Tell me about your experiences with Ally:

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Chris

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2010, 11:26:25 AM »
I do agree with Daniel that it can be difficult to work in terms of fiction. You can easily have a hated enemy that is now your best friend because you rolled a 12. It's hard to come up with stuff that justifies that. It's really just up to the player to not go wild with it in a Step On Up way.

You could use the Seduce/Manipulate Advanced Move to "solve" your problems, collecting NPCs like Pokemon.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going door-to-door, offering barter to people to become my friends. I wanna Manipulate them. I'll keep doing it until everyone in town is an Ally."

Trust me, one of my best friends is exactly the douche player who would try to do this. We're having an intervention.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 11:37:23 AM »
"I'm going door-to-door, offering barter to people to become my friends. I wanna Manipulate them. I'll keep doing it until everyone in town is an Ally."

Here's what the Barter peripheral move has to say to that in the book:

"When you give 1-barter to someone, but with strings attached, it counts as manipulating them and hitting the roll with a 10+, no roll required."

They'll never get a 12 with handing people barter.  Never never.  To manipulate with the intent to get advanced moves to activate, you need actual in fiction leverage.  A bit of jingle only goes so far, and the barter move backs it up.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 11:40:57 AM by Glendower »

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 12:26:20 PM »
To manipulate with the intent to get advanced moves to activate, you need actual in fiction leverage. 

Which can be barter. We don't really use that peripheral move, but I see your point.

Change my example from barter to kittens. Proceed. :)

The point is still the same. The game can be broken with a gotta catch 'em all mentality. As the book says, I don't recommend it.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 05:25:12 PM »
The thing is, the move is not random. [snip] This means that until this advanced move, the characters have no real friends, no real lovers.
Fantastic post Glendower, I will have to copy that and refer to it every now and then.

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2010, 06:52:34 PM »
Change my example from barter to kittens. Proceed. :)

The point is still the same. The game can be broken with a gotta catch 'em all mentality. As the book says, I don't recommend it.

"Hey little girl, if you do what I want, you can have this kitten."

"Fuck your kitten, there ain't enough meat on it!"

Is a kitten leverage? Well, the MC looks at his NPC and follows his principles, specifically the one where he names people, and makes them human. Page 112 details all this.

So wandering down the street offering the same thing to each person isn't going to work. Manipulate works when you offer something that someone actually wants, or have some sort of information on someone that you can hold over them.  People are different, they want different things. 

Now, if this player is going to go up to a person, finding out about them so that they can get just the right thing to manipulate (reading a person is good for this), then manipulating them, what's wrong with turning them into an ally?  I mean, they've done the work on this person, and clearly they care about getting this person on their side, so then... awesome!

But here's the funny bit.  All NPCs in the game have cross hairs on them.  So, killing them is par for the course.  Any one of your NPCs can be slaughtered, at any time, by crosshairs, or by the player characters.  Hell, some of the players can do it even with a weak hit from the hard moves (or act under fire if it calls for it). 

So, Killing NPCs is really easy.  So when a player decides not to just slaughter someone, and interacts with them instead, and finds just the right buttons to push, why not have them, on a 12, make that human connection? 

I mean, everyone in the game is fundamentally human, even the grotesques in the game (it's in the rules!).  So in this horrible world where life is cheap, choosing not to just point a gun in someone's face is a bold statement, and if a 12 is rolled, I think it makes for an interesting world when the spark of actual human decency occurs. 

The die roll creates the uncertainty, and it prevents any status quo from happening.  You don't know when you'll touch the heart of even the most stone cold killer, but when you do, it's something special. 

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2010, 08:06:15 PM »
So, Killing NPCs is really easy.  So when a player decides not to just slaughter someone, and interacts with them instead, and finds just the right buttons to push, why not have them, on a 12, make that human connection? 

Because the button has nothing to do with the connection. It's a purely mechanical conceit.

I think we're arguing specific examples when the rule is still true: you can give "leverage" and make your hated enemy into your best friend in a purely mechanical way.

Because whatever the leverage is, it's not connected to them becoming your best friend. It's part of whatever deal you have going on. So it's not you "researching" them and trying to get them on your side. It's you needing food, hitting a 12 and now the MC is like "Hey, I guess you need to describe how you're now one of the central things in their life."

So you get fictional situations where you went to negotiate a resources deal and  now you have a protector for life, in an entirely arbitrary manner.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

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lumpley

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2010, 09:40:33 PM »
It can't be because of the leverage - the leverage is by definition inadequate. If leverage could do it, it'd be in the basic move.

As MC, though, you aren't allowed to make it purely mechanical, either. What to do!

It's easy, nothing could be easier. The NPC falls in love with the PC.

Maybe romantic love, or not, but bam, like that, the NPC sees past the immediate circumstances and recognizes in the PC something true and precious. It doesn't matter how inexplicable it is; whatever this sudden revelation of truth is, it cuts through everything the NPC thought he knew and makes secondary every commitment the NPC thought he had.

So that's all. Just make the NPC fall in love with the PC and go from there.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:00:32 PM by lumpley »

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2010, 02:28:30 AM »
Chris seems to at least be acknowledging what I am talking about. Obviously I don't mean completely, utterly random -- they have to interact with the NPC obviously, and try to manipulate them. But it is random in the sense that there is no reason it is that NPC over any other you tried to manipulate. And consequently there is often absolutely zero precedent in the fiction for the shift in relationship -- it all has to come after the fact.

And no, that's not impossible either, it's just a) often somewhat difficult in the short term and more importantly b) I am not sure what I am doing it for. Having a player consciously choose to spend an advance seemed like a very satisfying approach to a major shift in the fiction -- comparable to retiring a character to safety, for example.

Vincent's suggested solution to the fiction problem works okay for some situations -- but you know, I have lots of NPCs who are in love with PCs already. And this hasn't made them less of a Threat. The transformation into an Ally is obviously about more than just falling in love, unless this is some special Cosmic Whammy love -- which to be honest sounds awful, since I don't really want an Apocalypse World where there is an extra-special kind of love reserved only for particular rolls of the dice. I want the extra special love to be the result of player/character choice and investment. (And yes, they invested in opening the move, but I don't find the extra remove from just spending the advance directly adds anything to play.)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:30:06 AM by Daniel Wood »

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2010, 05:46:37 PM »
I agree with Daniel that there's not enough weight to making an NPC an ally. Since this is supposed to be an experience thread, let's be specific.

Our PCs are infiltrating an enemy compound. I've brought some NPCs along, partly because I want to transfer their loyalty from my boss to me so they can be part of my gang when/if I take that advance.

After one of the heavies gets killed, my PC Hellish puts the other one, Pierre, on point. He balks and I tell him who's boss. I get a 12+, he becomes my ally.

At the end of the line, another PC, Mule is trying to diffuse the tension between him/her/it and another NPC, Fauna. Mule gets a 12+, and Fauna becomes an ally.

So, in these situations, the MC can't just kill these characters off-hand. If the PCs put them in danger, they can die as a consequence, but not otherwise. That's how I interpreted the ally tag, anyway.

However, later on, the two of us (PCs only) have been captured by Parcher. I'm trying to set up my Eye on the Door move through some elaborate fiction, while Mule threatens Parcher with the retribution of my boss Cobra. So, in this case, if he rolls a 12+, Parcher becomes an ally? This dude who wants to poison us becomes an ally because dude threatens him with somebody else's wrath? I don't see it, in this case.

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2010, 06:16:57 PM »
However, later on, the two of us (PCs only) have been captured by Parcher. I'm trying to set up my Eye on the Door move through some elaborate fiction, while Mule threatens Parcher with the retribution of my boss Cobra. So, in this case, if he rolls a 12+, Parcher becomes an ally? This dude who wants to poison us becomes an ally because dude threatens him with somebody else's wrath? I don't see it, in this case.
Was it really enough leverage to begin with to actually trigger the manipulation move then? If it was, then why wouldn't it make sense that Parcher got so damn scared that he decides to let you loose and side with you instead of facing the wrath of Cobra?

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2010, 06:39:37 PM »
Leverage enough?

I don't know. We've played pretty fast and loose with leverage at times. It's entirely possible there wasn't enough leverage in all three cases I mentioned. I'm willing to accept that. Maybe we have to tighten that part up.

Parcher siding with us in fear of Cobra?

Well, I went to see Parcher so I could kill him. With my boss's authorization. And my boss is Cobra, and everybody knows that. So... I mean, even if we had been really strict with the fictional leverage, and made a deal with Parcher that he gets to pack up and leave and we won't come after him if he lets us go, how would he become an ally out of that, even? Even then it's a stretch.

I get that a character can stop being a threat when you give them what they want, and you roll 12+. I'm cool with the inherent randomness. But when you're manipulating by threats and consequences?

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2010, 09:25:05 PM »
Maybe romantic love, or not, but bam, like that, the NPC sees past the immediate circumstances and recognizes in the PC something true and precious. It doesn't matter how inexplicable it is; whatever this sudden revelation of truth is, it cuts through everything the NPC thought he knew and makes secondary every commitment the NPC thought he had.

So that's all. Just make the NPC fall in love with the PC and go from there.

Yeah. With the maelstrom and general weirdness, this could be a solution. I guess it's sort of a chicken and egg problem for me. The truth isn't there first. At first there's a dead pig I've got and some water I need from the cannibals, who I hate dealing with and who hate me as well.. I reach out, tentatively, both sides trying to keep their distance, everyone fingering their weapons.

MC: They're not sure.
ME: I add another dead pig from the cart I have. "Look, here's my last pig." I really need this water!
MC:You're manipulating them, using the two pigs as your promise?
ME: Sure. (Rolling)
MC: (Eyes dice) Looks like the cannibal you're dealing with sees past the immediate circumstances and the two dead pigs and recognizes in you something true and precious. He's now in love with you. Congratulations.

I can't tell my players that, Vincent. :) Maybe it's a failing in me as an MC, but I just can't. Hahaha.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 09:41:22 PM by Chris »
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2010, 10:47:42 PM »
Chris,

Sure, that example makes no sense, but that's because ally:lover hasn't been built up here.

You could maybe make a case for representative or confidante or even friend here? It depends on what's led up to it all, really.

I guess that doesn't really make it less of a bolt from the blue kind of change, but the point is that the PC is now such a force of nature that people may just become their allies like this now.

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2010, 06:50:46 AM »
Yeah, the post above was just a response to Vincent's "just make them fall in love with the PC".

I'm not really against the rule. I agree with Daniel that it made more sense before, narratively. But I also like the whole disease vector of goodness thing that you get with a +12.

Fictionally, what's beyond my maelstrom handles this perfectly. I just think that MC should be ready for questions of this type when and if their players start s[reading their friendship seed through the desert.

If you do want to house rule it, Daniel, I'd go with putting the ally thing back as an advancement and making the advanced seduce/manipulate move not require leverage at a +12.

That's way more cynical than Vincent's version and I don't plan to use it myself, but it would work.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2010, 07:07:57 PM »
MC:You're manipulating them, using the two pigs as your promise?
To me this would be using the Barter Move, which results in a 10+ Manipulation hit, not a 12+.