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Topics - StormKnight

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I feel like the overall goal of the combat rules in MotW is fairly clear; to provide a mechanism for characters to hurt each other, defend others from harm, and escape from or otherwise end combat if desired.

1) How do PCs declare actions in combat? Should:
* All the PCs declare what they are doing, and then start rolling/resolving in a logical order?
* Pick a logical PC to go "first", have them declare what they are doing, roll and resolve it, then move to the next logical person?

2) How often should NPCs "act" or make a move? In between every PC move? When a PC move fails? When every PC has had a chance to do something?

3) Should every PC generally get a chance to do something, or will situations sometimes have one PC taking several "turns" in a row?

4) When multiple PCs are attacking a single foe, how many should have to "Kick Some Ass" and take damage in return, and how many should just get to inflict damage as the monster is unable to fight back?

5) How do you handle highly unconventional "attacks", such as collapsing the roof on a foe? How much damage should something like that do?

6) What if a character that is attacking from a safe position (Ie, shooting from a distance at a foe with no ranged weapon) really wants to be able to get benefits that you could get from a 10+ on a roll? For example, let's say a monster has Armor 3 and the PC has a gun that does 3 damage. If you just allow the PC to deal damage, the shot bounces off the armor. But if they got to make a roll, they could get a 10+ and choose to do one extra point of damage and bypass the armor.

7) What if a PC attacks a foe who is capable of defending themselves, but the GM feels they'd rather do something other than hurting the PC right now. Should you substitute another effect for the foe dealing damage back? Handle that as a separate set of moves?

I recently got a copy of Monster of the Week. I'm got a lot of experience with traditional RPGs and freeform roleplaying, but the more 'narrative' RPGs are still a mystery to me. Unfortunately, MotW isn't really helping with that. I've run three games, but I feel more like I'm forcing the system to act like a traditional RPG that I'm used to than actually taking advantage of it. I love the simplicity of the system. The character archetypes are all very cool, and making characters is fun. But I'm being pretty stumped with running it. I've got a lot of questions here. I tried asking these over on RPGG, but got pretty mixed responses - a lot of people giving opposite opinions!

* At a high level, can anyone provide any advice on what I need to unlearn from traditional RPGs for playing MotW? Like, what I should do differently in MotW than a regular RPG?

* I find it very confusing when the Keepers should be performing 'moves'. "When its your turn in the conversation" doesn't make a lot of sense.

* Do Keepers generally actually bother making a "move" every time they say something significant? It seems like the system is designed around that, but having to ponder that out every step of the way seems like it would really slow things down. It also gets confusing in that the huge number of Keeper moves can cover almost anything that could happen...but not quite. I have no idea if the omissions are intentional part of the system or oversights, as they really seem to be more "things that fell through the cracks".

For example, in our first play a minion nicked a player with a magical dagger putting him into an enchanted sleep. This could be the keeper move "Use a supernatural power". But if instead of a magic dagger the minion had a gotten their hands on a powerful sedative in a syringe, as far as I understand the minion couldn't use that on a character, since no minion move covers that. So should a minion not do that?

* Several moves just don't seem to match up well with how we are trying to play the game:
  + Manipulate Someone: The descriptions make this sound more like "make a deal with someone"; you offer something in return for something else. But this doesn't match up well with what we perceive as how characters normally "manipulate someone"; usually characters want to trick people, or make more emotional/forceful appeals. That it doesn't work on monsters baffles us - tricking or making deals with monsters seems like an absolute staple of the genre!

  + Act Under Pressure: This one makes sense.
  + Help Out: Also makes sense.

  + Investigate a Mystery: Conceptually this makes sense, and I love the "get to ask questions" concept. But the questions you are supposed to ask just never seem to match up well with what is going on when character's do things that logically trigger "investigate a mystery". Its like we're always fumbling to come up with how any of the questions could be answered in the current situation.
Last session I tried stretching things around and had investigating a mystery lead to an answer a bit later. But then, since the "answer" was in the form of meeting someone with info, it logically led to just more than one question worth being answered! And it felt a "railroady"; the PC doing the checking could easily have not gone down the specific route of actions that led to the person, and then I wouldn't have had a clue how to provide the info.

  + Read a Bad Situation: I have no idea in what sort of context people would do this. It just doesn't seem to represent anything that I've seen come up in RPGs before.

  + Kick Some Ass: works fine, though it seems like you easily wind up in situations where its just sort of "And...I hit it again..." a few times in a row.

  + Protect someone: hasn't come up, but makes sense.

  + Use Magic: No clue how this is intended. Can anyone just "use" magic? Do you need to find spellbooks? Obviously some characters should be able to just use magic by default, like the Spell-Slinger, but what about the Chosen who takes the stats focused on Weird? What about a Professional? We've got an entire stat that I've never yet used!
I read through the forums before posting, and saw a thread where someone compared it to "use wifi" - you have to have magic around to use it. But I have no idea what that means. When is magic around? How do characters know if magic is around? If you are on a ley-line should even the Mundane be able to use magic?

* Weapon tags...we've got too page of these and no explanation of how they get used in play. Something like "loud" or "messy" I can readily see results/applications for, but something like "balanced"? I have no clue on that, or how the difference between things like "close" or "intimate" might translate meaningfully into play.

* Motivations for bystanders and locations. Really confused about these. Is the intent that a bystander/location never "acts" out of character for its motivation? Like, if a place is a 'maze', you will never meet a helpful friend there, you can only do that at a crossroads? I have no idea what is accomplished by assigning a motivation to locations, or how that is used in game.

Sorry, that's a big handful of questions. Any responses and help would be appreciated.

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