Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic

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Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« on: October 31, 2011, 04:00:46 AM »
So, if a Skinner uses Hypnotic on a NPC, I as a MC decides when they spend hold, right ? For reference :

Quote
Hypnotic: when you have time and solitude with someone, they
become fixated upon you. Roll+hot. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9,
hold 2. They can spend your hold, 1 for 1, by:
• giving you something you want
• acting as your eyes and ears
• fighting to protect you
• doing something you tell them to


When I do so, is this a MC move ? I mean, when a NPC act as the Skinner's eyes and hears, do I announce future badness, put the Skinner in a spot or separate hir from the rest of the group?

My guts tell me so, but I'm curious what you all think, guys.

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 04:14:13 AM »
Well, if someone is acting as your eyes and ears, they're warning you ahead of time, telling you how it really went down, or spilling secrets. And possibly, they're bringing you info you specifically asked for.

So I'd consider putting the skinner in a spot or separating them is kind of a screw-job. PCs are entitled to the full benefit of their moves, after all.

But future badness is great! Have them inform on some bad shit somebody is planning. But make sure there's is time to react to it--that's the benefit of stool pigeons.

Or, don't give a warning. Instead, think of something that somebody doesn't want the skinner to know, and have the NPC spill the beans. What do the other PCs not want the skinner to know? Spill it. What do your NPCs not want the skinner to know? Fuck 'em, spill it.

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 04:34:55 AM »
Well, if someone is acting as your eyes and ears, they're warning you ahead of time, telling you how it really went down, or spilling secrets. And possibly, they're bringing you info you specifically asked for.

So I'd consider putting the skinner in a spot or separating them is kind of a screw-job. PCs are entitled to the full benefit of their moves, after all.

But future badness is great!

See, that's where I'm lost. If Announce future badness is fair game, then separate them should be too. After all, a MC move is not automatically a hard move. Imagine I'd say

You're having lunch with Uncle and Scarlett when you see somebody who's not from the hold coming at you. Now you pay attention it's Stan, Princy's right hand. You remember Princy's, right ? The warlord from across the river ? Stan comes closer and tells you he has a message from Princy but doesn't want the others to hear him. You leave the table and go a little further.

That's separating them, but it's not a hard move. Just like

There's a pidgeon on your balcony. You notice it has a little copper tube on its left leg, just like Princy's messenger birds. There's a note inside that says "Midnight, we need you badly. If you don't come quickly, Princy might die".

is putting hir in a spot, but not a hard move.

And somebody spilling the beans about somebody else doing stuff they don't want anybody to know feels like announcing future or off-screen badness to me.

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noofy

  • 777
Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 05:01:58 AM »
Of course its an MC move! You are just following the principles right? MC moves follow off player moves and set up future hard moves, what you are suggesting is great MCing! Can these hold spending actions answer stakes? Or set up future hard moves? This skinner move is such good grist for the story. It HELPS you as MC to generate provocative questions for the players, and move snowball 'generators'.

Don't forget the player can 'negotiate' the situation too. The hold can act as leverage for a manipulate or seduce move, a set-up to place the NPC firmly in your crosshairs, or develop NPC-Player-NPC triangles.

Keep on MCing in this way Greg, its sublime and righteous :) I'd love to play in your game!

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 06:06:02 AM »

Well, no, they're not MC moves: they're the move described by the rules for Hypnotic. You do what the move says. Obviously, you do so in accordance with the principles, and you use those principles to guide when you choose to spend the hold, but that's not the same thing as making an MC move.

Mostly, what Johnstone says. I am sure that some of the things you'll end up doing with the hold might also happen to be MC moves, but I think it pretty much says on the tin what you spend the hold to do. Piling on MC moves on top of that doesn't seem necessary, or (in some cases) fair.


Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 06:13:12 AM »
Well, no, they're not MC moves: they're the move described by the rules for Hypnotic. You do what the move says. Obviously, you do so in accordance with the principles, and you use those principles to guide when you choose to spend the hold, but that's not the same thing as making an MC move.

Oooh, good one. So when used on a NPC, the move results list is a bit like the moves lists from a front, is that what you're saying ? Like a grotesque can open one's heart content, a hypnotized NPC can act as the PC's eyes and hears, right ?

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 06:46:32 AM »
No, they're not moves at all.  They're just changes to the situation and you're saying what honest etc. demand.  Not everything you do is making a MC move, right?

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 07:31:52 AM »
No, they're not moves at all.  They're just changes to the situation and you're saying what honest etc. demand.  Not everything you do is making a MC move, right?

I know that's splitting hair (I do that), but if:

• I say something
• based on an item I chose from a list
• following the principles
• and asking the player "what do you do ?" afterwards

How is it not a MC move ?

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2011, 09:23:49 AM »
It's more correct to say that your action needn't be an MC move.  MC moves happen at certain times, right?  So, when you're just responding to the hypnotic character voicing some concerns and have an NPC (who happens to have hypnotic hold on them) pop up and give them something they want, that's not making an MC move (even if you tell the PC to mark off one hold) any more than just playing through the dialog is.  But if one of the instances that triggers an MC move (golden platter or failed PC move) comes up, you could still use those hold to have an NPC give the PC something they want and have it also, e.g. announce future badness.  MC moves seem to me to be more specific than what you're claiming.

As to your splitting hairs, when the PC goes aggro on an NPC and rolls a 7-9, you need to a) say something, b) choose from a list, c) follow MC principles and you may or may not d) ask what they do next.  But you haven't made a move.  You've just responded to the PC's move.  Right?


Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 09:46:12 AM »
As to your splitting hairs, when the PC goes aggro on an NPC and rolls a 7-9, you need to a) say something, b) choose from a list, c) follow MC principles and you may or may not d) ask what they do next.  But you haven't made a move.  You've just responded to the PC's move.  Right?

Okay, what happened is I got confused and shifted the conversation.

I agree with you in a sense. What I meant by the last post is : this is what I consider a MC move. Of course I don't have to do moves every time I speak. Sometimes I act out a dialog line by a NPC, sometimes I ask provocative questions, etc. But I barfed that ass-baked operational definition of a MC move - for reference

Quote
• The MC says something
• based on an item chosen from a list
• following the principles
• and then asks the player "what do you do ?"

after I asked myself

Quote
When I do so, is this a MC move ? I mean, when a NPC act as the Skinner's eyes and hears, do I announce future badness, put the Skinner in a spot or separate hir from the rest of the group?

So if I had to rephrase the question according to my brand new definition of a MC move that counts only for me, it would be: when I use a hold to make a NPC do something off the Hypnotic result table, is this a move per se or do I have to add a twist by making it a MC move on the top of it ? And now that I think of it, thanks to all your reactions and remarks and ideas, my answer would be:

It is a move per se. As with any MC move, you do what you choose off the list but you follow the principles by doing so - barfing forth apocalyptica, talking to the character, never speaking its name, etc. - and you end it with "what do you do ?". That way, the player is garanteed to get what he asked for by taking that hypnotic move and using it, no more, no less.

I'll try that next game.

(BtW, operationally, my MCing the 7-9 result of a PC going aggro would be a move too cf my definition of a MC move. Only it's not a generic MC move - it's a "special case" move like those from front types lists. It's a move I make only in certain circumstances, not anytime I can make a move, like those on the generic MC list. Same as my ruling on hypnotic. But hey, splitting hairs again.)

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Chroma

  • 259
Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 10:08:43 AM »
Could someone give examples of the MC spending one of these hold and it not being a move?

I think that could provide some insight.
"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..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 10:20:29 AM »
Could someone give examples of the MC spending one of these hold and it not being a move?

I think that could provide some insight.

Personnally I can't think of any but hey, I've got a very personal definition of a MC move.

BtW, I think I figured out something. Go Aggro, Hypnotic and all give a list of things to do, but they're not only for the MC. If the move's used against another PC, they get to act by choosing an item too. So they are MC moves, but they're not only MC moves - they can be PC moves too. They can be written as : when another player's character goes aggro on your character and roll a 7-9...

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 11:06:20 AM »
Could someone give examples of the MC spending one of these hold and it not being a move?

I think that could provide some insight.

Using the game's meaning of the MC's move:

"OK Marie, you just announced to the Snake Pit that you're looking for the a ride across the Burn Flats and so Rolfball steps up, dangling two car-keys between her index finger and thumb.  Mark off your last hold for being hypnotic.  You've got your ride."

Is that making a MC Move?  You might scrutinize the list of MC moves and say, "but hey, isn't that offering Marie and opportunity?"  Sure it is.  But it doesn't feel like a move.  It's a case when "someone turns and looks to you to say something [and you just] say what the principles demand."  Not like it was "a pause in the conversation and everyone looks to you to say something" and you choose a move.

Does this stuff matter, actually?

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 12:06:16 PM »
Does this stuff matter, actually?

Of course not, it's a game. But I find that stuff fascinating. What really got me into AW (and back into RPGs after 6-odd years fed up with the hobby, esp. because of the whole "6h game for 20min of fun" thing) was the formalization of the GM role.

You know, how every RPG under the sun is based on the assumption that the GM will fudge it and if it sucks, it's your group's fault, not the game's. AW broke that dynamic for me when it stepped up and said: you don't fudge things. You play a game and follow the rules, yeah even you the MC.

So I was intrigued by that attitude and decided "okay, if you're so sure your rules will work and provide a great game out of the box, let's do it. I'll MC the game exactly by the book. I won't deviate a bit from what's told. I'll open my big mouth for two things only: to ask provocative questions, and to make a MC move. That's it." and what do you know, not only did it work, but it produced what was one of the most engaging RPG session I've ever had, if not the most engaging. And ever since, sessions during which I deviated from that sucked a little more, and sessions in which I followed the rules ad librum rocked a little more.

So I'm a little curious about what makes it tick. And I think that the whole "when does the MC talk, what do they say and how do they say it" is a biggie.

But the discussion derailed so much from my initial, simple question it might as well be in the Nerve Core session now I think.

Re: Obvious Question re: Skinner's Move Hypnotic
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 05:25:57 PM »
You're having lunch with Uncle and Scarlett when you see somebody who's not from the hold coming at you. Now you pay attention it's Stan, Princy's right hand. You remember Princy's, right ? The warlord from across the river ? Stan comes closer and tells you he has a message from Princy but doesn't want the others to hear him. You leave the table and go a little further.

The part in bold, you can't say that. What the PC says and undertakes to do belongs to the player, first and exclusively. So you can't really separate them just by relaying information alone. So that fits my definition of a screw job, since it is technically against the rules (though I don't claim it's malicious or anything).

You can of course relay information, and then make the move separate them, but I wouldn't see that as one and the same.


There's a pidgeon on your balcony. You notice it has a little copper tube on its left leg, just like Princy's messenger birds. There's a note inside that says "Midnight, we need you badly. If you don't come quickly, Princy might die".

is putting hir in a spot, but not a hard move.

This looks like announcing future badness to me.

Putting the PC in a spot would be: "Princy is dying in front of you. You can try and use the stock in your angel kit to revive him, but if you don't, he's gonna die. Oh, and he's got that super important message for you, rolled up in a copper tube! What do you do?" (i.e. if yo uread the message first, he's dead).


And somebody spilling the beans about somebody else doing stuff they don't want anybody to know feels like announcing future or off-screen badness to me.

Could someone give examples of the MC spending one of these hold and it not being a move?

So, Jackson the Hardholder and Cobra the Driver, both PCs are arguing. Their conversation touches on a third PC, Orchid the Skinner. "Fuck that motherfucker," they both say. "Yeah, I hate that guy! Why is he always prancing around like he owns this joint?" They end their conversation with their mutual distate of Orchid and part ways without making plans to take action. Immediately, the MC turns to Orchid's player and says "Rothschild comes running up to you and breathlessly recounts every word of that conversation, verbatim."

Acting as your eyes and ears, but no future badness has been announced. The MC has no future badness planned, the other players have expressed no plans. "Announce offscreen badness" is not a move. Therefore, no MC move has technically occurred.

Does that make sense, Greg? There might be some discrepancy between what you and I think each of those moves looks like in play. I hope these concrete examples bridge that gap.