[AW] Seize by Force is a Peripheral Move
Tuesday, November 23, 2010It took me 80+ sessions of Apocalypse World for it to sink in, but there it is. Seize by force is a peripheral move, not a basic one.
It's one of the least-used moves in the game (or it should be). The fictional actions it represents are unusual to the point of almost never happening. Virtually every situation where seize may come up is better covered by a combination of act under fire and go aggro (plus some of the optional battle moves, occasionally).
In the rare case where a character really is just charging forward to their goal with no concern for their own safety, the move works great. Maybe it should be called walk through the fire or something.
Seize also muddies the waters really badly for some players. Any time a character goes after a goal, it's interpreted as "seizing" a thing, and the move is rolled -- even when the outcomes and effects of the move make no sense for the fictional situation. The last AW game I played in was plagued by repeated discussions about whether an action was seize by force or go aggro. It was go aggro, every time (with some acting under fire sprinkled in), but the fact that the seize move was there in front of everyone turned a simple action into a rules debate. It was tiresome.
Bits in the text about "seizing the moment" or "seizing a life" confused things all the more. I know what Vincent was going for there, but in practice it's confusing as hell.
So, goodbye, seize by force! You're getting cut from the basic moves sheet. Enjoy your new company with the peripheral moves. I'll see you around some time.
Labels: apocalypse world