Actual Play: Apocalypse World – The Leviathan

Players: Megan, Todd, Joe, Timo

As promised, content! Perhaps not quite as timely as usual, but that’s because Timo is slow as usual. Still, better late than never, right? Right? Bueller?

We’re currently playing a game of Apocalypse world set on a zeppelin called “The Leviathan,” travelling between locations in an Empire recently risen to power by exploiting the psychic powers of brainers, all under an endless red cloud-cover sky, which is, literally, the psychic maelstrom. This is the third session of that game, showing the rescue of a crew member from the clutches of the Empire and the aftermath.

The Player Characters:

-Timo is playing a Savvyhead named Tai, a young woman who grew up on the Leviathan.
-Joe is playing a Maestro’D named Rose, who is currently trying to stir up animosity against her brainer daughter Gams (an NPC).
-Megan is playing Goldie, a chopper who heads up a lost-boys-esque gang of young rouges on gliders.

Important NPCs include:

-Gams, Rose’s brainer daughter who helps run the ship (see above).
-Captain Foster, the young captain of the Leviathan.
-Rolfball, her first mate, a charming and friendly young man.
-Carna, Thuy, and Pamming, Tai’s mechanic crew.
-Princie, a soldier for the Empire (the Empire is called “Six Flags” and their soldiers are called “Grays”) who has been pressganged by the Leviathan.
-8Track and Toodles, a father and daughter team who are muscle on the ship.

We’re also using a wiki to keep our information about the game so far, you can look up details here, if you want to know more about NPCs, the world, etc.

Something to listen for: we decide to do this session using a series of flashbacks and it winds up being an interesting experiment because things in the “past” that happen can’t mess with what happens in the “future,” which we have already established, but the tricksy rolls weren’t always helping out with that.

Interestingly enough, Apocalypse World provides a pretty ready-made solution to deal with such things (since the MC makes “moves” there’s nothing saying that what happens when a character blows a roll has to be physical damage to them: I can always do something bad that’s not physical damage using one of the other moves that’s not “trade harm for harm”) BUT the events around it do show both the difficulty and the payoff of imposing certain narrative conventions on gaming. Fun!

9 thoughts on “Actual Play: Apocalypse World – The Leviathan

  1. Pingback: Is Apocalypse World the best RPG ever? « Lazy Saturnday

  2. I was looking for AW AP, and had heard good things about the JankCast.
    I download all my podcasts through iTunes, so didn’t have access to this website.
    The podcast starts off by saying – hey you are coming into this game in the middle, you should really listen to the earlier episodes… Sadly, the earlier eps are not available on iTunes, and nor are they available here on this site.

    I am really listening to AW AP podcasts so that soon I can run my own AW game. Sadly, missing the first episode wherein you create characters and setting would have been the key episode for my purpose.

    Any chance you will upload the first (is there also a 2nd, the text above says Leviathan is the 3rd) episodes on this AP?



  3. As a follow up, and to let you know, the first non AW AP episode I listened to I enjoyed (#97 I think – Timo and Todd talking bout gamer aesthetics). I’ll keep listening for a while, maybe I’ll even catch up to the current episodes.

  4. Hey there! With the Leviathan, we didn’t start recording until the 3rd session, so there is no 1st and 2nd session, unfortunately! You do hear some character and world creation on our Black Diamond AW AP, though.

  5. Awesome, thanks Todd. I’m listening to everything in chronological order now, so I’m at about mid-2011. Looking forward to getting to Black Diamond. Hopefully, I’ll have read through the AW rule book by then.

  6. You know, somewhere I posted an AW playlist. I’ll see if I can find it. And we just generally set it on random and play it quietly.

  7. Awesome, looking forward to it! I made an RP playlist pulling from various soundtracks but it’s hit or miss. I feel the more subdued tracks are most appropriate.

  8. Pingback: Apocalypse World - Best in Tabletop

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