Saturday, December 15, 2012

Avatar World: Bender Playbook Moves, Topics of Future Thought

Well, hey there! Been a little bit, like 3 weeks or something. I've been busy with stuff and, uh, designer's block I suppose. More like combined designer's block and designer's procrastination - I wasn't sure where to start and thus kept putting it off. By some fluke, I guess that paid off, because over the past week I've actually generated content - like almost all the Bender playbook moves! Let me take a look at my notes...

Okay, I have 5 sections of things broken apart. One section is the Airbender playbook moves, another is the Waterbender, third and fourth Earth and Firebenders, and the last section was actually a big list of topics that I need to address or consider.

For the writing process, I started with the Airbending move. I knew I had a basic framework of a Momentum system in my head, and just started putting idea to paper. After Airbending, I made a couple really basic other playbook moves, and moved on to do the entire Firebender. He's actually my favorite.

But what should I show off today? I have more than enough for several posts, but let's combine some of it. Let's start with just the basic bending moves.

Airbending: When you direct the air around you, roll+Natural. On a 10+, you gain 2 Momentum. On a 7-9, you only get 1 Momentum. Spend Momentum 1-for-1 for effects when you use your continuous motion to your advantage:
     * Deal 1 Harm.
     * Gain +1 Forward.
     * Distance the enemy from yourself or draw them up close.
     * Prevent 1 harm.
You keep your Momentum until you stop moving for any reason, at which point you lose all Momentum. Repeated uses of Airbending add additional Momentum on top of any you already have. If you spend multiple Momentum at once to deal Harm, they count as one strong attack for purposes of overcoming armor (even if narratively they are illustrated as multiple strikes).
This is the basis of the Airbender. The idea is that he always wants to be in motion, holding at least some Momentum. When he has a lot of Momentum, he's free to spend it on various options there, but he must be careful, because many of the other playbook moves for him operate only when he has at least 1 Momentum - a still airbender is a vulnerable airbender, and I think that's very fitting with the concept from the show. Also, I expect the bender to lose his momentum pretty often - look at Aang's fights. Any of them that actually provides a challenge to him typically knock him on his back of have him skidding to slow being blasted back. Now, the flexibility of "how stopped is stopped" is up to the GM on the spot - it should be pretty obvious when an Airbender has lost momentum. Note that Aang can keep up his momentum with his hands alone - you needn't only be moving your feet.
My notes for this move tell me that I should write about the contrast between this and Move With Intention, because the two are not all that different on the surface. It's meant to, sorta. Airbending IS moving with intention - that movement is integral to the form. However, there are a couple key differences - two that I can think of. First, immediacy. Move With Intention requires you to pick your benefits instantly - you can't wait and see how the situation pans out, but with Momentum you can keep it held until you know what would be more useful. This sounds like it makes it simply more powerful than MWI, and I'd say yes, but remember that MWI will trigger in more varied instances than Airbending, and there's the other key difference: How it affects enemies. Airbending is different in that it allows for direct damaging of foes - you can deal harm, albeit not much at once. On the other hand, Airbending cannot be used in the same support capacity that Move With Intention can because you cannot place tags on foes. I haven't discussed what exactly Tags do, but know that I'm drawing my inspiration from FATE games and how support characters can place Aspects on targets that allow the attackers to have an advantage.
So those are the big differences. One can hold and deal damage, the other is triggered more variably and can impose tags.
I would be remiss not to mention a mostly-incomplete hack of Apocalypse World by John Harper and Daniel Solis called Dead Weight. Dead Weight is a freerunning game, and uses a thing called Flow in a similar way I've used Momentum. While I didn't directly reference the text while writing this move, I'm pretty sure it was a guiding influence.
All in all, I'm happy with the concepts here. I'd need to see how the exact choices of numbers and options of what you can do with Momentum actually work out in play, but I like the ideas. Next, Firebending.

Firebending: When you create or manipulate open flame, roll+Hot. On a 10+, it does what you want. On a 7-9, you lose control of it in some manner; choose 1:
     * The flames are larger and more taxing than intended. They deal +1 harm, but you    take -1 ongoing until you have a chance to recuperate.
     * The flames explode into being, dealing 1 harm to all nearby, including the Firebender.
     * The effort leaves you momentarily expended. Take -1 forward and the tag winded.
     * You set fire to the area. Add a relevant environment tag (eg burning, slagged, etc).
I think this also models the concept well - Fire is powerful, but has a life of its own. Firebenders need excellent self-control to keep a hold on their powers, and this shows that using Fire can be dangerous to you, but have excellent rewards. You should notice that I do not specify how much harm Fire deals. This is because you should determine the harm based upon the usual scale of what would mean what. I assume that a full body scorch is 3 harm, but this is pretty variable. It is NOT up to 4 harm unless it's consistent or they are particularly susceptible.
You may have also caught the new concept in the last option: environment tags. Environment tags can be exploited by both sides of a fight, but are not target-specific, so they are quite effective in mook fights. Again, this is using Tags kinda like Aspects from FATE, which can also be applied to the scenery.

Waterbending: When you psychically manipulate water [to attack?], roll+Fluid. On a hit, choose from the list. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 1. You may pick a single option multiple times.
     * Deal 1 harm.
     * Impose a tag on a foe.
     * Impose an environmental tag.
If you take the harm option multiple times, it is considered one large attack for purposes of ignoring armor (even if it narratively considered multiple strikes).
The Waterbender does their trick multiple times is the idea. If they're good at what they do and particularly dedicated, they can deal as much damage as a full flame blast, or they can play a very wide supportive role. Like with Airbending, this is pretty close to Move With Intention. In fact, it uses the same stat and isn't holdable like MWI. However, Waterbending lets you do more to directly inhibit a foe, while MWI is more about positioning and gaining a better chance for future moves. Waterbenders will need it to avoid taking too much harm, or to gain bonuses on moves without triggering tags.
You can see the bracketed "to attack?" up there in the trigger. It makes sense that you would waterbend at other times too, but I'm thinking that those other times it just isn't a challenge or something? Non-combat bending in general probably isn't too tough unless you're trying to do something exceptional, and in that case I would say that it's time for a custom move or the like. I'm still hesitant about adding the To Attack though. I think I want to try it in a game without the phrase, see how it goes, and then decide.
I MIGHT, however, specify that this move DOES need to be liquid water. This does NOT incorporate Icebending. I have plans there.

Earthbending: When you manipulate rock or stone with your mind, roll+Solid. On a 10+, you succeed. On a 7-9, pick one:
     * You succeed but are left vulnerable.
     * The technique is weaker or diminished in some way.
     * Your manipulation caused unforeseen consequences in the environment.
This was the last one written, and I think it's the weakest of them - it's just not very special. Fire is all about risk v. reward, Air has a whole subsystem, Water has its little niche in being a tag specialist, but Earth isn't. I'll keep thinking, because I want all the Bending moves to FEEL special - despite the other playbooks, personally I find the benders to be the ones that interest me most. But, if we take this just as is, it allows for a very broad use of Earthbending, capable of just about any standard Earth technique.
A couple of notes. On being left vulnerable, that's not vulnerable. Put more clearly, it's a narrative state, not a tag. You've left yourself open to the enemy, and they don't need to use a tag-triggering mechanism to take advantage of that.
Being weaker in some way is very subjective. Just how weak would really depend upon the circumstance.
Unforeseen consequences are things like if you lifted a rock and drew the attention of a nearby creature, or if you threw a stone and it ended up smashing something important, or if you shook the earth and collapsed a support pillar, or stuff like that.

So those are the core moves for the four benders. I think I'll keep going and just explain what I have here! It's a lot, but, oh well.
Who to start with...well, let's go in the same order. Airbenders first.
Acceleration: As long as you have at least 1 Momentum, take an additional +1 to Airbending rolls.
 Simple. The idea being that this move allows you to ramp up your Momentum pretty quick if you keep Airbending, giving you spare to spend on the move itself. That's strong - remember that that spare Momentum is likely going to be the Airbender's main method of dealing damage. Also remember though that, should the Airbender be stopped, they lose ALL Momentum, regardless of how much they have. I'll also mention that it's totally worth having some buffer points - stuff usually triggers when you have any Momentum, but you want to have more than just 1 so if you need to use it shield yourself from harm you can.
I'm consider upping this to "as long as you have at least 2 Momentum" to offset some of the power. Also looking for something to make the move a little more than just that mechanical bonus.

Oh, now's a good time to mention: all move names are extremely tentative. Move names should be descriptive of the character, not of the technique the move is describing - Acceleration would be more along the lines of Super-Fast, because the latter describes the character trait that leads to the move. There are other ways to do it, but in general I'm going to be shooting for that, I just didn't put too much thought into all of these names yet. I'll call out when I particularly like using a certain name.
________________: You have +1 Natural (max +3).

 Well that was...uninteresting. As you'll see, most of the +1 Stat moves have a special clause that makes them feel a bit more like their bending, but the Airbender always has theirs. That's okay - it helps less in the Basic Moves department anyway, seeing as Speak Honorably is likely a less-used move as a whole in the game when compared to Speak Dishonorably or Stand Fast or Move With Intention, so I don't feel so bad about given it a little easier of a bonus.
Air Shield: As long as you have at least 1 Momentum, the swirling air grants 1-armor as it deflects attacks.
 My most expendable move, um, overall. This is a trouble move. It feels valuable to have something like this around, especially because hell no are airbenders getting any armor by default, it reinforces the value of Momentum (helping justify Acceleration), and I wish I could do a bit more with this type of thing, but at the same time, I'm worried that this is really just a variation of actually using Airbending and using Momentum to Prevent 1 Harm. Other worries include a flavorlessness (this doesn't say something about the character really, it's just a thing you do) and I could really use the extra space to have another move - can't clog up the playbook move list! We'll see how this evolves.
Nomad: You Meditate with Natural instead of Keen. If you connect with a spirit, when you awake Hold 2, and spend your hold, 1-for-1, to [DO SOMETHING]
 Best part here is the name. I wanted to be able to tie the Airbender and the Monk together to form the Air Nomad, and that meant spirituality. I'm unhappy with most of the mechanisms here but everything is in the right direction of where I want to go. I don't have a clue what the hold would be, I don't know if that's a nice trigger (or even very Air Nomad-y), I don't know if I want to give away Meditate necessarily - making them roll things that aren't their main stat is cool, but the Nomads connecting their meditation to be fueled by Natural, a stat about oneness and understanding and interacting with others (and for them, the world), well, Meditate with Natural just seems RIGHT for an Air Nomad.
____________: [Something about adding the *Gain 1 Momentum to Move With Intention, maybe something about MWI with Natural or something]
 Let's pretend that move isn't even less developed than anything else. I have move text, but on typing it up I realized I didn't just like it in its existing state. It has no fictional basis. I like the basic mechanism concept, but I need more than a mechanic to put it in the playbook. Thankfully, I also have a concept for something else that is currently without a mechanism but has a solid concept that I can replace this with if really necessary.

I only have concepts for the remaining two moves and have no mechanism at this point. These are Lightbending and Soundbending, the "advanced" bending forms of Airbending. Something you'll see with the other benders is that at least one of each of their alternate bendings utilize a non-core stat for the playbooks. I'm not sure which of the stats I would give to an Airbender's moves.

So, in summary of the Airbender, I love the Momentum mechanic and am struggling with how to use it beyond its own move.

Let's move along to the Firebender, shall we?
Conductive: You can create or remove raw heat energy in addition to open flame when you have sustained physical contact with the target.
Remember, you can cool things down with this as well (although once cooled, even if frozen, you can't manipulate that still, but it could make for some interesting Waterbender/Firebender interaction)! This is a whole other dimension of the Fire Magic User not particularly dwelled upon in Avatar. This is also called Heatbending, but with Lightningbending I wanted to keep the number of *bending moves down. I'm not so sure if this move is enough on its own - I may need to give it a mechanic as well, even if it's just a static bonus to something.
Words I'm contentious about: "raw", "sustained", "target" (that last one I'm iffy on because I want to be clear that anything goes that you're touching, objects are cool, not just people). 
Lightningbender: When you channel lightning, roll+Fluid. On a 10+, you succeed at projecting or redirecting the lightning strike.
NOTE: Lightning, when it strikes directly, deals 4 harm.
On a 7-9, choose 1:
     * Some power rebounds, reducing the power to 2 harm and dealing 1 harm to the bender. [!]
     * The bender and all who see the attempt gain the tag dazed
     * The power doesn't manifest at all, fizzling out.
[!] Numbers, wording undergoing fiddling.
In general, I really like this. My brother brought up that perhaps you just want to do the redirection move, but that's just the same as taking Lightningbender and not shooting the lightning yourself - it's the same roll.
I'm not so sure about a couple things regarding the tag one. I'm not sure if you would ever NOT pick that one - it doesn't actually weaken the blast, and just a tag makes it pretty much better than the top option by default, and weighing a condition versus the ability to deal 4 harm is a pretty big gap. I'm also not sure about the utility of a tag dazed, and I'm not so sure about naming the tag concretely at all. Most of them have all been about Imposing tags, but don't specify the tag. Of course, Monsterhearts does this too with Conditions - usually it's vague, but drained is special. However, it's concretely in a special place with everyone because of the Darkest Self and self-rescuing, not just a funny little playbook move.
But the basic structuring does what I want. Also, you can see I declared the harm. It can be modified for amazing strikes or stuff but 4 is a general direct hit - enough to severely wound a fresh character, enough to kill a battle-weary character, more than you would expect a single fire blast to ever do.
Hot-Headed: When you are treated disrespectfully and respond by Speaking Dishonorably, take +1 on that roll. If you respond by Committing Open Violence, mark XP instead.
It does exactly what I want it to. The changing sections are the exact wording of the trigger, and whether I actually want to incentivize COV that much, but for a move like this I'm totally down with it, it makes sense.
Sunsoul: When the sun is in the sky, you have +1 Hot (max+3).
 This is hat I meant when I said that the other +1 Stat moves would have caveats. From this one, I'm guessing you can figure out the Waterbender's. Note that the sun needn't be visible, it just has to be daytime. Even indoors is okay. I think this is a pretty elegant way to handle the Firebender's sun affiliation and deal with the issue of narratively boring +1 Stat moves. I also think the name is totally stupid, but whatever.
Stance Focus: Decide and inform the MC of what emotion fuels you Firebending if you haven't already done so. If the emotion is destructive or negative (such as anger, fear, or arrogance/pride), you may Stand Fast with Hot instead of Solid. If the emotion is a positive or constructive one (such as harmony, discipline, or hope), you may Move With Intention with Hot instead of Fluid.
 The evolution of Rooted gave me the chance to address a couple things. Most Firebending in Avatar is fueled by the former, and is a lot about holding oneself in place and staying rooted and strong. Early Zuko was fueled by sheer arrogant zeal, and Azula is without a doubt all about arrogance, and then fear at the very end in my opinion (though what exactly is fueling her at the end is basically speculation, her paranoia of betrayal was dominating just about everything, including reason and pride in her accomplishments). Their jerkiness of style and utter stubbornness (Stubborn was another name for the move before I tied in the latter half) allows them to shrug off trouble and withstand danger.
On the other side we have the positively-fueled Firebending, mostly practiced by the Sun Warriors and learned from the dragons. Their firebending does NOT come from rage or hatred, instead coming from calm discipline and a sense of harmony of power - though hope is my own addition to imply that these aren't limited to the emotions we see powering bending in Avatar, but any emotion. Late Zuko, Aang, and Iroh are significant practitioners of this. While Aang's style must be discounted on account of him being the Avatar and already a skilled Water, Earth, and Air Bender, Zuko's late style is much more smooth, relying less on the jerky motions that form the basis of general Firebending. Iroh's style seems to appear quite similar to normal Firebending, but I'd still say that he's more fluid in his motion than your average firebender, and his power is definitely drawn from discipline. Lastly, the Dragon's Dance technique that seemed to be central to the Sun Warrior style looked a lot more like a Waterbending form than a normal Firebending one. All of this combined makes me say that Harmonic Firebenders are less about recklessly exposing themselves to danger but being able to withstand it and are instead about calmly using the power in a way to put them in a position of power over their enemy, hence MWI.
This also solves a funny little issue I had with having too many moves about using Basic Moves with the main stat - in this, you only get one or the other. Plus, taking this causes narrative exposition of something you might not have thought about and allows me to model one of the fundamental elements of Firebending discovered in The Last Airbender.
Can you tell I like this move?

And that's all I have for the Firebender! I really like what I have in general for the Firebender. It's in need of some wording workshopping, and Conductive might need a mechanical aspect, but I'm fond of everything I have conceptually.
On to the Waterbender!
Phase Mastery: Select one of the following:
* Icebending: When you Waterbend, you may also bend ice in addition to liquid water. Harm dealt with ice also inflicts the freezing tag, or a similarly appropriate one. If the target already has the freezing tag, deal an additional Harm. Additionally, you may convert water to ice, and vice-versa.
* Vaporbending: You can draw water out of seemingly thin air. Steam, heated vapor, when used to attack is always (AP). Remember that you cannot heat vapor to steam with this move.
So, I should warn you now. From what I have, just about every one of the Waterbenders moves can be named as *bending. I'm aware of the issue with that, but I kinda like them as the versatile folk sometimes, especially with their focus on support.
Back to this move itself. These were initially two separate moves. I...was not super happy with that, because as I have them, these two moves are actually obscenely strong if you manage to have both of them. The main drawback to being a waterbender compared to the others is that your element is not always readily accessible. Sometimes you fight on a lake shore, but really the number of times you fight AWAY from a body of water is much higher. Taking Vaporbending essentially nullifies that problem, and that's big. Now imagine that you grab the vapor around the enemy and immediately convert down to ice, freezing them in a block before they can even challenge you, and I don't think that's actually even a roll.
Now, as a whole, Icebending is the way to go if you want to be a damage-dealing Waterbender, but Vaporbending can be more situationally useful if your game takes place away from water. Vaporbending also has the second benefit. Now, this is a bit of a weird circumstance - you can't actually heat the water. You need to manually heat it, and that requires you to have set up beforehand. ALTERNATIVELY, this actually makes having a Firebender on the team with a Waterbender a huge asset. I don't have a ton of stuff here that makes various playbooks synergize well with others, but I think it's a neat idea. If you are able to synergize that way or have planned ahead, Vaporbending could be on average about as tough as Icebending, but that's running numbers I haven't done.
Now, about the fictional scenario. Put bluntly, I don't think I saw enough Vaporbending. Aside from Katara, who is an exceptional prodigy of Waterbending (HOW fast did she pick up Bloodbending again?), I've only seen Hama do it. And while I don't remember perfectly, I don't recall Hama ever actually Icebending. Now, she could do it, without a doubt - she grew up in the Southern Water Tribe after all. But we never see it. So no one but Katara can do both, and that's an exclusivity I'm okay with. If you REALLY want it, talk it over with the MC, because unless I can find stuff that's either just as compelling as this or find a way to break their incredible power when combined, they're staying mutually-exclusive.
Healer: When you take time to cover a wound with water [!] and lay hands upon it, roll+Natural [!!]. On a 10+, the wound is visibly cured and 3 harm is healed. On a 7-9, 1 harm is healed but the wound is visibly unchanged.
AKA Chibending #EverythingIs*bending
I have a couple of, uh, special notes here.
[!] This is with regard to covering the wound with WATER. Now, that seems entirely natural, right? I mean, this is a waterbender after all. That's just the thing though - by making bending exclusive to these 4 playbooks, I've made it clear that I want cross-playbooking to still be a thing. While Waterbenders were the only Healers in Avatar, I'm not so sure I want to lock that into truth here. I'm HIGHLY considering making this move about covering a wound with YOUR ELEMENT instead, allowing this to be anyone's game. That's a big deal though.
[!!] I have this as +Natural because it makes some sense and also because I want to encourage the Waterbender to use more than Fluid. However, if Waterbenders AREN'T the only healers, I have a couple of options. The first would be to use Fluid. It would make Waterbenders better at it - fair enough, the body is mostly water and their about flow of power anyway, they fit. However, this is again having the Waterbender roll+Fluid all the time. I'm potentially mitigating this with a heavily WIP move right now that, so perhaps it'd be okay. Another option though would be to use Keen! With Keen, NO bender actually specializes in it. It's tough for everyone, which makes sense since Healing is actually going to also be on another guy in a more prominent way (I'll spoil it - you can play a Doctor when you're the Scholar!). Additionally, Keen makes sense since your making use of knowledge of anatomy and chi paths and must be tightly attuned to watching symptoms. IT's a fine art, less about the skill it takes to bend the water and more about the ability to understand HOW to fix something.
The numbers are a little temporary. I like the general placement, but that's Playtest material to see how it pans out. As for the changed/unchanged wound, I kinda like that.
Lastly, a small break from Avatar: time. Katara and the other healers can heal almost instantly; did you see the first time Katara did it? It was done within seconds of putting her hands in the water, and she didn't even know she was doing it. That said, this move could become exceptionally powerful if I don't limit it. It takes time to do any real healing that isn't just cosmetic, and you can't simply keep saying "I take my hands off. I put my hands on. I take my hands off. I put my hands on." to do it since that's all one big healing session, all part of the same "time." Of course, the necessity of this is questionable - Apocalypse World's system of punishing failed rolls is enough reason to scare away frivolous uses of the move. We'll see how necessary it is, but I feel safer keeping it there. 
Bloodbending: When you take control of an [!] NPC's body, roll+Fluid [!!]. On a 10+, you succeed [!!!]. On a 7-9, pick one of the following complications:
     * You can't do anything but hold them still.
     * You can't defend yourself while you control them.
     * You can only have them perform a single action before they break free of your control. [!!!!]
Oh man, this is a big deal too. See, bloodbending is powerful as hell in the show, and I know ahead of time that it was pretty much immediately outlawed in Republic City in Korra. As such, I need to tone it down a bit for a PC to use it. A couple of troubles.
[!] The first trouble is if you try to use it on what is essentially a boss bender. I know, look through crosshairs, but this is a way to EASILY trivialize any 1-on-1 fights. I want to add the words "weak-willed" before NPC, but at the same time, I want you to be able to TRY it on bosses, it's just harder due to their willpower. I imagine there are a few routes to attaining this.
[!!] Easy route is to add a penalty if the target is not Weak-Willed. That's kinda bland though. I was thinking a different path could be to make it roll +Hot. I don't have another place I want the Waterbender specializing in +Hot, and it ties into the whole thing where it's an evil thing and it gets done out of either malice or anger, with anger being more likely for a PC, and anger is Hot. Since the Waterbender isn't going to have a super-awesome Hot, they're going to be less good at it, and that'll make it reasonable on bosses but not really for mooks - maybe a bonus if the target IS Weak-Willed instead.
[!!!] Another trouble is that "success" is really undefined. What can you do with a bloodbent person? I don't really know. I saw Hama and Katara use it on each other to puppet each other around, and I saw Katara bloodbend a captain into being still. Not all that helpful. I'll point out that as MC you're going to need to watch out for total bullshit from players - when stuff like this comes around, I find players get all excited about breaking the game with it. No, they CAN'T combine their bloodbending and icebending to freeze a person's blood vessels. I will likely need to further define a success, but that could REALLY clog up the move text. Perhaps just an advice section in the text.
[!!!!]  A "single action" is also pretty undefined. This will likely be cleared up with examples.
As a whole, these options feel awfully successful for partial success.
I had a couple of notes on the side of my page about this one that I was supposed to discuss. First: Hama. Hama is an extremely powerful waterbender obviously, having full access to Steambending, a variant Plantbending (used to suck water out of plants), Bloodbending, presumably Icebending, and the ability to lock down even some of the stronger benders with her bending. I'm using Hama as a source for what cool waterbend-y things are possible in the game, not as a model for a typical "strong" Waterbender, because aside from Katara, the Avatar, and MAYBE Pakku, Hama is the strongest Waterbender on the planet, and is easily more creative than any of those, inventing whole categories of waterbending to suit her needs. Know that for all I mention her, playing a character of her power level is going to be, for the most part, out of reach.
Next: I've already talked about the overwhelming power of the move in the show. I've had to scale it back just to make it usable.
LAst note is something I haven't talked about at all yet  - the full moon. I don't know about what Korra may have changed, but at least in Last Airbender bloodbending is only permissable during the Full Moon. Do you see the problem with that in a game sense? If I make it full-moon only, I can either give a mediocre power on the full moon only (in which case no one takes this move), or I can give an immensely strong power on the full moon only, which means once a month you just win everything. However, being moon-specific is itself an issue: the game does not track time like that. Nor should it. It's not like you're gonna be keeping a moon chart and ticking off every time an in-game day passes. No, when it's the full moon and how close that is at any given point is really up to the MC, and that's a pretty nasty it of fiat. So I'm divorcing the use of bloodbending from the full moon. Maybe this is why, in general, it's not as tough as what Hama and Katara do with it. Perhaps on occasion if a player is really loving bloodbending and making it a big part of their character you can give them a full moon once in a while and let them rule.
Last thing is to always warn the player who picks this about the moral ramifications of the move. It may seem innocent at first, but controlling actions of another against their will is a bad thing. There's a reason it's against the Laws of Magic in The Dresden Files, that bloodbending was outlawed in Korra, that only Hama ever did it seriously and why Katara was repulsed by herself when she used it in anger. This is a strong technique that is generally morally poor to use. It may not be that way in your world, but if it is, the move text doesn't mention it so be sure to make sure they understand that.
That's quite a doozy of a commentary, but Bloodbending is a strange issue.
Plantbending: [I don't know]
Wait a second, that's not a good answer at all! Plantbending is an odd one as far as move structure is concerned for a few reasons. For one, in some systems I wouldn't have been at all baffled by this being a whole class on its own - it's highly versatile in theory depending on the wording. More troubling though is what exactly you DO with it - I can't think of anything mechanically dissimilar from plain old Waterbending. It's just a new material upon which you can bend. Either I interpret what it can do mechanically as incredibly broad or incredibly the-same as Waterbending already is. This is an ongoing concern shared with that of the two missing moves on the Airbender, Lightbending and Soundbending.
I DO have one lead though - it will Roll+Natural, for a variety of reasons, most of which sould be pretty obvious (using different stat than usual, Natural is aligned with Wood, etc)
Moon-Chosen: When the moon has risen, you have +1 Fluid (max+3).
 I'm guessing that when you read the Firebender's +1 Stat move you already knew this would be it. This does a all the beautiful wonderful things having a tied together narrative and mechanical benefit on what is usually just being a mechanism.  However, now we have two functions also happening here. First, Firebenders and Waterbenders are now polar opposites - only on the rare occasion will they have their increased powers at the same time. If you have one and make a habit of fighting the other, dusk and dawn make excellent set pieces because it makes either a fast victory or a slow stalling one preferable, adding an extra layer of pressure onto a fight. Also remember that Firebenders likely won't start an assault at dusk, and a waterbender likely wouldn't at dawn, assuming they had a choice.
Now, this does a funny little thing with Vaporbending. See, like I was talking about before, that move makes a great synergy between Water and Fire benders. Suddenly though, only one of them is going to be at full power at a given point. I hope this is an added dimension on top rather than a factor that would take away from the appeal.

And that's all I have for the Waterbender! One more. My god this is the fifth day I've been working on this bloody post.
Defender: You can shield yourself against attacks. If you have warning that an attack is coming and are capable of Earthbending, you count as having an additional [!] 2-armor.
[!] I'm debating the balance of ADDING 2 armor and replacing it with 2-armor.
The Earthbenders of the show do a lot of springing up walls and stuff right in front of them to deflect or absorb attacks, but doing it as a reaction through the Earthbending move is both less-specific (as Earthbending is already broad in its trigger) and has a chance of failure. If you really are trying to be all defensive, which is what this move would indicate, and because I don't offer plain old armor-enhancing moves, this is probably the best route for the Earthbender to not die from attacks. I don't really intend to give ANY of the benders armor by default - it might even impair their bending. Not sure. Heck, maybe I just assign playbooks an "Armor Type" of the appropriate level, and that's what they can wear up to without penalty. Hmm...liking that idea.
And hopefully because Earthbenders don't usually get armor, the "additional" isn't particularly overpowering. I may remove it for cross-Playbooking purposes - imagine a Samurai (who I intend to immediately give 2-armor) taking Earthbending then this - he'll shake off dead-on LIGHTNING STRIKES. 
Vibration Sense: You can see and feel anything in contact with the ground (within reasonable distance). When you Observe Carefully, you can choose to ask any of these questions as well:
     * Are they telling the truth?
     * What is unseen but in contact with the ground?
     * What does their body language betray about their plans?
This does pretty much exactly what I want, very precise wordings of the questions aside (which just might get a touch of rejiggering, but I'm not sure how). It does exactly what I want with the lie detection aspect of the blindsense (just like Toph) and the body language bit is my own extrapolation of the power as far as I can tell. In theory there's even more you can do without a roll with this move - the big thing that keeps popping into my mind is "seeing" around corners.
Counteroffense: When you attempt to avoid or weather a melee attack, roll+Solid. On a 10+, you do not take harm and deal 1 harm in return. On a 7-9 you suffer the attack, but still deal 1 harm in return.
 Essentially, this is the payoff of the post about the martial arts of bending and offensive v counteroffensive styles. This move is strong as a defensive technique and allows you to defend while still retaining a bit of offensive power, though not much. It's not a free pass though. I'm fond of the concepts here, but am not sure about the numbers - complete avoidance of harm, complete acceptance of harm on a partial, 1 harm BOTH times.
Rooted: When you are in solid contact with earth, you have +1 Solid (max +3).
 I am only just now realizing that Rooted is a repeat name of a Firebender move, though that move has since become Stance Focus. Anyway, this is pretty straightforward. Now, in contact with earth could be interpreted extremely liberally by some people and essentially nullify it, but that is NOT the way this works. Non-earthy substances, like ice, wood, or, in absence of a particular other move, metal does not convey the bonus. It has to be something earthy like rock or soil to work.
If you can extrapolate out the reverse, you can probably figure out why the Airbender's boost doesn't have any additional conditions: you're ALWAYS in contact with the air. I mean, I could specify "not in space" but that's stupid.
Metalbending: You can control metal that you are in contact with. When you do, it's the same as Earthbending, but you roll with Keen instead.
Hey look, Metalbenders! Okay, a few things.
First, the complete lack of mechanic. I WANT to put one, believe me, but everything I could think to do with it is already done by Earthbending. However, the flexibility of numbers of the Earthbending move means that stuff you do with metal will likely be more efficient - at protection, at offense, at movement, etc. It's just a more effective stone. It's got a limit that 'll keep you from always using it instead though - contact. Earthbending is just fine with psychic connection, but you need contact with the contiguous metal to bend it. Using Keen is an elemental choice, but it's also a bit conceptual when you consider how Toph came up with the move - she detected the small interspersed traces of rock in the metal, and started by manipulating that. Metalbending is about changing how you think about and detect "earth".
But seriously, if you have a better mechanic, please share. I really want something that isn't a static bonus-y thing.
A fun note is what this does to the Earthbender's OTHER moves! Defender can now operate when you're on metal. Vibration Sense works when you're on metal. Rooted now works when you're on metal. With metal as a prominent material in building, Metalbending widely expands the areas in which you're super-capable.
Also note that having this says some specific things about the timeline if you're playing in the Avatar universe.

And that's that! All the playbook moves I've already written. Now, if you'll forgive a long list now, I essentially have a list of general topics that I'm keeping a note on, plan to talk about, or just think are otherwise necessary for me to get around to. So maybe you see something you can help on, see something you think sounds like an interesting discussion (if so I'll expand more there - knowing what people find interesting helps me a lot in my design, plus in sharing my process!), or just gives you a sneak peek of what's to come. They're in no particular order.
* Broadness of "Ninja", specificity of "Samurai" playbooks
* Environment Tags
* Regular Tags
* Harm, Amount of health, healing, The Scholar as Doctor:
     * Materials, a Daily System, gotta read the Angel, Savvyhead, and Ranger for ideas, but here's the root:
At the beginning of the session or whenever the Scholar takes significant downtime, roll 1d6+Keen. This is your new total number of Materials, replacing your previous total. These will be spent on various things, such as healing.
 Healing: When you heal, spend x Materials. The target heals x harm. You may instead spend x Materials to roll+Keen. On a 10+, heal 2x harm. On a 7-9, heal 1/2 x harm. Regardless, x Materials were spent.
So there, a sneak peek of some Scholar work. Presumably the Materials mechanic as a whole will probably become his gimmick.
* Honor, Debt, or other replacement for Hx
* When you train with a master...
* Do we need barter at all?
     * Wealth is an aspect in the source materials, but rarely the point. Instead, wealth is used as a plot motivator - Avatar, Samurai Champloo, and more were full of "We're broke again..." episodes.
* Triggering Conditions
     * MAYBE a "Karma" system? (Karma is the wrong word for what I am about to describe, but w/e for now)
When you fail a roll, take a point of Karma. Spend Karma 1-for-1 to trigger conditions on a target to take +1 Forward against them. It can also be used against PC conditions to reduce their next roll by 1.
Should it be more common? Less? Do more? Major flux here, this is super-preliminary.
* Plantbending? Soundbending? Lightbending? Metalbending or Heatbending mechanics?
* Playbook move names should describe the CHARACTER, not the technique - this is a guideline, not a rule though.
* Evil, Unnaturalness, Twisted Benders
* Spirits, Creatures
* Energybending and the Lion Turtle.
* Bending Animals, Companions (Sky Bison, Lemur, Dragon, that Mole-Dog thing, etc)
* The undead, traditional folklore monsters
* I need a REAL hook for the Monk and Aristocrat classes mechanically.
* Northern vs Southern Water Tribes - do they need representation in any way?
* The Avatar State
* Multi-Playbooking
* Changing the word "playbook". Maybe "Disciplines"?
* Look options
* Choose stats: List 'em, Pick 'em, Alter this array, make my own type?
* Playing in Avatarland, or not, time periods and options
* Violence for Violence's sake
* Multi-playbooking and healing
* Potential underuse of speak honorably?

In theory, you could play a full playbook'd game now. It'd be pretty bare-bones though still - I have a lot of work to do still. Regardless, I think this is a lot of progress. I REALLY should be splitting this up into multiple posts, but whatever to that.

End Recording,

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