Image from CGSociety

Continuing the first session from the last post, we find Shalan arrives to Anarcaima and heads to the Morehouse home to talk to Nob about seeing the guard bricking up the spring. While Shalan is inside, chatting and eating a flower-petal-and-insect salad Nob’s daughter Lily brought him, I choose to bring the miss condition from Shalan’s persevere under duress move (more on the basic moves) in the first scene. That says I can bring the duress to him, “now or in time.” So this is “in time.”

Choosing to bring the focus to Bloor, I suggest that Bloor might be spending the early morning in the alley between the Moreland home and their next-door neighbors, and Becca agrees. When the guard arrive, I ask whether Bloor wants to move closer to hear what’s up. Bloor chooses to do so, using Bloor’s unseen sentinel move.

Unseen sentinel

If you hold yourself still and silent in the wilderness, you will be mistaken by any passersby for a feature of the natural landscape; say how you blend. If you try to move you must persevere under duress to stay hidden. You may also persevere if you try to stay hidden when in civilization, but only if you are somewhere where your body could be mistaken for landscape. You cannot move and remain unseen in a civilized place.

Since Bloor was in civilization, I ask Becca to roll+Serene for persevere under duress. My memory is she got a 7-9, so in this case, I decided the duress was the sunlight. Bloor needs to stay still in the sunlight long enough that part of Bloor’s body is desiccated and Bloor takes 1-harm. However, Bloor successfully overhears that they mean to get rid of Shalan and anyone else he told about the action at the spring.

I cut back inside and Judd surprises me by, rather than having Nob stonewall the polycule unit out front, opening the door to them (after sending Shalan out the back with Lily to get to safety) to invite them in for breakfast. While the second, Yevgeny, seems inclined to wheedle, his captain, Jin, gets to the point. She wants Shalan. So Judd decides Nob will beguile her.

Beguile someone (roll+Resplendent)

When you try to seduce, manipulate, lie to, hoodwink, or fast-talk someone, tell her what you wish her to do, give her some cause to heed your will, and roll+Resplendent. For Demiurge characters, on a 10+, she will do as you wish, unless or until some event or deed betrays the cause you gave her to obey. On a 7-9, she’ll go along with you so long as you can first provide something tangible that provides assurance of your dependability, evidence of your claims, or some other good reason to be persuaded. For Company members, on a 10+, you may offer the victim both of the options below. On a 7-9, offer 1:

— If she chooses to do as you wish, she marks experience.
— If she refuses, you erase one of her stat highlights for the remainder of the tale.

Whether her character does what you want is always up to her player. On a miss, the Demiurge may cause trickery and mischief to turn against you in some way, now or in time.

Judd rolled a 10+, but I ask him, “What’s your ’cause to heed your will?'” He says, “I know human laws,” (he has a move, called reared beside the enemy which gives him +1 when dealing with humans), “and they need a writ to search my home.” Furious, Jin races off, guaranteeing to return.

Meanwhile, Shalan and Lily cut out the back, only to find Severn, a new, unsteady recruit to the guard unit, covering the back alley. He holds up his sword and tells them they’re not going anywhere, but Bloor is there and tells him to let them go or else. I told Becca that it sounds like a move, and she agrees.

Coerce with violence (roll+Brutish)

When you coerce with violence, you are trying to force someone do what you want with the threat of violence that you will carry out if he doesn’t heed your will. Say clearly what you want from your target and exactly what violence you’ll inflict on him if he refuses to obey. Roll+Brutish and on a 10+, your victim has to choose one:

— Force your hand and endure your wrath
— Bend to and obey your will

On a 7-9, he can choose 1 of the above, or 1 of the following:

— Make way for you, with urgency
— Seek certain refuge from your fury
— Seek to placate you by offering what he believes you want, or want to hear
— Relent slowly, meekly, showing no threat

On a miss, the Demiurge may ensure savagery turns against you in some way, now or in time.

When you’re forced to hurt someone, you trade harm as established (p. XX). This means that you will hurt him as befits your weapons, modifiers, and his armor. It also means if he’s in the position to hurt you, you may be harmed according to what he’s capable of dealing.

Bloor’s got a +3 Brutish, and Becca easily hit a 10+ easily. It was obvious to me what Severn would want to do: bend to and obey Bloor’s will. Severn dropped his sword and backed off, letting the demihumans get away.

Next time on Moves Snowball

The fight at the spring.

Do you want to playtest Demihumans?

You can! Download the basic kit, and if you reach out to me I can hook you up with the draft text.

(The rules text above is from the current draft of the rules at time of writing and could change.)