Healing Touch

  • 25 Replies
Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2011, 04:59:19 AM »
Okay, let's say the move is, or can be made, dangerous enough that it's something you only want to use in life or death situations. I'm still not happy that it often takes several rolls to stabilize someone. The obvious change is to make it work more like angel kit healing where a single roll sets someone at or past 9:00 to 6:00. What are your thoughts on changing it to work like that?

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2011, 05:30:17 AM »
As it has played out in our group, Healing Touch on a dying character buys the time to get actual stock to do the job properly. But personally, I wouldn't have a problem with stabilizing to 6 with HT. That kind of endangers the economy of it, though. As I see it, the mechanics ought to make stock the attractive option if you have it, so since HT doesn't cost material resources, there needs to be some kind of cost for healing multiple harm levels with HT in one go. Maybe the angel takes 1 harm from overload and exhaustion as well? With a harm roll and all the fun that entails.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2011, 05:48:07 AM »
I'm a little confused. You had me convinced that Healing Touch was so risky that it wouldn't be used to instantly heal someone who wasn't at risk of death, even though the default angel kit can't do that at all. But now you are worried that it would replace stabilization via stock completely if you could stabilize someone with a single roll. If you are worried that it might replace the default move completely, why aren't you concerned about spamming it outside life or death situations?

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2011, 05:49:24 AM »
It sounds like you are suggesting that the healer be able to stabilize the dying character and resolve that conflict with a single roll. That's not a bad way to change the power so it acts more like the angel kit. But by the book, that's not what the move does, you only heal a single level of harm.

Yes. A single level of harm can keep a character from dying. If that resolves what is interesting about the character being wounded, skip the rest. If he is probably going to heal, let him heal and pick it back up at that point.

I'm not sure what your point was with regard to different wounds taking different amounts of time. Are you suggesting that multiple levels of harm could be healed but the single roll might represent a longer period of time?

No, simply that the time frame of using the move isn't set. It can take six seconds or six hours. Players can only spam this move if the MC allows them time to do so. If it is taking screen time away from other players, keep the amount of rolls equal between them (in the case that spamming the move means hogging spotlight, of course--might not be an issue).

This is a little bit of a digression, but I was surprised that you thought that it is the MC's responsibility to frame scenes and decide their scope and range. A lot of the time I have seen the MC ask questions while the player frames the scene. The rules are pretty explicit about MC responsibilities, but I don't think this was addressed.

Aside from "Your job as MC is to say everything else" (p 109), no, certain basics of rpgs (like what a GM is) are not addressed. Only what makes AW unique. Still, the MC is both a Game Master, similar to other GMs but not the same, and a Master of Ceremonies. It's your job to preside over it, which includes keeping it moving. Although I was specifically referring to pp. 121-122, "A Few More Things to Do."

Also, I found it odd that you don't think we should be beholden to the wounds on the character sheet. If we're going to ignore them, why are we tracking them in the first place?

It isn't ignoring them. They are a mechanical representation of the fiction, which means they change to represent the fiction, when it changes. If Dremmer gets you with his shotgun, you take 3-harm. If the next scene is 6 months later, after you've healed up, you erase that 3-harm. Because your wounds have healed. But if a gunfight ends with you the sole survivor, having taken 5-harm, unable to walk, and ten miles from town, then it's probably important to see if you live or die in those moments. But if you heal your wounds in the fiction, you heal your wounds on the character sheet. All I'm suggesting there is that when it is no longer interesting to deal with those wounds, you should just skip ahead to when they are healed, instead of rolling healing touch a bunch of times.

Even so, there might still be times when rolling it a few times in a row might be a good idea mechanically, and still work fictionally. But I don't think you need to try re-writing the move just yet.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2011, 06:05:03 AM »
Yes. A single level of harm can keep a character from dying. If that resolves what is interesting about the character being wounded, skip the rest. If he is probably going to heal, let him heal and pick it back up at that point.
I think our disconnect may be here- healing a single level of harm can't always keep a character from dying. If they were at 11:00 or 12:00 before they healed that level of harm, they are still dying, so the thing that was interesting about them being wounded hasn't been resolved.
I think the rest of your advice is probably the appropriate way to handle it when the injuries aren't potentially fatal. But if we treat the conflict like it's resolved after a single roll when someone was at 12:00, we're either rewriting how the move works, or ignoring the harm rules, because by the rules they are at 11:00 and still dying and it's still up in the air whether they will live or not.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2011, 06:42:35 AM »
About stabilizing with a single roll: With stock, that is somewhat risky and complicated AS WELL as expensive. Healing Touch is somewhat risky too and for free. The "somewhat" risky in HT grows to very risky if you have to spam it (that is, the rules as written). If the risk is about equal (that is, singe roll stabilization with HT) and the expense is VERY unequal, HT will effectively displace stock.

On the low levels of harm, this is a bit interesting. Using angel stock is a bit time-consuming but risk free, whereas HT carries some risk. If you need to get your gunlugger in prime fighting condition NOW because an army of cannibals is breaking down the door as we speak, HT might be a good idea. So you have an interesting choice. :)



  • 1293
Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2011, 09:55:31 AM »
Uh. It's just the same reason you can't manipulate someone 6 times so they mark xp 6 times when they do what you want, or read someone 6 times in the same conversation, or help someone 6 times so they get +6 to their roll.

The question isn't "as MC, how do I stop a player from using healing touch 6 times on the same injured dude," it's "as MC, when do I allow a player to use it a second time on the same injured dude?" (Answer: when you feel like it, subject to your agenda and principles, with special attention to how weird works in your Apocalypse World.)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 10:01:12 AM by lumpley »



  • 1293
Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2011, 10:05:44 AM »
Oh, there's another question: "healing touch doesn't say anything about stabilizing the injured dude. As MC, when do I have it stabilize him anyway?" The answer is the same.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2011, 12:27:04 PM »
I've been playing an Angel, and my answer has been to use the Angel Kit first to stabilize wounded to 6:00 and then to use Healing Touch to get them to 3:00.  The danger with Angel Kit, though, is that if you miss the roll the patient gets another +1 Harm, and you could kill them.  (Not such a bad deal if you've got Touched by Death.)

Separately, if the character has both Weird and Cool highlighted it is possible to get 3 xp with one Healing Touch.  +1 for Weird for Healing Touch, +1 for Cool for Act Under Fire and +1 if the Hx rolls over.  Odds are against this happening regularly, of course.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 12:47:48 PM »
Interesting. I wonder why it was obvious to me that you couldn't use those other rolls more than once per situation, but I thought you could heal the same injured person more than once. That power is very different from what I thought it was.
Thanks for pointing that out to me, the question I should be asking seems much easier to address than the one I was asking.

Re: Healing Touch
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2011, 04:30:41 PM »
Have you considered making it a move/love letter for the player.

Anytime you use HT more than once within a short period of time Roll +Hard

On a 10+ Your brain can handle the maelstrom, Take +1 on HT roll
On a 7-9 Your mental defences are breaking down. Pick 1:
-The headaches are getting worse
-Your connection to the maelstrom is weaking (-1 Forward on weird rolls?)
-What's that moving in the shadows?
- OW, that hurt (1-harm to patient and Angel)
On a miss, You've lost the touch.  (Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme, maybe MC picks 2)

Just a few thoughts.  This is my first time trying to create a move/love letter so go easy on me. :)