So I'm MCing Apocalypse World (2) for the first time and we had a first session and now I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the prep I'm supposed to be doing. I've got like … twelve different threats here and I'm doing countdown clocks and stakes and descriptions and linked threats and impulses and all sorts of things. And then the threat map, which is I guess a paper for keeping track of all these other papers. It's been a long time since I played a really crunchy game like this (first session we spent some time looking up rules in the rulebook, despite almost everyone having played lots of AW before, including me) and it's been even longer since I GM:ed a game where I'm doing prep that's not just "thinking a bit about the game in the shower".
And I'm getting this feeling that all of this work is supposed to help me but it isn't, or that it's meant for people who don't like to improvise. Like, I've got a gazillion ideas for cool stuff all the time and then I'm doing this work to give me more ideas? I'm feeling like an experienced driver with a driving instructor beside me yelling "Slowly release the clutch and at the same time press the gas pedal, looking around you to make sure there are no cars in the blind spot and keep your hands on ten and two".
I'm guessing that once you get used to it, you start thinking in terms of threats and clocks and brutes and afflictions, but I'm not used to it, and it's a lot of stuff to keep in my head (and oh my god so much paper!). I feel like I'm losing sight of the characters and the story, blocking my view of the forest with a bunch of trees.
So how's this supposed to work? Give me some tips? Any other improv-loving GM who've tried running this game?