Technology of the Climbers

With my long running Apocalypse World game, the Climbers, finally at an end, I wanted to present some of the custom moves I used during play. This week we’ll look at some of the technology from the game from automated factories to decaying reactors to a machine built to the God Smiter, a weapon to kill gods.


The Autodoc

The Autodoc is a functioning hospital run by the descendants of the nurses. Though they preserve some of the lore of the old world, the hospital also contains automated surgeons under the control of a central computer. Unfortunately its program has become corrupted and not everyone gets what they expected when they go under its knife.

Custom Move: Elective Surgery

When you allow the Hospital to operate on you, it fixes what ever ailment you have. Roll +weird. On a 10+ choose 1, on a 7-9 choose 2. On a miss all three.

  • Your harm is set to 6 o’clock (regardless of your previous level of harm).
  • The hospital adds something (a limb, an organ, a modification).
  • The hospital removes something (a limb, an organ, a part of who you are).

Why +weird? Because this is all about luck. What the computer decides to do and what state you actually are in.

Weapons of a More Civilized Age

The Truck


This armored personnel carrier remains well cared for, the center piece of the Militia’s hopes to carve out a new United States of America.

  • 3-armor
  • Mounted machine guns: 3-harm area loud messy
  • Strengths: huge, military grade
  • Looks: powerful
  • Weaknesses: slow, loud

Rocket Launcher

This tubular weapon comes with its own metal box. Only one shot though.

  • 6-harm far area messy refill

The Big Ship


This massive aircraft carrier ran aground in Miami bay after the apocalypse. The top deck is covered in a shanty town and bustling market protected by its decaying ordinance. Its decaying reactor supplies power and drips radioactive waste into the bay.

Custom Move: Dangerous Food

When you eat on or near the Big Ship and you lack a Geiger counter roll +barter spent for the month on living expenses. On a hit you are more or less okay. On a 7-9 take -1 forward on rolls against poison or disease. On a miss take 3-harm ap as you puke up your guts over the course of the next week.

Never got to use this one.

The Tesla Sphere and the God Smiter

Here we have a strange relic and the device our Savvyhead built out of it.

Where the Tesla Sphere originally came from remains unknown as does the full extent of its powers. It combines Golden Age mad science with adjustments made after the apocalypse. Before it was damaged here is what it could do:

Power up: an eerie green glow surrounds the wielder. Gain 1-armor and hold 4.

Tune: if powered up, spend hold 1 for 1 to do:

  • bend space-time to shift from intimate to hand, hand to close, close to far, far to close, close to hand, and so on.
  • bend light around you to become functionally invisible.
  • become transparent to material objects.
  • negate an attack by rewinding your personal time line.

Discharge: if powered up, spend hold 1 for 1 to do:

  • inflict Psi-harm.
  • inflict 1-harm ap.
  • shift target intimate to hand, hand to close, close to far, far to close, close to hand, and so on.
  • thrust target forward in time by minutes or hours.

After its repair, the Tesla Sphere was incorporated into a device designed to target entities in the Psychic Maelstrom.

The God Smiter: When using the God Smiter roll +hard. On a hit you harm your target (which must be connected to the psychic maelstrom). Deal 2-harm (ap). On a 10+ choose 1, On a 7-9 choose 2. If you choose to attack a broad group choose an additional option.

  • Those around you are exposed to Psi-harm equal to your hard.
  • Those around the God Smiter suffer 1-harm (ap) from psychic bleed over.
  • You deal collateral damage to the psychic maelstrom.