Discern Realities:

Discern Realities:

Discern Realities:

How do I make this move flow from the fiction?

What sort of trigger words should I be listening from my players that would make me trigger this move?

I have had my players start saying “I discern realities” – naming the move. Ugh!

Help please…

12 thoughts on “Discern Realities:”

  1. If they are asking a question, searching, examining, etc. It flows from the action. Visualizing the action helps. Paying attention to their motive/goal regardless of what they are actually saying or doing. Also if you want to convey information you can look for a pretext to call for the move. Is a tip off but players are good sports.

    I don’t encourage players to name or even hint at moves.

  2. Last Inverse World game:

    -I put my ear to the door and listen, uh, and are there some strange smells passing thru? (NO, it was not THAT door!)

    -I fly about over the place, searching for people moving too quickly

    – I climb over the giant fungi and try to find a safe way to the ruins

    -I get into the pit and root around through the spider carcasses, in order to find SOME F@#@#g loot.

  3. Personally, I prefer if the players don´t mention their Move as part of their declaration, but I´m fine with it as a clarification in the discussion that follows. Ie. “I look around, seeing if I can find any hint as to what has happened and if there was a trapdoor or something that Dr. Zorbo might have used to escape this locked, windowless room. looks up from dice That´s… Discern Realities, right?”

  4. If we’re talking about playbook moves, players can and should name what they’re doing, but it’s news to me that they should name basic moves. I always understood moves being triggered by (and almost only by) narration being a core concept of PbtA.

  5. I find it more immersive if players aren’t angling for a specific move, punching the buttons on their character sheet… its better and more organic if they just describe what they imagine their characters doing. That doesn’t work for all the special moves on a character sheet, because as a GM I can’t remember them all, so they need to help with those.

  6. Right on, Mike. It’s a fine line. I feel pretty ok with players kind of angling for a move, especially if it’s something awesome. They just have to work the fiction. It’s trickier with playbook moves, but with experience, no sweat.

    To bring it back to Discern Realities, they have to be doing something besides generally looking around. I’m always forthcoming and honest about general details, especially if nothing sinister or secret is right there. It’s when they actively search or analyze with the intent to get ahead, and/or get themselves close to imminent risk that the move would help with, that the dice come out.

    If I can tell they want to make the move but aren’t doing anything to trigger it, I ask what they’re doing specifically to figure stuff out. If they still don’t show effort, I’ll give any more mundane info that may come up, but they don’t get the move.

    Now, what I have a hard time implementing smoothly is Spout Lore. Thoughts on that interesting but oft-overlooked move?

  7. I personally am a fan of “I look around for” with Discern Realities. As normal you have little time to use this move in an action sequence and especially there a lot of the questions are useful and would add to the scene. No one does that though as “taking a quick overview of the battlefield” isn’t enough to trigger it while in Apocalypse World it is. I see many more situations read in Apocalypse World then in regular Dungeon World. There are of course other factors but the ammount of time it takes doesn’t help.  

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