn’t something you need to destroy civilization to find, as Shakespeare was so happy showing us, and the exploratory angle is one that overlaps heavily with your fantasy and western genres. So I look for a different point of appeal.
I believe, and this is something that Apocalypse World really hammers home, is that it has to do with agency.
I’ve frequently joked that libertarians are anarchists without the spine to accept their own decisions, and Apocalypse World throws us right into the anarchy of a world where rule limited by the far range of your eyesight and weaponry. The bonds of civilization have been shattered, and this allows our central players, against a chorus of devourers, demagogues and desperate lost souls, to do something that civilization could never allow them by its own nature.
It allows them to reshape the world in their own image.
This has been, I believe, a huge part of the recent appeal of Apocalypse World, and has kept wind in the sails for its second edition. Your players set out into a world that they create, with the only assumptions being that civilization is long gone and that the world has been enveloped by a miasma of telepathic resonance, the Psychic Maelstrom. The depopulated world, and the character’s relative power within it, allow them to come into this setting and live out their own destiny, unhindered by those more powerful than they are, whether that destiny is as conqueror, saint or destroyer.
For those of you who have been following the podcast, you’ll know that the destiny crafted by an impulsive artist, a mutant prairie dog and a deluded, theatrically inclined murderer is going to be pretty weird.
Ultimately, I think one of Apocalypse World’s most appealing features is almost a surrender of agency from the GM (or MC in this case) to their players; not complete, but more in the manner of giving them enough rope to hang themselves, a sentiment that has rather pervaded my MCing career. Baker has encoded into his rules an idea that has always worked well for me, and that is that roleplayers will make their own trouble. my players have always wanted to make their stories interesting as much as their MC does.
Apocalypse World has the advantage of letting a character choose when they die.
Some hang on despite the horrifying costs, and some let it go. We’ll have our share of both as Frozen City runs to its grim, exultant finale.
Hope you’re all enjoying the ride.
Apocalypse World Ep 11: Mercenaries of the Frozen City
With Barbariana and Lemma on hiatus, Dent the Faceless, October the Skinner and the Angel called the Doctor must vie with one of the Frozen City’s power players, Mother Superior. Problem is, somebody murdered her twin sister – not to name names – and maybe someone let the cat out of the bag.
May the clusterfuck ensue.
AW 11 Mercenaries of the Frozen City
Apocalypse World is a product of Lumpley Games and Vincent Baker. Second Edition is coming, so y’all should check that out.
Apocalypse World Ep 9: Mutants of the Frozen City
The grim chill of the Frozen City lays its claim on yet another victim, and Pedro the Marmot leaves our stage. Those who remain, then, are stuck with the unsavoury job of coping with the legacy of chaos he left behind.
Barbariana the Gunlugger and Lemma the Savvyhead join forces to elevate their destructive potential to alarming new heights, while October the Skinner struggles to keep the revelatory frenzy of her followers in check. Dent the Faceless finds himself once again drawn into the role of warlord he changed so much to escape, while from Mother Superior’s fortress comes an Angel who answers only to “the Doctor”…
AW 9 Mutants of the Frozen City
Apocalypse World was developed by Vincent Baker. More info can be found here http://apocalypse-world.com/. Second Edition is underway, so get excited!