Author Topic: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?  (Read 5980 times)

Simon C

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Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:57:12 PM »
This is actually for a Conan hack, but I think it's equally applicable to Original Flavour.

I'm making a "Slave" playbook. I'm trying to make the class rich in "mindshare effectiveness" like the Battlebabe, since mechanical and fictional effectiveness don't seem right for the class.

Here's what I'm thinking: "When someone makes you do something you don't want to do, they mark experience."

Is that gonna get the job done? I feel like it needs an accompanying move, about freeing you. Also, naturally, one of the Hx things will be "This person owns or controls you. Say how, and write Hx +3"

Christopher Weeks

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 04:35:48 PM »
Why don't *you* mark experience?  So your role is to be made to do stuff, but the more that happens, the harder it is and the more certain it is that you'll free yourself?

Either that, or make it all about how sure, you're a slave, but you have all this covert power -- both: power because of who your owner is and power over your owner.

At least those are my first thoughts.

Simon C

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 06:24:33 PM »
Having the slave mark experience doesn't work for me, both because it creates a weird conflict of interest, where you kind of want to do stuff that you don't want to do, and also because it's slightly icky politically. I don't really think of slaves as people who secretly want to be pushed around, which is what that move feels like to me.

The reason I like the move the way it is is because, while it means the slave gets pushed around a lot and made to do a bunch of nasty stuff, their wants are central in people's minds. The move makes what the slave wants important to the other characters.

Covert power is for certain gonna be the other side to the playbook. Maybe a thing where you can use Hx to go aggro or even sieze by force. Or maybe a thing where your bare hands are weapons (Hx harm ap intimate).

Jeff Russell

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 12:00:45 AM »
Maybe the one pushing the slave around gains experience, but the slave gains some sort of hold that can be saved up and spent on some emancipating act (literally or metaphorically?). To me, this feels less like "yay, I get pushed around" and more like incrementally getting closer to the point of not taking it anymore. If you don't make it a definite countdown, but a player decided amount, then it really becomes when the player thinks his character is ready to act.

Also, I can't think of what they are right now, but I'm positive SAJ has some relevant concepts worth bringing in here.

Simon C

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 12:59:40 AM »
Not being a slave anymore (in the game) is as simple as changing your playbook. The slave's role is not about striving for freedom, but rather about how treating people as chattel, how being treated as something that can be bought and sold, changes how people think and act.

I'm not looking for a realistic evocation of the experience of slavery. I want a role in the fiction that pulls characters into its orbit, not by being the coolest and the slickest and by having nothing stick to her, like the Battlebabe, but by presenting an irresistible opportunity. The slave should be unignorable.

Here are some other moves I'm thinking about:

Veneer: When someone rolls to interfere with you, or otherwise uses Hx against you, you can choose to put them at Hx-1 with you, before they roll (but they can't back out of the roll).

Valuable: When you are bought or sold, take +barter spent forward. Or maybe "hold barter spent. Spend one hold to roll +1" (good call about SAJ, Jeff, this move is straight out of that game).

I would kind of like it if all the slave's moves were non-rolling moves.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 01:13:01 AM by Simon C »

Simon C

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 03:17:18 AM »
More thinking:

What makes someone a slave? It's not simply that they're coerced into doing things they don't want to. That's a shitty place to be, but it doesn't make you a slave. Everyone (especially in Apocalypse World) is subject to being coerced and bullied and assaulted.

Being a slave means belonging to a social class which it is socially acceptable to coerce and bully and assault. Slaves don't stay slaves just because they can't physically escape, but because the world they live in sees them as intrinsically deserving of slavery.

That is what I want to make this playbook about. It's not about someone physically escaping captivity, and it's not about someone mustering the psychological strength to resist an abusive relationship. It's about someone whose autonomy and freedom is not recognised by society, and how that shapes the landscape of social interactions around them. Especially, I'm interested in how this person could, while being powerless, play a powerful role in the fiction.

But! Christopher, Jeff, your contributions have been useful! They are clarifying my thinking and helping me come up with moves and such. I'm very interested in whether this class has the same kind of mindshare effectiveness as the Battlebabe.

Christopher Weeks

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 02:20:05 PM »
I like the idea of a move sort of like gigs/juggling where the slave can affect the barter-wealth of her owner in either direction.  But I'm having two problems coming up with an actual move to provide as suggestion: First, why not just role-play working for or stealing from the person and have that provide logical consequences?  Second, how do you make it fun/special?

I also like the idea of having all the moves be no-roll moves if you can pull it off.

Also, what are the slaves stats?  Or at least, how do they compare to the other character types? 

Neurook

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 03:25:20 PM »
The class is a bit at odds with the whole "characters are the embodiment of badass archetypes" thing. I can't really see me going "Fuck yeah, you slaved the fuck out that thing" or "Awesome, that is so slave!"
Playing as the underdog certainly is original, but I'm not sure if the game is designed for it. The MC generally plays the underdogs. Tell us how it works out!

mcdaldno

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2010, 05:05:28 AM »
So, I'm working on a hack of AW called Monsterhearts. You play teenage monsters, toying with one another's hearts and bodies.

Most of the Skins (read: playbooks) are supernatural, like The Vampire, The Werewolf and The Fae.

But then there's The Mortal. The Mortal is all about leveraging victimhood. That includes a mixture of: being able to reward others when they defend you, earning rewards when you leave yourself vulnerable, and creating codependent feedback loops. The Mortal is most effective when they are the most helpless, granted they've gotten their hooks into those around them.

The Mortal also has connections with monster-hating normal folk. And so if none of the monsters are willing to get sucked into those victimhood games, you can bet some straight-laced young police officer will.

I offer this as a parallel to The Slave.

The Slave would be rockin' if it created codependent ties with a "master" figure, gained benefit from being saved, and had powerful ties to the nameless multitudes of downtrodden folk (other slaves, working stiffs, starving farmers, drifters, etc).

Simon C

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 07:47:11 PM »
I see what you mean. The mortal sounds pretty interesting, and is certainly trying to achieve some of the same stuff as the Slave.

How do you establish those "codependant feedback loops"?

Z in VA

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2010, 08:27:18 PM »
I think that if the Slave marks experience for being compelled, it could encourage exploration of the compulsion - nobody's saying the Slave wants to be pushed around, but since gaining Hx is usually done by developing relationships with others, I think it's fair to say that this fits with the way the mechanics are pointing already.

Consider: being successfully seduced/manipulated lets you mark experience. You can't exactly set up a situation where someone *else* is going to try to do that to you, so this is more of an incidental than something someone can charge straight at.

mcdaldno

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2010, 05:10:48 AM »
How do you establish those "codependant feedback loops"?

Well, the answer is different in Monsterhearts, because almost all of the rules drift is about relationships and promises and dependency.

But...

"When someone convinces you to do something, when they really  get under your skin and leverage what you want, they mark +1 Hx with you."
+
"When you serve your master without them even having to ask, mark +1 Hx. You anticipated their needs."

That's one way to go about it.
Then, it's about working angles, and being uncomfortably attuned to one another's needs.

Another is to say something like this:
"When your master tells you what to do, if you do it, record it on your List of Duties. The Master suffers -1 to attempting to do any of the stuff on your list of duties."

This is another way to go about it.
Then, it's like: the master has a competent lackey! The lackey is the only one who knows how to purify the water, re-shoe the horse, or mend a tunic. And suddenly, the slave is very important, because the master is debilitated without them.

fnord3125

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2010, 02:10:55 PM »
"When your master tells you what to do, if you do it, record it on your List of Duties. The Master suffers -1 to attempting to do any of the stuff on your list of duties."
This is awesome.  Why are you so awesome?

mcdaldno

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2010, 07:07:08 PM »
Being a seeming expert on codependency does not make one awesome.

fnord3125

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Re: Slave Playbook: Mindshare effectiveness?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2010, 08:52:17 PM »
But being able to convert that dubious expertise into concise and elegant game mechanics does.  :)