You've had some good replies to this from people who know the system.Based on a roll to learn the terrorist's whereabouts from local criminals--the player rolled a success with consequence on a risky Command action to intimidate them--I figured they were now being led into a trap. So they took a boat to another area of the city where the target was supposedly staying. This being a one-shot test session, in which I very much wanted a noir-ish moment where the newbie's more experienced partner gets killed, I figured the trap would start big, with an A-Wing attacking the boat from far above--a kind of sniper situation. I said that they could hear a high-pitched keening sound during the boat trip, but my player did nothing (he's also new to playing FitD, though not reading it). When he stepped off the boat I triggered the attack.
At this point I suddenly didn't know what to do, because in theory the Attune action specifically notes that you can use the Way (aka the Force) to "sense unseen danger or killing intent." But the player didn't initiate that action upon hearing the suspicious noise. So we awkwardly decided he could use Attune now to sense the attack and try to get himself and his partner off the boat in time. He rolled a critical success (two sixes) so he decided to pull the boat's driver off as well.
Everything about how I handled this seemed wrong, and in the moment we were left with the sense that if the player just kind of waits out a situation instead of taking action, maybe that's on them, because, as discussed in this thread, passive actions--especially the sort of passive Perception rolls that are almost constant in many trad games--just don't make sense in FitD. But what do you guys think? Was this just a hopelessly trad and off-base encounter from the start? And how do you handle stuff like danger sense or similar unnatural/enhanced perception in FitD, if it seems like an ambush has become part of the story?
Similar to some of those other posters, when I read this, my first thought was how did you convey to the player that the characters were being led into a trap?.
Thinking in AW rather than FitD terms, it seems that the high-pitched keening was an announcement of future badness. Which the player ignored - which sounds like a perfect opportunity on a golden plate - so then rather than calling for the Attune action (because if they didn't do it, then they didn't do it!) it seems like making a hard move was in order - eg A powerful blast rips the back off your vessel. Looking up into the sky you can see the A-Wing that's been following you and has chosen this moment to attack. What's left of your boat is crashing down to the ground. What do you do? The hard move could even have included killing the offsider NPC.
(Is the "boat" a flying vessel as I've assumed? If not, and it's a waterborne vessel, then imagine my suggestion has been appropriately adapated.)
Building on @chaochou's reply, I think the real risk in what I've suggested - and I get the feeling from your post that you were aware of this risk in the moment of play - is that the player will think you're being unfair. Where's the saving throw? Or roll to hit, or whatever? Where's their Passive Perception? I've got nothing very useful to say about how to overcome that feeling. It was an issue for me when I started GMing Burning Wheel, and to be honest I think as a GM I sometimes held back too much, afraid of being seen to be unfair. My friend who GMs me is better than me at being as brutal as the rules require!
Last year I GMed each of my daughters (early teens) in a solo Classic Traveller session. For both there was a bit of an issue of proactivity, and for one it was a big issue. I just followed through on the fiction I'd created, but tried to ensure that - even if everything around them was going to hell in a handbasket - there was at least one obvious way forward for the PC. And I made some suggestions too - like You've got Mechanical-1, so you could probably break into and hotwire the car if you want.
There's obviously a fine line between framing+ suggesting vs just narrating a story; and the proper approach to a fellow adult and experienced RPGer is different from parent-child. Still, my tentative suggestion is that it's probably better to make the moves and then be very forthright with what do you do? than to hold back from implementing the basic structure of the game.
So in both cases this looks like an announcement of future badness - a soft move. Was it warranted at either point? As you know, I don't know enough about the details of FitD to be sure about what it was telling you to do at this point. But I think - or at least hope - that I'm asking the right question here.The player and NPC decided to get to a rooftop to deal with the A-Wing assassin, and here, again, I may have defaulted to a trad situation. I said that as they were running into a building and about to get into the stairwell, a pair of guys entered from the street and immediately pulled blasters and opened fire
toward the end of the scene/session, the PC and NPC realized they were stuck, with the A-Wing loitering above the roof and a large group of people running up the stairs. How this situation was resolved was, again, very cool to me, and pushed me even harder toward wanting to do lots more FitD. But as with the earlier appearance of the two shooters, this horde of dudes did not appear based on a subsequent player roll or suggestion.