Some questions about moves and combat

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DannyK

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Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 02:11:37 AM »
From my experience as MC, I'll tell you to pick whichever option seems most likely to resolve the combat.  I like AW combat a lot, but it's a real drag when it falls into repeated rounds of Seize by Force rolls and handing out harm.  If I can't think of anything cool to do with the scene and the player just wants to wrap it up, I usually do so and move on to the next damn thing. 

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 05:53:22 AM »
Which is most interesting to you?

-Vincent

That's a good question.
a. Seize by force is interesting, as the PC will be able to make a show of power to inflict massive damage and take less, and I'm a fan of the PC, and I'm looking into crosshairs to my NPCs.
b. Act under fire is interesting, as the PC will be able to demonstrate his capacity to handle such a difficult situation as these, and I'm a fan of the PC.
c. Trade harm fo harm is not immediatly interesting, but it is interesting as it may come like a time-ticking with the message "if you simply stay there and shoot you will be exchanging harm until death, so make a real move if you want to take advantage of this situation", and I have to make the PC life interesting.

But the most interesting ? Hard to tell.

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 06:47:44 AM »
So if you find all of the options equally interesting, I'd say just go with your gut, with the first one that pops in your head. It'll probably be the best one. For me in this case it would be acting under fire, because of the way I am picturing the situation, with the PC so pinned down every move could mean taking a bullet straight away. But that's just me.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 12:28:46 PM »
This is easy. It's not a) because he ain't seizing shit. He's firing a gun from behind a rusty car. So, F him and his seize with force. It might be Act Under Fire, assuming he's interested in killing them while not getting shot, but he hasn't really given me enough to decide what's most interesting yet. I need to ask questions to better set up my move, so I tell him the consequences and ask. "Okay dude, you can totally get that guy but not crouched down behind the car. It's gonna be risky with all those bullets zipping by, but your gonna have to break cover." If he's like "fuck the risk, I just stand up and put a bullet in the fucker." I trade harm. If he describes popping up for a quick shot or trying to minimize his exposure, I make him roll to Act Under Fire.


Of course YMMV.
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: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 04:25:29 PM »
d. Ask more questions until you get a better sense of what they're actually doing.

'I fire back and kill them' is not really very detailed; in fact, it's borderline abstract, which is part of why so many moves seem like they could apply. Are they remaining firmly behind cover, trying to sneak out the occasional shot, or are they leaping out from behind the car and blowing everyone away?

Another way that can be useful to consider which move is appropriate is to think of them in terms of outcomes. Which set of possible results (from a given move) seem the most interesting, or the most appropriate? If you think they should definitely have a chance of taking harm in order to kill these dudes, then Seize by Force is probably the way to go. If their fictional position* is such that they might manage to shoot a couple of them while still firmly under cover, then Act Under Fire is going to model that better.


* how pinned down they are, how much of a badass the character is, how competent their opponents are, etc.

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 06:34:53 PM »
Argh, if the PC is not willing to stay under cover, you Daniel Wood tell me that I should have him seize by force, and you noclue tell me that I should trade harm for harm because he's not seizing anything (even the moment ?), I don't know who to believe :).

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2013, 07:03:00 PM »
Choose the one that makes the most sense to you in the moment, case by case.

If more than one makes sense, choose the one that you personally find more interesting.

If more than one makes sense, and you find more than one interesting, choose by whim! At that point there's no wrong choice.

-Vincent

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2013, 11:09:43 PM »
I love the advice of playing tell the consequences and ask. You can also just ask questions like crazy with similar result: Find out more about what the player intends. With such a vague description, I think you'd be entirely justified in replying, "Go ooooonnnnn...." to get more detail. Caveat: I haven't run my first AW game yet.

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2013, 01:06:39 AM »
I had this come up in a game I ran last week. The player in question is the Battlebabe, with sword in hand (custom weapon, handle+long blade).

She's rushing through a crowd towards a scene in a marketplace where a fight is taking place. We know that someone else (an NPC) is rushing to get out of the fight, with machete in hand.

I'm the MC, the Battlebabe is about to break out of the crowd into the clearing (where the fight is taking place). It's my turn to talk, so I make a move: I describe how, as the Battlebabe pushes aside the last person in her way, she's face to face with someone running towards her, machete in the air, ready to hack her to pieces in order to get out.

"What do you do?" I ask. The player says, "I run the fucker through with my sword!"

--"You're not concerned that she's going to chop you with that machete?"
--"Well, I hope to avoid that--by getting her first, being faster--but it's more important to me that I run her through."

Here, I wasn't entirely sure what to do.

Trading harm for harm seemed like the obvious choice, but also not a terribly interesting one. It would be nice to roll some dice, so as to give room for the move to snowball, and I wanted to disclaim responsibility.

Acting under fire could work, too, with the fire being the incoming machete. However, would a success be just about avoiding this blow, or about running this opponent through? There's quite a difference there.

Seize by force seemed very mechanically appropriate (the outcomes fit the situation), but it's not clear what, if anything, is being seized here.

Worse yet, we all know that the difference between those last two moves was HUGE: the Battlebabe, after all, has cool+3 and a really really lousy hard score.

I found that situation very difficult. In the end, I chose to be a fan of the character, asked her to act under fire, and had her run through the enemy on a success.

Any other angles on this situation? Other ways of thinking about the outcome, and which move to choose?



Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2013, 05:32:01 AM »
I really understand your difficulties there because I had a lot of similar cases during my games, where multiple moves could be applied and I didn't know which one to choose.

One thing I thought when I read the rules was : almost every action can be resolved by an "act under fire" :
Combat ? "Act under fire, and the fire is you get shot".
Social interaction ? "Act under fire, and the fire is you flound and lose credibility".
Weirdy things ? "Act under fire, and the fire is you get burned by the maelstrom".
Conclusion, you should keep this one when :
- There is really no other move for the player action ;
- The fire is what makes this act special. What I mean is that you can't combat people without them fighting back, so the fire of being fought back when you attack someone is not a legit one for act under fire. In return, you can reload your gun, hidden behind a rusty car, when no people is shooting at you -  but because people is shooting at you, act under fire becomes the move.

In your case, it clearly seems to me that your Battlebabe is seizing an exit by force. If she had said that she mostly focuses on dodging the machete bastard, keeping cool on tracking his angry hits and fleeing at the instant she see's an opening, then act under fire would be good (the act is running out, and the fire is someone want to chop her on her way).

But hey, she said "In run the fucker through my sword" ? It sounds really hard doesn't it ? So she's seizing the exit by force and will probably get a scratch while doing this.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2013, 08:20:56 AM »
Paul: Trade harm for harm on your move, not on a PC's. Drop it from consideration until somebody blows a roll or something.

She was seizing by force, terrible hard and all. She did it, let her do it.

You can choose to let her act under fire to go aggro instead, but don't let her act under fire to stab a dude without going aggro. What on earth.

-Vincent

Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2013, 12:00:19 PM »
Good advice!

I dig.

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Some questions about moves and combat
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2013, 03:06:20 PM »
Argh, if the PC is not willing to stay under cover, you Daniel Wood tell me that I should have him seize by force, and you noclue tell me that I should trade harm for harm because he's not seizing anything (even the moment ?), I don't know who to believe :).
That's why I said YMMV. It's very personal, but there are few things I hate more than the promiscuous use of Seize With Force to mean any time one dude is shooting another.
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