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Our Apocalypse World Burned Over Game Written In TV Guide Style

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After our The One Ring game went on indefinite hiatus we bounced around systems a little before settling on Apocalypse World: Burned Over which turned out to be an excellent fit. It pulls AW a bit more towards an action movie feel that worked great for us. And of course I kept writing episode summaries in the style of TV guide, but now with episode titles!

Unlike with our TOR game where I joined a few sessions in and didn’t start writing episode summaries until way in this game was shorter (16 sessions) and I wrote a summary for each which leads to the whole thing reading more like a British show with distinct series. Our game changer GM switch mid-way through also makes for a nice series/season break. All together this reads more like a complete campaign log and more like an actual show summary which is kind of wonderful and has me more sold on this approcah. With our next game being a pulp sci-fi reskin of D&D 5E that we call Jank Starfighter after the title character I expect the summaries to continue to be a great tool.

My somewhat revised process is now:

  1. Take live notes during the game in both my notebook and a shared doc. We don’t really need both, but I like hand written notes and they help me focus, but the collaborative digital notes are a useful reference and a fun way to commentate on the game as it happens.
  2. The day before we game I write up the episode summary based on the notes and send it to our group chat plus add it to a separate summaries doc. I have a weekly repeating task to remind me since that’s how I work.
  3. When the game wraps I post them all

Which brings us to the episodes:

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot (2022-01-22)

A bounty of shark meat at the Raftlands draws old friends Gremlin, Crow Dazzle, Vulture, and Founder back together. While Crow is enjoying the free meat Side-Pockets finds him and says someone needs help, bad. That someone turns out to be the notorious Skib, a gang leader who got bit by something in the water.

With Vulture’s help and a crash landing along the way Crow is able to get what he needs to save Skib at The Tower thanks to Gremlin’s cousin Crackers, but when the shark that attacked Skib turns out to be a setup from Burgundy, Burgundy makes off with part of Skibs’ gang.

Season 1, Episode 2: Power Struggle (2022-01-29)

When the Tower runs out of power Grandma, the leader thereabouts, sends the crew out to find a new power supply. Following a mysterious set of coordinates they find dark waters concealing a sunken sub and a crashed gull, but there’s something alive in the water too.

Being the only one able to breath underwater, Founder goes down to check out the ships. While he’s down a hovercraft attacks and a battle ensues.

Season 1, Episode 3: Various Harpoons (2022-02-05)

With a lead on a sunken submarine that might still have power the crew sends Java for diving gear, but when they don’t return it’s a race to find Java or some diving gear before someone else finds the sub.

At the site of the sunken sub Burgundy is already there. While Gremlin keeps them busy Founder and Vulture dive down to the sub. But when things go bad with Burgundy Gremlin gets help from an unexpected source: a wolf…

After they recover a crashed gull, the Ye Guangfu, Gremlin and Vulture head to space to get high power cable, but as the AI argues with them on the way out of the atmosphere someone takes the fast way back planet side.

Season 1, Episode 4: Orbital Decay (2022-02-12)

Vulture and Gremlin’s trip to space gets even more complicated when Blitz’s portion of the Life Buoy starts to fall back to Earth. And even worse, Noodles is there to throw them into space and take their stuff.

On the ground Crow, Founder, and Guy deal with an increasingly unstable Grandma who is sure Vulture and Gremlin have betrayed her. Founder sways her into sending them to check on Vulture and Gremlin.

On hab2, everyone comes together to help out. But when they get back to the surface it’s time to lay some cable and deal with Skib.

Season 1, Episode 5: Wolf Party (2022-02-19)

When Grandma sends the crew to the Sea Road wolves and drinking abound. Founder has to deal with Butcher treating the mission as his rumspringa. Vulture gets a chance to reveal wolves to everyone.

Later, back at the tower, Arizona, Tank, and Razor arrive from the sunken sub, which they called the safe place. Founder offers Burgundy a way out.

Season 1, Episode 6: Don’t Call It A Comeback (2022-02-26)

Torpedo and his followers amass to depart The Tower, putting the PCs in a tense situation. Will Crow help keep people alive, even when they’re going somewhere they’ll probably die? What will Vulture do about the wolves she can see all around the gathering? And who will die when Twopeople’s trigger finger gets itchy? (Spoiler: it’s not Spoiler, it’s Torpedo.)

Guy pursues Pallomar who has come to The Tower as an agent of Skib. When Guy catches her, Gremlin and Guy try to turn her to be a double agent.

Meanwhile, in space, things are bad. Can Founder and Guy save the crew from Space Madness before they get spaced?

Season 1, Episode 7: The Sex Move Episode1 (2022-03-05)

While up in space to deal with some tech issues on the Life Buoy Founder ends up plugging himself into the computer. With his mind opened he’s able to find that Noodles is causing the tech problems, and that he’s awoken a nuclear missile platform which is now ready to fire.

The missile platform turns out to be the mythical Ghost Station. Can the crew crawl through enough jefferies tubes to stop the rogue AI from nuking the planet? And will they survive being “resued” by Noodles?

Season 1, Episode 8: Space Sux (2022-03-12)

On Noodles’ whale Crow tries to talk his way out, but Blooper shows up and accuses Founder of using The Wheel for his own purposes. When Crow is appointed judge of Founder’s trial can he get his friend set free when being a wolf of the maelstrom is added to the charges?

On the kelp farm Guy and Gremlin they find Guy’s old room taken by refugees fleeing The Undertow since Skib is on his way to take it. Gremlin won’t have it, and sets off with a band of volunteers to defend The Undertow.

Later, when Noodles’ whale crashes down and meets up with Gremlin and Guy and head to the library at The Undertow. With Skib’s folks on the way, can the gang grab information (and another AI) and get away?

Season 1, Episode 9: Game Change (2022-03-26)

When democracy starts to take hold in The Tower Spoiler leads a crowd to Crow looking for him to lead. Can he keep the situation from escalating to violence?

Meanwhile Gremlin, Founder, and Guy head out to see if Skin is spread too thin. The situation is tense as everyone seems to be hallucinating. Vulture detects wolves in the depths. Crow finds the cause of the visions and blue dots.

Below the Raftlands Grimlin makes contact with the sunken ship. A voice named Lirin says the ship was sent by aliens to eliminate the psychic threat of humanity before jumping away with everyone on board.

Season 1, Episode 10: Wut (2022-04-02)

Lirin’s ship brings the wastelanders to a new world and the ring station above it. When the humans take a ship named Audrey over to the station they find a gull and crypods indicating humans were there, but they left in chaos.

When Vulture confronts a wolf face to face she learns that the wolves are quantum entities that cause harm by being stuck here. The wolf leaves her with a direction to investigate: “your history is worth looking into.”

Season 2, Episode 1: New Planet, New Problems (2022-04-09)

Sidepockets goes mad and attacks Cricket, but that may be the least of the problems on this new station as Vulture can feel the wolves everywhere.

When the station comes under attack the only chance is to reactivate the station’s AI, Gregor, but doing so sends Guy and Crow on a dangerous mission to the center of the station and the AI core.

With the station secured the crew heads planetside to find a very different, very green kind of planet.

Season 2, Episode 2: Gonna Need a Pre-Pup2 (2022-04-30)

As Crow, Cricket, Guy, Vulture, and Founder settle in to life on this new planet trouble comes their way when a local mercenary band, The Sawblades, try to extort The Pillars. Everyone decides to go and investigate, but without enough space on Founder’s gull Crow and Guy have to shop for alternative transport.

After a quick flight in a cage carried by a pterodactyl the gang arrives in Harbourtown to deal with Burris, the leader of The Sawblades. Vulture can tell Harbourtown is crawling with wolves. When Founder pushed Burris a fight breaks out—can they make it out alive and keep The Pillars free and safe?

Season 2, Episode 3: Helter Shelter (2022-05-14)

As Founder and Cricket leave Harbortown their gull goes down. How can they survive the crash and the giant insects the crash disturbed? And how can Crow and Vulture get out of their pterodactyl taxi in time to help their friends?

Vulture’s wolf leads everyone to a cabin where they meet Old Mother. She (sort of) explains the wolves and Lirin’s aliens, and that there’s another Cricket at The Shelter.

After routing around some deerbear everyone makes it to The Shelter to find Cricket-β, but after pulling strings to get to see him they decide he’s a real asshole. And as if two Crickets wasn’t enough trouble a Grackle shows up and forces everyone to flee to… space!

Season 2, Episode 4: Oh My God It’s Full Of Dead Earths (2022-05-21)

When Lirin arrives on Founder’s ring station badly hurt Vulture and Cricket have to take the lead in getting Lirin back to his ship so it can heal him. With Lirin stable Cricket talks to Lirin’s folk, the Galactic Consulate. They are out to destroy all Earths across the multiverse to stop a multiversal catastrophe. Vulture’s consciousness spread across the multiverse and sees the truth of the Earths the Consulate has already destroyed.

Meanwhile the captured Grackle awakens and calls for help. With a Grackle loose on Ring Station and more in a gull on the way the group has to split up with Founder and Guy getting into a space battle while Vulture saves Cricket from the Grackle with a psi blast.

Season 2, Episode 5: I (Don’t) Wanna Be Sedated (2022-05-28)

When Cricket dies… he doesn’t. Crow shows up on the station and brought some new old friends with him, but he has to deal with a sedation-happy AI. Founder gets a distress call from Juniper—parts of space are disappearing. Vulture uses her powers to pull Juniper’s people through space, but somehow everyone ends up planet-side by a mysterious door.

Beyond the door can everyone survive in the Terminator wasteland run by… Gregor!?

Season 2, Episode 6: Pretty Spry for A Dead Guy (2022-06-11)

Crow, Cricket, and Guy set off through a mysterious field and its strange occupants. Everyone here seems confused. Are they dead?

Meanwhile Founder and Vulture fight through a robot installation. After several close calls they finally come to their goal: the vault where Crow, Cricket, and Guy are being held hooked up to an AI construct. With their friends freed of their Matrix purgatory the crew retreats to the sewers to regroup.

Thanks to a hacked gonk Cricket is able to connect to Gregor and they find they have more in common than they thought. When they merge the one true Apocalypse World is restored.


In the single world, Guy became a gunslinger, a protector and an outsider.

In the single world, Founder is a lone astronaut holding on to as much human knowledge as possible.

In the single world, Crow died years ago.

In the single world, Vulture is safe in the old lady’s shack. Maybe she was the old lady.

In the single world, Cricket works on a kelp farm as a normal person.

  1. I’ve kept episode names as we named them at the time, so this one doesn’t make a ton of sense. Bacially we used “no sex moves” as our “that’s what she said” or “title of your sex tape” since AW: Burned Over doesn’t have sex moves. This session had so many thrusters and jacking in and tubes that it got this title. 

  2. Another episode title that comes down to a joke in the session. 

Sage LaTorra is a game designer and engineering manager at Google. You may know him from Dungeon World.

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