Author Topic: Defy Danger 7-9  (Read 5994 times)

Ludanto

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Defy Danger 7-9
« on: June 03, 2011, 02:18:32 PM »
I wonder if Defy Danger might use some clarification.

"On a 7-9, you stumble, hesitate, or flinch: the GM will offer you a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice."

These are just words, I realize, but they could probably use some notes.

Worse outcome:
So, basically what they wanted, but not as good or with some complication?

Hard bargain:
I honestly don't really know what this means.  Anything I envision seems more like an "ugly choice".

Ugly choice:
I read this as "difficult choice" (so, the same as a "spot"?), but "ugly" might not mean the same to somebody else.

So, maybe somebody could explain "hard bargain" to me at least.

skinnyghost

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 08:34:21 PM »
In the full game there's some discussion of the move and how it works in the "Moves Discussion" chapter but I think you'll find that it's going to depend a lot on tone and attitude within your game. For example, I tend to play for keeps when I run Dungeon World.  My games are bloody and wicked and the PCs tend to be nasty, tough individuals as a result.  I push hard and the players push back.  My hard bargains are often indicative of moral or ethical choices (you can get away, but your hireling gets left behind and captured by the cannibals) or reflect a kind of "law or chaos" outlook.  Your game might be a little "nicer" and the choices you present your PCs will reflect that.

It's a hard thing to codify because it can enable all different kinds of play.

Generally, for me, when I run the game, I'll look for a way to put the player in a spot to make a decision that will say something about his character.  You learn a lot about people when they're in a jam and Defy Danger can be really useful for illustrating that.  Especially if you're challenging a presupposed idea about a character.  What costs come with getting what you want?  What's the risk to someone else if you get away harm-free? 

Ludanto

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 09:17:46 PM »
I got that, and "spots" are my default for middling Defy Danger results, but the wording makes me wonder if I'm understanding all of my options.  Like, what's the difference between a "hard bargain" and an "ugly choice", you know?

John Harper

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 09:22:27 PM »
I'm not as fancy as Adam. What I do is: something is threatened, they roll defy danger, and on a 7-9, they avoid it, but there's a complication. I look at the fiction to see what the complication is then I tell them.

I try not to make up a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice after the dice fall. It's already there, implicit in the danger that they're defying. I don't worry about thematic stuff (although I think it's really cool that Adam works that stuff in!). I just say what's obvious from the fictional details already established.

The easiest and most common "worse outcome" is: you're not done defying this danger yet. That is, you avoided harm but haven't escaped -- you're still in danger! What do you do?  And the move snowballs.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 09:37:01 PM by John Harper »

evilben

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 09:28:16 PM »
i dont think you need to worry about the wording of the result as much as the spirit of what is being said.
dont think of "worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice" as being three choices that you can pick from. just take them to mean that the player can achieve what they want but, as john said, something doest quite go right. i take the spirit of choice and bargain to mean that you can give them the option, "okay you can avoid the dragons tail, but you are going to lose your axe in the process what do you do?" is the axe worth it to the player to take the hit or would they rather get out of the way.
(and if you want to get into semantics hard bargain and ugly choice may as well be synonyms...)

John Harper

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 09:37:19 PM »
@Ludanto: Oh! Here's the difference:

A hard bargain: You can make it through the dragon fire to the position you want, yeah, but your shield is gonna melt from the heat. Want to do it anyway?

An ugly choice: You get most of the stinger out as fast as you can, but you can feel the venom coursing through your blood. Do you want to dig out the tip with your knife or just try to fight through the poison?

A hard bargain is a deal you can take or leave. An ugly choice is picking between two (or more) unpleasant things. The unpleasantness might be tuned to the tone of your game -- you might say they can chop off their hand to stop the poison, if your game is super gritty and dark.

Ludanto

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 09:46:48 PM »
Ah!  There.  Probably not really important in the grand scheme of things, but I knew it was there lurking just beyond my understanding.  Thanks!

So, on a "hardness" scale:

Softer - Hard Bargain - Choice including status quo option

Middle - Ugly Choice - Sucks, but at least there's a choice

Harder - Worse Outcome - Sucks.  No choice.

Sort of.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 01:20:33 PM »
So, on a "hardness" scale:

Softer - Hard Bargain - Choice including status quo option

Middle - Ugly Choice - Sucks, but at least there's a choice

Harder - Worse Outcome - Sucks.  No choice.

Sort of.

Not necessarily.

There you are, hanging over the cliffside with both Ovid and Astrafel clinging to each of your arms. Defy Danger to yank them up and save them both from the bottomless fall... 7-9...

Here's your Ugly Choice: Choose one of them to pull up, the other falls to their death.

Here's your Worse Outcome: you pull them both up, but your arms are ridiculously sore, take -1 ongoing.

Which is "softer"?

Ludanto

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 02:12:48 PM »
Well of course.  That's why I said "sort of".  But if you leave the "value" axis alone, I think the "choice" axis stands, in context.

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 02:15:13 PM »
Well of course.  That's why I said "sort of".  But if you leave the "value" axis alone, I think the "choice" axis stands, in context.

Value will always be a part of the move's results.

Ludanto

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 02:58:29 PM »
I wasn't suggesting that outcomes wouldn't have value.  That's just being silly.

I'm saying that for any given value (your friends' lives, your arms, your reputation, etc), and purely academically, as a way to understand your range of options, "Hard Bargain", "Ugly Choice" and "Worse Outcome" are roughly analogous to a range of hardness based on player choice.

Of course getting shot with a bullet will always be worse than getting shot with a paintball, but getting shot in the face is still worse than getting shot in the foot for any given ammunition.  It's like that.

More or less.

John Harper

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 10:53:23 PM »
@Ludanto: I hear what you're saying. I think the "more or less" clause is pretty huge, though, which is what Michael is getting at. Since the fictional details always trump, it's hard to say that your scale really means a lot in actual play.

"It depends," is always the answer. :)

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 12:16:08 AM »
I wasn't suggesting that outcomes wouldn't have value.  That's just being silly.

I'm saying that for any given value (your friends' lives, your arms, your reputation, etc), and purely academically, as a way to understand your range of options, "Hard Bargain", "Ugly Choice" and "Worse Outcome" are roughly analogous to a range of hardness based on player choice.

Gah. Post got eaten by the interwebz.

Anyways, yeah, I think citing it as a gauge of "hardness" is off the mark, that's where my comment is leading.

I think your observation has merit, but...

Maybe it has more to do with "making the characters lives not boring"? So, like a hard choice might be more interesting than a worse outcome? But, the worse outcome isn't necessarily harder or softer.

I don't know.

Ludanto

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Re: Defy Danger 7-9
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 12:48:04 AM »
True.  Like I said, "academic".  Probably not that useful an insight in real life.