Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: arakn_e on November 10, 2017, 08:49:07 PM

Title: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 10, 2017, 08:49:07 PM
Hi all,

I've read the previous topic about 2nd seize by force and couldn't find discussion about a question I have. Apologies if it is already written somewhere.

I'm MCing the game and I still have trouble with Seize by force in a specific situation: when a PC's intention is to kill somebody in battle situation. Can we consider that he seizes the NPC's life by force?

In this case, he can still miss and take the NPC's life by force. Or, for instance, he wants to keeps the NPC's head by force, with a chainsaw (generally, they aim for a leader). We're not in a 1vs1 situation here, really in battle situation.

Currently I play with this interpretation but want to be sure if there are other ways? Sometimes it feel weird.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: hobbesque on November 10, 2017, 11:35:04 PM
Most of the time, sure!

Some of the time, I think it's fair for the MC to ask if the character has the right fictional positioning to do something. Obviously, there are some things a player could ask to seize by force where the MC would go "uh, no? At least, not until you...". Like, the MacGuffin that is hidden somewhere in a bustling marketplace ("Cool, but you have to find it first"), the Hardhold across the sea ("Cool, how do you get there?"), the psychic maelstrom ("Cool, but, uh, how?"). If the character is in one trench a rifle shot away from the enemy trench, and beyond that is Dog Head's fortress of spikes and girders, and all of his gang in between, there's probably a couple more steps before "I seize him!" makes sense (depending on the scale you were playing the scene on). If Dog Head is leading his gang into battle from the front? Sure, of course. If the character is fighting Dog Head's gang, but Dog Head is hanging at the back, mmm, it depends (easier with a sniper rifle than a chainsaw). I might make them break the gang first, or use a trickier non-seize move to get close enough to Dog Head to seize him.

tl;dr Yes, but if it feels weird, ask questions, and if any of the players' answers sound like another move should come first or also, make them roll that.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 11, 2017, 04:20:05 AM
No. I disagree. This is never okay.

You may use seize by force to seize his escape by force, to prevent him from getting away from you. But the only way to determine whether or not you killed someone is by dealing harm to them. If you're hitting the whole gang, you don't get to pick which one is dead unless you're the battle babe with visions of death.

If you want to hit just one guy, then you can seize the opportunity to make a move just against him. Be warned, his buddies might still be helping, meaning you're exchanging harm against this guy, and the entire gang is exchanging the harm back. If you're going for the surprise attack, Sucker Someone has the details.

If the fiction seems like, sure this guy could reasonably be up front, maybe, I'd let someone seize that guy by force, but that would only ensure that he is one of the gang members that was injured. It is the gang's harm clock that says how many are dead (if any).

If you wanted to skip the first seize and try to act under fire to get to the guy, okay. Lets go step by step. You act under fire as you rush them, pushing through the first guys and jumping into the middle with your target... You hit with a 10+, so no body saw you coming or stopped you, or hurt you on the way. But now you're RIGHT were you asked to be.... in the middle of the gang with guns trying to kill their boss. Okay, now make your seize by force, also under fire of all these guys trying to stop you / kill you. You're acting under fire here not to fight, but to ensure you have the chance to deal that single combat against him. If he's trying to run, then it's sucker someone's version of go aggro instead.

If you hit with the act under fire, no one manages to stop what comes next. You make a seize by force against the boss. You are dealing harm just against him, not the gang. He's exchange back however is probably using the gang as a weapon, so you'll be taking the full brunt of the them. If you hit a partial, maybe you suffer more harm from the gang because you were exposed, or maybe he suffers less harm because the gang tries to protect him, or maybe you can do it, but you'll be way out of position afterwards for a clean escape. On a miss, you get the downsides, except you cannot target just your guy, and now you'll have to fight through them all to get to him, and you better seize his escape by force there.

If you have the chance to just drop in on all of them, then the first act under fire to break the lines and get to him isn't needed. You can just do the seize by force while under fire.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 11, 2017, 05:21:39 PM
Hi,

Thank you for your replies.

Ebok, I kinda had something like this in mind, to deal with "act under fire". But now that I read this and I think of it, some things come in my mind, a more complicated option, and a simpler one :

Option 1)  I want to to kill the strongest guy or their boss. I do something like read a stich to have this information. The boss like.. Dremmer. Then I go in battle : I want to seize Dremmer by force. We are in battle and I act under fire to go this guy .. I hit partially, I'm in the front of Dremmer and now separated from my crew (or I took damage, whatever).  Now I want to seize his life by force. But he's in a fight so .. Are we not in a 1vs1 where acting together under fire, finally ?

Option 2) I want to kill Dremmer. Can I seize his life by force ? - Hmm No, says the MC : you should take Dremmer by force first. - I seize Dremmer by force using my gang as a weapon, we rush with shotguns and chainsaws tayaaaa. Roll+Hard. I miss. We exchange harm as established but I still choose an option from the list, and I want to take take definite and undeniable control of him. Now we have Dremmer but we are still fighting its gang. Now I want to kill him. He's helpless but its still a fight. So i'm gonna Sucker him but as we are still in battle, the MC decides that instead of treating it as go aggro, it's still seize by force, but now we are seizing Dremmer's life by force. Dremmer himself is helpless but his gang is responding. So I seize Dremmer's life by force, I miss (I'm a battlebabe, not gunlugger :D), we exchange harm as established and Dremmer's dead.

Another option could be, instead of continuing battle, everything freezes when I seized Dremmer by force from his gang and we treat it as go aggro, something like "Stop or I kill him".

Finally all of this are just customing the battle moves for a special situation?

I think I prefer this option 2. What do you thing, does it seems legit?

Edit : I don't consider missing seize by force leads to a hard move, as stated by Vincent in the other post, so there's no bad input when missing this move in my example.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 11, 2017, 10:06:04 PM
I basically follow a new rule for my battles. Every time I'm allowed to speak, it's a hard move. So, yeah it doesn't matter if they hit or miss, whats matters is how many complications are in the field and what are they all going to do next.

In both of your options, you keep saying I seize his life by force. This is how first edition seize by force was handled, but I don't think it's necessary. If you captured their leader in a big old gun fight, I'm not sure that he is automatically helpless. Just that you have him definitely. If you want to kill him an he's helpless, and the gang tries to stop you... I think you could have your gang defend this position by force, and if they succeed and take casualties or whatever, you have the time then to do what you need to do with the boss. If he is helpless shoot him. If he isn't then fight him. If you want words, have them. etc.

The most important thing isn't that the moves handle the same every time, but that the fiction's logic took priority. If you could do this, then you can try to do it with a roll if one is needed. But also remember, if you could not do it like this, they can't just say they do it anyway. They have to fight scratch and claw their way to it.

Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 12, 2017, 06:25:50 PM
I agree that the first edition's example of "seizing their life by force" was somewhat misleading. I know what Vincent was going for, I think - he likes using colourful figurative language to get an idea across in very few words - but here it's not being helpful.

To me, the key to playing AW (and related games) is to remain solidly fixed *in the fiction*. Abstracting the rules and moves will (not always, but often) lead to strange dilemmas like these. Think of the fiction first, not the other way around, and keep getting clarifying details until it makes sense.

Instead of looking at the rule and trying to ponder how it maps to the fiction, always get some more details about what's happening, and then engage the rules. THAT, for me, almost always resolves the difficulty, particularly with this move.

So, what does it mean to 'seize someone's life'? I don't know, and I don't care.

What I want to know, instead, is:

* What is your character doing?

* Where are they standing? Where is the enemy? How are they moving?

* How exactly are they going about it, and what are they going to do about _________?

Instead of dealing with an abstraction like "seizing someone's life", now you're dealing with a tangible outcome, like "I rush forward, and I want to get him in a headlock", or maybe "So you're just running into the open, screaming, and throwing that grenade? You're going to have to get past the bikers, though, to get close enough..."

Now we can fruitfully decide which move to engage and how the move's outcomes map to what happens next.

Treating "you take definite hold" as a placeholder for "you achieve a tactical objective you were going for" will usually work. The other options are generally easy enough to parse, although "dismay or frighten" may sometimes require more clarification, as well.

For example, in the first example, above, clearly that option will tell us whether you manage to get your arms around Dremmer's throat, or not. There's no difficulty knowing what that means, right? We can all picture it, we know what's happening "on-screen", and the ambiguities of trying to parse what "seizing someone's life" are left behind in the dust.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Alex_P on November 12, 2017, 08:10:32 PM
My general outlook:
1. Fictional positioning is everything.
2. Don't roll abstract concepts like "someone's life" into "seize by force."

If you want to seize someone in a battle, you're seizing them bodily. Then you can off them because they're helpless.

Or maybe you can't grab them bodily, from where you're standing, so first you need to use seize by force (or act under fire, &c.) to establish that.

If you're just trying to snipe someone, imo, perhaps a better move is lay down fire. Establish that you've got a good vantage, then "take an opportune shot, inflicting harm (but -1harm) on an enemy within your reach."
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: hobbesque on November 12, 2017, 10:10:58 PM
Paul T wins the "that sounds like what I meant, but better" award. The only thing I'd add is that you can zoom out and abstract the action, or not; you've got all these specific questions you can ask and moves you can use if you want, but you don't have to. maybe Dog head and his boyz are a bunch of gnats whose immediate future is being a greasy spot in the dust, if that's what the PCs choose, and fighting them is just a single seize by force move. If not, if it's more interesting or more real, you have total authority as MC to zoom in on the action more than that.

Wrt to seizing someone's "life," I agree generally about not seizing abstractions, but I remember the 1st edition thing being "their meat," which is what I assumed that people meant when they were saying "life." I wouldn't tell a player "no, never!" if they asked to seize Dremmer's life, I'd just do like I'd do if they asked a question for read a sitch that's not on the list, and direct them to what I think they mean.

If you seize so-and-so, and take definite hold, you've got them in your hands and at your mercy. If you say you waste them, well, inflict harm as established (on top of whatever seizing dealt). I wouldn't mess around with their success, their definite hold, by making the act under fire to inflict more harm (that sounds indefinite -- although they did not seize an escape route, so post-wasting I may ask them to do any number of things). If the fiction says it shouldn't be that easy to waste Dog head, then that should be established before seizing Dog head is a move that gets rolled.

Wrt to lay down fire: I'm also not sure 100% of the time I'd let an opportune shot pick out single NPC, again, all depending. I haven't played a lot with the battle moves yet, but when I have, I think what I'm gravitating towards is that in the chaos of a fight with a dozen+ people, there's some set-up before you can pick out just one person (at which point, maybe seize, maybe sucker, maybe go aggro, etc., depending). I've made the PCs act under fire most commonly, or use one of the subterfuge moves, or have their friend use one of the battle moves that lets them move and act freely, etc.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 13, 2017, 04:23:02 AM
Also, by the way:

Ebok, this latest phrasing of how you're handling "in battle" is the best and cleanest yet! That's a really clear and easy-to-follow formulation. Makes sense to me! You may consider our early discussion finally settled.

(If by any chance you've been playing and using your Seize by Force hack, I invite you to post about your experiences in the appropriate thread.)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 13, 2017, 08:09:11 AM
( I have been, there isn't much to say other then the players love it, and it's only helped in a real way make a 10+ feel like a 10+. )
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 18, 2017, 11:19:56 PM
Really thank you all for your insight. Still I'm not sure everything is clear for me. Let me phrase in a clearest way and simplest situation:

What is the move for "I shoot in Dremmer's head", while Dremmer is ready for it?

"What's your intent?" "To kill him, with a bullet in the head."

If it's 1vs1, well it's a 1vs1 combat move.

But if Dremmer has a gang? The fight has not started yet, but still it's not aggro, everybody is prepared? Do we stick with the act under fire/seize by force discussion?
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 19, 2017, 07:58:33 PM
I'm going to answer, but please know that this isn't the only answer. The moves have triggers that take place in the narrative and how zoomed in and cinematic it is. The fiction decides. That said:

If we remove most fictional cinematics... and assume Dremmer and the PC are in the scene.

A) [PC]Bob vs Dremmer
Bob wants to kill Dremmer, Dremmer is prepared to fight back. The Move: Single Combat

B) [PC]Bob vs Dremmer
Bob wants to kill Dremmer, Dremmer is prepared to run the fuck away. The Move: Seize by Force or Cat and Mouse

How this works varies a lot depending on the complications Dremmer can involve in his escape. Please note that there should be complications unless Dremmer literally has no where to go. First you ask, who has the advantage. If the PC has the upper hand, I'd probably go straight to seize by force, where Dremmer escapes unless the PC either deals 3+ harm after armor or picks to seize definitely Dremmer's escape. 2harm, Dremmer escapes but probably wont be around much longer. 1harm Dremmer is in the wind. Cat and Mouse can follow this if appropriate, but if Bob catches him again, there might not need to be another seize by force to end him.

If Dremmer has the advantage, then Dremmer just Runs. In order to catch him Cat and Mouse happens (with Bob as the Cat). If Bob gets to pick where he catches him, then Dremmer's got no way out and it's Single Combat time. Otherwise if Dremmer gets to pick where, it might be seize by force or it might be something else, depending on where (or who) Dremmer gets to.

C) [PC]Bob vs Dremmer & Gang
Bob wants to kill Dremmer, Dremmer and gang are prepared to fight back. The Move: Single Combat

Single combat doesn't mean one person vs one person, it applies just as easily to one person vs one gang of people.
The PC does not get the option, I just kill Dremmer. They have to fight through bodies to kill him, and those bodies are actively getting in the way / fucking Bob up. Deal harm to the gang, and the leadership will start to crumble, the fiction comes in and asks are these boys ready to die for Dremmer? If so, then fight on, if not, maybe they scatter and now its PC vs Dremmer, refer to scenarios A or B.

D) [PC]Bob vs Dremmer & Gang
Bob wants to kill Dremmer, Dremmer uses his gang to help him escape. The Move: Seize by Force

Bob has to fight his way through to even START chasing after Dremmer. That's seize by force, definite hold is definitely fighting through the gang. Interestingly this is actually the best way for Dremmer to survive and tends to deal less damage to his gang, because the PC's focus is getting past them not kill all of them to take Dremmer down too. Still: Dremmer Runs. Bob has to fight through the gang, the gang will break if enough harm is dealt... but they might break in the same direction the PC wants to go, thus, to keep them out of the way, seizing a way through is essential. Followup, Cat and Mouse (see scenario B), unless the PC didnt make it through with one move, in that case, Dremmer's gone.


E) [PC]Bob vs Dremmer & Gang
Bob just wants to kill Dremmer, Dremmer fights or runs. The Move: Seize by Force under Fire
Seize Dremmer's escape (running), or seize a way through (fighting) the gang to Dremmer, while acting under fire of all the people trying to stop Bob. Re: old post. I would probably play scenario C and D more often then not. This is AW, people in the way of killing, probably get killed. If the gang is ready and staring you down, you're probably not going to assassinate the guy out of the middle of them without serious Cool rolls. And even if you do, you have to Cool/Hard you way back out too. Note: I, after thinking it over, REALLY dislike this option.

PS
The thing to note here is that if there are no other complications in the field, no people getting in the way, positioning or tactical shit that matters, and the killing needs a roll, it's probably single combat. If they cannot run, they will fight, and a cornered person fights much harder then one who can run. Same goes for a gang. If they're trapped, they will fight until they're all dead.  If Bob is attacking a gang of people, Dremmer can use that gang's health pool to stay alive all the way until it either cracks under pressure or is crushed. 5(maybe4) harm to the gang is when I'd deal 1-harm to the Dremmer. 6(maybe5) harm to the gang, Dremmer's dying in there too. 6+ Dremmer's been dead.

This actually makes the battle babe even cooler. Visions of Death: Dremmer Dies. Battlebabe hits the gang with one exchange of harm (preferably from go aggro, but seize by force too) and chooses all the get away, suffer less harm, frightens them options. Because, the battle babe already killed Dremmer out from the middle of them (visions of death) and only had to trade harm to make sure the battle happened, so her focus is actually on escaping.

That's my 2-cents.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 19, 2017, 11:27:41 PM
That's a good, thorough reply by Ebok.

I'll share a shorter reply:

1. Apocalypse World quite intentionally doesn't have a dedicated "I just wanna hurt someone" move. The idea is that violence generally has a purpose - something you want.

2. Very often, just shooting (or otherwise attacking) someone isn't a move at all. It's just something you do, the same way you can say, "I walk towards the stairs and pick up the shovel," and it just happens.

If we've established that Dremmer is visible to you, in range, and you have time to get your gun out and shoot him, I think that this will often be the case. You say "I shoot him," and the MC describes the results.

The MC describing the results is just her making a move. Likely it will be "inflict harm" (on Dremmer), but it could be something else (like offering you an opportunity, or stating the consequences and asking a question).

3. If that doesn't seem right - things are tense or uncertain - then we need to know more. Is someone trying to stop you? If so, how? Are there guards with guns who could shoot when they see you pull your gun up?

That's probably an "act under fire", where we roll to see if you can gun down Dremmer before they riddle you with bullets. (You're literally acting under fire, after all.)

4. If you have the drop on him, but your relationship with Dremmer is such that we can imagine you having a conversation or holding back because of how he reacts, then maybe "go aggro" is a better fit.

5. Finally, if it's definitely a battle, it may be that you're doing something like Seizing the opportunity to shoot him. If it's not clear that you can just shoot him *like that*, you might be seizing the opportunity. That sounds vague and abstract, but I actually think it could be perfect for a situation where you're facing off against a gang and trying to get at Dremmer.

(If you had the drop on the gang, or the element of surprise, you might even be "going aggro" on them!)

I would try applying these roughly in this order.

Ultimately, the basic flow of effective AW play (and PbtA in general) is one where the group negotiates the question of which more to apply together. The way you do this is by talking about the fiction and asking questions. Over time, the elements necessary for a particular move emerge from that negotiation.

For example, you might ask about the guards, and I might describe them nervously hefting their weapons and eyeing you, fingers restless on their triggers. "So, I guess if I shoot him, I'm acting under fire, aren't I?", you ask. "Yep!"

As another example, I might ask, "So, you're going to shoot him, just like that? What are you hoping he doesn't do?" And you might answer, "Oh, I really hope the bastard doesn't get away; I want to talk to the fucker."

Bam! Suddenly it's clear that this is "go aggro" - you're pulling your gun on him, and what you want is for him to submit to you. (If he wants to run away, he's taking your bullet in the back!)

It's more art than science, but delving into the details of the situation more and more makes it concrete almost every time. Always go back to this if you're floundering, until it becomes clear.

Again, if no one is getting in your way and you're not in danger, it's probably #2, from above. It's the *consequences* of the action which will be interesting, not the success of the task you're attempting.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: lumpley on November 20, 2017, 02:46:40 AM
When a PC shoots someone, it's always a move. It's suckering them, going aggro on them, or a battle move, depending on the circumstances, but it's always a move.

To answer your original question, arakn_e: No, don't use "seize someone's life" to kill them. The only way to kill someone in Apocalypse World is to inflict harm.

As a player, you can do battle with someone and hope that they're killed in the exchange of harm, or you can go aggro on them and hope that they choose to force your hand and suck up the harm. In neither case is it your choice, though. You make your move and you hope for the best. And if they're in a gang, the rules on page 211 mean that you're REALLY just hoping.

The only way to make sure you inflict harm on someone is to sucker them. Suckering an individual enemy in battle isn't automatically something you can do, so you'll have to try to set it up somehow.

Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to get into a position to sucker Dremmer while he and his gang are doing battle with your friends, for instance. Like maybe you can get up onto a watchtower with your sniper rifle. Getting into that position might be easy, it might require you to act under fire, if might require you to seize the watchtower by force, who knows what it might require.

Or you might go ahead and seize Dremmer himself by force. As Alex says, above, this means that now you've captured him from his gang and gotten hold of him, NOT that you inflict harm on him in particular. It's still the MC's call whether he suffers any injury in the exchange of harm. But getting him helpless is one way to put yourself in a position to sucker him.

As MC, here's what you say:

"Going aggro or seizing by force, you might kill Dremmer, you might not, it's not your call. To make sure you can kill him, you'll have to somehow get into a position to sucker him. What's your plan?"

-Vincent
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 20, 2017, 10:46:04 PM
Well, Vincent presumably knows what he's talking about, so listen to him!

Vincent,

Since "sucker someone" now includes a clause for "if you couldn't miss, the MC just inflicts harm on the NPC" (or something like that; I'm not quoting verbatim), does that align fairly well with the way this might have been done in 1st Ed?

(In other words, "violence is not always a move you roll" is contiguous with, "in the new version, it's always a move; just sometimes the move is that you just do it," because of the wording of the new move "Sucker Someone".)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: lumpley on November 21, 2017, 02:08:28 PM
Paul:

Nope. In 1st Ed, you should have rolled to go aggro even if you couldn't miss. Attacking someone and expecting the MC to inflict harm on them for you isn't in the book

"When you attack someone and you can't miss, don't roll to go aggro. Instead, the MC inflicts harm on them as established" is a custom move. It's kind of an obvious custom move, and I think that a couple of different groups invented it in parallel without realizing that they were inventing a custom move. It got promoted as the way to play, even though it wasn't, it was just a custom move that some people liked.

But since it's a perfectly legal custom move, play with it if you want to and don't even worry about it.

In 2nd Ed, it doesn't change the outcome in play, but it's technically significant that when you sucker someone, it's you, not the MC, who inflicts the harm. I consider this to be a correction of the widespread 1st Ed custom move.

-Vincent
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 21, 2017, 03:19:06 PM
Another thing that's worth pointing out is the gap between what you want to happen (I shoot Dremmer in the head) and what actually happens (I reach for my pistol with the intention of shooting Dremmer in the head, but before steel clears leather all hell breaks loose). That's where the mechanics of the game get engaged and where narrative complications make things interesting. This is especially good to keep in mind with go aggro, because it's your opponent who chooses one. And in the 7-9 range, "cave and do what you want" is likely a hell of a lot less attractive than "barricade themselves securely in." Even if they "back away slowly, hands where you can see," you don't get to inflict harm on them for free.

So yeah, you can see Squiggy's hands clear as day - and the giant fucking magnum in them that you didn't know he had is now pointed straight at you. And he's sidling backwards towards the door and saying, "OK, now let's just all be cool and go our separate ways, right?" Now what do you do?

And as others have pointed out, all of this stuff really follows the fiction. Does it make sense for you to be able to plug Dremmer while his dudes stand around like dopes? Does it make sense for Dremmer to stand around like a dope waiting for you to shoot him? If not, then you just getting to inflict harm on Dremmer without having to work or bleed for it just isn't going to happen.

Another thing I've noticed in our games is that seize by force shines most brightly when what it is that you are seizing is conceptually granular, distinct, and of limited scope. Like, "the briefcase" or, "the exit" or "preventing Dremmer's escape" works a hell of a lot better than high-concept stuff like "her life" or "peace." Qualify or stipulate as much as you need to such that it's absolutely clear what single thing you want to achieve, and make sure the fiction fits.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 21, 2017, 05:06:45 PM
Vincent,

Thanks!

Munin,

That's an interesting example. While I agree with the rest of your post, to me "back away slowly, hands where you can see" is clearly implying that the target is NOT drawing or aiming a weapon - I always read that as a shorthand way for Vincent to indicate that fighting back was not an immediate option for the NPC. Otherwise, why would we need to talk about their "hands" at all? The phrase "hands where you can see", in my experience, is only used to indicate that the subject is NOT reaching for a weapon or otherwise trying to arm themselves or pull some maneuver.

(Having said that, the rest of the behaviour outlined in your example is perfectly in line with the intentions of the move; it was just the but about suddenly having a gun in hand which jumped out at me as being against the spirit of that particular outcome.)

Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Borogove on November 21, 2017, 05:18:00 PM
Nope. In 1st Ed, you should have rolled to go aggro even if you couldn't miss. Attacking someone and expecting the MC to inflict harm on them for you isn't in the book

"When you attack someone and you can't miss, don't roll to go aggro. Instead, the MC inflicts harm on them as established" is a custom move.

This is going to be another one of those where I swear up and down it's in the book, and I'm going to search for it in the book, and it's not going to be in the book, and I'm going to feel like I understand AW less and less all the time, and also Berenstain/Berenstein.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Borogove on November 21, 2017, 05:23:45 PM
Ah, got it:

Quote from: AW1e
"So, what?" Keeler's player says. "I'm going aggro? I just put the shotgun to his head and pull the trigger. What's the move?"

"Well," I say. "If Bran were capable of reaction, yeah, you'd be going aggro, and what you'd want Bran to do is die in an explosion of brains. But he's helpless. You're just doing it, you aren't even making a move."

"Really?"

Bran's player: "Really?"

"Really really. How much harm does your shotgun do?"


-- 1st ed, p165-166, Harm & Debilities

I mean, if you contradict yourself, very well, you contradict yourself. The 2e revision of this passage (When Life Becomes Untenable, p207) appears mechanically identical, but using the "suckering" terminology instead of "go aggro doesn't apply, so no-move".
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 21, 2017, 08:47:18 PM
Thanks, Borogove. I knew that wasn't coming out of nowhere.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: lumpley on November 21, 2017, 09:37:16 PM
Shows what I know!

-Vincent
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 21, 2017, 10:23:04 PM
For what it's worth - and it's very weird for me to be saying so when the designer of the game is potentially in disagreement with me! but I do feel strongly about it - I see the use of moves in PbtA games as being more of an art than a science. It is, arguably, the form that "system mastery" takes in a game with this structure: learning, as a group, how and when to apply moves to your play for maximum effect.

(Notably, it's less so in AW than in some of its descendants, like Monsterhearts, but I think the basic principle applies just the same.)

How do we decide when to call for a move?

(1) Part of this is a question of a player's right to create effects and push for consequences within the fiction. You know you can 'go aggro', and thereby get an NPC to do something, so it's your right to call for that, and no one should block you - if anything, we should conspire with you to make it real and to make it happen. We just need to add enough fictional detail to the action to make it interesting and compelling and plausible. You want to do move X? Ok, let's help you make it happen - that's something you should be able to do in the game. That's why they're "your moves" - they are things you are legally entitled to as options within the scope of the game.

(2) Part of this is agreeing on what kinds of fictional events or details cause us to "trigger" moves. If someone pointing a gun at someone and yelling is understood to be "going aggro" in your game, then make that clear and be consistent with it, so we can all get on the same page. Some moves' "triggers" are really clear ("at the end of the session..."), but others require more interpretation (like "seduce/manipulate"), and you'll find yourself setting those standards over time as you play.

If don't follow some standards for when to apply moves and when not to, based on what's happening in our game (or "on screen", to use a metaphor), we start getting into some really wishy-washy territory, and I think that plays against the strengths of the game, eroding our trust in the rules we're playing by.

Having said that, however:

(3) Another part of it is choosing the best tool for your dramatic goals - how does this move, and its potential outputs, work for the fiction we're creating, the choices of the characters within it, and the dramatic necessities of the current scene or situation? There are times when this becomes key and can even override the two previous approaches - times when the outcomes listed for move X just fit perfectly for what you're doing in your scene, even though normally it wouldn't be called for (such is the case with more figurative interpretations of the moves, like "seizing the moment").

In practice, all three work together, in my experience.

A good example of the last type - a move which must be used dramatically - is the "Oftener Right" move (Savvyhead). If you try to apply its use literally, to any instance where any character is asking the Savvyhead for advice on anything at all, you'll soon be overwhelmed with notes on what advice applies where and how. And how long does it "last" for? ("Hey, I think the Savvyhead said two sessions ago that it might be a good idea to bring some food on the trip. Does that mean I can get a +1 to negotiate in the market for buying food?")

However, if you apply the move through the lens of dramatic timing, then it makes sense: we call it into play when a conversation between a character and the Savvyhead is happening and we want to lend it dramatic weight.

In other words, we use the move to mark that "this is a moment where a significant piece of advice is being given, and we want it to matter going forward". If the game were a movie, you can imagine the filmmaker might have marked it with some swelling music in the background, instead: pointing out to the audience that something important was just said or just happened.

I could even imagine a group using it more creatively: a character is pursuing her goals and runs into a real tough situation. We slow down and say, "Hey, you know the Savvyhead always used to say that no one should attempt this. Let's play out a flashback where you two were talking about it, about a month ago... now, let's get back to that scene. If you want to change your mind and turn around and run, I'll give you that +1 for realizing the Savvyhead was right after all."

That might be a bit of a stretch (I can see it being legit at some tables and not others), but sometimes this kind of thing is just the right thing to do. I can imagine a more typical example where, over many sessions of play, we learn that a certain characters always arches their eyebrow before launching into wild violence. In that game, the character arching their eyebrow meaningfully at another character who knows how they operate could qualify for "going aggro", even though normally that would be a pretty sloppy (and probably inadvisable) use of the move.

I could see a group using that for Oftener Right, too; perhaps two characters know each other well enough that they can communicate non-verbally, and that creates opportunities for a move to trigger. A character is about to leave on a journey (instead of dealing with a problem back home), and they go to their usual hiding spot, where the Savvyhead normally leaves them letters. However, this time, there's no letter there.

We all look at each other, instantly understanding what it means: the Savvyhead disapproves. What doesn't need to be said is that she wants the character to stay home and deal with the problem. It's a moment of tough love.

The player points at her character sheet and says, "I'm Oftener Right." We all understand implicitly that, should the character take this as a sign and stay back, to deal with the problem at hand, the move will apply.

That's a part of what's happening in the "shotgun to the head" example. By the book, perhaps (depending on how you interpret the 2nd Ed. rules, I suppose), we should definitely by using "go aggro" here. However, dramatically and mechanically, it makes no sense to roll dice and look for an NPC reaction when we can all see that pulling the trigger is a meaningful choice in the player's hands. Suddenly throwing in some randomness here isn't appropriate. The outcomes of the move don't help us here, either. All we care about is: does she pull the trigger or not? And then we can narrate the outcome accordingly - it's already clear to everyone what's at stake.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 21, 2017, 11:27:04 PM
Thank you all and thank you Vincent. This is very clear.

It's a discipline and a paradigm shift to learn to always get back to the "how do you plan to do this" instead of looking for  the move to trigger.

Now I have this strange feeling, you know, when you realize something totally new but simple but still, you're not sure you're right. Question : is "exchanging harm" a battle move?

Like,  "I just shoot at Dremmer to kill him", and the move triggered is "exchange harm"?
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 22, 2017, 12:04:48 AM
It's called single combat.

I should clarify, if the player is pushing to just fight, single combat is the just fight move. The MC, however can also trade harm as a move.

Trade harm for harm (as established)

The point is here really not that the Player needs to make a move, but that the player needs to act in the fiction and the MC responds accordingly. A move is really putting the results at stake, it's kind of a way to take your hands off as an MC so you can both looking forward to the outcome. If you try to run a cinematic game without dice at all, you'll see the difference. It's fun, but the details descriptions and actions are essential (they're the only thing to go off of). AW isn't actually all that different, except you can disclaim something to the dice and the players moves. (And you should do this, but not until AFTER you have the details.)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 22, 2017, 04:29:31 AM
Yes.

There are two really good rules of thumb for a new AW MC to remember, in my opinion:

1. When you're *not sure* what's going on, which move applies, or what its outcomes mean, keep asking questions until you get more details. Flesh out the fictional situation, until one of the moves (or see below) is the right fit.

2. If something's happening and no move seems to fit, the MC makes a move.

The second point applies particularly if you're coming to AW from other games. You know how you have those moments where you feel like you should say, "Ok, roll some dice!", in AW, is just a moment where you make a move.

In AW, the "filler" die rolls just become MC moves, plain and simple.

Armed with those two guidelines, AW becomes pretty seamless and easy.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 22, 2017, 12:29:02 PM
I really appreciate the time the community spend to discuss these matters. It's fascinating.

The examples describes by Vincent, ebok et Paul T. about "extend the details of the fictional position" are really enlighting.

I think I really get the "act in the fiction to trigger a move" and the fund. I'm struggling with "which move does it trigger" sometimes. I'm asking because the matter I'm discussing in this thread was the most puzzling during our games.

Let me clarify (Sorry if I insist, just wanna be sure I made myself clear and I understand your point clearly, as I'm not english native) :

The battle move section enumerates and describes the moves. The first move described is "exchange harm" (p.166). As the description of this battle move says explicitly "Many of the battle moves call for you to exchange harm. To exchange harm..." I always figured that this "exchange harm" was only triggered when another battle move explictly mentioned it. Now, I'm wondering, was "exchange harm" designed to be brought by the player as a battle move when he "does battle" (as exchange harm is listed in the battle move section like seizing by force or single combat), or only to trigger when mentioned in another move?

(I realize that considering it as a battle move solves totally my issue.)

I understand your answer Ebok, but with the language I'm just not sure I made my own point clearly, so maybe I'll appear as stubborn, sorry for that :)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 22, 2017, 10:25:29 PM
@arakn_e: the part about "exchanging harm" in the section on the battle moves is not a move in and of itself (at least not one a player can invoke). You will note that it has no trigger, for instance. It's simply an indicator of how the mechanics for a number of battle moves work, the situation upon which they are predicated. The move single combat is a good example - regardless of the outcome of the roll or options chosen by the player, the move includes the exchange of harm. You can't engage in single combat and NOT exchange harm. If you're lucky your armor may soak all the harm you receive, but you still exchanged it.

That said, trade harm for harm (as established) is an MC move. That means that at any point in the game (if it's fictionally appropriate), it's totally cool for the MC to say something like, "Yeah, you and Dremmer's goons are all shooting at each other in a blaze of gunfire. You take X harm in the exchange and they take Y harm." Nobody's rolling anything (as the players haven't triggered any moves), it's just that the fictional situation includes bullets flying everywhere, and it stands to reason that people are going to get shot and take harm. I find that this sort of situation occurs mostly when the characters are "in battle," though this is the part of AW2E that is the least clearly-defined in my opinion.

Does that answer your question?

@Paul T: the reason having a gun suddenly appear in the person's hands is a reasonable outcome to a 7-9 in go aggro is simple - you only get to inflict the "free harm" on someone if they elect to "force your hand and suck it up." The option to "back off calmly, hands where you can see" is fine as-is if the situation warrants it, but I find that often it doesn't make narrative sense in the fiction.

For example, I stick my gun in your face and say, "Give me the narcostabs, motherfucker. I will not repeat myself." If you simply back up, there's nothing in the fiction that keeps me from saying, "Fuck this, I pull the trigger," which is an identical outcome you forcing my hand - which you didn't choose to do. Further, nothing prevents me from saying, "If you take another step backwards, then so-help-me-Goddess I will blow your brains out," which is essentially me just going aggro again.

But as we know, AW isn't really an "I do it again" kind of game, so something in the fiction needs to prevent me from simply re-asserting my threat. And at the same time, "back off calmly, hands where I can see" has to be a valid option that keeps you from simply being able to plug me (because I am explicitly not forcing your hand and sucking it up). Ergo, by altering the fictional situation to include an escalation (Squiggy now has a gun of his own) I have made it clear that both a) he's not going to do what you want, and b) if you want to resort to violence, you're risking taking harm yourself. The fictional situation itself prevents you from triggering go aggro again, which is as it should be.

You see a similar dynamic with "barricade themselves securely in." I often narrate this as someone either making a run for it before you can bring your weapon to bear or moving quickly enough that you try to hit/shoot them and miss - because you don't get to automatically inflict harm on someone on a 7-9 for this move, even if they're not doing what you want. But at the same time, the fictional situation needs to change sufficiently that you can't just re-trigger the same move.

If you don't enforce a change in the fictional situation, the entire go aggro move loses something, either being too powerful or too wishy-washy, depending on how the MC interprets it.

Make sense?
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 23, 2017, 12:14:13 AM
Munin,

Good answer.

And I agree with your point of view: it makes sense to me. I think that "hands where you can see" clearly implies that they should NOT be able to draw a gun or pull some other "trick", but, at the same time, your interpretation of a change in the situation is also a good play tip.

I'm not sure how I'd play that, myself. The key in that situation is that the character has ceded to the show of dominance you've put on. I don't think rolling "go aggro" a second time would be completely out of the question (although I agree that generally we try to avoid that kind of thing in AW).

It's also possible that you simply shouldn't choose that option (unless you *like* the idea of leaving the choice to shoot in the player's hands) in this situation. It might be more suitable when the harm being threatened is a fist in the face or something similar, where backing off actually *does* make a difference.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 23, 2017, 04:02:55 PM
Right, and that's why I said it's fine as-is if the situation warrants it. But there are lots of times (in fact most times, I find) where it doesn't, and a different interpretation is required. And it's important to make the distinction that the opponent has not "ceded to your show of dominance," as that would be to cave and do what you want. They are explicitly not doing that, ergo some other interpretation must be used to make the situation fit the fiction.

Also, it's worth mentioning that this is also very much subject to the fictional positioning on the part of the player/PC; if the player has set things up that it is impossible for the NPC to either change the situation to offer resistance or find some means of safe retreat, then that response option is effectively taken off the table. At that point, the 7-9 might still very well result in "they cave and do what you want."
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: hobbesque on November 23, 2017, 05:05:36 PM
I also wanted to say that I appreciate the discussion. The new battle move setup is really interesting to me, and I'm excited to play with it more and better (relatedly, for some reason I didn't realize that all the new battle/car/subterfuge moves got examples and explanations in the core books, like everything else; suggested reading if you haven't yet!).

With respect to Go Aggro, I take a lot of the "hard" that goes into being good at it as "psychologically prepared to shoot an unarmed unresisting person" as well as the "has good aim and reflexes" that I associate with Seize By Force. So I think in the same way that the MC is allowed to say "he barricades himself in before you get a chance to shoot him, so you neither get what you want nor get to inflict harm" [this time, your reflexes were not good enough] they're allowed to say "he backs off, hands where you can see, so you neither get what you want nor get to inflict harm" [this time, you were not case-hardened enough to shoot him just because he was acting nonthreatening while not doing exactly what you asked]. It's like in Act Under Fire where you have them flinch on a 7-9 -- the player can't just say "Well, obviously flinching is the worse choice, I really wanted to just plow through, so I don't flinch, I plow through."

At that point, if the character decides to overcome their moment of weakness by saying "I just shoot him anyway," I'd probably make it more of an exchange-of-harm type deal, similar to how people who are suggesting that a drawn gun could be part of "backing away with hands where you can see," but in this case because their hestitation between "I point by gun at him and demand the narcostabs" and "fuck it I'm just going to shoot him and take the narcostabs" gives the NPCs a chance to dive for cover, draw weapons, etc., instead of having drawn already (which does seem like an non-colloquial reading of "hands where I can see 'em"). So that part's pretty similar.  I just wanted to point out that while players are the captains of their characters' intentions and desires, they are not of their characters' abilities, and there's a fuzzy place that Go Aggro occupies in that respect.

(p.s ever since I saw the title of this thread I've been imagining a pulp novel cover with "Seize by Force -- to kill!" across in in lurid red letters)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 23, 2017, 05:45:49 PM
Excellent points. (And I would definitely buy that novel!)

Munin,

My interpretation of "go aggro", it seems, is slightly different from yours. The way I read it, the move shows a character trying to apply force and dominance to someone else. On a 10+, you've cornered them; they have to give in or suffer. On a 7-9, you were still effective in dominating the situation, but they're not responding to it the way you'd like ("Tell them what they want to hear" is a perfect example). You putting the weight of intimidation (or threat of violence) on them has now limited their choices to the outcomes listed in the move.

I *think* we're on the same page. However, it's important to treat it as a hit, and not a miss - simply turning the situation into a tense standoff is undercutting the value of the move. In that regard, then, it depends on the specifics of the scene - working off your brief example, we're probably filling in the gaps differently here online (which would hopefully not be the case in person, at the table). That, to me, underscores the importance of grounding the moves in detailed fiction, once again.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Ebok on November 23, 2017, 08:09:52 PM
I've handled that go aggro situation a much like hobbesque. I tell my players, you know, sometimes your character just isn't as Hard as you want them to be. And so when you choose to go aggro, if you hit a 7-9 and they're backing off, you cannot just shoot them. It's not in your hands, you're just not hard enough to follow through. Generally, though, them backing off comes with words that tend to disarm the violence as well, so I've never had a player even raise a concern about this.

I have also done things similar to Munin's reaction there as well, so long as the NPC didn't get to draw and also start blasting, that's fine by me.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 24, 2017, 04:30:35 AM
Yeah, 'go aggro' is an interesting move in the way it agency away from the character/player. Somewhat unlike most of the other moves, in that regard (with the possible exception of a 7-9 on an "acting under fire" roll).
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 24, 2017, 05:44:40 AM
Yes, the issue is absolutely one of player agency, and I think we might see it slightly differently. I have no problem saying "you tried to shoot but missed" when narrating an opponent barricading themselves securely in (if the fictional situation warrants it or it seems like it's a reasonable consequence), but saying, "yeah, you just don't have the stones to pull the trigger" feels like it crosses a subtle but important line. So rather than say, "no, you cannot make this decision about whether or not your character takes this action," I'd much rather tell them the consequences and ask. As in, "yeah, you can totally drop the hammer on this guy - but now he's gonna get his licks in before he goes down. Do you still want to?"

Further, while a 7-9 is a hit, it is important to actually look at the results of the move in question. Much like a 7-9 in act under fire is likely to complicate your life or a 7-9 in pack alpha is going to make you make some tough choices, the 7-9 case for go aggro explicitly gives your opponent the capacity to NOT do what you want. I guess Vincent can chime in here himself if he chooses, but I think this is intentional; if 7-9 always made the other person cave (with or without complications), then everyone would be going aggro all the time because it would be the easiest way to get people to do what you want. There are a number of moves where things are really only "good" for you on a 10+, and while the partial doesn't totally suck, it's 50-50 whether you can really call it a "success." Remember, one of the "ugly choices" you might be given when you act under fire is "you achieve what you wanted but also suffer this other consequence, or you fail to achieve what you wanted and avoid this other consequence - which do you choose?" In other words, failure is a valid player choice even on a 7-9.

This is awesome because it puts the question (and the agency) directly in the player's hands. You know going in what the consequence will be, so how important is it to you to succeed? The example I gave works exactly the same way - Oh, shit, Squiggy has a gun too! How badly do you want those narcostabs? Enough to start a close-quarters gunfight over it? Ball's in you court, friend, what do you do now?

It's also important to point out that I would explicitly not have Squiggy suddenly produce a weapon and start immediately blazing away (exchange harm) as that is not one of my 7-9 options as the MC. But on a miss? Jesus, fuck, Squiggy is quick as a snake! You don't know whether he's jazzed on combat stims or just a fucking gun-snatching kung-fu ninja, but now you're looking down the barrel of your own gun, and Squiggy is jabbering a mile a minute about how you need to back the fuck off or he'll plug you and you can almost feel the trigger spring straining. What do you do? Hey, look at that, I've just flipped the PC's move! But that's appropriate for a miss, not a 7-9.

A 12+ on advanced go aggro is the only situation in the game that completely removes agency over intent from a player (with the possible exception of an arresting skinner, but that has baked-in limitations), and I think that's as it should be. Even a 10+ on seduce or manipulate still leaves the choice of "is leaving XP on the table and/or losing a highlight worth it to me?" which is fantastic!

And again, it's important to note that this is purely a narrative choice on the part of the MC to change up the fictional position of the characters involved because "I go aggro on him again" is pretty uninteresting and (I feel) against the spirit of how PbtA games generally work.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 24, 2017, 08:19:32 AM
@Munin : you totally answered my question. Which doesn't solve my problem. There is a clear situation in which I don't see which move is triggered.


Keeler has a gang. He faces Dremmer's gang in a western situation style. Everybody is ready to fight.

Keeler : "These dogs are gonna die, now, we just open fire on them, we want them dead." Which move is triggered?

It is not single combat.
Nothing is seized by force.
Maybe you lay down fire, trying to "take an opportune shot on an ennemy within your reach" (but the -1 harm is not very clear for me in this specific case)?

Oh, now that I'm writing it.... This is my question : maybe the whole point is that I misunderstand the meaning of single combat (which I understand as "1vs1 combat") ? It is single combat, but Keeler attacks with its gang, against a gang (which would be a non english native mistake which make sense, I translated it as "1vs1" and sticked to it but with this discussion, I'm doubting)?
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: hobbesque on November 24, 2017, 01:39:33 PM
You read it in the intuitive English way! "Single combat" means one-on-one, it uses the singular "someone," etc. I think it's fair to say Ebok's read is a bit of a hack -- "whenever two sides fight each other without an objective other than the other's destruction...". Intuitively, it makes sense to me that on any scale larger than 1 vs literal 1, it inevitably gets tactical. Admittedly, my most applicable experience is in paintball, but even in a fight of 2 people vs 2 people, each side is trying to move up the field so they can shoot the other side without cover (seize "tactical advantage"?). Even if there was literally no immediate cover, just a featureless plain, each side is going to be hoping the other side breaks and leaves rather than keeping on blowing them to pieces (seize "the field"). The PC's choices are not the only determiner of what happens -- NPCs on any side are going to try to run, take cover, etc. AW is not by default in a genre where you stand, shirtless, atop rather than behind cover, firing your machine gun from the hip, and it certainly isn't as far as the NPCs are concerned!

So:

Quote
Keeler has a gang. He faces Dremmer's gang in a western situation style. Everybody is ready to fight.

Keeler : "These dogs are gonna die, now, we just open fire on them, we want them dead."

MC: OK, cool. Do you take cover or something? If you just stand there in the open it's probably not going to be fun.

[If no, that's a golden opportunity! Whatever else happens, they're taking harm, or more harm than they would otherwise, if yes...].

MC: OK, you open fire, you tell your gang to open fire. Dremmer and their gang dive for cover, and your gang does too. [some NPCs on both sides] are hit, but nothing decisive yet. What do you do?

Or: They dive for cover and are retreating in good order, covering each other. Your guys aren't breaking cover to chase them yet. You'll get some of them but not nearly all of them, at this rate. What do you do?

The answer to the next question can and probably should be framed in a SBF kind of way. Seize their cover, or maybe the variant where you hold on to something you have (you have tenuous hold of Dremmer and their people, but if you got decisive hold, they'd be surrounded, no way out).
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: lumpley on November 24, 2017, 02:33:36 PM
arak_ne: Right! If there are no other tactical considerations - no other objectives, no advantage of ground, just bloody battle Gangs of New York style - it's single combat. Keeler and Dremmer are using their gangs as weapons, no big deal.

-Vincent
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 24, 2017, 03:07:39 PM
^^^ This.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: lumpley on November 24, 2017, 03:22:29 PM
I guess Vincent can chime in here himself if he chooses, but I think this is intentional; if 7-9 always made the other person cave (with or without complications), then everyone would be going aggro all the time because it would be the easiest way to get people to do what you want. There are a number of moves where things are really only "good" for you on a 10+, and while the partial doesn't totally suck, it's 50-50 whether you can really call it a "success."

Here are two ways, of many, that it could go. I'm the MC. You just went aggro on Squiggy and hit with a 7-9.

One Way It Could Go
I choose to have Squiggy back off calmly, hands where you can see. "Squiggy backs off, like whoa, whoa, with his hands out in front of him," I say.

I'm satisfied that I've had my say. I've told you what Squiggy does, as allowed and required by the move. I honestly don't know whether you'll be satisfied with Squiggy's halfassed submission, and I'm curious to find out.

"What do you do?" I say.

"Hell with Squiggy and his backing away calmly," you say. "I shoot his face in."

Cool. I asked what you do and you told me. But...
Quote
And again, it's important to note that this is purely a narrative choice on the part of the MC to change up the fictional position of the characters involved because "I go aggro on him again" is pretty uninteresting...
I'm with you. I wouldn't call for you to go aggro again. Now you're not going aggro, you're suckering him at point blank range. You inflict your harm and in his last instants of life Squiggy regrets that he misjudged the situation like that.

I chose to have him back away with his hands up, not knowing whether he was forcing your hand, or caving, or what. I left that to be your call.

Another Way It Could Go
I choose to have Squiggy back off calmly, hands where you can see. "Squiggy backs off, like whoa, whoa, with his hands out in front of him," I say.

You're still looking at me like I'm not done talking, or else I decide that I'm not done talking yet, either way. So I choose an MC move and make it. I choose to turn your move back on you, in an appropriately soft way, and I keep talking:

"So yeah, you can see Squiggy's hands clear as day - and the giant fucking magnum in them that you didn't know he had is now pointed straight at you. And he's sidling backwards towards the door and saying, 'OK, now let's just all be cool and go our separate ways, right?' Now what do you do?"

Which Way Is Correct?
Both, of course. Any number of other ways, too.

I don't think that everyone should always play it one way OR the other. I think that you can settle which way you personally prefer to play it, if you must, but only for yourself, not for the rest of us. Or else you can take it case by case as it comes, which I'd recommend as more fun and flexible than pre-deciding.

Or, In Other Words
Once I've told you that Squiggy backs away calmly, hands where you can see, the move is done. We've played it out by the rules, in full, the end. You have gone aggro.

What do you or I say next? Go Aggro doesn't tell us. That's not Go Aggro's concern, it's outside of the move, it's my next move or your next move, snowballing.

-Vincent
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: hobbesque on November 24, 2017, 06:35:14 PM
arak_ne: Right! If there are no other tactical considerations - no other objectives, no advantage of ground, just bloody battle Gangs of New York style - it's single combat. Keeler and Dremmer are using their gangs as weapons, no big deal.

Vx cathedra! I stand corrected. :p

Some of my inclination to have groups of npcs not necessarily oblige the PCs in bloody battle was thinking that, playing them as people, they'd make it more complicated. But then again, they're not that complicated, sometimes.

I realized the other thing is that I might be biased against the single combat move. Thinking as a PC, seizing is much more advantageous - more choices, even on a miss (hence Ebok hacking it, I think?). My players seem to reach for it quickly, although that might be being more familiar with 1E. Also might might be a sign I should make them tell me what their character does, not what move they make, and take it from there.

Another source of bias is that I'm a fan of fiddly "on a 10+, choose X, on a 7-9, choose X-1..." moves, and zooming in on combat and tactics in general. I think the 2E battle moves as a whole are really neat and want to use 'em. Single combat has that cool decide-in-secret-to-keep-going element, but otherwise is pretty simple.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Paul T. on November 24, 2017, 07:14:41 PM
I really like Vincent's take here, both the explanation and the example. The first option he describes is pretty much exactly how we would play out that 'go aggro' situation at our table. (The NPC's choice to back off, hands up, is sort of a gamble - he's betting the PC doesn't actually want him dead. If he chose wrong, well, I'm looking at him through crosshairs, anyway, if he snuffs it, what is that to me?)

(If he wanted a safer option, I might interpret "barricade himself" more loosely, like jumping behind an overturned table and yelling from there: "Hey, man! Can't we settle this as friends?" It's important to me, though, that the PC gets some impact from their "go aggro" move; just having the NPC draw and turn the situation into a stalemate might feel like more of a miss. I'm a fan on the PC, after all, and he just took a serious risk by making the 'go aggro' move; on a 7-9 I want to make the impact of the move is felt.)

As for "seize by force" in that situation, I agree with the sentiments in the last post above mine:

* Generally speaking, let the fiction dictate the move chosen. If they're really just going head-to-head, then "inflict harm as established" or roll Single Combat, depending on how quick you want this to go.

* Ebok's variation of "seize by force" makes the choice between the two moves easier, since it's balanced mechanically.

* However, usually I want to describe the situation in more detail - who's where? Who's doing what? In that process, I pretty much always find that there's something the player wants. If he really wants to slaughter the enemy gang, it might be to "seize" the exit or their avenue of retreat, to surround them or cut them off. Are some of them inching back towards the bikes parked just downhill? Great, I'd like to stop cut them off from there - I'm seizing ground.

If the player decides that option isn't that important, fine, they don't have to choose it - they can suffer little harm, inflict terrible harm, and dismay their enemies (assuming they manage a 10+). But now we have a much more fictionally vivid situation and a more dynamic battleground (since we now know what might happen next, and what to expect if things don't go as planned).
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Borogove on November 25, 2017, 05:50:56 AM
The other thing about going ahead and shooting Squiggy here while he's backing away with his hands up is that anyone in the room with you when you do it knows that's the kind of thing you're willing to do. You can't credibly do the Mal Reynolds "you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed" thing after that. If you're good with that, fine, but depending on who you were before that, it might mean a permanent change to the status quo.

If Squiggy knew you were a bloodthirsty killer in the first place, he probably would have gone for "barricade himself", right? So whether it was Squiggy or the MC or the player himself who thought that backing off would keep him alive, well, someone learned an important lesson, something interesting happened.
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: arakn_e on November 25, 2017, 10:22:15 AM
Thank you all for your answers, my problem is solved.

It's crazy to see how many discussions a question can raise. And I could write a thesis about "How do I understand a extremely complex situation a very simple rule" :)
Title: Re: Seize by force - to kill
Post by: Munin on November 25, 2017, 06:19:18 PM
That's one of the things that's so cool (IMO) about Apocalypse World - its elegant simplicity encapsulates some really nuanced stuff going on under the hood. One of the recent discussions about seize by force was cool in this regard, because it highlighted situations in which MCs were doing very similar things but for slightly different reasons.