Author Topic: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move  (Read 10085 times)

nemomeme

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Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« on: June 29, 2010, 04:19:08 PM »
In the extended play example on p156, after the MoC makes his grenade move and Marie takes harm, she sets off her pain-wave projector and does 1 harm area loud to Church Head, Whackoff, and Plover.  She "does it" but she doesn't have to roll for it.  Is that a mistake or did the MoC decide in this instance that she doesn't have to roll for it because he was already looking at them through crosshairs?  She's normally need some kind for roll there, yeah?

lumpley

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 04:41:01 PM »
Well, not really, no. I mean, if she's making a move, she should obviously make the move, but "to inflict harm, you have to make a move" isn't one of Apocalypse World's rules.

At that moment, you have to judge whether she's making a move. It'd be legit to say, for instance, that she was acting under fire to seize by force, or whatever. But my judgment in that moment was that setting off her pain-wave projector was just, like, a thing she did with her thumb while she was curled there in the rubble of her room, like checking her watch would be.

Setting off a pain-wave projector, in other words, is basically like turning on a bathtub faucet or starting a car. You do it, and it does what it does. Maybe it's part of a move, maybe it isn't, case by case by case.

-Vincent

nemomeme

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 05:18:54 PM »
Hmmm... My Brainer's gotta get me one of those.  (I took receptivity drugs and the glove)

Thanks for the response.  It makes sense to me but I suspect these kinds of situational calls are going to make restless one or two of the more traditional players I plan to try to run AW for at some point.  I think there's enough trust there that it will be okay though.

So hanging off of a speeding semi and shooting the tire on a weaving motorcycle with a pistol is always going to be some kind of roll but maybe there's no roll for even a pistol if the fiction has the attacker having gotten the drop on their stationary target who has no cover and is maybe fifteen feet away?  Case by Case.

John Harper

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 05:42:48 PM »
Yep.

Depends on who you are and what you want, too. Tavi the battlebabe has the wastelander dead to rights, and you just want that fucker dead? Probably I say you just do it. Pull the trigger, blam.

Oh, but you're playing Marshall the soft-hearted operator who never pulls his gun on nobody? Then you're acting under fire first, and the fire is your own respect for life.

Someone else, maybe they're going aggro. Depends on who you're shooting, too. A stone-cold dangerous killer, a frightened water-digger, a steely-eyed manipulator, all different.

fnord3125

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 06:38:56 PM »
Hmmm... how does this concept of "I've got him dead to rights, so pull the trigger, BLAM, he's dead," mesh up with the example(s? I'm pretty sure I saw it more than once) of "I'm going aggro and what I want is for you to bleed and die"?

lumpley

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 07:07:24 PM »
It's all about the immediate circumstances. You have to judge: is Marie going aggro, or is she just setting off her pain-wave generator? Is Tavi going aggro, or is she just shooting the guy?

Weapons aren't magically move-only. They're just appliances. It's not always going aggro to set your remote brain relay down next to someone, for instance, but sometimes it is.

Asking the player can help you judge, if it's not already clear to you and you want the player's input.

-Vincent
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 07:09:45 PM by lumpley »

lumpley

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 07:21:06 PM »
Should I also say?

The danger that you'll get it wrong in the moment is slight.

The consequences of getting it wrong in the moment are super slight. You can correct yourself trivially: "oh hold on, he's not dead yet, you're going aggro. Roll+hard." In the worst case, you don't correct yourself, and some NPC who might have died, did die. Oh well!

There's no reason to find this moment of judgment distressing. It's not like messing up the resolution rules of Dogs in the Vineyard or (worse!) In a Wicked age. The game's rules' structure doesn't hinge on your correct judgment of whether Marie's going aggro or not. It's just a fraction of a second of play, with some possible consequences that were always the possible consequences anyway.

-Vincent

John Harper

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 08:42:43 PM »
Oh, that's good. Huh. That's why it's so easy at the table? Whaddya know.

Elizabeth

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 12:21:54 AM »
So my Operator, Lafferty, got kidnapped by Gams, the legless madam in the bad part of the Luxor who had it out for Lafferty's boyfriend Rose. As soon as Lafferty figured out that she was bait to draw Rose into a trap, she started disavowing any relationship with Rose, saying they got into a big fight, etc. Lafferty makes a bunch of moves and botches them all— convincing Gams to let her go, trying to stab Gams with her bootknife, etc.

Lafferty's beaten within an inch of her life and she starts laughing. She tells Gams that Rose still loves her— she hopes he still loves her, anyway— and that he is not going to come down here to get her. He is going to find out what happened, and be so angry that there's no way Gams could possibly kill him. He'd be too pissed to die, and instead, Gams will probably die verrrry slowly and painfully.

Gams kicks Lafferty in the ribs. "You bitch! I could kill you right now."

Lafferty leans in and spits. "Do it."

..Vincent shrugs at me. "She kills you? I guess?"

I'm like, "Yeah, sounds right. That was awesome. Can I be a savvyhead now?"

I never noticed until this thread that there wasn't actually a roll on the MC's part to kill my character. I don't really care, either. It went wonderfully. But it's the kind of thing that if you just say— oh, the MC got to kill my character outright without rolling— it'd piss people off. But the mechanics fit the fiction; it just made sense. My character had nothing to lose, Gams had nothing to gain, nothing was stopping Gams and nothing would have allowed Lafferty to live.

lumpley

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 12:29:30 AM »
We were tracking harm -- I don't remember if you were marking it on your sheet, but either way I was tracking it in my head -- and you didn't die until 12:00, but yeah, no roll at the end there. My move was to inflict harm, and I did, and that was that.

-Vincent

caitlynn

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 06:11:23 AM »
This isn't clicking for me - strangely, though, I've made these very same judgments. In a fight we had last session, it didn't count as someone's move for the tick to move a short distance before they laid the pain on someone (their actual move). One of the players expressed that, theoretically, the movement towards the target should count as the action for the tick, but I said, No, it's just moving, it's not that far.

Kind of the same as saying, No, using the projector is just a thing you do with your thumb, you can do something else now.

But I still don't get why. I guess there's a discomfort there because I don't get what I'm supposed to be judging as my case-by-case criteria? It seems autonomous and I think maybe there's a rhythm to it that needs to be picked up, but I'll be damned if I could explain how it works to a new MC.

Chris

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 12:53:25 PM »
I think it's because we're used to roleplaying until the character "does something", which requires a roll.

All the dice are is a way to simulate the thousands of variables a game can't account for. If there are no variables, i.e. I throw you off a cliff or shoot you when you're tied up, there is no need to roll. Nothing is random about that situation. You're just dead.

Now, play a savvyhead. They're awesome.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Tim Ralphs

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 12:55:32 PM »
Reading that example was a massive breakthrough for me. I mean, I'd skimmed it when I first read the book, but I hadn't twigged what actually happened until I re-read it about half-way through the first game. Then a whole bunch of stuff suddenly made sense, like the riddle of how to run for a Battlebabe with a sniper rifle.

Keith, have you considered that, moment by moment, it's as simple as "Make apocalypse world seem real. Make the character's lives not boring."

fnord3125

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2010, 05:25:09 PM »
The consequences of getting it wrong in the moment are super slight. You can correct yourself trivially: "oh hold on, he's not dead yet, you're going aggro. Roll+hard." In the worst case, you don't correct yourself, and some NPC who might have died, did die. Oh well!
Yeah... but...  Couldn't a PC find herself in this situation as well?  Either with an NPC who's got her "dead to rights" or another PC?  The consequences there are significantly less slight.

lumpley

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Re: Rules Question - Marie's Pain-wave Projector move
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 06:12:05 PM »
That's exactly what does happen, when it's your turn to make a move and you choose to inflict harm.

In fact I should have been talking about it in these terms all along, probably. Here's what's really going on.

The player says something, like "I shoot him."

If it's a move, you follow the rules for what you do when a player's character makes a move.

If it's not a move, that means it's your turn to talk, as MC. Accordingly, you follow the rules for what to do when it's your turn to talk: you choose a move of your own to make, based on your agenda and following your principles.

Sometimes the move you choose is inflict harm. In that case, you inflict harm as established. 2-harm for a handgun, 1-harm for the pain-wave generator, 3-harm messy for a chainsaw.

If you don't want to inflict harm, for god sweet sake choose a different move to make. Nobody says you have to choose that one.

-Vincent