by the Apocalypse" games, uses the same bones as Apocalypse World and Dungeon
|My wife's character sheet|
In addition to your Stats (Look, Power, Real, and Work), you have an Audience
rating, Heat with every other character, and you get Momentum and spend it
through a session to improve rolls. It looks like a lot of moving pieces but it
flows pretty naturally once you start playing.
In our gaming group everybody has at least some experience with professional
wrestling so they had some great ideas. The best and scariest part of * World
games is depending on the players to bring everything to life. The DM (or
Creative in this case) has guidelines for running everything but you need lots
of input from your players for it to work. I'm a control freak sometimes, so its
always scary going into a game like this but my group did great.
I won't go over too much rules stuff, you can find lots of info on the World
I started off the session by saying that this was a league with lots of money
behind it, so they did lots of big international shows. Also the head of the
company was dodging extradition to the USA. I passed around the gimmicks and
gave everyone a few minutes to flesh out characters while I went over some of
Here was the roster we came up with:
The Horseman--A 7' tall guy in black riding gear and a pumpkin mask. Completely
silent. Entrance is the lights go out for a few seconds while a bell tolls, then
he appears in stage when they come back on. Finisher is a clothesline called
"The Head Chopper". (Gimmick--The Monster, role--Heel)
Pinot Noir--A woman in full length gown and masquerade mask. Gown can be ripped
down to a matching swimsuit. Drinks wine during her entrance (while Muse plays),
and during matches when she's bored. Finisher is the double bubble--a flip off
the top rope landing sitting on the opponent's face. (Gimmick--The High Flyer,
El Borracho--Drunkard in striped pants and mask. Chugs beer before and after
matches. Entrance music is Pasame La Botella, an upbeat reggaetón song. Two
signature moves--Swallow the Worm is a sharpshooter submission, and Under the
Table is a double underhook DDT finisher. (Gimmick--The Wasted,
The Fabulous Boy Williams--An up and comer with attitude, comes out to Pantera's
"Walk". Wears black shorts and boots. Signature moves are the Run and Stun RKO
and a Stone Cold Stunner as finisher. (Gimmick--The Golden Boy, role--Babyface)
Heinous Dave Haney--Per the player's notes: "Flashy, ego, tough, tan, glittery."
Walks out to Born This Way with color-coordinated shorts and sunglasses. He throws
the shades into the crowd (whether they want them or not). Finisher is the
Nutjob, a low blow while the ref is distracted. (Gimmick--The Technician, role--Heel)
We then asked questions to establish Heat, which works similar to Bonds in
Dungeon World, creates connections between the characters. Heinous Dave and
Fabulous Boy Williams were in a tag team before Williams got a solo push. El
Borracho gets into fights when his beer disappears backstage. The Horseman has
been a mentor off-stage to some wrestlers, but terrifies Heinous Dave. Pinot
Noir helps out Williams but feuds with El Borracho.
We took a break so I could book the matches. I decided to do single matches with
the Heels set to win, then do a surprise tag team match at the end so the
Babyfaces could get revenge. Like any good role playing game sessions, things did
not go exactly as planned.
Pinot Noir and El Borracho started off after each got a chance to cut a promo.
Pinot Noir didn't roll well on the Cut a Promo move so I upped the stakes and
made it a mask match. Her reputation and mystery was on the line. El Borracho
tried to humiliate her at the beginning of the match by ripping off her gown,
but ended up tripping over it and leaving himself open. The hook of the Wasted
gimmick is that they get high/drunk and screw things up, but the audience eats
it up. Pinot Noir was booked to lose, but El Borracho was so drunk and off-
script that she pinned him just to end the match.
Heinous Dave cut a promo in between matches and got dragged behind curtains by
The Horseman. Players can spend Momentum to interrupt others even outside of the
Next match was The Horseman against an NPC, so I mostly let him narrate how the
match went. He was good at taking blows and choke slamming, like other giants.
He put on a good show against the MEGAmerican, a patriotic masked wrestler (lots
of masks), then finished him off.
Fabulous Boy Williams talked a lot of smack towards his former tag team partner
before the match, and Heinous Dave Haney returned it. The players were getting
used to how the rules worked with the narrative and were interrupting each
other's moves more by this point. Heinous Dave was booked to win the match, but
outside interference caused them both to get disqualified.
At this point I announced a 3-person Tag Team match between the Heels and
Babyfaces (including MEGAmerican). It was a chaotic mess, which felt perfect.
People interrupting constantly, even double interrupting, struggling to reach a
teammate to make a tag, personal feuds making people break the rules...it was
I think I was able to keep the spotlight moving around and give everyone fair
time and creative input during the matches, which is the real challenge of
running any * World game. Hopefully we will be playing again soon, continuing
the feuds and developing a story.