Look-alike (rules question)

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Look-alike (rules question)
« on: February 01, 2012, 04:26:33 PM »
So, a pretty hard dude by the name of Bram is sitting in his camp late at night.

Walking by is someone who looks very much like his friend Dweller... but is actually a look-alike, dressed in Dweller's clothes. He's been sent by some enemy smart-ass, headed to do some mischief elsewhere: it would be pretty significant if Bram were to figure this out and stop him right now.

However, without looking too closely, this look-alike really looks like Dweller. Upon closer inspection, and better lighting, it would be pretty obvious he isn't, but in the dark, if you're not paying too much attention... looks just like the guy, right?

You're the MC, Bram is the PC. Bram doesn't know anything, neither does his player, when this enemy dressed up like Dweller walks by.

How do you handle this situation? What moves do you use? Do you call for a roll (maybe a custom move)? What's the most fun way to play this out?


Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 04:36:43 PM »
I think I'd describe the scene, and then ask the player if they'd like to read a Sitch. (Maybe adding that Dweller looks anxious, or nervous) Then it's in the player's hands how "suspicious" they are of this Dweller-a-like.

Even on a hit, they may not ask the right questions, in which case you're free to have your look-a-like cause their mayhem.


Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 07:10:54 PM »

If this scene isn't there in order for Bram to find out that Dweller has a double... why does it exist at all? Is this like, Bram was doing something else, and honesty demands that this is when Dweller's double walks by... or are you specifically framing Bram into this scene?

Because if the latter, it makes no sense not to call his attention to Dweller walking by, and see what he does -- and if there's nothing else in the scene, it's pretty obvious he's going to talk to Dweller, or follow him, and at that point I am guessing it's going to be obvious something suspicious is going on.

Either way I'd just be like "you see Dweller walking by, but he doesn't say anything to you -- looks like he's got some business elsewhere, from the way his shoulders are set." Or something similar. But I doubt you'll need a custom move, unless this look-alike is really good -- if Bram decides to go over and talk to Dweller, or follow him, it will probably become pretty obvious to him that it's not really Dweller?

I'm mostly against just telling a player they should roll to Read a Situation. You should address the character, not the player, and make it clear that there might be a situation worth paying attention to. Then, if they do it, they do it.

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Chroma

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Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 10:23:04 PM »
How do you handle this situation? What moves do you use? Do you call for a roll (maybe a custom move)? What's the most fun way to play this out?

To me, that's just a beautifully misdirected "Announce Future Badness"; if the player blows it off, yay!, you're set to make a hard move.  If the player interacts with the situation, yay!, dice are gonna roll and stuff is going to go down; probably read a sitch or person... but some zanier characters may even open their brain.  There's no need for anything custom here at all.

As long as your description ends with "What do you do?", you're good to go.  You're a fan of the PCs, so you want to see what's going to happen in trouble like this.
"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

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 11:15:49 PM »
So, this guy that looks a lot like Dweller walks by...
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: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 06:02:16 AM »
"Dweller walks by, quietly. Do you look closer?"
"Why?"
"Well, he is kind of looking at the ground"

Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 08:58:24 PM »
It sounds like two suggestions are, basically:

* Just tell the player, while misdirecting (e.g. "some guy who looks like Dweller walks by")

* Let the player decide whether they'd like to know who he is

The choice is in the player's hands in this way of handling it: here's something fishy/odd. Do you choose to investigate? If so, you'll probably find out what's up. If not, you won't.

What are some other options?

Let'say we take the same example, but instead of Dweller being an NPC, he's a PC. And he really doesn't want to be noticed by the other guy. Now how do you do it?

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Chroma

  • 259
Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 09:00:55 PM »
Let'say we take the same example, but instead of Dweller being an NPC, he's a PC. And he really doesn't want to be noticed by the other guy. Now how do you do it?

That's simply Dweller acting under fire not to be noticed and Bram interfering if acting all paranoid and watchful... *laugh*
"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

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 09:24:40 PM »
I'm in favor of putting everything in the players hands. "some dude posing as Dweller walks by. He's got his hair up like Dweller and...shit, he's even wearing Dweller's jacket. Come to think of it, you haven't seen Dweller in a while..."

It's kinda what honesty demands, right?
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

Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 09:51:11 PM »
I'm in favor of putting everything in the players hands.

Just this, exactly. AW is primarily about the consequences of the PCs actions, not about whether they find stuff out or not. If players spend all their time making rolls to try to figure out what is going on, it will take a lot longer for the game to get to the part where they take decisive and possibly cataclysmic action to deal with what is going on.

Edit: though I will say that it's also fine when PCs take decisive and cataclysmic action in order to find out what is going on (see: low Weird characters being forced to Open Their Brain for the most awesome basic example.) But you still gotta give them that opportunity. Which is more likely to result in PC action: Bram noticing that Dweller's acting weird, or Bram finding out later that Dweller did some stuff? Investigating after the fact just isn't as interesting as noticing the trouble in-progress.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 09:57:38 PM by Daniel Wood »

Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 04:05:59 AM »
Is Bram catching this dude posing as Dweller going to be interesting? Is it going to let you be a fan of Bram?

Whenever I MC Apocalypse World I have to try and ditch a fair few years of baggage from games I used to GM - making players do pointless rolls is one of those things. Just laying everything on the table there and then is what I find works best. This is one of the reasons the MC's advice sections in AW are golden.


Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 01:35:12 PM »
So give me some examples!

Which MC advice do you find particularly helpful here. How would you apply it in this situation?

(Lots of good answers here, thanks everyone. Looking forward to more!)

Re: Look-alike (rules question)
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 06:25:37 AM »
I'd do what I do whenever I'm in doubt : scan the MC moves' list.

"So there's Dremmer's coming in, but he's all acting weird, like not making eye contact and keeping his head low, and then he spots you and leaves like his ass's on fire or something, what'd do you do?" (Separate fake!Dremmer and the PC)

"...and when he leaves you notice your bag's gone. What'd you do?"  (Take away the PC's stuff)

"...so you follow him and just when you turn around you feel a gunpoint between your shoulders and Dremmer says — with a voice that's definitely not Dremmer's — “Boss wants you dead, no hard feeling, a'right?" (Fake!Dremmer is some Warlord's agent, and he just made a careful study of you and then attacked when you're weak)

"So here's Dremmer and he's cocky as always, he comes in like he owns the place and all, he smiles at you and then WHAM with the biggest smile and his hand moving so quick you barely see it he sticks his big-ass knife in your guts! Everyone around is like "wait what ?" You take 2-harm. What'd you do?" (Fake!Dremmer is a grotesque:mindfucker who can shapeshift — he just attacked you face-on, with a side-dish of inflict harm for good measure)

"You've just said that to Dremmer and this guy, Balls you think he's called, shakes your shoulder and ask you "hey, man, who you talking to ?" and when you look back to Dremmer, he's not there man, like he never was." (Landscape:mirage, revealing fake!Dremmer to your eyes and yours only)

Or something like that.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 12:39:34 PM by gregpogor »