Confused and need help

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Confused and need help
« on: August 21, 2012, 06:20:46 PM »
I am desperately trying to wrap my brain around some of the cool concepts in DW.

I'm struggling at when the GM 'acts'.  There is no traditional initiative that I've come to rely upon so I'm not really sure when the GM makes moves. 

In the intro of the pre-release, the GM inflicts some damage on one of the characters and I'm not really sure why that happened.  Because the focus is never to declare the move itself, it wasn't clear, from my point of view, why the GM was using a move and against that character. 

Does anybody have any insight here? 

Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 06:38:48 PM »
The GM makes moves mainly in three circumstances:

1) the player(s) are not making a move. The orc charges. None of the players react.. The orc stabs the wizard.
2) the players roll a failure (6 and down). The fighter tries to Hack and Slash but misses, and leaving her side open the the ogre's club.
3) the players roll a 7-9, however the moves here may more limited and may occur only at player choice.

It doesn't sound like a lot, but it certainly gave me more than enough chances to shape the games at GenCon.

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noofy

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 07:59:27 PM »
Its not as formal as you might expect Sarim. LM has the right of it. Think of your GM moves as just a handy list of options or coda for what you would do in a 'normal' initiative / turn based system. The When is determined by the unfolding story. If it makes sense in the fiction then that should be your guide. Think of your favourite movies or books: sometimes the fiction focuses on the antagonists, but generally its as a result of the moves the heroes make. Make sure everyone has therir time in the spotlight, allow moves to snowball into one another, and make your GM / monster / dungeon moves as appropriate.

Try not to think of your moves as acting 'against' any particular character. You are siimply describing a situation in the unfolding drama, with impending (soft) or consequential (hard) effects and giving the players (addressing the characters) a choice: "what do you do?"

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Scrape

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 10:36:21 PM »
Think of it this way: you narrate the beginning of the NPC's action, but stop before the outcome is decided: "The ogre is swinging his club down at you." That's your threatening move. Then the player reacts: they can jump out of the way and Defy Danger, they can parry and attack with Hack & Slash. The player's roll decides the outcome of your NPC's action.

Sometimes the player has ignored a threat, or been forced to choose between two threats, like an archer is shooting at them simultaneously but they choose to Hack & Slash the ogre anyway. In that case, their roll determines the ogre's outcome but you might say that they take an arrow because they didn't try to hide or dodge.

Does that help? It helped me to think of it that way. Playing the game is very natural in practice, it's not as awkward as it might sound.

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noofy

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 12:37:58 AM »
Great advice, but I think its limiting to think in terms of player moves as actions, Scrape. Its far more beneficial to narrate what you (as the character) are doing and if it engages a trigger then roll a move.

When the ogre's club comes spinning down at the character's head they may try and avoid the blow by rolling away, or parry, or leap under the orgre's guard and attack, or any number of other cool player decided actions. It may trigger a move, it may not. Its just important to lead with the fiction first, rather than the mechanics of the move.

This recent article by Chris highlights the differences between say D&D and AW (DW). It may help: http://bankuei.wordpress.com/

Quote
MethodsAW is all about methods. Played to the book, the players actually should only be describing methods at all times, and it’s the GM’s job to really look at the Moves.

Events
AW is also about events. Because any given Move can be deeper zoomed in to a single moment, the results of Moves becomes Events, as well. It does a slick thing where Moves often provide lists of possible results, which produces Events and Outcomes in one go.

Outcomes
AW takes a relatively traditional view of Outcomes – effectively everything is an iterative action, and the Outcomes are when the fiction changes enough out of the Moves.

This is actually why a lot of folks read and play AW then walk away saying, “Wow, I can use this GMing advice for other games!” – the Principles and Hard Moves fill in a structural support for what has been left GM Fiat for most games.

Waste
The cost of conflicts comes out of either Moves directly (often with the player having to make hard choices out of a list) or failing a Move and taking a Hard Move. Funny enough, AW’s view of cost is less about making it an outcome of conflicts as much as a springboard to CREATE conflicts. Being successful in AW often means pissing someone off…
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 01:36:34 AM by noofy »

Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 06:05:10 PM »
Think of it this way: you narrate the beginning of the NPC's action, but stop before the outcome is decided: "The ogre is swinging his club down at you." That's your threatening move. Then the player reacts: they can jump out of the way and Defy Danger, they can parry and attack with Hack & Slash. The player's roll decides the outcome of your NPC's action.

Sometimes the player has ignored a threat, or been forced to choose between two threats, like an archer is shooting at them simultaneously but they choose to Hack & Slash the ogre anyway. In that case, their roll determines the ogre's outcome but you might say that they take an arrow because they didn't try to hide or dodge.

Does that help? It helped me to think of it that way. Playing the game is very natural in practice, it's not as awkward as it might sound.

Actually this description is what worked for me.  Thanks!  It actually makes sense now.  =)


Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 06:14:08 PM »
Re: Events, Outcomes, Waste, etc.

See, this is actually where my confusion stems from.  The book and these articles are trying to rewrite and add new terms for old things.  This is not meant as an attack against DW or other indy games.  But I don't see the need for it.

Where I started getting confused at was the term golden opportunity (referring to when a player fails a roll).  In the context, it is used as if it was something unique, when really it means "GM do something cool now."  Or in any other game, "The GM takes an action with a monster". 


Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 06:50:06 PM »
Yeah, the events, outcome, method, etc totally lost me too.

I pretty much grok the idea of soft moves and hard moves, along with foreshadowing impending dangers.

This game will really benefit from some solid play session recordings.

Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 07:24:36 PM »
See, I always read 'golden opportunity' as being when players persist when they should really know better.  You know, making that one snide remark when leaving the throne room or sticking their arm into the lion statue's mouth.

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Jingo

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2012, 09:47:23 PM »
....
I pretty much grok the idea of soft moves and hard moves, along with foreshadowing impending dangers.

This game will really benefit from some solid play session recordings.

Agreed. Has anyone done a pod cast of a DW game? That'd be useful.

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noofy

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2012, 10:17:37 PM »
Hey Jingo, the Walking Eye did an excellent job of podcasting the 'Red Book' rules :)
http://www.dungeon-world.com/index.php/blog/dungeon-world-actual-play-on-the-walking-eye/

I agree Marshall. There is some tenuous connection between the concept of a golden opportunity and the various means to facilitate the diminishment of the players resource of 'mistake potential' (in my mind that's what HP are really). Its on the tip of my mind, like a gestalt concept from the DW paradigm of play, something that encodes the wonderful relationship between the players and the story and the mechanics.

Their moves (and the stats that influence them) challenge that golden opportunity, and on a 10+ usually delay it for a little longer. This 'persistence despite knowing better' is almost like the epitome of filling their lives with adventure and being a fan of the players all in one crazy meta-concept.


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Scrape

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 11:42:56 PM »
I agree that all these new terms for regular rpg things can be confusing for new players to parse. Especially if we confuse things by complicating words like "action" to mean something esoteric instead of just "doing something."

Like, I'm not sure what Noofy's trying to say in this post:

Great advice, but I think its limiting to think in terms of player moves as actions, Scrape. Its far more beneficial to narrate what you (as the character) are doing and if it engages a trigger then roll a move.

When the ogre's club comes spinning down at the character's head they may try and avoid the blow by rolling away, or parry, or leap under the orgre's guard and attack, or any number of other cool player decided actions.

...because I never referred to anything the players did as an "action," but even if I had I'm not sure what's "limiting" about the word that means "to do something." And I even listed multiple reactions that a player might have and what moves those might trigger, so I don't know what the issue was exactly.

I guess I did refer to the NPC's "action" but I meant it in the non-game-theory way, like literally "you start to describe what your NPC does, but the player's move finishes the narration."

I'm glad if my simple explanation helped someone! Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 12:31:14 AM by Scrape »

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noofy

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2012, 01:08:59 AM »
Thanks for the discussion Scrape :)
I wasn't trying to knock your advice, simply expand it a little. What I mean is that in DW (or any AW game), that it can be limiting to refer to what the characters do (not players) by only using move methodology. Your mulltiple reactions and move possibilities were awesome examples!

I just thought that it might help Sarim's 'initiative order focused' group to just have a conversation, focus on the fiction for a while. That way folks have a turn talking, instead of 'taking their turn'; the story rolls naturally around the group.

If it feels like they need to roll, then check for a move trigger; if its applicable, say how you make the move and do it! This in turn feeds the snowball, but its important to keep leading with the fiction instead of just exchanging 'moves'. More often than not the situation you present as a question in reply you'll say as a DM move, but you never speak its name, yeah?  Then on with the story :)

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Scrape

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Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2012, 09:11:01 AM »
Okay, gotcha, I thought you were criticising the use of the word "action" and I was confused.

Anyway, it was clear to me that Sarim's group was having trouble understanding the rules. If that's the case, that means they need to hear a rephrased version of the author's intent.

I remember when AW first blew my mind, I had to read the book three times to fully understand how it worked. Not everyone is steeped in the Forge and not everyone immediately grasps what is meant by the "conversation" or "leading with the fiction." They're all, "I thought this was a game?"

Sometimes I think these games need to handhold new players a little more. After a while the group will realize that unlike most RPGs, in DW there is no separation of combat and exploration and the narrative conversation remains intact between the two. But for now, he needs help getting that conversation started.

Re: Confused and need help
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2012, 10:39:38 AM »
I know when I first read DW I was like "how is there no initiative for combat??". But then what rpg has initiative for social interactions?

Combat in DW seems to flow in the same way other rpgs assume you handle the PCs sitting at feast chatting with the king. It's a conversation and rolls only happen if what the players are saying triggers a mechanic(bluff, intimidation, diplomacy, etc).

It's rather interesting when you think about it the other way around. Many rpgs have a very natural flow for finding things in the world, using skills, acting socially and then they turn into a tactical tabletop miniatures game the moment you draw a sword.