Something never sat quite right with me about Volley, so here’s an alternate version (rather harsher overall,…

Something never sat quite right with me about Volley, so here’s an alternate version (rather harsher overall,…

Something never sat quite right with me about Volley, so here’s an alternate version (rather harsher overall, although that was not the intent) that I will be trying in my game in the future. Translated from slovene:

When you take aim at a target, erase 1 ammo and ask the GM if anything is obstructing your shot or endangering your position. If the answer is no, deal your damage. If the answer is yes, roll +dex. On a 10+ you hit your target and deal damage. On 7-9, choose:

°your target avoids the shot, moving to safety

°you hit and deal damage, but the danger to your position comes to bear

On a 6 or less the usual fuckery.

This would require a slight ammo reworking. I haven’t considered the interaction with any class moves yet because I’m working from a WoD chassis up.

24 thoughts on “Something never sat quite right with me about Volley, so here’s an alternate version (rather harsher overall,…”

  1. I actually like it, but the first 7-9 option needs to be a success with a cost. You run into an ammo problem though, as 3 ammo will go insanely quickly.

    Perhaps you could choose: you only deal half your damage from a glancing blow, you draw attention to yourself, or something else. A third option here would be nice.

  2. In fact, I would allow the player to reclaim the ammo from the target after it is dead. It might require a DD if during a battle (or not).

    This could make the third option “the arrow deals full damage but breaks, making it unable to be reclaimed.” Essentially, lose one ammo.

  3. I think the first option counts as a success in many circumstances, it’s the equivalent of a “worse outcome” of a defy danger roll and the whole move is kinda a rewording of a mix of sucker someone and go aggro from Apocalypse World.

    I will think about it, but it’s hard to say before it hits the table.

    Ammo defintely wouldn’t work as curently written though, like I said.

  4. What if you roll because “anything is obstructing your shot”… what would be the danger to suffer in case you chose “danger to your position comes to bear”?

    What I’m saying is that the trigger contemplates two options, but the second choice is valid only when there is danger, but not for a difficult shot because of your position.

    Is missing the shot the only option, then?

    I understand that the 2 options require the player to chose between dealing damage or keeping safe, but in that case the trigger for “obstructing your shot” is maybe not correct.

    On the other hand, I would hesitate to remove it completely. Dealing damage with no need to roll seems too powerful, so probably as GM there would be the need to invoke a lot of obstructions, even when there is no danger for the character.

    Bottom line; I would rework a bit the 7-9 list…

  5. Davide Pignedoli I think the loss of an ammo immediately to gain a guaranteed shot is the trade-off there. 

    Gregor Vuga If I shoot at my target, and I choose the first option, that the target moves and dodges the attack, in what situation would that be considered a success with a cost?

    I don’t think worse outcome is meant to be interpreted as “you wanted to do this but this is what happens, which is worse.” That’s a GM move on a failure. A worse outcome, in my eyes, means that you got what you wanted but there is also a bad thing that happens as a result…

    e.g. You shot at and hit the target, but they dropped the amulet, which shattered against the floor. You needed that to open the portal.

  6. Gregor Vuga, I see where you’re coming from on “your target avoids the shot, moving to safety” being a partial success, similar to the 7-9 results on go aggro. The idea is that they take defensive action, and give up the initiative in order to avoid taking damage. Yeah?

    But I don’t think that works in the context of the attacker making the choice, especially when the other choice is to put the attacker in danger.

    Go Aggro works so well because the target is making the choice, and choosing between suffering the harm you threaten, giving you what you want, or (or a 7-9) doing something defensive that gives up the initiative. It shapes the conversation in a particular way, because the player triggers the move and rolls, and the target’s player (often the GM) describes the response and then the GM asks “What do you do?” So it can be like “I open fire, trying to get them to scram!” and roll a 7-9 and the GM’s like “They scatter and dive for cover; one went behind that car, two dove into that old cargo container. You don’t have a shot on any of them but if they try to move you sure will. What do you do?”

    I.e. the defending character makes their choice, and the conversation naturally turns back to the attacker and asks “what do you do?” That’s because (if the defender is an NPC) their choice and the description of it is the MC’s soft move.

    But I think the conversation flows differently if the attacker is making the choice. “I draw a bead on the high priest. Anything in way? Any nearby threats?” “Nothing in your way, he’s advancing towards you down the temple’s main room, flanked by his two acolytes, eyes shooting daggers at you interlopers. But all those cultists to your left, they’re sure a potential threat. You take the shot?” “Sure, that’s 1 ammo down and… crap, a 7. Um… I don’t want to get swarmed by a pack of cultists, so I guess he moves to safety and I miss the shot?” “Yeah, okay. He sees you drawing down on him and he darts behind the pillar to your right.”

    What happens here? As the GM, I’d consider that description to be describing the players choice. I don’t think that I’d immediately turn it back to them with “what do you do?” I think I’d probably make a soft move. Like, maybe the high priest starts chanting a spell. Or maybe the cultists charge. And then ask “what do you do?”

    Maybe I’m not right about that, maybe most GMs would ask “what do you do” after describing the high priest moving to cover. In that case, yeah, 7-9 is definitely a solid result.

    But even then, there’s a big issue: the player is getting to dictate the target’s behavior. What if the target is a mindless zombie? Or a wizard who thinks himself invulnerable behind his layers of magical wards? Are they going to move to safety? I doubt it. But the move doesn’t account for that.

  7. “But even then, there’s a big issue: the player is getting to dictate the target’s behavior.”

    Jeremy Strandberg

    That’s absolutely true. This is probably an even bigger problem, but I believe it is separate from the non-choice that is offered.

    I can more likely understand a choice that says “miss the shot but offer an ally +1 against the attacker as the target is distracted” or something where I forgo damage but gain something else, either tactical advantage or otherwise.

    I want my arrow to do something. Distract the target, pin them to a structure, deal damage, or something. I cannot simply think of a situation where I would want to choose to both 1) not deal damage and (2) lose ammo. What am I gaining?

  8. If the target takes a defensive position and then the GM asks “what do you do” (to you or to another PC), then your arrow does totally gain you something.  It’s suppressive fire. You gain the initiative.

    But as worded, I don’t think it will necessarily do that. And more importantly, I don’t think the attacker should be the one who decides.

    Hmm… what about this?

    When you take aim at a distant target, ask the GM what’s in the way and what dangers threaten your position. If the answer is “nothing,” spend 1 ammo and deal your damage.  If there’s something in the way or threatening your position and you take the shot anyway roll+DEX. On a 10+, your shot hits, deal your damage.  On a 7-9, the GM chooses 1:

     – You hit and deal damage, but whatever threatened your position comes to bear

     – Your target takes cover and hunkers down defensively, taking no damage but ceding the initiative.

     – You hit and damage a foe near your target, but not the one you were aiming for

  9. Because then they’re not doing anything else. You’re keeping them pinned down, quite possibly while you maneuver for a clear shot (and potentially auto-damage), or your allies do (or do something else that makes this the target’s day suck, like fireball or send in the barbarian).

    “Suppress and maneuver” is one of the core principles of modern infantry tactics.

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