I’m reworking some of my basic moves for my PbtA game about cold war espionage. This is what I’m thinking for the basic fighting move:
When you use violence to harm someone who is fighting back, roll+hard. On a hit, you deal a wound to your opponent. On a 10+, choose one, on a 7-9 choose two.
- You are hit during the fracas. Take a wound.
- You are shaken. Take 1-stress.
- It is loud and messy.
On a miss, prepare for the worst.
I kind of want to make the point that violence can be a good solution to your problem if your problem is that someone is alive and you want them not to be. But I want violence to always be complicated and come at a cost.
My game doesn’t use harm in the Apocalypse World sense. A wound is basically lethal to a NPC, and a big deal for a PC. Two wounds means a PC is critically wounded and might die. Instead, stress is something that is tracked at a higher resolution.
What I’m struggling with in this way of formulating the hard choices, is how to handle weapons that are inherently loud or messy. Do those tags invalidate picking that choice from the list? Or should I just skip having those as weapon tags? But then, how should one handle genre staples as suppressed weapons?
What do you think? Or is it back to the drawing board?