Author Topic: Seize by force and harm move options  (Read 4703 times)

onrigato

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Seize by force and harm move options
« on: May 04, 2016, 06:19:18 PM »
I’m curious how you all handle the harm move after a PC seizes by force. It seems the fiction that comes out of SBF can interfere with a lot of the options from the harm move. Here’s a SBF example from AW1E (p. 196):

Quote
Bran needs 10 minutes alone with Jeanette’s body, so he opens fire on H and Marser. He hits the roll with an 11. “Take definite hold, suffer little harm, impress dismay or frighten,” he says. “Fantastic,” I say. “You hit H for 2-harm and he goes down, Marser drags him away. Marser heaved his crowbar at you, but you could, like, turn it aside with your arm. You take 1-harm. It’ll bruise but whatever.”

So Bran takes 1-harm, and his player rolls the harm move. On a 10+, the MC’s choices are out of action, +1 harm, or 2 options from the 7–9 list. Since the MC already described Bran’s harm as negligible, the first two choices don’t make sense, so the MC pretty much has to choose 2 from the 7–9 list. If the player rolls a miss, the MC already described Bran taking 1-harm, so the MC can’t then have Bran take 0-harm in exchange for choosing something from the 7–9 list.

How do you typically handle this? Do you just go with whatever harm options still make sense, or do you retcon the fiction in response to the harm move, or do you use the “MC can choose” escape clause and choose not to choose? Or would you forgo the harm move altogether in this case?

JustusGS

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 07:07:27 PM »
Case by case thing for sure. If I was calling for a harm move, though, I wouldn't outline the results of the harm until that was completed. So I might say "You take 1-harm. It’ll bruise but whatever," but then I wouldn't call for a harm move. Or, I might ask the player to roll for harm, saying, "alright, so you take 1-harm, roll the harm move," and then narrating the results based on the roll, like, "shit, you thought it was just scrapes, but this one's actually pretty deep and still bleeding" (+1 harm) or "it's just 1-harm, but you know how you've only had one real meal in the last three days? Even that light blow is enough to make you light-headed at this point. Your vision swims and you're not going to be any use to anyone for a couple minutes here" (out of the action).

Basically, you just can't describe the outcome of the move before you actually make it, same as any other move.

onrigato

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 09:46:53 PM »
Thanks! Makes sense that you'd just skip the harm move in that case. Now that I think about it, Vincent probably omitted the harm moves from those SBF examples in order to simplify the discussion. (Obviously I re-complicated it!)

Daniel Wood

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 10:20:28 PM »

What he said, but also: it's the apocalypse, +1 harm _always_ makes sense. Infections from rusty weapons, weird radioactive after-effects, adrenaline obscuring the true amount of damage... there are dozens of reasons why an initial description of harm could turn out to be optimistic, without compromising the fiction at all.

Rubberduck

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 11:09:40 PM »
There is also the simple option of saying, "Oh, then never mind. Turns out it wasn't negligible after all. So 2-harm instead. So you'll definitely have a big bruise, and your arm might be a bit wonky." It is a conversation after all. Nothing says you can't change your mind once new information comes up.

clayalien

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 11:51:46 AM »
I feel like this is one of the areas AW really shines actually. There's a number of ways you can play this. Maybe when Marser chucked the crowbar, sure it barely glanced Bran, but when you turned it assisted it flew off into a very shoddily constructed bit of scenery, knocking something over and hurting you pretty bad. Bam, environmental damage with no need for complex tables and pages of rules to keep it realistic and fair.

Also, turning the things back in Bran's player "ouch, what happened to you there?" Maybe Bran's pretty clumsy and tripped over the bar now lying on the ground? Maybe it turns out the arm he used to block it was pretty dodgy. Sure, you the MC thought it would only bruise, but Bran knew there was a weak spot there.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's no specification that the +1harm has to happen to Bran. Is Jeanette's body a dead on in this case or just in a bad way and Bran needs to spend some time helping her? If it's the latter, I'd be looking at her through the crosshairs right now. If it's the former, well, that touching moment of goodbyes is sorta ruined, giving Bran the chance for some bad ass vengeance scene later on down the line. Or if he's the weird type and wanted to do some maelstrom mumbo jumbo on the body, that's now a little more complicated. Depends on your read of the players and the characters. Remembering to be a fan of them.

Ebok

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 11:06:24 PM »
If you were going to distribute the results of a failed roll onto nearby NPCs, that's fine too, but make sure the PC is okay with it. It's their harm after all, if they wanna soak it up, then they've a right to it.

My crew always wanted to be involved in the dealing of harm too. They liked having some narrative control over the cinematics of the fight. One of the best things we did for our games on the subject was to embrace this hack: Alternate or extra harm moves, by Paul Taliesin

It swaps around how the harm rules work, and instead of rolling rolling low and then choosing from the generalized list, you try to aim high. When you get hit, you can really explain the impacts of the violence. My players loved to jump in and explain how that fight went down, and the repercussions are well lined up so injuries matter. It doesn't effect PC harm, and since NPCs don't roll harm rolls, that whole thing plots out as normal.

Paul T.

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 05:37:45 AM »
Nice to see someone's using my harm hack!

I only got to use in one Apocalypse World campaign, and I'm glad to hear someone else enjoyed it.

clayalien

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 10:40:59 AM »
If you were going to distribute the results of a failed roll onto nearby NPCs, that's fine too, but make sure the PC is okay with it. It's their harm after all, if they wanna soak it up, then they've a right to it.

Yeah, you're right. I wasn't so sure about that one, but it felt like something that could be appropriate here. I wouldn't pull something like that unless I was 100% sure the player and character would shine in a crazy scary vengeance type scene. Asking if it's cool would be a very good idea.

This reminds me. I totally forgot all about the harm moves last night. One player took a craze to the cheek (1 harm) from a crazed towns woman with a knife ran at him after he shot another point blank. Another took a shot to the shoulder (2 harm) when she emerged from the Maelstrom in a flash of light right in the middle of an armed standoff between the hard holder and his gang and a heavily armed group of fanatics. She tried to convince them she was their god and failed spectacularly. I also forgot the first player had military grade body armor on (2 amour), which should of absorbed it (or should it have? technically his armor doesn't cover his face) I'm still new to the GM side and forgetting things a lot.

Ebok

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 08:51:42 PM »
Nice to see someone's using my harm hack!

I only got to use in one Apocalypse World campaign, and I'm glad to hear someone else enjoyed it.

Paul, this hack was by and far the single most important AW tool I've come across. It turned every instance of "alright I wonder how I should theme this harm on them" to: That was some seriously fucking crazy shit, it's probably going to get you killed, roll an lets continue this dialogue together. For them it removed it loss of control that the harm moves simulated, and for me it provided a very real way to detail the narrative around the harm. Rather then ask, alright, you're immune to that guy's weapon... so, roll harm to see if you noticed?

I've been using it continuously (as well with some of my own hacks based around it) for about two years, or thereabouts. I actually took landscapes and turned "traveling" across dangerous terrain as a type of survival counter, using the landscape threats to theme the resulting rolls, and creating a supplies roll (rather then armor) that generated an economy around what people needed to get from here to there. It needed more work, but I'll probably share it eventually.

Excuse the tangent.

Paul T.

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 05:03:51 AM »
Thanks, Ebok!

That sounds very exciting. I hope you'll share that stuff someday!

I tried my hand at some other versions, too, though I didn't playtest those:

http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/20465/apocalypse-world-two-simple-harm-hacks

galafrone

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:10 AM »
Nice to see someone's using my harm hack!

I only got to use in one Apocalypse World campaign, and I'm glad to hear someone else enjoyed it.

Paul, this hack was by and far the single most important AW tool I've come across. It turned every instance of "alright I wonder how I should theme this harm on them" to: That was some seriously fucking crazy shit, it's probably going to get you killed, roll an lets continue this dialogue together. For them it removed it loss of control that the harm moves simulated, and for me it provided a very real way to detail the narrative around the harm. Rather then ask, alright, you're immune to that guy's weapon... so, roll harm to see if you noticed?

I've been using it continuously (as well with some of my own hacks based around it) for about two years, or thereabouts. I actually took landscapes and turned "traveling" across dangerous terrain as a type of survival counter, using the landscape threats to theme the resulting rolls, and creating a supplies roll (rather then armor) that generated an economy around what people needed to get from here to there. It needed more work, but I'll probably share it eventually.

Excuse the tangent.

Hi Ebok, i am a beginning MC in AW/FE, and i will be very interested in your hacks here above, did you shared them or they are still in the "laboratory" ?
thanks anyway
tommaso

JustusGS

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 12:55:22 AM »
Galafrone, I believe the hack they're referring to is here. It looks like the link got kind of mangled somehow when it was posted upthread.

galafrone

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 08:03:44 AM »
Thanks JustusGS for the tip !
but i was actually referring to the last part of Ebok post where he says:

"I've been using it continuously (as well with some of my own hacks based around it) for about two years, or thereabouts. I actually took landscapes and turned "traveling" across dangerous terrain as a type of survival counter, using the landscape threats to theme the resulting rolls, and creating a supplies roll (rather then armor) that generated an economy around what people needed to get from here to there. It needed more work, but I'll probably share it eventually."

i was curious about his hack :)

Ebok

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Re: Seize by force and harm move options
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2016, 04:52:01 AM »
It is definitely still in the tool box. Maybe when v2 is released I'll see about updating it and putting it out there for the community to digest. It was meant for a very particular type of AW game, and we didn't use it much out of that.