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In a Monster of the Week game I'm going to be running this weekend, I want to have a Deal with the Devil kind of encounter for my players. To do that, I'm considering making a custom move for a monster that lets the players gain some mechanical benefit (I'm thinking a Move from any playbook, or solving some existing problem), if they are willing to mark off 1 point of luck from their character.

I want to make sure before I do this, though, that this is keeping in spirit with the way luck is used in these games. There's no moves in the rules that let the players spend their luck. I've never actually run/played MotW before, either, so I'm worried this might make luck feel like it's a little more in my control, rather than entirely theirs.

So my question is, would a custom move along those lines make Luck feel radically different from the base rules?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to this stack! Take the tour! Because—I think—the same amount of Luck points are given no matter the length of the campaign, will this be at the beginning of a long-running campaign or just during a one-shot? (I suspect most folks will be more willing to sell their character's soul if they know they're not playing the character again!) Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 7 '18 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ At the moment, it's a one shot. If we decide we like this system/these characters, we'll extend it into a campaign. But yeah, I agree, in all likelihood at least some of them will sell their souls. \$\endgroup\$ – Tylerelyt Sep 7 '18 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ For anyone curious to the results here, we played yesterday, and no one took the deal, I think mostly because the monster ended up being about 10x deadlier than I expected, and everyone had to burn 3 or 4 luck each to stay alive. But it did the thing I wanted, where it gave a serious consequence to the power up, so they really had to consider whether it was worth the cost. \$\endgroup\$ – Tylerelyt Sep 9 '18 at 12:18
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Evidence suggests it's a fair trade.

I don't know if you've had a chance to carefully look over the available playbooks yet, but one of them, the Mundane, actually has "regain one luck point" as an available advance.

Granted, the Mundane has a smaller bag of practical tricks than many other playbooks, so it's arguably intended to be spending and refreshing luck points to have the same exceptional impacts other playbooks get by default.

But getting a luck point back is worth an advance, and getting another move is also worth an advance, and it's certainly well within the idea of a "deal with the devil" to trade away long-term survivability for short-term gain.

I would hesitate letting them make more than one such deal apiece, though - trading more than one luck point for a move can seriously amplify what a character is capable of. Also, as far as regular obstacles go, keep in mind that regular ol' burning a luck point will give you a 12 and that's usually enough to make serious progress on getting rid of most comprehensible obstacles.

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