Living Rules Document
A NOTE ON INTENTIONS AND WORK IN PROGRESS
Occo City is going to evolve as we go. My plan is to mold the flesh of Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World to the growing skeleton of our play, but it may require some occasional backtracking. I apologize for this in advance and request only your patience and creativity in helping the game get over any humps we may encounter.
My vision of Occo City gameplay is a narrative war-game with heavy roleplaying to fill out the fiction between and around the maneuvering. It may change depending on what we find fun, but this is the seed I’m working from.
A NOTE ON TONE
There will be murder, ugliness and horror in the course of this game, but that should always be shot through with a wry, black humor. As grim as Occo City might be, there is something a little goofy about occultism run rampant, and no one knows it better than those waging the not-so-quiet war on the city’s streets. Think the tough-guy humor of Guy Ritchie or Garth Ennis. Horrifying and terrible, yes, but never self-serious or self-hating.
Every two weeks a new turn begins. In game-time a turn is ~48 hours. Each turn you give orders. An order consists of a Who, a Where, and a What. Who are you sending? Where are they going? What are they supposed to do there?
Answer these questions. Be succinct, no more than a couple sentences per answer. You may issue an order to each unit your control. You can send multiple minions and gangs on the same order, or give separate orders to each of your minions and gangs. You can act yourself, but be careful, because if you get messed up you’ll have a harder time giving minions orders next turn.
Your character is the leader of a faction in Lower Occo City, you command your minions and gangs. You have three stats, Hard, Sharp and Weird.
Hard is used for violent actions such as securing a new location, defending your territory.
Sharp is used for more cerebral engagements, like scouting a location, or gathering information.
Weird is used for anything involving the supernatural, including gathering occult information and casting spells.
IMPORTANT: You get a +2, +1, 0 to distribute amongst the three stats. Send me your stat choices when you read this.
These bonuses will assist the actions you or your minions take in that sphere. Shaking down a shopkeeper would be Hard. Researching a spell to call on Icthys the Snakelord would be Weird (as would casting that spell). Finding a stash of gold hidden in a burned-down tenement would be Sharp.
There are two types of units, minions and gangs. Minions are people with specialized skills. They are loyal and able, but can be overpowered and killed. Gangs are groups of people who follow your orders. They are more resilient than minions, but less loyal and require occasional upkeep, which will require you to waste time servicing their needs. The bigger the gang, the bigger the needs.
A basic gang looks like this: Rose Hill Thugs (gang, small, 2 damage, 1 armor).
A basic minion looks like this: Billis (minion, 2 damage, 1 armor)
A gang has a size. The sizes are a guy or two, small, medium, large. When different-sized gangs fight, the smaller inflicts less harm than usual upon the bigger, but the bigger inflicts more harm than usual upon the smaller. Each step’s
difference is worth +1harm and -1harm. The sizes, in order, are: a guy or two, a small gang, a medium gang, a large gang.
A small gang does +1 harm to a single guy and takes -1 harm from them.
Minions can act alone or be attached to gangs. If they have bonuses, they add that bonus to the gang they’re with. So a minion that looks like this: Stool (minion, 2 damage, 1 armor, +1 damage), gives a +1 damage bonus to a gang or minion they are with on an order.
Armor subtracts from damage. Higher is better.
I’ll take care of resolving combat on my end, so don’t worry about it until we’re a few rounds in. I’m using straight Apocalypse World damage tracking for now, but may switch to an HP system if that gets too hairy.
A LIST OF TAGS AND WHAT THEY MEAN
+mobile this unit, and any unit it is ordered along with, can move anywhere in the city this turn. If the units are within 5 hexes of your home base, they also count as defending that.
+n to Information: When this unit is given and information-related order it adds +n to the roll. This counts for Sharp rolls only, not Weird.
+n Damage or Armor: When this unit is ordered along with another it adds n to the damage of the accompanying unit. This is in lieu of each unit attacking individually.
+n to rolls if y: if you attempt to fulfill ‘n’ you will receive a +1 on the roll.
+Disciplined: This unit is not effected if there is a failed upkeep roll. The upkeep roll happens when a medium gang or larger is heavily damaged or routed. It is a Hard roll. On a failure, the gang demands something to keep them together
Insubordinate: requires 10+ to give orders, 7-9 unit will demand a payment after the action is complete, failure as normal.
Rotting: When this unit is damaged, it loses on size rank. This rank can be regained by sending the unit to collect more people to replenish itself.
Anchored n location: The unit may not move from the anchored location.
Create n: To create n you must give a unit an action to gather a conscript/sacrifices/etc. This is a Weird Roll. If successful, it creates this unit type. If you have multiple creation types, you must choose one. Some units might require multiple components to create.
You start out with one territory, your hideout. As the game progresses you may want to expand that territory. Territories you own produce resources each turn that you can use to pay your minions, create items and recruit new and better units. To take a territory you must clear it of ALL hostile units. How you do this is up to you.
Once you take a territory, you will get a report on what it can produce, and you decide what you want it to produce next turn. Every turn you have uncontested control of a territory it will produce one resource. Some resources you can stockpile (money, materials), but that also means they can be stolen. Some resources (people, some mystical items) only last for that turn.
A unit counts as defending any territories adjacent to the one it occupies. This means it will attack a hostile intruder in any of those hexes unless ordered not to. A unit with +mobile can defend any hex that is contiguous with the one it is on.
Territories create resources. Here’s a short list.
People: People can be made into minions or gangs.
Firearms: Firearms can give a minion +1 damage.
Liquor: Can be used to fill a Need, and it can have other uses.
Wealth: Wealth can be used to buy things. Of course, you’ll need to find places to buy things. But at least you’ve got Wealth.]
Cars: Can give a minion +mobile
Boats: Give a minion +watermobile
Here is a list of Moves I use to interpret your orders. Continue to use the narrative approach to moves, please.
MOVE (note ‘you’ refers to the person making the action)
Note: A result of six and under is a fail state. I can make as hard and direct a move as I like in this situation, although it must still be related to what you made the roll on.
On a 10+ you gather the new minions or requested resource, no problem.
On a 7-9 GM Chooses 2
-You make a big scene
-You miss something important
-Lots of people can identify you
-You alert an enemy
Seize Hex (Hard)
This is what happens when you attempt to seize a hex via martial force.
10+ GM chooses 3
7-9 GM chooses 2
-You take definite hold of it
-You suffer little harm
-You inflict terrible harm
-You impress, dismay or frighten your enemy
Research Lore (Weird)
10+ You find the information you need. If you follow any part of that information, +1 to that action.
7-9 You find the information you need but it is incomplete or points toward possible difficulties.
10+ You gather the information quickly and without incident
7-9 GM chooses 2
-You are noticed
-The information is not yours alone
-You make a scene
-You are harmed in the process
-You alert an enemy
-What you’re looking for isn’t there
-The information is incomplete
On 10+ you get 3, GM’s choice
On a 7-9 You get 1, GM’s choice
-They are convinced of something you believe is true
-They give you something valuable, either an object or information
-They do what you want them to
-They defend you
-They don’t hold a grudge
10+ Lots of Danger A supernatural beastie with a hard-on for destruction
7-9 Some Danger (a mortal gang to defeat, a single person with one good supernatural ability)
6- Little Danger.
CREATING ITEMS, UPGRADING UNITS, GAINING POWERS
This will involve determining what you want to create/upgrade/gain, researching it and collecting the necessary materials to make it happen. There’s a lot of room to direct this through your orders, and if you want to do something specific ask me. My answer will probably be ‘research it’.
If you’re having trouble with something, send a message to your Greater Power (this is a free action). If the request is reasonable, they might help out. There’s always a price, though . . .
Please! This is an alpha draft of the rules. I’ll be happy to clarify and expand where needed.