Author Topic: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?  (Read 3642 times)

bankuei

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Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« on: August 14, 2011, 10:22:39 PM »
Hi,

One thing I've noticed in play is that Open your Brain is a Move that serves a really useful purpose for "Throw me a clue!" kind of information gathering.   That is, Read a Person or Read a Situation is great if you know who to talk to/where to go, but if you're completely stuck, Open your Brain serves as a Move anyone can do, anytime, about anything.

Vincent, is this something you found necessary to keep play smooth or was it a happy accident of "psychic maelstrom = cool!"?  Any thoughts about it, game-design-wise, either way?

I'm putting together an L5R hack and I currently don't have an always accessible, any topic, info Move, and I'm mulling over in my head if I need one.

Chris

Ariel

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Re: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2011, 10:41:30 PM »
When you consult the Kami ...

Make it so anyone can consult the Kami [or ancestors or Buddha], I mean, they're right there all around us at anytime. The Shugenja are just better / way better at it / less likely to piss them off / get other awesome moves (like Brainers.)

Also, make it meaningfully different from Open Your Brain and the Psychic Maelstrom. Both in  terms of mechanics a flavour.

Like, the Deadwood hack got this: 

When your mind is besotted with your particular pleasures (booze, opiates, whores, gambling, violence, righteous anger), you gain revelatory insights amidst all this squallor. Roll+wild (or whatever) and pontificate, in brief or in full, about the nature and truth of things. On a hit, the MC will seize on something you've said and ellaborate on your insight. On a 10+, they'll straight-up tell you something you hadn't realized before. On a 7-9, they'll hint at the answer to something that's been vexing you. On a 6-, some truth will set you free, but not this truth. No, this truth is gonna shove you right back into the mud.

And tentatively Bulwark has/had this:

ECHO:
WHEN YOU SYNC WITH A NODE
>>SELECT[NODE]
13-17 +1SYNC 11-12 +0SYNC 08-10 -1SYNC
         MC: #TAG AS APPROPRIATE

SYNC:
WHEN TRY TO GET SOME INFO
>>SELECT[NODE]

ONHIT GREP SOME DECENT INFO

13-17 TAKE +1SYNC 11-12 +0SYNC 08-10 -1SYNC

So, you can see that both those moves fit into the same mechanical spot as Open Your Brain, but are fiction-first in terms of their implementation and colour.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 10:49:41 PM by Nathan Orlando Wilson »

bankuei

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Re: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2011, 11:24:33 PM »
Hi Nathan,

I'm actually asking about if an all purpose info gathering Move is necessary and what things I might need to pay close attention to in creating one, or going without one, rather than how to color it for my hack.

If I do use one, I'll be making it more social based, like Burning Wheel's Circles.  In AW, the psychic maelstrom is all pervasive, but in L5R, the social structure is all pervasive.

Chris

Shreyas

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Re: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 11:47:43 PM »
I don't really think it's all that important. If you want info, it's rare that you don't want it to be about something and it's generally silly not to just, you know, ask around or just go encounter that thing.

Ariel

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Re: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 01:55:13 AM »
Yeah, then my answer is no, probably not a basic move. You'd need at least one basic move that is like "courtly politics + etiquette" and maybe a couple playbook ones, or a subsystem.

Echoing Shreyas, it's rarely 'do we find out the important info?' and more 'what do we do about it?' and 'how do we deal with?'

Like, open your brain exists just to have the players occasionally prompt the MC to barf forth on specific things. It's doesn't really need to be a move if you're on top of you barf forthing and there's a way for a player to say 'I'd like to know more about this thing, MC.'

The bulwark thing is social. Nodes are NPC in their own right, with motives and such; not necessarily individuals, mind you. Data bases, institutions, social networks, whatever. They're also like bonds or Hx, with a numerical rating. So, you could do it that way if you wanted.

As general advice, think about what you want the characters doing, and then come up with five or seven basic moves around that list. Don't try and port the basic moves from AW into your hack any more that you have to.

Pigeon

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Re: Open your Brain = Non-directed Info Move?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 02:11:34 AM »
Hi,

One thing I've noticed in play is that Open your Brain is a Move that serves a really useful purpose for "Throw me a clue!" kind of information gathering.   That is, Read a Person or Read a Situation is great if you know who to talk to/where to go, but if you're completely stuck, Open your Brain serves as a Move anyone can do, anytime, about anything.

Vincent, is this something you found necessary to keep play smooth or was it a happy accident of "psychic maelstrom = cool!"?  Any thoughts about it, game-design-wise, either way?

I'm not Vincent, but I don't think it's coincidental that the "I'm not sure what to do next" or "I want to be involved in something I'm not currently involved in" move is also the move that gives the GM the greatest freedom to barf apocalyptica into the setting (and to demand it of players). I'm not sure you need an open your brain move specifically, but I would watch what players DO do when they're not sure what to do next, and make sure that that move ties into something you think is really important about the setting, and/or just leads to exciting and cool stuff happening by virtue of its effect. (Acting under fire here might be a good example of a move that does not INTRINSICALLY lead to something cool happening, because the default effect is "you do that thing.")