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The Hard Move

Author: Matthew Gravelyn

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The Hard Move is a Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) RPG discussion podcast. Each episode, host Sidney Icarus will chat with a guest about a single move, diving into how the move works mechanically, how players can use it narratively to drive the fiction, and how GMs can react to the move. Join us every other Wednesday as I welcome a new guest to name their move and play to find out what happens.

Please subscribe on Anchor, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you find podcasts. Also consider supporting the show on Patreon. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
37 Episodes
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Reveal a Secret

Reveal a Secret

2020-11-1834:01

Fight, Item, Run is available to back now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whimsymachine/fight-item-run-a-pixelated-ttrpg Taylor Curreysmith and I prepare for the worst as we discuss his Kickstarter based on the pixelated worlds of NES cartiges and limit breaks.  In the Patreon episode, Tay and I also go off topic to talk about Taylor's love of Monster Rancher (even more than the release), my love of Metroid, and a lot of time spent enjoying each other's company. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow  Taylor @whimsymachine and @taylor_cs --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Pay the Price

Pay the Price

2020-10-2841:17

Kyle Thompson and I prepare for the worst as we discuss object-oriented design, separation of intent, and a really cool move that I didn't love going in.  In the Patreon episode, Kyle and I also go off topic to discuss a wild amount of other moves that call on Pay the Price, and a bit of theory-crafting on how we'd like to see this design go forward. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow  Kyle @wiegraf_ and check out Tools for Viable Organising over at https://vsru.org/articles/tools-for-viable-organizing.html Content featured in this episode is from Fellowship 2nd Edition, by Jacob Randolph, published by Liberi Gothica Games. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Choose

Choose

2020-10-1448:08

Literally one day left to get Apocalypse Keys 25% off for being a Hard Move listener! temporalhiccup.itch.io/hardmove25 John Harper and I prepare for the worst as we discuss the building tension, core loops, and how we both get spooked out real easy. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow John @john_harper, and johnharper.itch.io. Content featured in this episode is from Murderous Ghosts by Vincent Baker, published by Lumpley Games --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Holy Symbol Arsenal

Holy Symbol Arsenal

2020-09-1644:31

Get Apocalypse Keys 25% off for being a Hard Move listener! temporalhiccup.itch.io/hardmove25 Jammi Nedjadi and I prepare for the worst as we unfold a developer's story about Apocalypse Keys and an amazing move that stole my heart. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Jammi @temporalhiccup, and help us both out by getting the game at  temporalhiccup.itch.io/hardmove25 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Tell a Story

Tell a Story

2020-09-0245:45

Proceeds from this month's patreon go to Color of Change, support them here: https://colorofchange.org/about/ Yoshi Creelman and I prepare for the worst as we move in herds, uhh find a way and, after careful consideration decide not endorse your park, as we Tell a Story. This episode was a joy to record after a long night at work, and I couldn't imagine a better person to record it with than Yoshi. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Yoshi @yoshicreelman, and find his work on itch under Drawn Bear games. I highly recommend his Pillowfort blog post on playtesting. Content featured in this episode is from Escape from Dino Island, by Sam Tung and Sam Roberts. https://samnite.itch.io/escapefromdinoisland --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Surrender to Weariness

Surrender to Weariness

2020-08-0545:17

Misha B and I prepare for the worst as we fight against the shadow until we Surrender to Weariness. Misha is an absolute joy to listen to, and I think this episode brings a lot of that out. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Misha on twitter @bggameworks. Content featured in this episode is from The Watch, written by Ash Kreider and Andrew Medeiros --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

2020-07-2241:45

Aaron King and I prepare for the worst as we satiate an Object's Hunger with Thy Will Be Done. This episode unfolds a lot about what we want from the move that isn't present, which is kind of different for this format. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Aaron on twitter @aaronmfking, and at erinking.itch.io Content featured in this episode is from The Veil, 2nd Printing written by Fraser Simons and published by Samjoko Games. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Paddy Hutchinson and I prepare for the worst as we pull on some In-Brain Puppet Strings. An interesting move, we discuss a lot about the requirements for the move and how we make it sing at our table. This a fun ep, and it's stripped back from more of the deeply theoretical episodes we've had in the past. Some nice variety. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Paddy on twitter @paddyhutcho, and at liberationindustries.net Content featured in this episode is from Apocalypse World 2nd Edition, written by Vincent and Meguey Baker, and produced by lumpley games. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
At Any Cost

At Any Cost

2020-06-2536:35

Rach Shelkey and I prepare for the worst as we take a look at At Any Cost from Urban Shadows. One of my favourite eps, when we discover that we both have a totally different understanding of this move. In the Patreon cut, Rach and I also talk about medicine and patient autonomy, consent in gaming, and art criticism. Available at patreon.com/thehardmove The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Rach on twitter @teddog, and listen to Plus One Forward. Content featured in this episode is from Urban Shadows. With writing by Andrew Medeiros and Mark Diaz Truman, and published by Magpie Games --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
The Abyss Stares Back

The Abyss Stares Back

2020-06-1041:16

https://itch.io/b/520/bundle-for-racial-justice-and-equality    Spenser Starke and I prepare for the worst as we take a look at The Abyss Stares Back from The Veil. An interesting move, we discuss as much about how we love unpacking the poetry of the move as we do with how challenging it is to engage with fully. It really is like nothing else out there. In the Patreon cut, Spenser and I also talk about the changes we'd like to see this move make, and specifically how it can be so inaccessible to the people approaching it. Available at patreon.com/thehardmove The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Spenser on twitter @spenserstarke, and back Alice is Missing on Kickstarter. Content featured in this episode is from The Veil. With writing by Fraser Simons, published by Samjoko. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Drives

Drives

2020-05-2741:43

Jenn Martin and I prepare for the worst as we take a look at the Beacon's Drives from Masks. We go through how Drives offer players guidance, and how the smart design offers beats without defining an arc.  In the Patreon cut, Jenn and I also talk about how to approach it from a design perspective, along with a bunch of extra goodies. Available at patreon.com/thehardmove The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Jenn on twitter @tenpenjenn (and her website, the.kinematic.cafe) Content featured in this episode is from Masks: The Next Generation. Writing by Brendan Conway, published by Magpie Games. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Gaze Into The Abyss

Gaze Into The Abyss

2020-05-1338:41

Andrew Gillis and I prepare for the worst as we Gaze into the Abyss from Monsterhearts 2. In this episode we discuss inviting players in, generating stakes, and developing good dark stories.  In our patreon release Andrew and I also talk about the ins and outs of Abyss Gazing, and bringing misses to bear against players. Available at patreon.com/thehardmove. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @commutingcrow. Content featured in this episode is from Monsterhearts 2, written by Avery Alder, and published by Buried Without Ceremony. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Go Aggro

Go Aggro

2020-04-2940:31

Adrian Thoen and I prepare for the worst as we go OG and Go Aggro with Apocalypse World 1e and 2e. In this episode we discuss shifting agency of threats; bluffing and calling it; and how to do moves from "a distance". In our patreon release Adrian and I also talk about how Go Aggro can be played as an MC, and the evolution of PbtA moves over the years. Available at patreon.com/thehardmove. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Adrian on Twitter at @madadric. Content featured in this episode is from Apocalypse World first and second editions, written by Vincent and Meguey Baker, and published by lumpley games. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Ryan McNeil and I prepare for the worst as we step into the time-shifting Innocent, and look at a really hostile move. In this episode we discuss escalation in PbtA; what it means to have moves "on the table"; and how different triggers drive different play. A full length bonus version of this episode is available at patreon.com/thehardmove. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Ryan on Twitter at @transalaskin. Content featured in this episode is from Masks and Halycon City Herald, both published by Magpie Games, with lead writing by Brendan Conway. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Last Breath

Last Breath

2020-04-0144:17

Matthew Gravelyn and I prepare for the worst as we explore Dungeon World's move for facing down the black gates of the death. In this episode we discuss the nature of RPG death; triggering and engaging with the move in new ways; and have a blast doing it every step of the way.  A full length bonus version of this episode is available at patreon.com/thehardmove. The Hard Move was created by Matthew Gravelyn, and is hosted and produced by Sidney Icarus. You can follow the show on Twitter @TheHardMove. Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @mrmatthew, and buy Mall Kids at mr-matthew.itch.io Content featured in this episode is from Dungeon World by Sage Latorra and Adam Koebel, and published by Sage Kobold productions. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
The Hard Move returns for Season 2... with a twist! New episodes start on April 1st. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Make A Challenge

Make A Challenge

2019-03-1401:02:40

Becky Annison and I dive into her upcoming game Bite Me! and explore the complicated dynamics of werewolf pack authority. The move Make A Challenge is used as a mechanical device whenever someone willingly, unwillingly, or even unknowingly challenges the leadership of the alpha. This move has some wild effects ranging from swapping playbooks to permanent stat modifiers. Narratively this move can shape the entire course of the game, moving power around and breaking social norms. For the GM, there’s a lot to manage but Becky comes through with some tips for GMs to get your through it.  You can follow Becky on Twitter at twitter.com/BeckyAnnison and check out her work at blackarmada.com  Content featured in this episode is from Bite Me! by Becky Annison. For more information, visit bit.ly/BiteMeKS  Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find more of his work at nickgravelyn.com  You can follow the show on Twitter at twitter.com/thehardmove  Support the show at patreon.com/thehardmove and subscribe to The Hard Move on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or your podcast platform of choice.  --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Act Under Pressure

Act Under Pressure

2019-03-0645:25

Rev Deschain and I check out the move Act Under Pressure from Monster of the Week. This seemingly generic move is used whenever there is risk or doubt about the success of an action and offers a wide assortment of both mechanical and narrative outcomes. We talk about how Rev uses this move to cover the success and failure of multiple moves into one roll and how he provides several narrative options for his players to choose from. As the GM, Rev thinks the more options the better, and puts the power back in the players’ hands.   You can follow Rev on Twitter at twitter.com/RevDeschain and check out The Crit Show at twitter.com/thecritshow  Content featured in this episode is from Monster of the Week by Michael Sands. For more information, visit evilhat.com  Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find more of his work at nickgravelyn.com  You can follow the show on Twitter at twitter.com/thehardmove   Support the show at patreon.com/thehardmove and subscribe to The Hard Move on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or your podcast platform of choice.   --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Take A Powerful Blow

Take A Powerful Blow

2019-02-2748:091

Lloyd Gyan and I expand on a Twitter conversation by discussing Take A Powerful Blow from Masks. In a game where super humans battle it out with fists and wits, the concept of harm is replaced with systems of conditions and narrative outcome. This move mechanically encapsulates what it’s like for a super teen to take a hit, physically or emotionally, and what happens after. Narratively this move has a lot of options for players to choose their own adventure, and the GM also weighs in heavily if the enemy gets an advantage as a result. You can follow Lloyd on Twitter at twitter.com/druggeddwarf and check out the One Shot Club at discordapp.com/invite/Y4DRYdA Content featured in this episode is from Masks by Brendan Conway. For more information, visit magpiegames.com   Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find more of his work at nickgravelyn.com  You can follow the show on Twitter at twitter.com/thehardmove  Support the show and subscribe to The Hard Move on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or your podcast platform of choice.  --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
Transform

Transform

2019-02-1344:05

Jonah M. Jackson and I launch into Uncharted Worlds to discuss Transform, a move from the Shaper playbook found in the Far Beyond Humanity expansion. This move is mechanically light, relying on another basic move for its trigger, but offers amazing flexibility in play. As you might expect when morphing into wild, alien beasts, the narrative impact of this move can be widely varied depending on the situation. The GM doesn’t play a major role in the actual move, but it’s incredibly important for you to discuss how you plan to use this move prior to the game.  You can follow Jonah on Twitter at twitter.com/jonahmjackson and check out The Quest Company at questcompanypodcast.com Content featured in this episode is from Uncharted Worlds by Sean Gomes. For more information, visit uncharted-worlds.com Music is by Nick Gravelyn. You can find more of his work at nickgravelyn.com You can follow the show on Twitter at twitter.com/thehardmove Support the show at patreon.com/thehardmove and subscribe to The Hard Move on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or your podcast platform of choice.  --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thehardmove/support
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