Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger

  • 43 Replies
  • 22842 Views
Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2011, 07:48:15 AM »
Regarding Merciless and Bloodcrazed stacking: I totally would allow this.  Why?

Somewhere else here (not sure where off the top of my head) there was a thread that explained that moves aren't just moves, they're *integral parts of the character*.  This is likely not news to most/all of you, but in my early days of browsing the forum, it hadn't clicked before then.

If you are merciless, you *cannot show mercy* or you lose the move (as you're no longer merciless).  If you're bloodcrazed, you can't talk down a tense situation, or choose a less violent option, or you're no longer bloodcrazed.

(This was likely a suggestion rather than a Vx ruling, but it really clicked for me).

Someone with both is an omnicidal maniac, who *will* be killed sooner or later out of revenge/pre-emptive self defence.

So, if I was MC and one of my players wanted to do this, I'd say "Go ahead.  Make my day."

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2011, 10:00:51 AM »
Regarding Merciless and Bloodcrazed stacking: I totally would allow this.  Why?

[ . . . ]

If you are merciless, you *cannot show mercy* or you lose the move (as you're no longer merciless).  If you're bloodcrazed, you can't talk down a tense situation, or choose a less violent option, or you're no longer bloodcrazed.

(This was likely a suggestion rather than a Vx ruling, but it really clicked for me).

I'll admit, we don't really enforce that at either of my MCs' tables, and I don't think they would choose to do so. If only because they've been having a ball with all the drama we've had where Daryl has reacted like a human being with a shred of sanity left rather than just being a buzzkill and offing the drama-generator. Hell, my group awarded Daryl the campaign's first Crowning Moment of Awesome for solving a problem in the (non-violent) way she did when she could have just gone offing people, particularly the local crazy dictator (not because she was feeling charitable, or because she was scared, but because a) she didn't feel like throwing the entire hold into chaos, b) she didn't care to let the asshole who'd probably end up taking the current dictator's place get the chance, and c) she sure as fuck doesn't want to run the place herself, because seriously, fuck that kind of responsibility--she has enough of it just looking after Frost, which, incidentally, was the nature of the problem she was solving).

It's not that Daryl has no taste for blood; she's eagerly thrown herself into the centre of a melee to crack some skulls the fun way more than once. It's more that there are kinds of violence which are stimulating and exciting, like ten-to-one odds against raiders and savages out for blood, and then there are kinds that she just finds kind of tasteless and unrewarding, like poor scrubs who can hardly fight back or throwing her home hold into political chaos. That's just shit she doesn't care to be bothered with.

The second is that they're not optional moves.  Given these two, I don't really think there's a balance problem, or Vincent presumably wouldn't have written them both!  (Since nearly every character in the game can have them both if they really wanted to.)

They're not optional moves? I wasn't aware of that. So far the MC of the game Daryl's in has allowed for restraining ourselves and doing less harm than we could when it makes sense that we'd be able to do so (like, just because Daryl could crack some guy's skull doesn't necessarily preclude logically being able to just smack him around enough to cow him instead).

Seriously though. Even as a player who stands to benefit from doing so, I would facepalm at Bloodcrazed and Merciless being allowed to stack (or Daredevil and Rasputin, for that matter--well, maybe, with the limitation of capping at the higher of 3-armour or actual armour equipped plus one, perhaps). It is simply not something I would push for, and I would openly tell the MC "please don't let me pull this shit at your table" (though I could see myself taking both Daredevil and Rasputin to increase the availability of that +1armour, at least).

Yes I had forgotten about Bloodcrazed, and it does what I meant. You were asking about the guillotine doing more harm by default which, with this move, it does.

I don't have the guillotine rules in front of me, but are you talking about implanted items?

OK, probably, yeah. The guillotine chokehold is a technique that was written up as an implanted item--essentially a special attack the character can perform, as opposed to a weapon they wield per se.

Either way, this is wrong:

Quote
but doesn't tell me exactly where.

In my opinion, there's no 'exactly' anything in Apocalypse World. (further words)

All right, you got me. Not exactly, then, but good guidelines. "No 'implanted technique' gear that basically duplicates the effects of an existing move" (i.e., "implanted" 2-armour) comes to mind.

That said, I'm not trying to make a guillotine chokehold do more damage (it does s-harm anyway; that's the point). The idea is that I was just using it as an example of a technique written up as "implanted equipment," and my curiosity was about other things that might be appropriate for such treatment.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 10:13:03 AM by Allison »

*

lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2011, 10:25:26 AM »
Allison, this is great!

I don't think there's a line between what you can do with moves vs what you can do with crap at all, really.

You could create a new tag, technique would suit, for things your character can do that act as weapons or gear. So you might have:

Guillotine chokehold (s-harm hand technique)
Whirlwind of total knives and death (3-harm hand area messy technique), only if you have knives
Throwing a thing so it hits a dude in the eye (s-harm close technique), only if you have a thing to throw
Punching through a dude's armor, no shit (+ap to hand attacks, technique)
Rolling with the punches (1-armor technique)

If I were your MC and you wanted to trade your guns in for things like these, I'd be quite generous!

-Vincent

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2011, 10:32:48 AM »
I'll admit, we don't really enforce that at either of my MCs' tables, and I don't think they would choose to do so. If only because they've been having a ball with all the drama we've had where Daryl has reacted like a human being with a shred of sanity left rather than just being a buzzkill and offing the drama-generator. Hell, my group awarded Daryl the campaign's first Crowning Moment of Awesome for solving a problem in the (non-violent) way she did when she could have just gone offing people, particularly the local crazy dictator (not because she was feeling charitable, or because she was scared, but because a) she didn't feel like throwing the entire hold into chaos, b) she didn't care to let the asshole who'd probably end up taking the current dictator's place get the chance, and c) she sure as fuck doesn't want to run the place herself, because seriously, fuck that kind of responsibility--she has enough of it just looking after Frost, which, incidentally, was the nature of the problem she was solving).

It's not that Daryl has no taste for blood; she's eagerly thrown herself into the centre of a melee to crack some skulls the fun way more than once. It's more that there are kinds of violence which are stimulating and exciting, like ten-to-one odds against raiders and savages out for blood, and then there are kinds that she just finds kind of tasteless and unrewarding, like poor scrubs who can hardly fight back or throwing her home hold into political chaos. That's just shit she doesn't care to be bothered with.

Quite right, I shouldn't have spoken in such absolutist terms.  Character first, and all that.

However, I still believe that AP ammo with an area/autofire weapon (such as MG or assult rifle) is *way* more deadly than Merciless-bloodcrazed (without the above) in a fair number of dangerous circumstances, without any limitations on behaviour  (Not without its own problems, admittedly), so I don't view it as a balance issue.

Disclaimer: while my gunlugger has an AP assault rifle, so I can attest to its effectiveness, I haven't actually tried merciless or bloodcrazed in-play.

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2011, 10:45:48 AM »
If you are merciless, you *cannot show mercy* or you lose the move (as you're no longer merciless).  If you're bloodcrazed, you can't talk down a tense situation, or choose a less violent option, or you're no longer bloodcrazed.
I think a better solution, that I am using, is that you can never not have the move. Also they stack. So if you're bloodcrazed you can never just wrestle someone for 0-harm or punch someone in the face a kindly 0-harm way because you always get +1-harm. This doesn't force players to behave a certain way just to not lose their super cool move but it does stop them from fighting in a safe non bloodcrazed non merciless way, when they go aggro at someone by shouting and shaking their fist they really don't fuck around and people are gonna die.

Seriously though. Even as a player who stands to benefit from doing so, I would facepalm at Bloodcrazed and Merciless being allowed to stack (or Daredevil and Rasputin, for that matter--well, maybe, with the limitation of capping at the higher of 3-armour or actual armour equipped plus one, perhaps). It is simply not something I would push for, and I would openly tell the MC "please don't let me pull this shit at your table" (though I could see myself taking both Daredevil and Rasputin to increase the availability of that +1armour, at least).
Why? Without the stacking you can't do the wonderful 3-harm (ap) Brainer who can use direct brain whisper projection on gangs but who is so cruel a sloppy brain scan or passionate fuck will kill their favourite NPC.

Played straight armor piercing goes through Daredevil and Rasputin as well as impossible reflexes and divine protection so when tales of the bullet proof monster warrior starts spreading people start armor themselves with:

flamethrower (3-harm close ap messy autofire) (I can't believe this isn't in the original book)
molotov (1-harm ap area messy)

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2011, 10:57:43 AM »
The guillotine is interesting. I mean, yes, it does s-harm, but both Bloodcrazed and Merciless read, "When you do harm, inflict +1-harm." or some such. S-harm is harm so, inflict +1-harm. I picture this as someone trying to be all sneaky and take an enemy prisoner but, they're such a fucking psycho that they end up almost killing the guy in the attempt. It's important to note that moves almost never say "You may inflict +1-harm" or any such wiffle-waffle. Krippler, you hit this on the head, they are never 'off'. No. You are a merciless, bloodcrazed (probably psychotic) killing machine.

@Vx: I don't see the distinction you're drawing here. To me, moves are techniques. They're things you're good at or know how to do. Take, as an example parallel to our current discussion, a move I made for The Shifted, which I posted here on the forums.

Fibrillation NB: This move has changed in playtesting from what I originally posted.
Your hands become (1-harm or s-harm hand ap implanted)


It's a move, but it's implanted and it functions almost like crap. No problem. Why call them something else? 'Move' works just fine as it is.
The Dead Flag Blues - Godspeed You Black Emperor! This is my Apocalypse World theme song.

*

lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2011, 12:31:37 PM »
Oh, just because this way the gunlugger-with-no-guns can have a bunch of gunlike effectiveness without total nutso move bloat.

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2011, 02:32:07 PM »
So here's a thing I think:

Playbook moves (cf. core moves) don't distinguish between 'things you can do' and 'stuff that you are,' not explicitly. As we played it with V, the text says 'you can' if it's a thing you can do and it doesn't if it's a thing you are.

However, I think you can see a way to deciding when you take a move, is it a thing you are or a thing you do? That decision guides whether a playbook move acts automatically or needs to be triggered by choice. I do think it's necessary, if you do this, that you must decide and record your decision for each move as you take it.

My preference is to close-read the move texts and see what they say, but to each his own.

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2011, 05:17:09 PM »
If you are merciless, you *cannot show mercy* or you lose the move (as you're no longer merciless).  If you're bloodcrazed, you can't talk down a tense situation, or choose a less violent option, or you're no longer bloodcrazed.

Whether it's a rule or not, it's how I'm choosing to play my character - it's not like I do 2 extra harm because I'm super strong, it's 2 extra harm because I aim for floating ribs, knees, soft neck tissue (Merciless) and I keep hitting after they're down (Bloodcrazed).

So I choose not to get violent, most of the time, otherwise I'd be a freaking monster.  It also means even trying to do stuff like restrain people (0 harm) becomes nearly life threatening for most NPCs.

Chris

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2011, 02:27:47 AM »
Wonderful discussion everyone. After digesting most of this my pitch would be to highlight the core concept of the 'moves' as a narrative device for dramatic tension. Vx reminds us that we are having this conversation, everyone is invested and in agreement until a story query is raised. The moves snowball begins.... 'Oh, sounds like you are making a move?', or 'that's goin' aggro then yeah?' or 'Wanna see how merciless I am mother fucker! Just try me!'.

All the stuff you can do and stuff that you are informs these moments of tension, they influence or dictate the way those 2d6 control the flow of the story. The importance I feel here as a player is one of choice (as Shreyas kindly illustrated).

I think that Allison just wants her choices as a player to refelct her vision of the Gunlugger as a perfectly legitimate without-guns-killer. I love that Vx's technique tag solution is elegant and can be particular to Allison's table as advanced fuckery rather than a broad ruling by the author. Her curiosity on how to implement her vision through moves and tags and choices is vital to the conversation that is roleplaying at her table.

Moves stacking and advancement choices are vital in intergrating player vision via the move framework. Close reading of the move texts as is encourages limits, and limits encourage tension driven choices, which in my experience lead to great roleplay and emergent story. Your descriptive and prescriptive interpretations of the mechanical effect on the fiction are your tools for awesome stories and deep characters!

I believe that invested players get the most out of AW (and any story game really). As Chris says, Choose how to play your character (whilst following the principles) don't let the moves and tags choose your player actions for you.

I love Allison's emergent view on how her Gunlugger-without-guns is going to intergrate moves to fiction, its total badass, and fully in the spirit of the playbook (without too much fuckery of the moves).

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2011, 09:29:38 AM »
Seriously though. Even as a player who stands to benefit from doing so, I would facepalm at Bloodcrazed and Merciless being allowed to stack (or Daredevil and Rasputin, for that matter--well, maybe, with the limitation of capping at the higher of 3-armour or actual armour equipped plus one, perhaps). It is simply not something I would push for, and I would openly tell the MC "please don't let me pull this shit at your table" (though I could see myself taking both Daredevil and Rasputin to increase the availability of that +1armour, at least).

I think you should consider trusting the game more. As lots of people have illustrated, there is nothing particularly idyllic about doing +2 harm whenever you hurt someone. Moreover, this is not a game that relies on the MC "challenging" players, or fights being fair, or anything like that. It does not break if PCs can kill NPCs trivially or without risk to their person. That's just not an issue.

You mentioned some awesome moment where your PC accomplished something by avoiding violence -- sounds great. But it wouldn't be any less awesome if your character was even better at killing people, presumably, which was the context in which the suggestion came up. Obviously, if you don't want your character to do massive harm, you don't need to take more moves that give you +harm, but the suggestion that it is going to break the game or that doing so would somehow be putting one over on the MC, etc. -- that's not really an appropriate assumption for this game, in my experience.

Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2011, 08:16:33 PM »
I think that Allison just wants her choices as a player to refelct her vision of the Gunlugger as a perfectly legitimate without-guns-killer. I love that Vx's technique tag solution is elegant and can be particular to Allison's table as advanced fuckery rather than a broad ruling by the author. Her curiosity on how to implement her vision through moves and tags and choices is vital to the conversation that is roleplaying at her table.

[ . . . ]

I love Allison's emergent view on how her Gunlugger-without-guns is going to intergrate moves to fiction, its total badass, and fully in the spirit of the playbook (without too much fuckery of the moves).

I dunno that it's entirely in the spirit of the playbook per se (given it's called, well, the gunlugger), but it was the best mechanical fit for the character, at least of the options available. Hence rejiggering it and renaming it the muscle, to better reflect the spirit of the character.

(Apologies in advance for being about to ramble like a motherfucker.)

I will say, though; regarding the "without guns" bit, she actually did start with a hunting rifle, and she's since picked up an SMG as a spoil of battle. The trick is that I have a real problem with how I do warrior concepts. They aren't always "no weapons 24/7," but the trick is that with the way I design with a character's intrinsic qualities taking prominence--and warrior as one of Daryl's intrinsic qualities--she's gotta be a warrior in and of herself even before toys come into play. She can't stop being a warrior and start being a victim waiting to happen just like everyone else simply because something extrinsic was lost. I do have concepts that fight and for whom unarmed combat isn't such a big thing, but there's generally a reason for it. Examples being the concept of the seven-foot, socially awkward, naturally mild scholar who's more than capable of fighting simply because of her size, but who isn't as emotionally invested in it and so takes the shortcut of being vulnerable when she isn't armed; or the Littlest Badass Who Could, who, while a pretty bad little kid, is still a little kid who needs to rely on something extrinsic to make up for her physical limitations if she plans on going toe-to-toe (and if she loses these extrinsic things, it's time to improvise or think her way out).

As for "So why is starting with weapons an obstacle to this," well, it wasn't, necessarily (and again, hunting rifle). I just didn't feel like starting with a stable of high-quality weapons others would have to bend over backwards for in-game really fit the character for another reason: in addition to being a warrior, Daryl is not really established yet, and doesn't have so much in the way of wealth or valuable stuff as the playbook assumes. As the game progresses, weapons may fall into her hands, and in those situations where the properties they give (like the SMG's area, or the hunting rifle's far range) are needed, she can use them. Just don't think she needs them to break you.

I believe that invested players get the most out of AW (and any story game really). As Chris says, Choose how to play your character (whilst following the principles) don't let the moves and tags choose your player actions for you.

Absolutely. Even if I'm playing Dungeons and Dragons, the quickest way for me to get bored or otherwise dissatisfied is lack of connection to the character. Sure it's just a scene where we raid a dungeon, murder the inhabitants, and take their shit, but I still gotta feel my motivation, y'know?

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2011, 11:24:15 PM »
Sounds like you have a handle on your character Allison :) And I get your concept of a gunlugger as a 'warrior', but that's your brilliant interpretation of the playbook, are you able to bring to life via the suggestions above? Just beacuse you are an intrinsic warrior, doesn't mean that you are automatically competent with all your toys!
So what do you think about Vincent's 'technique' tag suggestion as tradeoff's to the playbook as written? Or are you happy with the way your interpretation of the gunlugger playbook stands as it is?


Re: Problem: gunlugger that's not a gunlugger
« Reply #43 on: August 15, 2011, 04:10:44 PM »
Sounds like you have a handle on your character Allison :) And I get your concept of a gunlugger as a 'warrior', but that's your brilliant interpretation of the playbook, are you able to bring to life via the suggestions above? Just beacuse you are an intrinsic warrior, doesn't mean that you are automatically competent with all your toys!
So what do you think about Vincent's 'technique' tag suggestion as tradeoff's to the playbook as written? Or are you happy with the way your interpretation of the gunlugger playbook stands as it is?

Belatedly... I don't think it's too bad as is, though the technique tag was a brilliant idea on his part and we may need to begin playing with it. I did trade away my FOBG plus one serious gun and the option to take AP ammo away for getting impossible reflexes added to the Muscle's class list, so I can grab that as an in-class move (none of fuck this shit, prepared for the inevitable, or battlefield instincts really cry out to me, even though some are pretty nice, so that means I can go ahead and sink my other in-class move slot into it without worry), and NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH grants me 3-harm before bloodcrazed in battle. The only other thing I'd really be in a huge hurry for is perhaps one particular technique--we could call it "sucker punch" or "bloody knuckles"--with 2-harm hand technique or 3-harm hand technique tags, so she could hit a little harder outside of a "battle." Techniques for stuff like +ap to unarmed attacks would be cool, but aren't necessary to realize the concept (she has things she can use weapons for, but she doesn't stop being a warrior without them, and the MC can still inconvenience her with equipment loss). I'm fine with Daryl getting things like +ap or +area and the like from her equipment; I don't really need something, like, say, Miracle Moon (3-harm hand area messy technique, heals 1-harm for user if it inflicts at least 1-harm as established) here.

On the other hand, Daryl's SO, Frost, the Skinner assassin with devil with a blade, is interested in these "techniques" things. He may have gushed a little at the whirlwind of total knives and death.