Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: Johnstone on August 03, 2011, 10:55:53 PM

Title: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on August 03, 2011, 10:55:53 PM
Here's an idea I had regarding resetting Hx numbers. People who aren't satisfied with the current explanation for this rule might find it interesting (or not, I dunno).

When you reset Hx to +1...

When your Hx with a character goes to +4 and you reset it to +1, have that character's player tell you a secret about their character.

When you tell a secret about your character, tell the other player something their character did not already know, either some weakness or habit, or some psychology they manage to puzzle out. This should be something more than trivial; if it can be used against your character in some way, if it's something the MC didn't know, or if it paints your character in a radically different light all of a sudden, all the better.

If you're using Hx (or bonds or the equivalent) with NPCs, and you reset from +4 to +1, the MC will tell you a secret about that character.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: lumpley on August 03, 2011, 11:31:54 PM
Good idea! I wish that were in the book.

-Vincent
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Gerald C on August 04, 2011, 01:04:35 AM
This is cool! But, to clarify: Is it your intention that this function identically when you reset from -4 to -1 as well?
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on August 04, 2011, 01:18:23 AM
Sure, why not? Going from rolling-3 to rolling-1 means you sort-of know them better, and if you roll at all, you're going to figure out some of the ways you don't understand them.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Shreyas on August 04, 2011, 06:30:58 AM
this is cool
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: John Harper on August 04, 2011, 06:40:37 AM
Love. Instantly adopted.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Ariel on August 04, 2011, 06:53:07 AM
Yeah, I really dig it too.

I think this solves Hx for me.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Daniel Wood on August 04, 2011, 08:11:36 AM

Awesome, though I feel like it would be cool to find an elegant/contrasting thing to happen at -4 to -1, if possible. (The other player reveals a secret, that explains why they are even more fundamentally alienated from the target character?)
 
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on August 04, 2011, 08:54:26 AM
Thank you all for the kind words. If you use it in play, please post about how it went.

Daniel, I know, right, but what? I couldn't really think of one. They tell you a lie and you believe it? You tell them a secret instead? Eh. Then again -4Hx is gonna happen almost never anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter that much? You are actually getting better at helping and interfering with them, going from -3 to -1...
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Michael Pfaff on August 04, 2011, 01:03:16 PM
Yup. Using this next time I run AW.

Thanks for the post.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Ariel on August 04, 2011, 06:41:06 PM
I figure it's just a different flavour of secret.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Krippler on August 04, 2011, 08:04:55 PM
So slick, using this ASAP.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Chroma on August 04, 2011, 09:10:26 PM
Starting a new campaign in the near future and I think this is definitely something I want in it!

So, Vx, when is AW 2.0 due?  *laugh*
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: DWeird on August 07, 2011, 06:16:27 PM
That is a cool idea and I am definitelly going to use it first chance I get.

One nitpick I do have is that it lacks that list-form most other AW moves have that spurs the imagination, and that it forces a player to think up stuff potentially harmful to his character (without any initial spark or constraints).

Maybe the player who resets Hx gets to ask a question, *any* question, and the other one must answer truthfully?

But that's a bolted addon to an idea that's brilliant to begin with.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on August 08, 2011, 12:13:25 AM
Usually when we handed out Hx bonuses at the end of the game we would justify them somehow, like "your character knows mine better because we did [such and such] together during the session." So I think there's already a spark of inspiration there. If you reset your Hx, it prompts you to keep talking about that situation.

That's just an observation of my group's behaviour--I've only played AW with about 5 different people. Maybe other groups don't do that?

And if your Hx resets in play, it's because of some move or because of dishing out harm, so there's something there in the fiction already.

That said, I don't see why we couldn't brainstorm a little list of examples to start and maybe add stuff when people use this move in play:

When someone else resets their Hx with you, choose 1:
* Tell them a secret about yourself.
* Tell them about some habit you have, annoying, endearing, or otherwise.
* Tell them how you are vulnerable.
* Tell them what you really think about something they care about.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: nuclearbalm on August 09, 2011, 09:56:48 PM
Usually when we handed out Hx bonuses at the end of the game we would justify them somehow, like "your character knows mine better because we did [such and such] together during the session." So I think there's already a spark of inspiration there. If you reset your Hx, it prompts you to keep talking about that situation.

That's just an observation of my group's behaviour--I've only played AW with about 5 different people. Maybe other groups don't do that?

And if your Hx resets in play, it's because of some move or because of dishing out harm, so there's something there in the fiction already.

That said, I don't see why we couldn't brainstorm a little list of examples to start and maybe add stuff when people use this move in play:

When someone else resets their Hx with you, choose 1:
* Tell them a secret about yourself.
* Tell them about some habit you have, annoying, endearing, or otherwise.
* Tell them how you are vulnerable.
* Tell them what you really think about something they care about.

I really like this. Fortunately, I've only run the intro session for my group and no one has had the opportunity to reset history yet, so this is definitely going on the table.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Allison on August 11, 2011, 11:44:45 PM
This is exceedingly awesome, and I submitted this thread to my current Apocalypse World groups. The MCs are digging it, I'm digging it, the other players are digging it, and it's probably getting used in at least one of the games I'm in, quite possibly both.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on August 22, 2011, 08:17:24 PM
I feel like this needs something mechanical attached to it as well, if only fleeting. It's already friggin' awesome for color and narrative, but it's a move, right? I feel like it should do something.

Here's the move as it is (so you don't have to look back)

When someone else resets their Hx with you, choose 1:
* Tell them a secret about yourself.
* Tell them about some habit you have, annoying, endearing, or otherwise.
* Tell them how you are vulnerable.
* Tell them what you really think about something they care about.

Here's three mechanical things I thought of that might work well. Do we like any of them?
1. When that person acts on that information, they mark experience.
2. When that person acts on that information, mark Hx+1 with that person.
3. That person gets +1 forward on their next roll to help or hinder you
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Gerald C on August 22, 2011, 11:43:31 PM
#3 is an excellent addition to Hx rollover, with or without the rest of this move. I plan to use it from now on. Nice one!
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on September 07, 2011, 02:44:18 AM
Revisiting this idea, yeah, #3 totally works best. It fits in more with the character of the move.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on September 07, 2011, 05:05:05 PM
Nah, I don't like it. Here's why:

1. The whole point of getting a secret in the first place is to re-connect a mechanical thing with the fiction. Adding more mechanical things to that fiction seems a bit much, like it runs counter to the point, or it's just too ornate. I feel like if you need more mechanical incentives, you're probably not making the fiction compelling enough in the first place.

2. Too many +1s all over the place. I mean, yeah, I use them in custom moves sometimes, but they really do clutter up the game. What's the point in having stats if you don't just use them as they are? Hx resets to +1, use it at +1, that's still pretty good odds. The xp for reincorporation is better, but there's really only a good/bad dichotomy here: if the other player says something cool it doesn't really need to be incentivized, but if they say something lame then you're possibly incentivizing the reincorporation of something lame. And trying to keep track of what bonuses you have to upcoming rolls can get in the way of keeping track of what's going on in the fiction.

Maybe it works for you, I dunno, but those are my thoughts.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: weenog42 on September 07, 2011, 10:20:07 PM
The Brainer resets Hx with my Hoarder, Burns.  Burns is, as you might expect, an old dude.  So I whisper to the Brainer that Burns has a pacemaker.  Not two shakes later, the Gunlugger hits me with a tazer.  Good times.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Tommi Brander on September 28, 2011, 12:39:39 PM
In our game: When you reset from -4 to -1, reveal something you think you know about them.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: mease19 on September 29, 2011, 07:14:42 PM
Why not reverse the direction of the secret for negative Hx?  When you go from +3 to +1, they tell you a secret.  When you go from -3 to -1, you tell them a secret.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Arvid on September 29, 2011, 10:08:04 PM
The Seeker in our Nobilis hack has kind of the same deal. Here is how I wrote that:

Quote
Seeker special
When you make love to someone, you may change one of your moves to another move reflecting their nature. Any move is legit if your HG thinks so. If you make love to a PC, you may together decide to exchange moves.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Silerias on September 30, 2011, 08:35:37 AM
Why not reverse the direction of the secret for negative Hx?  When you go from +3 to +1, they tell you a secret.  When you go from -3 to -1, you tell them a secret.

And why not:

When you go from -3 to -1, you invent a false but believable secret about him/her and you play on it as if it is the whole truth.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on September 30, 2011, 11:00:09 AM
Why not reverse the direction of the secret for negative Hx?  When you go from +3 to +1, they tell you a secret.  When you go from -3 to -1, you tell them a secret.

And why not:

When you go from -3 to -1, you invent a false but believable secret about him/her and you play on it as if it is the whole truth.

Because both of these encourage them to give you a -1 at the end of the session, instead of giving a +1. And then nobody's helping each other because you've always got negative Hx with each other. I think making it harder for another character to fuck with you is reason enough to give a -1 instead of a +1.

If you HAVE to give somebody a +1 at session end, and giving somebody else a -1 is an additional, optional, thing, then maybe.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Silerias on October 01, 2011, 03:36:40 AM
Sure. Giving a fellow PC a -1 Hx should be very uncommon... Yes, most of the time, we tend to know better those whom we associate. In fact, I've never seen giving a Hx -1 to someone even if the rules provided for it. I could only imagine that in the case of a really hard roleplay of lies and manipulations...
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on October 02, 2011, 03:11:10 AM
So hey, as much as I've tended to shoot down a lot of the ideas people have had for taking this thing further, I'd still like to hear about people using some version of it in actual play. So if you've tried any of this stuff out, please do chime in.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on January 05, 2012, 05:21:44 PM
After playing this both with and without the +1 to help or hinder, I greatly prefer the latter. The comment that there's already a lot of mechanics going on is sort of valid, but it's mechanical stuff that is very transient. People tend to mark their experience and then just jump right back into the story.

The "telling them a secret" thing makes the story matter more, and that's great, but I've found that unless the secret is really good or the information is used immediately, it kind of becomes lost in the moves snowball. The +1 to help or hinder not only adds to the fiction, but it goes from "now I know a secret about you" to "now I know a secret and this is information I can wield." Plus, that little +1 helps people remember what the hell the secret was and, once they use that knowledge to help/hinder, that's a fact about the character that sticks. It becomes a tangible part of the fiction instead of this tiny bit of color. Just my two cents.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on January 05, 2012, 09:59:36 PM
@Zelbinian: Have you been playing with a straight +1forward to help or hinder? Or have you been playing that you get a +1 when you use the information you got when Hx rolled over?
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on January 05, 2012, 10:10:08 PM
Good question!

We've been doing the former. That +1 forward sits there, pregnant, waiting to be used. It's pretty cool, because it changes the social dynamic of the characters - and of the players! - when there's a dude who knows something about you that you just kinda let out of the bag unexpectedly and you know that if you play this right they could help you with it... but if you piss them off it could come back to bite you. It's delicious.

I do rule that spending the +1 forward to help/hinder must make sense within the context of play (i.e. the player has to argue how they are using the secret to help/hinder).

I should also point out that one of the reasons I think it's working so well in the current game I'm MC'ing is that we represent ongoing/forwards with physical objects. There's something deliciously meta about absently playing with a physical manifestation of another character's secret as the session unfolds. Good fun.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Chroma on January 06, 2012, 12:36:33 PM
I should also point out that one of the reasons I think it's working so well in the current game I'm MC'ing is that we represent ongoing/forwards with physical objects. There's something deliciously meta about absently playing with a physical manifestation of another character's secret as the session unfolds. Good fun.

Oh my word, that just sounds so awesome!  What kind of objects do you use?

We've been using the "When you reset Hx..." move without any mechanical benefits and it's still been very cool in play; just the occasional "big reveals" have been well received at the table and made people excited to have Hx roll over rather than feeling they've taken a bit of a hit going from +3 to +1.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on January 06, 2012, 06:17:08 PM
What kind of objects do you use?

This game I'm going with pried-off beer and Coke bottle caps. The aesthetic fits the game perfectly.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Johnstone on January 07, 2012, 06:55:01 PM
Can you give us an example or two of secrets from your game? And maybe what happened when the player used the +1?

In my current game, one of the players owes two people secrets, but is having trouble thinking of them.
Title: Re: When you reset Hx, learn a secret [custom move]
Post by: Zelbinian on January 07, 2012, 09:59:10 PM
Sure. One of my players is a Touchstone, but has decided to keep his symbol a secret for now "until the time is right." That was a cool secret to tell. Another player made up something really bad that her character had done in the passed and shared that.