Basic Fellowship Moves

This is just a conversation starter, really. It sounds like Mike had some thoughts on the topic as well.

Thought 1: Masks has either spoiled me or ruined me. Possibly both.

Thought 2: There’s no way to take something from someone without a playbook-specific move (Sting Like a Bee). As near as I can tell there’s literally no Basic Move way to get A Thing away from Someone Else without going murderhobo. I mean… yay niche protection, and every fellowship should have a halfling, sure, but come on…

Thought 3: Overcome only working with +blood is pants-on-head stupid, just based on the text IN the move.

You can Overcome any obstacle, threat, Cut, or Move made against you or an ally, if you are in a position to act against it and have the means to stop it.


Blood: Your boiling veins, your burning passion, your bloodline, your burning need to protect your friends and family. Blood means power, ferocity, loyalty, rage, and passion.

You’re dodging something, toughing through it, “I ain’t got time to bleed”, saving a companion from a severe tongue-lashing, from a charming seduction, outwitting someone, out-logic-ing someone, using your peter-tingle to detect incoming danger, dodging a cultural faux pas at a banquet, all of it is Blood. All of it. RAGE at the dinner placesetting until you know which fork to use. raAaAaaaaAAgGgEeee.

Yeah. I don’t like that. At all. In case that wasn’t clear. If I definitively change any basic move, it would be making Overcome work like Defy Danger and thus having the +stat follow the logic within the established fiction.

Now, I know why the author didn’t do that. He liked Get Away - he’s on record as calling it his favorite move in the game - and +grace Overcome muddies what is already pretty muddy water. I get it. Still irks me to no end.

At the least, expect a lot of on the fly “Okay, roll Overcome, but +wisdom, here.”


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Orc diplomatic functions in a nutshell.

Oh, right … those fake claws you biggers use.

Hmmm. A particular application of Take Down? You take something by force, or by grace, or by wit, or by wisdom, or by cowing them?

That requires setting up an Advantage, to be sure. (Hand-waves.)

If you have a halfling, then you have someone who can pickpocket them through Sting Like a Bee as well. The implication being that, in the context of Fellowships, only halflings can pickpocket, without some variant on a +Grace Take Down.

I like using Take Down here because it is a “defeat” (a small one here) and the move already has the multi-stat mechanism. Having it be Overcome sort of stretches the definition plus it makes the two moves effectively very similar.

Just my two cents. IANAGD (I Am Not A Game Designer).

I was thinking adding it as clause in the third Get Away option (leave with someone or something), but I don’t know if that makes Sting Like a Bee less cool. I dunno. It could be I’m inventing a problem where none exists, but it still bugs me

With some familiarity with the system, and more thinking about it, I found it interesting to reread this topic.

I think this is less about niche protection than genre protection. If you want to take someone from something, either you’re being given it, you’re taking it when they can’t object, or you’re taking it when they don’t know to. The first is just fiction, there’s no roll. The second is the province of other moves, e.g. Finish Them. (“He’s armed with an ax and looks ready to attack you” “I talk him down, and ask him to surrender his weapon”) The third is where Halfling moves might come into play. But just generally, in this kind of game, that doesn’t really happen too often. The PCs are not supposed to be thieves, the fiction doesn’t really encourage thievery, and so there’s no corresponding move for it.

If you really need, just say “after you grab the item, roll Get Away to see if you get away with it”. One of the choices you get is “You get there quietly, drawing no attention”, and a stealthy pickpocket must choose that to succeed. Or read “you grab someone nearby” as “you grab someone or something nearby”, as mentioned here.

The move trigger is literally “When you attempt to avoid, redirect, or prevent the harm something will cause”. This isn’t about averting situations that will cause harm, this is specifically talking about making harm not happen.

Toughing through, “ain’t got time to bleed”: these are all clearly appropriate to Blood.

Dodging something: there’s a Get Away move for this - “When you need to get somewhere out of reach or out of sight” is an incredibly versatile trigger.

Saving a companion from a severe tongue-lashing, from a charming seduction, dodging a cultural faux pas at a banquet: Multiple options, including “Keep Them Busy” and using a bond to help a companion “Get Away”, would work here. “Look Closely” lets you see the danger coming.

Outwitting someone, out-logic-ing someone: these are straightforward applications of Finish Them, which has an “outsmarting” clause rolling Grace.

I feel like there’s Fellowship moves that we’re just not rolling because the don’t map to our preexisting notions of basic moves, e.g. Defy Danger or Defend. I think part of “remind the group about your moves” can include the basic moves, and ways they might apply.

All good points.

Long run, looking back, I’m less happy with having the end of session move run every session, because I don’t think, in practice, it throttles-down to scale, since we can (and do) easily “learn new things about the world” nearly every session, while (in contrast) relatively little happens in the fiction. Maybe that’s the GM’s crappy pacing - more as likely, it’s just because we’re doing half-length sessions, thus doubling the end-of-session checks. Net effect is characters are adding new abilities so fast they haven’t had a chance to use the LAST thing they picked up before they have to pick a new one.

(Actually, I think the Gotcha is: we as players can learn new things about the world regardless of whether the story advances (I ask questions, get answers, ding), which means that specific XP faucet doesn’t throttle-down to match story pacing in the way “xp on a fail” (Masks) or “xp when you complete a vow” (Ironsworn) does.)

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I feel like solving this problem, one way or another, solves the XP problem. Either we dial up the threshold for what “something new about the world” means, e.g. a new discovery triggered by action, or we ask ourselves “are we doing too much info-dumping and too little acting”?

I agree that it feels like we’re advancing faster than what feels natural, now that we have several sessions’ worth of data to look at.

Maybe the question gets tweaked to “did the characters learn something new about the world?”

I feel like this would connect things to the pacing of the fiction, and also drive us to make information sharing/invention something that happens in the scenes and thus drive more RP. Bones?

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I’m happy to try that. I’m also happy to try end-of-session every other time, to account for the time gap. Whatever we think will work and is fun.

One could also slow down the advance of things by changing the trigger for the move from “at the of a session” to “when you succeed or fail to thwart the overlord’s schemes” meaning you specifically interacted with the overlord’s schemes (either by stopping one of their plots or by assaulting one of their sources of power) and that exchange has completed (meaning one side succeeded and one side failed). It makes a gameplay loop not unlike Blades in the Dark/Scum and Villainy’s of go on mission > complete mission/earn rewards > go on next mission.

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