When You're Caught up in Violence.

Paying My Debtpunk Dues

Debtpunk is a WIP that came about during a road trip with my son. I talk about it on my podcast. TL; DL —Scifi setting, debtors with special skills working strange and dangerous gigs to pay their debts. I’m working on a draft via Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World game design essays. Specifically part 8. I started with your standard PBTA fight move. Something like:

Caught up in violence

When violence erupts and you’re caught up in it, take a condition and roll + Rugged.

On a hit choose 1. 10+ choose 2.

  • escape from the scene

  • increase a condition inflicted

  • defend someone(take conditions on their behalf)

Nothing remarkable there, you’ve seen this before. But Deptpunk as I have it in my head is about what things cost and the ways you pay for them. Trading harm, conditions…damage doesn’t seem right. I want fights, violence to cost something. Everybody pays the violence tax. This isn’t a statement on anything real—at least not a deliberate one, let’s call it background baggage I’m carrying. I just want violent fights to have costly outcomes in this game. We play to find out if characters can survive what they owe —that probably comes from a real place. My latest iteration looks like this:

Caught up in the violence v6

When violence erupts and you’re caught up in it, pick an outcome and roll +Rugged

  • Get out from the carnage [Leave the scene ASAP, alone. Just you. ]

  • Be among the standing [ Take +1 Condition, but alive ]

  • Leave no opposition breathing [ inflict +1 condition ]

  • Cover our asses [ soak a condition]

On hits - you get your outcome, no more, no less. Add up and distribute conditions.

On a Miss…You are caught up, hands in the honey pot. Tell the MC what you’re willing to lose to make it out of this conflict alive. Be prepared to bargain.

Conditions, the damage gets tallied up and distributed amongst the characters by the players with respect to the fiction. There’s no ‘extra’ for 10+ —not yet. Nothing came to me and I don’t want to make a 10+ option just because.

And that’s about what I’m feeling. Debtpunk is a game about folks in a ridiculous amount of debt, obligations, and promises. The one thing they have going for them is some useful talent or skill they use to earn. These are not SpecOps folks. They don’t come knocking, but the knocking happens around them.

Play Fearless

-Mad Jay