Between here and Custom Moves, I think it’s more appropriate for here, so:

Between here and Custom Moves, I think it’s more appropriate for here, so:

Between here and Custom Moves, I think it’s more appropriate for here, so:

When creating custom moves, when is it better to define a miss, and when is it better to leave it to the GM to make an unspecified hard move? What are your preferences in this regard? Do you find certain kinds of moves are better/stronger/whatever when you define a miss, and when you don’t?

Thanks for your tolerance in advance. I’m an Apoc Engine newbie. 🙂 

11 thoughts on “Between here and Custom Moves, I think it’s more appropriate for here, so:”

  1. Define a miss when knowing what’s at stake is an important part of the player’s decision to trigger that move.

    For example, in my zombie apocalypse hack, I have a “modify weapon” custom move. On a miss, the PC chooses one: the weapon is still usable, or the supplies weren’t wasted. Though it would be entertaining to say “zombies break through the door WHAT DO YOU DO?” in response to rolling a miss here, it’s not exactly fair, and had the player known that was a possibility, may not have decided to try and modify the weapon.

  2. I would combine those two and say “whenever you (as designer) have a clear vision for exactly what should happen on a miss”. I would also say “rarely”.

    For ex, using the “modify weapon” move above: if you have already established that zombies are bashing down the door, then the move might be a race against the clock, so ZOMBIES BREAK IN! is totally legit. If you haven’t established that, then ZOMBIES START BASHING AT THE DOOR! is a good option. I’d be sad as MC if I couldn’t bust those out.

    Mind you, as an MC, if a move specifies a miss, I usually assume I get to make a hard move as well.

  3. Leonard Balsera often, I will look at the GM moves and figure out if there is one that I want specifically to be tied to this move, then I phrase the fail mechanism to aim that way, with the caveat of “the GM will tell you how”.

    Scars of Honor

    When you read the scars of honor on the body of an Ork, roll + WIS. On a 10+ they will tell you their proudest triumph and their most shameful defeat. On a 7-9, you learn only what they want you to. On a miss, you misinterpret or misunderstand – the GM will tell you something false. If you act as though it were true, mark XP.

    In that case, it’s “offer an opportunity, with or without cost.

  4. I think I never appreciated moves that tell you what happens on a miss. I mean, it’s the one time I can really do whatever I want (and that usually means: serious damage). Sure, I’ll do just another GM move, but I want to choose which. Open-ended miss descriptions like the one from adam’s ork move or like last breath are funny once in a while.

    And ça va sans dire, I always tell the players what they are risking before rolling a move, if they don’t have yet an idea about it, with the rare exceptions when I’m totally sure that the missed result I have in mind will be more appreciated if revealed after the roll.

    If I really want to push bad things in a specific direction, I make sure it comes obvious with the move’s trigger. When you touch the portal between planes without adequate protection…

  5. For my hack, I only dictate the “on a miss” once, and that’s for the move “I Know A Guy”. 

    When you have a task beyond the capabilities of your crew but know just the right person for the job, give them a name and describe why they’re useful and why they’re dangerous, then roll+CHARM . *On a 10+, they remember you fondly, and are willing to hear out your offer. *On a 7-9, they remember you, but you must also choose 1:  *On a miss, you still know them, but you probably will end up wishing you didn’t.

    Because you come up with the NPC before you roll, I wanted to make sure that I never deny the players the chance to actually see the cool person they just came up with.

    EDIT: Found a typo from my original document. Oops

  6. (BTW, what is “Custom Moves” as a place one posts?

    EDIT: Oh, as opposed to “Discussion”. Never mind, I didn’t realise the DW community was subdivided. I thought there might have been a general *W custom move community!)

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