[aw hack] Societal vs. personal fallout

edited April 2011 in Story Games
I've been thinking about twisting Hard Moves around a bit - I need to look closer at the MC moves, but it'd be interesting to give players the option of telling the group, "I'm putting off that bad roll's effect for now. And I'm bumping it up in scope."
More specifically, I'm imagining being able to get Hardholder-level fallout ("oh no! my hardhold!) without being a Hardholder.
Also, this is inspired by Dwarf Fortress - I'm imagining bad construction, raids, fights, and such being triggerable by a bad roll in a personal-scale conflict, when the p.c. doesn't want to personally deal with the consequences.
Kind of a "the land and the p.c.'s are one" kind of deal. King Arthur and whatnot.

Anyone seen anything like this before?


  • I've seen this in Amber, but I'm not sure if that was part of the way the game works, or just the way the game master was running things.
    ...of course, there were no rolls, per se. But the small choices some characters made (the ones who had significant qualities of "bad stuff") made for unfortunate effects for everyone else.

    ...I guess this doesn't really help...
  • It's a game to look into :) Thanks!
  • edited April 2011
    Yep, this is totally normal AW play. Maybe put a countdown clock or two on threats in the Home front, and advance them according to the normal rules (which, yeah, sometimes will be from a hard move on a missed roll). Some of your Home threats will naturally be about survival stuff: the water supply, the security of the holding, the obligations and vendettas with the outside, etc.

    Also, look into landscape and affliction threats. They're fun. :)

    No need to call special attention it, really. It's a standard MC job. Part of "make apocalypse world seem real," for one.
  • What John says. You can already do this in a number of different ways.

    A great move for this is "tell them the possible consequences and ask," right? You basically ask them if they're going to put off the consequences or deal with them now. If they decide to put them off, you check a few boxes in a countdown clock or just set up to make a harder move later.
  • I should clarify: I want players to be able to explicitly transmute Hard Moves they've "earned" in one arena to be shoved into another.
    Example: [player rolls a bad Acting Under Fire check]
    Player: "But I really need to get through this ambush and reach the town safely! I don't WANT to make an ugly choice!"
    MC: "Okay!"
    [They write "Dremmer reaches the town safely" on a piece of paper, and put it in the center of the table. Once this outcome has... come to pass, the MC is entitled to make a Hard Move in response to a roll, regardless of the roll's outcome. The piece of paper is then discarded]
    Does that sound interesting at all?
  • So you want a failure to sometimes turn into a 7-9 result (success, but with consequences)? In my experience, this tends to happen though somebody rolling a 4 or 5 and then the other players Helping or using other moves to increase the first player's result to a 7.

    Or you could write a custom move, like:

    Damn the Torpedoes!: When you are determined to do something, whatever the costs, name the deed and the MC names the stakes you're risking to do it. Then, if you decide you're prepared to shoulder that burden, the MC will work to, however possible (as in "Visions of Death"), ensure you CAN accomplish your deed, though not necessarily that you WILL. That part's up to you. But then, once your deed is done, the MC makes a move, as hard as they like, against your stakes. Reciprocity, baby!
  • Zac: Uh... why? The "societal" fallout is already a natural part of the game. I don't get what a custom move would accomplish here.

    IMO, anything that messes with 7-9 outcomes is a bad idea. That's the heart of the game. Anything that defuses in-the-moment consequences doesn't make the world seem real. Giving the players "meta" choices isn't addressing the characters.
  • Yeah, I agree with John on "meta" moves not really working in AW. That's why I tried to structure my custom move above to specifically reference the fiction: the character is determined and willing to sacrifice something else that is threatened by their recklessness. Still, it's hard to think of this as a move that would see much use, no more than any other optional move, certainly.
  • Well, I did briefly mention Dwarf Fortress, and my intent here would be a fantasy settlement-building hack of AW. Does that change things at all?
    This idea spawned from the idea of having people roll something like Moves when building or crafting stuff, but then it felt weird to have poor workmanship be a moderately big element in play. It just seems like a bizarre theme.
    So I was tryin' to tweak it. Thanks for the thoughts! :)
  • edited April 2011
    Posted By: Zac in Virginiamy intent here would be a fantasy settlement-building hack of AW. Does that change things at all?
    YES! You'll need custom moves to support that, for sure! (I can't say if this specific approach is what your hack will need. That'll take more analysis.)

    I thought you intended to bolt this on to standard AW, and that didn't make sense to me.
  • Sweeeet. I shall go and see what happens, and go from there.
    Any and all suggestions are, of course, greatly appreciated.
  • Here's a morsel to chew on:

    When you make something in your workshop or forge, roll +craft.
    On a 10+, you're a credit to your guild. Choose 3.
    On 7-9, choose 1.
    - It doesn't get appropriated by nobles.
    - It does 1-harm OR it's worth 1-armor (can be stacked, as appropriate).
    - It's worth 1-barter (may be chosen more than once).
    - It doesn't put you in a fey mood.
  • Posted By: Zac in Virginia- It doesn't get appropriated by nobles.
    Whether or not the nobles want to appropriate it is up to the MC, not the player. I'd switch this option out for a choice from the PC's perspective, like these two options instead:
    - It attracts a lot of attention.
    - It doesn't attract attention.

    Then the MC can decide what to do with you picking one or the other or neither.
  • Ooh, nice! Good call.
  • edited May 2011
    There's someting about "doesn't" in moves that bothers me. I can't put my finger on it, but it always seems a bit off, like there should be a better way of doing it.

    It's worth noting in your move that a 7-9 is worse than not trying at all.

    Here's an alternative, no-roll move:

    When you make something in your forge or workshop, use up materials appropriate to the construction, and choose as many as your craft:
    - It counts as 1-armour (stacks)
    - It does 1-harm (stacks)
    - Choose a tag (close, far, area, remote...)
    - It's worth 1-barter (stacks)

    For each one you choose, the MC can choose 1:
    - It draws the attention of a noble
    - It puts you in a fey mood
    - Choose a tag (messy, loud, reload...)
  • (I love no-roll moves!)
  • edited May 2011
    Nice, Simon! I got lots to think about. :)
    Here's another one:
    Booby-Traps: You may design and rig traps for intruders, who must act under fire to bypass them. Describe the nature of the trap and spend 1-barter to choose 2 features, or 2-barter to choose 3:
    The trap deals 2-harm when tripped.
    Your allies know how to bypass the trap without acting under fire.
    The trap ensnares, obstructs, or otherwise demobilizes its target.
    The trap resets itself when able.

    The MC will point out any such features that do not mesh well with the nature of your trap as described.

    EDIT: I'm actually a big fan of "doesn't". It's not the same as saying "Buy me or else!" It's more like saying, "Buy me. 'cause, you know... maybe...", which I like :)
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