Springing custom moves

  • 6 Replies
Springing custom moves
« on: March 09, 2017, 12:02:23 PM »
Hey folks,

Again, I want to thank this community for all the help I've received over the last month or so! I appreciate it! Know that your ideas are showing up in my game and making it better.

Here is another Questions.

In D&D, players wonder unwittingly into traps (if they fail a perception roll, or if their passive perception isn't high enough) and then they have to deal with the consequences.

In AW, can we spring 'custom moves' associated with our threats without player knowledge of the consequences?  I've done it once, and the players liked it, they "Went to one of Cash's parties" (i stole the move from a thread) and didn't end up being the party favour. But they definitely weren't aware and I wasn't sure if "Honesty demands" that I tell players all of the consequences before hand.

here is another move I'm thinking about springing if they continue with narrative (i.e. it makes narrative sense to spring it):

When you have a dance competition with another gang, Roll+ Hot

On a hit - you win
On a 10+,   Choose 2
On a 7-9, Choose 1

*You humiliate the other gang
*You impress the crowd + 1 barter
*They forget about the loss and won't bring it up later
*A patron comes forward

On a miss, it turns into a rumble, and they're ready for it

Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 04:00:19 PM »
I'd say that honesty demands you tell them the consequences (that's why it's an MC move). Remember, you are having a conversation about the events in your shared fictional space, so if something happens only inside your head, it really doesn't happen in the game. The PC:s are not the party unfavourite until you tell (or at least imply) it to the players.

If you do things behind the players back, there is a risk that they feel like you just pulled stuff out of your ass in a bad way (bad as in "Rocks fall, everyone dies.") when they made a bad call because they had no way of knowing it would be a bad call.



  • 415
Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 06:00:22 PM »
If they can make a move, they should know what the move entails. If you don't want to tell them  or don't want to specify something, leave it vaguely open ended in the move. But remember, you definitely don't surprise 2-harm on them. The character might get taken by surprise on a miss, but the player would know what the consequences could be.

If your players are like some of mine however, they'll not like everything being spelled out before hand. In those cases, use your custom moves to help setup up the fiction, not skip through it. • You don't in a perilious position, vs: miss: you fell into the pit trap and take 2-harm. There are no "saving throws" in AW, not really. You'll be hard pressed to get that type of mechanic working fluidly without bending some rules in the process.

Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 11:04:11 PM »

I feel like there was a thread about this not that long ago, but:

* If a certain kind of activity merits a custom move, that should be clear in the fiction; if you are worried you haven't had adequate time to make it clear in the fiction, there's certainly no harm in sharing that the move exists with your players.
* Whether you need to share the entire move with players, or just the trigger conditions, depends entirely on the fiction and the move in question. If it is commonly known what happens to people who 'go exploring in the swamps', then the players might as well see the move. If nobody has ever tried 'opening their brain about Dremmer' before, then I see no reason for the players to know in advance what the consequences might be. They should, however, know that something is up with Dremmer and the psychic maelstrom (see first bullet point.)
* Sometimes you want to let players know a custom move exists so that they are more likely to tailor their play towards it. Sometimes that's a bad idea.

So for your 'dance competition' move -- I would assume that if such a move exists, that means other gangs are already having dance competitions with each other, that this is a part of the setting and that anyone who pays attention to gang politics is aware of the general repercussions of an inter-gang dance battle. This move is a good candidate for total transparency.

However, if you just wrote the move but, in fact, this has never come up in the fiction at all, you should think about a) what that means and b) why you are writing the move. Sometimes you write a custom move because it's clear that something is going to happen, or is already happening regularly, and you want to model its particular consequences. But sometimes you write one because you thought of a cool thing that _could_ happen, maybe only once, almost like a cool plot twist or sudden reveal or whatever. In this case, the custom move is almost a sort of bait -- for yourself, and for the players. But don't just let the move sit there by itself -- it needs to come into the fiction, too, for the bait to be effective, and for the move to feel well-incorporated into the game, instead of a sort of arbitrary one-off (i.e. why are there rules for dance battles but not karaoke competitions?)

Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 11:39:25 PM »
Thanks for your input Daniel Wood. I'll build it into the fiction for sure!



  • 417
Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 08:51:07 AM »
I feel like there was a thread about this not that long ago, but:
There was. Two of them, actually:




But these are actually fairly old. Still worth a read, though.

Re: Springing custom moves
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 10:19:06 AM »
Thanks Munin!