Author Topic: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?  (Read 3444 times)

Jeremy

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what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« on: January 22, 2012, 05:03:51 AM »
I'm thinking about a hack, and wondering what effect the following version of read a sitch/person would have:

When you assess the situation, ask the MC one of the questions below and roll +Sharp. On a 10+, the MC will answer, clearly and truthfully. Take +1 forward when you act on the answer. On a 7-9, the MC will either give a vague or incomplete answer, or tell you how you could learn the answer.
<insert list of read a sitch/person questions here>

What I like about this version is that, in play, it seems like players ask one of the questions first anyhow, which is what triggers the move. But on a hit, they end up with more questions to ask.  Not so much a problem when reading a person (unspent hold isn't a big deal), but sometimes it'll drag out when reading a sitch (no one wants to give up a question they earned, so they obsess over which ones to ask; plus it's pressure for me to come up with an answer).

What I don't like about this version is that it loses the limits imposed by the current Read a Sitch/Person moves.  When you use one of them, there's an understanding that you can't do it again until the situation changes--so pick your questions carefully.  With the rewrite above, that expectation goes away. After asking "what's the best way out" you could easily ask "what else should I be on the lookout for? and roll again.


Thoughts? How would a change like this influence play?

Ariel

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Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 08:11:44 AM »
Just that you're 7-9 is too weak. They should get the info, but with a cost or complication, or even just no +1forward. On a miss, you can tell them how they might find out or give them bad info.


Jeremy

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Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 04:14:53 PM »
Sure, that makes sense.

But what about the difference between "ask one question and roll" vs. "assess the sitch & roll; ask 1 or 3 questions?" 

If each question is a separate move, that would require you to remove the "can't use this move again until the situation changes" caveat. Which opens the door to spamming the move.  Then again, a cost/complication on 7-9 could definitely make that implausible.  And even the MC's answers on 10+ could be provocative enough to urge action instead of further assessment.

Any other thoughts regarding the benefits of "ask/hold 3 or 1" vs. each question being it's own move?

Johnstone

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Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 09:38:19 PM »
Being able to spam the move will upset the experience cycle. Get sharp+3 as soon as possible and get your sharp highlighted and every situation you get a new advance for every charged situation you're in (5 questions, right?).

It's not wrong to limit characters to 1 question per situation. Some AW hacks, like Monsterhearts, don't even let you just read the situation.

Another way you could handle it, is player asks 1 question and rolls. On a 7-9, MC answers the question based on how the character is asking. On a 10+, same, but MC picks another question on the list and answers that too.

That gets players an extra answer, they don't obsess over the list, and you get to answer only follow-up questions you can think of something for.

Haven't tried it though, dunno if it works.

DWeird

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Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 10:52:17 PM »
Maybe there's a simpler way? Add an "or MC" clause - either you or your MC get to spend the hold to get questions answered.

If a player dawdles, the MC picks a question at random and just blasts pure hot rays of exposition.

It's a ducttape fix, but maybe it'd work?

Christopher Weeks

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Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 02:58:35 PM »
The problem of spamming xp doesn't seem like a huge problem, particularly if these things take some real in-fiction time.