Friday, January 02, 2015

The Hood and Inverse World

Apocalypse World hacks are kind of hard to read since the bulk of the content are the playsets and its really hard to understand what the game will be like just by reading through them. I also kind of wish that the playsets were broken out of the main game text since you need to copy or print them out anyway to play and they don't really intersect with the principles of play that guide the MC.

The Hood is a hack that adapts AW to the world of crime. The players take on the roles of minor criminals (neither petty criminals nor involved in major organised crime). Rather than lurching towards the apocalypse the characters are trying to walk the line between crime gangs and the law. Each failure dragging their friends and family into danger and reprisals. It seems fine in principal but I don't really get what the emotional heart of the game is.

Inverse World on the other hand is more of a skin of DungeonWorld that tries to strip away the D&D conventions from the original game and just leave the flowing fantasy gameplay. The setting is certainly different a spherical world with an imprisoned god radiating light from the centre of the sphere and the inhabitants of the world occupying the chains, floating islands and rock surface of the sphere.

In terms of where it tries to take DungeonWorld it claims it wants to focus not what a character is but what they do. It's hard to say whether it is successful in this just by reading the book.

As a former successful Kickstarter campaign there are a number of bonus pieces of material about airships and giant monsters and the book doesn't really feel like it has a cohesive thread or core to it. Ideas and concepts are introduced here, there and everywhere.

Inverse World doesn't feel as if it has lived up to its ambitions. It feels more like a setting writeup that has morphed into something more bloated and not clearly more substantial as a result.

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