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Messages - ctrail

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Apocalypse World / Re: Player control
« on: November 02, 2011, 06:49:18 PM »
"Here’s a fun thing to do: “Keeler, this person named III corners you that night. She’s fucking pissed off, she comes straight at you, fists first. What did you do to her?”
Maybe Keeler’s player will answer with something. “Dude, sure, I’ve been sleeping with her guy.”

Here, Keelers player decides that her character has been sleeping with III's dude, but in a traditional rpg, a player wouldn't make up such a detail of the background, at least not in my experience.
My experience differs- I'd frequently see details in a character's background like this. What I don't usually see is it being made up during the game, it's usually part of the backstory written up before the game begins, and I think that's interesting.

In response to your question- the MC can ask the player's questions. They should probably be questions that can be answered in character, from the characters perspective. It's recommended that you ask questions like crazy during the first session, but besides that I'd say it's a matter of taste. If you've already created part of the setting you won't need to or be inclined to ask questions about it, but asking them to fill in details from their character's perspective is always an option that's available. I bet the balance that gets struck between the MC making the setting without asking a lot of questions, and answering a lot of questions with questions, is going to differ a lot from game to game. Ultimately I'd say the MC is responsible for describing the setting to the players, but I think asking the players questions is a useful tool for doing that.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 09:01:25 PM »
Do you really need a clear dividing line? I don't think so.
It needs to be pretty clear. If I'm going to make judgements about what does or does not count as manipulation, I at least need a clear definition or test in my head.
But you do actually offer a pretty clear line, which is whether or not emotion and drives are brought into play, instead of just appealing to reason. So I do think one could play it that way and it would work. I'm not totally sure yet that the Manipulation move is meant to be that narrow, I'm not seeing support for this in the rules, but the name of the move somewhat supports that interpretation. It depends on how tight you think the connection is between the names of the moves and what they correspond to in the fiction. I'll mull it over some more.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 01:49:19 PM »
What I'm finding a little confusing here is that from reading the book, and from Chris and Allison's answers, I get the impression that all I have to decide to know whether Manipulation is being used is whether the PC has and is using leverage to get something they wouldn't otherwise. That's a judgement call I feel comfortable making.
That would sometimes include negotiation. It's necessarily a conflict of interest over the original issue, but the manipulated party could walk away feeling they were better off if the leverage was a reward rather than a threat.
Noclue seems to be saying that there is more to it than that. But the only difference I can see between my version of the car negotiation and his(hers?) is that his feels... slimier. Now, I can see why you wouldn't want a move called Manipulation to be used in a way that isn't manipulative. But I'd bet if we asked six different people on this forum what the difference between just talking, persuasion, negotiation, and manipulation is, we'd get twelve different answers. Vincent and I may not agree, and I may not agree with the other players. "Does this feel manipulative enough?" isn't a judgement call I want to have to make every time someone wants to use the move.
So does manipulation require something more than leverage? Is it something with a clear dividing line, like leverage, or do I have to gauge whether something feels/seems like manipulation to me?

Apocalypse World / Re: Hard moves for Sharp/Hot
« on: September 28, 2011, 01:35:15 PM »
@Daniel, could you give me an example of a time you made a really hard move that didn't follow directly from the failed move, but felt appropriate? That would be useful for me.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 03:19:04 AM »
I would say that if you propose something we both agree is in both our interests, that's not manipulation. If you propose something that you feel is obviously in my best interest, but I resist doing it. If you coerce me into doing it, whether through preying on my greed, libido or fear, that's manipulative. Even if you tell yourself we're both clearly better off. Even if we're objectively better off by any metrics that make sense.
How can you coerce someone with greed or libido? Isn't coercion by definition the use of force or threats? Imagine someone tells you they were coerced into giving up a secret. When you ask how they were coerced, they say they were bribed, they were coerced through their greed. Wouldn't you say them accepting a bribe was totally voluntary, and calling it coercion would be inappropriate?

I think you are referring to the proposal at a different stage of the negotiation here than I was a moment ago. Let's consider the example with fixing the car from earlier.
Offer A: Fix my car for nothing.
As you say, if this offer is acceptable to both parties, there is no need for manipulation. Let's assume it isn't acceptable. I can use the fact that you want to drive my car as leverage, and use that to manipulate you into fixing my car. We can sum this up as a second offer.
Offer B: Fix my car, and I'll let you drive it.
Now, that offer might be so clearly acceptable to both parties that a roll seems unnecessary, if it's just completely obvious that you'd accept that. That doesn't mean manipulation hasn't occurred, it just means we didn't need a roll to resolve it. Suppose it's unclear whether it would work or not, and it would depend upon the finesse with which I made the offer, or brought to the surface your desire for the car. Then it might require a roll. Either way, if I successfully manipulate you into accepting the second offer, that must mean you believe you were better off accepting the offer than not. In other words, I'm not arguing that we were both better off with the first offer, clearly you didn't think so or manipulation would not have been necessary. But we could very well both agree that we are better off with the second offer. On the other hand, I could have taken a totally different approach.
Offer C: Fix my car, and I won't burn your house down.
You'd only take that offer if you thought it was better than not accepting it, but you certainly wouldn't say we both came away ahead on that deal.
I'd describe threats as social violence, but I wouldn't describe rewards that way. Manipulation includes both cases. 

It might be useful to differentiate between the Manipulation move here, and the broader colloquial sense of the word manipulation. It seems like you reject that anything which doesn't isn't manipulation in the colloquial sense could fall under the Manipulation move. Now, we might have a hard time agreeing to the meaning of the word manipulation, but the Manipulation move seems to be defined reasonably clearly in the game text as the use of leverage to get someone to do what you want. I think there are cases where we can use leverage to get someone to do what we want, and thus the Manipulation move applies, but it could be debatable whether it's really manipulation in the usual sense of the word. Just like the Seizing by Force move doesn't always involve seizing anything, and acting under fire is very broadly interpreted and covers cases that you wouldn't call acting under fire outside the game.

Apocalypse World / Re: Hard moves for Sharp/Hot
« on: September 28, 2011, 02:25:12 AM »
You are certainly right, that is how the rules work. But I feel a lot more comfortable making a really hard move if it feels like a natural response to the failed move. Like, inflicting harm because someone failed an acting under fire roll, sure. But say they are in a dangerous situation where harm could potentially be inflicted on them at any moment. Inflicting harm in response to a failed read a sitch roll? Or worse yet, inflicting harm on a different player than the one who failed the roll? I'd feel real nervous about making that move, even if it did flow out of the fiction, and it was my turn.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 02:08:42 AM »
The more I think about it, the less well the idea that manipulation is always "social violence" sits with me. Violence entails harm, and the violation of rights. Using leverage can be violent when the leverage is a threat. But offering someone something they want is also leverage. Even when there is a real conflict of interest, such as when you bribe or seduce someone into doing something they wouldn't or shouldn't do otherwise, I wouldn't say you've harmed them. It seems entirely possible that the manipulated party is even better off than they otherwise would have been.

And I'd certainly say negotiation can be a form of manipulation. In most cases it doesn't involve a roll, but that's not because it isn't manipulation, it's because it's completely obvious that the use of leverage is successful. It's like how sometimes you roll for going aggro and sometimes you just inflict harm, or how you need to read a person sometimes but other times it's just obvious what they are thinking. Sometimes you say of course your barter is sufficient leverage to buy this pistol, that's clearly an acceptable deal to both sides so no need to roll. That doesn't mean that situation is fundamentally different from bribing someone to keep silent, it's just that in the latter situation it's much less clear whether the leverage is sufficient, and it needs to be applied with much more finesse.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 01:31:22 AM »
Here's how that could be a manipulation. You need the car, bad. I want the car fixed, but fixing it is going to be a bitch. You wouldn't take this trade, but I've got you by the short and curlies. "I'll let you drive my car, if you fix it up for free" just became social violence.

If it's just a barter of car for service, it's just a negotiation. It's not manipulative.
I'm not sure why negotiation can't be a form of manipulation, if it's not clear whether the barter is sufficient or not. I want my car fixed, I know you've always wanted to drive it, so that's leverage. Why do you need to be really desperate? Can't you tempt someone with something they want without doing violence to them?
Is seduction also a form of social violence?

In the example of two PCs on pg. 198 of the rules, Keeler just wants Bran to like her, and hits a 7 so she can offer him an experience.

In the fiction, the character is not doing it for the experience point. The character is being manipulated. The player is getting the XP for going along with it.
Oh yeah, of course the character in the fiction doesn't get experience, experience doesn't exist in the fiction. I was being a little sloppy with my language. But maybe it's worth clarifying what is happening in the fiction. My impression was that Hot characters are persuasive and they can make it appealing to do what they want, you aren't necessarily holding anything over them. Otherwise what does it mean for leverage not to be necessary, right?

That's what I mean- if the players aren't sure if it's manipulation, you're looking to see if one of them pauses and is considering it, even for a half-beat- if so, call it as time to roll.

Oh, I think I gotcha now. Two PCs are just talking, one mentions something that might be leverage, the other pauses for a moment, so as MC you call for a manipulation roll. But they could also call for the roll, with or without manipulation, right?

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:51:49 AM »
I mean, when it's PC vs. PC and you're trying to figure out when to make it a Move or not.

Yeah, I was under the impression that you didn't need leverage when it's PC vs PC, so you don't need that to figure out whether to make a move or not. You use leverage to decide whether to make it a move or not when it's an NPC, I'm not sure what not requiring leverage for PCs would mean other than that you don't need leverage to make the roll.

In the example of two PCs on pg. 198 of the rules, Keeler just wants Bran to like her, and hits a 7 so she can offer him an experience. No mention of any kind of leverage. Maybe it just got left out of the example, but there is a thread somewhere where Vincent clarifies, maybe I can dig that up.

Edit: Found it!
For PCs, you don't need leverage. You get the carrot & stick instead.
This gave me the impression that manipulation with PCs is a whole different beast.

Along the lines of what Antisinecurist said, I'd think about what's exciting about VtM to you and design around that, only keeping the elements of VtM that support those design goals. Basically, what's cool about a vampire game to you? If you can communicate that to us we can give you a little more feedback, it will inform your design, and you don't have to let the elements of VtM that don't support it slow you down.

blood & guts / Re: Why is go aggro a basic move?
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:31:57 AM »
To actually address the original topic-
I've noticed in many games that intimidation is a terrible tactic. You announce your presence and intention of aggression to your target. Maybe you are still so overpowering that they choose to cave, but often choosing to intimidate makes you less intimidating, because you've given up the initiative. This move makes intimidation a much stronger option because if they choose not to cave, you still get off the first shot.
So one difference might be that instead of going aggro, you would manipulate with the threat of violence as leverage. When it didn't work, you'd be more likely to lose the fight because the other side would act first. Whereas with going aggro, the side that goes aggro is more likely to win if a fight results.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 28, 2011, 12:22:02 AM »
I'm trying to get your take on what Sheryas called option 2 up above.
Option 2:
N: Hold on, I want to roll Manipulate.
G: Really, dude? Okay.
If I understand that correctly, the claim is that N can make the situation manipulation through choice of tactics, even if G doesn't think it's appropriate. I'm not sure I agree (it's also possible I misunderstood the example). From your explanation I don't think you'd agree either, but I wanted to check.

With regards to leverage-
With NPCs, when I'm MC, I guess the main time I see it coming up is seduction. Whether or not someone is attracted to someone else is pretty unpredictable, I'm not sure I could always tell, even with uncomplicated NPCs. If I can leave that decision to the dice, that makes things easier on me. Most other forms of leverage are probably easier, though.

With PCs, I don't need leverage so it doesn't come up, right? I make my roll, they get the carrot or the stick, and any leverage I have is just gravy, so it never really needs to be decided "officially" whether something is leverage or not.

blood & guts / Re: Why is go aggro a basic move?
« on: September 27, 2011, 11:49:14 PM »
You can get 'do overs' or not pull the trigger.

Go look at the write up in the rule book, where Vincent explains Go Aggro.
Not sure what you mean here. The book explicitly says bluffing counts as manipulation.

Edit: Also "At this point, the player can't decide not to inflict harm, it's gone too far for that." So no "do overs" or deciding not to pull the trigger.

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 27, 2011, 11:26:20 PM »
Would you say "I'll let you drive my car if you fix it up for free" could ever count as manipulation? I'd say it could, but it doesn't seem like a forceful or aggressive move to me. I can think of a lot of cases like that where manipulation could be pretty friendly, and calling them "social violence" seems weird to me.
In your reading a person example, what would you say if Wally didn't call for a roll but the MC did, saying Suzette was reading Cordon? Maybe that if Cordon didn't mind being read it wasn't a charged interaction?
It seems to me like misreading of intentions is common even between people who trust each other, and not calling for a roll wouldn't reflect that. But maybe those aren't the kind of misunderstandings that this game is trying to deal with.
Edit: And what if anything would you read into leverage not being a requirement for manipulating a player? Does that mean manipulation is something different in that case, or is there another reason?

Thanks for the flowchart, I find that a helpful way to think about this.
Two questions.
If I wanted to use Manipulation could I do so by behaving manipulatively, even if the subject was happy with the original proposal?
Suppose I'm not sure whether something counts as leverage, but it might be. Do you think it's alright to roll, and decide based on the roll? (I guess they were interested on a success, I guess they didn't care on a failure?)

Apocalypse World / Re: When to use Manipulate
« on: September 27, 2011, 08:20:18 PM »
Wow, that's not how I took reading a person either. I thought that could just represent paying attention to other people and being empathic. Why does trying to observe what someone is feeling, or figure out what they want you to do, necessarily involve distrust or penetration of defenses?
There are a lot of reasons for not just asking someone. Being able to read someone's emotions and desires without asking them is often a sign of emotional closeness, not emnity.

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