Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction

  • 5 Replies
Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:42:22 PM »
Hi community. How do you deal with the wealth move, in the fiction, more specifically with famine?

The way I deal with the wealth move does not satisfy me. Generally I start the fiction with the  wealth move, like,  "you got 7-9, gain your surplus and, what is your need? Famine? Ok there's shortage in food and water". But I realize now that the move is not about starting the situation of shortage, but setting it in the background. More like, "there's been a shortage of food and water for a month. Everybody's starving."

Still I'm not sure how to bring the fiction to life for the famine. Would anyone mind to share her practices? Please talk about description, fiction, these stuffs, when the player got a 10+, a 7-9, a 6-. How do play the result, how do you set it in the fiction. As Flashback ? As played scenes ? If the famine is not resolved at the end of the session (ours are short: 2h max), how do you deal with it the next session? Passing time ?

Thanks for sharing!



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Re: Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 03:01:00 PM »
I handle it by saying that all the keys words are always true. If you might have a food shortage, then you ALWAYS have a food storage, but JUST BARELY you're making do for now if you pass. So like, all of the things that can go wrong in the hard-hold are constantly in a state of wrongness. If someone misses a roll, then whatever that shortage is, just left some people, or a lot of people desperate.

Example. If you've got a hardhold and the shortage is food. Maybe the place relies on a shipment of food that is extorted from the surrounding farms and that gets the poorest of your people by. Or maybe there is some type of processing that can treat the meats of the animals you hunt and kill but'll poison you without it. Either way, when push comes to shove, You're always describing the people on edge.

Then the move gets missed for the week. Something goes wrong, maybe a truck didn't show up with the food, was held up, robbed, or just late. Maybe the machinery broke down that was handling the processing, and now food that was there suddenly takes a dip.

The thing is you've got two parts of the story here. The first part is where everything is scarce, so even when things are good, they're still horrible. So like people don't have stockpiles of food laying around unless being hungry or famine isn't on the list of things that could go wrong. The second part is that anything that goes wrong this session doesn't necessarily need the player's attention. It might be fine next session. The people that the hardholder has working on these things are acting to fix it without instruction. That could also mean a chunk of the guards are out looking for a truck, or the entire scrapper faction is consumed with the task of repairs and looking for parts... You only need to inject the Hardholder himself into this to manage the crisis, not to solve it.

Some sessions cover weeks, other sessions cover hours. It could be really weird if a player just fixed the machinery themselves, ends this session, and then it immediately misses the next move, so it broke down once again... It can also we weird if something like a famine happens one session, and a few hours later the next session says nope never mind we're good. With that in mind, if something TRULY UNFIXABLE goes down, make sure you put the hardhold's leadership in question so the wealth move auto fails until they find some workaround or solution.

But really, the things that go wrong aren't so much for the hardholder to fix, but instead, they are the background to describe what the problems facing the people of the settlement are. So like if people are hungry, maybe they're fighting for food. Maybe crime spikes. Maybe important NPCs that have the money to get food anyway (like players or people with the jingle around town who saved something just in case, or had a connection to something just for them), start getting attacked. Maybe the Hardholder has to keep his engineers alive, because some of the riffraff are trying to kill him.

It is assumed, I think, that people with the risk of going hungry probably aren't eating every day as it is. If the hardholder finds a way to SOLVE (even just for now) the issues, then remove those weaknesses from the holding. At the same time, always be willing to add new custom ones that fit the fiction.

Does that help any?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 03:24:18 PM by Ebok »

Re: Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 11:54:12 AM »
That's some great stuff from Ebok.

I'll make a briefer point, from a simpler perspective, to add to it:

Take a look at how Vincent describes this in the "Surplus and Want" chapter of the book.

These are the rules for holdings and followers who come to be in surplus or in want.

MC, your job as always is to take these and make them come true. Address yourself to the characters, not the players; misdirect; have names for people in the holding and among the followers, and use them. “Your followers’ society is breaking down” is not the thing to say. “In the night, Marser chops Jackabacka’s hand off because he wants Jackabacka’s 3year-old for his own. Jackabacka’s in your tent now, bloody-stumped, he’s sobbing like a little kid.”

That's really pretty key, here.

Remember that your job as the MC is to be making moves. On paper, maybe it looks like the Wealth move is supposed to be some kind of compass of the state of events in the holding, but, as you say, that doesn't really work. Why does it flip-flop from session to session, for instance?

Instead, think of it this way:

Normally, you make moves in play to set yourself up for harder moves (like "announcing future badness"). When a holding is in "want", though, you don't need to "set up" anything: that's a "golden opportunity" to go ahead and make a hard move.

So, an active "want" just means you have a green light to go ahead and bring to light some bad problem in the holding - no one's going to be feeling caught off-guard, because everyone can see it came from the move's outcome.

Now, to actually *make* that move, look at your threats and *their* associated moves. There's no "describe the hunger of the populace" move. Instead, you must misdirect: pick a threat, let it follow its impulse and make a move. "Everyone's hungry" is so-so. "Marser cut off Jackabacka's hand," now that's a good move.

If, in the next session, the wealth roll is a 10+, then great - there are no new complications. Like Ebok says, though, that doesn't mean no one's hungry. Just means it's not a current problem right now. And, yeah, the consequences in the fiction still hold: Jackabacka is still missing his hand, so what are you gonna do about it?

Re: Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 10:10:41 AM »
This is great stuff, thank you!



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Re: Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 09:35:29 AM »
Yeah. Pretty much.  I'm describing the backdrop, how to frame the move in the fiction, the prompt. Paul provides an example of how to take that prompt and make a move that sells it in the fiction.

It may help to think of the holding itself as a landscape threat, that may provide you other avenues to express the wants being shown. You should also give a population an affliction (or multiple) to describe the surplus or wants of the holding. These might help you frame what to do next.

Re: Hardholder's wealth move in the fiction
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 12:23:28 PM »
It wouldn't hurt to brainstorm a few possible moves you can make for each "want" which could potentially come into effect. If you get a "miss", in particular, you'll have to think fast, and having a few ideas rattling around your brain could come in handy.

To brainstorm, as Ebok says, look at your threats. I'd even randomly roll up some combinations - "Ok, +desperation is in effect and... a 3 means Marcer's gang. What does that look like?" That will give you some ideas to start.