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Messages - Natalie

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Apocalypse World / Re: Chopper Custom Move for Padding Out Gang
« on: December 01, 2015, 06:19:19 AM »
When you convince people it's in their best interest to join your gang, add them to your gang.

Being "in your gang" is not a magical tag that's added to each person in a drop-down menu. What does your gang do for you and with you, day-to-day? Where do they live? By answering these questions, you should be able to tell, in-world, who's in your gang. If you add people to that group, then you've added them to your gang. There's no move to do so in the rules, but there is a comment about the rules being both descriptive and prescriptive. If you grow your gang, adjust your sheet accordingly.

Alternately, just use go aggro on people you want to recruit, if it is that temporary (they probably won't stick around long if it's only the threat of violence that got them to join). If it's just a guy or two, you can probably do it yourselves but otherwise the litter of no-gooders count as a gang and you ought to bring your gang to the go-aggro harm calculation in order to be, er, coercive.

Go aggro I think works best when you ask people to do something concrete. Like "come back to our base". Then when it's time to go raiding, do you ask the new guys, cowering in fear by the fire, to join in? If so, do you need to threaten them with wippings again, or have they got the message? If they come, are you worried they'll desert you, let you down, or turn on you? Once you get to the point where the player and the MC agree that they are "in the gang", add them to your sheet and consider them included in rolls for pack alpha and fucking thieves from now on.

Both of the above alternatives presume that you do it in play, as in: you had already established who these people were, where they were hanging around, and then the Chopper player actually says they want to roll up and get them to join the gang. That's interesting, play that shit out. As above, either using go aggro, or just play out the conversation, possibly with manipulate rolls or promises, until you have triggered the "when you convince people..." from alternative 1.

However, the sort of move from the OP is cool to use in a love-letter – or more generally as a between-session / time-skip custom move. Then it's clear that you the MC is not giving them this move to use as they see fit, add it to your sheet-kinda deal. Rather, it's "instead of playing out the time when you go recruiting those freshly leaderless bandits out in the caves, how about you just roll this move?".

roleplaying theory, hardcore / Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« on: August 19, 2015, 04:08:47 AM »
I feel that idea conflates "that's a cool thing, I love this game" and "that's important to the plot (or story) and will come up again later".

You could argue that to some extent they should be one and the same. But I'm thinking of, for example, interesting colour about a character or a place or whatever, that maybe doesn't come up again. Or rather, should I as a player optimise for how likely other players are to build upon this, or how much they will enjoy it right now, or something else?

It's easier to come up with the opposite example: a really boring macguffin that keeps getting referenced, farming tokens for its creator, because the plot dictates that it's really powerful or something.

And then there's the thing (I'm really lazy now and not looking up how well-established this "truth" is) about extrinsic rewards diminishing the intrinsic fun in doing fun stuff. If you start handing out tokens for describing your character well, the joy some players ordinarily find in coming up with and sharing interesting tidbits might be diminished, since it now feels like work.

Another way to attack the problem is through setting design: "how do I steer the contents of the shared fiction so that, when the players talk about it according to some agenda (e.g. make my character survive) the things they say are often interesting?"

Apocalypse World / Re: Building Fronts - No idea what I am doing
« on: August 06, 2015, 03:06:35 PM »
If it's fine, I'll hijack this thread for my own front question (let me know if I should start a new one instead):

A single front is supposed to have a unifying Fundamental Scarcity, right? And also, all example fronts I've seen represent a single situation, a single part of the setting: like "inside the holding" or "the outlying gangs" or "Godzilla".

When lumpley called a one-threat front "fine", that was reassuring - I often struggle coming up with enough threats to fill my fronts. Especially when I feel like they should be connected both in the setting and thematically (scarcity). Like, what if I have an up-and-coming mobster representing ambition, and a sickness representing something else, both inside the holding?

This turned into a criticism of the book's description of the procedure, I guess, since the situation is easily resolved by simply allowing one-threat fronts. But I have several times sat down with my first session notes, found a single threat in a given fundamental scarcity, and then forcing myself to add two to three more threats that fit both the same situation and the same scarcity. I felt like the book expected all related threats to automatically express the same scarcity, which made me feel like I'd failed when I had two unreliable people within the same gang, and one was hungry and the other ambitious.

And yeah, I get that there's a point to encouraging the MC to, when making up new threats related to an existing one, consider making them express the same scarcity. Like, if I have the Godzilla threat expressing hunger, and start thinking about related threats like the flea-type mini-monsters, then those should also express hunger for maximal thematic coherence.

Apocalypse World / Re: Driver playing chicken?
« on: July 17, 2015, 04:32:31 PM »
It's about being hard? No, clearly it's about being cool. If you lose your cool, you'll panic and swerve. If you're able to just keep driving straight, confident that the other car will swerve, you're damn cool. Roll to act under fire, with the fire being "you turn before they do".

Regardless of whether the Driver chickens out, will the NPC? Will they chicken, or do they have enough of a death-wish to crash if the Driver stays on course? Or will they stay in for longer than their driving skill can handle, thus crashing while trying to swerve? You as the MC have to make this call, I think, but you can use any of the handy options to disclaim decision-making. With this information, the cool roll above is clear. Perhaps you want to be generous with the truth, and tell the Driver "it's no use, Tum Tum is crazy, they'll just crash into you" if that's the case.

If you decide they would swerve "at the last moment", though, then a cool roll would be great to determine whose "last moment" is actually last. 10+, Tum Tum chickens out. 7-9, maybe they crash from being overconfident (you prove your cool but they do too, to grievous bodily harm for you both), or Tum Tum swerves but the Driver also wavers. Miss, maybe the Driver panics and swerves first, maybe Tum Tum or an accomplice draws a gun and starts firing at your windshield while you're at it.

Alternate ruling: you're threatening them, but you don't actually intend to follow through. Roll to manipulate. Your promise is that you'll keep driving, and the concrete promise is... driving so fast and furiously that it warrants an acting under fire roll not to dent their car while passing, perhaps, or just to not crash after passing them? Or, I dunno, locking the pedal and climbing on the roof. That's concrete assurance you're committed (if you don't want to die you can still "chicken" by jumping off, but you have staked your car).

If you really think it ought to be hard, write a hard custom move with the outcomes you envision. Maybe they are you swerve / you crash / they swerve, or maybe they're something else. I'd say it depends on the NPC. With a crazy enough NPC, it's not about whether you're hard enough to stay in; it's whether you're sharp enough to realize they have a death wish, and chicken out in time. Imagine playing against, like, any of the characters at the end of Fury Road. Rictus Erectus would crash a car and die to bring a halt to the war rig, as would any other war boy.

Being a fan of the player's character, however, means that if there's no reason to believe the NPC would stay in to the end, a successful cool roll means the NPC chickens out.

Finally, if you really want it to be not only hard but go aggro, I think exchanging harm on a 10+ makes sense in this context. Imagine you're going aggro with a grenade at close quarters, like Leia (disguised as a bounty hunter) in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi. If they force your hand, they take harm, but your weapon of choice happened to have a hell of a recoil. If you can go aggro with a messy weapon, hurting people other than the one you threatened when you fire, then I think you can go aggro with a car, hurting yourself when you "pull the trigger".

I think the cool roll is more appropriate, though.

Fake edit: yeah, derendel said much the same things as me.

Dungeon World / Re: New GM - Paying Nature's Price
« on: July 12, 2015, 03:50:49 PM »
Another way of seeing it is to have each element have some thing it "wants" and have the druid either perform that as a quick "ritual" unless they choose to avoid it. Like, if you want fire to do something for you, you need to give fire what it wants which might be e.g. more fuel. This might be weird in fast-paced combat situations, but otherwise maybe you need to sacrifice a bush or a tree or something, and only then will the fire spirits do your bidding (e.g. forge a sword for you, or burn someone's house down).

If you really want to you could make it a debt thing; you can have the druid be the guy who always says "c'mon spirits, I'll make it up to you later!" Then during downtime, he'll actually have to let fire loose on a tree, or bury a few coins in the ground, or make a burnt food offering where the smoke reaches the air spirits, or spend the whole night meditating by the forest pond, or whatever. Ideally you'd do this without having to keep a tally of "favours owed" for each element; if the druid in question said "yeah, that's the way it works" I would pretty much limit them to one unpaid debt per element at a time. Effectively, if they owe the fire spirits something, they must choose "you avoid paying nature's price" if they ask fire for another favour before paying back.

That's a specific type of druid though, and it might be harder to mix and match with other types of "nature's price".

For more general ideas, make the elemental spirits have personalities. If the druid asks the earth spirits to block the door, tell them this particular mountain is very greedy and requires them to sacrifice some gold. If the druid asks the wind spirits to ease their fall, tell them these wind spirits are very vain and will tear away their fine clothes. If they ask the water spirits to bring up water for them to drink while they're trapped in the cave-in, tell them the waters of this area abhors fire, so they need to put out all torches before the water will comply. In general, give the spirits something concrete they want, that doesn't have to fit into what all water always wants - it's what this particular water spirit wants.

A general problem with the option of "paying a price", I think, is that it sort of has to be something physical and concrete in order to work in an immediate "I do it in order to cast" sense. If the price is that you return an stolen artifact, that's cool and all, but you end up a) creating a future obligation that you'll have to remember, and b) introduce the option of not making good on the deal later. Of course, if the druid starts ignoring their obligations the spirits might come for revenge later on, but that's still a "note down for the future" which is a whole other flavour of the move. If you like it, it's cool though.

Apocalypse World / Re: AW- Vehicles (non-Drivers)
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:07:25 PM »
Also, I don't know if maybe this is crystal clear to everyone involved, but I haven't seen it mentioned. Every car, even "normal unmodified" cars, have the stats: power, looks, speed and weakness. It's just, you only use them if you have A no shit driver.

You could of course add a custom move, like, when you're in a car chase or something, that reads roll+speed.

Maybe you want to add "when someone else tries to help or interfere with you, add your car's weakness to their roll" for everyone. Otherwise taking A no shit driver means you're suddenly worse at helping others from behind the wheel than you were before (which kind of makes sense if you want it too, I guess?).

But if you don't do either of those, and for as long as no-one takes A no shit driver as an advance, you don't need to actually stat the cars up. But be sure to establish them fictionally: is this car actually a powerhouse, rickety, reliable, really fast, eerily quiet, etc.? And with the savvyhead, if they mount a grenade launcher on the car, then they can drive around and, you know, fire grenade shells from the car! That's awesome. Treat it like you would any player firing grenade shells while in a moving car. There are stats for the grenade launcher, if you need its harm rating.

Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate xp rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: June 15, 2015, 05:07:19 PM »
I wanted to drop in here with an update. I'm currently playing with the following, much simplified, version of this:

Firstly, highlight as normal, but don't take xp when you roll. At the end of the session, ask the group the following the question:
- Did I show you how [stat] I can be? Alternatively, did I show you what happens when I try to be [stat]?
If at least one player answers "yes", take 2 xp.

Secondly, you get xp from playbook moves, seduce or manipulate, Hx resetting and whatever just as normal.

That's it, that's all. Compared to my first post, it seems like a lot less. However, this doesn't feel slow; in particular, no one player is "stuck", making 0-1 xp in the session. Everyone has so far gotten 2-5 xp per session. At the end of third session, everyone had advanced at least once; the fastest player just got their second advance.

I really like it.

It also fits with the new 2nd ed manipulate, 7-9 result: if they don't do it, erase one of their highlights. That's 2 xp at they don't get at the end of the session; possibly 2 xp they already secured by acting hard or whatever earlier in the session. With xp-for-rolling-highlighted, that option loses its teeth near the end of the session.

Apocalypse World / Re: Apocalypse World 2nd Edition
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:14:36 PM »
I started a new campaign the other day, and we're now two sessions in, using the new edition rules. They're pretty cool.

Apocalypse World / Situation-specific custom combat moves
« on: June 03, 2015, 05:51:23 PM »
I read the new combat moves in the Patreon preview of the 2nd edition! They look really cool, but they weren't complete. Vincent's instructions include "FIRST DRAFT - SUBJECT TO CHANGE - DO NOT CIRCULATE", but also "give 'em a try if you want to".

I intend to integrate at least some of what I see in the draft in my next game, so I wanted a complete set of combat moves. I added the missing ones myself, and I thought I'd share. I'll respect the "do not circulate" part, as well as everyone else who paid money to see this exclusive preview, by not posting the rest of the moves for reference; however, let me just say this: in the new draft, the peripheral combat moves are replaced with an extensive move for each of a number of combat situations. These include "assaulting a held position", "single hand-to-hand combat" etc.

The list also includes three that were not included in full, so I wrote my own versions. They draw a lot from some of the other new combat moves; for example, the hunter's chase is very similar to the road war.

(If this consititutes revealing or circulating too much information, Vincent, just tell me and I will take it down. Hopefully, even people who have not seen the preview might gain something from reading these!)


Open massacre, a field massed with noncombatants

When you participate in a fight which is actually a straight-up massacre, each PC among the attackers chooses, blind, two of the following outcomes: one they wish their victims would do, and one they wish they wouldn’t:
- Disperse in all directions
- Hole up and don’t show themselves
- Bring forward something hidden, that the attackers want
- Fight back
- Die, every last one of them

Each PC among the victims chooses one outcome, blind; that’s the one they work towards.

For both sides, the MC makes the same choice if there are NPCs in that side. If one side contains more than one distinct group of NPCs, the MC may choose again for each such group, but must announce that they are doing so.

Reveal everyone’s choices. The attackers inflict harm as established.

If all victims chose the same outcome, that’s what happens. If the choice was to fight back, the next round is played using a different battle move – perhaps a chaotic free-for-all or an assault on a held position? Regardless, the victims don’t inflict any harm as a group until then.

If all attackers chose the same favoured outcome, and all victims chose it as well, the victims take -1harm.

If any victim’s choice was the disfavoured outcome of any attacker, all victims take +1harm.

If the victims chose different outcomes, everyone gets their choice, sort of:
- If you chose to disperse, the MC will tell you something you leave behind or something you take with you
- If you chose to hole up, the MC will tell you why your hiding place sucks
- If you chose to bring something forward, you either have it with you or you have their eyes on the one who does; the MC will detail
- If you chose to die, you personally take +1harm
- If you chose to fight back, you personally take +1harm but choose one:
  - Take a single, short, personal action
  - Name another victim; they get +1armor

If there are still enough victims standing for the attackers to keep at it, it continues another round.


Cat and mouse, trying to get the drop on each other

When you’re in a cat and mouse game, play it out in three-stage rounds.
Stage 1: the MC tells you about the terrain you’re playing in.
Stage 2: make your move and spend blind.
Stage 3: resolve everyone taking their shots.

If the battle isn’t over, go back to stage 1 and do it all again.
The terrain
There’s no safe and solid ground, not really. MC, choose at least 1 and describe it:
• a precipice         • a wall         • shifting ground
• an exposed place      • an overhang      • broken ground

During the rest of the round, if anyone manages to take real tactical advantage of the terrain, you can choose to give them a bonus. Judge the advantage they’ve taken and give them the bonus you think best:
• +1 to a roll         • +1armor      • +1position
• -1 to an enemy’s roll      • +1harm      • a move where they had none

The move
Roll+sharp. On 10+, spend 3. On 7-9, spend 2. On a miss, spend 1. Spend them blind, on the following:
- Stay out of sight.
- Gain the high ground. Each 1 that you spend gives you +1position.
- Take the shot; choose your target blind. Choose this again to inflict +1harm.
- Take a single, short, personal action.

For any side with NPC combatants, the MC gets to spend 2 for that side as well. The MC may choose to spend 1 or 3 instead for either side, but must declare that she’s doing so. 1 is for a gang weak, noisy, or lacking discipline; 3 is for a gang uncanny, devoted, or well-coordinated.

Reorder all combatants in order of cumulative position, from least to greatest. Then resolve all shots taken in that same order. If you took the shot, reveal your target. If they are out of sight, you get -1position. Otherwise, inflict your harm as established. Regardless, if you were keeping our of sight, pay 2-position or you are in plain view of all.

Afterwards, the players with the highest position may choose to withdraw from the battle, or stay in. Every other player may choose to make a break for it, or stay in. If someone makes a break, others can follow. Initiate a running gunfight or a hunter’s chase (MC’s choice) where each participating player gets their position to spend on covering ground the first round.

Regardless, everyone who’s still in the cat and mouse game continue to the next round, with terrain, as above.


A hunter’s chase

When you’re in a hunter’s chase, play it out in two-stage rounds.
Stage 1: the MC tells you about the terrain you’re playing in.
Stage 2: make your move and exchange harm.

If the chase isn’t over, go back to stage 1 and do it all again.

The hunters start at position=0. The prey start at position=1, if they started in the same room as the hunters; position=2, if they were within sight; position=4, if they were out of sight.
The terrain
There’s no safe and solid ground, not really. MC, choose at least 1 and describe it:
• a precipice         • a wall         • shifting ground
• an exposed place      • an overhang      • broken ground

During the rest of the round, if anyone manages to take real tactical advantage of the terrain, you can choose to give them a bonus. Judge the advantage they’ve taken and give them the bonus you think best:
• +1 to a roll         • +1armor      • +1position
• -1 to an enemy’s roll      • +1harm      • a move where they had none

The move
The hunters inflict harm as established on their prey. Roll+hard. On 10+, spend 3. On 7-9, spend 2. On a miss, spend 1. Spend blind, on the following:
- Take a single, short, personal action.
- Cover ground. Each one that you spend gives you +1position.
Hunters can also spend on this:
- Shoot to kill. Add +1harm to the harm your side inflicts.
Prey can also spend on this:
- Take cover. Add +1armor to your side.
- Fight tooth and claw. Optionally take -1position, and then inflict your harm as established on a hunter with the same position as you.

For any side with NPC combatants, the MC gets to spend 2 for that side as well. The MC may choose to spend 1 or 3 instead for either side, but must declare that she’s doing so. 1 is for a gang weak, afraid, or lacking leadership or will; 3 is for a gang fearless, devoted, or mindless.

Position: reorder the combatants in cumulative position order, from least to greatest. Resolve the hunters’ spends before those of their prey.

After the exchange of harm, the hunters can break off, if they want. Otherwise it continues to the next round, with terrain, as above. Remember, if the prey starts shooting back, it turns into a running gunfight or a game of cat and mouse (MC will detail).

Monster of the Week / Re: Change Playbook Question
« on: January 31, 2015, 04:02:20 PM »
I haven't actually read MotW, but this question was unanswered so I thought an AW-based answer is better than none. That answer is: probably, but it depends. Physically take a new playbook, and start copying over stuff from your old playbook. If the new playbook tells you "you start with two of these moves", then choose them. Do you keep everything you had before? That depends. Is it part of what you left behind? Is it part of what's the true you, regardless of your previous life/specialty?

Technically, this can apply to the "potential for improvement" represented by checking off improvements. However, I have a hard time thinking up an example of a character who has taken the two "take a move from another playbook", where the fact that they have already branched out enough is part of their true self.

If you're worried about someone jumping playbooks and just amassing moves, think about the rule about dropping what belongs to your old life. Out of those eight playbook moves you've collected over your different careers, none of them belong to those parts of your past? None of them represents stuff you left behind when you switched playbooks? If no, why did you change playbooks? In practice I don't think this is going to be a problem.

Apocalypse World / Re: Breaking away from the archetypes
« on: January 21, 2015, 02:43:47 AM »
I played a Brainer masquerading as an Angel. It was pretty close to the "clinical psychic" archetype mentioned previously, but the whole game of "if they find out the truth they'll hate me and throw me out (to the mutated wolves in the forest)". At the same time I played Marie as unable to resist improving or experimenting with people's heads when they wound up on her table.

In a game I MC'dthe Brainer was an archetypal "creepy kid" from like a horror movie. Also an archetype, but maybe not the one most often found in the Brainer playbook.

Another game saw a Touchstone whose ideal was pacifism, and whose vision of a greater world was a "swords into plowbills" thing. His symbol was a loaded handgun, never once fired. Between that and the high Hard stat, that player enjoyed making it hard for emself I think: would this Touchstone be able to stick to his ideal?

My favourite "hypothetical archetype break" has to be the masked vigilante faceless. In a sorta-large holding, maybe so large that everyone doesn't know everyone else, this guy is a Batman-like character who pulls on the mask and goes beat up bad guys at night (complete with a very subjective definition of "bad guy"). The rules then imply that Bruce Wayne is actually a wimp without his mask on.

Apocalypse World / Re: Changes to XP and Helping/Interfering?
« on: January 14, 2015, 05:27:17 PM »
First thing: it seems to me there are two different views on what forces or compels a player to (have their character) act a certain way.

On the one hand, highlighting means I might suddenly have an incentive to do something I normally wouldn't (e.g. use hard). If I'm going to play the game "as it wants to be played", I should go for those highlighted stats, right?

On the other hand, consider xp-for-failure. I have an incentive to do something I normally don't want to (fail a roll). I can't control my rolls, but I can control the odds for failure - by rolling for my worst stats. So if I'm going to play the game "as it wants to be played", I should go for those low stats, right?

Yeah there's a difference, since in one case it's a guaranteed xp for a guaranteed "out-of-character", and in the other case it's a higher chance (risk) of xp for a higher risk (chance) of an "unwanted action". But I'd argue that it's a difference in scale, not a difference in kind.

In the end, my guess is that something in your groups' dynamics, or understanding of xp, or whatever, is a bit off if you see the one thing as promoting a healthy dynamic and not the other. If the premise is that the xp system can irredeemable cause players to play in bad ways, then either system can. I don't know exactly what makes one group react to one and not to the other, and I'm not saying it's not something real. But this all seems a tad hypocritical to me.

Apocalypse World / Re: Changes to XP and Helping/Interfering?
« on: January 10, 2015, 03:24:50 PM »
1) I see what you mean with highlight-based experience being weird sometimes. A related complaint that I have, though it's not the same as the stat substitution issue you brought up, is this: depending on how you play, different moves are way more easy to use several times than others. For example, it feels like you can spend an entire scene in tense negotiations with someone and end up having rolled a total of one read a person and one manipulate – while some action scenes might have you roll hard or cool moves over and over. It's not really one-to-one with dramatic importance and number of rolls, is what I'm saying, and it shouldn't necessarily have to be. But it can make the experience gain uneven.

First, I don't think just adopting Dungeon World wholesale messes up anything other than the odd Touchstone move. Consider increasing the improvement limit to 7 or 8 instead of 5 though – in DW it's [7 + level].

Second, I have some other ideas for alternate xp systems for your consideration. I don't think either is better than any other, but you should use one that you and your group think seems reasonable, fair and easy-to-use. Some of them can be found here:
The ideas, in short:
- Ask questions after session in the vein of "did we encounter a new npc?" and for every yes, everyone marks xp
- Ask the group "did I show how [highlighted stat] I can be this session?" and for yes, mark xp
- Use highlighting as usual but use the Singleton Rule from Monsterhearts: you can only gain one xp from a single source (i.e. highlighted stat) in each scene

2) An easy solution, to make people do it more, is to simply say that a successful aid roll bumps up the aided person's roll one level. If your players are very tightly-knit, and cooperate to dominate the rest of the world, this might make them more unstoppable than otherwise... But players working completely in tandem are pretty unstoppable ordinarily too.

With this change there's no need to allow aiding rolls after seeing the result, unless you want to.

Dungeon World / Re: Hard moves for Failing a Shapeshift
« on: January 05, 2015, 03:53:28 AM »
I have on several occasions turned their move on them in the following fashion: give them 1-3 different animal moves, 1-2 hold, and tell them they can't shapeshift back until they've spent all the hold.

My best memory of this is when a druid turned into a small fish, to slip out of an opponent's grip. When they failed the roll I let them transform and slip out of their hands, but gave them the moves catch insect and swim. Luckily her companions managed to dispatch the enemies and drop the poor fish into a water barrel before she suffocated. It was tense!

Moves that work well with this tend to be stuff like enjoy your natural habitat or run away from danger or hide in X or eat Y, in my experience.

Dungeon World / Re: Questions—Hirelings and Magic Items
« on: March 20, 2014, 05:17:16 AM »
Did you say your party has a Wizard and an NPC Priestess? The Wizard has Detect Magic. One way, although it might seem cheap, is to simply tell the Wizard player that just s you know, there might be magic items to be found in here, I suggest you take the time afterwards to cast Detect Magic and go through the loot.

Another way to bring magic items to their attention is to use the Spout Lore effects ("Vampires usually keep magic items locked away, afraid that they might be able to hurt them" is both interesting and useful when sneaking around in a Vampire´s castle) and the Discern Realities ("what here is useful to me" can be answered "that coin there -- for a brief second it seems like it catches the light of the sun and glimmers, but you're underground... it might be magical, or some sort of dwarven masterwork"). Same goes for "what here is not what it appears to be".

Remember, be generous with the truth: that last question can be answered by telling them both that the unassuming knife is trapped, and that there is probably a reason for it to be trapped; it's likely to be special in some way…

As for GM moves, consider putting useful but not game-changing magic weapons in the hands of their enemies. If they see that the barbarian chieftain has a glimmering coin in a chain around his neck, in a culture where no-one has any adornments or trinkets, it must serve some practical purpose, right? When the chieftain's an enemy, that counts as revealing an unwelcome truth (future badness), but if they defeat him they will be tipped off that there's something special about it.

I think you should also generally consider the people or creatures who have the magic items before the PC's arrive. They probably use them, right? Or if they're not suitable for daily use, they might be put on pedestals and in safes and protected by holy symbols and "break glass in case of emerency" signs. If a magic item is just lying around the dragon queen's chamber without any indication that it's special, what's to stop the little dragon princelings from playing with it?

I've never used Hirelings, so I can't hep you there.

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