Author Topic: Infinite Bard Healing  (Read 5115 times)

Oren

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Infinite Bard Healing
« on: August 26, 2014, 07:39:59 PM »
Hey guys, I'm gonna be running my first session of Dungeon World tomorrow but I'm a little confused by the wording of the Bard's Arcane Art move. In particular, the fact that it can heal 1D8 Damage. It seems like they can use the ability over and over again, yes? It doesn't get expended like a spell?

Is the intent that Bards can completely recover their party's HP between combats? I see the complication of "unwanted attention" that would be an effective limiting factor in a dungeon, but how is that supposed to work if the PCs are somewhere relatively safe?

noclue

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 01:21:32 AM »
Spells don't get expended either, unless you miss and choose to expend them. You're comparing an infinitely successful Bard with an unsuccessful Cleric.
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

Oren

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 05:50:37 AM »
Right, but the thing is that the cleric always has the chance of losing their spell to prevent spamming. The bard only seems to have the vague threat of 'unwanted attention.'  Am I the only one who sees that as a potential problem?

Borogove

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 05:19:54 PM »
Again: the 7-9 results for Cleric's cast are player's choice, not GMs.

The GM can prevent spamming by revoking on a 6- if they choose, but could do that with a Bard as well ("Oops! You broke a string on your lute and can't perform well enough to invoke Arcane Art until you get it replaced.").

It's pretty common to see new players question DW moves that look spammable; the answer is almost always "yeah, it works great until they roll 6-."
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 05:25:27 PM by Borogove »

Maleficum

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 06:18:13 AM »
Also, there's the "Fiction first"-rule. You really just can't say: "I sing a song", and then roll the die. "What song? What's it about? Where did you learn it?"

Often, a player won't sing another song because of "spotlight issues", but even if the [wounded] partymembers (and their players) are begging the Bard to sing another song - a simple 7-9 result could put an end to it.

"Oh, I'm sorry, but it seems [your performance] brought the attention of what sounds like an orc warband. You might have time to tell/sing another one, but it seems they're heading straight for your camp."

"You're preparing for another song you say? The inn is flustered and [The Fighter] looks like it helped a little, but there in front of you swooning, is the Baron's wife. She's incognito, and somehow she has heard about you. She's still caught up in your performance, if you leave now you'll escape her. Oh, look! One of the Baron's knights are entering, looks like they're looking for someone."

zmook

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 01:53:02 PM »
Right, but the thing is that the cleric always has the chance of losing their spell to prevent spamming. The bard only seems to have the vague threat of 'unwanted attention.'  Am I the only one who sees that as a potential problem?

Most of us thought that sort of thing might be a problem the first time we saw it.  But if you play by the GM principles, it turns out to be fine.  Make their lives be full of adventure.

First off, PCs don't have *that* many hit points, and if they do manage to recover most of them between fights (which they probably won't), it's not the end of the world.  The rules are pretty generous about ordinary "i rest and recover hit points" healing, and so if the characters are somewhere safe with no time pressure, they can heal to full pretty quickly even without magic.

Second, if they're anywhere dangerous at all, the first time you "attract unwanted attention" pretty much puts an end to it.

Third, even if they're somewhere pretty safe, there's still lots of bad things that could crop up.  Start an encounter, like Maleficum suggested.  Also, remember that on a failure (6-) you just get to make a GM move.  *ANY* GM move.  Time passes elsewhere and the evil ritual approaches completion.  Whoops, night is falling fast, are you going to stay out in the open here?  Whoops, magical side-effect makes you grow hair like Teen Wolf.  Whoops, the God of Magic likes your playing, and now he wants you to do something. 

There's a mindset you have to cultivate as a DW GM, where you have to be ready to make the plot move along.  The players can stop and diddle around and search everything and heal everything and be super-paranoid, but every time they roll the dice they risk a failure which means something unexpected happens.  Probably something bad.

Borogove

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 02:39:58 PM »
Also, remember that on a failure (6-) you just get to make a GM move.  *ANY* GM move.  Time passes elsewhere and the evil ritual approaches completion.

Right -- Grim Portents from the GM's fronts can activate. Having all the hit points in the world doesn't help much when the big bad opens up the heckmouth.

zmook

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Re: Infinite Bard Healing
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 11:32:44 PM »
It *is* worth thinking a little about the odds -- how many successful heals is the bard likely to get off before something goes wrong?  Let's assume you need a full success, because the GM can probably make sure that "unwanted attention" is distracting enough to keep the Bard from healing again right away.

With CHA +1:
0 heals: 28%  (failure on first roll)
1 heal: 52%  (partial success on first roll, or full success followed by a fail)
2 heals: 14.5%  (success followed by partial, or 2 successes followed by fail)
3 heals: 4%
4+ heals: 1.5%

With CHA +2:
0 heals: 17%  (failure on first roll)
1 heal: 49%  (partial success on first roll, or full success followed by a fail)
2 heals: 20%
3 heals: 8%
4+ heals: 6%

With CHA +3:
0 heals: 8%  (failure on first roll)
1 heal: 38%  (partial success on first roll, or full success followed by a fail)
2 heals: 22%
3 heals: 13%
4 heals: 8%
5+ heals: 11%

It's still not "infinite healing", but with CHA+3 the Bard does have a real chance of stringing a lot of them together, given enough time.  Which is another point:  the GM *is* allowed to make moves whenever she wants.  It's just that they should normally be soft moves if the dice haven't served up a failure yet.  But "Show Signs of Impending Doom" is a soft move, and can be used as often as you like to raise the stakes.  Maybe this apparently-safe place where they're resting up is starting to seem not so safe any more.