Seize by force in 2ed

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Seize by force in 2ed
« on: September 19, 2020, 01:01:26 PM »
I'm currently reading through the second edition of Apocalypse World and I was very surprised by the changes made to Seize by force.

In the current edition, even if you miss, you still have one hold and with that you can take the option to take undeniable control of something. This makes me worried for two reasons.

First, taking control of something is typically the main intent of Seize by Force, so actually with this move you are guaranteed to reach your intent whenever you physically fight for something. This essentially defies the purpose of rolling dice and make things predictable.

Second, since harm in AW is quite predictable, Seize by Force seems to rob physical conflict of any drama. If I want to keep Demmer's gang out of our holding, I can simply name this as my intent and seeing that my armour allows me to withstand damage of their shotguns, I can essentially skip the fight, because I know that I will keep the holding secure and my roll will at most change the harm taken by one.

Am I wrong? Does it play out better in practice? At this point, I'm inclined to houserule this move so that we either:
- remove this one hold from a failed roll of Seize by force;
- not allow you to spend that hold to take control of the object;
- or upgrade one of the options from reducing harm by one to actually denying any harm at all.


Would things break? Do I miss something subtle? Could you explain the rationale behind the change to me?

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Munin

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Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 06:33:51 PM »
There was an in-depth discussion of this change and its ramifications a while back, which you can find here:
https://lumpley.games/thebarf/index.php?topic=8835.0

There was a follow-up discussion about a proposed hack/modification of the move here:
https://lumpley.games/thebarf/index.php?topic=8889.0

The change is subtle, and has a lot to do with where you place the consequences (i.e. either directly in the move itself or "off in the snowball"). Long story short, Vincent places a lot of emphasis on the idea that when the battle moves are invoked, the PC is by definition "in battle." Unfortunately my take-away was that the real intent of what it means to be "in battle" is not defined super clearly, and leaves a lot to interpretation by the MC. What I though was super interesting was that after we'd talked around a bunch of different ideas and interpretations, we sort of arrived at the same place if by slightly difference paths. As an experienced MC I have come to appreciate and approve of the change, but I do think that it doesn't quite give people new to the system as much to go on as 1st Ed.

The threads linked above are both kind of long, but absolutely worth a read as they include numerous examples and such.

Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 12:35:38 AM »
Also keep in mind that taking Harm is a consequence, and the Harm roll can be called for even if you take 0 Harm. A small gang with shotguns would deal 4 Harm (minus whatever armor you have) unless you're someone like the Gunlugger or Faceless. And with the fortification, the fact that you held it doesn't mean everything's over - now you're in the position the people who ran the oil refinery in Mad Max 2 were in where a dangerous enemy put them under siege. How long can you keep them at bay, and will it be worth whatever they do to you or the place in the processes?

Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 11:34:47 AM »
Thank you both for the answers! I read the recommended thread.

I have to admit that Seize by force already in first edition is the part of rules which is conceptually hardest to swallow for me, as it seems to dilute the boundary between failure and success (you will get harmed no matter what). The direction in which 2ed went seems only to make it more pronounced. In some, not so rare circumstances, you cannot quite succeed and you will not quite succeed.

 

Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 03:20:52 PM »
Seize by Force is when both sides are able to hurt each other and are willing to get hurt in return for accomplishing their goals. The 2e rule for SbF basically makes this "You can get what you want, but it'll hurt."

However, most characters aren't going to want to do this. Ideally you want to be in a position where you can hurt your enemy without them hurting you - most likely you'll then be Going Aggro or Suckering Someone. In that case you'll often need to do something else to get into that position first. But maybe if you don't have time, have a better Hard then the stats that you might need to use to make the move(s) that will get you into that position, or you're just badass enough to say it "Fuck it", you'll Seize by Force and deal with the consequences.

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Munin

  • 411
Re: Seize by force in 2ed
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 12:01:18 PM »
I have to admit that Seize by force already in first edition is the part of rules which is conceptually hardest to swallow for me, as it seems to dilute the boundary between failure and success (you will get harmed no matter what).
Taking Harm is not failure. It is the price of success. Or rather it's the ante to even have a shot at succeeding in the first place. When things have devolved to seize by force or single combat, bullets are flying and the situation is already well and truly out of control. Harm is just what happens to you while you're trying to get yourself out of the mess.