[AW] To Collect Custom Moves

13

Comments

  • edited October 2010
    Hmmm. I'm okay with that, except I'm unclear why Void starts at -1. That means to be rolling 2d6 unmodified, you'd have to take something nasty to yourself. I think I'd like it better if Void started at 0, and you could only go up to +2. Unless there's a reason I'm not seeing for starting Void at -1. Also, good word choice. Void.

    ETA: I guess I see it as, Void -1 means you always have to do something to hurt yourself in order to have an even 50/50 chance of succeeding. But I also see that, even when you roll a 10+, you still have to take something nasty. Which means that simply succeeding really isn't that great, so that's why I'm not sure it should cost so much to simply succeed.
  • edited October 2010
    Yeah, good point on the double jeopardy.

    I kind of like the idea of you deciding how much harm to take in order to build up your bonus though. I also thing destroying souls is kind of transgressive, so I don't see a problem with you having a -1 default. There are costs to playing with black magic.

    But now that you point it out, having those penalties on the up front and then more on the flip-side (even with the optimal roll), that's just bad design.

    What if it's like: on a 10+, poof...the spookie's gone -- just gone! On a 7-9, you still manage to obliterate it, but it doesn't leave without a fight. You choose one and the MC chooses another from: (the list). Or something?
  • edited October 2010
    Pretty much. Just wanted to make sure I was understanding your intentions there. The easiest, for me a least, is going to be to organize it by the item and then the connection. That way, you simply find the value (worthless, some worth or valuable) and then determine what the connection means. Let me know if you don't like this approach.

    Also, you had it seemed three tiers of connection, weak, 'a connection' and powerful. I just decided to make it either weak or powerful, with weak meaning anything that was a part of the person's life, but not important to them. And, powerful being the important stuff. No connection is obviously just that.

    So, we have a rock. A rock that was in Susie's fish tank. Susie's pet rock given to her on her 10th birthday by her best friend.

    Sound ok?

    How does this look?

    When you exorcise a spook, you can bind its soul to an object. The binding process is dependent upon how valuable the object is, sentimentally and monetarily.

    Memento starts at -2.
    For the soul's connection to the object, add +2 if the connection is weak or +3 if the connection is powerful.
    For the worth of the object, add +1 if the object has some worth or +2 if the object is valuable or high-tech.

    When you bind a soul to an object, roll+memento. On a roll of 10+, the soul takes up residence in the offered object and likes it. On a 7-9 the soul takes up residence but resents it and wants out. On a miss, the soul takes up residence in some other object or person nearby.
  • Rephrased to work better with my brain:

    Memento starts at -2.
    For the soul's connection to the object, add +2 if the connection is weak or +3 if the connection is powerful.
    For the value of the object, add +1 if the object has some worth, +2 if the object is valuable or high-tech.
  • Should there be modifiers if the thing is anthropomorphic or humanoid? i.e., a wax doll is easier to get the spooky into than a lump of wax?
    Or if the thing has some connection to the exorcist, such as including his blood in the wax?
  • edited October 2010
    Ah! Much better.

    Maybe memento should start at -1? -2 seems low.

    +1 if connection is weak, +2 if powerful.
    +1 if object has some worth, +2 if valuable or high-tech.

    Ooh... That's also an interesting idea. Now, I'm wondering if that might be a better idea reserved for the destroying of spooks!

    Oh, and as far as the doll vs. lump thing, I'd say a doll has some worth and a lump doesn't. So, if you have a doll made of wax, blood and shit. It's worth something. But, the raw materials aren't really. So, it'd be a +1 for using a doll. And, of course, a +2 for a china doll (opposed to just shattered fragments of one, with has no value).
  • OP updated. Not final, just to keep track of current version.
  • edited October 2010
    Memento starts at -2.
    For the soul's connection to the object, add +1 if the connection is weak or +2 if the connection is powerful.
    For the value of the object, add +1 if the object has some worth, +2 if the object is valuable or high-tech.
    For the degree to which the object looks human, add +1 if it's a crude human replica, +2 if it is quite life-like.

    That theoretically gives the possibility for a +4, but looking at the combos, it's better than starting it at -3 and applying mods. At least, that's how I see it. Is it a problem?

    Your other changes (tier consolodation, etc) are groovy.
  • edited October 2010
    You could also always say you only get two out of the three categories, whichever two are "highest," to avoid going up to a +4. "Pick two: connection, value, or anthropomorphic shape."

    ETA: Hmmm. Especially because as I see it, you're only getting two anyway. If it's a valuable object, it's hard for me to believe it'd be all that human-shaped. I guess there may be some exceptions, particularly if we do an apocalyptic thing and say Barbie dolls are valuable...but still, it seems like valuable stuff would be stuff like a silver spoon, maybe, so it's automatically going to be less likely to have an anthropomorphic shape, and vice versa.
  • edited October 2010
    The China Doll example is a valuable item, that could be connected to the person, and in the shape of a human.

    I like the idea of allowing all of them, but max the roll at +3 no matter what combination you have.

    Alternatively, only give +1 for human shaped, whether crude or not.
  • Yeah, totally forgot that one when I was writing. That being said, though...how many China Dolls are we anticipating being around? Because in a post apocalyptic world, I guess I could see a few, especially if Spector hoards them...but then what? I'm still somewhat at a loss as to what else would be human shaped and valuable, unless you're like, I dunno, melting down pieces of gold into a human mold. Which I guess would be cool in its own right.

    All that being said, that's probably the simplest solution, to allow all and cap at +3.

    Not that I care, mind you, because I'm gonna be busy blowing them to smithereenies.
  • edited October 2010
    Ok, I'm only about halfway through the bajillion ways to kill a ghost, but ...

    Why doesn't Gritch just use his brain whispers to go aggro? Literally: "You. Ghost. Stay there and let me disassemble you with my brain."

    If he rolls at least a 10+, the ghost has to either die or suck it up and take 1-harm (ap). Assuming we use the usual NPC harm rules, that's a really torn up ghost. Do it twice, and it's probably a dead ghost.

    Or he can just set off his pain grenade to similar effect, if he's not too worried about bystanders.

    Even if he rolls a 7-9, the ghost has to back off, or offer Gritch something, or whatever. And that doesn't preclude Gritch just mercilessly pressing on.

    Want to be really good at this? Take Bloodcrazed or Merciless as your other 'multiclass' move, and you're dealing 2-harm (ap) with all your psychic damage stuff. That'll usually kill any NPC you point it at.

    Or get In-Brain Puppet Strings, and combine with violation glove. Roll at least a 10 on that, and you can instantly deal 3-harm (ap). Bam, dead ghost. We do have to assume that the violation glove can 'touch' ghosts for that to work, but why not?

    And of course he can exorcise with Brain Whispers and Puppet Strings, just by demanding X course of action of the ghost.

    I mean, I thought this was exactly what Gritch was built to do - use his stock brainer moves to murder ghosts. And I though Spector was just using Augury to 'isolate and contain a fragment of the psychic maelstrom'. If both of the particularly relevant PCs already have the tools they need to do their particular shticks, why are we working up custom moves?

    Custom moves are fun, but I really don't see the point here. Spector and Gritch are already really good at this stuff, with the rules already in existence.
  • Also, this ...
    On a roll of 10+, choose 1. On a roll of 7+ you choose 1 and the MC chooses one:
    - Anyone in the area is filled with a sudden, inexplicable loathing for the exorcist.
    - Shards of the exorcised soul enter into the exorcist. Take psi-harm.
    - Other spooks in the area are angered and begin to take action.
    - The individual from whom the spook was removed gets to read the exorcist as if he or she had rolled a 10+ Deep Brain Scan, regardless of whether or not he or she has the move.
    - The possessed individual becomes attached to the exorcist, either positively or negatively, as determined by whichever player chooses this option.
    - Take -1 forward on your next Weird roll, because you've destroyed a bit of the Maelstrom.
    ... should maybe be reviewed in the light of this. Vincent linked to it just the other day. It points out that you shouldn't offer players narrative decisions ... choices the player makes should be choices that the PC can make.

    Also, just in general, that move looks like it would be better done like, say, the chopper's Pack Alpha. There's a list of bad things that will probably happen. On a 10+ either none of them happen, or just 1 does. On a 7-9, some of them happen. On a miss, all of them happen. And the list maybe trimmed down to 3-4 things.

    'Cause otherwise the move is silent on what happens with a miss.
  • edited October 2010
    [ Originally posted in Spector's thread, in commentary on the moves for communing with captured ghosts. ]

    I'd tend to avoid the Hx for NPCs, just because, god, with five PCs you've already got twenty different Hx scores. Tracking it for every ghost-PC relationship as well sounds overly number-y.

    It also doesn't really feel like it does the same thing as Hx. This is used to get information and strike deals, which sounds more like what you use hold for (sure, you roll this Hx for hold, which you then spend, but why the extra step). Hx is typically used to for the help/hinder move, which obviously can't be used on NPC ghosts.

    Also, Hx is typically pretty swingy, going up and down with time, but this just seems to gradually work its way up from -3 to +3. Of course, the MC can 'take away your stuff', presumably including ghostly relationships, but yeah: ghost Hx and normal Hx really have no mechanical overlap. Why call them the same thing?

    In fact, I dunno, why are there two custom moves at all? The Hx is used to transition from one to the other ... you use the first move to meet a ghost and ask a question of it, then use the second to convert that prior experience into hold that you can spend to, well, ask more questions. Of course, it also allows improving Hx, but that's a little self-feeding ... you only need the Hx for this move. And it allows offering a deal, but it seems odd that you can't offer a deal just by talking. (Seal a deal, or something like that, I could more see.)

    Why not just something like: roll Weird. On a hit you get some hold, likely 7-9 for 1 hold and 10+ for 3 hold. You use the hold to ask questions, but you don't have to use it all right now ... if you rolled well and got multiple hold, you made a sufficiently strong impression that the ghost remembers you for a while. While you have hold, you can answer one of the ghost's questions to get +1 hold.

    That way, you cut out the middle step of generating and using Hx, but you still have the thing where you have to talk to the ghost and have some back and forth in order to keep a specific ghost useful.

    Could also consider using something like in the skinner's hypnosis move, where the ghost's behavior is limited somewhat while you still have hold. In that case, maybe the ghost stays with you and causes no trouble so long as you have hold, and it can use up the hold by offering you useful advice. You get +1 hold whenever you do something for the ghost: answer an important question, kill a man, whatever. If you don't help it, it'll grudgingly offer a little advice, then move on.

    That said, I'm secure in the knowledge that all of this is probably pretty theoretical for me, since Uncle has zero interest in dabbling in the mysterious arts of ghost whispering.
  • Weee! It's like being on a merry-go-round, as my opinions totally spin around and around!

    Yeah, what you say makes total sense about how Gritch would kill ghosts, and actually, I think that is how I originally designed Gritch. I just, sort of, um, forgot. Which is really weird.

    But yeah, in the end, that absolutely makes the most sense. Gritch can just use his Brainer moves on ghosts, assuming we're okay with that. So he can attack them with his brain using the Projection move right now, and I am planning on getting Puppet Strings eventually, so that should do it too.

    I think the custom moves are useful if we really want to detach what spookies are from anything akin to normal NPCs, as doing the above still assumes that you can deal harm to spookies in some fashion. So I guess I can see the reasoning behind custom moves. But I'm in favor of simplicity, I think, especially because, like Michael says, that stuff is built into Gritch and Spector to begin with.
  • edited October 2010
    Ok, I think I've read through now. So, you want to be able to:

    - exorcise a ghost
    - bind a ghost
    - destroy a ghost
    - talk to a particular ghost
    - have horrible psychic repercussions unfold when you kill a ghost

    Alright.

    The middle two, like I said, I don't really see a need for a custom move. Spector does the binding, and he has Augury for that. Gritch does the killing, and he has a couple of options for that: pain grenade and Brain Whispers at the moment, and Puppet Strings later. They're both quite good at these tasks with the moves they already have.

    Plus, they can use the same exact techniques to exorcise. Gritch can Go Aggro through Brain Whispers to force a ghost out of a body, no problem. Spector, too, since 'isolate and contain' could be easily understood to mean 'isolate from the possessed body' and 'contain in a little wax doll'.

    In fact, here's something freaking cool: Spector can use Augury to reach through the psychic maelstrom to someone connected to it (a possessed person), using a 10+ result to reach broadly and have the effect linger. Then he can use Augury again to isolate and contain a ghost through that established connection. That is, exorcise someone who isn't even there. With, of course, the cost that the psychic maelstrom is bleeding instability all over the place (because he didn't have enough picks left to prevent that from happening).

    Coming up with custom moves to address these actions doesn't really help Gritch and Spector, the guys we'd expect to be using them. Really, all custom moves would do is: one, if I'm reading these things right, they make the actions way more complicated, and two, they open exorcism to anyone with a Weird stat. I'm not sure that second bit is really necessary. Is Navarre hoping to get into ghostbusting?

    Talking to ghosts could probably use a custom move. I think the existing two-part move is overly complicated, as I point out. Seems like you should be able to just Open Your Brain for quick "I'm communing with whatever ghosts are here" stuff, and then use a simpler one-step move for "I'm trying to form a relationship with this particular ghost".

    Personally, I'd probably roll 'horrible repercussions from killing ghosts' into a front (THE PSYCHIC MAELSTROM) or a threat (Affliction threat!) with countdowns that tick when you fuck with the natural order. But making an immediate custom move that kicks off doesn't hurt, either. I made a couple little structural comments about the suggested one, above.

    ( Also, I'm not really convinced about the thing where you figure out a Void stat so you can roll +void. Roll+hard or roll+cool actually sounds pretty good for that. )

    -edit- And if there is a move like this, but there isn't also a countdown clock somewhere attached to a PSYCHIC MAELSTROM front ... I am disappoint.
  • Michael, I agree with a lot of what you said and my initial reservations mimicked a lot of your points. Thinking more on all of this...
  • edited October 2010
    When you seek to destroy a spooky, roll+void. Void is -1 modified by your selection of any or all of:
    +1 if you take -1 forward on the next Weird roll.
    +1 if you suffer y-Harm.
    +1 if you suffer 1-harm AP loud (wailing).
    +1 if your body won't heal for the next 24 hours.

    On a roll of 10+, choose 1. On a roll of 7+ you choose 1 and the MC chooses one:
    - Anyone in the area is filled with a sudden, inexplicable loathing for the exorcist.
    - Shards of the exorcised soul enter into the exorcist. Take psi-harm.
    - Other spooks in the area are angered and begin to take action.
    - The individual from whom the spook was removed gets to read the exorcist as if he or she had rolled a 10+ Deep Brain Scan, regardless of whether or not he or she has the move.
    - The possessed individual becomes attached to the exorcist, either positively or negatively, as determined by whichever player chooses this option.
    - Take -1 forward on your next Weird roll, because you've destroyed a bit of the Maelstrom.
    What happens on a miss? A generic hard move? That's not generally good for these kind of 'roll to see how bad the bad stuff is' rolls.

    My biases: I don't really care for rolling extra-special new stats. It's ok occasionally, like with the hocus' followers' Fortunes stat, but it ought to be used sparingly, and it ought to be something you write down on a piece of paper and use over and over. I'm sketchy about the idea of determining the bonus for a roll on the spot. It seems like it would be better to tie it to something that already exists in the fiction or on the character sheet, but that's admittedly personal preference.

    Also, I don't really like stuff where it's just 'take -1 forward on the next Weird roll' kind of thing. Like, why? Where's the fiction?

    Also, this move's structure is particularly weird. I can have bad things happen to me in advance of the roll, in order to potentially reduce the number of the things that will inevitably happen to me after the roll? When, in fact, the things that can happen before and the things that can happen after even have overlap? Doesn't make sense. I'd just stick with the -1 Void score and take my chances.

    Ah, also. I think this move needs to be generalized so that it triggers whenever a ghost is destroyed, and not just when a ghost is destroyed immediately after an exorcism. Assuming that Gritch is using his pain grenade and all, there're ways ghosts could die without having been possessing someone. Might not happen often, but still.

    I'd maybe do, and this is right off the top of my head, so take it as a sketch: roll+hard (or maybe +cool). On a 10+, you get 3. On a 7-9, you get 1:

    - you don't have to get too close (psychically speaking) to the ghost (you don't take psi-harm)
    - you contain the psychic effluvia (the people around you don't take 'psi-harm area messy')
    - you do it quietly, before the ghost can scream (it isn't 'loud', in both the world and the psychic maelstrom)

    On a miss, all three. Regardless of the roll, you lose any Hx or hold you have from the commune custom move. Because, shit, your ghostly companions just saw what you did there, you fucker.

    Plus, the MC has that countdown clock of his, and that should cover things like ghosts in the area getting agitated and causing trouble. And the 'people around you take psi-harm' bit totally covers loathing, obsession, and etc. Psi-harm is fucking vicious on NPCs. That's why it's 'messy' ... the MC can pick and choose who's affected.

    That way, you can't assume. Maybe Rolfball there really did survive the psi-harm unaffected - it just missed him. On the other hand, maybe he's actually now a grotesque:cannibal, biding his time to 'attack from behind' or 'attack without threat or warning'. Ha ha! God I love psi-harm.
  • edited October 2010
    Random thought: for multiclassing, a great move for dealing with ghosts would be Lost, from the skinner book. Speak the name of a ghost instead of a person. Might even be good for exorcism, if you just tie down the possessed body, first.

    It also makes that specific ghost convenient if you want to use the commune move, since you don't have to go find the ghost you want.
  • As for a couple things about the original move, I think they're easily answered. -1 forward on Weird? That's easy. You're psychically deafened. The damn ghost exploded. It's harder to get your mind into the place necessary to deal with the Maelstrom as a result, because that part of your brain got bruised and battered. Sounds like psi-harm a bit, but I see it more as a continuing ache. Hell, could even be the equivalent of psychic exhaustion. Your mind's tired. But I do think the fiction is there.

    As for the structure of the move in taking bad stuff ahead of time in order to get a better shot on the roll, I think it makes more sense if you look at it from the perspective that, if you fail, the ghost isn't destroyed. If you succeed, the ghost is destroyed. Regardless of anything else, if destroying the ghost is what's important, then you may want to take that harm prior to the roll in order to make sure you succeed. I think that's where the idea of taking the pre-harm came from, so I do think it's makes some sense mechanically to do so. Also, that answers your concern of what would happen on a miss.

    That said, I'm completely fine with trashing this move.

    I think the urge to generate custom moves for these actions is that the actions, as established in their descriptions, don't quite do what we want them to do. In other words, I think these custom moves originally sprang out of a feeling that the moves we have would have to be stretched, fictionally, and maybe even mechanically, in order to do what we wanted them to. For example, Direct-Brain Whisper Projection would involve Gritch having to make eye contact with the spooky, or having to be able to see the spooky and be seen by the spooky. Is that just a given? How does Gritch see the spooky? Then, he would go aggro on the spooky, with the threat being "leave the possessed person". Right? But that means that unless he rolls a 10+, as we mentioned previously, the spooky wouldn't have to either leave or take the harm, as a number of other options would be opened to it. So maybe going aggro isn't quite right. Etc., etc.

    I point this out only to say that I think this is why we started getting into the custom moves to begin with, because what moves there were could be stretched to cover the territory, but didn't quite do it automatically. That being said, I'm inclined to try to reduce things in simplicity the way Michael is suggesting by keeping it with pre-established moves instead of making up new moves.

    I also think rolls should be kept to a minimum overall, which means that I'm not sure we should have an exorcism and a destroy/bind roll. Should probably be just one shebang. Which thus avoids part of the reasoning behind making up brand new stats, that an individual with those stats highlighted would get lots of experience for rolling it two or three times consecutively for one action.

    I continue to not like rolling +hard or rolling +cool for any follow-up action on the spookies, when they are either destroyed or bound. It doesn't feel right to me, for a fiction-mechanic linked matter that Gritch would eventually stop doing something that continually forced him to roll hard, and for the fact that this means that a guy like Navarre would be much better at dealing with asploded spirits than Gritch, because Navarre is better at killing dudes. (No offense Navarre.) I'm not sure I see that. Cool is much the same way. Because you're good at acting under fire, you're good at...not getting screwed when the ghost dies? Don't see the transfer. For all that it's empowering one stat a great deal, I think Weird is the only one that makes sense in this context, but I'm open to other ideas.

    I also think that maybe this "Suffer from the death of the ghost" move should be saved for failed rolls, or something. The equivalent of a Harm move for psychic destruction. I'm fine with it being used in possibly any instance when a ghost dies, as opposed to just after an exorcism, yes, but I don't know that it should crop up every single time a ghost dies. Because again, y'know, Gritch would stop doing it if it kept consistently hurting him or causing more problems than it solved.

    So ultimately, my opinions are that I'm really wishy-washy, and inevitably by the time I post again I'll have changed my mind. But in the mean time, I guess I'm most naturally inclined to change as little as possible about the game. I like some of the custom moves we came up with because they're interesting, but at the same time, we kinda know the game works with the moves that are already in it, so sticking to them where possible feels less likely to rend things asunder.
  • The way I'm seeing these custom moves, it's not really about "can we do this with the current rules as-is?" It's more about the "filling spaces in the world" to flesh out particular aspects of our particular game.

    So, could you use Go Aggro for exorcism? Sure. But, you can also use Act Under Fire to steal or sneak, but that doesn't stop Vincent Baker from listing them in the custom moves section.

    The question is, do we want to zoom in on this particular aspects of these two characters? Do we want to highlight Spector finding/crafting dolls and objects personal to the soul?

    This is what I'm thinking the destroy follow-up move is missing. It's not highlighting anything in particular about the world. What do we want to showcase and what behavior do we want the move to push the character toward?

    I'm down with using Go Aggro or whatever you guys want. But, I also don't think custom moves are necessarily bad in this respect.

    I do have my concerns about the Hx with souls/NPCs, but I'm willing to give it a shot and see how it pans out.
  • edited October 2010
    I read the latest critique last night and wanted to mull it over. I'm back.

    I don't think the "generic hard move" exists, or should.

    I think leaving what happens on a miss unstated is generally a more satisfactory course than not. Sometimes a custom move is so specific, that it's wise to constrain what failure means. But not usually.

    I like the idea of removing anything from the complications list (what happens on a 7-9) that appears in the build-up-your-bonus list.

    If* the move as written incentivizes the user to always sit on the -1 bonus then it's clearly crafted wrong and needs tuning. (*I dont' think it does.)

    The version quoted doesn't say anything about "after an exorcism" in the first part and I figured it meant any time a player acts in this particular transgressive manner. I see now that some of the possible consequences refer to the exorcism. Yeah, I agree that should be cleaned up.
    Coming up with custom moves to address these actions doesn't really help Gritch and Spector
    This is false. You have other valid reasons for not liking some stuff, but this is simply wrong. Gritch's hard sucks ass. And my augury is limited to a single location. There are ways in which these moves improve the characters' agency. (And you can not value that or think it hurts the game or upsets balance or whatever, but it is what it is.) (ETA: I do see that Gritch can use Weird instead of Hard for going aggro, so that tempers my argument some...)

    Also, you point out that ghosty-Hx would be different from PC-Hx. Yeah. So? I think it's close enough, obviously, but it it really bothers you, we can come up with a different term. Gx, maybe. Then the fact that it doesn't swing as much won't be a problem, right?

    And I'm OK with the option where some single custom move connects us to a ghost/soul/spookie and then we can use our normal moves on it -- that's why I suggested it. But these other moves are another way to go and I don't see how they could hurt anything if they're crafted right.
  • Hmmm. A good point, Michael, in that the custom moves focus in on what's important. I guess that's sort of what I was trying to say without being as eloquent. If we put these things under the purview of Go Aggro or whatever, then they aren't that important, because Go Aggro is simply stretching to include them.

    So, that being said, it makes much more sense to have a custom move or moves regarding the dolls and their creation, and their use, because that's something to focus on. But I'm not sure there really is anything in particular to focus on for the destruction of ghosts. Gritch psychically beats ghosts into second death. That's...yeah, that's it. And I do think that that particular element can be encapsulated under the moves which Gritch has, without feeling overlooked or undeveloped.

    If you have other suggestions as to something to focus on, I'm open to them, but I think that that pretty much says how I feel at least for the moment. What I'm most interested in with regard to Gritch and his style of dealing with the spooks is the fact that he is risking potential harm to himself in order to ensure that the spooks will never, ever cause any harm again. I think using Direct Brain Whisper Projection, and, when I get it, In-Brain Puppet Strings, can both help capture that to some extent, especially because it makes perfect sense to just make psi-harm an acceptable hard move after trying to use these moves on a ghost.
  • I do have my concerns about the Hx with souls/NPCs, but I'm willing to give it a shot and see how it pans out.
    And as I mentioned before, I'm totally good with something else. If it seems like a hassle, or worse -- a bore, let's make it be something else.
  • I'm confused as to why rolling +hard or +cool would be worse than rolling +void, when Void is built up by doing nasty things to yourself. Taking Gritch's example, ok, his Hard sucks balls, but his Cool is +1. If he uses +cool instead of +void, he's already saved himself 2 hits from 'prep'. He may not be particularly likely to get through the roll without consequences, but he's still going to be better off than in the old construction of the roll. Doesn't mean +weird wouldn't be possible, but it doesn't seem all that onerous to use a secondary stat.

    Still, my impression for the 'destruction of ghosts' move was that y'all were shooting for something where it's a horrible, unnatural act from which the world recoils. That seemed to be how you were writing it, at least. If not, and it's not really any more significant than killing a living person, then I guess there's no special need for it.

    (Actually, I see Chris mentioning killing ghosts as acting in a 'transgressive manner', in the above post, so maybe we're not all on the same page.)

    Gritch does need to roll a 10+ to outright damage a ghost with Go Aggro (and yeah, he's rolling +weird for that), but it's not like nothing happens on a 7-9, and it's not like he can't keep pressing his target. And maybe he wants to read the situation as well, and maybe get an aid from someone if anyone ever gets a high enough Hx with him. Even without that, it's not like a 10+ is unlikely. Give him a chance to go to Weird+3, and it'll be a better than 50% chance.

    And there's the pain grenade. And the In-Brain Puppet Strings, eventually. He may not be able to one-hit-kill a ghost every time right now, but he's already pretty good at it, and he'll eventually be awesome at it, using only the moves he has naturally available to him. Sure he'd need a way to perceive a disembodied ghost to attack it (Open Your Brain, natch), but wouldn't he need that with any kind of ghost-destroying move?

    As is, he can usually exorcise a ghost in a couple of tries (kill it in a few tries, if he wants), and he usually won't take any real harm. Crappy rolls can screw anyone, but just going Aggro is going to be way safer for him than the methods proposed here. Really, safer for the possessed person, too.

    I freely admit that Spector's brand of exorcism is less supported. Still, I really don't see that he has a hard time of it. Does he really need to be able to reliably exorcise any ghost, on the spot and at a moment's notice? He's investing in preparing puppets and all, and the posted exorcism move usually involves tying someone to a table (time and intimacy), so it seems like limitations of time and circumstance are already built into the idea.

    And Augury is possibly the most flexible move in the book, barring perhaps Act Under Fire. You need to exorcise in the field? Ok, reach out through the psychic maelstrom to something connected to it: yourself. Make it broadly reaching and sustained without maintenance ... which means that it'll bleed instability, so when Spector goes out to forcibly exorcise someone he's surrounded by weird bleed effects. Get to where you want to go, and hey: you've got a connection to your chapel, so you perform Augury as usual. For Spector, it's probably actually preparing a doll in advance, and it's the doll that's tied to the chapel and surrounded by bleed effects (until it's used).

    But is it that unreasonable to say that generally possessed persons are brought to the chapel for exorcism, because it's just easier that way? And that if Spector has to exorcise someone elsewhere he has to use Augury in ways that might have messy side effects (whatever 'bleed instability' means in this game)? And, well, Spector's much cooler about the ghosts than Gritch, anyway ... doesn't he first just do a little Read a Person, a little Manipulate, to see if forcible exorcism is really necessary?

    If you were going for something where someone can just walk up to a possessed person, do some juju, and *BANG*, they're not possessed, then Augury wouldn't really cut it. But it doesn't look like anyone here is suggesting that ... it seems we're talking about subduing and restraining a possessed person, and then working on them with time-consuming processes (as per 'time and intimacy' and mementos and etc). That's just the kind of thing that Augury is built for: if you have a little time to work with, it can accomplish a huge range of tasks, even fairly complicated and delicate ones.

    Sorry, I don't see that either of you are going to have much trouble with this stuff, as is. It might not always been simple and convenient to do this stuff, but it'll never be hard, and it should be fairly routine once we all have some improvements under our belts.

    And adding custom moves, well, it sets aside existing, perfectly good ways of doing it: you both took these moves ... why not use them? It also makes it just kind of a thing that anyone can do. Is it important or desirable that Navarre be equally good at exorcism and etc as Gritch and Spector? That even Uncle be able to take a hail Mary pass at it, rather than being forced to go to one of the psychics?

    Michael speaks of using custom moves to zoom in on what certain characters can do, but I don't really see that rationale. To me, it actually distracts from what the characters are good at by making it a subsystem that's (1) no longer dependent on the choices made when building those characters and (2) available to anyone, not just the people who are supposed to be practiced at it.
  • I think I'm on the same page with you in a number of places, Michael. I agree that sticking to the moves we have is a good way to do the exorcism and whatnot, just because then it makes those choices more significant and useful, without needing to append extra rules into the game. I also think that what you said made sense, that Gritch can open his brain first, and then go thwack at ghosts with his Brainer moves.

    I do still think that it might be worth having some sort of consequence attached to Gritch's style of exorcism, more so than might be attached with Going Aggro, but I don't particularly want to see it be a consistent "Take 1-harm" kind of thing, because then, again, Gritch as a character would just say "It hurts like fuck every time I exorcise something, of course I'm not gonna do it anymore." So instead, I think I'd probably go with something that's already been recommended, and just have our dear MC come up with a countdown clock. Every time Gritch blows up a ghost, it adds a section, until eventually, something bad happens, whatever Michael (Pfaff) wants that to be. Seems pretty simple, and still effective. The psi-harm on a missed roll was just a suggestion to add more consequence, but it's not necessary.

    So, yeah, I'm good with that as far as Gritch goes.

    Now, Christopher has ultimate say on how Spector would work, but I kind of concur that I'd seen Spector's style as requiring some amount of preparation and ceremony in contrast to Gritch's "Lemme just tear that there spooky right outta yer skull" style of mental violence. In which case, as long as there's a move that can incorporate that, I'd think it'd work well.
  • edited October 2010
    Posted By: yellowparisBut is it that unreasonable to say that generally possessed persons are brought to the chapel for exorcism
    No, not at all. I was merely pointing out that the moves to aid the characters. You were claiming they don't.

    Some of that depends on the interpretation and use of the augury move. You've put out some pretty convincing explanation of how that could be used for this stuff. And I'm finding myself game to try it that way. I wish I'd come to understand this paradigm regarding the psychic maelstrom and the use of augury before.
    Michael speaks of using custom moves to zoom in on what certain characters can do, but I don't really see that rationale. To me, it actually distracts from what the characters are good at by making it a subsystem that's (1) no longer dependent on the choices made when building those characters and (2) available to anyone, not just the people who are supposed to be practiced at it.
    Well, I think he's right that having custom moves fills the holes and paints on color. But I also think you're right that you don't necessarily need them when the extant moves will do the job.

    This is all really good for my thinking about AW. So, thanks!
  • edited October 2010
    Some of this is that I really love augury, and I don't like to see it neglected. It's damn cool - it turns the maelstrom into something that you can sit down and really play with and explore. I like how in the notes on it, Vincent says right out that when your PCs start messing about with augury, you're going to have to start making binding statements about what the maelstrom is and how it works.

    I mean, what the fuck happens when you 'open a window into the psychic maelstrom'? What's that even mean? Who knows! It's right up there with getting the 12+ advanced move for Open Your Brain, except that you can do it from session one, if you're the daring sort. A lot of world-defining going on with that move, which is dead awesome.

    Mind you, it all requires that the MC mull it over for a moment and go, "yeah, seems reasonable", but I don't think I've suggested anything way out there. The idea of creating creepy little fetish dolls that bleed psychic instability while linking you back to the chapel so you can perform exorcism in the field ... that's maybe something that not every savvyhead with Reality's Bleeding Edge could do, I admit. But it seems like it'd go well with Spector's established MO.
  • edited October 2010
    Posted By: yellowparis The idea of creating creepy little fetish dolls that bleed psychic instability while linking you back to the chapel so you can perform exorcism in the field ...
    That sentence (fragment?) is a keeper.
  • Fragment. And thank you.
Sign In or Register to comment.