[Apocalypse World] Weird West Hack: Let's do it!

edited August 2010 in Game Design Help
I've been thinking a lot about how rad Apocalypse World would be in a Weird West setting. I'm thinking a lot about Deadlands for inspiration, but maybe divorced from the metaplot a bit (a lot of a bit). I mostly like Hucksters using cards as spell foci and some historical stuff, like the Sioux and Texas Rangers and the Pinkertons.

Can we brainstorm this? Are people interested in helping? Are people interested in playing? I'm running an online AW game (a month or two old), a tabletop AW game (we're about to play session 2), and participating in a Google Wave AW game (a little more than a month old, I think). I have some experience but not a lot.

Any of you wastelanders out there wanna talk this out and get a task force started? I'll get started with my mission stated upfront:

A Weird West alternative history hack for Apocalypse World, equal parts Deadlands and Deadwood.

Ready go!


  • Sounds cool. I would suggest also starting a thread on the "hacks" forum over at apocalypse-world.com, if you haven't already.
  • Oh, yeah, I did that. Forgot to mention it. I'm exhausted, but I'll link to it here tomorrow.
  • I want! It would be good to have a hack geared more directly toward that setting. However, for the impatient among us, do you think AW as it is could sort of be adapted without much trouble, as long as all the players agree?
  • Kayfall: I very much think that. It wouldn't take much doing to write a short amount about what thematic things need changing, do a bit of name-swapping, and play a Weird West game.

    Michael Pfaff over at the Barf Forth fora has started a "straight" western hack called Western World, and I think I would call mine Weird West World or something totally uncreative and seek out his assistance for getting a more proper hack put together (with a modified set of Principles, Agenda, and Moves both MC and Player). I asked him for help and for some of his material. I'm hoping to have custom classes like Huckster and Texas Ranger and Pinkerton along with Gunslinger (Gunlugger mod) and some straight class swiping (as someone already pointed out, the Maestro D' can be used basically as written), to name a few items off my list of wants.
  • Joey,

    I got your message and I'm totally down with you stealing liberally from anything I produce and put your "weird" spin on it. I almost went in that direction, but decided I wanted more "Deadwood" instead of "Deadlands". I look forward to what you come up with.

    Good luck!

  • David, over on the AW forums I actually laid out the (very few) guidelines I saw for running a historical western game with extremely little tweaking, and the main big difference was you had to tone down the weirdiness (and no brainer), so in a weird west, I think the job would be even easier!

    That being said, I think Joey's on the right track with doing a dedicated hack (I already enthusiastically jumped on the ghostrock powered bandwagon at the AW forums), since a huckster can and should be different from a brainer. But you could definitely jump right in if you must play RIGHT NOW
  • Yeah, I'm actually not familiar at all with Deadlands or Deadwood. I read a comic book called "Daisy Kutter: The Last Train" which was set in a Wild West setting with tin-man like robots. It had tons of awesome in it, and I fell in love. Also there was that movie many years ago called Wild Wild West, which wasn't all that great except that it had lots of nifty machinery in it. Also I love steampunk, so it makes perfect sense that there should be a steampunky Wild West too. PLUS, on top of all that, my own imagination just starts dancing imagining what the Maelstrom might look like in a Weird West Apocalypse World.

    Here are some ideas about characters in this setting, off the top of my head:

    Brainer: A blind cowboy or cowgirl type, kind of like the blind Jedi guys from Knights of the Old Republic 2, who can see just fine without eyes, because they see through the eyes of other people, or animals, or insects, or the wind, or the waaallllls. Sometimes they'll be young and spooky, other times they'll be old and bizarre, covered in layers of clothing.

    Driver: Instead of a car, he gets a pilotable robot machine. Maybe mecha.

    Gunlugger: Like a gunslinger, but with an elegant gun the size of a huge samurai sword, wielded with precision. Plus mini-guns stashed everywhere.

    Savvyhead: Workshop includes the ability to make robots, potions, or whatever sorts of weird stuff you think is cool.
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