Author Topic: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?  (Read 9772 times)

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« on: March 05, 2015, 07:12:58 PM »
From the sidebar text on page 107 of the rule book:

"Animal moves just say
what the animal naturally
does, like “call the pack,”
“trample them,” or
“escape to the air.” When
you spend your hold your
natural instinct kicks in
and that move happens.
If you spend hold to
escape to the air, that’s
it—you’re away and on
the wing"

I often read that the way this should be interpreted as animal moves just 'succeed' if they have a hold to spend on the move.
If you transform into an elephant and say 'I want to trample the group of orcs', you spend 1 hold and you just kill them all.
Now, for obvious reasons, this isn't fun for the rest of the party. Nobody wants to struggle to kill one enemy and then have someone else wipe them off the map in one swoop, without so much as a combat roll.

I guess my question are:
Am I understanding the rules incorrectly? Could a dinosaur sized shapeshifted druid just stomp an entire hobgoblin war band?

Why does shapeshifting hold basically no penalty? A druid with +3 wis has a 92% chance of rolling 7+ which means they have a 92% chance of not having even the slightest consequence.
In contrast, a wizard or cleric could face consequence on ~40% of their spell casts (with a +3 modifier).

Why does shapeshifted druid moves just 'work'. Why is there no roll required?
Surely enemies would scatter from the path of a charging elephant; why do they stand there and meet the giant grey feet with open arms?
I understand why a mountain goat doesn't have to roll to scale a rock face, but I imagine if there were giants throwing boulders down there is now a risk that is beyond what a mountain goat 'could normally do' without effort.
The same goes for a bird's flight, I understand that flying across a field is a trivial task for a hawk, but what if there was a constant hail of arrows in the air. Now shouldn't the druid have to defy some danger?

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 07:47:58 AM »
Surely the Elephant's move is "trample smaller creatures under foot," not "trample all the orcs in the room." The druid isn't guaranteed to trample everyone, just to trample.

And where does it say the druid doesn't have to defy danger if there's a hail of arrows? The move is "soar into the sky" not "pass through hail of arrows unscathed."
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

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 11:35:31 AM »
I would be willing to accept all that if it weren't for the 92% chance of success.

Thank you for clearing up the moves. I guess I'll just have to be more limiting in the player's moves.

Why is there no penalty on a partial success, however?
Typically we see choices to increase danger, accept unwelcome truth, lose spells, take damage, etc on a partial success and total failure on a miss.

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 03:08:59 PM »
But, there isn't a 92% chance of success in trampling, just in turning into an elephant. There's a 92% chance that the Druid will have some hold. If he tries to trample some orcs, he can spend that hold to trample. When the Druid tramples, he's guaranteed get the move. He behaves like an elephant. That's it. The GM determines what that means depending upon the fiction and the Agenda and Principles. That may mean that he tramples a couple of the orcs, and the other's dive out of the way. It may mean he has to defy danger from arrows. It may mean a lot of things.

It's actually not that easy to come up with penalties on partial success for the Druid's shapeshift move that would be fun to play out.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:22:57 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

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 04:54:28 PM »
Thanks. I appreciate you clearing things up with me. That is how I initially understood it to be, but after reading a few resources online they all made it seem like druid moves always succeed.

So when a wolf shifted druid uses a hold to make the move 'go for the throat' on an orc, he is lunging at the orc's throat.
Is this a situation where the druid rolls hack and slash, or do you just leave it up to how you want the fiction to roll as the DM?
Would 'go for the throat' deal class damage + bonus, or would it be an instant kill?

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 10:36:41 PM »
All great questions. What does your Principle "Think Dangerous" say about this situation?
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

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 05:58:50 PM »
I would personally make them roll it. Gives more possibilities for things to go wrong.

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 05:34:38 AM »
That's fine. But you have an Agenda and Principles to follow in Dungeon World. Think Dangerous says,

... Everything can be put in danger, everything can be destroyed. Nothing you create is ever protected. Whenever your eye falls on something you’ve created, think how it can be put in danger, fall apart or crumble. The world changes...

So, it's not about the Orc. You're looking at the Orc like an evil overlord, ready to destroy it. And it's not really about creating possibilities for things to go wrong. You're a fan of the characters. It isn't your job to make things go wrong, but it is your Agenda to "Fill the characters’ lives with adventure." So, you're making things adventurous. Whatever happens it's not going to be boring. Maybe the Orc is a mean bastard and grabs the wolf around the throat while the wolf is going for his throat and damage is traded. Maybe the druid just rips his throat out and then has to deal with his spear wielding orc buddy. Or maybe this is the moment where we see the druid shine and he dispatches two orcs like nothing.

There isn't going to be one answer to the question. It's going to depend on the fiction your creating at the time. One thing I probably wouldn't do is make them roll Hack and Slash. H&S is it's own move and I'd have them roll it when they are hacking and slashing. This is the wolf move "Go for their throat."
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 06:01:29 AM 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

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2015, 12:25:42 PM »
Quote
One thing I probably wouldn't do is make them roll Hack and Slash. H&S is it's own move and I'd have them roll it when they are hacking and slashing. This is the wolf move "Go for their throat."

Maybe I am misunderstanding (english is not my language...)
Would you not make the druid roll at all? Or are you just differentiating that the druid's roll is not the H&S move but they are still rolling for their move?

This is what I envision.
Go for the throat
roll + str
10+ deal class damage + 1d4
7-9  deal class damage + 1d4 and select 1 from
            * Unwelcome truth
            * increase danger
6-    fail to do damage + whatever GM says


As for 'Think Dangerous": I am more than happy to kill the orc. I want the PCs to succeed but more importantly I want them to feel like they overcame something meaningful. I could "think dangerous" and decide that every PC insta-kills everything they hit but it probably wouldn't be very fun or challenging for them. Its not a question of protecting the bad guys from death, I just want to make sure everyone is having fun and feels like there is a challenge.

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2015, 09:52:11 PM »
I'm not doing a great job explaining. And I think you're looking for a singular answer when it's going to depend. The only thing that's always going to be true is that you follow your Agendas and Principles and make moves that begin and end with the fiction. But that's not very helpful.

My friend talks about GMing AW and DW as being like building a case in court. The Druid rips their throat out unless you've built a strong case that something else should happen instead.

I wouldn't make them roll a custom move to rip out a throat, that a wolf can rip out. You don't need permission to use your GM moves. He probably can rip out a human throat, but he's not going to be able to rip out an ogre's throat. What happens when he tries to rip out an Orc throat is up to you, but I think a wolf can probably do it. That doesn't mean they're not defying danger to get there, especially if the Orc has a spear, and a couple of friends, also with spears. I might Tell Them The Cost Or Consequences Then Ask. "You can totally rip out his throat, but the other one is going to stick a spear in your side. What do you do?" If he's been ripping out a bunch of throats and it's getting boring, I might Reveal the Unwelcome Truth that this Orc is wearing a big spiked collar as their teeth slide off and he rounds on them with a gnarly club. What do they do?
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

Borogove

  • User
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2015, 10:04:53 PM »
From a post on this very forum, from Sage LaTorra:

Quote
A note on shapeshifting in general: taking on a new form is, in a way, saving up successes for particular tasks. The druid makes one roll and, through the clever selection of a form, can turn that into 1 or more successes. The cost of this is the new form: since everything is triggered by the fiction taking on a new form changes what rules engage. That's the fundamental tradeoff of a new form: that form's strengths turn your one roll into more successes, but that form also limits your options.

So you hold 1 or hold 3 wolf moves which are mostly automatic and potentially very powerful, but in the meantime you can't do anything that requires human form.

That whole thread is pretty good and may help you get a better handle on the move.

Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 12:46:24 AM »
Thank you, noclue. That cleared things up immensely. I appreciate your patience and advice.

Borogove, they can shift into human form and back into a wolf at any time so I don't see a downside to that. Thank you for linking this thread, however; I will read it over.

Thank you both for taking the time to answer my question.

Borogove

  • User
  • Posts: 129
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 01:42:22 AM »
Borogove, they can shift into human form and back into a wolf at any time so I don't see a downside to that. Thank you for linking this thread, however; I will read it over.

Not so. "Once you're out of hold, you return to your natural form. At any time, you may spend all your hold and revert to your natural form." Rulebook p.105.

So if you pass the roll and get hold, you're committed to wolf form, and if you get into a situation where you need opposable thumbs, you have a choice to make.


Brozzart

  • User
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 02:38:31 AM »
Not so. "Once you're out of hold, you return to your natural form. At any time, you may spend all your hold and revert to your natural form." Rulebook p.105.

So if you pass the roll and get hold, you're committed to wolf form, and if you get into a situation where you need opposable thumbs, you have a choice to make.
Maybe I misunderstand again. There is no limit to the amount of times a druid may shapeshift so he can easily say "ok i use my holds to become human again" *do thing that needs thumbs "Ok I turn back into a wolf'' roll 2d6 "ok i remove throat". Any roll above a 3 (92% of outcomes) gives at least 2 holds with no consequence so there is little risk in doing this.

I could impose some kind of arbitrary penalty like "it takes a few seconds to shapeshift and you are vulnerable in this time" but then I'm just house-ruling to punish the druid...

noclue

  • User
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Why do shapeshifted druid moves automatically succeed?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 02:48:24 AM »
If he only has 1 hold in the middle of combat, sure he rips out one throat.Then what? Whether he has time to transform again before they stab him or drop a big rock on his head is an open question. And that one time he rolls a miss during combat? Whoah nelly! That's gonna leave a mark.
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