Author Topic: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)  (Read 5740 times)

samtung

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2017, 08:48:46 PM »
Sorry all, I'm still lost with the harder interpretations of MCs like Ebok and Daniel Wood --

If the Chopper chooses "You don't have to make an example out of one of them," they don't do what you want, and they fight back.  What is the incentive for picking this?  The whole reason the Chopper ended up in this situation is because he gave an order -- why wouldn't he want this followed? 

I'm still lost as to why you'd ever choose anything other than "They do what you want," on a 7-9.

Maleficum

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 09:37:31 PM »
Sorry all, I'm still lost with the harder interpretations of MCs like Ebok and Daniel Wood --

If the Chopper chooses "You don't have to make an example out of one of them," they don't do what you want, and they fight back.  What is the incentive for picking this?  The whole reason the Chopper ended up in this situation is because he gave an order -- why wouldn't he want this followed? 

I'm still lost as to why you'd ever choose anything other than "They do what you want," on a 7-9.

Once I played an Hardholder and gave an order to get something and as soon as I saw the 7-9 result realized that it wasn't that important and said: "Never mind, I'll get it myself!" before I punched the nearest guy and said. "Next time I give an order I want you to run at once."   (I became a little more careful in spouting trivial orders from then on. A little. Just a little bit. Yeah.)

Same character barked an order to attack some guys. (We were mainly a female chopper band and we looked after those weaker than us, especially other women.) On the 7-9 I had them fight me, and while everyone argued I did not have to make an example out of anyone and while they didn't follow my order most of them came along when I said "they tried to assault [some women], I'm getting after them, anyone can join me, those that don't should think closely if they want to ride with us".

My advice is to play the game, and worry about things when they come along (which is the perfect way to play The Chopper, in my opinion). In the latest example the MC could have said that one of them lifted a gun against me, and when I shot'er I'd go along and say to the MC: "well, they fought me (verbally) and I had to make an example out one of them, maybe now they'll come along?"

Disclosure: This was a minimal scene, in which The Battlebabe and Gunlugger was just as invested as my Chopper in ending the assaults. We did a sweep and then the problems stopped and the hardholder made me "policer" (the Gunlugger who was in his 60s half-remembered many things from before) and I think it inspired the MC to seek out someone gunning for leadership of the gang.

Daniel Wood

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 10:31:41 PM »
I'm still lost as to why you'd ever choose anything other than "They do what you want," on a 7-9.

Well the most obvious answer is 'you were hoping to roll a 10+'. You do have +2 hard, after all.

A 7-9 result is a push-comes-to-shove question: now that you understand this is gonna be a struggle, what part of that struggle is most important to avoid? If you can't see why a Chopper wouldn't want to avoid having to make an example of their gang, or avoid generalized dissent -- I dunno what to say, except think about a few more situations and I am guessing it'll become clear. Sometimes discipline is more important than effectiveness; sometimes you only have six gang members left and you need them all in working order; sometimes the thing you wanted them to do wasn't as important as making them do it.

I mean... group power dynamics are complicated! If that's not true of your Chopper's gang yet, don't worry -- it will be after a few more 7-9 Pack Alpha results, especially if you just keep choosing 'they do the thing.'

noclue

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 10:43:23 PM »
This is what the book means when it says all NPCs are threats. They're not always threats to you. Sometimes, they're threats to themselves. This gang is yours right? You want to use it, right? Cool, but the threat is that it will destroy itself in front of you.

Choosing "you don't have to make an example of one of them." Means that, while the gang doesn't do the thing and they may fight a bit, you don't have to stick your knife in Waldo to keep your gang.

Or, choose "they don't fight back" so the GM can't say "you know Pepper? Yeah, who just told you she was pregnant with your child in the last scene? Well, when the dust clears you see her lying there in the dirt, bleeding from that jagged cut across her abdomen. Wow, that's a lot of blood. What do you do?"
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 10:50:43 PM by noclue »
James R.

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Munin

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 11:12:43 PM »
Also, there are times where "they fight you over it" literally means they fight you over it. They're a gang. You're not. So even with a small, 3-harm gang, you're looking at taking 4-harm before armor. Gods help you if you "upgraded" to a medium gang. Maybe you're looking at your harm clock and thinking to yourself, "Shit. I can't afford to suck down that kind of harm right now." So maybe you curb-stomp one of them to restore order before things get too out of hand and say, "Fine, you assholes clean up what's left of Waldo here, and I'll just do this thing myself."

samtung

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 03:32:27 AM »
We're going to give this hack a whirl:

10+, they do what you want.  On a 7-9, choose 2:
  • They half-ass it.
  • They fight back.
  • You must make an example of one of them.

I think it will be more or less the same in execution (perhaps a little less leeway for the MC), but is worded in a way we find less confusing.

Simon JB

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 09:16:07 AM »
Disclaimer that I haven't seen much of this in actual play, but to make sense of 7-9, I have to reorder the result chronologically:

You give an order, and they say "fuck no" and gear up to fight you over it.

Then you can choose to back down on your order, say "fine, fuck it then". But they are already geared up to fight you over it, so you either have to take the fight or make a quick and brutal example of them to make them stand down.

Or, you don't back down, say "fine, give it your best", and then have a fight with them that ends with one of them being made an example of, after which they back down and accept your order.

When I put it like this, I can more easily see how all three variants could happen.

Ebok

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 11:38:09 PM »
Take the fight doesn't necessarily mean the entire gang pulls out guns and shoots you either. Otherwise it's hard to make sense of it all. Kill one guy, or kill a bunch of them / die? That doesn't sound like a choice.

10+ Meh we know.
7-9:
They'll fight you over it means they will NOT do it. They will fight you over it. This could mean violence, it could mean mutiny, but it always means a break down in authority. Here you've got a choice,

– they'll do it, because you just shot off joe's face but you've got some very unhappy violent fuckers on your hands..
– they'll not fight you over it, because you just shot off joe's face (keep their respect/fear), and you backed down from doing that stupid shit.
– No one had to die, because you backed down and let the mutiny run it's course. Maybe you can take it back over / pull it back together tomorrow when you've got something shiney to wave in their faces. Either way, you're not really the boss right now, they're too angry to either respect you or fear you.

Why choose these? Well, Let's say the fucker you've got to make an example of is the guy that builds your bikes, or the girl the gun lugger is sleeping with, or the favorite cousin in the band of hedgehoggers you've got for the dirty work. Maybe you dont want to kill that one and deal with the snowball. Maybe you realize that they're right, and this idea was fucking stupid. Maybe you're in the middle of a fight and cant be spending your time trying to maintain order with other folk still trying to kill you, run away sounds like the way to go. Maybe you've only got 5 people left alive in your gang, and it'd be easier dealing with them tomorrow then shooting one of them in the face now and having 4 left. Or maybe, just maybe, you need this shit done now, and if you have to deal with unhappy people one man short, that's fine.

The point is that this move shows you how HARD it is to keep a gang of violent people together. It for me is a VERY descriptive / prescriptive example of how interactions with people can go. Fight you over it is open to interpretation, so is make an example of someone; these dont always mean exactly the same thing in every situation, and of course, the order's probably very different case to case too.

---

As for your hack. It is not the same in execution, At all.
Here is one that is closer:

10+, they do what you want.
On a 7-9, choose 1:
• They do what you want / You don't back down.
• You didn't have to kill anyone / Prove you're the fucking alpha.
• They don't abandon you afterwards / You don't have to make it up to them.
Miss: They're gone, or you're fighting all of them.

---- EXMAPLES -----

If you want an example of why you hack doesn't cover the bases, look at this example. Your gang is fighting the harder's gang over something that'll make the winner rich. Your gang and his gang exchange harm, his suffers 2-harm, yours suffers 3-harm. At this point the gangs will's have been weakened. They'll only stay with strong leadership. For PCs this is only strong leadership if the gang believes in him / are too terrified to disobey. Let's say they both are strong. A second exchange happens. Choppers gang has 5 harm, Hardholder's gang is at 4 harm. Chopper's gang's got the better position now and might even be able to load up some of the loot. But... The hardholder orders a charge.

If the Chopper doesn't want his guys to turn tail and fucking run. He's got to order them to stay, be the pack alpha. In your hack... what does "they half ass it" even mean?

Here's another. The Chopper gang just went off the handle to pillages and plundered a town that was the Chopper thought was responsible for something. Easy Money. Awesome. Everyone's riding high, until the Chopper realizes there's been a mistake. This place was an ally to His friend the Hardholder, the one on the other side of the river was the one they were suppose to wreck. But that one had time to see the smoke from this one, so it's not an easy target anymore. The Chopper works it out with someone, but they have to return the loot. ( This could be any variation of plunder needing returned, or given over to non-gang members ).

Well the point here is there's no way fucking thieves are going to want to give back the shit. The Chopper ORDERS them to anyway. Pack Alpha. What does "they half-ass it" even mean?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 12:44:06 AM by Ebok »

samtung

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Re: Confused about Pack Alpha (Chopper)
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 12:02:30 AM »
So, from the 2e rules, p. 188:

Just to lay it right out: on a 7–9, the player’s choices are
(1) they do what you want, after a fight in which they beat the shit out of you but you make an example of one of them;
(2) they don’t do what you want, but you make an example of one of them and so they don’t beat the shit out of you;
(3) you don’t make an example of one of them, so they beat the shit out of you and don’t do what you want.

This helps clarify it a lot for me -- I think perhaps my group is still feeling the growing pains transitioning from DnD to AW, in which several narrative / story beats are laid out in one fell swoop.  I could imagine in a more traditional tabletop RPG, choosing number three would result in player protests of, "Wait, they just attack?  Don't I get to roll initiative to fight back?  I have this feat that protects me against..." and it's like, no, you chose number three, which entails getting your ass beat.