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Author Topic: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force  (Read 1588 times)

Munin

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #60 on: April 19, 2017, 01:59:13 PM »
Heh, right after someone fails a move is probably the best time to turn to one of the other players, particularly if your dramatic pacing is such that switching scenes is appropriate. Leave that player on a cliff-hanger, let them stew in their own juices wondering just what sort of fuckery they're about to receive.

I think you and I interpret the terms "turns" a little differently, but it sounds like in practice we're doing pretty much exactly the same thing.

Paul T.

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #61 on: April 19, 2017, 05:13:34 PM »
Oh, man. As I was writing, I was thinking, "Ok, now someone is going to nit-pick my example, and say that sometimes they cut away after a missed roll..." I guess I should have listened to that little voice! :P

That's entirely beside the point, though, right? The point is that we're all expecting a move in return, as you write yourself. Cutting away is a fun technique, but we all know we're coming back and the MC move is coming.

Perhaps a clearer restatement:

1. "Roll to seize by force!" "I choose to 'take definite hold'." [calculate some numbers] "Ok, so the guy is dead and I'm standing over his body, with the device in my hands, yeah?" "Yeah, cool!" "Well, that's it for the session, guys!" "Bye!"

That makes sense.

2. "Roll to seize by force!" "Oh, darn, a miss!" "..." "Well, that's it for the session, guys!" "Bye!"

This does not.

It's a different flow on conversation. One is a closed statement, the other is an open-ended question, and creates a very clear expectation that the MC will be making a move.

I agree that you and I - and, I think, Ebok - are all playing basically the same way, or close enough that I can't see a meaningful difference from an internet conversation.

So, what's the "new way"? What's the new paradigm, the lightbulb moment?

Ebok, where did this change for you, and open up a new way of playing?

(I'd also love to hear both of your thoughts on the cinematic vs. grounded ways of playing, and whether they relate to the changes to the Battle Moves.)

Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #62 on: April 20, 2017, 02:40:21 AM »
Your two examples, #1 and #2 aren't equal.

Here's the breakdown you described:
1. [The Roll] [The Choices] [The Harm] [PC and MC work out what happens][Describe Pause in Action] [Call an End]
2. [The Roll] [The Choices] [The Harm] [Call an End]

The reason number2 feels like a bad place to stop, is that we've not finished the steps. If the scene describes that player getting his ass beat down and tied up by the Gangsters [PC and MC work out what happens]; and then we see the Player getting dragged off scene [Describe Pause in Action], that would make this a perfect place to call an end of the session. We don't have to ask the player, "so what do you do?". We can let them dwell on it.

If in the first example, the guy hit's with his seize by force, but the other side is NOT defeated, stopping there without saying what's happening is just as problematic. If we take only the same steps you describe in 2 and rewrite 1 using them, this is what we get:

1. "Roll to seize by force!" "I choose to 'take definite hold'." [calculate some numbers] "Well, that's it for the session, guys!" "Bye!"

Are they hurt enough to quit? Are they still fighting? Are they all dead? Are they scattered? What's happening? What about other moving parts? What's the condition of the thing we were fighting over? Am I safe now? How did the numbers resolve in the fiction? Is anything resolved yet? ....etc....

In your first example telling the player they won, and are standing victorious,
Is functionally equilivent to telling the player they lost, and the NPCs are standing victorious.

That said I don't think this is an important point at all. No one is going willfully cut and end a session mid-beat unless they half to. People want a place to "pause", and in my experience tend to want this on some sort of resolution. That's a stylistic choice that has no bearing on mechanics however. In both cases, the players expect the MC to help resolve the results of the players roll. Whether that be a success, or a failure. However, after that resolution, it might be a perfect place to stop--no matter which way the cookie crumbled.

--------------------

There is no lightbulb here.

Munin, Paul T and myself, all three of us basically were on the same page for much of the other harm thread. It's not surprising that we have similar view points on this. I have previously abandoned the other battle moves played Aw1 battle moves in the beta-AW2 games just fine. Munin still likes the make a hard move only a miss clause.

Battle Moves have undergone a pretty substantive change from AW1 to AW2 though. These changes are reflected in many of the new moves, so I thought it was worth the effort to conform first and adapt after. I have not played a game with the battle moves in AW2 and have never built up a strong narrative grasp on how to use the advanced battle moves in AW1 either. So you will not get a nice pretty example out of me there. Munin might provide though.


My Thoughts
How is AW1 battle different from AW2.
• AW1 had a battle clock that ticked constantly through the battle, those ticks inflicted harm.
This can be boiled down to making hard moves on everyone present based on their degree of exposure.

• AW2 has battle moves whose miss statements are roughly similar to their hit statements.
The biggest difference is the Player becomes limited in their scope.

We no longer have Clocks in AW2, but that's okay, they were guides anyway. They were suppose to help up maintain a narrative tempo, to start off slowly with anxiety, foreboding, and minor scuffles and evolve in heavy, action-packed climaxes. I never used clocks, except to record events after they transpired as thought experiments. The narrative flow was more intuitive for me anyway, I didn't need that kind of prep.


What does this suggest?
We are now suppose to handle battles in a more narrative manner. Instead of you fight this guy, roll seize by force, resolve either way, the end. We're being encouraged to think more epically when we're describing large battles, especially if they have multiple moving parts.

As a battle gets started, there are still narrative "ticks", though they can come faster or slower depending how how the PCs act and what the rolls allow them to achieve.

Consider this pretty commonplace breakdown:
– The Introduction. barf forth + announce badness
– First Contact. barf forth + move against them
– Dangerous Second Contact. barf forth + seperate them / raise the stakes + move against them
– The Big Fish. barf forth + announce badness
– The Climax! barf forth + move against them with everything
– The Drawdown / Resolution. play to find out


What I imagine is that instead of marking a segment on a clock, we make moves hard/soft/descriptive against everyone present in the battle on these narrative/fictional "ticks". As a fight evolves we build the scene by throwing small dangers at anyone present and make them harder against those that are most exposed.

All complications give a battle life, make things dangerous, and spur the Players into action. As this battle progresses, these ticks become substantively harder, more dangerous, and faster paced. These ticks must occur whether a player HITS or MISSES their actions, because everyone in a battle is exposed to danger (and we should make the world feel real by showcasing that). Aw2 relies on us doing this, because many battle moves have /no draw backs/ at all, even on a miss. This seems evidence to me that we should be making these incremental moves, threatening harm on anyone not keeping their head down, describing things getting blown up to announce the badness of certain guns, or certain terrains, etc.

Because we're already going to make a move, whether or not they missed, the miss itself becomes interesting. It isn't necessary to drive the action, because missing means they are suffering the harm and they are not in complete control. They've got the results of the harm move to contend with, and they're probably exposed to danger still, meaning this next tick is going to be noticeably more dangerous (harder). This means, we are in effect already being prompted to make a hard move against them, they're exposed, they're in the shit, and they didn't achieve what they could have. Maybe we use that miss to go full throttle with something we've been waving around, or maybe we use it to strategically complicate their lives. Which ever.

The key here is that if they didn't miss that roll, the battle still goes on. It gets more hairy, it gets more complicated, and there are bullets flying everywhere. If a character chooses to do nothing but stand in the middle of the battle and watch, we shoudl make a really hard move against them. If a character has been sniping people for the last 5 minutes, maybe its time to have some of the bad-guys that got a bead on him to be catching up behind. Hopefully you see what I'm getting at.

This is a just thought experiment.

------

This Thread was a result of me realizing that the math with the new seize by force with a "ticking" or "fictional exposure" battle style to handle hardness of moves, had some problems. Namely, I've been profoundly bothered by the fact it is mathematically stupid to buy hard instead of +1 harm / armor moves. There is fundamentally too little difference between the results of 10+ and a 7-9+ and even a 6- for seize by force, and I was unhappy with the lack of interaction the move has with the npc's skill / motivations / stakes. It's just some raw numbers.

I didn't like that. I wanted the fiction to be more actively engaged within the roll, I wanted NPCs goals to be visible in the results, I wanted to have a clear cause for reversing the move, and I heighten the differences between a 10+/7-9/miss. I wanted to fake the PvP style, in a more act under fire style. Most importantly, I wanted match the style other battle moves are written in. I don't want to have to hack them all because they were designed with a different tempo then I'm used to.



Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #63 on: April 20, 2017, 03:17:04 AM »
Personally, to handle AW2 battles, I suspect I'm going to be far more willing to break the gang size / equipment down based on what's "in-play" right now in the scene, (smaller scopes) rather then perhaps scaling up to encompass the numbers of the entire battleground all at once.

So if a player is involved in a battle against a gang of 40 and a bunch of marauders. Rather then calculate the 40+ vs ??? in a flat open zone.. I zoom in, and describe the alleyway the Player is moving through, the 10-12 guys on the other end, maybe how they're shooting at another line of people, and know that there's the 1-2 harrier's sniping from rooftops / high-windows the PC might notice, or might not. I'm going to have them act against the player if he gives himself away, hit or miss. The player then makes their move against these guys, while another player might be faced with something else. Breaking up the numbers means the Gunluggers have a major advantage, so that probably gets countered by the fact that the enemies treat the Gunlugger as a much scarier / higher priority and thus more concentrated death focuses on him (so long as he's actually being exposed to violence).

The roaming dozen militarized dune-buggies is a seperate entity, they're not going to be defeated by the player rolling really high against the first dozen. When those fuckers come into play, it'll be on their own terms with their own numbers. Sure they might be on the same side, and partaking in the same battle, but I'd probably not count them together since we're trying to make these battle moves more complicated / involved / & chainable.

----

In AW1, given the same circumstance, I probably would be looking at the battle from a much larger scope, more of a war scene then a bunch of smaller fights leading towards a narrative. But we still could do that if we wanted. The biggest point to make is the scene above. When you've got not-obvious guys in the windows, and obvious guys on the ground. In AW1 if they attacked and HIT against the guys on the ground, maybe even killing them, I would not follow that with the guys above dump lead into them and forcing them off-course / pinning them down / separating them from the others / putting them under fire. In AW2, I probably will do just that.

Paul T.

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #64 on: April 20, 2017, 06:53:07 PM »
Hmmm. I feel like you've totally missed or ignored the point of my example: that the rules establish an expectation for the MC to speak, and to make a move. I know you agree with this, because that's how it happens in all your examples.

The reason we can get away with skipping the narration in the first case is because the move is sometimes sufficiently defined that the outcome is *obvious*. For instance, if I'm a Gunlugger with a huge gun, 2-armor, and no harm on my clock, and I'm facing a guy with knife, we all know that "choose 1" is sufficient to resolve this conflict. He's dead; I got the thing I was trying to seize. Additional narration might be fun for us, but it's not necessary to resolve the scene. 

Here's all I'm asking for - a simple illustration of this below:

When you've got not-obvious guys in the windows, and obvious guys on the ground. In AW1 if they attacked and HIT against the guys on the ground, maybe even killing them, I would not follow that with the guys above dump lead into them and forcing them off-course / pinning them down / separating them from the others / putting them under fire. In AW2, I probably will do just that.

Ok, you're saying you would handle it differently in AW1 vs. AW2. We don't need a length example or lots of detail; I just want to get a sense of where the flow of play is different for you under this new paradigm. Is there a place you would make a move where you wouldn't have before? Or is it a question of making your move "harder" than before?

In short, I don't understand how your understanding of Vincent's new formulation of battle moves is changing the way you MC the game.

I agree with all your notes on your version of the SBF move. I think it accomplishes exactly that! I may try it next time I play.

Munin

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #65 on: April 20, 2017, 08:13:50 PM »
I think Ebok's point is that under AW1, the Peripheral Battle Moves had a mechanism whereby everyone suffered regular harm on each tick of the countdown clock (1-harm per tick until 9:00, 3-harm per tick after 9:00). This harm was in addition to any harm suffered as a result of any particular move (e.g. seize by force, which necessitates a trade of harm in and of itself). It represented the danger of being in a free-fire zone, with bullets whizzing around and possibly unseen assailants engaging you. Many of the peripheral moves were structured around mitigating or avoiding this regular harm.

But in AW2, this regular "harm per tick" mechanism is gone. But Vincent has made it pretty clear that the new battle moves are organized in such a way that they represent being in battle, with all of the attendant dangers thereof. His comments about pushing consequences off "into the snowball" seem to indicate that it is the fictional situation itself (rather than any prescriptive, clock-based rule mechanic) that provide the danger.

Hence, when Ebok says he'd likely respond even to a HIT by having some NPCs pop up and "dump lead into them and forcing them off-course / pinning them down / separating them from the others / putting them under fire," he is saying that AW2 encourages you to use the fiction to do the things that the mechanics did in AW1.

Ebok, do I have that correct?

I think what it boils down to is the question: "As the MC, when is it OK to simply inflict harm on a PC who is engaged in battle?" AW1 and AW2 present different structures to answer this.

Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #66 on: April 20, 2017, 11:17:58 PM »
Munin, that's exactly right.

Paul T, I didn't miss that point at all. That's why I reversed it, if the NPC does plenty enough damage to kill the PC, the PC's dead and you can decide to stop there without any other words... if you're so inclined (though it's a missed opportunity either way). For me, the point was that a battle should now always be sufficiently complicated that a successful move still requires MC involvement to integrate those results. 

You've been repeatedly asking for differences between how I'd roll AW1 vs AW2, this is one of them.
When I'll run this, battles will now (as a standard) have multiple moving parts.

Perhaps it would help you if I said, I make "moves" after PC's hit too. Not Moves like how to fuck with them (well sometimes), but the opposite, moves that directly benefit them. They shoot that guy, and I'll tell the player how his gang reacts in trepidation. Or the player hits a 10+ act under fire, and I'll give a cinematic description about how awesome the player was right then. These's aren't AW moves persay, but they're really the same thing in reverse. I always do this, Period, and always have. Leaving that step off feels criminal to me.

You questions:

Quote
Ok, you're saying you would handle it differently in AW1 vs. AW2. We don't need a length example or lots of detail; I just want to get a sense of where the flow of play is different for you under this new paradigm. Is there a place you would make a move where you wouldn't have before? Or is it a question of making your move "harder" than before?

My thought process is descrbed in Battle Moves, My Thoughts, and What does this suggest? of the post four above this. An example of where I would have made a move when I wouldn't in AW1 is the entire post three above this.

Quote
Here's all I'm asking for - a simple illustration of this ....

The post three above this one was the simple description of just that. Was something unclear?

Paul T.

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #67 on: April 20, 2017, 11:50:38 PM »
Oh! In 1E, being in battle meant taking harm at each tick? I've never used the 1E battle moves, so I missed that entirely. How interesting! (I'd always interpreted the text as meaning that this was the danger being threatened - in other words, it was more of a direction NOT to apply full damage before 9:00, not a direction to inflict harm on each tick. Fascinating!)

So, Munin nailed it:

I think what it boils down to is the question: "As the MC, when is it OK to simply inflict harm on a PC who is engaged in battle?"

That's exactly my question.

Are you (both?) saying that, under this new view of the game, you just inflict harm on the PCs willy-nilly in battle? Or something else?

Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #68 on: April 21, 2017, 12:52:47 AM »
Definitely not willy nilly. In AW2 we design a battle like a narrative, telling the story of that fight, zoomed in enough that there are multiple NPC actions / motivations taking place simultaneously. So just because the PC gets the upper hand in one action, it doesn't mean they're safe from one of the other elements making a move against them. It might help to look at it like there are multiple, simultaneous snowballs. A PC acting on one, might mean ignoring the other, but both of these should play out.

Lets go back to the example of the guy being chased by a dude with an assault rifle. We know what the pursuit is doing, PC hunting. We know what the player is doing, facing off against that guard. We as MCs should also be thinking about how the rest of the camp is responding to the sounds of gunfire, the alarm. We should be asking ourselves are there any heavy vehicles or other artillery that might be brought to bear? Are there valuables / prisoners here that the guards might flock towards to reinforce? Are there other people that will take advantage of the chaos, how? What's inside this building, something dangerous? something valuable? something protected? What does that mean to the NPCs if the player gets inside, what will they do?

So even if the player achieves his objective, the rest of the camp is still in motion, and that motion might be immediately dangerous to the PC. Say we know that within that building, there are two more guards that would be heading down to reinforce that door upon hearing the gunfire. So soon as the PC gets inside and slams the door shut, they pull up their guns and start shooting at him. Even if he just hit a 10+ to get in, we are responding with a pretty hard move.

It's perfectly fine to threaten two hard moves against a PC from different sources, and make the PC choose which one they'll suck up, or which one they'll avoid. Or if they'll abandon something else all together to try to avoid both. Create Danger. My AW2 take away was that I should be aware that the Battle itself will be making hard moves of relative strength at EVERY opportunity that it has. The fiction determines what this looks like and the players actions / exposure determine its severity.

Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #69 on: April 21, 2017, 01:28:10 AM »
I cant believe I'm going do this... Let's use a D&D battle example!

You have a dungeon right? Long tunnels, old doors, monster infested. In short a very dangerous place. (similar to an AW2 battle). As the DM we know that the big room they're fighting in has three exits, the way they came in, a pit trap in the corner, and a big iron door. We describe the immediate threat of the monsters, and maybe immediately forebode that something really big and dangerous starts trying to break down the door, and we mention that all the monsters are avoiding one of the corners.

The character charges in and starts cutting up the monsters. There are a variety of things that could happen here, but the point is, no matter what happens with the bad-guy he is currently fighting, something huge is going to break down that door and charge the closest person. Maybe the player moves towards the trap thinking the monsters might back off. Maybe he stays and fights the monster despite the banging, maybe he turns and runs for the exit. The danger the PC is going to face isn't random, it's decide by the PC when he picks what he wants to do.

Hit example PC chooses to stay and fight the monster. He manages to cut it down just as the door busts open. The Minotaur charges the player and swats him across the room [hard move]. He did manage to kill the monster, so that's one threat less now. Maybe he didn't suffer as much damage fighting that monster, which is great since he needs all the health he can get now. Maybe he butchered the monster, and at the sight of him some of the other smaller ones flee the battle.

Miss example PC chooses to stay and fight the monster. He tries to cut the monster down and ends up getting his ass kicked and pushed back towards that corner [hard move]. Maybe he got disarmed. Maybe he manages to kill the monster anyway, but he's more hurt and weaponless now when the Minotaur swats him across the room [hard move]. Maybe the swat throws him within inches of the trap, and we somewhat warn the player by having the smaller monsters look leery of charging, but the Minotaur doesn't care and keeps on coming.

-----------

I know this is a weird example to use. I wanted to simplify the moving parts. The Minotaur represents a looming threat on a battle field, the monsters represent an immediate threat. The terrain represents where-ever people are fighting. Often times I think we'll be able to make the terrain a very active player in a AW Battle (ruins, rubble, hazards, heights, concealed things, explosives altering landscape, etc). The player is probably also more aware of a larger area then just "this room", and they can hear things happening further away, over the radio, other sounds of warzones, whatever.

Does this make anything I've said easier to think through?

------------

Why is this better then AW1?

The first improvement I see is multiplayer. Many times in my AW1 games, battles were very much driven by single players, often entire wars would be fought with only 1 PC combatant. That's fine, it worked, whatever. However there wasn't much need  or room for cooperative fighting. Sure it happened, but it was far less commonplace then any other game I've played.

Let's take the Alleyway example. We have one PC heading down an alleyway to attack a dozen guards. The dozen guards are shooting at something on the main street and haven't started gunning the PC down.  We also know that there are snipers in the buildings, that will most definitely turn their guns on the PC once he starts hitting the positions flank.

• PC might read a sitch, but even then might not notice the snipers.
• PC might miss reading a sitch, eating a bunch of lead instead of getting the jump on the gunners.
• PC might charge the gunners, and scatter them, but will come under fire of the snipers.
• PC might charge the guards and miss, taking the worst of both the guards and the snipers crossfire.

Now, what if we had another character there too? Even if they weren't all that hard, what if they decide to guard the PC as he charges into the mess. Soon as those snipers come up and shoot at him from behind, this PC might be able to Spend his hold to deal damage to them first, canceling the threat. Maybe he has multiple hold and drops both the snipers in the building. Now all of a sudden the battle's snowball looks a lot different.

This style of fiction driven threats provides a very easy way to handle teamwork in battle. Looking at the new battle moves, this feels like it's very much in line with how they read.

Paul T.

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #70 on: April 21, 2017, 03:39:10 AM »
I agree with your assessment of the new battle moves, and that sounds, indeed, like exactly what Vincent is going for.

However, I'm still confused by the discussion of the "battle". The way you've described the battle is the way I've always done action scenes in AW, so your examples look like AW 1E to me. That may be why this is confusing for me/us - perhaps we play exactly the same way, and I'm looking for a distinction which doesn't exist.

I think that, however, in your hypothetical D&D example, I wouldn't have the minotaur just deal harm without a chance for the PC to react. (I mean, I can *imagine* that feeling right in some scenarios - let's say another PC was helpless at the minotaur's feet, and the first PC decided to ignore that for a moment and fight the other monster... but I'm pretty sure I've never actually seen that in a game.)

My rule for making "hard moves" (like the minotaur doing grievous harm against the PC) follows the AW text - it happens either when handed an opportunity on a golden platter, or after a miss. I can't really see using a "hard move" under other circumstances.

Is that all there is to this? You're thinking of the "2E way", which is exactly the way I play 1E? Or is there more to it?

Munin

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #71 on: April 21, 2017, 08:38:07 PM »
If you never used the AW1 battle moves, the "difference" in AW2 is probably academic. If you did use them (which we did, frequently), it will "feel" different. Let me give you an example:

AW1: You're in a pitched fight, and the battle is in full-swing (after 9:00 on the battle clock). You've gotten to a particular position and the MC has narrated that the opposition knows where you are. There's a guy with an assault rifle laying down covering fire on your position. On the next clock tick, you take 3-harm (before you do anything else) because that's what the mechanics demand. Once the ramifications of that damage are out of the way, you are free to do whatever it is you want to do - if you're willing to stand up in a hail of bullets and seize by force, go for it. You'll expose yourself to more harm, but maybe it's worth it to accomplish your objectives.

AW2: You're in a pitched fight, and the battle is in full swing. You've gotten to a particular position and the MC has narrated that the opposition knows where you are. There's a guy with an assault rifle laying down covering fire on your position. Further, the MC makes it clear that standing up right now entails getting shot, regardless of what else you do. Maybe you say, "Fuck it, I need to kill these assholes," and move to seize by force. But before you can even make that roll, the MC says "Cool, but first take 3-harm and make the harm move for me." You have taken that harm because that's what the fiction demands. Once the ramifications of that damage are out of the way, you're free to roll+Hard, because you're attempting to seize your opponent's position (which is itself going to entail taking more harm).

The difference is subtle, but in AW1, you know going in that you're going to take damage every tick. The MC can narrate how or why, but the damage mechanic is, well, mechanical. In AW2, you only know that battle is dangerous, and that you will be exposed to harm from a variety of sources. The MC can and should narrate how and why, and let those descriptions "snowball" into trouble for the PCs. When the MC says, "Sure, you can stand up into a hail of bullets and try to gun these dudes down, but they're going to get in some shots on you before you can even bring your weapon to bear," what he or she is really doing is presenting an opportunity, very much with a cost. Taking damage is a precondition to the PC making his or her move because it is fictionally appropriate.

This is a different thing than simply relying on the "trading harm as established" clause of SBF, and reflects the fact that "in battle" is a dangerous place.

Paul T.

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #72 on: April 21, 2017, 09:20:21 PM »
Good example, Munin.

You're absolutely right: we never used the 1E battle moves, so what you're describing as the "2E way" in your example is how we played all along.

Now, as far as the larger discussion is concerned, here is what I am trying (and failing to understand):

When we play AW, we have tense situations and conflicts. We resolve many of these "freeform" (by negotiation of the fiction, and the regular conversation of play as well as MC moves), but some of them call for us to make player-side moves, as well.

In any given conflict or tense situation, there are the things the PCs want. Generally speaking, they can get those things by fictional positioning, by the MC handing it to them on her move, or by rolling well on a move (and picking the appropriate choices).

For instance, if I want to get my hands on a suitcase, I can arrange to distract the people guarding it (establishing that it's unguarded) and then grab it, get it because circumstances played into my hands (e.g. another PC or NPC killed all the guards and left it there), or I can try to get it against opposition. In the latter case, the MC might decide to give it to me (e.g. the NPC trades it for something, perhaps), or I can make a move to get it.  If I roll a move, the right outcomes (which usually require a good roll) will give me possession of the suitcase.

However, there are also (usually) bad outcomes in the equation: things the PCs do not want. In my reading of AW (1E, although the text remains in 2E), those bad outcomes take place in the same way: by fictional positioning (the PCs hand it to the MC on a silver platter, in other words), or on a missed roll.

In our examples, those bad outcomes might include taking harm from the enemy, losing the suitcase to an adversary, or losing the clifftop chase and being pushed off the road.

Basically, when a move exists which is fictionally appropriate and allows the players to push towards their desired outcome, in a conflict-laden situation, the dice are going to come out sooner or later. Although the design of moves varies (as do MC moves), usually the PCs can get what they want on a good roll, and the MC has the prerogative to bring a bad outcome to bear on a poor roll.

With the new SBF move, it seems to me that the players have the option to "get what they want" regardless of the roll. This is odd. (This hack mitigates that somewhat by allowing the hold to be contested.)

Under the new rules, when do the "bad outcomes" take place? Under what circumstances do you take harm from the enemy, lose the suitcase to an adversary, or lose the clifftop chase and get pushed off the road?

I can see this:

* The PCs hand the MC a golden opportunity. (Like breaking cover while under suppressive fire.)
* The PCs take harm in the process, and the harm move's results suggest the "bad outcome" is the logical outcome. (Munin has said that he would not choose those options that invalidate the move being made, however, and I agree with that in principle, so maybe this isn't really a valid option.)

Aside from that, it seems to come down to calculus of harm:

* The PC's harm clock fills up and they "die". (The rules don't seem to specify exactly how this works, so they could be interpreted to say that the PC still gets what they want, but I think most groups won't play it that way.)
* The PCs are not willing to face any more harm, so they decide not to make the move in the first place (or decide not to choose those options in favour or reducing harm, instead).

This hack seems to keep those features, except making it more costly for the players. (Since you can still choose 1 on a miss, the difference is just in whether the hold is contested and in how bad the harm is.)

Do you agree with this analysis, or not?

Under what circumstances do you see the undesirable outcomes (whether mechanical, like suffering harm, or fictional, like being forced off the road) taking place? Did I cover them for you, or not?

Ebok

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #73 on: April 22, 2017, 01:41:40 AM »
Yup.

I had no intention of "solving" the changes the AW2 Battle's system. Didn't attempt even it.
So if you were looking for that in this Hack, then you're not going to find it.

I see those circumstances taking place after I threaten the PC with them, and the PC fails to avoid it / cannot avoid it (entirely) / will not avoid it. However, Seize by Force is not a Basic move anymore, it's part of being "in battle". If you're not in battle, and what you're doing isn't resembling battle, then you're better off using one of the many other moves to get what you're going for. AW2 Battle has large focus on HP Skill and Damage (in the context of the fiction), which should not be surprising in any RPG game. Yes, there is no default you failed absolutely in seize by force anymore, so you'll have to stop thinking in those terms.

If your going to take a briefcase, it's not probably not seize by force. It might be act under fire. If they're not already shooting at you, then it might be Go Aggro (grabbing it under the threat of force). It might be talking them into giving it to you. All of these basic moves have the same miss condition you're used to.

Seize by force does not. Why? Because if this breaks into full out war over a briefcase, it's not over when you grab it. It's not happening in isolation from the rest of the environment's snowballs. It's opening up a willful exchange of harm between both parties with real repercussions. A snatch and grab is not seize by force. Seize by Force in AW2 has more narrative inertia then the basic moves now, it takes a bit more to get it happening and it rolls that way awhile before you can change it back.

If you used to use seize by force whenever someone wanted a thing, you'll have to get out of that habit. It now means go to war for something. The act of going to war, means that despite them "getting what they want" even on a miss, you're already pitching harder at them and it isn't done yet.

Munin

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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #74 on: April 22, 2017, 03:29:16 PM »
I disagree with Ebok slightly, in that I still think SBF is a valid "go-to" option if you want to fight over a thing. I think the difference between AW1 and AW2 in this regard is as follows:

Under AW1, if you tried to grab the briefcase and rolled a miss, you just plain didn't grab it, and bad things probably happened as a result.

Under AW2, if you tried to grab the briefcase and rolled a miss, you can still choose to grab it, but by even choosing to make the SBF move in the first place, you are now "in battle," and bad things were going to happen whether you succeeded or failed.

So as the MC under AW2, I might look at a player's miss (with them choosing to take definite hold of the briefcase) and say, "Great! Bullets fly and you dash forward, killing the guy who was holding the case. You bend down and grab it, you absolutely have hold of it. But now you realize that bullets are still flying and you're standing in the open like a dope. What do you do?"

This is functionally identical to the MC putting someone in a spot, but here's the catch: in AW1, this was typically the result of a miss. In AW2, it is automatic and comes as a result of invoking SBF in the first place. So sure, you may be able to get what you want on a miss, but in doing so you are putting yourself in a spot whether you succeed or fail.

See the difference?

I also think the MC needs to me a little more judicious about what "take definite hold of it" really means. It's not a case of "I kill all these dudes and grab the case and get away clean." The sense I get is that the AW2 "battle" situation means that the things the PCs might want to seize hold of are more granular in nature. In the above example, that means getting your hand on the case - that's it. You're not out of the fight, and may in fact be in a worse tactical position now than you were before - regardless of success or failure.