I was thinking about Spout Lore, and, searching the history of this community, ran into a very nice rewrite by…
I was thinking about Spout Lore, and, searching the history of this community, ran into a very nice rewrite by Jeremy Strandberg. I like how it perpetuated the back-and-forth between the GM and player on a 7-9, while still allowing the GM influence over the total direction of the move. But as great as that rewrite is, I can’t help but feel like it misses my main issue with the Spout Lore Move.
That is, the vagueness of it all.
I mean, it sits right next to Discern Realities, a great move that equips the player with questions that push the fiction forwards in new and unexpected ways for everyone. Compared to that, Spout Lore looks like the equivalent of prodding the GM with a stick and saying “Hey. Say something interesting.”
Imagine if Discern Realities said “On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the situation or person”. Yeah.
What if there were something similar for Spout Lore? A list of leading questions that lend structure to the move and give the participants some prompts to build off of.
Even a move as simple as Bardic Lore (player asks a question, GM answers) is much more powerful and much more directed.
Perhaps there’s some fundamental reason that Spout Lore has to be so vague, but I’m not sure. Ultimately, both Spout Lore and Discern Realities are used in very similar situations: You want some useful or potentially-useful information. The only difference is whether you already knew it or you’re learning it now.
What do you think?
I came up with this move a while ago to kick off a oneshot.
I came up with this move a while ago to kick off a oneshot. It’s designed to facilitate a game where the player characters are all united to defeat some threat to the world. It gives each player a hand in defining the threat, with the intention being to get all the players invested from the start.
I imagine it being used in an opening scene or prologue where the PCs are all gathered around a campfire or in a tavern sharing their information or stories. Each player rolls the move in turn and builds on the details established by the previous players, optionally starting with a GM prompt (like “an evil noble”, or “a wild beast”).
Here’s the move:
When you share your experience regarding the Threat, describe your previous encounter with the Threat and roll. If it was…
…through battle or contest, +Str
…through stealth or escape, +Dex
…through affliction or defeat, +Con
…through research or prophecy, +Int
…through divination or oracle, +Wis
…through rumour or trickery, +Cha
On a 10+, you come with insight into how to gain an advantage. Describe one weakness or limitation of the Threat.
On a 7–9, you know of the danger the Threat poses – and knowledge is power. Describe one quality that makes the Threat dangerous.
On a 6-, Mark XP. You possess only vague and unsubstantiated information. As 7-9, but prepare yourself – the Threat may be even more dangerous than you imagined.