Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate

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Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« on: September 09, 2012, 01:17:22 PM »
Hi everybody,

I'm accustoming to the game moves before MCing my first session and I have great problems to tell which move must be used in which situation.

It started with a question much discussed here : I put my gun under another one's head and tell her to do something if she doesn't want to be killed, is the move Go Aggro or Manipulate ? The answer I found everywhere was : it depends if when the victim will spit at my face, will I shoot her or not.

And since then I've been like : what the fuck ?

First, in a game in which some moves cover a very large pan of situations (act under fire !), how can 2 situations that are 95% similar ask for a different move because of such a detail that even the victim doesn't know ?

Secondly, things are not always that simple. For instance, if I don't really know if I will shoot at her, depending of her reaction, what move do I use ?

Thirdly, the Manipulate move is way more powerful than the Go Aggro one : on a manipulate 10+ you win everything, the victim gives you what you want but you are not forced to keep your promise so you can still hurt her later if you want, on a aggro 10+ the victim chooses so you're not sure you will get a result. On a manipulate 7-9, you just have to put your gun down and disharm it, and you will get your result, on a aggro 7-9 the victim will take the first chance to take the hell out. And a miss on manipulate is the only way for the victim to give a big "fuck you" but she's totally able to give it on a aggro 10+. So what, it is more powerful to bluff than to really threat somebody's life ? And the victim's behaviour changes significantly when you are bluffing ? It seems very illogical to me. And I don't like what seems illogical, because it makes my world less real.

Finally, how can Razorblade, a 2 meters tall 250 pounds of muscle gunlugger armed to the upper teeth (cool+2, hard+3, hot-2), be so shitty when manipulating people using threat as a leverage if he's not really going to hit them ? How can they know ? How can Venus the 100 pounds ultra sexy skinner armed with a little knife be more efficient at this ?

So, what do you thing about all this ?

Sorry if my english is not perfect.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 02:51:44 PM »
If you're bluffing, then you're manipulating them using the fear of being shot as leverage. But if they don't do what you want, they're not shot.

If you Go Aggro, on a 10+ they can either do what you want or take damage. You don't have a choice about that. So, if you don't know if you want to hurt them, you better not be going Aggro.

Let's see if there's a power problem. Three-ball has Keeler's sister around the throat and is threatening to kill her. Keeler grabs his pistol and points it in Three-ball's face. "Let her go or die. Your choice."

Manipulate. Keeler rolls 7-9. Three-ball says "you shoot me and she dies too. Tell you what, hand over your gun and I'll let her go (concrete assurance)."

The promise isn't up to Keeler. It's up to Three-ball what will convince him.

You think there won't be a price you pay for handing over that weapon? It's the MC's job to make that choice consequential.

And Razorblade is a bad liar. If I know he's not going to hit me, I don't give a fuck. But that Venus chick, she's bad news. I don't know what she's gonna do. She's totally wack. Scares the shit out of me.

So, looks like Razorblade is fucked unless he's willing to start shooting people, cuz Venus has his number if it's all jibber jabber. Sucks to be a gunlugger. Maybe he should start making with the violence...oh. He doesn't want to actually hurt me. Hmmm. Too bad his best move is hurting people.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 03:15:15 PM by noclue »
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: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 08:45:42 PM »
I'll add my 50cents: simply put, YES, manipulating is more powerful then going aggro - because it is so. Because it's versatile, because I don't need an actual gun, and so on. Yet it's sometimes much more dangerous, as without having something to back up my plans, I'm hanging in the wind.

I think this difference in power is linked both to the world of AW, and to the stats allowances.
See, I think it's very important thing to understand - that moves are linked to the stats in playbooks, as well as to setting, - and very much so.
Under Fire is a very powerful move, catch-all, if you want. Having high +cool is very nice. And it is hard to get. There's only one or two books which start with high cool - battlebabe, and quarantine. most of the others have to up it long and painful way. On the other hand +hard is pretty easy to come by in the playbooks. But it's a lot more limited. It's obvious and one-way - remember that basically author shows us that solving things with violence eventually is rewarded with same violence killin' you. Because this is the way of society - easy enough to get a gun and grow hard balls, much more difficult to have a decent brain.
And +hot is in fact not only a "face" stat, it's very much in the brain as well. con man beats stupid legbreaker most of the time. still, when he blows it, he is a toast.
So, to say it short, in the post-apocalyptic society manipulating is hard to master, but it pays very much so, - because it's a social play. And society is good.
Playing with a gun is much easier - that is why it's hard to use in social situations when killing the other side is not an option.

Important thing is, however, that this rule is not always works when we swap settings. There're ones where there're much less fighters, but much more charmers, and having +hot(equivalent) at high levels is easy. In this case basic move should change accordingly

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 10:20:56 PM »
This thing? Where you put a handgun in someone's face and tell her to give you the fucking car keys or you're going to blow her brains out, but secretly you're bluffing? It's bullshit.

If you put a handgun in someone's face and tell them to do something or else, you're giving them the choice. Do it, or else.

Live with it.

"How come my hard+3 shitkicking motherfucker is bad at bluffing?" No. Your hard+3 shitkicking motherfucker isn't bluffing at all. If she were bluffing, she wouldn't be hard+3.

-Vincent

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 11:48:57 PM »
I tell you one thing. If you're really not prepared to shoot them, you best not roll a miss ;)
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: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 02:32:27 AM »
What Vx said. Also, more particularly, is what you're doing and how you're doing it. Are you being all hot, holding your gun like a gangsta, and sayin' "look buddy, either you're gettin' outta my way or you're getting shot," or are you being all hard with your 9mm pressed up against that asshole Vonk's face, trigger halfway squeezed in, damn near shouting, "you get the fuck outta my way right now," like the hardest gun lugger since Doberman? Or, with stat sub, maybe you're all cool with your gun casually pointed at some douche bag's femoral under the table, sayin' all casual like, "you're gonna leave this table alive or in a body bag, your choice, and you make it now." It's all in how you Do It ;)

And yeah, your hard +3 hot-1 machine? He can't use a fake threat of violence cause he doesn't sell it unless he means it, and he just hain't hot enough to fake it. Where the Skinner says, "I'mma cut you if you don't walk away," hand toying with a scalpel, the gunlugger says, "yeah... You're, uh, gonna go. Oh yeah! Or... Or I'm gonna shoot ya. Grrr." 'Cause that's just how hot he is.

Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 06:00:19 AM »
Thank you all for your answers, I have now a better understanding of this moves. I'm still a little surprised that bluffing with the threat of violence and really giving the threat of violence, two very similar actions, are covered by two different moves. But what really disappoint me is the mistake/correction example p.194 : i'm not that sure that calling names, shoving and screaming is that a hot attitude, and i'm not that sure that i won't be easily afraid about a giant unhot muscle killing machine screaming at me even without bringing a weapon.

Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 06:13:25 AM »
I'm still a little surprised that bluffing with the threat of violence and really giving the threat of violence, two very similar actions, are covered by two different moves.

In Apocalypse World, they are not very similar actions. They are very different actions. This says something about the world, which is worth considering.

Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 07:41:11 AM »
They are still very similar actions in the point of view of the target. If not, the bluff would simply not work, actually a perfect bluff must look exactly the same as a real threat, so the target thinks this is not a bluff... So I hardly see how can somebody who is very bad at threatening can be very good at bluffing a threat. Moreover, this intent speculation (as seen in the mistake example p.194) contradicts the "to do it, do it" rule, becoming "to do it, do it and explain your intent".

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 08:04:13 AM »
So, no big deal. Your proposed custom move is super easy to explain and implement - "when you go aggro, if your victim chooses to force your hand, you decide then whether to pull the trigger." It's not what I chose for the game but it won't cause any problems. Use it! The game explicitly lets you make that call.

-Vincent

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 12:05:50 PM »
They are still very similar actions in the point of view of the target. If not, the bluff would simply not work, actually a perfect bluff must look exactly the same as a real threat, so the target thinks this is not a bluff... So I hardly see how can somebody who is very bad at threatening can be very good at bluffing a threat. Moreover, this intent speculation (as seen in the mistake example p.194) contradicts the "to do it, do it" rule, becoming "to do it, do it and explain your intent".
Why should I care about the point of view of the target? They didn't make the move.

I do care about the intent of the actor and my mind reading skills are poor. The game has all sorts of intent determining built in, in the form of the MC's provocative questions. "Keeler, are you pulling the trigger if he forces your hand?" is a perfectly fine AW question.
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: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 06:23:20 AM »
The MC's provocative questions mecanism is something I have difficulties accustoming with, but you are totally true !

Vincent, surely I can use a custom move (thinking also about a custom character move for gunlugger or other violent ones, something like formidable looking : if you manipulate using threat of violence, roll +hard instead of +hot), but at the beginning at least I prefer to use only the game rules, but before that I prefer to fully understand the choices you did, that's why I'm asking all these questions.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 07:32:08 AM »
Great! I'm always happy to tell why I've chosen something.

The answer is, in the basic moves, hard is for acts of actual physical violence. If you aren't willing to actually commit an act of actual, physical violence, you don't roll hard.

-Vincent

Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 03:42:18 PM »
This thing? Where you put a handgun in someone's face and tell her to give you the fucking car keys or you're going to blow her brains out, but secretly you're bluffing? It's bullshit.

If you put a handgun in someone's face and tell them to do something or else, you're giving them the choice. Do it, or else.

Live with it.

"How come my hard+3 shitkicking motherfucker is bad at bluffing?" No. Your hard+3 shitkicking motherfucker isn't bluffing at all. If she were bluffing, she wouldn't be hard+3.

-Vincent

Can you elaborate on this some more, Vincent? I don't think I quite understand what you're trying to say here. Specifically, I don't get how it's not bluffing if you're not really going to pull the trigger, and what impact having hard+3 has on it all. It was my understanding that simply saying: "I'm not really going to fire, no," was how the move worked.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Another Go Aggro / Manipulate debate
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 07:25:04 PM »
What I'm saying is that if you aren't willing to shoot someone in the face, you don't put your gun in their face with your finger on the trigger. By putting your gun in their face you've demonstrated your fundamental willingness to kill them. If they force your hand, you pull the trigger, and if you didn't want to do that, you shouldn't have put your gun in their face.

I'm saying that deciding to put your gun in someone's face and telling them to do it or else, that is the point of no return. If you don't intend to shoot them, don't do that. No take backs. It's gone too far for you to be all "oh no I didn't mean it I was just kidding I didn't intend to kill them just to make them think I would." That's bullshit.

I'm saying that not bluffing is what it means to roll your hard.

-Vincent