Author Topic: "Bend Bars, Lift Gates" and Replicating Class Moves (Plus a Barbarian question)  (Read 7091 times)

Pseudonatural Kraken

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The party is trapped in a jail cell and the halfling thief has had his thieves tools confiscated. The cleric steps up to the plate and says "I've got this". He grasps two of the bars and declares that he's going to try bend them far enough apart for the halfling theif to scurry out. He rolls a 9.

The question I have is how is this different than when the Fighter utilizes his "bend bars, lift gates" move/ability. It MUST be different, or the fighters ability is a nonability. If the cleric cannot do it at all then that violates the fiction (if he's strong enough maybe he just can bend them). I'm curious as to how other GMs are handling this.


A secondary question I have is how do GMs handle the 1d6+1d8 that barbarians are allotted when pursuing their appetites. What sort of draw backs do other GMs inflict when the d6 is higher than the d8? Do they treat it like rolling between 7-9?

noofy

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Well, is there a fighter in the party? If no, then sure, let the cleric defy danger on STR and try to bend the bars. , The danger being that he injuries himself in the process with a torn shoulder or causes a ruckus and the guards arrive or he manages to bend them a little, and the thief gets stuck. Or even pray to his god and defy danger on WIS, thus defying the danger of rejection by his god, or being drained through prayer, or attracting the ire of demonic entities...

Go with the fiction.

Oh, and if you have a fighter? Well hey, let them step up, be a fan of the characters and all.

Pseudonatural Kraken

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My players and I are really into the way Dungeon World rolls with "fiction first" but given the dearth of rules, the ones that exist need to be very solid and rigid, at least for my players. They don't want to descend into a group story telling session where their class abilities are irrelevant - so I guess you move a step towards answering my question but not entirely. What is the root difference between a cleric attempting to replicate the "bend bars, lift gates" move?

When a fighter "bends bars, lifts gates" there is still a negative consequence even on a 10+ roll. You're given 3 choices, but there a total of 4 options - the one that doesn't happen is negated and does happen. If you don't choose "It doesn't take a very long time" then it DOES take a very long time. Thus, for the fighters ability to translate into a real ability a Cleric can't simple come over roll an 11 and then pull the bars apart without a fuss. HOWEVER, if there is STILL a catch if the cleric Defys Danger for ten or greater then what happens on a 7-9? Something pretty bad? Six or below - something HORRIBLE?

Also I don't think this is a "Be a fan of the characters" issue (I interpret that Maxim purely in terms of "its not your JOB to kill the PCs" or its not "GM vs. Player"). Assume there is a fighter and he's incapacitated.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 01:21:57 AM by Pseudonatural Kraken »

Jeremy

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You could let the cleric use a less-optimal version of Bend Bars, Lift Gates as a custom move.  On a 10+, choose 2.  On a 7-9, choose 1.  (The fighter's move gets to choose 3 or 2.)

So on a 7-9 in your example, he probably picks "it doesn't take a very long time."  That means it does make a lot of noise, can't be fixed again, and damages something of value.  (You might have to get clever with the "something of value"; maybe ask the players.  At the very least, you could do damage to the cleric or give him the Weakened condition with a seized-up back.)


Regarding the barbarian's d8+d6: I haven't run one, but I'd make be all about escalation.

The d6 is higher on a hack n' slash roll?  He knocks over a brazier and starts shit on fire; smashes the orc into the pillar so hard it cracks and the ceiling starts to buckle; cleaves through the goblin and gets his sword stuck in the wall. 

D6 is higher on a parley?  Maybe you offend an onlooker with your impudence or rude manners.  Maybe you make a softer man envious and he starts to plot against you (nothing says that the GM has to introduce the complication now).

One last thought: don't think of it so much as the 7-9 result on Defy Danger.  There, the GM offers you a hard bargain, ugly choice, or worse result.  The barbarian shouldn't get any choice. He acts boldly and with vigor, and damn the consequences. 

Pseudonatural Kraken

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Defy Danger doesn't work at all, as written, as a replacement for imitating a class ability because on a 10+ roll "you do what you set out to, the threat doesn’t come to bear." but even when the Fighter ace's his "Bend Bars, Lift Gates" roll it doesn't go off completely without a hitch. Jeremy's suggestion works well I think - nerfing or offering a sub-optimal version of the same ability. As a second option, what do you think about just slapping on a -2 to their roll? Combine both ideas? Thoughts?

noclue

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The Cleric trying to pull the bars apart does not trigger a move.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Pseudonatural Kraken

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The Cleric trying to pull the bars apart does not trigger a move.
I'm STRONGLY Inclined to agree with this simple and elegant solution, but what about when the cleric says "I'm going to defy danger by trying to pull these bars apart"? Defy Danger says that the action is triggered when you do something to avoid imminent harm or some calamity - but in our situation the cleric ISN'T avoiding a danger... he is creating it by trying to do the action. Thoughts on this analysis?

noclue

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Exactly. So, when he goes to pull the bars, everyone looks at the GM to see what happens. He can do all manner of things.

"The bars resist your efforts (show them the limitation if their class). Perhaps if you look around you can find a weak spot in the bars or something you can use for leverage..."

"The bar snaps off in your hand with a loud echoing twang! Down the dark corridor something stirs...(signs of impending doom"
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

noofy

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Yeah, James is wise. The cleric doesn't need to invoke any move other than a GM move.

This can be tricky if you are the GM and haven't been used to not rolling for stuff. But just scan your list of moves and make one that feels right.

'Sure you could bend the bars a little, but its gonna make you weak.' (Show then them consequences and ask)
'You bend the bars with all your might, but to no avail. You need to heal/rescue/support the fighter, so they can flex their mighty thews, what do you do?' (show a downside to their class)
*turn to the thief* 'You know the cleric has got no chance of bending those bars, there has to be some other way of escaping, what do you think?' (reveal an unwelcome truth)
'You can bend those bars sure, but you'll need a lever of some kind that you don't mind bending in the process.... The unconscious fighter's two handed sword perhaps?'(use up their resources)
'You bend the bars and the thief slips through.' (separate them)

Ark

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I was thinking over the same issue not long ago. Was tinkering with the idea of rolling 1d6+1d4 or even 2d4 instead of 2d6 on an improvised skill check.
Luckily it was mentioned by Sage on reddit recently and I dropped my idea, because it's not too Dungeon World when you think about it.
Quote
[–]Reddit4Play 4 points 3 days ago
Giving the thief that move led to some weird readngs where other characters couldn't hide,
I was reading this thread before I submitted any questions and this actually leads into one: as the fighter gets "Bend Bars, Lift Gates" as a move, what might you do if somebody else, you know, wants to bend bars and/or lift gates?
Filling it in as Defy Danger is an easy solution, but I'm not sure if the consequences for less than a 10+ I could come up with would actually be less favorable than those in the Fighter's move, and I feel like since that's something special the Fighter gets that the improvised version should somehow be less awesome. What would you do (or have you done) there?
permalinkparentpocket
[–]sage_latorra 4 points 3 days ago
Yeah, I've had the same concern with the fighter at times, but practically it hasn't been an issue that we've seen. I think this is because every single class has "Damage" written right there, bug and bold, so the ability to break shit is always on the table. Giving the Fighter the ability to break shit better doesn't stand out quite as much.
If someone else breaks something in a way that leads to Defy Danger, that's cool. The Fighter's got a built in advantage that they get to choose. The Fighter is in control of their power. As the bars strain, the fighter gets to choose what to prioritize. Someone else, on the other hand, is just given a choice from the GM. It's a choice still, but their options have been limited by the GM.

So I think that if the Cleric is brawny enough in the fiction /think Friar Tuck/ he should roll if he /with GMs help possibly/ comes up with the idea of how it is Defying Danger. Could be an old trauma or a recent wound that will tear a muscle even further/dislocate a joint or open and bleed, causing pain and maybe even damage if the Cleric puts too much effort into it. Could be the danger of raising the attention of guards or getting injured /and infected, hello sepsis/ with crude and rusty bars. Could be just the fact he's just going to be executed in the morning, I think.
Now the GM can offer the Cleric the danger as a consequence and come up with another type of bad stuff /fighter's options, something you come up with/, presenting an ugly choice on 7-9. There should always be a real risk in such a situation - a risk the Cleric will have to consider before attempting to show that feat of strength thus Defyung Danger. And why not be happy for him if he rolls 10+ saving the day and not losing anything?

As Sage says Fighter has easier time due to the fact he has at least some idea what are the risks and can pick and choose.

noclue

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So I think that if the Cleric is brawny enough in the fiction /think Friar Tuck/ he should roll if he /with GMs help possibly/ comes up with the idea of how it is Defying Danger. Could be an old trauma or a recent wound that will tear a muscle even further/dislocate a joint or open and bleed, causing pain and maybe even damage if the Cleric puts too much effort into it.

Well, as with most things DW its very dependent on the fiction. The Cleric goes to bend the bars. There's no danger established here. It's not DD. Everyone looks at the GM and they make a GM move...like Tell them the Consequences and Ask. "Sure, you might be able to bend them, but there's a good chance you'll rip out those sutures the dwarf just got done sowing into you." Now there's a Danger to be Defied.


Quote
Could be the danger of raising the attention of guards
How does the Cleric being really strong prevent the guards from hearing? How is he Defying with his strength? Seems like the stronger he is the more noise he is going to make...which just means that he can go for the bars but the GM gets to say what happens.

And to be clear, I'm not saying the Cleric cant bend the bars. I'm saying its not a move just because the cleric tries.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

ScottMcG

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These are great concrete examples tied to GM moves. Things like this help me out a lot.

Yeah, James is wise. The cleric doesn't need to invoke any move other than a GM move.

This can be tricky if you are the GM and haven't been used to not rolling for stuff. But just scan your list of moves and make one that feels right.

'Sure you could bend the bars a little, but its gonna make you weak.' (Show then them consequences and ask)
'You bend the bars with all your might, but to no avail. You need to heal/rescue/support the fighter, so they can flex their mighty thews, what do you do?' (show a downside to their class)
*turn to the thief* 'You know the cleric has got no chance of bending those bars, there has to be some other way of escaping, what do you think?' (reveal an unwelcome truth)
'You can bend those bars sure, but you'll need a lever of some kind that you don't mind bending in the process.... The unconscious fighter's two handed sword perhaps?'(use up their resources)
'You bend the bars and the thief slips through.' (separate them)

Ark

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Quote
Could be the danger of raising the attention of guards
How does the Cleric being really strong prevent the guards from hearing? How is he Defying with his strength? Seems like the stronger he is the more noise he is going to make...which just means that he can go for the bars but the GM gets to say what happens.
Well, I'd actually say it's his attempt to make minimal noise that counts. Supposedly the Fighter who is more used to using his muscle in very diverse situations will have better control over his body while doing it. Whereas the Cleric will grunt, sweat, make an occasional fart, and can end up hitting himself in the forehead with a peace of iron if a rusted joint where the bars were hammered together lets go all of a sudden.

Anyway, if the player wants to roll and there is a way to come up with a trigger, why not?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 09:33:00 AM by Ark »

noclue

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Because the fighter has a move that is useful for bending bars while not creating noise and the cleric has healing spells? It's okay to tell players that they can't bend things without alerting the guards and give them some hard choices. It really is.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Ark

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It's okay to tell players that they can't bend things without alerting the guards
But what if the player wants to try doing exactly that while risking something else? Something he came up with on his own and offers GM as a way of defting danger? I'd rather go with it and let him roll and enjoy showing an epic feat of strenght to be remembered if he rolls 10+ than denying him an opportunity to roll and presenting with my own options. Besides I can always pile additional consequences on top of those he will have if he fails or gets partial success.

In a nutshell, if the player has a clever idea that can drive the story - why not use it regardless of his class and set of moves? I tend to think that the idea of a Cleric calling his god and bending the bars exerting himself and trying not to give a roar from the incredible strain his unadopted muscles feel is pretty cool. But if it's a roll for the sake of a roll with some rule lawyering involved there is really no need for it and GM just goes with what he envisions for such a situation, yes.