Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!

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Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« on: December 27, 2012, 09:13:54 AM »
Hi all,

I'm new around here :D. I recently got AW, and I've been lurking around here for some time, while I was reading and re-reading the rules. I am in love with the game! Unfortunately, I won't be able to MC it anytime soon; I don't have a playgroup for now since I moved here. But in the meantime, I have a couple rules questions, so I thought I could give it a try and ask.

My main issue is with harm in battle, and how it is dealt with differently wether if gangs are or aren't involved. Say Chaplain (boy I love that name!), the Gunlugger, finds himself in a shootout with Dremmer, Balls and Roark, three NPCs. Say, for simplicity's sake, the MC chooses to apply the trade harm for harm move. Now, according to the rules, and some interpretations of them I've read in some earlier posts, there're several ways to handle harm dealt and taken by Chaplain:

   a) Chaplain does harm as established to one of the NPCs, and takes harm normally from each of Dremmer, Balls and Roark.
   b) Chaplain does harm as established, but only takes harm from one of them. Sure, in fiction that could still mean taking a bullet from Roark and a nice stab from Balls, but the harm is abstracted as if only one of them inflicted his harm.
   c) Same as b), but Chaplain takes +1harm, because hey, there's three of them, bullets are raining the fuck down on him.
   d) The bad guys are working together and count as a small gang, so Chaplain does -1harm, and takes +1harm, due to size difference. Gangs take harm at a different scale as well, so more than one NPCs could be killed or disabled with the same roll. This also brings up another of my questions: Is it possible to split the harm a PC inflicts among several individuals, or does it have to be dealt to one and one target only?

Now, I know it is the fiction who should dictate what happens exactly in every case, but I would like to know what would be the default go-to rule. I am especially concerned with the fact that, rules wise, sometimes fighting a gang as a whole is much less dangerous than fighting three or four separate individuals. I don't know, perhaps I'm not looking at the right angle here.

Besides that, I have some doubt as well regarding the sex moves. They read "If you and another character have sex, then X". My question is: do the sex moves apply EVERY time two characters have sex? I mean, if two of them are a couple, for example, it's fair to assume they are having sex regularly. Would the Angel raise Hx every time? Would the Brainer get to deep brain scan every time? I'd say for sex moves to apply, sex has to mean something, or change something, or otherwise be something out of the ordinary; if two characters are getting frisky with each other on a daily basis, then good for them, but no sex move is triggered "just because they had sex". But again, the rule as written suggest there are no exceptions and the moves are always triggered. And plus, some moves make more sense to me if triggered always (Brainer, Savvyhead), while others not so much (Angel, Skinner). So... I don't know.

What do you think?

P.S: Sorry for the long post!

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 10:44:45 AM »
Harm in battle: (a) or (d), depending on whether you want to zoom in on every action (a), or zoom out and handle the battle in just 1 or 2 exchanges (d). (a) is, as you say, much worse for the PC. This doesn't mean you should never choose (a), just that you should choose it informedly.

Sex moves: if they have sex outside of play, like between sessions or when there's a long time skip, you can choose to ignore the sex moves. Most of the time when characters couple up sex becomes an outside-of-play thing.

Hope this helps! Followup questions always welcome.

-Vincent

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 02:37:15 PM »
Those three guys are gonna get in the way of each other. Like, the guy with the gun will probably ease up on the shooting when the knifer is up in your face (or the knife guy will soak up some of the fire).

If 100 angry people with rifles are chasing and shooting a lone person it is very unlikely they will all have a shot at any one time.

For the sex I rule it it only counts when they do it on screen. If that's the most fun they can have that's good but it also gives me plenty of opportunity to fuck with them.

"So, Angel and Chopper I guess you're at it again?"
"Heh, gotta mine that XP."
"You notice an inquisitive eye peeping in through a crack in the wall. It is bloodshot and crazy looking."
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 02:41:53 PM by Krippler »

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 05:48:18 PM »
Lumpley, Krippler, thanks! The clarification about sex moves makes a lot of sense. About harm in battle, I am still a little bit unconvinced about the "danger level" being different depending on the zoom level. But I guess, as Krippler pointed out, that if the fiction usually restrains the amount of hits a PC can take from multiple individuals kinda balances things out most of the time.

What about my secondary question regarding harm dealt to several individuals? Can Chaplain inflict 2-harm to Dremmer and 1-harm to Balls in a single exchange with his 3-harm magnum, if they are acting as individuals? It makes sense to me, to be consistent with the harm mechanics for bands.

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 05:57:14 PM »
I find it most useful to answer those questions fiction-first. Does it make sense that Chaplain hits both with his action - then cool, share the harm, or let both get harmed fully. There is no much danger here in handling it either ways - a bit more harm to your NPC (you watch them through crosshairs anyway) - no big deal. 

On the other hand the game gets clunky when you make it rules-first and try to have the fiction follow that. (It might work in this case, but as often it wont)

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 06:54:55 PM »
If the fiction supports it, Chaplain can walk into the room, put a bullet in each of their heads and walk out leaving three corpses behind. It's your call. They're your crosshairs.

So, no one's going to quibble if you just want them all to take harm. ;)
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

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 07:52:57 PM »
...I am still a little bit unconvinced about the "danger level" being different depending on the zoom level...
Then you can choose whichever you prefer and always stick with it. That's fine if that's what you'd rather do.

-Vincent

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 09:04:38 PM »
Yeah, you're all right. I am looking at it rules first, even though I know the game is meant to be played fiction first. That's the problem when you come from a "traditional" RPG background, I guess. I'm sure the right way to solve every situation will come organically in play 90% of the time.

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 10:28:02 PM »
It helps to remember that, in AW, "inflict harm" is an MC move.

So, the player describes what they're doing (in the fiction), then the MC uses that description to inflict harm.

Usually, a shotgun blast will just hurt one NPC (the target). But if they're real close together or something like that, the MC can inflict harm on both of them, as she likes.

There's not a strict "rules" answer for this, it's up to the MC to describe the "inflict harm" move and misdirect, as usual. (She's not going to tell the players that an NPC just took 2-harm, right? She'll say that Roark, although not the person you were shooting at, suddenly has his hands up to cover his face and is screaming.)

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2012, 05:06:57 PM »
Yeah, you're all right. I am looking at it rules first, even though I know the game is meant to be played fiction first. That's the problem when you come from a "traditional" RPG background, I guess.
Just start one shotting NPCs until you've worked that out of your system :) It's very freeing and you have an unlimited supply.
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: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 12:57:59 PM »

"So, Angel and Chopper I guess you're at it again?"
"Heh, gotta mine that XP."
"You notice an inquisitive eye peeping in through a crack in the wall. It is bloodshot and crazy looking."

I have nothing to add except I've just spent the last five minutes giggling uncontrollably at work after reading this...

Re: Yet another question about harm in battle. Also, sex moves!
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 04:40:46 AM »
I'd go with (d), but that's my Gming style: I like to keep things simple and consistent with the rules as written.

Is it possible to split the harm a PC inflicts among several individuals, or does it have to be dealt to one and one target only?

I would say that's entirely up to the player. If they want to spray a room with autofire and deal harm to multiple people, that's there call. Remember your agenda as MC, and always ask lots of questions.
"Are you laying down suppressive fire, just trying to scare them off so you have room to move? Or are you trying to get bullets into all of them? Are you going to empty your whole clip at them, or do you want to fire short bursts?"


do the sex moves apply EVERY time two characters have sex?

Depends on the characters AND the players. I would say if two players want their characters to be a regular couple then the sex moves probably don't make a lot of sense, but then I'd really leave it up to the players as I see it as their call.
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