Hey, picking this thread up again to share my progress on making good Threats.
I read through the Storm chapter again and realised there was a resource there I'd overlooked - the additional sample Threats in the 'All the King's Vamps' sample Storm. I hadn't really read deeply after the 'Ley Lines Loose' sample Threat earlier in the chapter, since I'm not using a full Storm in my game, so I missed these until now.
(If/when Magpie take in any further corrections, a pointer on p259 to check pp265-9 for more examples could be helpful.)
Once I had a good set of examples to cross-check, I realised the key thing my problematic threat was missing - meaningful aftermath. 12.00 isn't (or isn't just) 'the last big thing happens'; it's 'the city is changed permanently due to the previous events'. To make the Threat kick, you have to have a payoff - ideally a concrete, specific one - and the payoff needs to be outlined in the Threat.
My 'Ice on the Blood' Threat had no payoff - nothing happened once Iannos claimed the Arcardia apartments. So I needed to rethink things from that angle - what happens after
that - and to keep the countdown clock focused specifically on tick that lead to that payoff.
The other thing I took on board was some advice from +Daniel Krashin
, to make every tick a hard move. (Well, reasonably hard). Looking through the Wild and Night moves suggested some appropriate ticks; looking through the Threat moves first made me decide to change the Threat type, and then again to make some moves into ticks.
All that said, here's the revised version:Blood on the IceThreat Type:
Territory/ Expansion (Impulse: to create and multiply)Cast:
Iannos, Lillian, Elsa (archivist at the State Library and information broker to several supernatural contacts)Description:
Iannos wants to connect the Vamp PC's Arcadia apartment construction project to the Realm of Winter, in order to bring more Winter fae to Melbourne. He's allied with Lillian, who wants his assistance against the younger local vampires.
• 3.00: Elsa supplies Lillian with pertinent legal and architectural records from the State Library.
• 6.00: Iannos' fae sabotage the construction site to temporarily stop work.
• 9.00: Lillian uses the records to make a hostile takeover bid on the project.
• 10.00: Iannos kidnaps Elsa to use as a sacrifice to fuel the Realm connection.
• 11.00: Iannos sacrifices Elsa; streams of frozen blood enmesh the apartments.
• 12.00: Iannos connects the apartments to the Realm of Winter. A dozen powerful Winter fae come to Melbourne, and the apartment complex becomes a feeding ground for them.
This still needs work, and I suspect I'll rewrite a bunch of it on the fly while running the game, but I'm feeling a lot more confident about it.
So that's my take on Threats now - a clear and specific payoff that changes the city, and a clock that uses hard moves as ticks to coherently set up that payoff.
...which is more or less what the book says, I guess, but I needed some help and examples to see it.