Basic barter question

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Basic barter question
« on: July 13, 2010, 11:22:29 PM »
Okay Vincent, so you say "Players are going to want and expect barter to be a game mechanic, but it's not".

Now bear with me for a moment. I would certainly expect that, if I have 2-barter, but, say, hire the protective companionship of a battlebabe for a week (1-barter by the book), I "spend" 1-barter, whatever that looks like in the fiction, and now only have 1-barter left. That seems really obvious, but you never say that that's how it works, so I'm not sure. Additionally, my interpretation of how barter works also seems mechanical, and you say barter isn't a mechanic. I've thought about this much too much.

Do I have it right?

Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 12:20:38 AM »
That sentence struck me as odd when I read it in the book, but for some reason I never worried about it.  I figured I'd play barter like it made sense to play barter (which was definitely as a mechanic... strangely...) and be done with it.  But since you've raised the issue... yeah, Vincent, what the heck, man?

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lumpley

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Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 12:54:20 AM »
Oh sure.

Sometimes you'll make a "make them buy" move. Often it'll be obvious in every way, like when someone hires a battlebabe for a week and you say "okay, that'll be 1-barter." Those times, barter will seem like a game mechanic, and that's fine. Other times, though, you'll be like "nah, she doesn't want your jingle, she wants __." You're still making them buy, but you're choosing a different medium than barter. Or you'll say "sure, but she's going to charge you 3-barter, not 1-barter, suck it up." There's no strict 1:1 relationship between making them buy and barter; they often align conveniently, but not always.

Make them buy is a game mechanic. Barter is a convenient way you sometimes do it. A lot like how inflicting harm is a game mechanic, and pushing someone off a roof is a convenient way you sometimes do it.

-Vincent

Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 01:04:49 AM »
There's no strict 1:1 relationship between making them buy and barter; they often align conveniently, but not always.

I totally understood this from the text. Great. But now I get that you can also gain and erase barter from character sheets, which clears up the issue for me. Thanks.

Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 02:05:50 AM »
But how about roll+barter spent? Does it become a mechanic then?

Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2010, 02:54:45 AM »
But how about roll+barter spent? Does it become a mechanic then?

yeah, the whole "it's not a mechanic" thing makes it way confusing for me. I'd rather he phrased it, "barter isn't and shouldn't be the only way you make them buy." But then I don't expect Vincent to write the game solely for me.

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2010, 08:27:40 AM »
Just like I don't see the +2 sword or whatever you write or erase from your character sheet in DnD as a "mechanic", I thought it was pretty clear barter was just money.

It's money that might come in the form of a necklace or shoes or even bottlecaps, but it's just money. So roll+barter's a mechanic, as a move, but barter's not a mechanic, it's just stuff.

It's up to the GM and the player to decide how much it's worth in each situation.

The FED is dead. But it's probably just different ways of looking at the character's stuff.

Here's a semi-related question: for the manipulate move, the book says you need leverage, right? Is it up to the MC or player or the NPC or what as to what leverage is, in this situation?

Or is there a "soft rule" here that's about temptation? Because say I offer Johnny the NPC a valuable knife to murder his sister and get a 10. He's got to do it; there's leverage I guess, and the player made the roll. But Johnny likes his sister more than the knife; he doesn't even really need the knife. Does he HAVE to do it, because of the roll?

Or does he get to say "that's not important to me; that's not leverage TO ME"? Because if so, that's makes the manipulate and seduce move less effective, almost irrelavent. If I can only manipulate when I have something that they really want, do we need a move there? If that's the case, it's just sort of working itself out at the fiction level. Or is it just a mechanical way to back up the leverage?

EDIT: Or maybe the roll is making him want the knife, representing the rolling character's smooth move? Hmmmm.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 08:34:08 AM 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 - "......"

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Bret

  • 285
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2010, 08:34:11 AM »
I think leverage as decided by the MC has to be there for you can make the roll. Like Proust says, "Hey, give you this knife to kill your sister," and Johnny's like "Fuck off." If Johnny is really into knives, though, maybe Proust found this out through a Read Person, Proust says, "Hey, give you this knife to kill your sister," and the MC is like, "Roll +hot." You gotta keep Apocalypse World real, and people won't do whatever you tell them just because you'll give them a really smooth rock you found in the dust basin no matter how well you roll.

(This is how I would adjudicate it in play, Vx's official answer may be different.)
Tupacalypse World

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2010, 08:47:53 AM »
Yeah, that's my feelings on it and that makes perfect sense in the extreme cases (If I give you this dead cat, can you murder your lover? No, OK.).

But then it gets into the MC telling the player what is and isn't leverage for their own character. But if the character can pick his own leverage, then he'll only allow what leverage he already will agree to without a roll, making the roll unneeded.


Proust: "I'll give you 4 barter to help me take down a water van."
Johnny: "Nah, that's not leverage to me. I'm fine"
Proust: "But I have a high Hot and I want to at least make you have to Act Under Fire if I get a hit."
Johnny: "Nah, I don't want it."
MC: "Fuck, that you want it. Roll"
Johnny: "I'm a Hardholder and have like 15 barter; fuck this guy"

etc



P.S. Johnny's a terrible AW name. :)

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

  • 1293
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 08:58:14 AM »
For PCs, the leverage comes after the roll.

-Vincent

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 09:17:21 AM »
So only the mechanical "if they do it, they mark experience,if they refuse, it’s acting under fire" is leverage? They don't need to offer, like, a dead cat?
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

  • 1293
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 09:42:15 AM »
Correct! They can offer a dead cat, if they think it'll sweeten the deal.

On the other side, the subject PC can demand a promise, or not, and demand concrete assurance, or not, in addition to the mechanical leverage, just as freely as she likes, before deciding whether to do it.

-Vincent

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Basic barter question
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 10:14:43 AM »
Awesome. Ok. And NPCs DO need leverage and that leverage is you to the GM. Nice.
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 - "......"