Determining whether or not a situation is charged

  • 5 Replies
Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« on: March 16, 2017, 09:55:40 AM »
So on my first game of Apocalypse World (write up link below) there was a scene where the Savvyhead had hired a group of simple laborers to scrap a nearby location for some resources to use to improve his garage. I used the move "Announce future badness" and said that they could hear the sounds of an engine roar and tires squealing, a car approaching.

The player wanted to know whether or not this was a charged situation, I told the player that it was charged but I wasn't sure what move to ask him to use for the character to use to determine the danger. I had the player roll "Read a sitch" which he failed, so I told him that his character assumed that the car was a patrol from the nearby hardhold that he has a good relationship with, so his character wasn't concerned with the car. When the car pulled up and some strangers got out, it caught his character off guard. The practical implication being that he was caught flat-footed and had to be responsive to the aggression.

He ended up telling his laborers to take what they had and run, I told him that the risk of doing that would be that he would act under fire and might lose some of his workers to the thugs in their slowed escape. He was willing to take that risk and ended up losing one laborer to the thugs.

This scene hasn't set well with me. I feel like there should've been a better way to determine whether or not the car was a threat. Thoughts or suggestions are welcome! Our second session is coming up next week.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 11:29:20 AM by redbeard »

Re: Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 11:50:21 AM »
I think after your announce future badness move, I would have either.

1. Pushed the "read a sitch Question"  i.e. Would you like to read the sitch?
2. or asked, "What do you do?"

With the failed roll I would have had the car careen towards the PC in an attempt to run him over! 

i.e. The car careens towards you, iii is behind the wheel and well, you know, it's iii. He wants to kill you for what you did to his sister (what did you do to his sister?). What do you do?

(then an act under fire move might be appropriate)

Just my two cents. I'm new too and don't have a good grasp on much yet.

Re: Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 12:06:45 PM »
A quick rule for determining if something is a threat - Everything is a threat!

Re: Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 01:24:27 PM »
Yeah. I guess your comment made me shift how I look at what I did in game.

The savvyhead was doing what they were doing (gathering scrap).

I introduced a threat, making the situation charged.

Savvyhead tried to "read the sitch" and failed, so I made my MC move by having the danger appear and have an upper hand on the savvyhead.

By "upper hand" I mean presenting them with a hard choice. 1. You can drop the salvage and run or 2. keep the salvage but act under fire.

So by the savvyhead failing the "read the sitch," the MC made a move of "Tell them the possible consequences and ask."



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Re: Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 08:53:45 PM »

Choose one. I'll answer it.

Tell them about the car, make sure to answer their question, then tell them that maybe they only found this out when that car they thought was just racing past, instead peels out from around a massive pile of scrap and starts unloading bullets at your scavengers. Everyone is carrying too much to move quick, so most start dropping their loads and diving for cover. A voice yells out, THIS IS OUR LAND SCAVERS! What do you do?



  • 415
Re: Determining whether or not a situation is charged
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 09:04:42 PM »
You dont need to have them act under fire automatically or always.

First find out what it is they want to be doing in response, give them the fictional move.

And if they say something crazy like, they're going to charge the bullets with a crowbar and screaming ARR-ARGLE-BARGLE!!, say well, that's going to hurt. You'll be acting under fire if you try it, and you'll probably suffer 2-harm unless you're using cover. Are you sure that's what you want to do? If they say something smarter like, I'm going to drop the goods and make around the side trying to get into position to hit them back, maybe scare them off, cool, they act under fire to get into position, if not, NOW they're the ones being seperate / chased off. Or hard bargain might be taking some harm with them too, or giving up on that whole idea.

If all they wanted to do was try to run off with an arm full of scrap, maybe they answer is just SURE! You got what you grabbed and take off running, but most of your scavengers are running off hands free and maybe "bob" starts to scream when a bullet rips through his knee and junk goes flying every which way. What do you do?

And if it's Escape, ask yourself, okay, is that car really focused on this PC? Or the land? Or is chasing them off the objective. They've got wounded to interrogate unless the PC saves the guy, so... the snowball is still in play. Maybe that's enough for now and you let your guy escape, and you've got a bunch of scavengers who might be hurt, mad, and are most assuredly afraid. That's a good immediate place to pick up, round a few corners or hell back at the trucks / back in the hold / whatever just so long as the car threat as past, maybe whereever feels like a safe place to recoup.