Embargo

  • 10 Replies
  • 5016 Views
Embargo
« on: November 12, 2016, 11:03:34 AM »
I'm not sure I fully grasp this Move.

Embargo: you can go aggro with deprivation as your weapon, inflicting d-harm (water).

Now, my first concern is that, if a Waterbearer in my game chose as their Source's special quality "It is the only reliable source of clean drinking water around" why can't they do what this Move says already? Within the fiction, when they threaten another character with deprivation, what happens? What do they roll? Does the target of their threat just believe the threat is empty because they don't have this Move?

The next would be this Move's interaction with the Go Aggro Move. So, per my reading of Go Aggro, say the Waterbearer rolls a 10+ and the target is an individual and chooses to "force your hand and suck it up" that individual will just die in three days. Just like someone cannot, once they "suck it up" with a shotgun aimed at their gut, avoid getting shot in the gut, a person cannot avoid dying of water deprivation if they "suck up" d-harm. Similarly, if it is aimed at a settlement, that settlement cannot send an armed contingent of goons to the Source to kill the Waterbearer and take it over, it has to find water elsewhere, because per d-harm, that is the only way to avoid the collapse of their settlement.

Am I reading this wrong? Go Aggro has always to me seemed like it should be played this way on a small scale, I'm just not sure whether it works on a long-term scale. Say the victim suffers d-harm from the Waterbearer, can another PC come along and give them water? What happens there? Similarly, is a Hold narratively incapable of gaining benefit from the water in the Source after they have suffered d-harm?

Any guidance on this is much appreciated!

Re: Embargo
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 02:36:57 PM »
(Also, what happens on a 7-9?)

Re: Embargo
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 03:14:31 PM »
Well, your second question sorta answers your first. I mean, normally, you couldn't Go Aggro with a weapon that takes three days to work, and if you tried, people would do all the things you suggest in response. You could use your access to water as leverage for the Manipulate move, but Go Aggro? Nah. So that's what the Move does.

Now, as for what people can do about it during the three days...well, there are a couple of options. First, I think you can always choose to rescind your ban, since even an hour or day of deprivation can qualify as d-harm, so you can give them their water back if they convince you to do so before the three days are up...but they'd need to convince you.

See, I'm pretty sure by the very nature of having the move, you have the sort of moral (or other) authority to make that kind of threat in such a way that people can't just kill you or take the water to prevent it from happening. Heck, maybe if they try the water dries up (at least temporarily)...The Source is pretty overtly supernatural, after all. They can presumably Go Aggro on you or Manipulate you to get you to rescind their death sentence...but if you choose to accept the consequences of not going along with such moves, they all die.

As a codicil, I think this pretty much is only gonna happen with PCs, and only to a community if there is a PC Hardholder. I mean, NPCs are very rarely willing to die in agony over days for almost any reason, certainly not whole communities of them! Heck, I'd expect a PC Hardholder who forced the Waterbearer's hand on that move in regards to a whole community to be overthrown and be given to the Waterbearer in hopes he turns the tap back on in the vast majority of cases.

On a 7-9, as usual, they are forced to do one of the listed actions, or suffer the consequences.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 03:22:26 PM by DeadmanwalkingXI »

Re: Embargo
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 03:26:40 PM »
It does seem to make sense that without Embargo it would just be a Seduce/Manipulate roll.

Now, as for what people can do about it during the three days...well, there are a couple of options. First, I think you can always choose to rescind your ban, so you can give them their water back if they convince you to do so before the three days are up...but they'd need to convince you.

I'd argue you cannot rescind your ban, per the rules of going aggro. When Dremmer decides to suck it up after you point your shotgun at him and tell him to surrender, you cannot then decide that picking a fight with him and his boys isn't a good idea and not shoot him in the gut. You have to follow through, your agency is taken out of the equation once you decide to go aggro. If this Move functions the same way, I don't think you are able to rescind your embargo. You have to inflict the harm. On that note, it doesn't seem like it makes sense to me that they can get you to rescind your embargo either, if we're following how go aggro works.

To clarify, you think that people, PCs included, are unable to give water to those suffering d-harm? Do you think that access to another source of water cures individuals of d-harm? How much water?

Re: Embargo
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 04:33:41 PM »
I agree that the Waterbearer can't turn on the tap again once he's gone aggro. Otherwise it wouldn't be going aggro.
And so, if someone sucks it up, they are going to die from thirst. Even if they can find another source of water. Otherwise it wouldn't be d-harm (water). Bear in mind here that Embargo doesn't actually say that the Waterbearer turns off the source, only that the victim is going to suffer d-harm. That means the effect is basically magic, and any access to water is barred.

It is a powerful move. But remember that the victim has three days to get revenge on the Waterbearer after the move has been activated. I would advice anyone using Embargo to be careful. Maybe set up a hidden bunker with three days worth of food.

A 7-9 might mean that the victim is capable of barricading themselves in with some unaffected water, or it might mean that they get the hell out of the Waterbearers way to a place where the magic can't reach.

Re: Embargo
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 04:39:06 PM »
It does seem to make sense that without Embargo it would just be a Seduce/Manipulate roll.

Yeah, that's how I'd figure it.

I'd argue you cannot rescind your ban, per the rules of going aggro. When Dremmer decides to suck it up after you point your shotgun at him and tell him to surrender, you cannot then decide that picking a fight with him and his boys isn't a good idea and not shoot him in the gut. You have to follow through, your agency is taken out of the equation once you decide to go aggro. If this Move functions the same way, I don't think you are able to rescind your embargo. You have to inflict the harm. On that note, it doesn't seem like it makes sense to me that they can get you to rescind your embargo either, if we're following how go aggro works.

It's not the same situation though. Technically, on a mechanical level, one day of d-harm is still d-harm, so you followed through on your threat (which was  explicitly 'd-harm', not '3 days of d-harm'). You're no more required to keep inflicting it every day than you are to firing that shotgun again and again until you're out of ammo.

Also, from a fiction perspective, what keeps you from stopping? I mean, it's your embargo, clearly in-fiction you can end it if you want, and mechanics should generally follow the fiction.

And from a purely game-balance perspective, Disciplined Engagement from the Quarantine already allows doing less than your intended Harm, so it's not like allowing it breaks the game, it just requires a specific Move. Embargo being such a move under specific circumstances doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

To clarify, you think that people, PCs included, are unable to give water to those suffering d-harm? Do you think that access to another source of water cures individuals of d-harm? How much water?

I'd presume that if you have an embargo going, you're rationing water, and possibly requiring them to drink it at the spring (so as to not allow the smuggling of water out). So, with difficulty, someone could take d-harm to keep the victim from taking d-harm, but that'd be the limit in many ways. And enough water to live on obviously cures d-harm, assuming there's not something supernatural preventing them from drinking it (which there might be, depending on how the Source and Waterbearer in question work).

*

Ebok

  • 415
Re: Embargo
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 07:58:28 PM »
I have so many problems with this class I just told my players they should not look at it, as I will never run a game that includes it. I would far rather them playing a intelligent space dolphin then this. It a.) removes all agency from the angel playbook, b.) unreasonably imposes on the hard holder playbook, and c.) the idea that EVERYONE would just gang up and kill the guy seems outlandish as fuck to me.

If you threaten someone with d-harm, their only reasonable response is shooting you dead. Fuck your d-harm, that happens later, delayed effect at best. Right now, that gun is doing harm in the immediate, so all that move does is give them three options, suck it up and kill you, suck it up and die, or do what you want. All half-way options aren't very sensible, since as stated above, go aggro is you basically telling their wells to run dry--and you just cant refill them whimsically after that.

If you want to use this class and you AND your players are fine with these types of impositions, then I would say that d-harm is you acting on your control over the water to... tell the water to run dry. You do not get the ability to reverse this trend, which calls into question land-use. If someone goes aggro against a guy in the city, does the city run out of water, or does water no longer quench the guys thirst? If the former, then I'd hate to be a pc that sucked up the effects of this move. they kind of sound like--we just killed your holding, haha...

Again, Screw this noise, it adds nothing interesting to me.

Re: Embargo
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 09:45:55 PM »
I have so many problems with this class I just told my players they should not look at it, as I will never run a game that includes it. I would far rather them playing a intelligent space dolphin then this.

Wow. Harsh.

It a.) removes all agency from the angel playbook,

Eh. Angel is still potentially quite effective, and besides why would this matter if nobody is an Angel?

b.) unreasonably imposes on the hard holder playbook, and

Huh? How? Unless they pick that their source is the only fresh water, it effects the Hardholder not at all.

c.) the idea that EVERYONE would just gang up and kill the guy seems outlandish as fuck to me.

Uh...isn't the idea that everyone would gang up and kill any PC a little outlandish?

If you threaten someone with d-harm, their only reasonable response is shooting you dead. Fuck your d-harm, that happens later, delayed effect at best. Right now, that gun is doing harm in the immediate, so all that move does is give them three options, suck it up and kill you, suck it up and die, or do what you want.

It can easily be supernatural if that fits the fiction better. Several other moves involved are actively supernatural.

All half-way options aren't very sensible, since as stated above, go aggro is you basically telling their wells to run dry--and you just cant refill them whimsically after that.

I still don't think that follows.

If you want to use this class and you AND your players are fine with these types of impositions, then I would say that d-harm is you acting on your control over the water to... tell the water to run dry. You do not get the ability to reverse this trend, which calls into question land-use. If someone goes aggro against a guy in the city, does the city run out of water, or does water no longer quench the guys thirst? If the former, then I'd hate to be a pc that sucked up the effects of this move. they kind of sound like--we just killed your holding, haha...


Uh...yeah, the Waterbearer can kill a holding. That's a thing. And pretty scary. Of course, they almost certainly die if they do that since the entire Holding will want revenge. But yeah, that's a thing.

Again, Screw this noise, it adds nothing interesting to me.

It adds a very interesting element of hope, IMO. It's powerful in an externalized way rather than an internalized way like an Angel, but covers some of the same ground and has some cool mystical/safety elements that hearken back to the Solace. Which I think is super cool.

Re: Embargo
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2016, 11:21:41 AM »
I'm still rather confused by the move . Vincent called it the best trump card in the game .
To me with calling it the best trump card I would assume this move is supernatural in nature, and that if you roll a 10+ that this person is a goner , no water will satisfy and they are going to die in 3 days.

Im personally consider not running any of the extended playbooks in my first campaign except maybe faceless sense he seems to already the feeling of the game the least.

Has there ever been an official post about this being supernatural in nature ?

Re: Embargo
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2016, 02:40:50 PM »
I'm still rather confused by the move . Vincent called it the best trump card in the game .
To me with calling it the best trump card I would assume this move is supernatural in nature, and that if you roll a 10+ that this person is a goner , no water will satisfy and they are going to die in 3 days.

Or they cave to your demand. And whether it's supernatural or not, it's an absolute effect, so yeah, it'll kill you dead.

Im personally consider not running any of the extended playbooks in my first campaign except maybe faceless sense he seems to already the feeling of the game the least.

Probably a solid call. The others all say pretty specific things about the nature of the apocalypse, so disallowing them makes a fair bit of sense.

Has there ever been an official post about this being supernatural in nature ?

No, but there doesn't really need to be. You want it to be supernatural, or think that makes more sense, and it is. I mean, there's nothing about 'Step Into The Flow' being supernatural either, but it really blatantly is in most cases. The line between natural and supernatural effects is seriously blurry in AW in the first place.

*

Lukas

  • 53
Re: Embargo
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 12:04:54 PM »
I really think it needs people to be able to change their minds. Sure, they let you pull the trigger now, but they'll come crawling back in a few days -- or if they don't, someone will try to take them down in order to negotiate. Embargo lets you shake a hardhold up, as it shows the population that their ruler has failed to provide even the most basic of necessities for survival.