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Topics - eliashelfer

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Freebooting Venus / Losing spells and other trifling matters
« on: October 31, 2015, 02:47:48 AM »
Hey Vincent! The document is looking awesome! I hope I can find an opportunity to play it!

I have a couple of detail questions:

- When losing a spell/ghost, you roll to find out which one goes away. I'm assuming this is an example of "roll and choose", and that you roll two dice, since nothing else is specified? Then what happens if both are 5 or 6?

- If I have an attendant Ghost, and it gets to assign one on my behalf, will it be the GM or me doing the assigning? My immediate instinct would be that the ghost is an npc, and so the GM does it. In that case, will I know beforehand?

AW:Dark Age / Impressions of the basic moves
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:43:24 PM »
Here's my thoughts on the basic moves.

First, a small linguistic pedantistry: You’ve added a standard phrase to misses, telling the players that the MC may hit them hard: “…expect the MC to do worse.” I like having a phrase spelling out the consequences for missing, but I’m not sure I’m a fan of this one. The MC will do worse than what? Worse than you’ve just done? Look, pal, the MC can’t do no worse!
Speaking of misses, I do like that there is usually some kind of benefit, even in failure – a little choose/mark 1.
The Basic moves:

  • Hold Steady: I assume this is a replacement for Act under fire. It’s different in two major ways, as far as I can tell. The first is that you’ve moved “You do it” down to 7-9, and added a +1 forward to the 10+ one. The second is that it seems to cover different – and less – ground than act under fire. Holding steady seems more… heavy, in a sense. It doesn’t immediately seem to apply to, for instance, sneaking up on someone, something expressly covered by acting under fire, and which I don’t see anywhere else.
    Claim your right: This seems to be a mix of Going Aggro and Manipulate. It is Going Aggro in a society where there is less “might makes right” and more “right makes might”.  I do think the move presupposes a superior stance that is not written into the move. What happens if I claim my right from my rightful king? I might write into the move that you need some footing on which to base your claim. Also, what happens if your opponent stalls, begs or disputes your right? Can you then claim your right again? Can you Hold Steady on your claim? The +1 you get from being refused at a 10+ I interpret as a reflection of the breach of protocol inherent in calling someone a liar or a fool, and the fact that you have a casus belli to go into battle with them. I’m wondering which other options there would be. Drawing them out?
    Go into battle: I was considering why there was no other moves for attacking people, like going Aggro - but really, you can claim your right, then go straight to this move, and you’ve basically got going aggro, but with an option for retaliation. Also, if you go into battle with someone unarmed, their established damage is none I assume? One thing I may have to wrap my head around is the scope of this move. Is it a few blows, or a long exchange? I know that can be variable, but I’m also considering what happens if you have several rounds of going into battle. What happens if I fight one of the other players? I choose to disarm him. Can he then lunge for his weapon to try to get it back next round? Would we both be going into battle, or would he be holding steady? How does holding steady interlock with this move? How about Drawing out?
    Draw someone out: So, this is a place where my background as a non-native speaker gives me a bit of a disadvantage, because I’m not entirely sure what this move is for. I can see it is a variant of reading a person. But what does “…to draw them out…” entail? Is it just reading a person? Am I trying to expose them? Am I negotiating with them? Does this move also replace manipulate/seduce? A small comment regarding layout: when the marks are on the rules sheet, you (theoretically) need a rules sheet for each player. Could they fit in the playbooks?
    Take stock/ take bearings: These moves seem to be mostly the same, except for the circumstances of their use and the questions you get to ask. In AW, you have “read a charged situation”, which is all about reacting to some circumstance. With this division, you have the tactical take bearings, where you look for options in your current situation, and the strategic take stock, which I imagine taking either at home at the planning table, or over the campfire at night, thinking about your options. I like that many of the questions incite story, and that many of them not only reveal strengths and opportunities, but also weaknesses and threats. Your options for your +1 seem a little slim, however, what with the missing manipulate and act under force. But maybe that’s because I’m missing something there.
    Pray: I’m not entirely sure what I think of this. It’s more straightforward than open your mind, which is in some ways a relief. But... if the gods accept your offering, will they tell you how you might conceivably make something come to pass, or will they tell you what to do to make them help you? Also, it seems that 7-9 is a pure MC fiat result – the MC will give it to you if he feels like. That seems counter to how you usually do things. Finally, I’m surprised that you just have to say what you offer the gods. What if I offer the gods something clearly inappropriate or inadequate? I assume the MC will just say so?
    Helping: I like the idea that helping is not just a bonus, but a second chance. It means you can do it on your own, but if you don’t quite make it, you can get help. A quick calculation says the average bonus you gain is 1.9 if you roll with a +0 stat, 2.3 with -1, 1.4 with +1 and 1.06 with +2. In other words, slightly better than gaining a straight +1. On the other hand, the move also underlines the need to actually do something to help, so there’s a bigger reward for a bigger effort. I like all of that – it makes it more significant to help. My biggest issue is that the timing and causality will be a bit confused – I fail, so you tell me you will help me by doing something before I do my move.

Have you considered a social “attack”? Shaming someone, for instance. It’s built into Claim your right, but you might be able to go into battle on words.

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