Weapons for Journeys, Speeches and Negotiations

So I couldn’t fit all of the weapons for all of the conflicts in the book (or in my Brain). We had to focus on what we thought the most important conflicts were going to be.

So there are no weapons for Journeys, Speeches and Negotiations. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the weapons do add some nice tactical depth to conflicts.

Anyone care to take a crack at coming up with weapons for these conflicts or others?


Map: +1S Attack, +1D Maneuver

Visual Aids: +1D Attack, +1S Feint, Opp Maneuver +1D
(Your opponent can use it to twist your aids!)
Cheering squad +1D Def, +1D vs Feint.
Holding the Moral High Ground: +1D Def, +1D maneuver, -1D feint
(Hard to mislead someone and still hold the moral high ground…)
Evidence at hand: +1D Attack, +1D vs Feint

Hostage: +1D Attack, +1D Feint


Tent or yurt: +1s Defend.
A cheese, or similar foodstuffs: +1D Maneuver.
Lodestone fragment: +1s Attack, +1D Feint.

I really like Cheering Squad.

Aramis, try to keep the bonuses trim!


Duck Mount:
Map: +1S Attack, +1D Maneuver

the one’s with a third entry are penalties or opponent bonuses…

Mounted (Duck or Rabbit): Attack +1s

Negotiation (Haggling):
Opponent’s Competitor nearby: Attack +1d
Sole Supplier in town: Attack +1d, Defend +1d

I’m not so keen on “holding high moral ground” as a weapon. In a game about beliefs etc., most everyone thinks they do. The young guardmouse arguing with town captain to let him go out and find his lost comrades thinks duty is a high ground, the town captain refusing to open gates and send this lone mouse into the dark night to meet his doom thinks they have the high ground.

In oratory, making an argument that is in line with ‘community morals’ would be one type of “Evidence” I think.


I think ‘holding the moral high ground’ is a legitimate weapon, but it should really hurt you. The situations I’m picturing are those in which you know you could attack someone with some kind of underhanded argument, but you refuse to go there. You are good and noble and will stake your claim on being right as opposed to them being wrong. It should give some kind of penalty.

“Moral High Ground” works because it’s a valid tactic I think. It’s a way of winning in a debate (see: every political discourse ever, basically).

I agree that it should also have some problems though (see: (Aust.) Senator Conroy saying people who oppose internet censorship are pro-pedophilia). It can backfire seriously and allows for some quite interesting unforeseen consequences.

Is there a way in the system for weapons to grant advantages to others in certain situations?

I have heaps of ideas for journey related ones (see: my comment about how the conflictual nature might be good for Dark Sun type games in another thread) but I really don’t feel comfortable making mechanical suggestions until I’ve read the mechanics!

As someone whose job is partly to follow public policy arguments and advise on them, I can say every side either cites its own moral claim and asserts it is dominant in this instance (Choice is the issue no Life is the issue), denies the basis for applying a shared moral claim (Well of course murder is wrong but executing a convicted murderer in accordance with due process is not murder), or denies that what is claimed is a moral claim (that sexual activity is not actually morally wrong). If an issue is resolvable by resort to a moral claim, it’s really a non-issue and would be a non-argument.


Of course it is morally imperative that every community support the Mouseguard and unconscionable that any benefit from their efforts and do not support it equally. If they will not see this, they must forfeit protection or have their support compelled.

Of course it is morally imperative that the Mouseguard never use its force of arms against those it serves lest it become tyrant rather than guardian, and the Mouseguard cannot choose which mouse it protects and which mouse it does not.

Citing the first position to support an argument with Gwendolyn or oratory to a bunch of mouseguards is not likely to get you as far as citing the 2nd point. Simililarly, the reverse when dealing with false Black Axe. It’s not citing a moral high ground that works, it’s framing your argument in terms of the values of your audience.

The GM doesn’t need to say “yes, position X is the morally superior” just “yes that’s a very good point in this situation if you can show it applies”.

Gwendolyn thinks one way, the false Black Axe another. Neither is going to be swayed by the appeal to the counter argument.

No, holding the “moral high ground” simply means that your argument has an “odor of sanctity” and your opponent’s does not.

I think that I’m thinking of something rather different when I think of ‘taking the moral high ground’. I’m not coming up with a very good example, but it’s more about the method of your argument, than trying to say what you want is morally superior.

Your opponent could say all these nasty things about you, then you could get into it, explaining why you did them and saying all kinds of really nasty things that your opponent did. Or, you could take the moral high ground and ignore the slander and argue the point at hand.

So you are saying it is a commonly used technique in this sort of discussion?
I don’t really have a problem with that.

It’s not so much a consideration of ethics or rhetoric for me, as a question of “is it something that people do in arguments?”. If it is, it’s a weapon.

It’s possible to define everything as a moral issue (and it can be fun as a thought experiment!) but whether it is or not is irrelevant - the use of the technique, the weapon, in a stylised argument is. While both positions in any given argument may be moral positions, its not true that all the participants are going to necessarily use the assertion of the moral highground as their main tactic.

It’s more about what the speaker is trying to pull, than what is actually objectively (!) moral.

“If you don’t let the Government arbitrarily and secretly filter the internet then you support pedophilia, don’t you! What kind of person are you to support that kind of thing! No right-thinking person, who hates pedophilia, could possibly fail to support the Government’s determination to do this!”

You can probably even find the soundbite around on youtube or (Australian) ABC’s website.

I think this may resemble more of a desperate flailing with a can of deodorant in order to get that “odour of sanctity” that tarjmov mentioned.

EDIT: One day I will learn to use this multi-quote thing properly. Sorry for the consecutive posting.

You want people to think you have the “moral high ground” when you don’t? Put some aerosol on that speech? Make a Falsehood test.