One of the core concepts of the roleplaying game Dungeon World is that of Moves. Moves can be thought of as responses to the player characters’ failed or partially failed actions; the results of their missteps. When I first read about this idea, it struck me as similar to Twists in the Torchbearer/Burning Wheel series of roleplaying games. Again, filling the same role of pushing the GM to drive plot and action as a result of poor dice rolling, whereas the players do so on dice rolls that are exceptionally well. While this was bubbling in my mind, some of my Star Wars players discussed,
“Why is this symbol called ‘Threat’? Calling it ‘Disadvantage’ would be so much more clear as to what it does.”
Everything then clicked and I jumped into the conversation to disagree. Threats generated on a FFG Star Wars dice roll aren’t so mundane as to be a mere disadvantage, they represent new, previously unseen dangers and obstacles that are introduced. Just like a Move. Just like a Twist.
Hence, we come to my scribbled notes for my home campaign; CRUSH the REBELLION – Operation V. In this Operation, the scene was setup as a tense, difficult situation which needed the Agents immediate intervention. I then used fairly punishing difficulties for most activities, usually 3 Challenge dice, and then activated new problems on any result of at least 2 Threat or worse. I had a long list of Complications, such as introducing new enemies or surprise traps laid by a Nemesis, to pull from as I needed inspiration on the fly. The results worked out beautifully, often creating a high-paced, panic-filled environment that never really left the players any chance to catch their breath. It was exactly the style and tone I wanted, and I highly encourage Galaxy Masters to try their hand at this method of adventure design.