2010-10-27 : The player/MC line

John Harper's written a fantastic post about custom moves in Apocalypse World: Apocalypse World: Crossing the Line.

Here's another way to do it, with the player still choosing, without crossing the line:

When you try to deal with the rat-men, roll+hot. On a 10+, they'll listen to what you have to say. On a 7-9, they'll listen if you prove yourself. Choose 1:
- you consume their vile drug and have visions with them
- you give them some intel on their enemies
- you let them taste your blood (1-harm ap)

Similar choices, but all written as actions the character takes.

Smart stuff, and smart stuff - nuances, disagreements, exceptions - in the comments.

1. On 2010-10-27, Bret said:

I wrote this over there, but I'll write it here too. It reminds me of a thing I've been pondering since reading some other AP reports. I keep seeing "Ask questions" used as "Make a statement about the player's character and follow it with a statement." That seems to be crossing a line too in the other direction.

"Have you ever gotten into any trouble in this town?" vs. "What was the name of that person you killed the last time you came through this town?" for instance. The former is the kind of question I'll ask. I think the latter is the MC stepping over a line and were I the player I might tell him/her to back up the wagon.


2. On 2010-10-27, Jonathan Reiter said:

Consider that the only time gameplay is interesting is if these lines of authority are crossed.

This is more of a universal observation about (look at Polaris) than specifically about AW.


3. On 2010-10-27, Ben Lehman said:

That was me! My room-mate was the last to comment with this browser, apparently.


4. On 2010-10-27, Rafu said:

Ben: If this line is crossed, or if this line is closely approached?


5. On 2010-10-28, Ben Lehman said:


Crossed. Via the rules, naturally. And often, particularly in games like AW, the logic of the fiction.


6. On 2010-10-29, Chris Chinn said:

Reading that thread, there's a specific thing to AW that doesn't apply universally - in AW, the MC has guidelines and principles for authorship and the players don't beyond "Make your characters real".

When John is talking about crossing a line, what it seems he's really saying is, "Don't do shit that asks the players to take up the MC's role in areas which would need the MC's guidelines".  Hence why the focus is for them to make choices/input coming from the place of the character, which is where players are working from in AW.

But the general idea of lines being crossed?  All we're talking about is the ability to input on everyone else's input- and like Ben is saying, that's the only way things are interesting.

The specific system or rules determine HOW we can input on each other's stuff and makes one system fun in some ways vs. others.


RSS feed: new comments to this thread