Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba

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Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« on: November 25, 2011, 07:01:30 PM »
The Player Characters in my game are making allies with the advanced seduce/manipulate move! I'm so proud of them. But I have a bit of a difficulty really getting how to handle the allies as MC.

I'm not supposed to look at allies through crosshairs and intuitively, I get that. But in practice, I have some difficulties with it. Is nothing bad supposed to happen to them now?

To make it less abstract and useless: In my game, Shade (PC) just made an ally of Ba (NPC). Now, Ba is Pierres lieutenant, and Pierre is kind of a sick monster. So is it legitimate for me to have Pierre threaten to kill Ba to get Shade to obey him? It's definitely what Pierre would do, but on the other hand it is me using Ba to make the world a worse place for Shade, and that doesn't feel like something I wan't to use allies for. Allies should make the world a better place for the PCs.

And well, Ba's a soldiering type. Since I don't look through crosshairs at him, is he going to come back alive no matter what? Or only if that doesn't make Apocalypse World seem contrived? What if he gets in a fight with another PC - say, Line? Do I try to keep Ba alive, since he's an ally, or do I look at him through crosshairs since he's up against a PC?

Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 07:41:44 PM »
Ba being an ally means, aside from what the PCs do with/to/for him, he doesn't die. And he doesn't make problems for them. So you can't start a scene with "So, you're standing over Ba's eviscerated body, its stinks. How do you feel?" And you can't start a scene with "So Ba puts his gun in your face..."

But if a PC asks Ba to back him up and then rolls snake eyes for his seize by force with grenades roll, Ba could get killed. If a PC puts his gun in Ba's face and pulls the trigger, Ba could die. If a PC asks Ba to hold onto some highly radioactive material, well... just because Ba's not a threat doesn't mean radiation isn't either.

So he's not vulnerable to you making the PCs lives not boring and he's not vulnerable to your bloody fingerprints.

But he's definitely vulnerable to the PCs and their fuck-ups.

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noclue

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Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2011, 01:55:48 AM »
So is it legitimate for me to have Pierre threaten to kill Ba to get Shade to obey him?

The only answer here that makes sense is yes. Ba doesn't have plot immunity just because youre not looking at him through the crosshairs. It just means you aren't constantly deciding whether to destroy him. If Pierre wants to get to Shade and he knows threatening Ba would work, why wouldn't he?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 02:01:12 AM by noclue »
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

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Arvid

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Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2011, 05:38:54 PM »
So is it legitimate for me to have Pierre threaten to kill Ba to get Shade to obey him?

The only answer here that makes sense is yes. Ba doesn't have plot immunity just because youre not looking at him through the crosshairs. It just means you aren't constantly deciding whether to destroy him. If Pierre wants to get to Shade and he knows threatening Ba would work, why wouldn't he?

Yeah, even if you remove look through crosshairs, there's still what honesty demands and make apocalypse world seem real.

As long as you announce future badness before taking away their stuff, things should be ok. amirite?

Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 09:16:44 AM »
2noclue: to be more structured, and cite John Harper, as long as you make Setup before Hard Move.

Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 03:13:30 PM »
Thanks, everyone.

Johnstone, one point where I'm still uncertain: Ba is Shade's ally, so obviously he doesn't make problems for Shade. But what about the other PCs? Is he free to stick a gun in their faces if the fancy takes him? If, of course, that doesn't make problems for Shade...

Re: Allies and crosshairs, or, the complex case of Ba
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 05:04:38 PM »
I would say no, he doesn't cause problems for other PCs. The books says you take the character out of your fronts, even the home front, and just put him in a new category called home.

Since threats are for everybody, I would naturally assume home is for everybody as well. So, since he's not a threat anymore, he shouldn't be a threat to ANY of the PCs.

However... If Shade is feuding with Hyena the Chopper PC, and Shade mentions to Ba, or in Ba's presence that he'd like somebody to take Hyena out, and it follows naturally from Ba's ally impulse that he'd go and take Hyena out, then that's what he should do. But just on his own as a way for you the MC to cause trouble? No. Use another NPC who is still a threat.