Custom moves

  • 5 Replies
Custom moves
« on: March 23, 2011, 12:35:27 AM »
Quick question: how do you introduce custom moves? Say you've made up a threat as part of prep, and given it a custom move, something like "When you spend the night in the Waste, roll + hard...."

Do you tell the players up front that this move exists, so they can decide whether or not to risk spending the night out there? "So you've been scoping out the desert, and it looks like bad news. Spending the night out there would be tough. In fact, there's this move for when you decide to make camp..."


Re: Custom moves
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 09:49:51 AM »
I think you should send any customs moves to your group several days in advance, for group discussion and approval.  But, then again, I'm a little biased, being one of your players.

Seriously, I think we trust that you'll use custom moves to provide interesting flavor and surprises, and not fuck-over moments.  I think be-a-fan and make-the-world-real are the best guides here.  If it makes sense that our characters would realize the hazards or opportunities before they commit themselves, then let us know as players.  If it doesn't, then feel free to spring them on us.  And even surprises can be foreshadowed with future-badness.  Even if you hadn't told us ahead of time that touching Camo was a really bad idea, the stories about what happened to the dancers who spent time alone with him were a pretty big red flag.

Re: Custom moves
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 10:13:33 AM »
What Joe said.  I'd base it on the fiction.  Do they sort of know how dangerous a night in the Waste is?  If so, just spill it and bask in their adulation.  If not, have them roll it after they've set up camp and gone to bed.  If it's really harsh and you know they're planning to go out there, next time someone opens their brain, give them visions of it.



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Re: Custom moves
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 10:22:52 AM »
I think making custom moves is part of my job as the MC but I'd have to look that up to be surely sure.

I made up two moves and used them both yesterday.  They went well.

Though I could see it getting tricky if I thought an MC made a move that I thought sucked.  There are a whole lotta moves on the Story Games thread that don't have any success for a 10+ roll, just a face-stab with a less jagged knife and that would bug the shit out of me.

EDIT: I barely even answered the question.  Sorry.  I just tell them when they stumble across it.  I'm usually surprised and happy that it got use.  "Hey!  I have a custom move for this.  Fantastic, let's roll it and see what happens."

Re: Custom moves
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 10:37:54 AM »
This is a place I could be much better at. When I've run across one, it's always great, and as a player, I don't need to know beforehand at all. Sometimes it's something I don't even know exists! Personally, I would WAY rather have my MC NOT tell me ahead of time. Let me make my choices based on what I've got, and if I stumble into a move you've made, then cool, let me have it:

I've set up camp in the nasty Waste, and it's getting on dark. I didn't know about the freakish nocturnal wailing bugs that sound like someone dying, and now I have to roll+cool to get any sleep at all, and if I miss, I have to roll+weird? Excellent!



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Re: Custom moves
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 02:13:48 PM »
I often put out some custom moves in "Dear Everyone..." love letters to all the players at the start of a session, particularly if they're about stuff that happened or was hinted at the previous session. 

For threats they haven't directly interacted with, I hold the custom move in reserve until they're about to interact with it and reveal in a "Tell them the consequences and then ask"-style move.

So far, no complaints.  *laugh*
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."