A few playbook moves reference Labels connected to playbook-specific features - for example the Protege's Venting Frustration, allowing the character to roll the Label their mentor denies to directly engage a threat while Angry.

When taken as a "take a move from another playbook" advance for a character who doesn't have the playbook feature in question, how would you decide which Label a character should use?

This is well into the realms of GM discretion and will often come down to the details of the specific character and move in question, but I'd like to know about people's strategies and methods for making this sort of decision.


3 Answers 3


You can't take moves from another playbook if they don't make sense.

A lot of moves refer to things specific to their playbook - Legacy moves talking about members of the legacy, Janus moves talking about their secret identity; heck, even Outsider moves talking about their homeworld, though that's more a backstory than an extra.

Getting a move from another playbook means that you're acquiring those abilities in the fiction, not just on your character sheet, and nothing happens unless it makes sense in the fiction. So, for any of those dependent moves, the GM and players are going to need to work on making them make sense in the fiction.

If you already have a Protege, or a Legacy, or a Janus, well, it's not unheard of for a mentor or a legacy or a secret identity to draw another hero into it. Secretly or unknowingly being from space isn't outside the realm of comic-book possibility, either. But ultimately if the GM can't find a way for a move to make sense for a character to take from another playbook, they can't take it.

So let's work out your example case: someone else taking the Protege's Venting Frustration. Dusk has been reaching out to Mentalla a lot lately - she's an established hero with mental powers, and while she can't absolutely relate to Dusk's edge-of-oblivion mind vision she does help Dusk adapt to a life where they have it. When Dusk gets an advance they decide to take a Protege move and it's at this point that they talk over with the GM about whether Mentalla is going to be a mentor and what kind of labels she embodies and denies. (Not that it matters, but Mentalla believes in responsibility through self-control, embodies Superior, denies Freak.) The first move Dusk takes from Protege reflects the, uh, rather rocky start to this relationship.

But in addition to this, Mentalla is now Dusk's mentor, and will involve herself in Dusk's life and heroics in ways another adult would not, even if Dusk rejects her influence - the GM should probably start looking at the Protege-specific GM moves in addition to the Doomed moves when thinking about how Dusk's life gets complicated.


I like Glazius's answer, but want to add some specific thoughts about how to handle the example of Venting Frustration.

The point of the move is that it heightens the tension of what the mentor wants the Protege to be, versus how the Protege is tempted to act when Angry.

In order to take this move, the hero should already have a relationship with an older NPC, who has clear ideas about what labels they should and should not personify. (Almost certainly, this NPC would be involved in one of the hero's Hooks.). That NPC's preferences would determine the label the hero gets to use. The downside is that whenever they do that, it threatens their relationship with the older hero.

There could be looser interpretations that work well. Maybe it is not an actual relationship, but an older hero that the PC idolizes. As long as there is some conflict created for the PC about whether they want to emphasize the "denied" label.


This is a self-answer, and I've accepted one of the other answers as I think it gives a clear, solid guideline; I'm presenting this as an alternative.

Advance choices need to make sense one way or another, but there's some space for interpretation. When looking at moves of this kind, I would look at the underlying themes of the move and the extra it relies on; and in particular, examine what exactly that specific move needs, rather than mirroring the whole structure of the extra.

In the case of Venting frustration, the point is that the character indulges something they know they shouldn't to work out that anger. In the case of a Protege, that's the way their Mentor doesn't want them to act; but the move itself doesn't directly interact with the Mentor, unlike Fireside chat or Heroic tradition. All the move relies on for its own positioning is a Label that can be clearly identified as how the character knows they're not supposed to be.

For example, a Transformed whose arc focuses on distancing themself from their powers would be justified in taking Venting frustration with Freak as the denied label, representing what happens when they let that control slip, even if there isn't any other character who could be identified as a mentor figure.

Some such moves don't work like this - it's not really plausible to take either of the other Protege moves I mentioned above without someone to give advice, and the Outsider's Belong in two worlds move needs a relationship with some group willing to supply you with resources - but it's worth looking at what details of an extra are actually required for a move to make sense, as sometimes there's a well-supported angle that a more straightforward read wouldn't allow.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .