Mundane's Oops ability?

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Mundane's Oops ability?
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:17:15 AM »
I'm a first time Keeper and I've got a player who has chosen the Mundane archetype. I'm pretty comfortable with all the rules as they lay but was a bit unsure on how Oops! works in the course of a game. Can they just keep using the ability over and over whenever they're in a new place/situation? Or even over and over in the course of being in the same place? If so, it almost feels overpowered in terms of giving away the mystery portion of the game/weaknesses of the Monster and I'm a little nervous that it could lead to a fairly short game.

What advice would you give a Keeper about letting a player use the Oops! ability, preferably without taking away that player's agency?

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Munin

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Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 11:01:57 AM »
In general, PbtA games aren't really "I do it again" kinds of games, so using the same move over and over isn't really the intent. For instance, take the basic move "Investigate a Mystery" as an example: the explicit trigger is "when you investigate a mystery..." You make your roll and get clues, and that mechanism represent you examining the clues before you to the best of your ability. But that's it, you've investigated the mystery. You've exhausted all of the leads and followed every available line of inquiry. You don't get to just roll again because the conditions that trigger the move aren't met. You'll note that there's no move for "when you reinvestigate a mystery..." You've learned everything you're going to learn - until you're presented with a new mystery, that is!

This is how the Keeper controls the pace of the story, how the underlying mystery gets revealed little by little as the PCs get more information. Otherwise, if you could just keep rolling and re-rolling the move, you'd quickly exhaust all of the clue options and know exactly what you're dealing with. But that's not how MotW works, because it's driven by the narrative rather than the dice.

This will feel weird to people used to traditional RPGs where you keep making "search" rolls until you find the secret door. PbtA games are explicitly not that. So yeah, take a good hard look at the trigger for "Oops!" and make absolutely sure it's applicable before having the player roll anything.

Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 11:39:30 PM »
Thanks so much! This really helps clarify a lot of stuff I wasn't even aware of, appreciate the assistance.

It's both myself and my players' first MOTW game, so there will be a lot of adjustment.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 11:47:43 PM by Nervy Banzai Kid »

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Munin

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Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 11:53:13 AM »
No worries!

Have you read Apocalypse World? If not, I highly recommend it, as it explains a lot of core concepts that many of the follow-on hacks sort of take for granted.

Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 08:07:49 PM »
I have not! Thanks for the tip! Although I may not have time to read/ability to purchase it before my game tomorrow, I'll make sure to seek it out.

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Munin

  • 401
Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 12:57:21 PM »
Good luck! And let us know how it went!

Re: Mundane's Oops ability?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2020, 12:42:06 AM »
Thanks! It went really well, the Oops thing only came up once and worked organically, so I was worried for nothing really. I may have gotten a little overzealous trying to run a scenario I created for my first game but everyone had fun and didn't seem to mind that character creation stretched things out to two sessions. Looking forward to part 2 soon!