Spamming moves to get exp?

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Spamming moves to get exp?
« on: August 12, 2015, 09:04:49 PM »
Hey everyone!

I just started an AP World with my local gaming group. We just had our first session so we're still trying to get use to a different type of RPG (we're coming from Pathfinder RPG...so yeah lol). My question is about when players use moves for a highlighted stat for exp. One of my players had weird highlighted for one of their stats and would used "open your brain to the world’s psychic maelstrom" during every scene. Is this normal or is there a limit that I'm looking over somewhere?

Thanks!

Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 11:43:24 PM »
Hi there,

I'm no AW guru, but here's my 2-barter on the matter. Perhaps somebody more experienced can correct me on any (or all) of what I have to say.

Players frequently Opening Their Brains is fantastic! Every time somebody Opens Their Brain, they're handing you an opportunity on a golden platter to barf forth apocalyptica. Do so! If they're Opening every scene, then do so every scene! They'll advance quicker than they would normally, but that's fine. Uneven advancement isn't nearly as much of an issue in AW as it is in d20. Unlike d20, the key thing in AW isn't the advancement process itself, it's the fiction required to get from A to B. The endpoint (advancement) is just incidental. If that makes sense.

If you're worried about super-fast advancement, though, feel free to highlight their weak stats. Sure, the Gunlugger can keep rolling their highlighted Hot (or Weird) at every opportunity, but probabilistically speaking, that's going to trigger a lot of Hard Moves. And you can have a lot of fun with Hard Moves...

If their blatant XP-grabbing gets truly egregious, then do the obvious: chat with the players about how you feel they give more of a shit about the XP gain than the move itself.

Basically: no, there's no limit except that of basic common sense.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 11:48:14 PM by Eonas »

Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 11:56:10 PM »
Hi there,

I'm no AW guru, but here's my 2-barter on the matter. Perhaps somebody more experienced can correct me on any (or all) of what I have to say.

Players frequently Opening Their Brains is fantastic! Every time somebody Opens Their Brain, they're handing you an opportunity on a golden platter to barf forth apocalyptica. Do so! If they're Opening every scene, then do so every scene! They'll advance quicker than they would normally, but that's fine. Uneven advancement isn't nearly as much of an issue in AW as it is in d20. Unlike d20, the key thing in AW isn't the advancement process itself, it's the fiction required to get from A to B. The endpoint (advancement) is just incidental. If that makes sense.

If you're worried about super-fast advancement, though, feel free to highlight their weak stats. Sure, the Gunlugger can keep rolling their highlighted Hot (or Weird) at every opportunity, but probabilistically speaking, that's going to trigger a lot of Hard Moves. And you can have a lot of fun with Hard Moves...

If their blatant XP-grabbing gets truly egregious, then do the obvious: chat with the players about how you feel they give more of a shit about the XP gain than the move itself.

Basically: no, there's no limit except that of basic common sense.

Ah, so it's coming to light now. I guessed it was my Pathfinder GM senses that was causing an issue and not the AP System. My group is loving the AP World system and we've put the Pathfinder game on hold to play out the AP Game for a bit.

I saw in the Roll20 Presents AP World that each PC saw the Malestorm in a different way, is that something normally seen in games?

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Ebok

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Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 02:44:06 AM »
Yes and No. Just because it can be viewed differently by each character, does not mean that they'll not have some unifying features. You can always load the questions you ask them too, ex: "Considering how wet the maelstrom is, how are you filled by it when you open your mind?" The maelstrom will end up being somewhat unified in concept regardless of how each character interacts with it. The Maelstrom has an agenda, even if you dont know what that is, it's always a good idea to keep asking yourself what it might be. Your questions to your players may help flesh this out as well.

Basically when they tell you how they interact with it, they're giving you traits to start play with. Put them together and start asking yourself, why would it do that? When you start to figure it out, and when they do to, that's when it gets really interesting.


As for Experience, "spamming rolls" is certainly not a big deal. Although you should make each roll count. Each roll represents something happening in the world whose results should be determined by the result. So like, just cause you walk up and punch a guy doesn't make a seize by force. That just might be preliminary, you punched him in the face and he goes down. His buddies, who were playing cards across the street get real quiet a first, and then stand up. What do you do? No matter what they decide, it moves the fiction. Do they size them up? If so the questions they ask let you flesh out the threat better, be sure to do that. Do they open their brain? That suggests there is something More going on here then just what meets the eye, what is that? They put it here, so think it up, or ask some questions to wrap your head around it, and then put it out there. Either good or bad, their roll decides. Either way, the world got more complicated. If the player instead just yanks out his gun and wags it over towards the oncoming goons and levels a bit of a threat, a go aggro will control the snowball.

Everything snowballs.

Also remember, they can't call out a move just because. They have to preform that move in the context of the fiction. How do you open your mind? "I light my cigarette and give an exhale. I see shit in the smoke sometimes." Once that's figured, they've got to light up in a scene to open their mind, and others might start noticing that when he lights up.. strange shit can happen. Hell maybe you know that the maelstrom likes to burn shit down or maybe that it tries to manifest in the smoke.. whatever it is. Next time there is a big fire.... maybe strange-ness is all wrapped up in it too. Especially on a miss. I mean, maybe maybe not, but hopefully that provides some potential context.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 02:49:35 AM by Ebok »

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 03:32:30 AM »
Did he roll any misses? When you look into the maelstrom, the maelstrom looks back at you.

The real question is was the player being a good participant? Was he playing a real person that cared about things and that others could care about? Was he interacting with the fiction in a real way? Did he give a shit if other people at the table had fun? If the answer is yes, it probably doesn't matter how many times he rolls weird.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 03:39:59 AM by noclue »
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: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 03:46:06 AM »

Yeah, to be honest my only concern here -- and it is barely a concern -- is that if nobody else is opening their brain, this one player may end up with an overwhelming amount of input into how the Maelstrom works, etc. But if they're the only character into it, that's really not a problem, just something to consider; I'd make a point of reminding other players who are opening their brains later that they could see the maelstrom differently, etc., just so they don't default to imitation (if they decide they like how it's working already and want to go with that, that's obviously great.)

But also, yeah, someone opening their brain every scene is making the Maelstrom a pretty big deal -- and probably bringing themselves to its attention, whatever that attention happens to look like. Remember that the Maelstrom can ask the characters questions even if they are succeeding; and the more questions it has asked, the more context you're going to have for when an advance-grubbing brain-opener DOES miss their roll. Plus the Maelstrom asking questions is IMO one of the most overlooked opportunities for MC input/barfing-forth in the game.

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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 10:07:25 PM »
Something to consider...

Just like you can set someone up for a move like act under fire... (or any move really)
1. They tell you they want something
2. You put danger between them and that
3. They act under fire to get there anyway (They can do something else instead, but the example stands)

You can also set them up to open their brain by dragging weird shit around them and letting opening their brain be a way to control, end, alter it in some meaningful way. Best used as the maelstrom becomes more prominent / aggressive... such as in a case where someone else keeps spamming weird into the game play. This type of very general tactic can be used (sparingly) to broaden inclusion into a weirdness even if it's primarily been that other guys primary thing.

Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2015, 04:14:23 AM »
Thanks all for the feedback!

I get where you are coming from but it looks like my PC is using the Mind your brain" move like a Perception/Spot/Search on other RPGs.

All my PCs seem to have similar issues with wanting to use the move list and then limiting their options based off the list. So instead of saying what their character does and then choosing the move to fit the situation, they are doing it the other way around. They keep waiting for me to PUSH them in a direction rather than interacting with the world and etc.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to teach D&D/Pathfinder RPG players on "How to Apocalypse World"? My players are wanting to be lead by the noise instead of pushing forth the fiction, any suggestions on how to break them of that?

Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2015, 09:15:07 AM »
Well, Open Your Brain actually is that move, structurally -- characters deciding to open their brains because they have run out of other ways to figure things out is a legitimate tactic, and a common use of the move. This is part of why it is key for you as MC to develop a distinct personality and agenda for the Maelstrom -- because you want it to be as clear as possible that they are not asking YOU, the MC, what to do, they are asking a dangerous in-fiction entity. Which is much more fun for everyone anyways. If their characters are looking to the Maelstrom for cues on best course of action, they should soon realise that this is not always in their best interest.

What you describe about leading with moves, on the other hand, is definitely more of a problem, but I think the best solution is just to keep asking them: 'what do you do?' 'I open my brain' is not a complete answer, nor is 'I go aggro' -- they're not bad or wrong answers, they just require more back-and-forth to determine what the character is actually doing in the fiction. This is something that they (and you) will get better at with practice, and will become easier once they see that their fictional choices are resulting in fictional consequences. Again, like with the Maelstrom, there is nothing wrong with the players starting from this limited mode of interaction -- it's a natural place to start -- because the _outcomes_ of that interaction are going to be more fiction, not more moves. They can start every scene by Reading a Situation or Opening Their Brain if they want -- but those moves are going to make stuff happen -- stuff that is fictional and consequential and not just the naked move, itself.

Similarly, reactive characters aren't necessarily a problem, as long as you take the opportunity as MC to make your own moves and then see how they react. They want to be led by the nose, so you smash them in the face and see what they do. The key is just to make it as clear as possible that the moves you are making and the problems you are introducing do not have a solution, or at least not one that you have thought about. Certainly their solutions are not written down in anybody's playbook. Just throw them into situations that are obviously too complicated to just be a matter of Do That One Thing -- PC-NPC-PC triangles are always good for this, as are all the other usual MC tricks & moves -- and then even when they do Do That One Thing, make sure the results are an even more complicated situation than before.

Moves are not an end point, a way to wrap up the fiction or solve the problem -- they are just the beginning of the next piece of the conversation. As that becomes more obvious to the players, they should hopefully find it easier to engage with the situation on the level it is actually happening; i.e. in the fiction, in the conversation itself.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 09:19:35 AM by Daniel Wood »

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2015, 01:47:04 PM »
Create PC-NPC-PC triangles.

Give your NPC's a name and simple motivations.

Look for where the PCs are not in control.

Push there.

Oh, and whenever that dude opens his mind to the maelstrom, view it as a Golden Opportunity for the maelstrom to ask him difficult questions ;) It's called "open your mind" after all.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 01:53:33 PM by noclue »
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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Ebok

  • 415
Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2015, 12:25:41 AM »
Cinematic

That's how I sold AW to the Pen and Paper board gamers, I played with when we first got started. AW isn't like a board game with some strategic end goal. The end goal is immediately fulfilling whatever the fuck the character wants Right damn now. The NPCs, the Players, try to keep pushing them in the immediately present. There are guys with guns outside, they're screaming "We want the baby murderer!" (who, what? It just happened to cross my mind, thats what. Now complicate it, Immediately) "We know she's in there, and we will just start blowing lead into this place if she isn't tossed out in 5... 4... 3..." (Now you look to them and ask, what do you do? Are the guys outside crazy? Is someone here afraid? Do the characters like the person? Are they innocent? Is the target important to someone they PCs care about? Who knows. You don't need to plan this stuff, just make it happen--though this is probably a bit hard for a just make it happen moment.

Cinematic.

Take a moment out and make the scene Dramatic. Make the character be awesome, make an npc come alive. Barf Forth Dramatic Apocalypica just cause. Get the PCs needing things, like food, water, sex, company, friends, safety, make them feel like they need it by talking about hot SCORCHING it is, about how dry everyone is, about how much they're sweating... or not sweating anymore in the heat. Or whatever it is that makes this world feel like what's left after the world ends. Be cinematic, and start getting them comfortable being that way too.

Best way I can tell you is, It's a Movie, not a board game. If there is a mystery, you dont know what the answer is. Your prep is just prep, it's not plot, its not a plan. Its just stuff to help you not fry your brain and turn all your creative impulses into a catatonic mush. Defer decisions to other players, get them to be creative. If they dont feel comfortable yet doing that--just paint the scene like a movie and ask them what type of thing probably happens next.

That's the best type of answer I can give you without knowing the people involved.

Re: Spamming moves to get exp?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 04:17:41 AM »
What noclue and Ebok says, are both good pointers as how to set up the action for Apocalypse World.

Use what they say to create situations that require input. Even if the players do nothing, something will happen. I think its a trap, going into AW expecting the players to push the action. You should push the action forward every time there is a lull. And then when/if the players take over, you can let them determine the course. But if the players don't push the action in the direction they want, then Rolfball the Slaver, who is attacking the hold, will push the action in the direction he wants. And the players will need to do something about that. You shouldn't plan about what they should do. They might defend the hold, they might run away, they might hole up, they might try to negotiate, or go over on Rolfball's side. The game is about watching what the PCs do. But it might be about what they do, in response to your driving forward the action. And if they negate the action, by say, holing up and waiting for Rolfball to move along. Then you push: now the slavers are hacking down the door to the hideout. What do you do? Or: It is three days later. You are out of water and food. You can still hear the slavers partying outside. What do you do?

Consciously work in the fact that moves are made as a result of what the players do. Every time there is an opening for the players to act, ask "What do you do?". If no-one bites or if it makes sense, ask a specific player "What do you do?". If they reply with a move, ask "Yes, but what do you do? How do you <insert move here>?"