Hi everyone!

Hi everyone!

Hi everyone! What you think about delayed hard moves? In some situations it would be logical not to announce effect of bad roll immediately. E.g. some kind of commander (general, captain etc.) gives doubtful order to his soldiers, player roll 6-, and GM decides that his people will betray him. And not right now, but when he will really need them. Obviously, player presumes that something like that is going to happen, but he shouldn’t know what and when to be surprised. What do you think, is it OK to announce effect of hard move later?

7 thoughts on “Hi everyone!”

  1. I think that’s fine (Think offscreen too), but it also works best if you can provide at least a hint of what kind of badness might be going down. Ideally it’s a move that follows (if a player rolls a miss and stumbles in their action, perhaps a few guards roll their eyes or laugh, suggesting that they lack confidence in the adventurers, which can translate into them not feeling great about following dubious orders.) I mean, if you can’t think of something, it’s also fine to just smile and say, “yeah, you trip and fall flat on your face, but you’re fine; let me just make a quick note…” [Consider adding quiet maniacal laughter to the smile if that’s your style.]

  2. You really ought to be broadcasting this right then and there, though. Yeah, the betrayal isn’t happening right then, but right that moment is when you say “And you can see it in their eyes, as they look back over slumped shoulders: you’ve lost their respect, all of it. They obey, now… but their eyes scream ‘This cannot continue.'” A 6- is the moment to make as hard a move as you like and is fictionally appropriate.

    This is how you lay the bricks for that future betrayal you’re so hyped about… you absolutely should not pull a betrayal on your players out of nowhere using a 6- as your justification. “Why did Tycho just stab me??” “Well, you rolled that 6- earlier, but it didn’t make sense then, so he stabs you now.” If a 6- screams “BETRAYAL!” to you, great, you should start broadcasting it then and there, in the fiction, and let it snowball over time into the dramatic reveal, so that when it happens it makes sense and has some payoff.

  3. Personally I don’t think delayed hard moves are a good idea. When a player rolls a 6- the GM needs to give them something to have the characters react to. You, the GM, need to make something happen so that the narrative keeps chugging along. If you don’t give the characters something to react to, the game starts to grind to a halt.

    As Alfred Rudzki said, if the hard move is that the soldiers will betray their commander later, you need to SHOW that to the players. Narrate what it looks like. Furtive glances between soldiers. Angry mutters about the just given order. A tension in the air. The players should know that something is very wrong, even if the characters don’t know exactly what it is.

    Saving a hard move for later feels too much like a “gotcha” to me. I don’t like it. Sometimes I struggle to come up with GM moves, and some of the moves I make feel weak at times, but I feel you always need to make something happen on that 6- roll.

  4. I don’t like delaying the response. What I have done in cases like this is delay the roll. For instance, in an Uncharted Worlds game, the ship mechanic made some engine repairs with scavenged materials. I told him to hold the roll until it mattered – later in the session as they were trying to flee, I said “ok, now lets see how those repairs held up”.

    This isn’t precisely allowed under typical PbtA rules – a trigger is a trigger, and the GM cannot invalidate it – but we were all on board with it.

  5. I have used cutscenes to situations beyond the players to show the effects of a 6-/Hard Move. I’ve also said I’m going to bank a Hard Move and that they’ve succeeded at “x” despite the 6-.

  6. Chris Stone-Bush Good point about being careful not to let things grind to a halt. If I do a ‘background’ hard move (with a suitable hint ideally), I also try to add a reminder of the ongoing danger that likely prompted the action resulting in the move that missed. If you missed while trying to impress the troops to rally against the approaching orc army, remind them: “you can still hear the war drums beating in the distance.” You shouldn’t introduce new present danger (you’ve already decided to make a background move), but it’s certainly fair game to keep ongoing tension alive.

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