Thought Experiment:

Thought Experiment:

Thought Experiment:

How would you go about using fronts for other games than DW? (or Grim Portents?)

I like the way every front has dangers associated and as a GM you have a way to tick off things that will happen (or not).

If it’s fantasy you might be able to port it to another game without much work, isn’t it?

But what if you use another genre?

21 thoughts on “Thought Experiment:”

  1. It is revolutioning games. A lot of the “Apocalypse philosophy” and techniques are oozing around, and proving themselves to be solid and adaptable.

    The last Vampire book (20th anniversary Dark Age) includes rules that are like GM Principles and a trupe play modality that is basically PbA-style gaming, with “hidden” fronts.

    It’s a little revolution in the gaming standards. ^^

  2. I agree to that. In other genres the narrative elements of grim portens and inpending doom are always aplyable.

    And in some extant, I have use “Story”-Sheets before to organise the flow of the World. Fronts & Dangers do that in a sleek and compressed way.

  3. Also: if you want other genres with similar concepts there are dozens of “Powered by the Apocalypse” games out there (the sister and cousins of Dungeon World) out there.

    My favorite ones are Sagas of the Icelanders and Monsterhearts ^^

    The world is your oyster! XD

  4. In my perception Apocalypse World revolutionized especially the way we talk about RPGing. Vincent Baker has given us a new kind of vocabulary to talk about concepts, that have been mere individual thoughts before.

    It’s interesting that a particular game seems to be way more effective in doing so, than all the “forgy” design-theory…

    On the topic: fronts are very easy to adapt in fractal rules-sets (like PDQ, Universalis or FATE).

    EDIT: Oh, and if you like OSR-Games, take a look at the factions in Stars Without Number:

  5. Henning Pfeiffer totally!

    It’s the “right way” to communicate theories, discoveries and ideas! (also, that why on the Forge proper, as in the actual forum, we never talked about “theory” without a solid rooting in actual, concrete games. Sorry if I seem fussy about this, but “Forge is about talking about abstract theory” is a common misconception. Tell me if I start to be too pedantic ^^)

  6. I wouldn’t say Fronts are that revolutionary, it’s just that Vincent (as with so many things in Apocalypse World) took existing practices and presented them in a really clear and useful systemic way. And since Ezio mentioned Sagas, I  just wanted to say that I was never entirely happy with how fronts turned out in that game, it’s the one thing I would redesign if I had to revise the game.

    As to how to use them in other games, I think if you boil it down, Fronts & Grim Portents (& their kin) are basically this:

    1) you come up with agents (individuals, organizations, forces of nature…)

    2) write down their goals and motivations and then extrapolate the consequences of their actions in pursuit of those goals.

    3) You ask yourself what would happen if nobody stops them or messes with them, and break down the change from here to there in a few discrete steps.

    4) You also ask yourself what their strengths are, how they are likely to behave, how are they going about it – those are their moves.

    During the session or in between sessions,  the agents make their moves in pursuit of their goals.

    If nobody messes with them, when a required number of steps is complete, they get what they wanted (or more than they bargained for) and the consequences come to bear.

    It’s basically a way to keep the world alive and evolving beyond the immediate actions of the PCs. It shows that there are other actors and forces at play.

    It’s also (in most games) a way to provide obstacles & adversity & put pressure on the PCs, which creates (dramatic) conflict.

    The nature of the agents’ goals and their consequences is the thing that has to vary from setting to setting or genre to genre. For example a front with a wizard who is trying to open a portal that will release an eldritch horror that threatens the nature of reality is ok for a high fantasy game, but not a urban crime drama like The Hood (

  7. Well, if you consider almost everything in AW is “just” how Vincent managed to learn how to play Sorcerer

    I don’t know… AW hasn’t revolutionary mechanics, once you take it apart, but the way they work together, the way its concepts work to highlight a new perspective on the hobby standards… I don’t know what it is, but it’s very effective, as a whole. 

  8. I’m using a Front in Lovecraftian Numenera. The extradimensional, crystalline superbeing the Lloigor is growing into the Earth, and will destroy humanity unless stopped. Grim portents: appearance of crystal growths all over, even hovering in midair without support. Attacks on PCs where crystals erupt inside their bodies. One PC is now imprisoned in a castle with body suspended, impaled by crystalline kebab skewers…

  9. I’ve been conceptually using the idea of fronts for years but since playing DW my techniques is more “formal” and better organized. I’ve used it with Numenera last year and D&D this year.

  10. A long time ago, I wrote about using front in Kult (and horror games). You might have to scroll past some of me commenting on sections of the Kult rules to get there (look for the numbered list):\%26%23039%3Bs+Function+Part+1


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