Hello all.

Hello all.

Hello all.  I am trying to wrap my head around Parley and the use of counteroffers… I was thinking about the archetypal situation of trying to bribe a bouncer.

PC: I offer 20 coin to the bouncer to “find” me on the guest list.

GM: Beefgate the Bouncer eyes your coin.  This seems like a Parley, roll for it.

On 6-, I understand all sorts of fun things could happen, because the GM gets to make a move.  Maybe the bouncers take the PC out back and beat him.  Or toss him into a canal.  Or embarrass him in front of his date.  Or, more deviously, maybe the bouncers let in the hapless PC but alert the Big Bad Evil Guy ™.

On a 7-9, I understand that the Bouncer will do what the PC asks, but will demand “concrete assurances.”  I guess this means that he wants the 20 coins right now, and he lets the PC in.

On a 10+… I assume the Bouncer will still want those 20 coins right now, because it follows from the fiction.  Which makes a 7-9 result here identical to a 10+.  I mean, I could imagine a result on a 10+ where the Bouncer just likes the cheek of the PC so much that he lets him in for free, but that strikes me as diminishing the importance of the leverage.

What I am getting at is how to better make distinctions between 7-9 and 10+, or “concrete assurance” versus mere “promise.”  And is there room for something like a counteroffer?  Suppose on the 7-9, instead of “concrete assurance” of the 20 coins waved under his nose, the Bouncer comes back with a request for 30 coins?  Or would that kind of counteroffer be more appropriate as a GM move, in the event of a 6- roll?

Anyway these are just head experiments, I have relatively little DW game experience under my belt at this point.  So how do you handle Parley?  Do you have awesome Parley stories to share?  I genuinely think it is an awesome mechanic, I’m really just trying to understand it better.

6 thoughts on “Hello all.”

  1. With parley I sometimes treat it as “open negotiations” instead of just “demand something now”. I let the fiction dictate which one I use. Otherwise I don’t find any problems.

  2. If you have 20 coins and the bouncer wants them, it’s not even a parley – you don’t have leverage, you have a bribe. If they don’t want those coins or they’re not sure, you can leverage the coins and the promise can be that you don’t tell anyone what a piss-poor bouncer they are. Concrete assurances could be “ten now, ten when I leave and you’ll never see me again”.

  3. I typed out this whole long response and then realized there’s a very simple answer.

    On a 10+, the NPC does what you ask if you first promise to do what they ask. In this case that means the bouncer will let the PC in, so long as the PC promises to give them the 20 coins once they are inside.

    On a 7-9, the NPC needs some concrete assurance right now. In this case that means the PC has to hand over a few coins now, before they get inside, and is expected to hand over the rest once they actually are inside.

    Of course, whether the PC actually pays the bouncer after they’re inside is completely up to them. 😉

  4. The fact that with a 10+ you don’t have to keep your promise doesn’t mean that, if you do, you’re losing something or wasting a good roll.

    The paladin in my games always goes for parlay and always keeps his word.

    In other words: a 10+ on parlay is, at the very least, a measure to see what the character is made of.

    Specific to the example you made: you don’t promise 20 coin, you promise “big gold”. On a 10+, even if you you give him a coin purse filled with marbles, he will not count the money right now.

  5. Hell, you don’t even have to keep your word on a 7-9 either. You just have to give the NPC something to make them think that you will.

    Example A: PC says “I’ll give you this bag of gold if you let me in.” They get a 10+ on Parley, and so the bouncer lets them inside then holds out their hand for payment. The PC can then say “Yeah, I lied. But thanks for letting me in.” They just have to deal with a pissed off NPC.

    Example B: PC says “I’ll give you this bag of gold if you let me in.” They get a 7-9 on Parley, and so the bouncer holds out his hand for some kind of payment now. The PC gets in if they drop a few coins. After getting in the PC can still say “Yeah, I lied.” just like on a 10+, but here they are out a few coins.

  6. Bouncer: Yer not on da list.

    PC: What would it take to get in the list?

    Bouncer: Howzabout 10 gold.

    PC: Eh. Okay fine. But I don’t carry that much on me. Can I bring it tomorrow? (Rolls 9)

    Bouncer: Gold in my hand or you ain’t gettin in.

    PC: Tell you what, 2 now, and the rest tomorrow? Here, at noon.

    Bouncer: Three now. And you better not stiff me… this is a small town.

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