Author Topic: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?  (Read 9382 times)

Gediablo

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Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« on: May 19, 2014, 03:38:54 PM »
The paladin got a move called Bloody Aegis. It makes it possible for the paladin player to pick a debility of their own choice instead of taking damage. This seems completely broken - how do I deal with that as a GM. When the players figure out how much damage they can get away with for a -1 to all rolls for a stat of their choice up to 6 times I fear they are all going to take this as a dual class advanced move. Heck even the Paladin alone having this is a lot to deal with. GM "You fall off the dragon from 10.000 meters above the surface of the earth", Paladin: "Ok, I shout the name of my diety as I crash to the ground. I become stunned but don't take damage". GM: "OK, dragon picks you up and repeat the drop it 5 more times.". Paladin: "I just laugh at him".

Should I just forbid this? Or play really hard on people that have debilities? If they go from a +2 to a +1 due to a debility they are still better than a guy with 0 or worse so that doesn't really make sense to me either.

noclue

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 03:52:07 PM »
Why not just be a fan of the character? He plummets to the ground and is saved by his God in a blaze of light. That's cool! It only stops damage anyway, that's only one of the things in your arsenal.

Now he's Stunned. Fill his life with adventure and make your GM moves. Show him the limitations of his race, class and gear. Separate him. Put him on he spot. Deal damage, let him pick up a new debility and keep on stepping.molar him up! Make him weak, shaky, sick, confused, and scarred. He'll pray for damage ;)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 03:58:33 PM by noclue »
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

Gediablo

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 04:53:55 PM »
I cannot make him pray for damage when he can just always decide himself when to use this moves and when to take the damage. Having 6 debilities is still better than dying 3 times. Also the paladin would also find it unfair that I "kill" him 3 times each session and only "kill" the wizard 1 time pr session - and that with the wizard having fewer hp. And where is the thrill of combat, if you hardly ever have a real risk of dying?

My coming players are all coming from old school table top games and computer video games, just like I think many players coming to dungeon world are. It is natural for them to think min-max when making their character even if they don't put it like that. They look at the list of advanced moves, and pick whatever they see themselves being able to use in situations that might happen. When I put myself in their place doing the same I would pick this Advanced Move for any character I could as fast as possible - seems insanely overpowered and near impossible for the GM to bypass this mechanic and to put the character in any real danger I have to go to extremes like the Dragon example. We haven't had our first session yet, so I'm not yet a fan of any of their characters yet. However, if he did something like the dragon example I made I would never become a fan - I would simply let him die horribly to his sickness debility and forbid him from making a new paladin with that move - which is the solution I'm already leaning towards. Alternatively I'm thinking of adding extra limitation to the use of it. Like only work in humanoid vs humanoid combat with melee weapons, you need 3+ seconds to foresee the damage to pray to your God, you need to announce you use it before any damage roll is made, or maybe even before I declare whether I do damage or some other hard move.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 04:59:02 PM by Gediablo »

Borogove

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 05:04:09 PM »
Debilities are not just their stat modifiers; they have effects in the fiction. If you take Confused, your ears are ringing and your vision is blurred, and debilities are harder to heal than HP loss. 

I think you're worrying over nothing, but if you're really worried, just use hordes of weak enemies rather than fewer tough enemies. Bloody Aegis cancels only one attack, whether a 1d6 Kobold spear or a 1d10+3 Dragon Turtle bite. Pretty soon he'll only use Aegis in a life-or-death situation -- and your goal as GM is not to kill them, anyway, so why would he ever need to use it?


Wait - if you haven't had your first session yet, how does he have Bloody Aegis, anyway? It's a level 2-5 move.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 05:15:53 PM by Borogove »

Gediablo

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 06:41:36 PM »
My job as a GM is not to kill them - I can count the players I killed on 1 hand over many years of GMing. But it is my job to make combat fun - to me that includes that the fights have to have some sort of tension to them. The characters don't have to be on the risk of dying all the time - but they have to fear the risk of dying every fight. To me Bloody Aegis appears to suck out a LOT any tension I can come up with. If you watch Barcelona vs some shitty 2nd division soccer team you know who is going to win - the game is not even fun to watch. Or maybe it is one time - but watching matches like that week after week? Boring.

Worst case scenario after a few sessions any GM could have a group like this: a level 3+ Bard with Multiclass Initiate(Bloody Aegis), Level 5+ Cleric Multiclass Dabbler(Bloody Aegis), level 3+ Warrior with Multiclass Dabbler(Bloody Aegis), level 2+ Paladin with Bloody Aegis. Noone broke any rules at all. I don't want to go to this spot - I want to balance the skill before people start choosing it, so I don't have to deal with an overpowered move or nerf characters later on. I want balance ideas to Bloody Aegis - not just the option of Barcelona playing against 22 crap players (hordes) in all their games or Barcelona's players being given LSD (aka debilities) before the matches.

I want to be able to throw anything at them, and anything feeling like a challenge in its own unique way. I don't want to need keep 1 advanced move in mind for any encounter they might face - that is not fun for me, and hence it won't be fun for my players. I want to fix the root of the problem before it becomes a problem.

Ps: I said The Paladin - not the paladin in my group. I meant the paladin as a class.
Pps: IRL my job is to look for worst case scenarios all the time and come up with workarounds for them - it comes natural for me to do so. I see a problem here - I would like some help with someone more experienced with the system to give some input how to solve it. Telling me it is not a problem doesn't help ease my mind, unfortunately.
Ppps: I have seen some streams of paladins using this talent, so I know I can't be the only one with concerns about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6nHWpYd3kM, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHiKP64sLu0

noclue

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 06:42:48 PM »
This move is no big deal. It just frees you to have dragons drop him from high places knowing he can survive the fall.

Of course taking debilities is better than dying six times. That's why the Paladin uses the move. But Damage is just one thing you do. You have lots of moves at your disposal. Dealing damage isn't even the most interesting move open to you, it's just the quickest and easiest.

As Borogove mentions Debilities are more than just Stat modifiers. Everyone's running from the Orc horde. Oh, Mr. Confused Paladin go ahead and make a Defy Danger with Int. You payed attention to which corridor your friends went down, right? Oh, running across that parapet? Yeah, go ahead and give me a Defy Danger with Dex Mr. Shaky. Oh, you'd like to use I Am the Law to get some antidote for your poisoned friend? Can you even think straight here? Or are you just coming off as a horifically scarred, sick, crazy person mumbling non-sensically. Make me a Defy Danger with Cha to see if anyone stays around long enough to even listen to you.

Just a few quick thoughts off the top of my head.
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

Gediablo

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 06:54:02 PM »
Currently I'm thinking I end up nerfing it in a way that if the last roll you made before it failed was e.g. a +STR roll the debility would become Weak if you choose to trigger the Bloody Aegis. Same with +DEX and shaky and so on. That way I can do as you suggests and enforce the descriptions of their debilities, but also force them to do alternative thinking, rather than continue to do Hack and Slash moves until they burn down the boss, or at least risk having to take damage after 1 debility. The move is still good, but I think I would be able to live with this in my campaign.

Borogove

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 06:57:50 PM »
Eh. I still don't think it'll actually be a problem, but if you're seriously worried about it, the simplest patch is to say a character can only have one Bloody Aegis disability at a time.

That lets you tune the availability of the move by making disabilities easier or harder to cure via magic items or NPC healers.

noclue

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 07:28:37 PM »
Just one note, the players can't "continue to do H&S moves to wear down the boss" unless you let them. They can just tell you what they are doing based on the established fiction. If you put them in position to attack, then they can do that. Of you say "the Balrog slams into the stone bridge over the fiery chasm and it begins to fall like a bunch of loose Legos, what do you do?" They'll probably do something about not falling into the chasm.
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

T.G.

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 09:24:30 PM »
My coming players are all coming from old school table top games and computer video games, just like I think many players coming to dungeon world are.

When I see calls for nerfing advancements I think the same thing of GMs in Dungeon World.  It might be more of a problem with the way a GM makes moves than one advancement being too powerful.  If all a Gm does is inflict damage, why would players be interested in moves that do anything other than damage mitigation.  Change the action.  Pull the rug out from under them, or the floor entirely.  Make their lives FULL of adventure.  For my part just getting into combat, dealing damage and taking damage, is not the most adventurous part of a ROLE playing game.

Antisinecurist

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 08:21:34 PM »
You need to understand, sometimes damage is just damage... basic cuts, scratches, whatever...
... but really, when you do a move, it usually resolves to damage + other stuff.

If a bear bites through my upper arm, I take some damage - yeah, whatever - but also, now chunks are missing from my arm, maybe my arm is off or half-off.

So, dragon drops the paladin 10,000 meters, all that happens is damage?
Is this being honest to the fiction of the game?

Well, I don't think so...
I think at the least (being very generous), I'd say some bones are broken.
So...

DM: The dragon lets go! You have a split-second and then you'll be falling.
(At this point, Paladin probably tries to catch onto the dragon to save himself, or maybe another PC can help somehow, like the wizard casts a flying spell or somesuch, I don't know... let's assume that whatever it is fails)
DM: You're falling very far, you would take (how much damage? I don't know, a very large amount) the best of 2d10 and add 7. Also, most of your bones are broken.
Paladin: (Rolls damage, 17) I use bloody aegis, so I am confused instead of taking 17...
DM: Well, how does that look?
Paladin: As I crash into the ground, a burst of holy force expands from my body, crushing the earth and softening my fall.
DM: Well, it's not as bad as you thought, and you're feeling in fighting form... except, you still have a broken femur and you think you've sprained your arm... what do you do?

...
- Alex

SJE

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 09:27:13 AM »
So a dragon drops a paladin from great height and he uses Bloody Aegis, then what else happens? If he's confused or stunned or weakened, then perhaps  he has also let go of his Holy Avenger sword on impact- its gone flying on sight! Or now the Paladin is so far out of the fight that he'll now need to make a dangerous climb with his debility before he can rejoin the rest of the party?

Steve

matfe

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 07:44:15 PM »
Get some Bandits and hang up the Paladin to a tree or something and wait. He will beg for some damage or die from thirst.

Or - maybe more fictional for the paladin - his many uses of "Bloody Aegis" makes his deity angry. Maybe he will send the Paladin to a quest to show his loyalty.. and one vow is "don't use Bloody Aegis".

Toxicbob2000

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 05:28:01 AM »
As the rulebook says, getting your head cut off or being crushed by a boulder isn't damage, it's dying. Bloody Aegis doesn't let you "break" the fiction any more than anything else in the game does.

YourWatcher

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Re: Bloody Aegis - how to deal with it?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 10:04:51 AM »
I challenge bloody aegis by doubling up on paladins with weaker enemies that cover multiple attack types~

For instance;
"The dwarven brothers with spiked pole-hammers are trying to flank you!" or "The zombies the wizard lit on fire with his fireball!" or "Dragon Welps" -- or whatever is convenient.

He may have to defy danger to get a hack and slash off against one, because of his range, and their cooperation with reach weapons. Defy danger; 10+ = Get to make attack. 7 - 9 = Decide if he is willing trade a hack and slash attempt for a hard-move, or just ward them off. 6- = No attack possible, and GM makes a hard move against him.

Makes them feel like a defensive fight; and the number of attacks coming at him (more opportunities for the enemies to attack him or prevent his attack vs. his opportunity to attack) prevent bloody aegis from being a huge factor...

In this way? The paladin can feel like he has a challenge rather then a trump.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 10:08:53 AM by YourWatcher »