In an upcoming conflict (partly being a battle, but there shall be more than fighting, the time horizon will be not more than a few day in-game time) between two religions, I expect one of my PCs will want to help the 'enemy' god's army, because he is a Cleric of that god.
I thought of writing a move for that PC's player that will allow him to carry out a plan to support his deity's army during the conflict. I thought that making the move hidden might be interesting. With "hidden" I mean having the player independently carry out the move when an in-game situation permits it without announcing it or even telling the other players about the move.
To communicate the results to the GM the player would write down the result and I would incorporate it into the happenings later on, based on the plan and on the result.
The move I wrote is (slightly shortened, as I translate it to English):
Infiltrator of Your Deity
This is a hidden move. Use it on your own, when an opportunity arises. Roll for it in secret.
When you have a plan to support your deity's army in the conquest and enough time to pursue the plan (e.g. while the other players are doing something and not paying attention), roll +WIS. On 10+ you create an advantage for your deity, the GM will weave it into the story later on. On 7–9 choose 2:
- You need some adventuring gear to make it work
- It takes a lot longer than you thought
- The sabotage is apparent, but not that you did it
- You take a personal disadvantage
In a few words, write down your plan, used resources and the result on a piece of paper and hand it to the GM.
Example: You pass an unattended cannon. Your plan: plug it with some cloth and oil to make a little surprise. You roll+WIS = 8. You choose (1) and (3) and use some more cloth from your adventuring gear (1 use).
On the piece of paper you write:
"Plug cannon with oiled cloth. Roll: 8. Choice: 1 (more Cloth), 3"
As in the trivial example, a trigger for the move might be when the party walks on top of the city wall. There could be a guard they want to talk to guarding some cannons. While the others do the talking and inadvertently distract the guard, the Cleric could use the opportunity to sabotage one of the cannons.
The questions I have regarding this approach to the situation:
Do you think that this concept of Hidden Moves is appropriate for Dungeon World at all? I.e.: In other RPGs the GM often rolls in secret on stuff the players do not even know about. I feel that empowering one player in such a way could be worth a try in DW.
If so, do you think a hidden move is a good way to deal with conflicts between PCs, or would you have those conflicts be carried out openly? I.e.: Do you rather think that for roleplay and rules it would be more appropriate to carry out a conflict between PCs openly, e.g. by taking the exact move above, but making it public and thus introducing an open conflict between the intentions of the players. I can see that being interesting as well, but I fear that the players would metagame a lot and argue about how they would want to deal with things, not how their PCs would do it. Or that the other players would put pressure onto the Cleric not to support his deity.