Author Topic: the basis for all the moves  (Read 12104 times)

lumpley

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the basis for all the moves
« on: June 18, 2010, 03:00:57 PM »
I just want to point this out.

The basis for all of the moves in Apocalypse World, every single one, is an active conflict of interests between named, human characters.

Every move supposes that there is such a conflict in play. Most of them suppose that there is one right now in the immediate environment in which the move takes place. Some of them, like the new angel kit move, in the immediate past; some, like reading a situation, in the immediate future.

Every move acts directly on the conflict of interests it supposes, either to reveal it, escalate it, or resolve it.

So as you're designing your own moves for your own hacks, this is how you design them and how you judge them.

Make sense? If there's a particular move you'd like me to talk about in these terms, anybody, just name it!

-Vincent

Simon JB

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 05:00:50 PM »
Neat and clear, thank you maestro! How does that relate to 'downtime moves' like wealth or moonlighting with say honest work and deliveries? Does it not apply because it is about downtime stuff, or do you use 'conflict' in a wider sense there, to include the implied conflict underlying all survival in AW, where all resources are scarce, including honest work?

Jeff Russell

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 06:24:16 PM »
Wow, that's at the same time really helpful and also seems like it should have been really obvious. Thanks for pointing it out!

Christian

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 08:50:09 PM »
I think down time moves reveal (i.e., create) conflicts of interest. Especially when they fail. :)

Antisinecurist

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 04:57:46 AM »
So how about a theoretical move like this:

{When you have to make an impossible choice between two things, roll +?. "Impossible choice" here means if you take one of those things, you cannot get the other, no way, no how.

On a 10+ you get both, somehow.
On a 7-9, the MC will name some unforseen price. You can pay the price and get both, or not pay it and get only one.
On 6 or less, you get neither, not even the one you could've had. Tough luck.}

So, this move has no character-based conflict of interest. Not between characters; maybe it's a conflict of interest for a single character, sure.

So how does this reflect in to what you said above? And generally, what are people's opinions of the above move, for curiousity.

tonydowler

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 01:37:31 AM »
That move looks fine to me, although depending on the taste of your game it might or might not fit.

My take on the conflict of interest is that it's not "in" the move, it's the "basis" for the move. Having to choose between two things fits the bill, because the basis for that situation coming up in apoclypse world is probably some previously existing conflict of interest: you can save your friend (who ran off and got himself shot), or your van (which the wastelanders are setting on fire), but not both.

The fiction of apocalypse world creates tough choices, partially because there's so much conflict of interest going around. The danger with this move is that it potentially defuses the hard choice by letting you get both sides of the choice. In my book, if you do that through a move, with all the potential for fuckery and failure that a move entails, I'm cool with it.

Jeff Russell

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 10:40:40 AM »
Antisinecurist,

   I had a thought similar to Tony's. While I think having an impossible choice (and the ability to somehow, amazingly pull through and get both) is a great thing to have in a game, especially an AW based game, I feel like collapsing it all into a move might be doing the choice a disservice. I was thinking along similar lines when somebody on story games put up a move to "Play the Game of Thrones" in a Song of Ice and Fire game, and while the move was really good, it also threatened to be what the whole game was about in one move, and I think this move might do something similar. I think the idea of 'present an impossible choice, maybe have some way of getting both' would make a great MC move, but then the character needs to do a series of 'regular' moves to get it. But I dunno, in the right game maybe this move would be really cool.

lumpley

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 05:43:46 PM »
I'm with Tony too. Every example I can think of where you'd make an impossible choice involves conflicts of interest; that's where the impossible choice comes from.

-Vincent

lumpley

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 05:55:46 PM »
Okay, now! Here's an interesting set of non-exceptions:

Quote
If you and another character have sex, your Hx with them on your sheet goes immediately to +3, and they immediately get +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet. If that brings their Hx with you to +4, they reset it to +1 instead, as usual, and so mark experience.

If you and another character have sex, you take +1 forward. At your option, they take +1 forward too.

If you and another character have sex, you can give the other character gifts worth 1-barter, at no cost to you.

If you and another character have sex, you each hold 1. Either of you can spend your hold any time to help or interfere with the other, at a distance or despite any barriers that would normally prevent it.

If you and another character have sex, they automatically speak to you, as though they were a thing and you’d rolled a 10+, whether you have the move or not. The other player and the MC will answer your questions between them.
Otherwise, that move never works on people, only things.

These moves do suppose that conflicts of interest are in play. Hx means helping or interfering, which means conflict; +1forward means going into conflict; even the 1-barter gift presumes all those conflicts that barter implies in the game.

The interesting thing here, though, is that these moves in particular suppose, overwhelmingly, a unity of interest between the characters having sex.

All of the sex moves are based on mutuality. Some of them can give you power over your sexual partner, but none of them demand that you take power over your sexual partner. All of them have good both-benefit outcomes.

This is why they say "if you and another character have sex," specifically, with its implication of full co-action. If this were Poison'd, they'd say "if you fuck another character" instead, but it's really, really not. The sex moves presume that there are conflicts of interest around the characters having sex, not between them.

-Vincent
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 05:57:21 PM by lumpley »

fnord3125

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 07:47:27 PM »
Vincent, can you possibly give some insight into the battlebabe's sex move?  I find it interesting because it seems to remove any mechanical incentive for anyone to want to have sex with the battlebabe or for the battlebabe to want sex with anyone else.  Why is that a good thing?

Ariel

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 08:33:09 PM »
It's a thematic thing - the battle is just too cool for your moves to work on her.

lumpley

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 10:12:21 PM »
The battlebabe's sex move is so, so funny. I think it's funnier and more apt than the driver's, even. You'll have to forgive me for not explaining it, it'd be like explaining a punch line.

-Vincent

fnord3125

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 11:40:16 PM »
I just think it's interesting that, as far as I can see, battlebabes are the most likely PC type to be celibate.  There's a mechanical reason for every other character to have sex.  Even the characters that have "bad" sex moves, like the driver; other characters may want to have sex with them in order to take advantage of that.  But there's no reason, mechanically speaking, for the battlebabe to ever have sex.  Maybe that's the point?  Maybe I'm not seeing the "punchline" because I have less familiarity with the genre?

Shreyas

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2010, 12:16:31 AM »
You aren't getting it because your thinking is backwards.

See, all kinds of terrible stuff happens to people when they have sex. They have uncontrollable urges to give away presents, or they can't resist talking deeply about their feelings, or they get brainfucked so all their secrets seep out of them, or they just get the smell of you caught in their mind and it's all they can think about for days.

That shit doesn't happen to the battlebabe. If you're a battlebabe and you want it, you swing your hips and smile and you've got it. No strings attached.

When you're a battlebabe, the mechanics don't put you at risk of awful things happening when you bang someone! Back in the day when you could use the toothy version of seduce on PCs, it made it much cheaper to do so.

fnord3125

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Re: the basis for all the moves
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2010, 02:24:36 PM »
You aren't getting it because your thinking is backwards.

snip

That shit doesn't happen to the battlebabe. If you're a battlebabe and you want it, you swing your hips and smile and you've got it. No strings attached.

When you're a battlebabe, the mechanics don't put you at risk of awful things happening when you bang someone! Back in the day when you could use the toothy version of seduce on PCs, it made it much cheaper to do so.
Thinking about it starting with the mechanics is backwards?  I hope not, because if so, this game will never work for me and my friends, and that would be too bad, because I'm really excited to try it out.

But I don't think anyone I've gamed with has had their PC pursue sex just 'cuz since my younger teenage D&D days.

I'm also not entirely sure I buy your explanation, because the battlebabe doesn't only avoid the strings, she avoids any potential benefits as well.
Plus... for some reason the other person also has no strings, which doesn't really jive with your explanation.  Take, say... the driver.  He's normally got a chance to get attached to someone he fucks right?  But if he fucks a battlebabe, he's like "Eh, whatever, it's just a battlebabe, who gives a shit"?
It seems like either battlebabes are abstinent (and hence, aren't fucking), or they're the "holding bicycle" (they fuck plenty but don't care about fucking and no one cares about fucking them).

But whatever.  I'm willing to take it on faith that it's all awesome and see what happens.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 02:30:28 PM by fnord3125 »