Author Topic: Know-It-All  (Read 3925 times)

zmook

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Know-It-All
« on: November 30, 2012, 12:31:43 AM »
Wizards have an advancement move available at level 2:

Quote
Know-It-All
When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when following your advice and you mark experience if they do.

Hm.  I'm trying to figure out how to adjudicate this move.  It seems easy enough to abuse:  every other character comes to the wizard before they do anything, and hey presto, there are lots of +1 bonuses, and the wizard gains a level every time he turns around.

Clearly, that's abusive.  At least, it's not something I want in my game.  My players are not deliberately abusive, either, but they're going to want some kind of guideline for how often it can be used.  Preferably an in-character guideline.

There's no roll for success, so no opportunity for me to impose hard choices or costs that way.  The move makes no mention of requiring any relevant actual expertise from the wizard (it's even called "know-it-all"!), so as written the wizard could make up any bullshit he likes and still get the bonuses.

Of course, in the fiction, bonuses from the wizard spewing bullshit makes no sense, and I'd have to find some way to limit that.  Maybe by limiting the move trigger to: "When another player’s character comes to you for advice about something on which you have knowledge and you tell them what you think is best" -- but then, how to determine what the wizard does or doesn't have knowledge about? 

I think I'm talking myself into requiring at minimum a Spout Lore roll before Know-It-All can trigger.  Even so, that seems to provide incentive for a lot of goddamn Spout Lore rolls.

Consider: "Oh wise wizard, please advise me of the best way to kill a skeleton!"
"Why certainly, my son: if you thrust up under the jaw, the skull is bound to pop right off, and then they lose all coordination."  Why wouldn't that be legit?  And it seems it would allow every party member to get the same advice, get the +1 for the whole battle ("when following advice"), and then bonus xp also.  Why wouldn't they want to do this all the time?

I must have the wrong end of the stick here somehow.  How do you guys play this move?

skinnyghost

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 12:35:50 AM »
The +1 forward is only on the next roll, not carried throughout the battle, so there's that.

Also, consider that there might needs to be time and consultation and that the advice is only valid once.

As a GM, I'd stick to my principles and agenda here - you're totally in the right to show them the downside of their class (the Wizard has to pay a toll for all that knowledge) or ask and build on the answers - "why is your advice so supernaturally keen?  what price do you pay to access that magic?"

Also to consider, the Wizard doesn't have to say what's best for the party.  He or she can be a total sneaky jerk and tell them what he wants them to do, not what he thinks is best for them.  Then it's super manipulative advising, too.

I've actually never seen it become a problem in game, but I could fully see how, without some discussion, it might!  Let's continue discussing it, I'd love to hear folks' thoughts.

sage

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 12:56:00 AM »
Also, remember the fiction here: if Gregor comes to Avon and asks him for advice on taking out the goblin brigade in the next room "kill them all" isn't advice. If the player is giving advice that doesn't seem like the best their character could come up with, they're not triggering the move.

Also remember that this is just +1 to one roll. Getting advice on how to beat down the orge only helps you when the battle is first joined, after that it's all on you.

As far as XP, remember what levels mean here: the wizard will get new abilities, sure, but they're not racking up XP. And 10th level means some kind of major shift—it's not a point to be feared bu a transition into a different stage of the game.

mease19

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 02:29:18 AM »
You could also treat it like a refresh scene in Lady Blackbird, asking for advice isn't just a sound bite, it's gotta be a short scene where they discuss. 

Scrape

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 03:25:42 AM »
I had never considered the abuse potential; my Wizard treated it like "advice on a full course of action," and basically came up with a plan. Y'know, instead of a single attack or action, it was more along the lines of "how do we convince the townspeople to believe us."

So definitely talk about it with your players. Suggest to them that it's for planning something big or definite, not just for every time they attack or whatever. Interesting.

noofy

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 07:36:27 AM »
As a GM, I Love love love this move!

See it as a potential, not for abuse of the system, but co-authoring canon about the world. Its the epitome of 'leave blanks'. It also helps if the wizard player is really imaginative or quick on their toes, though as Sage suggests, this can be alleiviated (and involve the whole gang) with judicious questioning. Unpack the scene that caused the trigger.

So continuing your example...
Oh really, how do you know that?
Um, I read about it at wizard school, plus I saw Farrafax the Dwarven heroine smash one or two in the arena.
Arena?
Yeah, I was gambling to pay off my school fees....


See what I mean? All this is now in your dungeon world. Lovely, juicy story hooks and setting colour.

Back to the impending combat, just say the Fighter narrates smashing a skeleton up under the jaw with his signature weapon and triggers a defy danger or hack 'n slash or somesuch and rolls a soft hit or miss? Well well well!

Looks like that info you read was pure conjecture [wizard], and that Farrafax thrust up under the jaw because she is shorter than the average re-animated human skeleton used in the arena. This skeleton being headless doesn't seem to matter one jot. It scrabbles its bony claws around your throat (cause you had to get in close), all the while its leering skull laughing manically from the cavern floor some distance away.... What do you do?

zmook

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 04:10:50 PM »
So definitely talk about it with your players. Suggest to them that it's for planning something big or definite, not just for every time they attack or whatever. Interesting.

I think this, and "make them roleplay it", are what I was looking for.  If the scenes are worthwhile I don't see a problem with giving out bonuses.

skinnyghost

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 10:12:54 PM »
Something else to think about: moves follow moves follow moves.  Someone comes to Avon for advice and Avon doesn't know already?  SPOUT SOME LORE, AVON!

Undreren

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 12:09:37 AM »
Quote
Know-It-All
When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when following your advice and you mark experience if they do.

Hah, seems like I understood this way differently than all of you. I thought that "and you mark experience if they do" meant that you marked experience if they marked experience, as in they failed the roll anyway :)
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com

John Harper

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 08:28:28 AM »
Ha! I like that reading.

noofy

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Re: Know-It-All
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 08:55:23 AM »
Yeah! Like if the roll is a fail or related to their bond resolving or its to do with their alignment move. I Like it it lots actually :)