18 thoughts on “Just saw this link posted on Reddit, thought it looked promising. It’s a different take on Bonds.”

  1. I think this would eork a lot better with my group then bonds i feel. I don’t know why but every time i play with bonds, players don’t really play them. But this is clear and players i feel would know exactly what to do with it.

  2. Interesting idea with the potential to open up some alternative approaches.

    Bonds can be played for inter-character support or tension. Character Flags (as described) singularly promote inter-character tension.  If that’s how you like your games, great.  If not…

    Also, Character Flags have the same problems as Bonds: they involve retrospective accounting and the prompt to act (End of Session move) occurs after the time to act (in the heat of the game).

    FYI, Bonds get very little use in my local DW game beyond the flavor they add when starting a new character, for the simple reason that no one seems to use the ‘Aid or Interfere’ move.

    Why don’t we use ‘Aid or Interfere’?  

    I think it’s because:

    a) The extra +1 is rarely worth the risk of Missing on the Aid roll

    b) Too often we don’t have a bond with the person we want to Aid

    c) The bonus on the Aid roll is often mismatched to the character

    d) The Bonds that get recorded are a subset of the character interactions in our games, and therefore don’t reflect the real strength of inter-character relationships

    e) We get better results using our own moves

    As for the solution?  Keep throwing in ideas, they all help.

  3. I don’t like flags because they no longer define how a character relates to another in the world. I agree that flags are a valid mechanic and a potential solution for many tables. Keep up with the ideas.

  4. Everyone seems to use The Aid move in my game because they realise the importance of that extra +1 in not failing, also I do struggle sometimes to find good dangers to give them on a 7-9 especially if they are helping on a parlay or something that doesn’t scream at me what a good danger for the helper would be.

    But the bonds themselves never seem to come up in play that often, I just think the players I have had are not to sure how to play the bonds with one another. So I kind of like the flags idea of this is totally how to play this against me which would be easier to understand i feel.

  5. I like flags because AW and DW are different kinds of games. AW is a game about interconnected social relationships, so Hx works great for that purpose. DW (like D&D) is more about exploring, fighting monsters, and seeing what happens to your character in the world. So I like flags because they’re more internal and they help you define how your character acts. Relationships between characters aren’t as important. And, of course, flags work even better if you have a game with a rotating set of players.

  6. In my Cowboy World hack bonds have a modifier from +1 to +3 reflecting the strength of the emotion (positive or negative) between the characters. The bond modifier can be used instead of charm, intimidate, command or empathy modifiers when the fiction allows it. A strong bond (+3) can be invoked to add another +1 to the roll after it is rolled, but the player has to pay 1-Grit to do it.

    Because there are specific pvp social moves written, using bonds are encouraged in play and get used more often. An example is if one PC wants to force another PC to do something, the player can roll+command or roll+bond.

    PCs also have Fame and Infamy that work exactly the same, but in interactions with NPCs. 

  7. Okay, I tried flags tonight. Here’s how it went…

    First, our group picked 2 bonds and 1 flag. The flags were picked last, and by that point the players had a pretty strong sense of who they were and why they were. The flags they chose have not resolved at all,though they picked ones that really support their personal motivations. It was interesting and really reinforced growing the characters beyond their sheet, so I liked that, even if we only discussed them twice.

  8. Usually in my first sessions I would do the boonds at the end so I say an aid would be at least 2d6+1 because I’m expecting for them to have at least 1 bond for the players.

    I think this is a good baseline if the ygo with flags instead. And you could maybe ado a rule where if you fufil that flag with someone that session you get a +1 to the aid move with that person. Or next session if you do it at the end.

  9. Interesting, but it doesn’t really read like a fix for bonds to me. It reads more like adding something different. More like Fate’s compels than a mechanic for explaining the “assist.” Bonds aren’t unworkable as is, but they do feel flat sometimes. 

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