Author Topic: Probabilities and Balance  (Read 28547 times)

evilben

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2011, 09:02:41 PM »
i was rather irritated, but i get over things like that quickly. i am truly interested on how you would handle the situation i posed in my last post though. as i said, we had been doing combat all wrong prior to this discussion thread and i am trying to feel out how it should work in the confines of dungeon world.

Irminsul

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2011, 09:07:04 PM »
if the fighter decides to engage the monster with hack and slash then what happens? does the fighter:
a) roll defy danger then hack and slash
b) roll hack and slash and a defy danger
c) roll hack and slash and a defy danger on a 10+ and 6- result?

Option 'b' for me. Moves Snowball. You defy the surprise round attack of the ogre and then try to stab the monster.

If the ogre trips your character, you can still roll to defy danger to stand up and hack & slash in the same round.

Like I said in my earlier post: if all that was happening in the fight was Hack & Slash, I'd be pretty bored. I want the fight to be full of neat action.

John Harper

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2011, 09:07:47 PM »
It's all about the fiction! There's no single answer.

I'm writing up some detailed examples that will hopefully answer the question. Give me a few minutes and I'll post them.

Irminsul

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2011, 09:32:22 PM »
So examples with the ogre:

The MC makes a ‘soft move’ and says, “the ogre raises its club to smash you to jelly. What do you do?”

Two options are: you take the hit and make your Hack & Slash move or you Defy Danger and if you are successful you can make your Hack & Slash.

Why would you want to just ‘take the hit’? Because if you fail you might not get to H&S, because now the MC gets to make a ‘hard move’.

The MC always gets to make 'soft moves' like announcing danger, and only makes 'hard moves' like hurting a character when the dice roll fails.

Ludanto

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2011, 09:39:35 PM »
Or, when the player hands him a Golden Opportunity, like letting an ogre hit him with a club. ;)

John Harper

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2011, 09:40:14 PM »
The fiction -- and ONLY the fiction -- kicks off the moves.

The ogre brings its club down on the fighter. I ask, "What do you do?"

The thing the player of the Fighter says next determines what move (if any) he will make. There is no "rule" that says he must Defy Danger now. Or must Hack and Slash. There are no rules at all about how moves occur and snowball except, "when you do it, you roll it."

I'm seeing a lot of systematic thinking going on here, with sweeping generalizations. "If the Fighter always has to roll Defy Danger and Hack and Slash, then blah blah blah." No. There is no "always." There is no "combat system" that you employ over and over again. Each moment is unique and must be examined (possibly in fine detail) fictionally in order to determine the moves that are rolled.

Here are some examples of how this moment might play out. Notice how the fiction (especially the group's unique local understanding of the qualities of their dungeon world) is critical to determining the moves in play.

-------------

Defy Danger + Roll Damage

"The ogre's massive club -- actually an uprooted oak tree -- comes crashing down at your head. What do you do?"
"I turn it aside with my shield, and drive my spear up into the monster's throat."
"Really? You turn aside a tree with your shield? It's like you're being hit by a car."
"Oh! It's like that? Wow, okay, I guess ogres are crazy strong. I wasn't thinking of it like that. No, I can't use my shield against a car crash. I guess I better get out of the way, then. Defy danger?"
"Yeah, that sounds right. How do you do that?"
"I roll to the side, sliding on my shield a bit, keeping my spear pointed right at the ogre."
(rolls, gets a 10+)
"The ogre's club crashes down, but you roll aside. The stone floor tiles shatter under the impact, and the club sinks a few inches into the soft earth beneath. The ogre roars."
"Ha! Too slow, sucker! I drive the spear right into his face. Is that hack and slash?"
"Nope. The ogre's weapon isn't ready, and you're out of reach since you're using your spear. It's not a melee. You just stab him. Roll your damage!"

--------------

Hack and Slash

"The ogre's massive club -- actually an uprooted oak tree -- comes crashing down at your head. What do you do?"
"I turn it aside with my shield, and drive my spear up into the monster's throat."
"Really? You turn aside a tree with your shield? It's like you're being hit by a car."
"Wait, but I'm like, a fantasy hero, right? Can't we do stuff like that?"
"Hmmm. I guess we should decide that. You guys think the PCs should be more epic? Yeah? Okay, that works for me. You can totally turn aside a crashing tree trunk with your shield. That's pretty badass."
"Yeah, awesome! So, I'm blocking and counter-attacking here... that's hack and slash. It's a melee."
"Yep, definitely. Roll it."

---------------

Defy Danger + Hack and Slash

"The ogre's massive club -- actually an uprooted oak tree -- comes crashing down at your head. What do you do?"
"Uh. A tree trunk? Shit. I jump out of the way! That's defy danger... right? Damn, an 8."
"The tree narrowly misses your head as you jump aside, but it hits your spear, shattering it to splinters. What do you do?"
"Crap! Well, I still have my shield, and it's got a wicked spike on it, remember? I roll, leap up, and smash the spike into the ogre's knee!"
"Oooh, ouch. That'll hurt. The ogre's club isn't ready to swing again, so he lets it go and reaches out to catch the shield before the spike impales him. It's a melee. Roll hack and slash."
"Can't I get in there before he can react?"
"Hmmm. If he was trying to swing the club again, yeah, definitely. But he's dropping the club and going straight to wrestling, so I think it's a melee."
"Okay, yeah, I can see that."

----------------

I could go on. Like Sage said, there are an infinite number of ways that could go down, depending greatly on the fictional situation. And I haven't even included terrain issues (a tight tunnel vs. open chamber changes things dramatically) or the presence of other monsters/hazards, or lighting conditions (sometimes you have to drop your torch to fight), etc. etc.

In your game, maybe ogres aren't so scary-strong, and their clubs are just regular clubs. That changes everything! The fiction comes first, and the moves must always flow from it.

The amount of fictional stuff you account for is something that the group will fine-tune as play goes along. But if the amount is "barely any" then you'll find the game starts to fight you, and doesn't entirely work right, which I think you're starting to see.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 10:10:20 PM by John Harper »

sage

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2011, 10:06:20 PM »
attacking the fighter the fighter can respond in several ways; defend, defy danger, hack and slash. if the fighter defends or defies danger then the flow of the narrative will stay with the monster until something special happens, if the fighter decides to engage the monster with hack and slash then what happens? does the fighter:
a) roll defy danger then hack and slash
b) roll hack and slash and a defy danger
c) roll hack and slash and a defy danger on a 10+ and 6- result?

and again, i think this would be fine if taking damage was not the only option for getting a 7-9 on hack and slash.

I think that's a false choice. The fighter says what they, fictionally, do. Is that a move? That's to be decided in the moment, based on the shared understanding of the fiction (see some great examples of that in John's post above). If a move applies, its a move. If it doesn't, the GM just describes the results, according to their agenda, principles, and moves.


Someone upthread mentioned forcing the ogre to stop knocking over the column. There isn't a move directly for that, but there are many ways you could attempt it, and moves would kick in as intended. If you pose a serious threat to the ogre and he can understand you, you might be able to parley him down: "Get away from that pillar or my blades will be drenched in your blood, foul beast." Remember that parley requires leverage; the ogre has to care about its safety and consider you a serious threat to it.

You might physically step between: "I dash over to the pillar before he can strike again, I want to make sure his next blow hits me." This again depends somewhat on everyone's fictional understanding of the situation. If the ogre has a tree trunk and heroes can't take tree trunk hits, that's no Defend. If its understood that a human can lock a ogre's club, it's Defend.

You might pull some crazy plan: "I've got rope in my adventurer's kit, I'm going to lasso me a ogre and pull him back from the pillar." The players look to the GM to see how that goes, so the GM is definitely making a move. If fictionally an ogre is the right size and strength that this makes some sense, a reasonable move might be to put them in a spot. Not too tough of one, this is a soft move after all: "You get a rope around it's neck, and it immediately goes crazy. It's fighting your pull and dragging you towards it, trying to fling you around the room like a yo-yo. I think you're Defying a lot of Danger to pull him back."

sage

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2011, 10:14:46 PM »
Why would you want to just ‘take the hit’?

I think that choice has to be made in the fiction, primarily. My example was not the best, I used a +1 forward to indicate some advantage the player didn't want to give up. Some better phrasings:

You might not get out of the way (let's not say Defy Danger, since we're not sure what moves might apply) because the player's in a position to strike and diving away will give that up.

You might not get out of the way because if the ogre isn't busy with you, it might be busy with the cleric standing behind you.

You might not get out of the way because you're in a tight corridor and the only way out means diving into the muck sewer below.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2011, 11:08:16 PM »
i was rather irritated, but i get over things like that quickly. i am truly interested on how you would handle the situation i posed in my last post though. as i said, we had been doing combat all wrong prior to this discussion thread and i am trying to feel out how it should work in the confines of dungeon world.

Oh, it's all good, man! I could tell I wasn't getting through and that's why I let these other experts hop in and explain things.

John Harper hit the nail on the head, and like we mentioned earlier, his examples are largley focused on those two questions: "What do you do?" And, "Cool, how do you do that?"

Remember, the fiction should come first, then apply the rules.

Irminsul

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #69 on: June 02, 2011, 10:15:35 PM »
Here are some examples of how this moment might play out.

Awesome! Thank you John, those examples helped me a BUNCH!

Ludanto

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #70 on: June 02, 2011, 10:30:25 PM »
Looks like somebody else is following @olde_fortran as well. ;)

Yes, thanks for all of the help.  It's really hard, but you almost have to try to forget that the Moves exist, and then act all surprised when you trigger them.  There's a mind-set there that's easy (for me) to slip out of.  But I'm getting better.

John Harper

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #71 on: June 03, 2011, 06:59:43 AM »
Thanks, folks. ;) Glad it was helpful.

Guvna

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #72 on: June 04, 2011, 03:53:16 AM »
Just wanted to stick my hand up and say, that as a guy preparing to run his first DW game this whole thread has been very helpful, many thanks to all the guys who took the time to articulate their thoughts, from both sides of the fence.
"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing

agony

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Re: Probabilities and Balance
« Reply #73 on: June 04, 2011, 06:22:48 PM »
Yes, thanks John for that and thanks everyone for responding to the original post.