Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")

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Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« on: June 06, 2016, 12:02:42 AM »
Hey guys,

Been playing the 2nd edition preview with some friends (really only one full session). But my Child-Thing is has a boomerang as a weapon, because it was one of the choices, and it's marked with slow. Does anyone KNOW what the tag does? If no, has anybody been using rules for it, or just assuming it's like reload and you just have to waste an action before you can use it again?

Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 01:06:56 AM »

Unless tags have been overhauled in the new edition, I would assume it does the same thing all the tags do, which is tell you something about how the weapon works in the fiction of the game. In this case, I don't think it's too hard to see how a boomerang would operate much more slowly than, say, a handgun. Whether that is relevant or not in any given situation will depend on the specifics of that situation -- much like reloading a shotgun, sure, but also like whether a shotgun being 'loud' or 'messy' is relevant.

I mean, there are lots of situations where you have a shotgun and you use it and then the next 'action' you take you just use it again, because the need to reload it just wasn't relevant to the situation -- the conversation makes it obvious that enough time had passed that you could easily have reloaded the shotgun. In other cases, where the scope of battle is very narrow, having to reload your shotgun might be a crucial limitation. It all depends what is going on.

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Munin

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 10:02:56 AM »
The other thing that's worth mentioning is that "slow" can be applied both to the re-use of the weapon (like "reload"), but also to it's first use. As in, it takes time for the weapon to travel to its intended target, and in that time the target can do something about it, like run or dodge or shoot you. In particular, I'd say that in most fictional circumstances, it's extremely hard to "go aggro" on an aware target with a slow weapon (although I know 2nd edition changes the GA/SBF divide, so maybe this is less an issue).

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Ebok

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 09:11:04 AM »
Quote
it's like reload and you just have to waste an action before you can use it again?

I just wanted to point out that there aren't actions in AW. You don't waste anything, ever. Reload / Slow are descriptive terms that offer potential weakness that could be exploited by a missed roll, ex: (You have him dead to rights, your still smoking gun aimed with a clear shot. He is fucked, but when you pulled the trigger--click. Well shit. He goes from shocked, to pissed and grins as he bears down on you with heavy fire); or to potentially provide problems in a given environment, ex: (need to take out a dozen people quickly with a two barrel manual loading shot gun... this might make it harder to do, reload might mean you're loading under fire in the middle.)

.. My examples were all about reload, sorry. Slow (and all other negative keywords) works exactly the same though.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 09:18:12 AM by Ebok »

Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 07:17:20 PM »
As a direct quote from AW 1st ed. book "using it means the character has to take
specific action to reload or reset it before she can use it again.", referring to reload.

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Ebok

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2016, 01:32:10 AM »
Regardless, narratively that statement doesn't have much pull. You make single seize by force roll to attack an entire gang lodged into a bunker, and having that roll determine all of the dead, routed, or otherwise. That could mean shooting ten guys out of twenty. With a weapon that has two bullets at a time and reload, it's still possible, but narratively it could, become more risky. It however does not mandate or make any sense to zoom into a blow by blow scene rather then one over arching roll just because you have reload on the weapon.

Additionally, there are no rules for what is an "action" in aw, making a move is Not an action. If an action is, for example, saying "I reload and then shoot him in the face", cool. In that situation, it becomes clear that things can occur while the reload is happening. I just wanted to stress that this is not a turn based game.

Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2016, 04:44:00 AM »

Yeah, the lack of an article -- 'take... action' vs. 'take... an action' -- is not a typo, though if you are used to combat rounds as a default mode of play it's probably an easy distinction to overlook. And certainly 'battles' are usually going to happen in turns, broadly-speaking -- but what sort of things make sense to say on your turn is going to depend on the scene and what level of moment-to-moment detail is currently guiding the conversation.

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Munin

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 09:58:08 AM »
A while back I wrote an example of combat (both zoomed in and zoomed out in terms of time scale), one of which highlighted the use of the reload tag. If you're interested, you can read them here

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noclue

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 06:56:53 PM »
As a direct quote from AW 1st ed. book "using it means the character has to take
specific action to reload or reset it before she can use it again.", referring to reload.

GM: Okay, Wisher's bleeding out from the shot to the gut. Bullets from Jackabacka's SMG are pinging off the car beside you. What do you do?
Peaches: I jump behind the car and shove two new shells in my shot gun, then pop up and draw a bead on the shooter.
GM: Cool, but as you stand up, you see Millions charging toward you with this big fuck you machete. She launches across the hood of the car grabbing your gun in her other hand. What do you do?
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

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2016, 01:09:24 AM »
GM: Okay, Wisher's bleeding out from the shot to the gut. Bullets from Jackabacka's SMG are pinging off the car beside you. What do you do?
Peaches: I jump behind the car and shove two new shells in my shot gun, then pop up and draw a bead on the shooter.
GM: Cool, but as you stand up, you see Millions charging toward you with this big fuck you machete. She launches across the hood of the car grabbing your gun in her other hand. What do you do?

This above I find wanting, and would never do it in one of my games. An enemy getting a grip on your weapon feels like something that should happen on a miss, a hard bargain, or maybe the result of a 0-harm roll that triggers a problem. I'd rather pose the roll prior to denying them their action..

GM: Okay, Wisher's bleeding out from the shot to the gut. Bullets from Jackabacka's SMG are pinging off the car beside you. What do you do?
Peaches: I jump behind the car and shove two new shells in my shot gun, then pop up and draw a bead on the shooter.
GM: Cool, but as you hunker down, you see Millions charging toward you with this big fuck you machete. You'll be hard pressed to load it before she gets here, but you can rush-it-under fire if you like. What do you do?

The slow keyword in this zoomed in battle is relevant because the weapon speed in this narrative matters. It doesn't trigger a "sorry denied" it causes  an action under fire where if they get the thing loaded fast enough, they might be able to blast both of their faces off in a quick one-two. If for example harm is being traded, and the order that the harm is given matters, I'd also suggest that the slow keyword might be a tie breaker. If you and another guy both shoot some fucker, but one of you got there first, then he might be the one that gets to claim victory over it.

If someone else is being really squirrelly and dashing about while you're trying to sink a giant hammer into their skull, maybe you're having a hard time swinging the thing and running at the same time, forcing a decision to be made. But if you're swinging / throwing a slow weapon in a big old battle, you're not going to need to "reload" / "make a big swing" / "recover from a big swing" between every time you say you're going to smash the guys head in. Maybe it's slow because it always gets stuck in shit. Maybe your boomerang is slow because sometimes the thing doesn't get all the way back and you gotta dash around and collect it, so it might -now-and-then take more time to grab it up. (real boomerangs that actually get weaponized don't return at all but that's probably outside the point of this fiction). In most cases, the slowness of a weapon should come up about as often as the bad effects of the other keywords. It should not interfere with every single moment of every single battle, as that would make them rather pointless to use.

Specifically speaking on reload -- really, if you KNOW how to load a damn shotgun, revolver, or otherwise. You can do it VERY quickly. It takes no time at all, maybe a second longer then a magazine. Now if someone is cracking the barrel open, fishing through their pockets for ammo, and loading them one by one, that's a different story. 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 01:15:08 AM by Ebok »

Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 03:18:23 AM »
That line, "take specific action to reload", is the same follow the fiction / the fiction decides as anything.

What it does is differentiate weapons where we don't care about when the reload happens and the ones where we do. With any handgun that doesn't have the reload tag, you just keep shooting during an action scene and if it's even remotely possible that you have enough bullets and time to shove them in, that's just assumed to happen. I mean, you can always construct extreme cases like "I stand overwatch, shooting a steady one round per second, from now until forever", obvs the lack of a reload tag isn't going to keep the MC from having you reload at some point. Same thing as selling infinite knives one by one.

What the "specific action" line gets at is that for those weapons, after using it the player actually has to describe how they reload the weapon. Not in detail, but state that reloading is what they do. If they have the ammo, and have time and safety to do it, that's all there is to it. But the act of stating that at the table means it's something people think about. The player is incentivised to plan their violence so that it allows them that time and safety to reload; so for example, to drive out a whole gang, with an ak47 you can start shooting in their midst but with a shotgun you'd prefer to be behind cover for some up-shoot-down-reload. The MC is prompted to think about what happens during the reload—and again, if it's short and well-planned, maybe the answer is "nothing, it's damn quick". But maybe someone hears it. Maybe an inexperienced character fumbles with the shells, and that means when they pop up, Machete Millions is closer than you thought. Everyone is reminded that yeah, their ammo stores actually dwindles with every combat.

In contrast, non-reload weapons only require ammo inasmuch as the MC and players actively remember to think of it. Otherwise they sort of operate by action movie logic.

The autofire tag is interesting: if you take out people one by one, no-one cares about exactly when one magazine ends and you start on the next one. But lay down sustained fire to get the 'area' effect, and without fail, you're shooting 'til it starts clicking, no more, no less. There is no way in AW to empty the whole mag except for one bullet. After using autofire, the explicitly described fiction (as implied to the fuzzier implied shared fiction) must include that weapon being reloaded if it's to be used again.


So yeah, to repeat Daniel Wood's observation: it doesn't say "take an action" because actions aren't formalised like in DnD where you get X of them each turn. Instead, it says "take action" because it requires you to take action. And to do it, do it.

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noclue

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 03:46:53 AM »

This above I find wanting, and would never do it in one of my games. An enemy getting a grip on your weapon feels like something that should happen on a miss, a hard bargain, or maybe the result of a 0-harm roll that triggers a problem. I'd rather pose the roll prior to denying them their action..

I don't know why. they took the time to reload. I just put them in a spot. It's not even a particularly hard move.

Quote
GM: Cool, but as you stand up, you see Millions charging toward you with this big fuck you machete. She launches across the hood of the car grabbing your gun in her other hand. What do you do?
Peaches: I'm just gonna turn the point of the shotgun on her and unload.
GM: Sounds like you're acting in spite of an imminent threat to me. Act under fire.

It's kindler and gentler to give them the option of seeing someone coming and choosing whether to act under fire. But, there's no "always give them a choice before you put them in a spot" rule. Sometimes, you just put them in a spot.




« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 04:03:19 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

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Ebok

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2016, 06:13:18 AM »
Disagree. :)

Although I did read, she has her hands on their weapon as, she is in control of their weapon. So if that isn't what you meant, it is just not very cool. That said, this play  is played consistently would make any weapon a reload tag a fucking useless tool in all but the fuck is that the ONLY thing around here cases.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 08:32:42 AM by Ebok »

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noclue

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Re: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2016, 12:42:19 PM »
Well, everything is situationally dependent in AW narration. Reloading sometimes means you just reload. Other times, it means that your standing in the middle of a bunch of goons with an empty gun.
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: Weapon Tags (Specifically "Slow")
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2016, 03:08:57 PM »
True enough. And True for guns without the reload tag too, cause... you know. All guns reload.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 03:15:09 PM by Ebok »