Seizing by force and taking definite hold

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Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« on: November 10, 2011, 05:05:59 AM »
A discussion arose on an Italian forum about this move and the possible choice of "taking definite hold on it". Suppose that my character is going barehanded for another one's throat, basically trying to "seize his life": would it be legit to "take definite hold on it" to kill him? I'd say a big "no" here, as it would basically bypass the whole Harm system and make armor useless, but I'd like some clarifications. ^_^

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 05:43:09 AM »

Yes, of course. I mean, the option is right there in the rules, why would it suddenly not be allowed?

I think it also useful however to consider seizing someone's life by force as a two-step process. I generally interpret 'taking definite hold' of someone's life as basically gaining such an advantage on them that their life is in your grasp. So in the example, you choke them nearly to unconsciousness, and all you have to do is continue if you wish to kill them. But in another case -- say, a large-scale gunfight -- then maybe it means you have them dead to rights with your rifle pointed at their head. Or you have a knife to their throat. Or you've hauled them into the back of your jeep and started to drive off.

The point is, there's still room for someone else to do something about it, even if they can't, prior to the point where you decide to kill them (if that is what you decide to do.) In the context of a battle, seizing whoever's life was your move for this tick, and next tick your move can totally be 'and then I kill 'em!' But it's possible someone else will do something between those two ticks -- and in the case of it being a PC seizing another PC's life by force, I would probably let the PC react as well, albeit heavily constrained by the fiction of the first move.


Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 05:50:29 AM »

You have to keep in mind that only PCs can do this, and NPCs die very easily. If all you want to do is kill somebody then you can probably get away with just inflicting extra harm and they're gonna be dead, or close enough to it. If the NPC is heavily armoured or inaccessible in some way -- then this approach might make more sense, if the only goal of the PC is to straight up kill the person in question. And in that case it should make sense in the fiction as well, because the PC is taking some specific sort of violent action that gives them whatever advantage is necessary to kill the otherwise-unkillable NPC.

Definitely seizing hold of someone's life is a lot more interesting if your intentions for that life are not to end it as soon as possible. Taking a hostage, for example -- or rescuing a hostage, or killing someone else's hostage before they can get away, etc. If there's some innocent kid about to get gunned down by an NPC gang, and the Gunlugger leaps in the way, shoots a few of them in the head, takes a bullet, grabs the kid, and hauls him into cover -- that's seizing the kid's life by force. Nobody gets to kill that kid without going through the Gunlugger, at least until circumstances change.


Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2011, 07:59:48 AM »
Daniel Wood has explained this elegantly above.

To reiterate his point from my perspective: "I seize his life by force" means more like "I use force to seize narrative arbitration over the stakes of whether or not he lives."

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2011, 08:28:48 AM »

You have to keep in mind that only PCs can do this, and NPCs die very easily.

The problem comes when a PC uses the move on another one and instakills him just by virtue of having rolled a 7 (which is the most common result on 2d6, so anyone with Hard >= 0 will pull it off lots of times).

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lumpley

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Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2011, 10:46:33 AM »
If it's PC vs PC, remember that the intended victim can roll seize by force to secure his hold on his life too, and that both can and should roll to interfere with one another.

The 2-sided seize by force is wicked fun. There's only one exchange of harm, but both players get to make their choices from the list. Give it a try.

-Vincent

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2011, 11:15:44 AM »
If it's PC vs PC, remember that the intended victim can roll seize by force to secure his hold on his life too, and that both can and should roll to interfere with one another.

The 2-sided seize by force is wicked fun. There's only one exchange of harm, but both players get to make their choices from the list. Give it a try.

-Vincent

That's interesting. I always thought that, in such a case, only one would be rolling at a time. However, in such a situation what's the use of "inflict terrible harm" when "take definite hold" can completely ignore the Har and armor system and prevent the other one from taking a debility and surviving?

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 11:27:58 AM »
Taking definite hold of someone's life doesn't allow you to bypass harm and armor and kill them.

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 11:53:12 AM »
Taking definite hold of someone's life doesn't allow you to bypass harm and armor and kill them.

That was the core of my doubts. Thanks!

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 01:09:29 PM »
So what, It'd be like Keeler tries to take Wilson's life by force, rolls a 8, and choose take a definite hold of it so the MC'd go

"Keeler, Wilson stabs you in the ribs but you fall on her and your hands find her throat. Take 2-harm, minus armor. Wilson, you try to free yourself but no dice. You take 1-harm, AP, because you don't have anything around your neck. Keeler, if you squeeze harder you'll kill her (tell the consequences and ask),what d'you do?
-I kill that bitch !
-Okay. Wilson, take 1-harm AP and roll the harm move.
(inlfict harm as established). Ooh, hurts. It feels like your windpipe is crushed. Take 1-harm more. What do you do?"


Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 02:23:40 PM »
So what, It'd be like Keeler tries to take Wilson's life by force, rolls a 8, and choose take a definite hold of it so the MC'd go

"Keeler, Wilson stabs you in the ribs but you fall on her and your hands find her throat. Take 2-harm, minus armor. Wilson, you try to free yourself but no dice. You take 1-harm, AP, because you don't have anything around your neck. Keeler, if you squeeze harder you'll kill her (tell the consequences and ask),what d'you do?
-I kill that bitch !
-Okay. Wilson, take 1-harm AP and roll the harm move.
(inlfict harm as established). Ooh, hurts. It feels like your windpipe is crushed. Take 1-harm more. What do you do?"

I think that's the spirit!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 04:28:32 PM by Ernesto Pavan »

Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 04:55:39 PM »
A little clarification, Vincent (or anyone else), if I can.

Let's say I HAD taken definitive hold of the life of Snake Eyes the Chopper.

We fought, we shot each other, the dice rolled for a reciprocal Seize by Force and now all is still with a 7-9 for me and a failure for him. I choose to take little harm and to take definitive hold on his life.

In the fiction I'm now kneeling on a defensless Snake Eyes, I take out my knife and cut his throat.

He dies? I do a move? I do the 1harm of the knife?
Ciao, I'm Ezio, from Italy.
I'm sorry for my bad english... I'll keep studying ;-)

*

Chroma

  • 259
Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 06:55:39 PM »
I do the 1harm of the knife?

Yep, that's it... maybe 2-harm, and definitely AP, Snake Eyes makes a Harm move and gets asked "What do you do?"

As well, Snake Eyes's player may take debilities instead of the harm, if they so desire.  Of course, Snake Eyes is in a position to keep taking harm unless he figures out a way to get out of that situation... such as trying to Manipulate someone there or Acting Under Fire to play dead and not flinch when kicked, etc, etc.  The *characters* don't know what Harm someone is at, even as the players do, so there are "outs".

It's tough to kill PCs... the are the stars of the story!  How many times in movies has a protanganist been surely killed, only to show up later with a nasty scar and a grudge?  That's the way to look at it.
"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: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2011, 02:40:59 AM »
Taking definite hold of someone's life doesn't allow you to bypass harm and armor and kill them.

Even against NPCs?


Re: Seizing by force and taking definite hold
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2011, 02:45:36 AM »
Yep, that's it... maybe 2-harm, and definitely AP, Snake Eyes makes a Harm move and gets asked "What do you do?"

But now you're denying the full benefit of my move.
I've taken definitive hold of it, I did my usual damage, I roll my dice, he interfered and at the end... I've taken definitive hold of his life.

Now we're out of the conflict, the dice are still, and I've Snake Eyes' life in my hand. Whot do I do? I cut his throat. Must I cut it repetitively until the 1-2damage of the knife fill his countdown clock (it's like cutting turkey! XD) or now I've really got hold on his life and can simply end it?

The way I would play this is sending Snake Eyes straight to 12.00 on his countdown clock and then I'll allow him to take a debility, so we can have a coherent fiction: I'm in control of his life, I cut his throat (withouth chopping like I'm cutting some chicken), no interference in this, I already have the control of his life, I already won that conflict,  I left him for death and THEN he could take a debility a come back... maybe as a Faceless XD

Let's see this other situation:

Ruby the Skinner got Fifi the Gunlugger sleeping in her bed. She worked for it. She spent a whole session trying to obtain a powerful narcotic from the Maestro d', she seduce Fifi to fuck with her, she seduced him to drink the spiked wine and now Fifi is sleeping, naked and heavly drugged, beside her.
Ruby drives a rusty spike through his eye.
What do I do?
It's going aggro? It's a "fuck up you got a lot of possibility to avoid this, you are dead (but take a debility if you want)" situation? Is something else?

EDIT: Sorry, crosspost with Moreno.
Ciao, I'm Ezio, from Italy.
I'm sorry for my bad english... I'll keep studying ;-)