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Messages - zmook

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Dungeon World / Effects of non-damage combat moves: disarm, trip, etc
« on: December 02, 2012, 02:09:18 PM »
I'm pondering how to handle some non-damage combat moves, whether by PCs against the monsters, or by the monsters against the PCs.  A few questions:

1. How should I handle monster disarm moves?  Suppose the paladin is fighting a master duelist, and the duelist disarms him.  The general principle in DW is the NRA rule ("weapons don't do damage -- people do damage"), so it seems wrong to say "you've got no weapon so you can't hurt him any more".  What, he can't punch him in the gut, double him over, and then break his nose with an armored knee strike?  But at the same time, if I as DM just allow full class damage, what was the point of the disarm move in the first place?

It seems to me there needs to be a penalty of some kind applied for losing your weapon, but I can't find a guideline in the rules.  What do y'all do?  I'm not sure where to find the line between making it significant enough to be worth doing, but not so significant as to make the real fighty types seem helpless barehanded.  Half damage?  -1d6 damage?

2.  What about other kinds of "combat disadvantage"?  Suppose the thief takes a move to trip the ogre, with the expectation that the fighter will be able to follow up with some kind of combat advantage.  Now, if he rolled Aid+bond, he could just hand the fighter +1 forward, but hm.  First off, the thief has a +3 DEX, but only +1 bond with the fighter, so he'd rather make the explicit combat move.  And more importantly, "roll Aid" is boring and has no hook whatsoever into the fiction, so I'd rather do the explicit combat move, too.   So, the thief rolls Defy Danger and trips the ogre.  The fighter follows up with Hack & Slash.  Should I follow the cue of Aid and give the fighter +1 forward?   If I do, it seems like it opens up a can of worms for the players to constantly argue for situational bonuses to attacks.  If it's +1 for prone, what about flanking?  disarmed?  stunned?  entangled in a net?  etc. 

From a numbers point of view, if the thief just hit the monster, he could do d8 damage, or 4.5 points on average, minus armor, say 3 points.  If he gives the fighter the +1 forward, that's maybe +14% chance to hit.  For that to really be worthwhile, the fighter would have to be doing something like 21 points of damage on average, egad.  (On the other hand, suppose the target has 4 armor, so the thief is doing only 1.25 damage on average.  Then the fighter only has to be doing 9 on average to make the trip worthwhile.  That seems more plausible.)

Am I asking for trouble going down that road?  I'd like to provide the players with motivation to do things more interesting than just "inflict damage", but the system doesn't provide a lot of guidance.  I'd like to hear what you guys do.

Dungeon World / Re: Clarification of Self-Powered (Wizard Move)
« on: December 01, 2012, 11:31:18 PM »
Hm, interesting.  I had read it taking it for granted that it was an expensive, presumably one-time, "create a wizard's tower" kind of move.  But it could totally be read the other way, allowing the wizard to inscribe a pentagram (e.g.) to create a minor place of power whenever he needs one.  All you have to do is change your idea of what is enough "time and arcane materials";  minutes gives you one answer, and months gives you a different one.

These places don't have to be permanent if you don't want them to be -- they could just be sufficient for some finite number of rituals (such as "one") before they "wear out".  The move doesn't specify, so you can go with what makes sense in the fiction.

Dungeon World / Re: Clarification of Self-Powered (Wizard Move)
« on: December 01, 2012, 10:15:10 PM »
Yeah, I wasn't sure what that move meant to do at all.  Is it based off of a D&D spell?

I'm reading it as referring to the trigger for the Wizard base move Ritual, which says: "When you draw on a place of power to create a magical effect".  Self-Powered says: "When you have time, arcane materials, and a safe space, you can create your own place of power."

Dungeon World / Re: Clarification of Self-Powered (Wizard Move)
« on: December 01, 2012, 10:12:58 PM »
Or it may be more awesome in your game to do it as a desperate race against time, the kind of insane lateral move that lets your heroes save the world when nothing else would have worked.  The wizard transcends time to a place from whence none can return unchanged, sacrifices an eye, a hand, and a permanent sanity debility, and gets the job done between swings of the Fighter's sword.

None of that's actually mentioned in the move description, but then, portray a fantastic world is the first priority in your agenda.

Dungeon World / Re: Clarification of Self-Powered (Wizard Move)
« on: December 01, 2012, 10:00:25 PM »
This seems to me to be the kind of move that is vague on purpose, with the expectation that it will vary from campaign to campaign.  Dungeon World has a lot of this sort of thing.  The short answer is: figure out what makes sense in your story, and go with that.

Personally, I would be inclined to handle it as particular kind of Ritual, and require that it takes months of preparation and construction and thousands of coin in materials to build the tower/cave/ritualarium, require a quest to retrieve a vial of Pure Chaos, and then a solid three days of active ritual.  But then, that might not jive with how magic works in your game.

Anybody have stories of a wizard in their game who actually did this? 

Ha, yes, that was "that dragon fight" I just referred to.

Dungeon World / Re: Literature for inspiration and guidance
« on: November 30, 2012, 10:54:20 PM »
Fritz Leiber's Ill Met in Lankhmar and the other Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories

I'm told, Jack Vance's Dying Earth series, though I haven't managed to read those yet myself.

Dungeon World / Re: Using miniatures... lightly
« on: November 30, 2012, 06:44:22 PM »
Hey, I've used minis loosely for some old school DnD, back in the days. And in high school, we used to draw our characters as colored Xs on graph paper.

If it helps the players and yourself visualize the scene, nothing wrong with it.

+1 for this.  Having a sketch map and tokens for the characters and monsters helps clarify the shared fiction for everyone.  What monster is closest to me?  Does the archer have a shot?  Is there anyone in the way?  Sure you can charge him, if you roll Dex to vault the altar.

Pencil marks work, but things like coins and small dice are great, too.  

Dungeon World / Re: Know-It-All
« on: November 30, 2012, 04:10:50 PM »
So definitely talk about it with your players. Suggest to them that it's for planning something big or definite, not just for every time they attack or whatever. Interesting.

I think this, and "make them roleplay it", are what I was looking for.  If the scenes are worthwhile I don't see a problem with giving out bonuses.

Dungeon World / Re: Disarms, Trips and conditions in general
« on: November 30, 2012, 02:14:01 AM »
If you tell the player they'll get bit if they do something and they do it anyway, they get bit.

Or if that feels too hard, I think it would also be totally legit to say "Cool, you can knock the weapon out of the guy's hand easy, but you're going to leave yourself wide open to the wolf if you do.  Your next move is going to have to be made in the presence of that danger."  Then for their next move they can either Defy Danger or else Defend, but they can't Hack and Slash because they're wide open.

Dungeon World / Re: So, The Druid
« on: November 30, 2012, 02:06:33 AM »
However, my favorite is to have the land really get to them, and place a gaesa to go put something right.

This is an awesome thread.  Geas on a miss is brilliant, and so is noofy's "find the intent and antagonize it."

Dungeon World / Know-It-All
« on: November 30, 2012, 12:31:43 AM »
Wizards have an advancement move available at level 2:

When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when following your advice and you mark experience if they do.

Hm.  I'm trying to figure out how to adjudicate this move.  It seems easy enough to abuse:  every other character comes to the wizard before they do anything, and hey presto, there are lots of +1 bonuses, and the wizard gains a level every time he turns around.

Clearly, that's abusive.  At least, it's not something I want in my game.  My players are not deliberately abusive, either, but they're going to want some kind of guideline for how often it can be used.  Preferably an in-character guideline.

There's no roll for success, so no opportunity for me to impose hard choices or costs that way.  The move makes no mention of requiring any relevant actual expertise from the wizard (it's even called "know-it-all"!), so as written the wizard could make up any bullshit he likes and still get the bonuses.

Of course, in the fiction, bonuses from the wizard spewing bullshit makes no sense, and I'd have to find some way to limit that.  Maybe by limiting the move trigger to: "When another player’s character comes to you for advice about something on which you have knowledge and you tell them what you think is best" -- but then, how to determine what the wizard does or doesn't have knowledge about? 

I think I'm talking myself into requiring at minimum a Spout Lore roll before Know-It-All can trigger.  Even so, that seems to provide incentive for a lot of goddamn Spout Lore rolls.

Consider: "Oh wise wizard, please advise me of the best way to kill a skeleton!"
"Why certainly, my son: if you thrust up under the jaw, the skull is bound to pop right off, and then they lose all coordination."  Why wouldn't that be legit?  And it seems it would allow every party member to get the same advice, get the +1 for the whole battle ("when following advice"), and then bonus xp also.  Why wouldn't they want to do this all the time?

I must have the wrong end of the stick here somehow.  How do you guys play this move?

Dungeon World / Re: Improved combat moves
« on: November 29, 2012, 08:27:18 PM »
Since +1 bonuses can be received with aid and some other effects, I don't think these rules act differently at all.

That list of "some other effects" that can give bonuses to Hack and Slash, even situationally, is actually extremely short.  There's the Aid move, and there's Blessing, there's Paladin's Charge, and that's actually all I can find right now.  Maybe Revelation, with a relevant prayer (and that's a 5th level spell).  Just FYI.

It's hard to give concrete "here are things you can do" advice because it really just involves considering the monster at hand, and trying to imagine what sort of danger that this monster presents that needs to be defied.

That may be true, but it certainly sounds like a real skill that the DM will have to acquire, especially to pull it off in the heat of battle, as it were, with the player right in front of you saying "I got a 7, what happens?"  Examples of how other people dealt with it, even if they're for particular circumstances that won't come up exactly again, are helpful -- that dragon fight was great for that. 

Are there any more APs out there with particularly scary fights in them?

On the plus side, if all the PCs are starting at L1, it'll be a while before a new DM really needs to come up with something really intimidating, so she's got some time to learn at the table.  Just don't put out something that's *supposed* to be scary, like a dragon, and expect the stats to just take care of it for you, or you'll spoil the mystique of that creature type.

Dungeon World / Re: Animal companions
« on: November 29, 2012, 01:19:28 AM »
Thanks, man.

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