[Dead Weight] Survival. Horror. Parkour.

edited May 2010 in Story Games
Well heck, when I tossed Dead Weight out to the public, I didn't think the John Harper would take such a keen interest. Then he tweets this on me:

image

Crazy.
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Comments

  • Where's my "like" button?!?
  • I want now. Amazing.
  • Oh man, please tell me the Apocalypse World Hack part of this is not the actual plan! I love Vincent's work and everything I hear about Apocalypse World is wonderful sounding, but this should really be its own thing.
  • In case people don't know about Dead Weight, it was a little RPG idea I posted a few years ago.

    Survivors live in a literally stratified society in an impossibly tall tower. Runners go out to collect enough resources to buy their family's passage into a higher, safer floor of the tower.

    I don't know how much of that setting will make it into this incarnation, but the basic combination of parkour and zombies is still really hot.
  • Posted By: MarhaultOh man, please tell me the Apocalypse World Hack part of this is not the actual plan! I love Vincent's work and everything I hear about Apocalypse World is wonderful sounding, but this should really be its own thing.
    Complaining about games that aren't even done yet: BAD NAUGHTY MARHAULT

    So very bad and naughty
  • Posted By: Matt WilsonPosted By: MarhaultOh man, please tell me the Apocalypse World Hack part of this is not the actual plan! I love Vincent's work and everything I hear about Apocalypse World is wonderful sounding, but this should really be its own thing.
    Complaining about games that aren't even done yet: BAD NAUGHTY MARHAULT

    So very bad and naughty

    Yeah, Marhault!

    You should do what everyone else does, and complain about the game after it's finished.
  • !!! I am misinterpreted!

    This isn't a complaint about Apocalypse World, which game's release I am craving. Rather it is a vote in favor of heavily themed games in general and the Dead Weight concept in particular having rules systems built around them that will do them justice.

    I'd say more, but it's really tangential to the point of the thread, which is to say "HEY! Look at this awesome looking thing John did!" So, Daniel, John: This is awesome. You guys should do something with it!
  • Posted By: MarhaultThis isn't a complaint about Apocalypse World, which game's release I am craving. Rather it is a vote in favor of heavily themed games in general and the Dead Weight concept in particular having rules systems built around them that will do them justice.
    Hey Marhault,

    Apocalypse World is TOTALLY a good fit, as an engine to build Dead Weight upon.
    They're both about people endangering themselves to meet their needs and get ahead.
    They're both about people who look sexy and captivating as they plunge themselves into problematic situations.

    John mentioned that he's built new moves ("When you go back for something you left behind..." being one of the core/basic moves he's introducing), that he's made some changes to the list of GM moves, and everything has been tweaked and reconsidered and played off of. So, while the game flows similarly to Apocalypse World, it's been re-dressed and altered to do justice to Dead Weight.

    At least, that's what I have understood.
  • edited May 2010
    I used to want to run a campaign set in the Necromunda Spire (Games Workshop). I was also intrigued by the tower in Code of Unaris. Both were similar ideas in that you had an entire world all set inside of one vertical structure where "moving up in the world" was literal. To that end, Dead Weight sounds great to me. There is something archetypal about the idea.
  • edited May 2010
    Joe's right! The AW hack is comprehensive. Everything is being built to facilitate the unique elements of Dead Weight (it just so happens that by default AW is already a very good fit, so it's a good place to start).

    - The tower setting and situation are definitely in. I have some fun stuff planned for that. Think Sorcerer demons and their Needs and Desires.

    - The weight and the way you pack your bag when you're scavenging will matter. There's a space on your character sheet that represents your bag, and the loot you scavenge is represented by coins (coin value = weight). You'll have to fit the coins into the space as best you can.

    image
    [sheet in progress]

    - I know why there are zombies and what they really want and need. When you play, you'll find out, and probably go even further into your own version of the mystery.

    It's still early, but so far I'm really happy with how it's shaping up.

    It's gonna be a free PDF.
  • Wait, you mean if you have a book that weighs 1lb, that's a penny, a 5lb bag of oranges, that's a nickel, and a 25lb computer monitor, that's a quarter, and you have to fit all three coins in that space on the character sheet?
  • That bag packing thing sounds neat, John! How are you handling the actual running?
  • I already told John this, but he's making the knapsack problem roleplaying game.
  • Combine the knapsack problem with the traveling salesman problem, and you've got something.

    Seriously, though. Looks fabulous so far!
  • @Johnstone: Yep, you've got it.

    The running moves haven't gelled yet. I'll talk about them when they're further along.
  • Yeah! How soon will a playtest draft of this be ready to play! Want now!
  • If there is a coins=weight thing going on, will it in some way take into account we dirty foreigners who say, have differently shaped coins.

    If we just use local currency, we Brits would far prefer the above mentioned 5lb oranges to the 1lb book - as our five pence piece takes the honour of being our smallest coin.

    (I seem to recall, we're hardly the only currency with a higher value/smaller coin thing going on as well).

    Otherwise the prospect of this game really excites me!
  • Nailed the character sheet man.
  • Stuart - Us yanks have nickels ($0.05) larger than dimes ($0.10), I'm sure John's thinking about it.
  • See, this is why John Harper is a clever bastard. I would've done some convoluted system where you use stacks of coins to make little mechaphorical towers or something.
  • This makes me so excited, ferreal. Daniel, if you get this working, I'll drive down to playtest it.
  • Posted By: DanielSolismechaphorical
    *mind boggles*

    BEST WORD
  • Have I not posted about mechaphors here before? Okay, thread started.
  • Looking really good. I must have missed the Dead Weight post originally.
    This is very intriguing.

    Is it just me, or does that cover remind anyone else of the Punisher's t-shirt? Vaguely.
    Q
  • Quentin, I thought no one would notice that skull shape in the design! Cool.
  • I just want to say that this is fucking awesome. I love me some Post Apoc action and was already day dreaming apocalypic imagery for a post zombie outbreak AW.

    But this, this is just... NEAT. Something much more different then just your run of the mill apocalypse or zombies. I am really digging this and am looking forward to it.

    - Colin
  • Love the concept. Love the character sheet.

    Harper + Solis = Chocolate + Peanut Butter
  • Go humans and their overactive pattern recognition!
    The zombs totally would have missed it.
  • Yes. This is so cool. When biking at night i often (erm... really) imagine this type of scenario.
    The post-'poc-zombies-chasing-me-better-drop-a-saddlebag scenario.

    Um, are we gonna be too vertical for bikes?
  • The inventory section of the character sheet looks a lot like the old diablo inventory. as though I'd have to draw in the items and however many squares they take up, that's their weight rating or something.

    just a random thought.

    looks cool.
  • Man, that reminds me of a Scott Pilgrim game I wrote where one had a Diablo/WoW style inventory.

    Very much looking forward to playing this!
  • I'm looking forward to the first Dead Weight / XXXXXtreme Street Luge mash up.

    "It's our best way out of here! Zombies can't luge. ZOMBIES CAN'T LUGE!"
  • edited May 2010
    I am so stealing that inventory system. Great when you've found a hoard of stuff and the zombies are coming and the players are switching around coins with each other to fit as many as possible between them. And obviously the zombies know what good loot is so when they have been led to the hoard they smash or shit all over it so you only get one shot of hauling it.
  • edited May 2010
    Posted By: ShadowmourneIf we just use local currency, we Brits would far prefer the above mentioned 5lb oranges to the 1lb book - as our five pence piece takes the honour of being our smallest coin.
    This is easy. Make all coins have a weight of 1. Stack coins to increase the weight of an item.

    (If your stack falls, the shifting, weighty item trips up your character. Lose time or lose item.)
  • Ooh, you should have communication by Morse-code lights, where every word adds a zombie to the area or something.
  • This game just needs Tarot cards and trust mechanics and it'll be perfect.
  • Posted By: CarlZOMBIES CAN'T LUGE!"
    I want that on a t-shirt!
    Posted By: BurrThis is easy. Make all coins have a weight of 1. Stack coins to increase the weight of an item.
    That's an interesting idea. It might take a lot of coins to destabilize. What about stacking dice?
  • I'm still curious how you'll overcome the problem of streets. Parkour or no, a 2-way street with sidewalks is a bigger gap than I've seen anybody manage, even with a 1-storey drop. Are the characters genetically engineered superhumans or something? Also, if there are no zombies at height, why would you run while up there? You only need to run when you're threatened or building speed for a jump.
  • Posted By: QHudspethPosted By: CarlZOMBIES CAN'T LUGE!"
    I want that on a t-shirt!

    Can I humbly suggest a slight tweak to "Zombie don't luge" for the "Charlie don't surf" reference?
  • edited May 2010
    Posted By: madunkiegI'm still curious how you'll overcome the problem of streets. Parkour or no, a 2-way street with sidewalks is a bigger gap than I've seen anybody manage, even with a 1-storey drop. Are the characters genetically engineered superhumans or something? Also, if there are no zombies at height, why would you run while up there? You only need to run when you're threatened or building speed for a jump.
    Because when zombies had caught your smell three blocks back, they came in pursuit, and when you get to that 2-way street, do you want them on your ass or still two blocks away?
    Because zombies come out at night, and you need to move fast, before the sun sets?
    Because you're carrying medicine that just might save someone's life, if you don't stall?
    Because the faster you move, the smaller the chance they will follow you all the way back to the tower?
    Because there might be special jumping zombies?
    Because if you move slow, someone will get wherever you're going faster than you and that will give him more prestige?
    Because...wait for it...it's cool?
  • edited May 2010
    Posted By: TeatainePosted By: madunkiegI'm still curious how you'll overcome the problem of streets. Parkour or no, a 2-way street with sidewalks is a bigger gap than I've seen anybody manage, even with a 1-storey drop. Are the characters genetically engineered superhumans or something? Also, if there are no zombies at height, why would you run while up there? You only need to run when you're threatened or building speed for a jump.
    Because...

    Because sometimes, if you run fast enough, you can pretend that you're running to run and you're not running from the zombies?
  • edited May 2010
    Graham, it's not a problem at all. You've seen parkour videos, yeah? It's like that. In Manhattan (say) there are huge sections of the city that can be traversed roof to roof, and Paris is even better.

    The zombies can climb. Did I mention that? They don't last long out of the mist, but they don't need to last long.

    Also, they're smart. They can communicate with each other faster than you can run, too. If you don't haul ass, you will soon find every rooftop around you covered in zombies. Think of every trip out in the city like running down a long hallway with the walls closing in on either side.

    I really should get the Comfort Guides illustrator to do a 2-page spread for the book about how this works. "So you're a runner..."
  • I'll be waiting for the LARP where you put a bunch of chairs and tables around a big room/house with items on each and you fill your real backpack with stuff and try to make it back. Touch the ground and you are zombie meat. Like the bigger kid version of "hot lava".
  • Posted By: John HarperI really should get theComfort Guidesillustrator to do a 2-page spread for the book about how this works. "So you're a runner..."
    I met that guy at a mini-con!

    Was Nakatomi Space posted here? Will that influence any part of the design? While playing the video game Mirror's Edge, I thought of how much more wonderfully tense it would be if an antagonist destroyed the environment the protagonist moved around and over.
  • Sweet jeebus, I hope Nakatomi Space is a factor in this iteration of the game.
  • Nakatomi Space, yes! I think there are some miserable people who try to live outside the tower, and that kind of urban terrain reconfiguration is key to their survival.
  • Daniel, someone else finally figured out the genius of your idea:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/st_zombie_workout
  • DAMMIT HARPER.

    3 minutes. you beat me by three minutes.

    http://zombiefit.org/
  • I was checking out that site last night. It's basically Crossfit with an imagined agenda. Very cool. Check out the link to the parkour training video...SICK!
  • Dead Weight will be the first RPG with workout tips. :P
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