Cross the Line REV 03

This is a playtest version of move Cross the Line (aka Commit Violence).

Cross the Line

(Advanced move with a roll)

Violence is an extreme measure, but sometimes a valid approach to getting what you want. This move triggers when a character has determined to be ready to attack another human, to solve a problem in front of the character or get something the characters want.

It’s important to note that this move triggers before the character has to act in a violent manner, as the best possible result is to get what you want without actually shooting or punching. Violence is always dangerous, and it’s common in Nordic Noir for the heroes to walk out of fights very bruised, no matter how good they are in doing it, so Harm from a violent situation should always be very physical and messy.

“As planned…”

The Character gets what they wanted in the first place. They get into the building guarded by the goon. The angry mob leaves them alone. The ex-mercenary talks. The old man with the gun who you want dead to close the Echo dies.

If the player does not get more successes from the challenge dice than from the advantage dice for the result “…And”, the character succeeds without striking a blow or shooting a bullet. It might seem counter-intuitive, but this keeps the action level of the game down in situations where a fight would be unnecessary.

In the genre, there is a precedent of bad guys killing themselves after a brief moment of introspection, if only to keep the main character’s hands clean.

“Only if… we push it.”

There is a price to pay for the characters to get what they want. They lose or break something valuable. The criminal himself gets away (to come back and haunt them later), but leaves behind the item the characters were trying to get. The character breaks the front window, meaning the cops will be there in a moment and they only have limited time to act. This price can cause a GM dictated harm for one or more characters.
The player may choose to character to fail to get what they wanted instead of accepting the price. The price, however, can not be paid with just taking a Harm, like in the base move.

As with the “As planned..” option, the “Only if..” does not result in violence acted out against the opponent, unless they get the result “…And” to accompany it. It might mean that if they want to get to the room guarded by the gunman, the gunman shoots the character and jumps away through a window, leaving the room unguarded, but the Character has now a bleeding wound in their arm from the Harm.

“…And then it broke out of control.”

If there are more challenge dice successes than advantage dice successes for the roll, the situation escalates out of control. The character, or characters, actually go violent on their opponents, and someone gets physically hurt.

What happens in fiction depends on what the characters were trying to do. The Game Master narrates the results of the attack to the opponents and can use this as a Golden opportunity to make a move for an Echo that feeds on anger, or the attacked NPC to show their true colors.
The violent actions always result to an additional Harm for the character (decided by the player), even if they paid the cost of the result “Only if…” with a Harm.

Random Acts of Violence

Brutality without a goal should be either rephrased to suit this move, or treated as a Golden opportunity for the GM to make a move. Trying this against an Echo phenomenon is often a terrible idea, but a generous GM might allow a move against them in right circumstances.