Some help please.

Some help please.

Some help please.

2 players in my group who are part of a secret religious Cult (nuetral). One of the players has come up with a small bundle of moves he would like members of the cult to be able to have.  They are fair moves, reasonably balanced and such, but he wants 2 of them to accessible at Level one.

His idea is these extra moves are available to all member of his order and he’s offering to offset them with a negative move (In the form of a strict set of ethics and a penalty for breaking the code).   

Assuming the systems are balanced, and that the negative suitably offsets the ‘level  1’ moves, what do you guys think of the idea? 

10 thoughts on “Some help please.”

  1. Compendium class:

    When you join the cult of Nuetral the Vowel-Twister, gain the following moves –

    Vowel Twist – when you…

    Each time you level up having gained Vowel Twist, you may take one of the following moves –


    I’d want to check with the other (non-cult) players that they’re happy about it. I wouldn’t be if I later found out a couple of other players are revealed to have started with options that weren’t available to me

  2. Maybe I’m misreading you Tony Kelly,  but it seems to me that you’re apprehensive about allowing this, but feel as if you don’t have any grounds for telling the player no. It’s hard for me to judge without actually seeing the Moves in question, but if you feel that asking for two Moves is too many, just tell the player so.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of any system that allow characters to take negative attributes or qualities in exchange for more “build points”. Especially flaws that are “role play only” such as strict codes of conduct. I find that too often the burden of enforcing these flaws falls to the GM, meaning they have to police the player in addition to running the game. That’s what your player is asking for here; an extra Move (getting two where other PCs would only get one) that’s offset by a “negative Move”.

    It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around a “negative Move” unless it’s an “obligation Move” such as The Operator’s obligation gig from Apocalypse World or The Professional’s “deal with the Agency” Move.

    Adrian Brooks beat me to it. I was going to suggest making it a Compendium Class as well. I’d allow the character in question to belong to the cult, but not give them any special Moves until they Level Up and choose to take one of the Cult Moves.

  3. I didn’t describe the moves so that the mechanics didn’t become the thing people discussed. I appreciate that your ‘blind’ here, so thanks. 

    I’m of two minds actually. I know the player well and he’s not trying to get bonus cool stuff for free. He does honestly think this will be an advantage to the game, and his excitement for the campaign has got his creative mind working overtime.  

    But I’m fairly new to the System, and something in me just says it’s not ‘In the spirit’ of the game to add non-class moves in at the start. 

    So I guess what I’m trying to find out is this. Do people feel adding anything ontop of the basic moves for your class at level one is within the spirit of the game? Has anyone done something like this? How (if at all) did it impact the game? 

  4. Are the moves even necessary? A lot of things can be explained and used just by both the players and the GM being on the same page, especially in *world games. If the moves are largely descriptive, with nominal setbacks for failure, or ones that could really just be ‘handwaved’ with Defy Danger, maybe the players in question simply make a quick note on their character sheet about being part of the Cult of Super Grover’s Helmet and be done with it, and understand that because of their epic storytelling, the GM will throw them a bone when necessary. Like a fan of the character would do.

    If they are full and valid, necessary moves, then I see a few options.

    Make it a compendium class like everyone else suggests – means they don’t get their cool stuff at first level, oh darn THEY’RE FIRST LEVEL. They’ll work into their cool stuff, and surprisingly fast at that.

    I know you and the players were saying that this cult would draw people from all walks of life, but would those people need to leave anything behind to learn about the Cult? You might make it like s compendium class anyway, but give the players already in the Cult the choice to give up some of their normal starting moves to gain these moves. This doesn’t have to be class moves, if there’s a strong moral code associated with the Cult you might consider replacing alignment rules (and turning them around so you’re rewarding instead of punishing certain behavior – DW in specific seems to me like it prefers to reward behavior than to limit it), or maybe even racial moves if appropriate.

    Last but not least, if none of this would work and you want the players to have their custom moves, still make it into a compendium class, but just go ahead and let them take it. But be fair, and a fan of your characters – you should allow everyone the opportunity equally to start with some compendium class stuff if you do it with anyone. Will it up the power level? Who cares! It’s even throughout the party, that’s all that matters, if even that matters.

    The main point is to reward your players for coming up with cool stuff. They came up with this and want to use it? You should be inclined and able to say yes, as a fan of the characters. But make sure you’re not a fan of these overly imaginative player’s characters over everyone else.

  5. I’ve had players request special moves before, even if it’s something that could be lumped under Defy Danger. They like having something that codifies the uniqueness of their character. This is pretty much why Compendium Classes exist! I don’t see the harm in it, as long as equal opportunities are offered to the non-cultists characters.

     There’s also situations where a question comes up often enough (does this particular weird thing that I want to do qualify as defy danger or defend or bending bars or whatever?) that it can save time to write it down as its own move.

    Bottom line… does it make the game more fun for them without breaking it for anyone else?

  6. As a GM I started all of my players with a special move to represent that they were all from different “worlds”. I saw the heritage move idea in the planar codex and used it as a basic guideline. It allowed the players to create moves that made sense to their native people. I was a little nervous because the custom moves seemed a bit powerful, but in the game characters can already accomplish amazing and often quite surprising things by just using basic moves. So in the end these moves have just created interesting character background and gives the players a unique move to play with. As long as the other players who are not part of the cult have something unique as well then it should be fine.

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