Paul T, if you check out the start of our 12page Seize by Force thread, you'll see that I've been playing with the choose 1 and expect the worst
for my last couple of games. I have many examples there, and it clearly worked. However, over the course of that I bought into some of the 2e design, and realize that the previous pattern was playing into some of my bad habits.
1.) Munin is right. PvP + unexperienced MC might do strange and hacky feeling things here.
I know I did when I first started and we had misses in PvP. Sure we can just ignore
the clause when its a problem.
2.) But wait, we can ignore
it too if there doesn't happen to be a good hard move to make against NPCs, or maybe we just want it to end there. Such as if the enemy is dead either way, and there's nothing else around, or if another player was following up with something battle ending anyway.
3.) We should make hard and direct moves when the character provides us with a golden opportunity, whether that's following a hit or miss. Most misses are golden opportunities anyway, even without the clause.
That's why I tend to be in the "pick 1 and prepare for the worst" camp - because I'm probably going to fuck with you on a miss anyway. At least this way everyone involved knows it's coming. ;)
My bad habit was this: I got into the pattern where I exclusively
made hard moves only on a miss. Then my players saw the clause on a miss, and we all thought, okay, the MC doesn't make a move on a hit. So we had many battles that were "brushed over" on a very high level, because a 7+ means they won, and a miss means they lost. That was our AW1 pattern (right or wrong we started it because of the moves)
Adding the choose 1 on a miss when I started Aw2 actually worked out fine. I still made a hard move on a miss, but they still got at least something out of it. Many of the battle moves dont actually talk about the Player risking harm either, giving us the impression that they only took harm on the seize by force. That was not a good pattern, we solved it by scrapping all of them entirely. Turns out, if I had just realized I could be hard when I should be hard fictionally, we never would have had these issues.
I was talking about this with one of my players after the other discussion. He told he that he honestly had more fun when he missed, because everything got exciting. The hard moves putting characters in peril made things more fun. Huh. Maybe reserving that for misses (especially in a group that might rarely miss) is a bad idea.conclusion:
If 1, 2, and 3 are true, then be prepared for the worst is basically just flavor text reminding us to spice it up by prompting our players into looking to us for a move.
4.) My group didn't notice or care about hitting a 10+ on seize by force. It was a gimme move. We always wanted 7-9 to feel more half and half, rather than auto success. It was an issue from the very first time we played and continued without a good answer through my last game. This hack provides this.
a.) Opposed rolls work with this move already.
b.) It doesn't give anyone the impression the battle will not turn deadly on a 7+
c.) It provides some descriptive agency to a 7-9 option, in a familiar act under fire pattern
d.) It boosts the importance of a higher Hard when seizing by force for 2e.
e.) It falls in line with the same pattern as the other battles moves for 2e.
f.) It contains a miss criteria that is the only thing we lost out on by removing "be prepared for the worst".
Overall, that's why I like it. Could it be better? Absolutely, we should have different battle moves and a different armor / harm setup entirely that could set up more nuanced fights, but for a high level move, seize by force has always been pretty effective in my fiction.