Hold Steady

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Hold Steady
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:34:29 AM »
I asked this same question of Joe (in the context of Monsterhearts, where this move appears to be from, more or less), but never received an answer:

Re: the "Hold Steady" move

Why is it a good idea to have a move where the most interesting and most common outcome (the 7-9) is "nothing happens"?

On the face of it, it seems like a missed opportunity.

In Monsterhearts, rolling to "hold steady" is often a negative side effect of some other move or action (for instance, you can spend a String to force someone to Hold Steady). This doesn't seem to jive well with its effect: generally, it means that either nothing happens, or the character rolling gets an advantage (not to mention potentially marking XP if it's highlighted).

I don't know if this is also true in AW:Dark Age, or not.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 09:23:02 AM »
The implication, I think, isn't just "Nothing happens", it's really "You don't fuck up, so you succeed / do what you need to do.".
That's usually basically how I play it.

- A

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 09:36:51 AM »
Hold Steady/Act under Fire is also the move that's closest to being imposed on a PC from outside. When there's "fire", or "pain, danger, urgency, impatience, or emotion", and you do anything in spite of that "fire", you've got to roll it. If you're doing also Claiming your Right, or Going into Battle, or making any other move, you've got to roll Hold Steady first. Hold Steady/Act under Fire is basically an extra chance to roll a miss, because conditions are worse. It actually seems fairer to me that the 7-9 outcome is "carry on", rather than "carry on, but...". That's my take on it anyway.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 10:12:02 AM »
Significantly, when you're bracing a door closed with your body against an enemy's onslaught, for instance, on a 7-9, the onslaught breaks. You have held the door closed, you've taught them that they can't force it open, and if they want in, they have to accomplish it a different way.

-Vincent

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 10:34:50 AM »
But, for the sake of the argument, shouldn't the 'you're holding the door and they can't do a thing about' it be the 10+ result? When the character is defending passively, what use is she going to have of the +1 forward, from a fiction point of view?

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 10:40:30 AM »
If I'm holding the door and they realize it won't break, they start to back off, that gives me a chance to either:

  • Make a break for it
  • Open the door and try to catch them by surprise
  • Shout through the door and try to make a deal
  • ...and any number of other things

Any of which a +1 could help with.

- Alex

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 08:12:38 PM »
That makes sense. The 7-9 outcome here is just like the 10+ outcome on a "acting under fire" roll. I'm not sure that's ideal from a design perspective, but it works.

However, shouldn't a 7-9 be more of a mixed success, some kind of compromise? Why is it different here?

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 08:39:25 PM »
There are implicit difficulty levels built into the moves, right? Part of the process of creating a set of basic moves is deciding what the difficulty level is for each one.

This set of basic moves is overall more forgiving than Apocalypse World proper's. In this game,  a 7-9 is overall more like a baseline complete success, a 10+ is overall more like a success plus a bonus, and a miss is overall more like a reduced success / compromise.

-Vincent
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 08:54:32 PM by lumpley »

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 03:58:01 AM »
Now that makes sense. Thanks.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 12:43:17 AM »
Yes, thanks, Vincent!

I'll keep my eyes open for that as I read through the rules.

Any particular reason you made that choice? Or is it just a question of Dark Age being a more forgiving or optimistic place than Apocalypse World?

I still DO wonder about a common 7-9 result not including any creative input or decision for any player involved (it seems like a missed opportunity), but I'm happy to drop it until I've played the game some.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 07:51:07 AM »
The misses in the basic moves still blow my mind. In a good way. They are really fail forward.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 05:33:02 PM »
I still don't get it. Hold Steady can be used as Acting under Fire or is something different?
I ask because I miss Acting under Fire, and Hold Steady seems to me quite passive, while AoF can be triggered by an active action of the PC.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 06:06:13 PM »
The way I read it, I'm pretty sure Hold Steady can also be triggered by an active action of the PC. The main difference I see between it and Act under Fire, is that it specifies that Fire constitutes "pain, danger, urgency, impatience, or emotion". So if you try to do something, anything active or passive, other than giving in, in the face of "pain, danger, urgency, impatience, or emotion", you're holding steady. Like:
  • Holding up a pike to stop a charging cavalryman, might be Holding Steady in the face of fear, followed by Going into Battle.
  • Hacking through a barred door before the prince inside kills himself might be Holding Steady in the face of urgency.
  • Holding back screams or secrets from your torturer might be Holding Steady in the face of pain.
  • Crossing a narrow bridge over a chasm might be Holding Steady in the face of danger.
  • Proposing to the woman you love without sounding like an idiot might be Holding Steady in the face of love.
I'm having trouble coming up with an example for impatience. Has anyone got one?

So, I see it as pretty much the same as Acting under Fire, but worded better, and with limited kinds of Fire. Even more so, I see it as the same as Endure Duress from Poison'd.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 06:10:19 PM by Adams Tower »

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 11:20:39 PM »
Impatience?

"Alright boys and girls! Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes! Wait for it... Wait for iiiiit..." Roll +cool with the hope of the 10+ for the +1 forward on going into battle, essentially. Else, fire early and blow your assault, or fire late and blow your assault.

Re: Hold Steady
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 10:18:41 AM »
Another one:

Hiding in the King's Latrine: Hold Steady in the face of disgust. Waiting there for hours: Hold Steady in the face of impatience (possibly with +1). The King arrives: do your Harm, no other move.