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Messages - Munin

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Yeah, that makes sense. FWIW, I'm a "bloody fingerprints" kind of a guy when it comes to a 7-9 on act under fire; Yes, you'll get what you needed, but with consequences that you probably didn't want. I'm also a fan of occasionally putting failure to achieve your goal as one half of the "ugly choice," as it's interesting to drop a big ol' "OK, but what's it really worth to you to accomplish this?" in front of the players and see what they do.

Not really. I mean, like anything else it largely depends on your goal/intention when grabbing them from behind. Furthermore, just because you grab someone doesn't automatically mean you control them. Gods know I've studied martial arts long enough to know that grabbing someone is usually only a brief prelude to getting your ass kicked. Even if someone's not actually trying to hurt you, the way they generally flail about trying to break your hold means they're all hip-checks and stepping on you and flying elbows, and if you're not careful you're likely to get clocked regardless of their (or your) intent.

Ebok, I think it boils down to the fact that I'm not a fan of making 0-Harm attacks. It feels like a lame way to bring Hard into the equation, which seems kind of cheap considering that Hard is literally a measure of how willing you are to inflict bodily harm to get what you want. If you're not inflicting any Harm - indeed have no intention of inflicting Harm - then that's doesn't really read as "Hard" to me, which takes the Hard-based moves more or less off the table.

That said, I do agree with Ebok whole-heartedly in that I think the issue is one of what's at stake. I also think that's where clearly determining the PC's intent should happen as well.

And yes, part of the issue is "what happens after," right? OK, so what if you can stop Dremmer from going through the door? Does that give the quarry time to get away? Or does it just kick the can down the road a minute or two and Dremmer is still in a homicidal fury?

If delaying Dremmer by grappling - with the intention of not hurting him - gives the quarry time to get away, then sure, this seems like a good fit for act under fire. 10+ you do it, by the time Dremmer breaks free the quarry has vanished. 7-9, you get the standard worse outcome (you slow Dremmer down a little bit, but he slips out or your grasp quickly enough that the chase is still on, though in another location and certainly under different circumstances), hard bargain (Yeah, you manage to restrain Dremmer long enough for the quarry to make a clean get-away, but he fucking bites you in the process - have some Harm, chuckle-head), or ugly choice (You can stop Dremmer long enough for the quarry to make a clean get-away, but you'll actually have to inflict Harm on him to do so - do you want to? Also, hope you're not merciless; oh shit, you are). 6-, you probably get popped/bitten/thrown and Dremmer gets his hands on the quarry while you're still seeing stars.

But if there's no where for the quarry to go, what you're actually talking about isn't slowing Dremmer down, but changing his mind, and that's a whole different kettle of fish. As I see it, your options are to a) throw Dremmer a serious enough beat-down that he re-thinks his position (and whether or not he's willing to fight you back determines whether this is go aggro or sieze by force) or b) convince him that there is a better time/place/method/opportunity to handle whatever his beef with the quarry may be, which is classic manipulation. This might be a tough sell, and as the MC I'd be pretty fucking specific about having the PC establish just what leverage he or she might have over ol' Dremmer. You might be robbing Peter to pay Paul, and I'd probably pretty brutal about what constitutes the "concrete assurance" required to get Dremmer to stand down if the PC managed only a 7-9.

I don't understand how cool would even work here. You've not described anything that would have the stakes for a cool move.
I disagree completely. Cool is keeping your nerve while you're trying to restrain Dremmer and he fucking bites you. Cool is not escalating the situation and accidentally killing him because he pissed you off. HE's the fire, not you.

For me the breakdown is easy - if you're willing (and able) to inflict Harm (actual, honest-to-god Harm, not some milquetoast base-0-Harm bullshit), then sure, you can seize by force. But understand that even inflicting the bare-handed 1-Harm on an NPC means you had to literally beat Dremmer half to death to keep him from going through that door. Fucker just would not stay down. That can (and should) have consequences.

But if you're trying to avoid Harm all the way around? Nah, man, that's Cool. As in, "hoping that cooler heads prevail." There's nothing that says that Cool can't involve physical contact or violence, but in my opinion it's the ultimate intent behind what you're trying to achieve (i.e. hurting or not hurting Dremmer as you keep him outside) that matters most.

P.S. Going Aggro with 0-harm is LOL, and should be treated as such. It's a bad bluff, at best. So hard. Player clearly doesnt want whatever they're doing enough. That said, I've had go aggro rolled on blackmail, do this OR I"LL TELL! And thats works out fine.
I disagree again. If there's no immediate violence on offer, that's not go aggro, that's manipulate, if for no other reason than that it's funny to watch Tough Guys (TM) have to roll+Hot.

perhaps an adaptation of the Child Thing?

Apocalypse World / Re: Rules for Embodied Tabletop Play
« on: January 18, 2018, 09:01:50 PM »
I once ran a freeform game for some friends during a camping trip, I think there were 5 players. I had each one create a character (high concept framework, one great "attribute," one poor "attribute," and three "skills" or things they were good at). So for example, the "Xenobiologist" was and inquisitive bookworm with good intelligence and poor courage, who was good at bio-science, computers, and math. Easy.

I then had each player come up with a character secret and tell it to the person on their left, including how that person knew their secret. So the Xenobiologist was herself an alien-hybrid, and the Cyborg knew because he had been her bodyguard since she had started working for "The Lab."

Finally, once they were all finished, I had each person pass their character to the person on their right, at which point we began play.

Everyone loved that twist, and we had a blast.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: January 08, 2018, 09:31:43 PM »
I feel you, but given the short-term nature of your parameters, you need something around which to focus. Also, don't think of it as "the plot," because it's not. You're using the stuff you all brainstormed at the beginning, you're just advancing some part of that to the forefront in terms of the Threat you're posing to the players.

There will absolutely be stuff that ends up on the cutting-room floor, but that's true of every good story. Don't sweat it, and better yet, sock some of those cool tidbits away for later (re)use.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: January 08, 2018, 04:47:07 AM »
Oh, OK, I see the issue more clearly now.

I think presenting the PCs with a "Big Bad" early on would probably help. Give them something that touches on the stuff you brainstormed for the beginning of the session, but whose "countdown" clock is fairly accelerated and whose stages are suitably obvious and dire. That's sort of not how AW is best, but in terms of focusing the scope of the game and engaging your PCs, it certainly works. I often do that for one-shots and convention games, simply because you don't have time to go full-immersion and build from the ground up.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: January 07, 2018, 04:50:34 PM »
So, the game was enjoyable in retrospect, but felt a little bit difficult in the moment for me. I think we didn't establish enough connections from the PCs to all the stuff we brainstormed, so we're doing it on the fly.
There's another way to do it?

I kid, but only slightly. Especially with new players, they'll never have a "fully fleshed out" character idea, and they'll never have scads of connections to NPCs from the jump. But that stuff's not hard to build up, and the easiest way to do it is to simply ask one (or more) of the players a simple (and provocative!) question or two about every NPC you introduce. One important caveat here is to make the assumption going in that the PC knows the NPC and there's some history there. All you need to do is ask the player some stuff about that history on the fly and build off their answers.

So if you introduce Dremmer the Arms Dealer, say something like, "So if anybody needs guns or bullets in this gods-forsaken hole, they go to Dremmer. In addition to her top-notch inventory, she is known for her crazy eyes and bad attitude, and now she's pounding on your door. What happened between the two of you last time you met? And what does she want now?" This approach is likely to produce instant action or character development or both.

Also, connections to stuff you brainstormed don't actually need to be pre-existing; they can be developed in-play, and in many cases that's actually better because it is active on the part of the players (i.e. they have chosen to engage with it). This is where the important MC skill of observing your players comes in - with what or whom do they choose to interact (e.g. which people and situations do they choose to read)? When their moves present them with choices, which choices do they make and what does that say about how they view the world?

Don't overthink it, and don't feel like you need to tie absolutely everything together from the beginning to "motivate" the PCs. Just present them with engaging NPCs and situations they can't ignore and watch which direction they jump.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:14:47 AM »
Excellent example, thanks. Very clear! (Except for the switch from Domino to Diamond, which threw me for a second, but no biggie.)
What switch? (he says, having edited his post...)   ;D

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: December 27, 2017, 08:08:08 PM »
Your final paragraph about using a PC-NPC-PC triangle for this purpose is along the right lines, I think, but I'm not sure exactly what you're describing. Can you explain a little more, or illustrate with an example?
Sure, how about the following:

Our PCs are Diamond (the Chopper) and Bish (the Angel). We know from the Hx round that Bish once stood up to Diamond, gang and all. The questions asked about it at the time have established that Bish was doing some do-gooder shit, and kept Diamond and her gang from killing a group of sick travelers who'd showed up at the hold's gates last summer. We also know that the standoff did not end in violence between Bish and Diamond, (as neither opted for a beatdown), but that's it.

So we throw an NPC into this mix, let's call him Dog-Head. Dog-Head is (now) one of Diamond's more dependable lieutenants, but back then he was just another fucking savage in the pack. So we start a scene with both Diamond and Bish, only Dog-Head's there as an extra. We describe him as sullen and testy and looking obvious daggers at Bish. Maybe he doesn't say anything, maybe he does, that's up to them if they decide to engage with him (Diamond if she says, "what's your problem, asshole?" or Bish if he says, "something I can help you with, Dog-Head?" or whatever). Let the tension simmer and see what they do with it.

But even if they don't (or maybe even if they do), once they part ways, Dog-Head finds a way to corner Bish afterwards, and he's clearly pissed. He says something like, "I don't know what the fuck you have over Diamond, but I haven't forgotten your little episode with those fucking plague-riddled scavs you let in last summer."  <--Here's your chance to ask more about how that situation went down, what did Bish do to convince Diamond to back off? Then maybe put your bloody fingerprints on it: "Jalopy would still be alive if you hadn't brought that shit home to roost." Maybe announce some future badness (both for Bish and for Diamond)? "Diamond might be too weak to put you down, but sooner or later I'm gonna get me some payback. Believe it. In fact, give me one good reason why I shouldn't gut you right here, right now?"

How Bish deals with Dog-Head here (what he says, what he does, how they interact) is going to inform that situation, and is ultimately going to inform the historical situation between Bish and Diamond as well. Similarly, how Diamond deals with Dog-Head threatening Bish is going to add further detail - like who is more important to Diamond, Bish or Dog-Head?

And because the original situation chosen during Hx didn't result in a fight, that probably meant that Diamond had to impose her will on her gang, which might have left some simmering resentments - it certainly has for Dog-Head! - which is in turn going to inform the situation between Diamond and her gang.

Best of all, it encourages the players to talk about the situation, both in and out of character. Everything they say is going to flesh out and reinforce their history.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: December 27, 2017, 02:59:00 PM »
Does anyone have a favourite trick, scene type, or formula for learning more about the PCs in a more play-active fashion?
I'm always a little careful with flashback scenes - if your players are anything like mine, they seem drawn to doing things in flashbacks that break causality. In the game where the Psychic Maelstrom had something to do with time being broken that was great, but in most cases it just causes headaches.

But if you want to learn more about the PCs' histories with each other, I find that the PC-NPC-PC triangles are a good place to start, because chances are good that someone else was present when that thing that happened in the past went down, and how they interact with that person/those people now informs their past. It also lets you barf some apocalyptica into the history, which is always worth doing.

Apocalypse World / Re: Crow's Flats: Skyfall - A Scenario and brief AP
« on: December 26, 2017, 04:21:56 PM »
I'd be interested to hear more from this mini-campaign. Let us know how the follow-up sessions go.

Apocalypse World / Re: The Contaminated
« on: December 16, 2017, 12:28:09 AM »
... and the MaestroD brings food.
Point of Order! My Maestro'D is going to bring Fight Club.  8)

Apocalypse World / Re: The Contaminated
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:49:17 PM »
This kind of impulse that's out of the player's full control is one of the reasons I've always loved the Hoarder playbook so much. And in our last game that included one, the Hoarder very much became a PC villain, which brought a really fun dynamic to the table. Hilariously, multiple people ended up playing the Hoarder - as he kept getting killed, the semi-sentient horde would pick a new avatar, so when someone had a "pick a second playbook" or "change playbooks" option open, on the dance went. It wasn't until they managed to find the Hoard, kill the Hoarder, and set fire to the Hoard itself that they were able to put an end to its meddling. It was awesome.

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