Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force

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Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« on: March 23, 2017, 12:27:26 AM »
So Paul T. You wanted this:

Seize something by Force
When you seize something by force from another Player character, you both roll +Hard.
Exchange harm and:
On a 10+ choose 3.
On a 7-9 choose 2.
On a miss choose 1.

When you seize something by force from a NPC, roll+hard.
Exchange Harm and:
On a 10+ choose 3.
On a 7-9 the MC chooses 1 for the NPCs, and then you choose 2.
On a miss the MC chooses 2 or 3 for the NPCs, and then you choose 1.

When choices directly counter each other, they are canceled out. If Bob seizes the gun by force, but Tom also seizes the gun by force, and both definite and undeniable control of it. This is exactly the same as 2e Apocalypse World for PvP. The hak is the second part.

• The lack of a miss condition as set by 2e remains in place
• AW2 Seize by force is Contested, so NPCs contesting it and getting hold is a more natural state.
• The MC chooses the hold for the NPCs, just as an opposed player would choose his own hold.
• The AW1 miss condition has been effectively elevated in AW2 such that: During battle the MC may always make a move as hard or direct as she likes.

What this means
The Dogsiders Gang run a warehouse full of drugs on the edge of town. Billy the badass decides to go and put a stop to them, seizing the warehouse, and deciding what to do with it afterwards. The Dogsiders are a small gang 2-harm 1-armor. Billy is a violent fucker with 4-harm and 2-armor. Billy goes a knocking:

By default Billy will deal 2-harm to the Dogsiders, and takes 1-harm. Now He rolls seize by force:
On a 10+ He gets to choose all three options uncontested. Whatever he picks he gets. If he wants to suffer less, he takes 0. If he wants the warehouse, its his. If he wants to frighten them off, they're gone for now and freaked out in general. If he wants to hurt them more, then he's got a higher body count.

On a 7-9, We treat this as an opposed roll where the Dogsiders "miss". They choose 1 option they focus their attention on. If its surviving, they suffer less harm. If it's keeping the warehouse, then seize definite hold. etc. After they declare what they do, Billy now get's to choose two. He can choose from 3 of them uncontested, or he can spend one of his choices to contest the hold of the NPCs. (effectively canceling that option for both of them). So if both seize the warehouse, the MC will describe how both have taken positions inside, or how neither have control over it any longer and push there.

On a Miss, We treat this as an opposed roll "as if the Dogsiders hit a 7-9" or if they're really badass and it makes sense fictionally, "as if they hit a 10+". This provides the "reverse the move" rules for those of us that need a pushing miss condition. They go first so the Player is aware of the harm and the stakes and can make his choices intelligently.

This has the same effect as "choose one and prepare for the worst" except:
• It doesn't break Vincent's rule that only basic moves have open ended miss conditions
• It remains faithful to how the move already works in PvP
• It doesn't force an MC to maybe make a different hard move, since hard moves in AW2 don't exist, and they should make a move after this anyway (probably a dangerous one because they're in Battle).
• If the MC chooses 2, the player can counter it with 1, or choose another at the risk of 2 used against them. They get the advantage over AW1 in that they know what the harm is before they choose, which I believe is a more fair and equitable option.
• It allows the MC to make a situation worse even if the player hits, so long as that worse doesn't negate the options. And the NPC's getting an option might actually provide a great deal more context for what that worse could look like.
• This is a more nuanced move, harder to predict exactly how it will come out. And the possibility of things not going perfectly on the 7-9 emphasize the importance of having a high Hard. (something that is less important in Aw2)

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 12:50:05 AM »
Ah, now I see what you were getting at!

Making the Seize... move function against NPCs in the same way that the PvP version works is an interesting idea.

I will think on it!

I'm not sure I'm sold on the necessity of some of your criteria, or AW 2E not having hard moves (is that true?), but those are details.

One concern with this move:

How does the MC choose those options?

For example, if the MC is choosing them somewhat "in-character", it could mean that NPCs really really determined to hold something can only have it taken away from them on a 10+.

This allows, in other words, an MC to deny a player's success on a 7-9 (cancelling out their choice to "take definite hold"), which worries me a little.

For instance, in the example we had in the other thread, Gremlin trying to break through a blockade, she couldn't do it until she rolled a 10+. I'm not sure that sits well with me.

Interesting, in any case!

What do others think?

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 01:16:03 AM »

Can you give of an example of how you feel "Choose 1, and be prepared for the worst" might not work well in play? What would it look like, in practice?



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 12:41:23 PM »
Apocalypse World doesn't have hard MC moves, so you'll never find the rules for them in the text.

It's true that the move doesn't work the way it used to. It puts the worst potential consequences of a miss off into the snowball, instead of cutting them straight in via "be prepared for the worst." There have always been a number of moves that work this way, and now seizing by force has joined them.

The reason for the change is that the move has a new role to fill, a new place at the head of the new battle moves. The snowball has also changed.

Ebok, "moves snowball" has always included the possibility of disruptive, frustrating, arguably unfair moves on a hit. That's not a change from 1st Ed.

AW doesn't actually have hard moves. We've attributed this label from the miss condition "The MC can make a move as hard or direct as she likes". Thus Hard moves, happen on a miss. As you can always make those "moves" as the fiction and rules allow, it is no longer necessary to make them universally on a miss, instead we should let the fiction determine what moves are made.

Our attachment to failure on a miss (not necessarily a hard move) is what this hack is addressing, and making missing bad for everyone equally doesn't apply as written in the AW2 version of the battle moves. We've both agreed that contested PvP rolls work better, and I will get around to giving you an example of that. I'm interested in the idea of NPCs getting "hold" in that contest as well.

Seize by force isn't "take definite hold of it on a hit, and choose some other" the player might be seizing by force as a show of force, and their priority might be to suffer less or inflict more, not take definite hold. Your concern that a player's 7-9 roll might feel like they missed is just a perspective change.

It's no longer binary. You didnt, definitely take hold or definitely not take hold anymore. There is a third value, neither of you have definite hold. In our example, the gang and Gremlin both choosing take definite hold means that maybe Grmelin is through, mostly, but she's not "past" them yet. The 4-wheelers are on her right now, and the fire from the camp is still aggressively blasting her.

Alernatively, we could use that contested option to set the action. Instead of, "Okay Gremlin, now you're through but" we can zoom in. "Gremlin, you smash into the first turret and smash it into pieces, but a group of 4-wheelers come out from around an rock outcrop and start laying heavy fire into you. You were forced to turn towards cover, but that has you driving right through the length of the camp. They're all scrambling to get out of your way and some are firing pop shots on you. The 4-wheelers are coming up right behind as well but you can see another couple routes past them. What do you do?

Dont skip the action to "You are definitely through" instead "you're not definitely through, but you're definitely in the thick of it now", and go from there. To provide the 3rd option, Gremlin doesnt seize through, and the gang does seize the defense of the blockade, this this case maybe we say Gremlin hits the blockage, and is pushed back and we start the action with her heading back the way she came purhaps being chased by 4wheelers.

In Sum:
Seize Definite Hold: The Player has what they picked right now, we describe them getting it and go from there.
Contested Hold: Both parties have part of what they picked right now, we describe them in the middle of fighting over it, with the condition and possession of the thing as stakes.
Failed to Seize definite Hold: The Enemies have definite hold over the something, and we describe the player failing to get it and go from there.



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 12:50:19 PM »
I do understand the potential for the enemy to contest (perhaps repeatedly) the only option you want, and thusly making 7-9 not feel like a hit. However, Seize by force is Do Battle, not just seize by force. It is about exchanging harm, morale, and fighting over something all at once.

If it was merely taking something by force, it should be written more like Act Under Fire, 10+ you have it free and clear, 7-9, you have it but it cost you something, miss, well shit.

In the case of Gremlin's attack. If her priorty was getting through and not doing harm. Seems to me like smashing through would be Act Under Fire anyway. Since she is rolling Seize by Force, that means her priority is not just getting through under fire, but also running some fuckers over with her massive truck. So if she only gets part of what she wants (running them over) and not getting through, that's a fine result for a 7-9
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 12:56:17 PM by Ebok »

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 01:17:30 PM »
I hear you, Ebok.

However, my fear with this is that it reduces combat, once again, to a hit points game. Remember that the 7-9 is the most common outcome, and low Hard characters will rarely roll a 10+. This means that if you and I are fighting over something we both want, the winner will be decided not so much by the rolls but by who gets killed or decides to quit first. A definite "seizing" of the object becomes much, much less likely, and, indeed, could rarely happen in such situations. (At the opposite end of the spectrum, the current 2nd Ed Seize move makes it pretty much guaranteed for a character who is determined to do so.)

I'm also hoping you'll tell me what you imagine the "failure condition" for "choose 1 and prepare for the worst" looks like in play.



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 01:28:34 PM »
I agree with Ebok in that this makes SBF look a lot more like acting under fire. Having the outcome be contestable on a 7-9 is functionally identical to a "worse outcome" on a 7-9. I've always interpreted a worse outcome to mean that you get some of what you want, but not all of what you want.

If you hit a 7-9 on SBF under the system described in this thread, you might still be able to inflict terrible harm and suffer little harm. In the context of engaging in battle, that's still a success. That's like saying, "OK, sure, let them keep control of their blockade - but I'm gonna make these fuckers pay for barring my way."



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2017, 02:14:59 PM »
Paul T... AW combat is always an HP game until you make it human. That is, until you have one of the badguys step out after the battle starts and show that's he's got your favorite person tied up with a gun to their head.

The above statement is actually a good launching point to answer you other question. Why did I turn away from the "choose 1 but be prepared for the worse." Firstly there is the same old aw1 bumpiness where PvP is concerned and the MC doesnt want to make a move in the middle of two players contesting the roll because it might distract from the action. But for the other reason: Let's set a scene.

Joe has established his harm against the gang. He and his guys will suffer 2-harm, but deal 4-harm to the other side.
He makes his seize by force roll for the purpose of killing them, and seizing the survivors as hostages.

Always: He deals 4-harm and shatters the opposing gang.
10+ He get's his hostages, they're all afraid for their lives, and he and his gang suffers 1-harm instead.
7-9, He get's his hostages, and they're all afraid for their lives.
Miss, He get's his hostages.

prepare for the worst. Okay, I could turn this back on him and deal 1-more harm, the gang suffers less harm, and his boys are the ones that are shaken. So the result of this is Joe &co. taking lots of harm and them getting pushed back with their hostages. Or I could have the boss of the other side, scared out of his wits, pull out Joe's daughter from the bullet riddled crates, maybe in a suicide vest and say, "STOP STOP STOP SHOOTING! I'm leaving! Let me go and your daughter doesn't get blown to bits!" (sure this might not work out for this guy, but hey, we put Joe on the spot, threatening to take away something he cares about.)

However. Because the player see's prepare for the worst, and then associates the result with a bad thing happening. He will come to assume this bad thing will not happen if he hit the roll. But wait... why's that? There is no fictional reason why the boss doesn't do this following the hit either. Sure the Joe on a 10+ killed or captured just about everyone, but a freaked the fuck out boss survivor with his daughter could still stand up and do this thing.

Or hell, it would also be fine if Joe didn't know his daughter was there, that he finds her bleeding out on the floor beside the corpses of her captors (say we established her presence there with another player). Now he is faced with the threat of His girl dying (possibly from his own bullets). Probably a far more intense result. But, what's the point of saying be prepared for the worst, if it is fictionally appropriate for the worst to have happen anyway?

What if him hitting with a 10+ is why the gang took enough damage to hit the girl too? What if it was the hit that caused this to happen? Should it not happen because we're allowing the roll to dictate that nothing bad happens next?

No. The fiction tell us what's at stake, the roll tells us where the player is in control. The only thing that "prepare for the worst" miss condition does for us as MC's is that we can turn the move back on the player. And the point of that is to complicate the victory that seize by force represents. The reason I abandoned the choose one and prepare, is that I prefer Lumpley's changes here, especially after spending so much time lately running different senarios.

Also Ive always been unhappy that seize by force 7-9 hit was basically an absolute win period. The hack above plays well with the AW2 changes, shares the same (simple) behavior as PvP, and makes hitting a 10+ super rewarding against NPCS, rather just slightly better. It's very clean and does everything I want it to do.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 02:45:50 PM by Ebok »

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 03:04:59 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out my feelings about the overall design, but I just wanted to point out this little detail:
On a 7-9 the MC chooses 1 for the NPCs, and then you choose 2.
On a miss the MC chooses 2 or 3 for the NPCs, and then you choose 1.
Having the MC pick first is definitely the right way to do it. This keeps the ultimate choice in the players' hands. Like, I roll 7-9, you pick "the gang gets +1 harm," and now I've got the choice whether to mitigate the damage or make it an all-out bloodbath on both sides instead.

Quick question, also: how do you interpret the MC choosing "impress, dismay, or frighten your enemy" for the NPCs?

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 03:10:52 PM »
I see where you're coming from now.

If you buy into the premise that there are "no hard moves" anymore, or your idea that hard moves can be made without warning in battle, that position makes sense. I haven't read the 2nd Ed, so I don't know how it's presented there, but to me it makes fairly little sense. The distinction between "hard" and "soft" moves (even though it IS a blurry line) has a been a tremendously useful one to me and to everyone I've played PbtA games with, indeed to the point where it's one of the basic things which makes the game work. We consider it a Principle of play, in other words.

It's not *just* about the hardness of the move, either. That's a useful guideline and principle, particularly for people new to the game. (Presumably a super-genius MC can handle a game just fine without it, but that says more about their skills than the strength of the design.)

The other aspect is the flow of the conversation of play. Basic Moves, in AW, very clearly tell you who talks next, and what to expect. Doing away with that sounds like a difficult proposition, to me. Again, it's a really useful aspect of PbtA play.

I'm also not sure why the same logic wouldn't apply to ALL Basic Moves. Should we remove their "expect the worst" clauses as well, then? If not, why not?

I also disagree with your assertion that "AW combat is always an HP game". In our games, we regularly have situations where seizing definite hold is tremendously important and immediately impactful. For instance, a character is trying to press the "launch" button on the buried ICBM nukes we unearthed, and you're trying to get to the console before he does. Or someone is trying to jump off the barge into the water, escaping from their imprisonment. Or, more simply, I'm trying to take away your gun before you shoot someone.

Those are not always "seize by force" situations, but they often can be - as in Vincent's example of Gremlin trying to break through the blockade.

In all those cases, it seems to me that one character taking "definite hold" is a highly important resolution. With the original rules, on a hit, that happens, and on a miss, it's up to the MC - but it most likely will not. With your suggested move here - for all its strengths otherwise, which I recognize - my fear is that such a situation can ONLY be resolved on a 10+, since, otherwise, both parties are likely to simply choose to contest that hold (even on a miss). That's what I mean by "HP game" - the dice almost never tell us, in this case, whether so-and-so managed to get to the console.

That remains an issue with opposed rolls, but somehow I'm much more satisfied with the "HP game" coming into play with two PCs attacking each other, since it's a dramatic situation which will lead to one side stepping down or killing the other - all interesting outcomes.

I agree, however, that hard moves (or any moves!) on a miss is a terrible fit for opposed rolls.

Let me know if I'm making any sense to you. Thanks for the fascinating discussion, in any case!



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 03:49:16 PM »
I disagree with the assertion that "there are no hard moves in AW2." The text in the MC chapter about moves, set-up, and golden opportunities is almost completely unchanged from AW1 to AW2. Here is the important bit:
However, when a player’s character hands you the perfect opportunity on a golden plate, make as hard and direct a move as you like. It’s not the meaner the better, although mean is often good. Best is: make it irrevocable.

When a player’s character makes a move and the player misses the roll, that’s the cleanest and clearest example there is of an opportunity on a plate. When you’ve been setting something up and it comes together without interference, that counts as an opportunity on a plate too.

Even moves that have defined miss conditions aren't exempt from this. For instance, let's say Cypher the Brainer casually brushes his violation glove across the back of Joe's Girl's hand and attempts to pull in-brain puppet strings. He misses the roll with a 5. The move has a miss-clause - Cypher inflicts 1-harm (ap) on Joe's Girl. But I think it's also totally in-bounds for the MC to say, "Joe's Girl recoils from you as if struck. Suddenly bleeding from the tear-ducts in both eyes, she screams, 'Gah!!! I won't do it!!! Get out of my head!!!' Everybody in the room turns their attention to the two of you, including Joe. What do you do?" This is me putting Cypher in a spot. Given that Joe is presumably a humorless, violent asshole, it's a pretty dangerous spot. The move is both hard and fictionally appropriate.

That's why I tend to be in the "pick 1 and prepare for the worst" camp - because I'm probably going to fuck with you on a miss anyway. At least this way everyone involved knows it's coming.  ;)

I like this hack, though. It's definitely interesting, and I like the way it makes SBF feel more like AUF (which is probably my favorite of the basic moves just for its sheer flexibility).



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 10:24:02 PM »
Munin: Lumpley has already said definitively that there have never been officially defined "hard moves".

I disagree with the assertion that "there are no hard moves in AW2."

Don't get sidetracked by the words "hard move", I'm simply disavowing the term, not the narrative equilivent. I need to do so, because I associate it with a miss inherently now, for years I have not made a "hard" move unless they missed, which in retrospect was idiotic. My statements above DO NOT suggest that an MC shouldn't make a move, nor that that move shouldn't be hard / aggressive / and irrevocable, simply that the fiction should dictate if we make that action, not the text of the move.

( ...I deleted some unimportant rambling here... )

This is the important bit:

... when a player’s character hands you the perfect opportunity on a golden plate ...

Your in-brain puppet strings example is a perfect example. I fully agree with the move you suggested after this examples miss. We are definitely provided a golden opportunity when a player deals harm to someone they didn't intend to hurt. However, note: This move does not have the text be prepared for the worst, and does not need it for us to see the opportunity there and use it.

The text be prepared for the worst on some of the moves are saying, that regardless of the fiction, when you miss a roll on those moves, something bad will happen. This isn't needed on seize by force, because they're already suffering harm (an opportunity), dealing harm (an opportunity), we've plenty of hold adding to the stakes (potential opportunity) and a followup harm move (more potential opportunity). This action has immediate fictional consequences and motivations all of which provide more opportunities to make a move against them. If you make it meaner because they miss to reinforce that? All the better! Using the hack above you should still do this, even with the miss condition as listed.

The only thing putting be prepared for the worst on a miss for seize by force does is: declare that something bad must always happen on a miss, and implies that something bad should not happen on a hit. This doesn't add any value to us or the story. Your quote already covers part of how the principals demand we act. The move not restating this doesn't make those principals any less prevalent.

Paul T:  Someone trying to seize a button by force is a bad use case for seize by force. In the past it might have been an okay choice, but in AW2 is most certainly is not. The clearest example is this: If a move is a good descriptor, it should work in PvP too. In PvP they can prevent the other form pushing the button so long as they're alive. God damn. Look at that, with hold on a miss its always contested period, meaning this is simply a test of HP. This is evidence that we shouldn't rely on this move to solve the problem, not evidence that AW1's move was better (they do things differently now). Consider the case where an enemy wants to push two buttons, and the player wants to push two others, perhaps in this senario: they are fighting to seize all of the controls by force. Seize by force might work here, because if neither of them get the thing, that's actually a partial success!

...seizing definite hold is tremendously important and immediately impactful.
Sure it is! And in those cases, you might need to hit a 10+ to fend off an enemy who is just as dedicated to getting the thing. Especially since they're suffering more damage to do so! AW combat does revolve around Armor and Harm, they're basically defined by it. But you don't just have to bash someone in a battle, you've got a whole slew of battle moves now, and whole bunch of fictional pressures you can use too.

Seize by force is engaging with your enemies to achieve not one but all of the stated objectives. It is useful for describing battle, not tug of war or a race. People punching each other and wrestling over a button using seize by force should be an HP based thing. If they wanted to skip knocking the other person out or killing them, they should go for the button instead and Act under Fire. This is doubly true because in the case of the button it is not about total seizing control (you really don't need that...), its about just getting enough time to smack it once.

If you have poeple racing to get to the button, and smacking and punching each other along the way... I would suggest the following:
Although a Simple Act under fire could work vs NPCs, you can even decide that they trade harm as established while doing so. But if you want something more clear, write it up:

Violently race to claim a prize
When you violently race to claim the prize, exchange harm and roll+Hard.
On a 10+ you get there first, choose one.
On a 7-9, you get there first, but they choose one.
On a miss, you don't get there first and they choose one.

Against a player, both of you exchange harm and roll+Hard.
On a hit, you get there, and who ever rolls highest get's there first.
If you beat your opponent by 3 or more,  choose one.
If you both miss, be prepared for the worst.

choices: • suffer less harm, • inflict more harm
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 11:38:01 PM by Ebok »

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 10:52:45 PM »

We might have to agree to disagree in this case. I don't agree with anything you're writing in that last post, so we must be working from totally different assumptions. For instance, if using "seize by force" isn't appropriate for two characters fighting over a thing they both want... I'm not sure what I'd use it for, at all.

Munin's quote from the text explains the idea of "hard moves" (even if it doesn't explicit call them out this way) very well. I don't really see an alternate interpretation of that text.

I'm also reading the "in-brain puppet strings" example differently. All the MC is doing there is describing the results of the PC's action - the move itself includes all those details (it's "1-harm ap loud", where "loud" is explicitly about the victim making some noise!); the MC here is simply describing what that looks like in the fiction. You could argue that "they all look at you" is an MC move (and I would agree, it's "put someone in a spot"), but it could just as easily have been omitted, if, say, another character was ready to take action.

So, I don't know! Not seeing it. I don't particularly see what your custom move would add to the game, or why it's necessary (or what we're "choosing" from).

I'd still love to see an example of how "choose 1 and prepare for the worst" could go wrong. (Because I suspect you're on to something, and I want to know what it is you're thinking or seeing!)



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Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2017, 10:55:03 PM »
It's fighting over a thing they both want to have definite control over. Not having the opportunity to tap a button. If you want definite control over the gun, there are three states: I have it. Neither of us have it. He has it. This is the requirement for the seizing something by force in my proposed hack.

If you are trying to prevent someone from getting past you (to hit a button), the states could be: I stopped them completely, They're on top of me and we're both closer to the button, they got past me and hit the button. Flip that for your example if you REALLY wanted to use it. 10+ I hit the button. 7-9, We're fighting and I'm very close to the button, miss: I'm no where near the button.

The equilivent states for the other versions of seize by force are the same.
To defend something by force, the states might be: I defended them completely, I defended them mostly, I failed to defend them.

The reason I haven't given you that example yet, is I was hoping by showing you something that achieves that AND more.
I wouldnt have to. I'll do it tomorrow maybe.

The reasons it under performs are subtle, but I'll attempt to be concise about it.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 11:07:25 PM by Ebok »

Re: Alternative Hack for AW2 Seize by Force
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2017, 11:06:38 PM »

I'm not a fan, for what it's worth. PCs and NPCs have different kinds of agency in AW, and this move blurs that line too much for me. Sure, in a very particular case, I might interpret a miss on a move and 'turn the move back' in the hands of an NPC -- but as a general rule, I am not interested in having to make mechanical choices on behalf of my NPCs in this way.

Similarly, I am absolutely not interested in my NPCs being able to block access to a thing the PC is choosing to seize by force, and the fact that the PC can now do that on a miss is not enough of a problem to make me want to overturn that basic impulse. The PC's actions and the PC's choices drive the game, and I don't really see many advantages here, that make up for having that stop being true, even in a very specific circumstance like this. And once you remove the 'take definite hold' choice from the NPC's list, all you're left with is harm. Harm works so differently for PCs and NPCs that, again, trying to create some sort of symmetry in their choices regarding it seems like a mistake.