About Custom Moves

Custom moves are really important. Often, the moves you choose to include say more about the situation than half a dozen paragraphs of fluff.

Consider the example below:

When you force your way through a crowd of piston-heads, roll+STR. On a 10+, you force a space through the mob for yourself (and anyone behind) for a moment or two. On a 7-9, you’re through if you can unhook whatever it is of yours that’s just gotten snagged on a wayward gear. On a miss, the piston-heads close ranks – and the pistons start firing…

I was pleased with how this move came out, for a few reasons.

Without knowing anything more about the adventure, you can already make a few assumptions.

  • “Piston-heads” suggests a steampunk setting.
  • There’s a mob, which implies they’re ganging up or protesting something.
  • They aren’t threatening the players directly, but are in their way. Will the players resort to force to clear a path, or diplomacy, or magic, or something else? (Play to find out what happens…!)
  • When the “pistons start firing”, it’s implied to be bad news for the players. It might signify the piston-heads are now a threat – a soft move – or the party might get bashed by the pistons – a hard move. (This decision is left to the GM because it depends on what condition the PCs are in when the move is made.)