Seduce/manipulate on PCs

  • 9 Replies
Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« on: June 19, 2012, 03:29:05 PM »

I just have a bit of a problem to figure out what it means, in this context, to choose the option :

if they refuse, it's acting under fire.

Is it because they have a hard time refusing it ? Why would they be under pressure and what could be that pressure ?

I guess I just need an example or three. :P

P.S. Also, sorry if it was answered somewhere else. I couldn't find it during my searches.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 09:39:57 PM by anadiel »

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 12:20:44 AM »
I myself have a hard time with PC on PC seduce/manipulate leading to acting under fire.

I've always explained the "fire" to be the first PC's force of personality and how well you hold up under their extreme gaze/charming personality/force of will.

And I found a couple of old forum posts for you:

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 12:38:20 AM »
Thanks a lot ! I'm slowly starting to get a picture of what it means to "act under fire" in this context.

So, if I read this correctly, by refusing and having to act under fire, we're trying to see if the PC is having any complication arise because of his refusal.

Thing is, if that same PC rolls a hit at 7-9 or even misses, what then ? I mean, I'm pretty sure that as the MC, I can't say something like : You're feeling bad about refusing that offer so take -1 forward.

I really now see why AW is hard when you play PC vs. PC

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 02:55:33 AM »
Well, with a straight up miss (6 or less), you should look to your MC Moves and Principles.

On a soft hit (7-9), you will have to think of a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or ugly choice. Taking a -1forward is pretty legitimate, as well as having the "losing" PC taking -1ongoing against the "winning" PC.

I myself don't like using mechanical outcomes unless I really can't think of anything else (which is often, unfortunately).

The advice, also unfortunately, is to see what the context/fiction is, since acting under fire is very context/fiction heavy.

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 10:33:03 AM »
This concept was hard for me to grasp, too. I found an old thread about it, with this extremely helpful post from Vincent, which is worth quoting in full:

Oh no, you can always just choose to refuse. You're acting under fire because you've refused, not in order to refuse.

Paul, 3 things. 1: make as hard and direct a move as you want to make, not a hard move in any absolute terms. 2: make a move that you CAN misdirect, not a contrived move. 3: don't call for the roll+cool until you know what the refuser is going to do instead.

Barbecue, the hardholder: Hey Rex, you know your mom? Here's 1 shiny jingle. Go punch her in the face for me, she needs it.
Rex, the gunlugger: What? No.
Me, the MC: What do you do instead?
Rex: I just refuse. I'm not going to go punch my mom, as if.
Me: Sure, that's fine. What do you do then, instead of punching your mom?
Rex: Oh. I still want to talk to Barbecue about Hapler.
Me: So you just let it slide, keep talking?
Rex: Yeah.
Me: Okay. That's under fire, because of the shiny jingle. Roll+cool.

Rex rolls, hits a 10+
Me: Cool. Carry on.

- or -
Rex rolls, hits a 7-9. There's kind of an ugly choice already present in the situation, so I just say it out loud.
Me: Huh. Do you accept the jingle, though?

- or -
Rex rolls, misses. I give my list of moves a quick glance. I've got nothing else brewing, no raiders or cannibal cults or handy interruptions, so I decide just to tell consequences and ask.
Me: You let it slide? If your mom finds out, she's going to be wicked pissed you didn't do anything about it.
Rex: Yeah. I can deal with that when it comes.
Me: Okay, your call! You want to talk about Hapler, you said?


The thing being done under fire here is not "refusing the offer". If Rex refuses, then he refuses. That's that. The thing that he's doing instead is "letting it slide totally unaddressed", and the fire is the sorts of thing that can happen when someone suggests that you punch your mom and you keep talking to them.

I like this example, because the point here is that ugly choices and hard moves are NOT about punishing one PC for refusing to obey another PC. The PCs have full agency at all times. The MC's moves here are about making the PC's lives interesting and real, which in this case just means spending a little bit more time considering all the angles of the situation. Dwelling for a moment and considering all the fictional implications is exactly the MC's job and one of the things the MC's moves make possible.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 10:42:09 AM by creases »

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 11:26:59 AM »
Ok, now I think I get it : the acting under fire is about what follows and what the manipulated PC is doing after his refusal. The fact that he has to rool+cool for whatever he's doing next is already showing us that the manipulator had hit her roll. So, no need to dwell on the fact that the manipulated refused. Like, I couldn't say things like : "You're having a hard time thinking of something else besides Bob's offer." because I'd be stepping out of bounds as MC, right ?

This excerpt also helped a lot, thank you !

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 10:13:18 PM »
Like, I couldn't say things like : "You're having a hard time thinking of something else besides Bob's offer." because I'd be stepping out of bounds as MC, right ?
Yeah, I think that's right.

Here's the way I see it. If I'm the MC, then sure, I'm a fan of Barbecue (What a glorious, brazen sleazebag! Who else could get away with even asking that!), but I'm also a fan of Rex. I'm not looking at him through cross-hairs. It's not my job to fuck with him, or to punish him, any more than it's my job to give Barbecue everything on a silver platter. I just want Rex's life to be realistic and interesting, because I'm playing to see what happens with him.

So that's what I should be using my MC moves to do. The "act under fire" roll is a prompt for me, as the MC, to decide how hard of a move I'm allowed to make as a result of Rex's refusal. If Rex hits a 10+, then I don't get to make a move. On a 7-9, whatever it is I decide has to look like, and count as, a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or an ugly choice. If he misses, I can make as hard a move as I like. As always, that's as hard a move as I like for this situation, guided by my MC agenda and principles; it doesn't have to be nasty or meddle with the PC's agency (since that would actually violate my agenda).

Anyway this is all very theoretical for me, as I don't have a huge amount of table experience! But I hope it helps!

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 11:38:45 PM »
More examples are always good, right? I'm envisioning other situations and how I'd deal with them. Like, for example, what happens if Rex not only refuses, but the thing he does instead is also a move? Go Aggro, say. I think I'd handle that case something like this:

Barbecue, the hardholder: Hey Rex, you know your mom? Here's 1 shiny jingle. Go punch her in the face for me, she needs it.
Rex, the gunlugger: What? No. The hell, man? Fuck you! Don't you talk about my mother that way!
Me, the MC: How pissed are you right now, Rex? What are you doing?
Rex: Oh, I'm super pissed. I've got my heater, right? Take it back, Barbecue, or I swear to God....
Me: Are you just trying to scare him? Or are you for serious here?
Rex: I'm serious as hell. Enough's enough. I'm going aggro here.
Me: Okay, but first you gotta roll to Act Under Fire, and the fire is, this might come off as way out of proportion.

Rex rolls, hits a 10+
Me: Cool. Sorry, Barb, you've got this coming.
Barbecue: Hey, whoah, c'mon man....
Rex now rolls to Go Aggro, as usual. Barbecue can roll Hx to interfere.

- or -
Rex rolls, hits a 7-9. Here's a hard bargain I might offer.
Me: You can do this if you want, but you know, no matter how it turns out, everyone's gonna know you're a big sucky baby when it comes to your mom.
Rex: Fuggit. I'm doing this.
Rex now rolls Go Aggro, as usual, and again, Barbecue can interfere. And now I'm looking at Rex's mom through cross-hairs.

- or -
Rex blows the roll. He's left himself pretty open to being put in a spot here, and I have an obvious resource I can bring into play.
Me: Well, how about that. You notice that Omie's just standing there in the doorway. Remember Omie, Barbecue's lieutenant? You didn't hear him coming. And it looks like he's got Wee Bo, Jeanette, and four or five other members of the gang behind him. They must have heard you shouting. Looks like they walked in to see you with your weapon on their boss. Still wanna Go Aggro, or you want to try something else?

So, I'm building on the idea that, in the Act Under Fire roll, the fire is, what does it mean to refuse in this situation? What does it look like, and what kinds of consequences are there going to be in the near future? In Vincent's example, Rex wanted to keep talking, and the fire was, someone just told you to punch your mom, and you look like some kind of reptile because you're still talking to them like it's no big deal. In my example, Rex wants to force Barbecue to take it back, so the fire is, you look like the kind of guy who just flips his shit and does something way out of proportion. If Rex blows the roll, I want people to KNOW that's what he looked like, either by putting them there to see it, or making sure they find out later. And if he flubs Act Under Fire, he looks like a fool even if he succeeds at Go Aggro (and all the more so if he fails, I reckon).

Does this look plausible to you guys?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 11:58:10 PM by creases »

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 11:56:46 PM »
You know, this should really have been in the book. This fixes/changes/solidifies my thoughts on the whole seduce/manipulate, then act under fire, then what? issue I had with the sequence of events.

Re: Seduce/manipulate on PCs
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 12:00:55 AM »
Really cool/helpful ideas there ! I'm still learning how to MC AW and that made me both understand seduce/manipulate better but also, I see more ways to turn the moves into a snowball.

I just can't wait to retry AW and also share this with a friend who's about to MC it !