A’right, guys – let’s talk about Tags.
I’m building fronts and beasties for my new campaign, and am (only mildly) confused by the loose tags for monsters. Let’s take Messy, specifically.
I’m working on an automaton – a sort of clockwork contraption of whirling blades that would essentially be tagged as Stupid, Clumsy, and Messy. As I understand things, these tags essentially give me license to affect the fiction in ways that are appropriate to the tag. That is, the beastie is intended to be really dumb; it lacks self-preservation, won’t notice even obvious traps or ambushes, and would charge heedlessly at an enemy even with a gaping chasm filled with lava between themselves and their target. Clumsy? They’re easy to knock over, prone to falling over, and don’t handle things like stairs well.
However, Messy has direct consequences to the players – getting hit by one of these things isn’t a couple of clean wounds; it’s more like running into a blender set on frappe’. I get how this works fictionally – how should I treat this systemically?
Is this a matter of more hard moves for damage, with bigger consequences? When do we maim or visit fictional consequences beyond damage? Is the answer always ‘when the fiction dictates it to be so?’