Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)

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Amora

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Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)
« on: February 12, 2016, 12:24:12 PM »
So I had an idea for a character (I'm thinking Radiohead for the name) whose "thing" is making music from old scraps of recordings from the golden age, with chunks of the maelstrom ingrained in it; He's found a way to record vague sounds from the maelstrom, and incorporate it into his music. The maelstrom in the game he's going to be for is all about feeling and emotion; making people feel and learning from emotions. So he basically uses the sounds as a "booster for nostalgia;" something that evokes certain feelings of the past based on the sound presented.

I wanted the sounds to be a direct link to the maelstrom, where your weird effects how much you're effected. But in this case being TOO weird would cause it to be disorienting, dizzying, a direct link to opening your brain to a bad time (stand mesmerized and literally transported to whatever memory you're getting feelings from, maybe?) I figure non-weird folks don't have much reaction to most of it, because they're not tuned to the psychic maelstrom.

I kind of switched around the bad being at the very top because I wanted it to be a bit rarer/more likely for people who have high weird? The idea was that the average Apocalypse World goer is weird enough to get a little something-something from it, but most people are not quite weird enough to have any really bad experiences (usually.)

So here's the move, I've constructed it from least to most reaction just because that seems to make more sense to me when I'm reading it:

When you hear one of Radiohead's tracks (that you've never heard before), roll+weird. On a miss, it's just normal music. As normal as weird cut-up radio sounds can be, anyway. On a 7-9, the music brings up feelings; That gnawing of nostalgia at your gut. Feelings of a time long past, that you can't quite put your finger on. On a 10+, you get actual, literal sensations from that memory. Fingers on skin, the sound of someone's laugh in the music, words whispered from someone long dead and well-missed, the first sour taste of not-quite-ripened fruit you ever got to try, a shot in your gut and the smell of smoke filling your lungs. Whatever the most memorable moments from that memory, you feel them, hear them, taste them, smell them. On a 12+, you're overcome with the feeling of sickness. You know something bad's going to happen, if you stick around. You have two choices: Get out of there, right now, or treat it like you opened your brain and failed the roll.

Any feedback on this move? Does it feel awkward/weird or do you think it'd work out well enough? The only thing I'm a bit wary of is that the players might be confused about very high = bad in this case, like with the harm move, but I'd guess it'd be easy enough to explain.

Re: Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 03:27:54 PM »

Well, if this is a PC then it mostly sounds like a Skinner using Artful & Gracious with some different colour/description. Certainly I would use that as a baseline.

If this is an NPC, this move just doesn't really seem to do anything most of the time -- the 7-9 result is basically 'you hear music, and it has an emotional effect specific to what is in the music.' Like yeah... that's how music works? Based on the description and the move, I feel like you mostly have a very cool fictional detail that you are unnecessarily trying to wrap up in a move. Also, most of the language of the move feels like a rewrite of Open Your Brain, as you yourself initially described. So unless you can think of some much more specific and impactful effects, I would suggest something like:

When you hear one of Radiohead's tracks for the first time, take +1 forward and Open Your Brain -- with this as your soundtrack. On a hit, the music will colour your visions, providing additional details. On a 10+, the music predominates, turning the Maelstrom in its own direction. On a 12+ you are overwhelmed and lost in the music; there is nothing else to see.


Re: Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 03:29:50 PM »

Part of the feedback here is that custom moves that don't offer the PCs any sort of opportunity are less interesting than those that do. In the case of my rewrite, for low-Weird characters this is an opportunity to more effectively open their brains.

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Amora

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Re: Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 04:43:07 PM »
Oo, I actually like that a lot yeah! And I can definitely see that as an issue with the move as a whole.

Your rewrite actually gives me way more ideas of how the players could use it practically, too. Reasons for why it should even matter to them, or why they should be interested in it in the first place. And also ways that Radiohead could get mixed up with PCs in general, especially non-weird people who are interested in weird things but can't seem to do it right, as is the case for one of the PCs playing.

"Custom moves should offer opportunity" is a tip that I should keep in mind while creating them, for sure.

Thanks a lot for the reply!

Re: Feedback on a move! (Maelstrom Music)
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2016, 01:28:19 PM »
I used a custom move in an Apocalypse World game where taking drugs had a similar effect: you open your brain, but with a bonus. Of course, you had to worry about addiction, however.

I think the idea has potential. Maelstrom music is certainly much more colourful!

A potential wrinkle:

When you hear maelstrom music, on a ________, you're strong enough to resist it. Choose 1:

* You submit to it, and open your brain. Take +1forward.
* You resist, but just barely. You can ignore it, but you must get out of here (or find some way to shut it off), NOW.