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Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by Ebok on June 22, 2018, 08:21:03 PM »
So it does. My bad.
No takers?

I'm just seeing this thread now. Without reading all the responses here, I *have* had this happen in a game. The player thought maybe he could just finesse taking over a hold without taking the associated improvement, and I never told him he couldn't make the attempt, but I did make it explicitly clear that he would not get barter from being in charge until he took the move ("What honesty demands"). Basically, I treated the whole thing as an invitation to make new threats, it was a lot of fun and I spent a great deal of time looking through crosshairs and responding with fuckery and intermittent rewards.

For example, he can say he's in charge, and if he's got a big gun people will be pushed around face-to-face, but as soon as he would leave the populace would plot against him and actively undermine his authority. He got fed up and started bombing buildings (he was a Driver with an APC) and that's when an open revolt occurred. By the end of it he took the improvement, but his holding had been decimated - mostly by him - so I told him he'd either have to have a small population or make his gang +savage. I forget what he took, but he spent the rest of the game regretting the rebellion he created.
Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by Munin on June 22, 2018, 02:48:59 PM »
Ebok, while I generally agree with the rest of your assessment, it's worth noting that the violation glove counts as both time and intimacy for the purposes of Brainer moves.
Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by Ebok on June 22, 2018, 03:41:40 AM »
You also asked why would someone ever take Direct Brain Whisper projection over Puppet Strings.

To be honest, there's a very different context during play as well. Imagine having your freedom stripped from you, pain or death planted inside of you that commands you obey someone. How would that make you feel? How might you treat the person that did that to you in the future?

Direct Brain whisper projection can be as simple as a hateful fucking glare, warning you not to go further. It doesn't always mean that this is a lasting offense, it's like threatening for real to hurt someone if they do that thing. This is as much an expression of seriousness as violence. Because I mean, instead of just hurting someone you're warning them off first, so it's actually asking them not to make you do it.

Do you see the difference in how these moves might be responded to IG?

Not only do you have contextually Direct Brain Whisper Projection reaps immediate rewards and is easy (therefore more widely applicable) to use, but depending on the circumstances, it also has much lower chance to causing real emotional damage or trauma.

Puppet Strings is seriously dark voodoo. People do not like being turned into puppets. Expect them to react accordingly once they get free.

Just as Important:
when you have time
Note this Line. Puppet strings cannot be done on the fly, it takes time to get into someone's brain. All the glove allows you to do is touch them as the intimate part of the trigger, but it still takes time. Thus the situations where you can use these moves have almost no overlap.
Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by Munin on June 21, 2018, 09:01:09 PM »
Yeah, that's generally my interpretation. "Hide this device in Rolfball's tank" or "At the end of your shift, turn off the shield-generator." That kind of thing. The coercive power of go agro is generally limited to being in someone's presence because its very trigger is predicated on doing immediate, one-sided violence to them. In-brain puppet strings has a much less immediate, much longer-term coercive effect.
Yeah, it's likely. Most of running AW is shades of interpretation, and like I said, the fiction is king.

My interpretation of the Hocus' followers comes from the fact that nowhere in the Hocus playbook, nor in the rules for Followers themselves in the GM section does it specify any of the tags associated with gangs: size, harm, and armor. In every context in which a "gang" appears, it has these things (and in order to be used as a weapon it has to). Between that and the description of "dedicated to you but not fanatical," that implies pretty strongly that this is not a combat force. They are disciples, not soldiers. Could you perhaps convince one of them to embark on a suicide mission or voluntarily give his or her life for a cause? Sure, go for it! But to fight as a cohesive group on your behalf? That's not immediately clear, and made less so by the fact that you have no associated tags to tell you what kind of a gang they might constitute.

And frenzy[/I just says a mob. The requirement that those be non-followers is never specified. Ergo, if you want to whip your followers into a frenzy of violence in order to act as though they were a gang, go for it. Just realize that unlike commanding an actual, dedicated gang, frenzy has its own requirements and drawbacks (i.e. you have to be speaking the truth, and there's the remote but very real chance the mob turns on you).
Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by ColdLogic on June 21, 2018, 07:42:35 PM »
Thanks. It seems the main difference as you see it hinges on the 'no matter the circumstances' clause, is that right? Its inclusion in puppet strings implies that the move is for down-the-road type commands, and is thus inappropriate for, say, 'get out of my way now' type stuff?

I think we're saying the same thing, except in the fiction of your games you decide to not have NPCs willing to fight and die for a PC unless the player takes the advance, while in mine I.. not 'do', but also am not opposed to it on principle. Either is fine. In the case I described above, by the time the question came up, it wouldn't have made sense to have the NPCs balk.

Not sure about your reading of the hocus. I haven't seen the hocus in action much (only had a few sessions with one), but it looks to me like frenzy is for a mob of non-followers. And the moves section explicitly calls out seize by force and the rules for gangs inflicting/taking harm. Seems to me like the playbook wants the hocus to be thinking about how to use their followers as a gang. I also note there's no advance to get a gang except the generic 'get a move from another playbook'. On the other hand, your followers are 'loyal to you, but not fanatical' by default. So like everything, it's up to the kind of personhood the MC gives each of them.
I don't think it's necessarily an issue of "being a Grinch" but rather one of what the interplay of mechanical and fictional effects might be. Not all groups of people are "gangs."

For instance, in the case of a Hardholder or a Chopper, you have a group of people who are dedicated to doing violence at your behest or on your behalf. But in the case of a Hocus, you have a group of people following you because of their beliefs, but who may have no interest in doing violence on your behalf. Your followers are expressly not a gang (unless you whip them up to it through the use of frenzy, which has its own risks and consequences).

So no, a rag-tag caravan of people following a Savvyhead around is not a gang. It's a motley group of people who figure you're their best ticket out of whatever misery they were in before. But the moment you tell them, "OK, I need you all to go over there and kill those guys," (i.e. use them like a weapon) they're likely to balk. Why? Because they're not a gang. They're just people, and in all likelihood people who don't want any trouble. Not everyone who lives in a hold is part of the Hardholder's gang. In fact the gang is usually a pretty small minority of a hold's population.

My advice is therefore a bit different from ColdLogic's, which is that you should make a distinction between "people who follow your lead" and "people willing to do violence for you," and that you should generally reserve the latter for people who felt that it was important enough to spend an advance on. The fiction is king, obviously, but it's important to keep the underlying game mechanics in mind in that fictional context.
Apocalypse World / Re: Brainer: Direct Brain Whisper vs In-brain Puppet Strings
« Last post by Munin on June 21, 2018, 05:57:04 PM »
While these moves do kind of the same thing (get someone else to do what you want them to do), they accomplish it by different methods and in different contexts. In the case of direct-brain whisper projection, you are putting the immediate whammy on someone. You make eye-contact and kapow! The effect is immediate, and is therefore limited to the immediate context; "Drop the weapon," or "Let the girl go," or "Give me the Loc-Nar." Further, the coercive nature of this move is also immediate. Once the person is out of your presence, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to do what you want them to do (just like any other use of go agro[/I] once the threat of immediate physical violence has passed).

In the case of in-brain puppet strings, however, you are planting a seed for future payoff. The phrase "no matter the circumstances" is important here. Time, distance, you name it - once that command has been planted, you have leverage over someone - they either do what you want (and thus discharge the hold), or you have carte blanche to mess with them (potentially lethally, in the case of NPCs). You don't have to be in their presence and the effect doesn't "expire." But the trick here is that the NPC is under no compunction to perform that command immediately, nor does the presence of that command prevent the NPC from otherwise acting counter to your interests (knowingly or unknowingly). Unlike the immediacy of go aggro (which is an attention-consuming, direct physical threat), the payoff for in-brain puppet strings is definitely best used "down the road."

Additionally, even with a violation glove, you'd still need to touch someone in order to pull off the latter move. With direct-brain whisper projection, they just need to be able to see you. That's a hell of a lot easier to pull off, and is useful in a much wider array of situations.
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