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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Paul T. on April 25, 2017, 08:03:20 PM »
Ebok,

I can definitely get on board with a re-imagining of AW combat where dangers are ubiquitous, and making moves is what we do to avoid them. In this paradigm, bad stuff happens, essentially, when *other* moves are failed. Seize by Force, instead, becomes a sort of "automatic success", at the cost of injury, lives lost, and so forth. In other words, when the PCs commit to violence, they are almost sure to get what they want, but they have to weigh the costs.

This could work particularly well with a game where something like my harm hack is in play, or a more battle-heavy, cinematic approach is used, so taking harm really matters. Your hack of the SBF move would also make outcomes a lot more variable in play, which I like. Your more aggressive approach to the harm move can be used to balance this, as well - if getting hurt could knock you out or otherwise cost you your success, again, this become less predictable.

All very interesting to ponder, in any case.

The one thing I'm not really seeing here is what changed for you when Vincent posted in the other thread about making moves in combat/battle. That seemed to make a big difference for you, and I'm not entirely sure I see why. Now that we've been through this whole discussion, might it be easier to illustrate that difference?

I'd love to see an example of an MC move you'd make in battle that you *wouldn't have* made under 1ed AW, and how that ties into all this. Any chance I could talk you into a (quick) example of that?



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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Ebok on April 25, 2017, 01:49:45 AM »
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I suppose I find it a little strange to consider a version of AW where failure is never (or rarely) an option. For instance, taking the tense car chase in the canyon, I'd like to occasionally have the PCs, you know, lose the race, or end up behind the other vehicle.
Failing is an always an option. You're still allowed to do everything you could in AW1, including making something horrible happen to them when they miss as they definitely seize their target, such as blowing out a tire, denting something important, sucking up a bunch of rocks into the engine, having the guys behind them take out a gun and blow holes into their car as they force their way through. Just cause they get what they want, does not mean they'll enjoy the position it puts them in. When they choose to seize something by force, damage is a foregone conclusion, not something they get to avoid. This applies to the mechanic harm they suffer, but it also applies to the stakes of the fictional battle. There is no base option to come out unscathed.

btw, Harm can absolutely cost you your option. Munin and I disagree here a bit. I wouldn't counter their choice casually, but the harm move has every right to take whatever they got away from them. If the harm move renders them unconscious, for example, you are certainly not going to give them what they seized, (but they did get it, before said KO) and them seizing something does not provide immunity of the results of the harm roll. The seize by force happens, and the harm is yet another roll with its own seperate consequences.

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It's true that this can be achieved by using other moves, but I have a fairly "naturalistic" view of AW, and I wouldn't want to be choosing moves based on dramatic interests (for instance, choosing one move over another because it seems interesting to me to have a chance of failure present in the stakes of the scene; I much prefer to let the fiction and the players' choices dictate which moves get called into play).
Again, you're missing something. I was never suggesting picking a different move because of dramatic interests. I was saying, pick the correct move base on what's actually at stake to begin with. If it's a race, even one where people might be making contact with their cars, act under fire is more appropriate them seize by force. If you're trying to kill each other with your cars, or you guns and your cars at the same time, then act under fire is not the best option. This is very naturalistic to me. If you're going to steal a suitcase, and the only thing at stake is whether you get out with it or not, then seize by force (which is predicated on you going to war over said item) is probably not good option, let alone the most natural.

Going to Battle for something vs Doing something dangerous.

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Unless I'm missing something, when we get into a battle move situation, the unpleasant fictional outcomes at stake in a given scene will only take place if the players choose to have them happen, or if the PCs run down their harm clocks and/or fail harm move rolls and we choose appropriately for them.
You could not be more wrong. When going into battle, the the unpleasant fictional outcomes are all but guaranteed. They will only avoid coming into play with concerted effort from multiple characters acting together. (using moves to prevent enemies from acting, removing a threat as it acts, safe guarding an allies dangerous action, etc)
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Paul T. on April 24, 2017, 05:51:45 AM »
Ok, cool! What is it?
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Ebok on April 24, 2017, 04:09:27 AM »
You're missing something.
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Paul T. on April 23, 2017, 03:56:07 PM »
Ok, pretty interesting. That's a good explanation!

It's awkward to consider, for me, because I think that's the way I play already. All those examples just sound like normal AW play at my table.

(Unless you mean that you *make up* stuff like bullets flying around, even when the fiction wouldn't normally require that - but I'd be very surprised if you did.)

I suppose I find it a little strange to consider a version of AW where failure is never (or rarely) an option. For instance, taking the tense car chase in the canyon, I'd like to occasionally have the PCs, you know, lose the race, or end up behind the other vehicle.

It's true that this can be achieved by using other moves, but I have a fairly "naturalistic" view of AW, and I wouldn't want to be choosing moves based on dramatic interests (for instance, choosing one move over another because it seems interesting to me to have a chance of failure present in the stakes of the scene; I much prefer to let the fiction and the players' choices dictate which moves get called into play).

Unless I'm missing something, when we get into a battle move situation, the unpleasant fictional outcomes at stake in a given scene will only take place if the players choose to have them happen, or if the PCs run down their harm clocks and/or fail harm move rolls and we choose appropriately for them.
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Munin on April 22, 2017, 03:29:16 PM »
I disagree with Ebok slightly, in that I still think SBF is a valid "go-to" option if you want to fight over a thing. I think the difference between AW1 and AW2 in this regard is as follows:

Under AW1, if you tried to grab the briefcase and rolled a miss, you just plain didn't grab it, and bad things probably happened as a result.

Under AW2, if you tried to grab the briefcase and rolled a miss, you can still choose to grab it, but by even choosing to make the SBF move in the first place, you are now "in battle," and bad things were going to happen whether you succeeded or failed.

So as the MC under AW2, I might look at a player's miss (with them choosing to take definite hold of the briefcase) and say, "Great! Bullets fly and you dash forward, killing the guy who was holding the case. You bend down and grab it, you absolutely have hold of it. But now you realize that bullets are still flying and you're standing in the open like a dope. What do you do?"

This is functionally identical to the MC putting someone in a spot, but here's the catch: in AW1, this was typically the result of a miss. In AW2, it is automatic and comes as a result of invoking SBF in the first place. So sure, you may be able to get what you want on a miss, but in doing so you are putting yourself in a spot whether you succeed or fail.

See the difference?

I also think the MC needs to me a little more judicious about what "take definite hold of it" really means. It's not a case of "I kill all these dudes and grab the case and get away clean." The sense I get is that the AW2 "battle" situation means that the things the PCs might want to seize hold of are more granular in nature. In the above example, that means getting your hand on the case - that's it. You're not out of the fight, and may in fact be in a worse tactical position now than you were before - regardless of success or failure.
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Ebok on April 22, 2017, 01:41:40 AM »
Yup.

I had no intention of "solving" the changes the AW2 Battle's system. Didn't attempt even it.
So if you were looking for that in this Hack, then you're not going to find it.

I see those circumstances taking place after I threaten the PC with them, and the PC fails to avoid it / cannot avoid it (entirely) / will not avoid it. However, Seize by Force is not a Basic move anymore, it's part of being "in battle". If you're not in battle, and what you're doing isn't resembling battle, then you're better off using one of the many other moves to get what you're going for. AW2 Battle has large focus on HP Skill and Damage (in the context of the fiction), which should not be surprising in any RPG game. Yes, there is no default you failed absolutely in seize by force anymore, so you'll have to stop thinking in those terms.

If your going to take a briefcase, it's not probably not seize by force. It might be act under fire. If they're not already shooting at you, then it might be Go Aggro (grabbing it under the threat of force). It might be talking them into giving it to you. All of these basic moves have the same miss condition you're used to.

Seize by force does not. Why? Because if this breaks into full out war over a briefcase, it's not over when you grab it. It's not happening in isolation from the rest of the environment's snowballs. It's opening up a willful exchange of harm between both parties with real repercussions. A snatch and grab is not seize by force. Seize by Force in AW2 has more narrative inertia then the basic moves now, it takes a bit more to get it happening and it rolls that way awhile before you can change it back.

If you used to use seize by force whenever someone wanted a thing, you'll have to get out of that habit. It now means go to war for something. The act of going to war, means that despite them "getting what they want" even on a miss, you're already pitching harder at them and it isn't done yet.
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Paul T. on April 21, 2017, 09:20:21 PM »
Good example, Munin.

You're absolutely right: we never used the 1E battle moves, so what you're describing as the "2E way" in your example is how we played all along.

Now, as far as the larger discussion is concerned, here is what I am trying (and failing to understand):

When we play AW, we have tense situations and conflicts. We resolve many of these "freeform" (by negotiation of the fiction, and the regular conversation of play as well as MC moves), but some of them call for us to make player-side moves, as well.

In any given conflict or tense situation, there are the things the PCs want. Generally speaking, they can get those things by fictional positioning, by the MC handing it to them on her move, or by rolling well on a move (and picking the appropriate choices).

For instance, if I want to get my hands on a suitcase, I can arrange to distract the people guarding it (establishing that it's unguarded) and then grab it, get it because circumstances played into my hands (e.g. another PC or NPC killed all the guards and left it there), or I can try to get it against opposition. In the latter case, the MC might decide to give it to me (e.g. the NPC trades it for something, perhaps), or I can make a move to get it.  If I roll a move, the right outcomes (which usually require a good roll) will give me possession of the suitcase.

However, there are also (usually) bad outcomes in the equation: things the PCs do not want. In my reading of AW (1E, although the text remains in 2E), those bad outcomes take place in the same way: by fictional positioning (the PCs hand it to the MC on a silver platter, in other words), or on a missed roll.

In our examples, those bad outcomes might include taking harm from the enemy, losing the suitcase to an adversary, or losing the clifftop chase and being pushed off the road.

Basically, when a move exists which is fictionally appropriate and allows the players to push towards their desired outcome, in a conflict-laden situation, the dice are going to come out sooner or later. Although the design of moves varies (as do MC moves), usually the PCs can get what they want on a good roll, and the MC has the prerogative to bring a bad outcome to bear on a poor roll.

With the new SBF move, it seems to me that the players have the option to "get what they want" regardless of the roll. This is odd. (This hack mitigates that somewhat by allowing the hold to be contested.)

Under the new rules, when do the "bad outcomes" take place? Under what circumstances do you take harm from the enemy, lose the suitcase to an adversary, or lose the clifftop chase and get pushed off the road?

I can see this:

* The PCs hand the MC a golden opportunity. (Like breaking cover while under suppressive fire.)
* The PCs take harm in the process, and the harm move's results suggest the "bad outcome" is the logical outcome. (Munin has said that he would not choose those options that invalidate the move being made, however, and I agree with that in principle, so maybe this isn't really a valid option.)

Aside from that, it seems to come down to calculus of harm:

* The PC's harm clock fills up and they "die". (The rules don't seem to specify exactly how this works, so they could be interpreted to say that the PC still gets what they want, but I think most groups won't play it that way.)
* The PCs are not willing to face any more harm, so they decide not to make the move in the first place (or decide not to choose those options in favour or reducing harm, instead).

This hack seems to keep those features, except making it more costly for the players. (Since you can still choose 1 on a miss, the difference is just in whether the hold is contested and in how bad the harm is.)

Do you agree with this analysis, or not?

Under what circumstances do you see the undesirable outcomes (whether mechanical, like suffering harm, or fictional, like being forced off the road) taking place? Did I cover them for you, or not?
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Apocalypse World / Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Last post by Munin on April 21, 2017, 08:38:07 PM »
If you never used the AW1 battle moves, the "difference" in AW2 is probably academic. If you did use them (which we did, frequently), it will "feel" different. Let me give you an example:

AW1: You're in a pitched fight, and the battle is in full-swing (after 9:00 on the battle clock). You've gotten to a particular position and the MC has narrated that the opposition knows where you are. There's a guy with an assault rifle laying down covering fire on your position. On the next clock tick, you take 3-harm (before you do anything else) because that's what the mechanics demand. Once the ramifications of that damage are out of the way, you are free to do whatever it is you want to do - if you're willing to stand up in a hail of bullets and seize by force, go for it. You'll expose yourself to more harm, but maybe it's worth it to accomplish your objectives.

AW2: You're in a pitched fight, and the battle is in full swing. You've gotten to a particular position and the MC has narrated that the opposition knows where you are. There's a guy with an assault rifle laying down covering fire on your position. Further, the MC makes it clear that standing up right now entails getting shot, regardless of what else you do. Maybe you say, "Fuck it, I need to kill these assholes," and move to seize by force. But before you can even make that roll, the MC says "Cool, but first take 3-harm and make the harm move for me." You have taken that harm because that's what the fiction demands. Once the ramifications of that damage are out of the way, you're free to roll+Hard, because you're attempting to seize your opponent's position (which is itself going to entail taking more harm).

The difference is subtle, but in AW1, you know going in that you're going to take damage every tick. The MC can narrate how or why, but the damage mechanic is, well, mechanical. In AW2, you only know that battle is dangerous, and that you will be exposed to harm from a variety of sources. The MC can and should narrate how and why, and let those descriptions "snowball" into trouble for the PCs. When the MC says, "Sure, you can stand up into a hail of bullets and try to gun these dudes down, but they're going to get in some shots on you before you can even bring your weapon to bear," what he or she is really doing is presenting an opportunity, very much with a cost. Taking damage is a precondition to the PC making his or her move because it is fictionally appropriate.

This is a different thing than simply relying on the "trading harm as established" clause of SBF, and reflects the fact that "in battle" is a dangerous place.
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Because you can't know what's going through the players' heads, PbtA games give you mechanics to drive the story based on what the players show an interest in (as reflected through their moves, questions, etc) rather than what the GM thinks might be cool. The GM still populates the world with believable monsters and NPCs, but the players have much more control over how they engage with the fiction in a PbtA game than they might in a more traditional RPG. If you've run a lot of very "sandboxy" games/settings in the past, this may not feel like as much of a change. But if you've never played a game that gives the players as much low-level agency over the direction of the story, it's a huge shift.
This perfectly encapsulates why I've been loving PbtA games so much. By not prepping very much, you keep the story tightly bound to the interests of the players, and also can have very little idea what is going on as GM. In D&D (as the DMs I've played under do it, at least), when somebody does something, they consult their prep and, half the time answer with "Well, you don't accomplish anything". They knew everything that was going on, and whatever the player did failed to be related. In anything PbtA, a player investigating X should cause X to be important in some way. Which creates a vastly more pacy experience in which every player is guaranteed to feel as involved regardless of the quality of their ideas or rolls. It also allows you to truly "play to find out what happens" and have a story spill forth from the dregs you actually planned, which is incredibly exciting.

The main purpose of the rules is allowing you to keep things moving in a fun direction, where you'd have no clue how to do so otherwise. I think this might tie into some of the problems I'm seeing here? Because that is the main purpose of the GM rules in every PbtA game -- to provide direction without prep -- not to restrain or limit.
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