Yet another combat move choice question

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Yet another combat move choice question
« on: November 09, 2014, 04:47:48 PM »
MCing for the first time the other night, we came to a point where one of the local hardholder's soldiers, a fellow named Barker, had taken just about enough lip from the PC Hocus, Truth. Barker stepped forward and Truth correctly read his intent to kick Truth in the side of the knee. So far so good.

Truth grabbed for Barker's throat, intending to intimidate him and prevent his attack, establishing dominance without necessarily dealing significant harm. I initially called that a Go Aggro, but after the roll I realized that none of the results really fit the situation, so I switched it retroactively to a Seize By Force; Truth chose to suffer little harm, and to impress/dismay/frighten. Barker took 1-harm; Barker's intended 1-harm kick became 0-harm, and the harm roll made Truth lose his grip on Barker, who fell to the ground - he kicked himself out of Truth's grip, basically, and was intimidated enough to stay down, and that was the end of it.

I'm happy with the outcome in the fiction but still not sure it was the right mechanical option. It seems wrong to decide Seize By Force vs Go Aggro by looking at the list of possible results rather than by the actions and intentions. In this case the stakes weren't super-high, and it worked out great, but I'm curious what other MCs would do in similar situations, and why.




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noclue

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Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 05:02:34 PM »
What was wrong with the Go Aggro results? He couldn't back off slowly, do what he wants or suck it up.
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 combat move choice question
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 06:02:32 PM »
What was wrong with the Go Aggro results? He couldn't back off slowly, do what he wants or suck it up.

It was a 7-9 hit, and none of the options seemed appropriate as a reaction. Barker can't get out of the way, back away, or barricade himself given the fictional positioning. Tell you what you want to know wasn't remotely relevant, and they give you something they think you want seemed too rational for the current, dynamic situation. Barker doesn't give a fuck what Truth wants, he isn't thinking about it at all.

Given that the initiative was actually Barker's, I wonder I should have called for Do Something Under Fire to be able to grab him before Barker got the kick in. That probably would have ended similarly, though maybe a little harder on Truth.

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As If

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Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 06:06:01 PM »
I think you did right. 
The decisive factor is whether or not the enemy can attack back. 
In this case he could (in fact already was intending to), so it's a Seize by Force.

Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 04:40:04 AM »

Yes, that's fine. Looking at the list of results is generally a very good way to determine which of those two moves makes sense. If upon hearing 'what do you do?', Truth's player was like 'I take a step back, pull out my knife and say 'don't even try it, Barker', that's a different story -- but if they're fighting, and they're both being violent, it's absolutely going to be Seize by Force.

Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 07:59:03 AM »
Truth's player here. Mechanically the scene did work out fine. I wonder though, isn't seize by force meaning that both parties involved are already dealing harm to each other in the fiction, or are at least poised to deal each other harm? If Barker is just sauntering up to Truth, not expecting him to preemptively strike, isn't there an argument to be made that the situation is going aggro? The action was described as  suddenly grabbing Barker by his throat and ordering him to back off. I always took go aggro to mean trying to get someone to bend to your will by using the threat of imminent violence that the aggressor fully intends to follow through on. Or also attacking someone before violence has broken out in earnest, or attacking someone who isn't in a position to properly defend against the attack. I also always considered go aggro to cover the kind of violence that can end if circumstances are met, and not like, everyone on one side has been wiped out.
Like I said it totally worked out and I suppose Truth was physically seizing something, but just to play devil's advocate, does any one else see this as going aggro?

Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 09:56:29 AM »
If upon hearing 'what do you do?', Truth's player was like 'I take a step back, pull out my knife and say 'don't even try it, Barker', that's a different story

Yeah, I know what to do there - ask if Truth is really going to cut him and select Go Aggro or Manipulate accordingly.

If Barker is just sauntering up to Truth, not expecting him to preemptively strike, isn't there an argument to be made that the situation is going aggro?

I agree here, any small difference in positioning and intent could change the move. In the other direction, if you hadn't read Barker, or hadn't responded in the immediate and direct way that you did, it would have been Barker's inflict harm as established.

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Or also attacking someone before violence has broken out in earnest,

But Seize by Force can be the event that triggers the actual breakout of violence, if both sides are prepared and intent.

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I also always considered go aggro to cover the kind of violence that can end if circumstances are met, and not like, everyone on one side has been wiped out.

I think SbF can also stop without a wipeout via take definite hold of it; tacking on impress/dismay/frighten means the opponent can't mechanically fight back right now, even though they may be physically able.

Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 11:39:05 AM »
Not sure how to do quotations here, I'm a low-end user. But in regards to SbF being used initiate violence, you're right in that if both sides are prepared and "knives are out", that's the move. Anything can happen obviously, like a pc moving to better position (act under fire), but an exchange of blows is definitely SbF.

My contention (and I think it's ultimately just a MC call) is that, was Barker prepared for Truth's sudden burst of violence? Did they have a fist fight, or was it more like a physical "fuck with me and die" type threat?

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Ebok

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Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 09:10:41 PM »
Alright.

The reason go aggro didn't work was because Truth choose to act in a hostile way first. Going aggro would be like Truth looking over at Barker and saying something like, "Touch me and we will kill you." While pulling her pistol out of it's holster. a silent do it, I dare you. The reality might be that Truth is actually unarmed and will only try to fight back if–while hoping her followers back her up now or later. That's why if you dont have the means or will to actually hurt them with your threat RIGHT NOW unless, that is still a manipulation roll (I promise to return the favor).

Truth instead decided to take the initiative and seize Barker's throat by force. This might be because Truth was otherwise unarmed, and needed to get her hands around his throat to have an established harm to Threaten him with. But putting you hands on a person that is hostile, is hostile in an of itself. The question is really, "who has control" when the two collide. seize by force is a great way to determine this.

Truth seized by force with the intent to go aggro if successful.

Now keep in mind that you only use go aggro when the other person still maintains some control over the situation. Say a guy is tied to a chair, you don't use go aggro to get him to not come after you later as you rob his house. That's then, this is now. Go aggro only works (well) while zoomed into the immediate and present action. Since he is tied to a chair, he cannot hurt you right now, so all you're going is promising him something if he follows through later. That doesn't need a roll. Hell he's already been tied to the chair.

BUT, say you're trying to get him to tell you something about the biker gang he rides with. Well, that's another story. He has control over what he tells you, so go aggro works just fine here. Barricade himself further in might simply be he locks up his own mind unless you find a way to breech the door. Tell you something he thinks you want to hear can be as readily fiction as truth. You can see how these secondary option might seem more relevant when the move is triggered properly.

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I should point out that putting your hands around someone's throat doesn't stop them at all from hurting you badly. And grabbing someone's throat without the intention to choke them out right now is a really good way to get hurt badly. That's almost too soft for a seize by force roll at all. The Trade of harm is "I wrestle with you trying to be nice" and "you kick the shit out or me". Generally, its just a bad idea. Maybe you can get the fiction to back you up, but I think the poised violence might be a bit too... polite.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 09:22:15 PM by Ebok »

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T.G.

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Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 10:33:44 PM »
Well hello fellow players. 

I agree both the situation as set up and the possible outcomes resolved better with seize by force than it would have for go aggro.  Truth reading Barkers intentions established he was about to make a move to end the smart mouthery.  A partial success of go aggro makes the situation more confusing, why would Barker reconsider for anything less than a complete success?  The results for a seize by force roll allow for several of the outcomes that I think Truth was looking for.  Even with the partial success in this case Truth got results, just not all the results in the spectacular fashion a complete success would have brought to the situation.  I sure hope Barker doesn't have any hard feelings...

Re: Yet another combat move choice question
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 11:02:59 PM »
I sure hope Barker doesn't have any hard feelings...

Mine is an evil laugh.