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Nerdarchy > Film, TV and Video  > YouTube  > Nerdarchy on PbtA Playbooks: Zoo Mafia Design Diary #7

Nerdarchy on PbtA Playbooks: Zoo Mafia Design Diary #7

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In this 23-minute video on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted explore playbooks using the Powered by the Apocalypse system.

The conversation dovetails with an earlier design diary wherein they focus on PbtA as a potential system to hack for creating Zoo Mafia. Playbooks function as the character creation component of the system and this video delves deeper into the concept. Benefits of using Playbooks include simplicity and quick character creation, which clearly defines each character and their capabilities. This creates a drawback as well because players have less overall options to choose from and many characters seem very similar in play. Unlike many other RPGs in PbtA games utilizing Playbooks it behooves a group to limit themselves to only one of any particular Playbook in the party.

For our Zoo Mafia RPG live playtest at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel we created four Playbooks representing strong archetypes for the genre. They are Lookout, Button Person, Grifter and Safecracker. Several others are in development as well including Driver, Muscle, Fence, Forger and a few more.

In the video Dave and Ted discuss the development process and how they settled on Playbooks representing various aspects of crime rather than animal species. The concept of a distinct phase of the game focused on planning for the next big job emerged during the live playtest, which is reflected in the Playbooks with each one including one or more optional Moves characters can take during this time.

Once the live playtest is complete we’ll be taking what we learned and incorporating those discoveries into a Quick Start Rules package. The plan is to create a few more Playbooks for this as well. What other crime specialty Playbooks would you like to see? If you want to stay up to date on everything related to Zoo Mafia RPG and be the first to receive these free Quick Start Rules you can sign up for the Zoo Mafia RPG newsletter here.

Nerdarchy staff

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