Harm-Moves from AW

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Harm-Moves from AW
« on: August 03, 2012, 04:35:50 AM »
Apocalyse World has a interesting Mechanic for Harm. When you get damage you roll the Harm-Move might give extra effects like knocking you down, more damage, disarming you, etc. This looks like a great mechanik to make Combat more dynamic and  a good way to include special Monster-Moves like grapple, poisoning, etc.

But I have never Played AW and therefore do not know if this is as good as it sound. Anyone here ever tried Harm-Moves, especially in Combination with DW?

Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 07:10:12 AM »
You could just use the same move with Constitution. I wouldn't, if only because DnD characters are notoriously tough and otherwise known to be in perfectly good shape until they go below 1 HP.

Also,  HP as abstract combination of luck, fatigue and skill rather than the numbers of direct hit that you take (The attack barely misses you as you roll off the ground, cutting your arm on a piece of jagged rock, you take X damage), in my view of things. When a PC goes down to under 0, it means he/she got hit by a direct hit. You don't really survive a stab through the chest with a sword easily.

Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »
A custom move might be appropriate, maybe. Like a new weapon/monster tag, maybe [brutal].

When you get hit with a brutal attack, roll+con. On a 10+, you take just the hit, but you're otherwise fine. On a 7-9, pick one. On a miss, the GM will pick one.
- You're knocked prone
- You're pushed back
- You take 1d4 extra damage
- You drop something you're holding
- You miss noticing something important

Maybe?

Edit: Oh, but grappling and poison are just monster moves in general! "Grasp them in a single gigantic fist", right? "Spray venom into an open wound". So on.

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stras

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 11:55:27 AM »
Note this is a personal oppinion so please take it as such.  But:

It slows things down too much.

Apocalypse World moves action in broad strokes, where a single Seizing by Force move/roll can resolve an entire scene. We've resolved taking a whole hill/city-block with one to two rolls.  If you take harm in the process there's usually a significant fictional and so making a followup second roll is ok.  Also ApoWo functions on a 1-6 harm scale, with up to 2 armor on tough-guy PCs and usually taking only 2-3 harm on you per hit (which armor can often mitigate to nothing negating the harm move).  So less damage, more mitigation, fewer rolls to do the harm-move on top of.

In DW you're moving in much smaller increments.  It's not necessarily always round by round, but it varies from 2-3 rolls to finish a single action (leap over a fence, slide under the orc's blade, snag the sacred challice), to one combat roll representing a few minutes of clings and clangs while you dance blades with 4 gnolls. Overall each roll represents a much tighter focus (fewer seconds) I find.  In addition to this you're often taking much bigger damage incrementals (d8/d10+3) with gangs rolling multiple dice and taking the highest.  This means that every combat round will take that much longer with each one of these secondary rolls following even every 7-9 (since many times this higher damage will bypass the negation by armor).

In effect by adding the harm move you're basically doubling many combat rolls (what if you take d6 damage for a bigger hit?), for no real benefit, and making casters and ranged fighters vastly superior since they don't take harm on the hack-and-slash move.

Since on a 7-9 or a miss you can easily change up the terrain as a gm soft move, or make a hard move including putting someone in a jam, there's plenty enough encounter change and cinematics that adding an extra mechanic like this gives you something bad (extra rolls that can only punish, slow things down) while providing no real benefit (misses, and weak hits can often have some of this included).
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 03:13:48 PM by stras »

Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 02:02:00 PM »
I agree with this being too much for standard combat.  I would like to see skirmish / war rules though as my players have been itching to continue the game past 10th level and I'd love to see keeps and wizard towers and the like...

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noofy

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 11:20:29 PM »
The original ruleset had a harm - move substitute that approximated the d&d saving throw... This was also when monsters had levels too!
As a long time DW DM, I agree with the usual suspects above: the less rolls the better (heck, my monsters still have fixed damage!), and put your creativity into monster moves and tags :)

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Scrape

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 01:16:17 PM »
I considered using the AW harm move for a while, but then realized that it's uneccesary. The fiction should be dictating those things, and in my games a monster's attack is never just HP damage. Instead of rolling to "lose your footing," I use circumstance, like "the huge ogre tosses you like a rag doll and you slam into the ground for 8 damage. You're laying there, ears ringing, sword a few feet away."

It basically bakes the Harm Move right into the damage roll. My players and I love it (more so than AW, even) and as previously mentioned, it keeps combat fast-paced.

Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 02:58:01 AM »
So does this swing the other way for players too? Do others allow players to narrate extra effects beyond dealing damage?

If and when I get around to running DW, should I encourage my players to add a little flair to their attack descriptions that might have effect beyond damage?

Slight tangent, how might you handle special maneuvers that don't necessarily deal damage, such as disarming or grappling? I realize this is fertile territory for custom moves, but how have people handled this on the fly? I'm guessing an application of Defy Danger might work.

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noofy

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 04:26:37 AM »
Well, its not about player's 'harm' dealing vs the GM's version of the same. That sort of 'balanced' tit-for-tat is absent from DW.

But sure, if a player narrates an extra cool piece of fictional positioning, its far more satisfying (and effectual narratively) to add in some juicy tidbits of viscera. This allows for the move to flow from the narration (rather than the other way around).

I am a long-time proponent of the 13+ 'extra' success on a 2d6 roll too. I have also appropriated the AW concept to DW, especially after LVL 5, giving the players a strong hand in describing how their special success trumps the standard 10-12.

Often its simply choosing a bonus option from the list of choices, or maybe allowing 'blow through' damage on H&S, that sort of thing. As long as it makes sense in the fiction we roll with it.

You should totally encourage your players to add flair! Its one of the best and most fun things about DW! Celebrate the characters! Fill their lives full of adventure! It may be that after a describing what they do, the players may realise that its not the move you expected after all, or even a move at all.

Thus as the player describes a grapple or disarm, you realise that the move is indeed a Defy Danger on STR or DEX, or perhaps it just happens and then you hit them with a soft move of your own (such as give them an opportunity with a cost) and ask 'What do you do?'

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Scrape

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 09:44:20 AM »
Yeah, Noofy is right here: always begin and end with the fiction, it says that in the book, right? Well that means we're not dealing Hp damage without a cause in the fiction. And if there's something causing damage in the fiction, we describe it and react to it as usual.

So bottom line: yeah, my players definitely get more than just damage out of their attack. One of the things that drew me into DW was that this is a game where "I swing at his knee" MEANS something- if you succeed there, you busted his knee. The flipside of this (and the payoff for the gm) is that I get to say, like, "well, you're swinging at his knee, right? Your gaze is down, here's what you didn't see coming..."

That was all implied by the rules, to me. If they can damage something out of combat, why would that suddenly change? I mean, this is how my table does it and that only makes it official for us, but it's fun as hell, so...

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Scrape

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Re: Harm-Moves from AW
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 09:50:17 AM »
Slight tangent, how might you handle special maneuvers that don't necessarily deal damage, such as disarming or grappling? I realize this is fertile territory for custom moves, but how have people handled this on the fly? I'm guessing an application of Defy Danger might work.

Just saw this part. Personally, we use Defy Danger and the Stat changes depending on how exactly the player describes their action. Like knocking the sword from someone's hand might be +Dex and the danger is obvious... but I wouldn't write a move because that implies that you can always do it. I need to see some fictional positioning first: you're wearing him down, getting close, stuff like that. No one waltzes in and disarms someone, you gotta work for it.

That's how I do it at least.