Posts Tagged ‘gamehack’


L5R Apocalypse World: Bayushi Samurai

August 16, 2011

I’m slowly chugging together some playbooks for the hack. I’m starting with the samurai because the shugenja will require some funky moves and I haven’t tried to think about that just yet. For the most part it’s pretty easy to come up with 3-4 abilities for a given playbook, it’s the last ones that are hard… and the fricking stats.

I really like the idea of different Moves giving different information to the various Clans- the Crab move is all about Shadowlands lore, while the Scorpion here, are all about digging up dirty secrets and sowing division.

Obviously, this is all stuff in rough form. I’ll have to go back over it once I get a couple of the playbooks together and see if they fit well against each other, and polish things with play.

Anyway, a look into the abilities for the Scorpion samurai- playing around with Shame and manipulation:

Bayushi Samurai

Mask without Shame
You never gain Shame from associating with individuals with 4 or more Shame.

The Heart is always a Target
You may roll + Hx (vs. PCs) and + Insight (vs. NPCs) in Duels instead of + Spirit

The Poison of the Tongue
When provoking, insinuating, or slandering in public, roll +Hx (Vs. PCs) or + Presence (vs. NPCs). 10+ They must pick one below. 7-9 They pick one but someone else steps up to defend them as well.

– They are enraged and must fight back with words or deeds
– They remain silent and are implicated by rumor and doubt
– They attempt to defend themselves and reveal a secret

When engaging with someone over time, or witnessing them engage with others, you can ask questions. Roll + Insight. (“Who” questions always involve the people present). 10+ Pick 3. 7-9 Pick 1.
– Who do you care about the most?
– Who do you trust the most?
– Who do you think has more than they deserve?
– What makes you a good person?
– What do you think I want?
– Which is more important to you (name a goal or person) OR (name a different goal or person)?

Taste of Betrayal
When poisoning another, roll +Hx for PCs, + Insight for NPCs. Default is Harm 3. 10+ Pick 3. 7-9 Pick 1.

– Only the target got poisoned, no one else.
– It’s not obvious it was poison, it looks only like illness
– It’s delayed (pick: hours or days)
– It’s not lethal (Harm 1, targets incapacitated for a few days)
– It’s very lethal (Harm 5)

On a miss, the GM chooses either: the last person you’d want gets poisoned instead; the last person you’d want to get blamed gets accused; you’re put in a sticky situation; the person suffers no ill effects, as if someone knew ahead to administer the antidote, and you’re not sure who…

No one need ever know…
When hiding evidence of a crime or deed (your own or others’), roll + Presence.
On a 10+, it’s gone to any but the most dedicated investigation, and the path points to another.
On a 7-9, half of the evidence is gone (the body but not the blood, etc.) and there’s a plausible alibi on hand. On a 6- your contacts are unavailable, or, worse, bumble the process.

+1 to Presence


L5R by way of Apocalypse World

August 14, 2011

There’s setting and concept stuff I really liked about L5R, that the rules never really did well for me. This week I realized Apocalypse World actually would be a good rules hack to do L5R with.

For example, duels! Duels are supposed to be a big deal, but L5R’s rules keep all the tension around a sort of bidding up/chicken mechanic, which ended up being generally meh for me in play.

When you look at media that does duels well, it’s usually an excuse to do all kinds of character exploration through internal monologues and flashbacks- it’s about the why and the personal consquences of the duel. (Sword of Doom, Vagabond, even stuff like Battle Angel Alita and Naruto do this).

So, I’m playing around with stuff like this:


Roll + Spirit. On a 10+ ask 2 of your opponent On a 7-9, ask 1 of your opponent, your opponent asks 1 of you. On a Miss: Your opponent asks 2 of you.

These questions are played out as flashbacks and monologues- your character doesn’t learn these facts- this is all for us, the people playing, the audience:

– Who do you aspire to be like and why?
– What are you running from?
– Who do you care about the most, and how have you failed them?
– What would happiness look like for you?
– Who else suffers if you lose this duel?

Whoever has to answer a question receives Harm +2 from their opponent- no armor or special ability blocks this.

For each question you answer, pick 1:

– Do Harm -1 to your opponent instead. Hold 1. Spend it anytime in the future to have a flashback scene of a conversation from before the duel. This can happen even if your character died.

– Ask a request of your opponent- if they do it, they gain 1 XP, if they refuse, it’s On Dangerous Ground

– You impress everyone with your bearing and spirit, if anyone outside the duel insulted you before this they take 1 Shame.

– Make a Read the Heart move on your opponent as your last action (as wounded or before killed)

– Bow out before blades are drawn; No one takes Harm, but your opponent erases 2 Shame and gains +2 HX with you. You may never challenge them to a duel again.

You’ll notice that this Move is a way to get us into genre tropes in the choices you have.

It’s also more complicated than most Moves in AW- it’s really two Moves in one.

The first one forces us to examine the characters who are up on the chopping block. The second one gives the players controlling said characters a chance to determine what the long term consequences are in return.

I’m going to probably tweak stuff and clean it up a bit, but I’m ok that it’s a little complicated, given that duels won’t be happening all the time anyway.