Alright. It’s taken me a while to get to this, because this is The Core Move and all. So far I think I’ve gone through 5 or 6 iterations of this, and I’m very open to feedback. Also: Warning, this might be long.
Part III – Core Move
As I mentioned previously, after years of running UW and lots of feedback, I found that the catch-all “Face Adversity” Move did the majority of the mechanical heavy-lifting. It didn’t take up a lot of mental run-time for the GM, unlike the other, more niche Moves. Moving forward, there will be three Core Moves that every character has:
- Face Adversity (Action Move)
- Get Involved (Helping Move)
- Seek Opportunity (Downtime Move)
We’ll just cover Face Adversity for now, and I’ll cover Get Involved and Seek Opportunity at a later date.
So here we have the Move in its current incarnation:
In a way, this Move is 5 Moves, each with different consequences. The consequence-per-stat section at the bottom serves to set player expectations and act as a guideline for GMs. It’s definitely more of a learning tool, and I fully expect veteran players to glaze over it as they grasp the mechanics.
The Move also accounts for disadvantageous situations, making it much more costly to attempt something while on the back foot. Note that Face Adversity can be used to overcome dangers or create advantageous situations, allowing players to chain actions back-to-back in order to dismantle a particularly dangerous situation. Interesting side note: while any main consequences are determined by the methods employed (stats), the “disadvantage consequence” is determined by the cause of the disadvantage.
I’m aware that some folk are not fans of generic Moves in PbtA-style games. And while I generally see them as positive, I do agree that they don’t have much in the way of “flavor”. The problem is how to preserve the GM’s mental-runtime by not forcing them to remember the nuances of a dozen unique, esoteric, situational, quirky Moves, all while using Moves to create flavor and move the story forward in interesting directions.
To resolve this, I’m leveraging the other big success of UW, the careers system. Each character will have two unique Moves, granted by their career combination. This will allow Moves that are character-appropriate, and push the kind of gameplay that the career should be pushing. Here are three examples:
Since these are on the character, the triggering and resolution of these Moves will be player-facing. They’re generally stronger and more interesting than a standard Face Adversity, but much more restrictive.
Obviously, these are all in early phases. Lots of tweaking to follow.
I’m very interested in folks’ first impressions. This will be the main way the players interact with the game, so I want to make sure it’s non-threatening to new players, while being robust enough to create interesting play.