Apocalypse World at London Indie RPG Meetup Group


So today was one of the London Indie RPG Meetup Group‘s extra long sessions, and I joined the group playing a hacked version of Apocalypse World (D. Vincent Baker).

Something’s wrong with the world and I don’t know what it is.

It used to be better, of course it did. In the golden age of legend, when there was enough to eat and enough hope, when there was one nation under god and people could lift their eyes and see beyond the horizon, beyond the day. Children were born happy and grew up rich.

Now that’s not what we’ve got. Now we’ve got this. Hardholders stand against the screaming elements and all comers, keeping safe as many as they can. Angels and savvyheads run constant battle against there’s not enough and bullets fly and everything breaks. Hocuses gather people around them, and are they protectors, saviors, visionaries, or just wishful thinkers? Choppers, gunluggers and battlebabes carve out what they can and defend it with blood and bullets. Drivers and operators search and scavenge, looking for that opportunity, that one perfect chance. Skinners remember beauty, or invent beauty anew, cup it in their hands and whisper come and see, and don’t worry now about what it will cost you. And brainers, oh, brainers see what none of the rest of us will: the world’s psychic maelstrom, the terrible desperation and hate pressing in at the edge of all perception, it is the world now.

And you, who are you? This is what we’ve got, yes. What are you going to make of it?

The MC had hacked the game by adding dragons and a few dragon related ‘moves’ which worked nicely. These included:

  • Do something whilst on fire.
  • Sally forth.
  • Charm a dragon.
  • See through a dragons eyes.
  • Plus possibly one more which I currently forget.

I picked The Savvy Head for my character, Lee who had a small electronics workshop.

We also had Charmer (The Brainer), Found “The King of Glass” (The Hocus) and Besh (Angel). For more info on the character types a full set of character sheets are available here.


The dragons rose 50 years ago and left the world desolate except for a few pockets of survivors. We were set up in a castle and there had not been a dragon sighting for a couple of years. After the Prince of Scales had returned from the wastelands with a prize of a dragon skeleton he took it upon himself to beat the Count of Earth, to display his power. This lead to a fraction in the people of the strong hold after a Council meeting lead by the King of Glass, who questioned his behaviour. The Prince of Scales intended to leave (after some persuasion from Charmer) and start up his own strong hold with as many of the people he could persuade. Besh took this opportunity to make a move on the Count of Earth’s daughter.

Before the Prince could leave, dragons attacked the castle leaving rack and ruin. A couple of the dragons were killed, one in an impressive shotgun attack by Besh, the rest were persuaded to leave when Found started a prayer with his followers using the psychic maelstrom. However this was only possible due to the help of the Prince (who it had become quite apparent non of us liked) who now sort even more power for himself.

Through the Maelstrom, Charmer and Lee saw the threat of an ancient evil slumbering dragon. The Prince of Scale wanted to go out and fight, the King of Glass wanted us to pray to but the dragon back to sleep. The Prince ended up persuading about half the people to go with him and they took all the weapons, but said the rest could pray if they wanted to.

As they set out. Lee started work on a sonic repulsion device, and became a lot closer to Charmer who had had to move to the dungeon after her tower was destroyed in the recent battle. Besh helped the sick and wounded and Found took council from his people.

Lee and Charmer, attempted to run away to live on their own but were stopped by Besh with an ancient sword he was given by the Countess of Copper. They gave in a said they would help.

Found connected with the dragon and bargained with the life of the Count of Earth’s daughter (which fortunately for him, Besh did not find out about) as well as the lives of the people who had gone out to fight the dragon with the Prince of Scales. A single dragon still attacked the castle, Lee left a message in the psychic maelstrom declaring his love for charmer before running to attempt to repel the dragon with his device. In the end the dragon was savagely wounded by Besh. Lee using the sonic device on the dragon only annoyed it more, and it started to attack the vehicle were the device was mounted using its fire breath. Trying to draw the dragon away from the castle, he drove off leaving Charmer behind. Charmer, thinking Lee had left her sought her revenge on Besh (for keeping them there), who was on fire from the fight with the dragon. Charmer watched Besh burn to death and stopped Found from saving him.

Lee returned to find what had happened and after finding what she had done decided that she would be better away from other people and they left together. Besh was left dead in the arms of Found. Found was happy to have survived, and continued his plans to rule what remained.


This was another fun game. I really like the system, which I have wanted to try after reading about Dungeon World (Sage LaTorra, Adam Koebel) which also uses the same system. My favourite aspects of the system are that:

  • All the information is there on the character sheets, and by making a few relatively simple choices you can make a range of different characters.
  • Other players choose the attribute that you need to use in order to improve your character, forcing you to do consider doing things differently.
  • There are partial successes, where you succeed at what you do but something bad happens. It seems relatively rare that you will fail completely.

I cannot think of anything negative to say about the game we had.


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