Author Topic: Investigative moves  (Read 12077 times)

Chris

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2011, 09:00:55 PM »
Well, I like that, but it's still just a way to pass out info. It's a great way, sure; I'd do countdown clocks with hold moves that fill it up, each tick giving more info, something like that. But does anyone got anything for clue interpretation for investigation games? I dig the Cthulhu thing, sure, but it's a small part of the investigative genre that seems overrepresented in gaming.

It just seems that the entire point of the genre, that deductive part, happens entirely outside of the character.

Sort of a "When you [want to] make a deductive leap, roll..." sort of thing? And then the MC tells you what your character came up with? But that feels so bad. Is this a fruitful void conversation?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 09:08:46 PM by Chris »
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

lumpley

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2011, 09:14:02 PM »
Simon: He's saying, prep a solid foundation and know your boundaries, and then improvise on them and within them as you need to provide more detail.

Player:
When you investigate a crime scene, roll+thorough.
On a 10+, you find everything there is to find. The MC will tell you what you find.
On a 7-9, you may not find everything, but you find enough to draw some conclusions. The MC will tell you what you find.

MC:
When someone investigates a crime scene, on any hit, give them the 2-4 solid pieces of evidence that you've prepped. On a 10+, though, improvise at least one additional clue or detail. If you need inspiration, think about the victim's and the perpetrator's emotional states at the time, their past interactions, their daily habits, their personal fears or failings. Be generous, more is better than less!

Chris: I'd just do it with ask-some-questions moves.

When you muse over the clues you've gathered, including getting results back from the lab and comparing notes with your assistants and analysts, roll+insightful. On a 10+, ask 4. On a 7-9, ask 3:
- Which happened first, this event or this event?
- Where was this object or person when this event happened?
- Here is how I reconstruct events. Am I missing anything?
- How did this person feel about this object, person, event or relationship?
The MC can answer any of your questions with "you can't tell the answer to that from the evidence you've found." In that case, you get to ask a replacement question for free.

lumpley

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2011, 09:18:39 PM »
Ah, oh, make it this instead: for any of your questions, the MC can ask you back, "how would you figure that out?" If you have an answer, hooray! The MC will give you the answer to your question. If you don't, she won't, but you get a replacement question for free.

John Harper

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2011, 09:29:55 PM »
Now I perversely want to name my murder-mystery-crime game HOORAY!

Simon C

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2011, 12:52:26 AM »
Vincent, I like that last one!

There's an interesting thing going on here which is the degree to which you want the players' skills in mystery-solving to influence the outcome of things.

I think it's fair to say that for a lot of people (me included), showing off their skills in piecing together clues, their knowledge of investigative techniques and so on is part of the fun. For these people, a game where your character doesn't figure out what's going on until the dice say you do is gonna be frustrating to them. "We all make up the solution together" is gonna be a problem for these folks too.

But on the other hand, it's exhausting for the GM to preemptively cover every thing the players might ask, or to make things up on the spot that won't paint them into a corner in terms of having a coherant story at the end. It's also incredibly painful for players to have to detail their characters' every action, and get no positive feedback.

To please these people (i.e. me), your mystery game needs to:

For the players:
- Always give them options for receiving more information
- Reward clever use of knowledge or intuition
- Provide a meaningful way for play to continue even if the mystery isn't solved

For the GM:
- Give firm instruction on what they need to know about the mystery before play starts
- Make sure what they need to know is not too detailed or lengthy
- Control the flow of information to the players so that the GM can just play characters and answer questions

JonWake

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2011, 01:21:20 PM »
I'm actually doing something like this for my Horror game (which I'll post up here when I've got the lion's share done).
Gathering evidence gives a special kind of hold called 'Clues', which are compiled and spent to fuel investigations.

When you gather evidence, roll +Savvy
On a 10+, you gain 3-Clues. The MC will tell you what you find.
On a 7-9, you gain 1-Clue.
On a miss, you have gathered evidence, but you can't make heads or tails of it.

This leads into players pursuing clues-- the ability to generate new scenes.

When you follow a lead, roll +Cool
On a 10+, a new piece of evidence crops up, and take a +1 forward to gathering evidence.
On a 7-9, new evidence crops up.
On a miss, you have alerted your quarry of your investigation, and they may hinder you.

Lastly, the players may finger the culprit.  It works similarly to the Savvyhead's Oftener Right ability.  The player comes up with a theory based on the evidence related to the case.

When you finger the culprit spend up to 3 Clues and roll +(clues spent)
On a 10+, ...

Okay, that part I have no idea.

JonWake

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2011, 03:47:27 PM »
Okay, here we go (there's references to some of my Horror tools, like Dread)

The Investigation Moves

When you gather evidence, tell the MC what sort of thing you're looking for and roll+savvy. If you are investigating a PC, rol l+Hx.   On a 10+, you get 2-Clue +1.  On a 7-9, you get 1-clue.  On a miss, you have evidence, but you can't make heads or tails of it.   If your Clue is +1, you get a +1 to following any leads from that clue.

When you follow a lead, you roll +cool.
On a 10+, the MC gives you a scene where new evidence crops up, and take a +1 forward to gathering evidence.   On a 7-9, the MC gives you a scene where new evidence crops up. On a miss, you have a confrontation, expose your position, or alert the quarry.

When you put the pieces together, spend your Clue Holds (up to 3) and roll +(Clues spent).  On a 10+, you get 3 of the following, and take 1-Dread.
On a 7-9, you get 1 and take 2-Dread
On a miss, take 3-Dread
you learn their motives
you learn their weakness or Dread Secret
you learn where they’ll be in the near future
you learn the extent of the conspiracy or power


When you cover your tracks, roll+Dark.  On a 10+, you get all 3.  On a 7-9, you get 1.
you misdirect their investigation
you slow their investigation down
you make them waste precious resources


If used on a PC, on a 10+ you remove 2 clues from their pool, on a 7-9,  you remove 1 clue. On a miss you have a confrontation with the PC.

Daniel Wood

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2011, 06:42:49 AM »

Lots of these moves are pretty cool, but I think I would be concerned about their scope in terms of the story. Lots of these moves feel like entire scenes, rather than actions a character takes within a scene. Now to be fair, that mimics the source material pretty well -- the details of scenes are kind of unimportant compared to the fact that it's a Lab Scene or a Crime Scene scene or a Suspect Shakedown or whatever -- but it also kind of feels like you could solve an entire crime doing nothing but chaining together single moves, with not a lot of story/play in-between (or even interior to the moves.) If you compare this to the scope of vanilla AW, it's a fairly dramatic contrast.

JonWake

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2011, 01:23:04 PM »
I actually was thinking about that.  The solution is the 'to do it, do it' rule.  To gather evidence the character is lifting fingerprints, or interviewing witnesses, or any of the other things detectives do.  To follow a lead, the hard boiled PI may snap his fingers and realize that that no good husband of the deceased HAS to be lying, or the brilliant detective from Scotland Yard realizes that the reflection in the camera reveals where the photos were taken.   It just divorces the idiom from the mechanics.   I don't think it extends the rules any further than Seize by Force does, which is intentionally vague.
I'd also point out the that putting it together rules let the MC know what the character isn't aware of, and thus lets her adjust the story's pace.
I'll note that what I only have the vaguest ideas about are how to set up the fronts for mystery play.  My rough, rough ideas are something like each front being a Conspiracy trying to hide something.  This lets the players navigate the mystery the same way they navigate the fronts.  Really, the system would hinge on how fronts are used.

John Harper

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »
Check out Simon's method for dealing with investigation Fronts, here:
http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=417.msg3908;topicseen#msg3908

Mike Sands

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2011, 09:33:47 PM »
I'm dealing with these issues in Monster of the Week. I haven't had time to put my thoughts into words yet, but I'll post over the weekend with how I am approaching it.

Simon C

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2011, 04:41:59 AM »
I'm messing around with an investigative hack at the moment too!

At the moment I'm exploring my love of no-roll moves by making it entirely diceless. I dunno if it's going to stay that way though.

Mike Sands

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2011, 07:16:57 AM »
Okay, here's how it goes in Monster of the Week. Note that the objective here is to get the hunters on the tail of the monster pretty quick.

Quote
When you try to find out more about the current mystery, by research or interviewing witnesses or whatever, roll +Sharp. On a 10+ pick two (or the same one twice). On a 7-9 pick one.
  • Tell me something that has already happened.
  • Tell me something about what we are hunting.
  • Tell me one of the monster's weaknesses.
  • Tell me something that is likely to happen.
  • Tell me where the monster is headed.
  • Tell me who the next target is likely to be.
  • Tell me if anyone is hiding something, or something isn't quite right.

The Keeper may ask “how do you find that out?” If you don't have a good answer, choose one of the other questions instead.

On a miss, you're going to reveal some information to the monster or whoever you are talking to. The Keeper might ask you some questions, which you have to answer truthfully.

As you can see I've already taken Vincent's suggestion from further upthread and added it in, to prevent the possibility of going from "I found this bit of fur" to "the monster's lair is in the old factory" or something like that.

I initially had separate looking for evidence and interviewing people moves, but I found that they ended up looking almost identical, so folded them both into this generic investigation one.

In play, I've found it works pretty well. People naturally stick to the things that make sense to find out based on what they're doing, and as Keeper (=MC) there's usually an obvious "next thing to tell them" for each option. Monster of the Week needs the hunters to chase them down, so it's there to pace the mystery unfolding - good rolls will have things go quicker, and enable them to save more of the potential victims.

Each mystery (=session) gets set up as a one-shot Front, in effect. There's a monster, some regular people, and possibly some minion monsters, places, or afflictions, and a countdown that tells you what the monster is planning to do.

It turns out that I don't actually have any deeper thoughts on it right now, but feel free to ask if anything there needs more unpacking or explanation.


JonWake

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2011, 07:36:12 AM »
I like that.  I really like how you embedded the game format into the rules like that.  World of Secrets (the rough hack title) is built more along the Phillip Marlowe style lengthy investigation, with lots of dead ends, double crosses, and the like.

Each character is also investigating each other, thanks to replacing sex moves with Secret moves.  When someone learns your Dread Secret (you killed your high school teacher, you're a mobster's son, etc.) they get power over you.  It is, as the Monarch would say, a game of cat and also cat.

Simon C

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Re: Investigative moves
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2011, 11:29:49 PM »
I like that.  I really like how you embedded the game format into the rules like that.  World of Secrets (the rough hack title) is built more along the Phillip Marlowe style lengthy investigation, with lots of dead ends, double crosses, and the like.

Each character is also investigating each other, thanks to replacing sex moves with Secret moves.  When someone learns your Dread Secret (you killed your high school teacher, you're a mobster's son, etc.) they get power over you.  It is, as the Monarch would say, a game of cat and also cat.

Interesting about replacing the sex moves. I wonder if that makes it too rare an occurrence though?

What if you make it "When you tell someone the truth about yourself"?