Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?

  • 6 Replies
Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:41:10 AM »

One of my players (hardholder) took the indomitable move from the touchstone playbook and I have some problems handling it, because every time it comes in play it seems way too much powerful.

Here is the summary of most of gang battles we have played since he took this move :
Begin battle, the hardholder makes his indomitable move. With his high hard value, he gets 3 holds.
- He names the opposing gang leader and reachs him (-hold).
- He names the opposing gang leader and kills, disables or disarms him (-hold).
- In the middle of the opposing gang, he put himself on a spot... No problem, he ignores all harm from their incoming attack (-hold).
The opposing gang lost their leader, they will not fight long against the hardholder gang...

With only one roll and without taking any damage, he took victory and disabled a leader, important NPC. Except the golden opportunity he offers when he put himself on a spot, I didn't have any occasion to make a MC move.

I know that I must be looking into crosshairs, but... Isn't it a little too easy ?

Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 08:51:04 AM »
If there is any comfort Visions of Death can do that on a 7+. Remember the enemy gang might not try to shoot him (since he is obviously very hard to draw a bead on) but instead capture him or take a hostage or something. The next enemy gang leader that dares go up against him could have a hostage or something.

Breaking the opposing gangs might not lead to boring fiction though. Now the world is changed and if the PC aspires to conquer their old turf let him, there will be plenty of headache.

Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 10:55:35 AM »
The main difference with Visions of Death is that nobody knows when the gang leader will die during the battle, which will be played as normal. You can add that Weird stat is rarely high for PCs going into battle, that this move is way more limited than the versatility of Indomitable. And in term of fiction, having a NPC leader die during battle and having a NPC leader being killed by a PC leader is very different.

You can also compare with the Oh Yeah ! move of the faceless, which on a 10+, same situation, will only allow the player to reach the NPC (and smash what is between them), leaving what happens next to open fiction.

With Indomitable 10+, the PC can almost always choose to start the battle by killing who he wants and survive. And even if the gang leader comes with a hostage or some similar levarage, I don't really see how that prevents the player to kill him. At most it will probably only force the player to keep a hold to protect the hostage or to also disable the hostage keeper...

Breaking the opposing gangs might not lead to boring fiction though.
Of course. But having the hardholder know that he can easily break any opposing gang seems leading to boring fiction.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 11:01:32 AM by jimmeu »

Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 11:19:13 AM »
Yes, it is extremely easy for a character with Indomitable to surgically take out a single opponent.  I agree the resulting player fiat can be kind of annoying; I find it deflates tension and makes scenes flatter.  But if you follow the fiction and make things real, you'll move the game away from easy kills into more dangerous territory.  The Indomitable's reputation will precede her.  Smart leaders will use cannon fodder and feints.  Smart lieutenants will goad their leaders into attacking the Indomitable so that she can do their dirty work of regicide for them.  People will become frightened, and refuse to deal with her, and suddenly resources will dry up.  You can't eat fear. 

My favorite thing to do to an Indomitable is take aim at the things and people they love, when she's not right there to save them.  Where's you called shots now, Clarity?  Huh?  HUH?  (Sorry, flashback to my last game.)

And there's always setting the players at each other's throats.  Indomitability does not work against PCs.

Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 05:34:31 PM »
1) hostages: correct. mainly, hostages OUTSIDE of battle, or at least very far away from enemy leader's position.
"Surrender now, Copperhead, or your beloved Tigris is mudfish food!"
or even use feint ("hi, Sauron, you can kill me of course, but remember this ring you were looking for so much? well... it's falling into the volcano right about now")
2) kill, disable or disarm (MC call)
your call, not PCs. use it sparingly (as per 'look through crosshairs") but still, it does not mean you can't use it at all
3) you ignore harm. being captured you do not ignore.
4)  intrigues. you can be as powerful as god, but without brains your power will be inevitably used by someone more sharp than you.
5) sometimes (and often enough) you allow him to have his way. because yes, it's fun to twist someone's power to complication, but it's still a _legitimate_ power. Not fun when your power (which you spent "points" instead of other, no less fun moves) is actually more trouble then anything.



  • 134
Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 06:31:08 PM »
Also, it's a conversation happening, right?  When the player spends that first hold to reach the gang leader: "cool, how do you do that?"  And after he describes it, you describe the reaction of all the people around him and the leader.  That's your opportunity to make a setup move, introduce something that the PC has to react to (imminently) or not like the consequences.  He might be face-to-face with the gang leader, but a half-dozen mooks are now staring down their barrels at him.  "What do you do?"

Sure, he can then spend his second hold to kill or disable the gang leader.  But once again, you say "sure, how do you do that?" and you've got the final say on whether he's killed or disabled and what that ends up looking like.  You're well within your rights to have the gang inflict its considerable harm right then. 

If he spends his third hold to avoid that harm, it's once again a "how do you do that?" with an bonus of "while you're disabling the gang leader?"  Even if he comes up with something, it doesn't extricate him from the situation he's in: behind enemy lines with lots of attention on him and no more magic miracle hold.  That's quite the spot.  Also, the hardholder's gang is about to attack?  What weapons are they using?  Guns and grenades and molotov cocktails?  Are they disciplined & skilled enough to avoid catching the touchstone in the crossfire?

I'm not saying Indomitable isn't wicked powerful, or that this wouldn't get old after a while.  But the player shouldn't be able to roll 10+ and go "I spend 1 hold to get close to the leader, another hold to kill or disable him, and my last hold to avoid the gang's harm."  "To do it, do it" applies to spending hold as much as any other move.  Spending hold changes the fiction, and the fiction responds and evolves.

Re: Indomitable (Touchstone playbook) : overkill ?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 07:02:21 AM »
You're right, it is a very powerful move. I rolled a miss in our last combat and we were still able to take out the most dangerous people rather quickly after I spent my hold to kill, disarm or disable their leader. We also decimated an entire motorcycle gang without taking a single hit and it all started with my first use of a hold from Indomitable (and I still had 2 hold left!).
But then, it's not an insta-kill move either. It just sets things up to be very favorable for the character who has it.

Also, it's a conversation happening, right?  When the player spends that first hold to reach the gang leader: "cool, how do you do that?"

I play a character in our game who has taken Indomitable (also a Hardholder but started as a Chopper) and whenever I use a hold the MC asks question about how I accomplish something.

I think our MC also treats spending a hold as an action, so in the middle of combat she goes around the table and finds out what everybody is doing in reaction to me spending a hold and doing the thing I want to do.
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