2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)

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Ebok

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #150 on: March 21, 2017, 04:37:22 PM »
With this example I'm trying to show how it does that, because that's Paul's question, but I think you've already got it: in 1st Ed, if she misses the roll, you can end the battle there, and often should. In 2nd Ed, her miss signals that the battle's still on. She's achieved her most immediate goal (or chosen to abandon it), but she's paid for it in harm, the landscape of the battle has changed, and the matter is still under contest. It's the second or third move that ends the battle.

I get it. I do.

The biggest reason this has been hard for me to swallow is that I don't run my battles like you expected me to. I've never ended a battle because a player rolled a miss on seize by force. Not once. It has ended when a player rolls a miss on the harm roll and is immediately knocked unconscious, or they've taken too much damage to continue and they give up/run/retreat... Instead, I almost always end the battle when the player both Hits the roll and had done enough to keep the enemy from coming back at them. This is why I'm struggling, you end on a miss, I end on a hit.

There are examples, specifically where dealing violence isn't the main objective and the action keeps going: If Kat seizes definite hold of some treasure and did like 1 or 0 harm for example, the entire gang might now chasing her, but the battle is over, nows it's escape time: i.e. fuck this shit / eye on the door / act under fire / cat and mouse. these only become battle again if the "escape" fails, so these would still not be multiple follow up battle moves.

If you read over my examples again, you'll find it was the AW1 results that spiked the action, not the Aw2 results. AW2 was significantly more calm, mostly or entirely resolved. Both work the same when it comes to how to handle the hits, they differ in the misses. Most of those HIT result pretty much was the immediate ended of things, because the gang had either shattered morale (having a non present leader) or were impressed and probably not looking to hunt her down.

Had she had combat driver (with +1 hold), there would be few results at all that would have continued the contest. It would be resolved completely every time. The only followup on a hit that could be a roll was if she manages to buy time by hiding her location from the gang's potential reprisals.

In the AW1 examples the miss did not resolve the conflict. It kicked up the tension and put her under fire, the scene had changed, the objectives might need to change along with them, but it was distinctly Not over. Only in Munin's example where she was forced to turn and flee with the water spilling out the back was it maybe not battle anymore, and even then the 4-wheelers could be hunting her down, and that snowball could also involve the blockade radioing in who just tried to break through. For me, its very clear on an Aw1 Miss that there will be follow up moves, always, because the PC is still in peril.

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As far as Munin's gunlugger example goes, the first thing I noticed was that the Gunlugger put the driver's ability to drive to shame. And his ability to reliably crush the enemy on a miss still did less damage to his truck then the driver could expect. You say the point of the new hard is to extend combat into more moves, for me that means this:

The Real Concern
Combat is only really dangerous through attrition, and Player's endurance through that attrition is primarily determined by the starting harm/armor value of the character, rather then the rolls to find out what happened.

Why?
It also occurs to me that Munin gave the gang's blockade an additional +1armor in the Gunlugger's example. Had we done that to the Driver it wouldve ended her ability to break through that gang. Sure she could choose to get through, but dealing 1-harm and her truck taking 2 or 3-harm would've been a death knell for any follow up battle rolls. She cannot beat them, at least not without hitting twice and still losing her truck.

This is opposed to: if we remove that extra armor from the Gunlugger's example, he breaks them on a miss easily (4-harm base), or 5-harm they're all probably dead and even the best leader doesnt matter. That's a miss. There is no follow up. This scene is over.

What this says to me is that I have to buff the enemies for the Gunlugger to feel it, and that same "challenge" makes it impossible or nearly so for other characters to handle the same situation. We're not talking about a risk, or a little bit either. We aren't talking about rolling to see what happens.

We're talking about the fact that now Gunlugger has a drastic and unmitigated advantage in everything hard compared with the same Gunlugger in AW1. To reiterate: this is AW2Gunlugger vs AW1Gunlugger. The reason is simple, since combat's danger in Aw2 has been reduced to attrition, far more of the battle moves results are dependent on the static harm/armor stats of a given character. If a gunlugger can get +3 harm and +2 armor over the other characters (not all that hard). That's exactly saying what one guy can lazily do on a miss, the others cannot hope to do even on a 10+.

I'm actually less convinced then ever that this change is a good thing.

edit--spelling
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 04:52:00 PM by Ebok »

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Ebok

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #151 on: March 21, 2017, 04:47:42 PM »
It's pretty much exactly what I had in mind when I designed NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH, so, yes.

I think it's important to say that he was just as unlikely to roll a miss by the 1st Ed rules. The badass gunlugger is the character LEAST affected by the change in the move.

-Vincent

I disagree. Nearly every playbook can get a +3 Hard. Sure in either edition a hit is the same hit, but when we say the Gunlugger CANNOT fail, vs the Gunlugger almost never fails, that's a big change. That disarms both the fictions teeth, and the gunlugger's victories.

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lumpley

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #152 on: March 21, 2017, 05:05:12 PM »
Ebok, I can explain to you how the move works - which you already get - and I can try to explain why I made the changes I made. I can even tell you that I'm not bothered by what you're bothered by. After that, though, it's up to you whether you think it's a good change or a bad one, and whether you adopt it or keep playing by the 1st Ed rules. Please feel free!

-Vincent

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #153 on: March 21, 2017, 05:36:51 PM »
(I'm sorry I disappeared for a few days - I was traveling and unexpectedly lost internet service. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see this discussion continuing and will step back and read along. These examples have been *super* interesting, and quite revealing in a variety of ways.

It seems to me, also, that the new rules are, perhaps, intended to "do" Mad Max: Fury Road, which brings along with it all kinds of genre expectations. For example, the idea of a powerful character going into action sequences against large groups of relatively faceless enemies, including in vehicular chases. In our games, it was always much more personal, and instead of a single Gunlugger breaking that a 40-person strong blockade with machine guns, we tended to see PCs maneuvering into a position of advantage - say, 2-3 PCs ambushing a pair of enemies in a location favorable to them. We also judged guns, ammunition, and armour to be relatively valuable and rare - our apocalypses weren't usually full of arms factories - which put the well-armed and -armoured PCs at an incredible advantage in most situations. It's a more down-and-dirty apocalypse, much less of an action movie apocalypse.

The new rules seem really well-suited to the former style of play, I think. It's harder to imagine them working in the latter mode.

For instance, when looking at the first example, the most interesting choices tend to come from the weighing of the damage to the vehicle, and how it will pan out during the likely followup chase sequence against those 4-wheelers. What if those weren't around, though? Then the outcomes seem less interesting - no matter what the roll, the Driver seems to punch through, and it's mostly a question of how damaged the truck is.

Vincent, your illustration of how the MC move puts a lot on the MC's shoulders *and*, furthermore, makes a forced resolution to the action possible makes a lot of sense to me, though. The "choose 1" design is cleaner, leaner, and better-suited to opposed rolls.

Aside from that, my worries are the same as Ebok's, who has articulated them pretty well. In all these examples, our PCs are facing incredible odds - one person against a gang of 40 bad hombres (ahem) with machine guns and scouts on 4-wheelers? Yikes! How does this logic hold up when the action is scaled down? (And it's valid to say that the game is supposed to do Mad Max and that's that, of course.)

Vincent, what's your take on "interfering" on an opposed "Seize" roll? Both make the rolls as they wish, it being a valid option for any PC? If so, what happens on a miss? Or does it require some specific fictional positioning, or some other kind of tradeoff?

In any case, lots to mull over here! Great examples. I'll ponder for a bit - please continue the conversation! The designer me finds this to be a truly fascinating discussion, as does the AW fan. Thank you for that! - and for your patience, Vincent.

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Munin

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #154 on: March 21, 2017, 06:06:31 PM »
I think it's important to say that he was just as unlikely to roll a miss by the 1st Ed rules. The badass gunlugger is the character LEAST affected by the change in the move.
I disagree, and here's why: the odds of success/failure are exactly the same in both systems, but the AW2 version still gives the Gunlugger a not insubstantial chance to effectively succeed on a failed roll. And because the move lacks the "expect the worst" clause, mechanically speaking you don't have the "hard move" option on the unlikely miss to do something like flip his move. Like, yeah, the Gunlugger comes charging up thinking to go all guns-a-blazin', but unexpectedly stumbles into a wicked ambush and is under heavy fire before he knows what's up - which lets the NPCs pick to suffer little harm, inflict terrible harm, and take definite hold of some aspect of the situation (e.g. secure the high ground, or the most likely escape route, or whatever).

The bad-ass Gunlugger, being the most resilient to damage/attrition benefits from this change more than the other playbooks.

You know, in going back and reading through the AW2 section on the battle moves, one thing has jumped out at me - Vincent makes the assumption that by engaging in the battle moves, you are "in battle," and further that a miss means you're still "in battle" (i.e. snowball into more battle moves). But nowhere is that idea actually explicitly communicated in the book. In fact, in the example on p. 168-169, Marie misses and yet chooses to fight her way free - the MC says "You’re bleeding, but you get away. You can hear him gasping somewhere behind you, but you don’t know whether he’s chasing you or letting you go." If it were "You can hear him gasping behind you as he gives chase," then sure, I can definitely see the snowball.

I can definitely see the difference between the AW1 and AW2 versions of this move. And functionally, for most characters it won't make too much of a difference (though it will give them the option of an interesting trade-off, which has potential). The edge cases seem a little troubling, though Vincent doesn't seem particularly bothered by them (maybe my Gunlugger players are a special breed of vicious dickhead, who knows).

I think ultimately our group will hash this one over and see if the table comes to a consensus.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #155 on: March 21, 2017, 07:20:34 PM »
Vincent, what's your take on "interfering" on an opposed "Seize" roll? Both make the rolls as they wish, it being a valid option for any PC? If so, what happens on a miss? Or does it require some specific fictional positioning, or some other kind of tradeoff?

Paul, I'm obviously not Vincent, but one easy hard move if the players fail to interfere is to turn the move back on them: they give the other PC a +1/+2 to their roll.
A harsher (depending on circumstances) hard move could be to take away their stuff: Wolf, you failed your interfere, and Snow manages to knock your knife out of your hand. You do 1-harm instead of 2-harm in the exchange of harm.

We usually don't do mutual interference when two PC's fight because of the extra roll (my players don't like to roll a lot of dice for some reason), but I never disallow it

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Ebok

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #156 on: March 21, 2017, 07:33:25 PM »
I appreciate you weighing in Lumpley, it has definitely helped me to crystalize what is going on and why.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #157 on: March 21, 2017, 07:40:07 PM »
The thing about a Gunlgger who abuses the fact that they're unbeatable is they'll get murdered in their sleep. Not necessarily literally, but metaphorically. NTBFW is great, but only applies in battle, which makes murdering a Gunlugger an excellent option. One sniper shot from a Battlebabe with AP ammo and they're suddenly in very deep trouble. Pissing off anyone with 'Just give me a motive' will also result in serious unpleasantness for the Gunlugger. Even NPCs can easily screw a Gunlugger over by stabbing them before battle is joined and while they aren't wearing armor. Having consequences like this is part of 'making AW seem real', IMO.

And the 'unbeatable' facet of the Gunlugger is a bit overstated in this discussion as compared to other playbooks, even in a straight fight. I mean, a Hardholder with a Large 3-harm gang vs. a Gunlugger with NTBFW, Bloodcrazed, and a 3-harm, AP ammo, weapon is a net 2 Harm to the Hardholder's gang while the Gunlugger takes a net of 3 (both before Seize By Force comes into play). A Battlebabe can easily be doing 5 Harm-ap (via an AP shotgun and Merciless), which makes the exchange with the Gunlugger 4 Harm to the Gunlugger and the same to the Battlebabe before Seize By Force. The SBF advantage goes to the Gunlugger, obviously, but they can't get it down below 3 Harm per exchange, and that means they're as dead as the Battlebabe by the time it's over (2 exchanges in). Heck, any Driver can get something with Massive 3 and slam into them for a minimum of 4 Harm after everything (6 harm ap for hitting someone with a semi is nice).

Now, I'm aware that this is more about how a Gunlugger deals with NPCs, but even there a Large Gang is a very real threat, and even Medium gangs are very capable of messing you up. Or NPCs with custom moves to emphasize them as personally scary in one way or another. I know I've given NPCs stuff that gave the Faceless in my game some trouble, and he grabbed NTBFW as his first 'move from another playbook'. And Bloodcrazed as his second. Adding custom moves to NPCs is always interesting, too, and adding some stuff freaks PCs out in a fun way.

Are Gunluggers tough? Absolutely. They are, in fact, 'the baddest ass', but they aren't actually any harder to kill than anybody with 2 armor and a small gang backing them, and are actually easier to kill than those with larger gangs. It's clearly intended that a small gang vastly better equipped than another (via, say, 4 harm weapons and 2 armor) will annihilate the other gang if they're the same size. The Gunlugger counts as one size category larger, but that's not anywhere close to enough to make them invincible.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 07:53:47 PM by DeadmanwalkingXI »

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Ebok

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #158 on: March 21, 2017, 09:36:50 PM »
You completely missed the point.

This was never about how a Gunlugger rates in PvP. This was never about the ability for a player to get the drop on the Gunlugger. Really its got nothing to do with a Gunlugger at all, they're just the clearest example. This was about what happens to a narrative when the raw harm/armor exceeds the fictional strength of their enemies to a point where the character appears and functions more like a God then a human. Being able to fight through 40+ gangs of people and slaughter all of them for the cost of a few scratches... that used to be settled by going "the character is a fucking badass". However, if those swarms of people firing 3,000 rounds of ammo and a gunlugger walks off with a couple scratches, victorious standing on snake eyes, suddenly all the "awesome" drains down the to the level of oh, I'm a level 20 dude fighting 2,000 4hp goblins. yay...

As soon as the threat of real danger, real harm is gone, the harm hardly matters.

Do note that the above comment is exaggeratory. I think.


Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #159 on: March 21, 2017, 11:28:46 PM »
My point was three things, actually. None of which are quite the one you're saying (though #2 is close, I guess). And was not directed solely at you, but at the conversation in general. Here are the three things I was getting at, summarized:

#1. In response to Munin's point referencing Gunluggers taking advantage of being badass to be 'vicious dickheads' I noted the consequences of that.

#2. The Gunlugger isn't better off than other playbooks to an unbalanced degree. This is the part you're saying was unnecessary, but really, it seems a relevant point to make.

3. Things can still very definitely hurt Gunluggers (who are some of the hardest PCs to hurt, I won't deny), including NPCs and gangs. A large gang with 3 Harm can just flat-out mess a Gunlugger up. Custom NPC moves can mess them up even more. Anyone with AP ammo can wreck them. They can punch above their weight class, but not hard enough to be invincible by any means.

As I mentioned, one of the PCs in my last game was a Faceless with Juggernaut, Rasputin, Beastly, NTBFW, and Bloodcrazed. Plus a willingness to murder the shit out of anyone who pissed him off, and his Mask was part of his armor so he never took that shit off (well, to sleep or have sex he did, but no other time). He walked around with an effective 4 Armor basically all the time. I still scared him and messed him up fairly regularly (not every session or anything, mind you, but not only once or twice either). It's not that hard to do, as long as you're willing to make NPCs badass and interesting and give them corresponding custom moves.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #160 on: March 21, 2017, 11:44:51 PM »
Yeah, let's not get distracted with this whole Gunlugger tangent all of a sudden. Ultimately, there are lots of AW characters who end up with powerful weapons, armour, and moves - and that's what we're talking about here, but, even then, only in reference to a miss on a "Seize" move.

Vincent,

I'd love to hear from you on the mutual Seize roll and interfere (do you do it this way? what happens on a miss, there?).

Also, I find it interesting that, in 2nd Ed, "Seize by Force" is now a move that only applies "in battle". Is there any kind of definition of what "in battle" entails? For instance, we had the example earlier of a Brainer and a Savvyhead brawling over a pain projector... that doesn't sound like a battle, by most definitions of the word.

Thanks, again! This is opening up my thinking on a lot of aspects of move design, and, particularly, how move design then relates to the overall shape the game takes. That's something which is very hard to manipulate in games, generally, but AW gives us a really neat way to fiddle with those things in isolation, which I haven't seen since old-school D&D, perhaps. A lot of room for creative design!


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Munin

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #161 on: March 22, 2017, 06:57:25 AM »
DeamanwalkingXI, the problem with doing what you suggest (increasing the gang size or abilities of the NPCs) is that in order to provide a challenge to the bad-ass Gunlugger, you are using opposition that is straight-up lethal to everyone else. And yes, providing a real threat to the Gunlugger should happen outside of combat - that's a no-brainer and MC 101 "find where they're not in control and push there." At least, it is for experienced MCs. Newbies? Maybe not so much. The point is that for everyone else, violence is a dangerous, risky business with lots of unintended consequences, many of which are mechanical in nature. Unless every group of NPCs you want to throw at the Gunlugger is 1) enormous, or 2) specialized (custom moves, AP ammo, whatever), then for that Playbook (and others like it) that risk is minimized and the unintended consequences are almost purely fictional.

That's not even necessarily bad, but it's something of which people need to explicitly be made aware, especially people new to the system.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #162 on: March 22, 2017, 11:45:36 AM »
Depends on how you make them dangerous. Personally, IME, AP ammo is uniquely dangerous to Giunluggers and other combat specialists. It's a little more dangerous to less combat-focused people, but only a little. And the consequences of using violence remain very real, I mean, collateral damage leaps immediately to mind as a likely one that isn't stopped at all by anything a Gunlugger does.

But yeah, generally a dedicated specialist in combat is pretty hard to take out. And people should indeed be aware of that. I'm just not sure that's a new development. A Gunlugger with NTBFW has always been extraordinarily difficult to kill, that may be a bit more true now, but I'm pretty sure the game acknowledges it as super difficult just about everywhere.

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Munin

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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #163 on: March 22, 2017, 02:17:49 PM »
Right, but absent the direction to make a hard and direct move on a miss, how do you apply that collateral damage? Or are you just saying, "Yeah, sure, you mess those guys up, but you spray so many bullets that [thing you care about] of which you've taken definite hold is somehow fucked up" in response to the Gunlugger, regardless of success or failure? That's putting your bloody fingerprints all over something for sure, but is it being a fan of the character? Are you telling me that if I'm willing to burn my hold to keep someone safe and eat whatever damage comes my way that that someone might still be harmed in the process? That seems kind of raw.

And of course you can apply that collateral damage to other stuff that's not part of the immediate stakes of the conflict (i.e. I'm keeping Person X safe but inadvertently kill Person Y in the process), but that's something that's incredibly situationally-dependent. In most of the examples given, it's not like these conflicts are taking place around a bunch of innocent bystanders. For sure you can add innocent bystanders to increase dramatic tension, but see above under: maybe warn new MCs that this is an issue.

And in terms of responding to these situations, before under AW1 it was easy: miss on SBF? You have failed to do what you set out to do, and can expect a hard, direct move from the MC in response.

Now, miss on SBF under AW2? You might still succeed. But the cost will be higher. Unless you're heavily armored up, in which case it won't. And there's nothing that says the MC can't make a hard move. So maybe he or she will. Or not. But you're still in battle. Probably. Or whatever.

That's what I mean by ambiguity.

For an experienced MC, the change probably won't make a whole lot of difference at the actual table. But I have a hard time seeing how the new way provides any additional clarity for people new to the system.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #164 on: March 22, 2017, 06:10:57 PM »
Right, but absent the direction to make a hard and direct move on a miss, how do you apply that collateral damage? Or are you just saying, "Yeah, sure, you mess those guys up, but you spray so many bullets that [thing you care about] of which you've taken definite hold is somehow fucked up" in response to the Gunlugger, regardless of success or failure? That's putting your bloody fingerprints all over something for sure, but is it being a fan of the character? Are you telling me that if I'm willing to burn my hold to keep someone safe and eat whatever damage comes my way that that someone might still be harmed in the process? That seems kind of raw.

Uh...you use a messy, area, or autofire weapon (and most really nasty weapons are one of the three), and you can expect some collateral damage even on a hit. Not on something you 'take definite hold' of, no, but other stuff remains fair game. You certainly don't need a miss to say that some stuff got messed up in the scuffle, and even if you do, you can probably get the players to make another move or two in response to the battle (reading the sitch to see if it's really over, for example) and note the collateral damage then. That's when the characters notice it, after all.

And of course you can apply that collateral damage to other stuff that's not part of the immediate stakes of the conflict (i.e. I'm keeping Person X safe but inadvertently kill Person Y in the process), but that's something that's incredibly situationally-dependent. In most of the examples given, it's not like these conflicts are taking place around a bunch of innocent bystanders. For sure you can add innocent bystanders to increase dramatic tension, but see above under: maybe warn new MCs that this is an issue.

Well, if you're out in the middle of nowhere with no potential for collateral damage, the consequences have to be at one remove, but these are people you're killing. Their family and friends aren't gonna be happy about that. Nor is their boss. But yeah, it's a lot safer to go all out in the middle of the burn flats than in town. I think that's a good thing, and properly reflects the fictional difference between those two situations.

And in terms of responding to these situations, before under AW1 it was easy: miss on SBF? You have failed to do what you set out to do, and can expect a hard, direct move from the MC in response.

Now, miss on SBF under AW2? You might still succeed. But the cost will be higher. Unless you're heavily armored up, in which case it won't. And there's nothing that says the MC can't make a hard move. So maybe he or she will. Or not. But you're still in battle. Probably. Or whatever.

That's what I mean by ambiguity.

For an experienced MC, the change probably won't make a whole lot of difference at the actual table. But I have a hard time seeing how the new way provides any additional clarity for people new to the system.

See, I'm not sure I agree. I mean, I'm not exactly new, I owned AW 1E, but the first game I ran of it was right after 2E came out (I'd run MotW before that, but that's not quite the same). I actually found the way it works in 2E made combat flow better. I mean, the necessity of an MC move on a miss really does just bring things to a halt, while the 2E method leaves things open for battle moves to flow into each other better. Any one is less risky, but assuming you don't kill everyone immediately, I think the total is generally more dangerous simply because there are more battle moves chained together.

The Harm move is also a bit more front and center, and really, does a lot of what you want and happens even if you take 0 harm. Heck, even a Gunlugger who always takes 0 Harm has a 1/6 chance of being knocked unconscious every time he's hit if the MC feels like it (10+ on the Harm roll...) Really, almost all the logical consequences of a failed Seize By Force are covered by one of the 7+ results on a Harm roll.