23 thoughts on “Question: how do you model a monster that is particularly agile and dodges in combat?”

  1. I would probably just do this with it’s moves. For example, if it’s really fast and agile, then after it attacks it’s able to get out of reach very easily, or out of sight, or it’s able to quickly reposition itself to flank, etc. 

  2. I wouldn’t change any modifiers, really. No other monster really does. But what you can do is that it’s so fast and able to defend itself that maybe they need to describe how they’re catching it and roll a Defy Danger to get in close enough to actually try and hit it with a follow up Hack and Slash. Two rolls makes it harder, and the monsters moves can make it able to get away or retaliate if the character fails. 

  3. “When you try to touch/hit/capture the displacer beast roll+WIS. On a 10+ you carry out your action to its full effect. On a 7-9… drop the weapon, expose yourself to an attack, carry -1 forward, etc.. “

  4. Really, what’s happening when you attack a displacer beast is first you’re making a guess at where it actually is, which might either be a Defy Danger roll (the Danger being that you, you know, don’t get to take the shot) or it might not, if you’re clever and have some other trick up your sleeve, like throwing a bag of .flour in the air nearby or watching the rain hitting the real displacer beast, etc.

    So, follow the narrative, decide what’s happening and always always “what do you do?” because more often than not, the answer will surprise you.

  5. Maybe: When you attack the displacer beast, roll+WIS.  *10+ It does not deceive you.  Make your move normally.  *7-9 It’s not where you thought it was.  Take -2 forward on your move.  

    And of course on a failure, the GM gets a move.

    I guess that’s pretty much what Ivan Vaghi wrote.

  6. When writing moves, making a 7-9 a hard choice is almost always better than a flat out penalty.  I’d say, on a 7-9 in that case, you might say “you see an opening, but it’ll leave you vulnerable” and then if they take it, deal damage but let them hack and slash as normal – they leap into the obvious trap but still get the shot off.

  7. The blink dog has 4 armor and these moves:  

    – Give the appearance of being somewhere they’re not, Summon the pack,  Move with amazing speed

    I feel that they embedded some of the displacement power in the armor as well.

    I need to learn how to think in terms of following the narrative and not a combat routine. It’s hard to reverse old habits.

  8. What I find more important in wrapping ones brain around the way DW flows differently than D&D is that the “rules” don’t always mean the dice.  The rules just mean “how you play”.  So, asking questions and building on the answers?  Addressing the characters, etc?  Those are rules.  Just as much as “when you lose all your hp, you roll Last Breath” is a rule.

  9. Adam Koebel  Hm, yes, but doesn’t “if they take it, deal damage but let them hack and slash as normal” end up kind of playing like “take damage or don’t do the thing you wanted to do”?  I always try to avoid presenting choices where one of the options is “nothing happens”.

  10. But you’re not “closely studying the situation”, and you don’t actually want to be able to ask the Discern questions.   To me, that’s why it’s awesome that you can Defy with any stat — this is an awesome example of when it should be WIS.

  11. The most important thing about a monster that’s, say, supernaturally agile is that it changes how moves trigger.

    Like, let’s say I’ve made a new monster called the Quickling. These things are faster than they have any right to be. I make that clear in the description to the players, maybe noting that you only see them as a blur, that they just seems to appear in a new location because they’re moving so fast, etc.

    Now when I player says “I charge it and smash it with my hammer!” I say “how? it’s so much faster than you it never even gets within your reach.”

    The player now has a whole bunch of options, mostly via thinking creatively. Maybe the wizard has a useful spell. Maybe they coat the floor with oil and trip it up. Maybe they work together and corner it so it’s speed isn’t an advantage.

    The point is: the moves that trigger changed. 

    That’s an extreme example of course, but it scales down. Closing on an agile monster might be defying danger (the danger being it gets away from you, possibly with an attack on the way). Go with the fiction first and just trigger moves as needed and you’ll be fine.

    Making a custom move can work too! It’s just not a requirement.

  12. I describe it happening even when they succeed. Example for the blink dog:

    GM: You charge the creature, or what you think it is, make the roll.

    Player: 11 YES!

    GM: You feel your shield connect with the hound before you, you start pushing as hard as you can, but instead of feeling resistance, your shield feels light and your arm throws ahead… pause a second … the dog moved away, even after you hit it with the shield the thing moved, you know it is a lot faster than you now, and that you might have trouble hitting it this hard again.

    He succeeds, the entire damage is rolled, but the monster is there  alive and breathing, and putting them on their toes.

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