Apocalypse World moves in the Fellowship of the Ring

This time I’m going to look at the Lord of the Rings through lens of the Apocalypse World moves. (Yes, Lord of the Rings might be better for Dungeon World and Empire Strikes Back might make more sense for Apocalypse World, but what’s done is done.)

Apocalypse World Moves

Separate Them

Frodo chooses to leave the Fellowship, thus separating the group. Later, Frodo is left for dead by Samwise.

Capture Someone

The Uruk-Hai capture Merry and Pippin.

In the above Master of Ceremonies (MoC 📖) move of “Separate Them”, a follow-up move made by Tokien is the Orcs capturing Frodo.

Put Someone in a Spot

Who and what is this black rider about? What do the hobbits do?

Trade Harm for Harm

Borimir fights valiantly attempting to save the hobbits, but in the end, the enemy is too much for him (i.e. a single person is in deep shit if they take on a gang).

Announce Off-Screen Badness

In the movie, other off-screen badness includes Gandalf riding into Minas Tirath and seeing Mount Doom erupting; The black riders traveling from Mordor through the free lands.

Turn Their Move Back

Weathertop may have been a good place to seek shelter, but lighting the campfire was a bad move on the hobbits’ part. Lighting the campfire summons the Ringwraiths.

Inflict Harm

In this sequence, Inflict Harm builds quite nicely from the campfire on Weathertop.

Take Away Their Stuff

In most Lord of the Rings games, Gandalf is viewed more as an item than a character.

Make Them Buy

The currency most precious to the hobbits is remaining inconspicuous. Throughout the movie, buying something represents giving up inconspicuousness for other gains. (i.e. seeking shelter at the inn, take the high pass)

Activate Their Stuff’s Downside

The ring comes with tremendous power, but a horrific downside. Likewise, Pippin’s curiosity could be construed as a downside.

Offer Opportunity With or Without Cost

Strider was an unknown agent whom the hobbits’ need not have trusted.

Make a Threat Move

Not everything can occur on camera; Advance a countdown clock.