Custom Move: Ambush!

  • 4 Replies
  • 3511 Views
Custom Move: Ambush!
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:45:04 PM »
I'm working on a AW hack for space operas (inspired by The Expanse and Firefly primarily) and I've expanded the moves list because I wanted to add in some granularity. One of the added moves is Ambush! which functions as follows.

Quote
Ambush!: When you know a foe is coming , roll+Ingenuity. On a 10+, you and your allies get +1 forward. On a 7-9, the GM offers you a hard bargain or an ugly choice. On a miss you and your allies get -1 forward as your foes are tipped off.

The idea of this move is for setting up an ambush because I know one sided violence is Go Aggro. Read A Sitch also doesn't really fit as that is more an assessment of danger.

What I'm struggling with is the soft hit result. Should I leave it vague with its current wording, add in that the PC making the roll still gets +1 forward, or add in that the PC AND allies still get +1 forward? I'm not sure what sounds best or what is most interesting.

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: Custom Move: Ambush!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2015, 11:28:17 PM »
This is a playbook or character specific move right? If so then it's fine. Though I would alter the move to say on a hit you get +1 forward and on a 10+ your allies get a +1 forward too.

If not, then this move doesn't work. If the entire team knows the enemy is coming, then each player could make the general move called Ambush, which applies a benefit without consideration of the narrative to the group. Meaning that if the first person got spotted, the second person would try again with no penalties for failure, since those are applied to the whole of the group. Each MUST be able to try, because otherwise the highest Ingenuity in the group is the only one that would ever matter and be the only guy ever rolling.

I also don't think that adding the move matters in terms of making things interesting. If someone just missed a roll, you can have the enemies ambush something they care about or announce the badness of them descending on the guy right now and they're all ready to go (or have an advantage). Whereas, if they already know the enemy is coming, then they can counter strike to make the first move, thus choosing the when and the where, which is far more advantageous then a +1 to the first roll. Playing it out is more significant to the narrative. Hitting them when they're not ready can make a dangerous attack less dangerous, them hitting you when you're hurt / dealing with something else / or hitting you with better numbers supplies seems to create the effect you're after for real, rather then just a +1 / -1.

I also believe that you've discounted read a sitch far too soon. It does in fact already cover this very well. If you know the enemies are coming for you, you see then entering the building and you hear them coming up the stairs, reading a sitch is the direct gather information and get an edge to act roll. As well, read a sitch works for each person individually. On a hit you get +1 to a variety of activities and have more information to make decisions based on, which could be far more useful and come from the narrative of the sitch itself rather then an overarching (generalized) +1 move. And if you miss, then the MC can make a hard move as hard as they like, which is a more poignant and dangerous event then your miss on this other move.

Another way to consider read a sitch is that you don't necessarily have to zoom into the they're already here! moment. You can have word come down through the grape vine that these guys ARE coming after you, and in order to setup for them, you go about gathering information through your sources. Roll read a sitch. The questions then apply to what your information tells you WILL be coming. And the guys that got the skivvy gets the +1 but the group can gain advantage by preventing the enemies from creating the perfect storm. Its just... if the guys misses, well, bad shit is already happening! or things aren't what they thought it would be and that prep hurts more then helps. We're not ready yet! Much more tense and real.

In summation, If you want someone to be counter-intelligence in this way. Give a playbook the move
Quote
Whenever you read a sitch, you gain 1 additional hold. On a 10+ you can spend that hold to give  allies who you can communicate with, a +1 forward when they're helping you act on that information.

Also what is Ingenuity? Did you add an entire stat to match this move? I might be misreading the intentions of your basic move, in which case you may need to reword it to be more clear.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 11:47:05 PM by Ebok »

Re: Custom Move: Ambush!
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 08:11:11 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I probably wasn't considering narrative direction and impact as much as I should have been. I think I will take your suggestion for the modification to Read A Sitch with the hold for allies... If I keep the Ambush mechanics at all.

For my hack I reorganized the moves a bit and reworked the stats. It's close to still being the original stats (minus weird) but renamed Fellowship (Hot), Aggression (Hard), Ingenuity (Sharp), and Resolve (Cool).

Re: Custom Move: Ambush!
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 04:52:43 PM »

Yeah I would agree that this move is already 95% covered by Read a Situation (it even includes the +1 forward) followed by literally any move that would be effective as part of the specific ambush. Most likely Go Aggro in the case of a violent ambush or stick-up, but one can of course socially ambush people, too. Having a custom playbook move based around ambushes that gives larger bonuses (or allows them to be spread to an entire group, or etc.) could be interesting, but as a basic move I don't think this is adding very much.

Note that even the miss clause is the sort of MC move that could result from a failed Read a Situation (though as an MC I would be far more interested in having the ambushees act differently in the fiction, than giving a mechanical penalty to the PCs.)

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: Custom Move: Ambush!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2015, 03:36:03 AM »
I was rereading this and I noticed something.

My in quote's suggestion;
Quote
Whenever you read a sitch, you gain 1 additional hold. On a 10+ you can spend that hold to give  allies who you can communicate with, a +1 forward when they're helping you act on that information.

Is also probably covered by another move that already exists. Oftener Right applies when people come to you and ask you for advice, you could easily re-script one to read, "when you go up to someone and ORDER them to do exactly what you want them to do.... They get +1 forward while following your instructions, and gain an experience if it all goes to shit." Or keep it as the Oftener right's trigger, and let players come up and ask him for advice about the information he's gathering all the time.

That's an even more real / narrative way to handle it.