Thanks for bringing up these issues.
I see a couple different things going on. A big part of your frustration may be in trying to port Apocalypse World expectations into Monsterhearts. The moves are not direct parallels. For example, Seize By Force
and Lashing Out Physically
are alike in that they both concern violence, but they're unalike in that they care about very different things.
For each of the issues I heard you talking about, I'll give a separate response.Using "Lashing Out Physically" To Drag Someone Into the Woods
Ophelia wanted to drag Abrielle into the woods. She reaches out to grab Abrielle's hair. Is she trying to hurt Abrielle, or to take control of her?
If she's trying to hurt Abrielle, then lashing out physically
will tell you how that goes down. But it sounds like that's not what Ophelia was trying to do, so the move doesn't apply. The move's description in the book specifically says not to use the move unless it's about dealing harm:
Only use this move when attempting to actually physically hurt someone. If you push someone up against a locker and threaten them, consider the possibility that you’re actually shutting them down rather than lashing out physically. (preview ed: page 19)
So, it sounds like Ophelia is actually trying to get control over Abrielle. If I were MCing that situation, I'd likely just say, "Cool, so you reach out and grab Abrielle's hair. Abrielle, how do you respond?" Another option is to have Ophelia try to hold steady
in order to deftly reach out and grab Abrielle's hair. That's what happens in the long example, on pages 140-141: Cassidy rolls to hold steady
in order to grab the bottle out of Vanessa's hands (it's explicitly stated that doing so doesn't engage the lashing out physically
So, Ophelia grabs Abrielle's hair. It's just a thing she can do. If it's an especially scary or tense thing to do (because Abrielle's terrifying!!), then maybe she needs to hold steady
in order to do it. Otherwise, she just does it.
And then Ophelia wants to march Abrielle into the woods? Well, there aren't any moves triggered by marching into the woods. So, "Abrielle, what do you do?" Abrielle most likely says, "I kick her in the shin, and run the fuck away!" Great! There's our move. Abrielle should roll to run away
In short: If you want to determine whether Ophelia drags Abrielle into the woods, or Abrielle manages to run away, then that's run away
. Don't roll lash out physically
if you're trying to control someone or take something, because the move isn't about that.
(Side-note: another possible way this could have gone down, depending on player narration... Ophelia grabs Abrielle's hair, and yes she's doing this to cause harm, so she's lashing out physically
. Then, still holding her hair, she marches her into the woods. Abrielle responds by trying to run away