Author Topic: Moves and Holds  (Read 3364 times)

Jingo

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Moves and Holds
« on: June 23, 2011, 06:22:10 AM »
I understand the concept of a move. But I'm not sure how quickly or how often something can be retried. Some players may try to abuse this, using the same move over and over just to get XP when rolling their highlighted stats. Perhaps this could have a rule if there isn't one (I checked but couldn't readily see it).

Regarding Holds. If you get more than one Hold, (like on Defend, for example). How quickly can those be spent? Can you spend all three whenever you want, right away--all three, instantaneously, for example? Or are there rules that govern that? Perhaps some clarification could be added.

sage

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 07:11:41 PM »
How often you make moves is a function of what you're fictionally doing. Moves come from the fiction, right? So, as often as your Fighter can fictionally make an attack against the orc, you make the Hack and Slash move (assuming it applies, it probably does).

Don't think of moves as what you do. Moves are little rules that jump in when you do something. What a player does isn't "Hack and Slash" it's "swinging my axe up into the ogre's chest."

So, first limiting factor: fiction.

To "spam" an ability presumably also means to not let others get a word in edgewise, which the game specifically tells you not to do. Dungeon World is "a conversation, never a monologue." You can keep on saying the same thing only insomuch as everyone else lets you sit there and be boring. It's not turn taking like initiative order, it's turn taking like a conversation: you say something, then I say something. That also means that the GM will say something, which will mix up the situation, and possibly make them rethink their move. Is stabbing the guard again really the right option when the dark priest has started the summoning up on the alter?

So, second limiting factor: turn taking.

The other limit is risk. Making a move is always a risk, and it always does something active and interesting that furthers the situation. Making more moves is, frankly, a good thing. Since moves are always fictional actions, it's not like they're just grabbing dice and rolling them over and over, they're saying things that their character does, that make sense in the fiction.

That's the last limiting factor: risk.

And there's also the fact that moves don't really need to be limited. We're fans of the characters, right? So we want to see them do more things.









Hold can be spent however the player pleases, subject to anything the move specifies. A Thief who's on the lookout for traps (Trap Sense) can ask three questions all together if they like. A Fighter who's dived between the wizard and the assassin that the wizard didn't notice is Defending, he can spend that hold right then (all of it or some of it).

Spending hold leads to interesting things happening and to more moves. Once that Thief's asked all his questions, he may find that he wants to ask more. So now he's surveying his surroundings (fictional action!) and rolling dice (risk!) again.

Jingo

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 03:58:31 AM »
Thanks for the clarifications. Those help!

Jingo

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 10:15:00 PM »
Some other questions on Moves... I'm sure I'll have more as I continue to wrap my head around this system.

1) How would a character do something that's a move belonging to a different class? For example, a Fighter who wants to move stealthily but Stealthy isn't a class move that's available for him. Can he still move stealthily? After all, in the fiction a player would say, "I don't want the guards to see Grog the Barbarian, so I smear my chainmail with mud so it doesn't gleam in the moonlight, and stealthily move past them, keeping to the shadows." What would the GM do? Would this just be Defy Danger or something else?

2) How would you determine something passive. Like, if a character is aware of a enemy sneaking up on him? The fiction is, "I'm staying up, standing guard, while the party sleeps." What move would they use? Would it be Discern Realities? The move says, "To Discern Realities you must closely observe your target and interact with it in some way – or watch someone else do the same.
You can’t just stick your head in the doorway and Discern Realities about a room. You’re not merely scanning for clues – you have to look under and around things, tap the walls and check for weird dust patterns on the bookshelves. That sort of thing.
" Is that enough fiction for the move?

3) Regarding your comments, about a Move always being risky and doing something interesting to further the situation. How is "Spout Lore" or "Discern Realities" a risk? The only way I could think of these having a risky result is if the GM rolled the dice for them and didn't show them the result and that way on a 6- he could maybe give them some mistaken information. Suppose the PCs are rolling (which according to the rules, they are) and they get a 6-, what would be something a GM could do that would make using these moves risky? 



I'm sure I'll have more as I continue to investigate the system.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 07:03:39 PM »
How is "Spout Lore" or "Discern Realities" a risk? Suppose the PCs are rolling (which according to the rules, they are) and they get a 6-, what would be something a GM could do that would make using these moves risky?  

Ovid: I cover my face with my silk hand-cloth. "Wretched." Then, I kneel closer, trying to examine the bones and figure out what I can about them.

Discern Realities: 4...

DM: You're busy looking at it when Ovid shifts to get a closer look and his boot rakes right across the bones, they clatter and fall loudly. The bloody smears making up some sort of sigil now disturbed.

The bones begin to vibrate, rattle and begin to come together. You see dark ropy tendons grow and bind them together as the sahuagin bones dance together and it begins to rise.


This is an example from our current PbP game.

The possibilities are infinite. Spouting Lore and Discerning Realities means you're doing something, interacting with something, examining things, etc.

Use those things to lead to the next part of the fiction on a miss.

Also, look to your Moves. Spout Lore miss is a perfect time to:
  • Reveal an unwelcome truth
  • Show signs of doom

sage

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 10:26:48 PM »
1. Non-class moves
If it's not a move, its still a conversation. The GM says something, likely a move. A few examples:

The fighter says "The guards are tired, right? I just duck into the bushes and get past them." I know the guards aren't really paying attention, so I say "Sure, you do it, the guards are slackers." That wouldn't be a move for anyone.

The fighter says "The guards are tired, right? I just duck into the bushes and get past them." The fighter's wearing plate and the bushes are dense, but they might still hear him. I think that the fiction demands a move. "That's probably loud enough to startle them, since you're all armored. I think you'll you'll have to take off your armor to do it without waking them."

The fighter says "The guards are tired, right? I just duck into the bushes and get past them." The fighter's wearing plate and the bushes are dense, but they might still hear him. I think that the fiction demands a move. "That's probably loud enough to startle them, since you're all armored. I think you'll you'll have to take off your armor to do it without waking them." The fighter's not willing to go unarmored, so he says "Could I put my armor in my bag and carry it through? That'd be quieter." "I think then you'd be avoiding the impending danger, sounds like Defy danger."


Broadly that shows off your three options: it's not really a move for anyone, it's a chance for you to make a (soft) move, it's Defy Danger. Defy Danger is deliberately a catch-all (especially for careful movements and stunts) so use it freely.



2. Things don't really happen passively, ever. In your example, standing guard isn't a move. The player says "I'm staying up, standing guard, while the party sleeps" and then you say "Just as the moon crests the trees, there's some rustling in the bushes. What are you doing when that happens?"

Very few moves apply on the "I spend hours doing this" level. It's a good idea to drill down if you find yourself trying to shoehorn a move into a bigger timescale. Some do cover longer periods, like Perilous Journey, of course. But you don't Discern Realities for the night like you would make a Spot check.

You also don't punish players with that, of course. Don't play it like the player's already missed clues. You cut to the first point where the character has a chance to do something interesting.

Because really that's the point. We don't really care about the hours spent waiting, we want to cut to the point where things happen. Think of it like a movie, where we'd cut from "I'll take the watch tonight" to an odd sound in the darkness.

For reference, in my example, here's how it might play out:
Player: "Rustling, eh? Maybe those orcs caught up to us. I've been sharpening my blade, but I stop and get up, real casually, like I'm just going to the bushes to relieve myself, but I'm really scanning the darkness."
Me: "Sound like discern realities, you've taken action to investigate."
Player: "Okay... uh oh, a 4. Guess maybe someone with higher Wis should have taken watch."
Me: (Oooh, a hard move! A few options jump to mind: the orcs grab him and drag him off, or maybe he find himself with a orc sword at his throat. I like the sword at the throat better, because it leads to more urgent action) "As you walk into the bushes and you eyes adjust, you almost impale yourself on a sword. It's a black orc blade, pointed at your throat. There's a gravelly voice: "Stay still, human. Cry for help and it'll be the last thing you do."

3. Risk
Michael nailed this one. I've done much the same. A cleric who decided to poke around in a refuse pile that was home to an ooze was the first character I killed in DW.

Michael's suggestions of moves are particularly good. Both are ways to still give them information, but on your terms. Offering an opportunity is also good, if you feel nice. It's still a hard move, so it's a costly opportunity: "You're poking through the bones when you accidentally trigger the spell that reanimates them. The bones start to fly together, but there's a second where you could hijack the spell. If you do it, the skeleton will be bonded to you, for better or worse, powered by a bit of your soul... what do you do?"

(For the record, if the player asked more questions about what "powered by your soul" means I'd probably play it pretty conceptually. Missing soul doesn't mean -1 to Cast a Spell, it means that when you return to town the head priest can see a difference, and worries about your soul. And who knows which infernal creature might have bargained for it, once you give it away...)


Jingo

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 04:54:36 AM »
Thanks for the good responses folks. I appreciate the game examples. Those are fun to read. I'm so used to the standard systems out there where you roll to see if a player spots something, for example, rather than just moving the action to something interesting. It sounds like a really fun concept/system. I've only played once as a player (but that was over skype but our frequent disconnects sort of ruined the game).

What's the link to your PbP game, Michael? I'd like to read along if possible.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Moves and Holds
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 05:15:07 PM »
What's the link to your PbP game, Michael? I'd like to read along if possible.

We're playing on Snail's Pace. Just click the "Dungeon World" tag to sort through our game. Octoscott is currently DMing and he's doing a swell job.

There's also some really neat Apocalypse World games going on there.