I was wondering something.

I was wondering something.

I was wondering something. It’s a bit cheesy, I know, and I haven’t tried a game where players did it, so it’s more of a theoretical problem.

The bard can play his instrument to heal the wounds of others. The heroes are in a relatively peaceful environment. What would the consequences be when he gets a partial success when making an Arcane Art move?

You can only drop random encounters on them so many times before immersion breaks in two, especially when they are in a safe environment.

I could of course just allow it, having the bard heal the entire party every time they are “safe”, but it strikes me as dumb since it removes the need for the Make Camp move. Unless of course the idea behind this Make Camp is to let all groups have healing readily available, albeit at a time cost (as well as the negligible cost for rations).

How would you deal with it?

13 thoughts on “I was wondering something.”

  1. Show Signs of Approaching Danger: the area isn’t so safe, or the Bard taking time to heal people means that something bad has happened somewhere else. If your players aren’t already on a quest, Use Up Their Resources/Reveal an Unwelcome Truth: the Bard’s healing magic stops working all of a sudden – why, and what can they do to get it back? Maybe the patron deity of Bards is angry at him; maybe the Bard’s use too much healing magic for a little while, so now it costs him HP to heal others until he’s had a rest.

  2. Yeah, its just that I prefer to stick with the complications proposed by the moves. Maybe that’s just me being silly.

    I do like the notion of using “time” as a consequence though. I always liked the idea of using Grim Portents as a kind of “time flow” maneuver.

    “You have fooled around a little too long down in this cave now, werewolves attacked the village in the mean time!”

  3. That is explicitly one of the things that Show Signs of an Approaching Danger does.

    Remember that at no point are the complications listed binding if doing something else fits the fiction better. Also, “put someone in a spot” is deliberately incredibly vague. It does not mean “put them in direct physical danger.”

    For Arcane Art, “draw unwanted attention” can easily mean the attention of extraplanar creatures or magic monsters.

  4. Lol, got an idea for a partial success that stops players trying to abuse it; the wounds heal, but it ain’t pretty. You are now Scarred. Or; the stab wound in your arm heals, but it’s painful. You are now Weak for the time being.

  5. Don’t worry much about players abusing it. There is no straight up abuse because everything follows from the fiction.

    Hey Bard, so, does your magic fire off when you play a chord? Or do you need to play a diddy?

    Okay, so like, it takes a few minutes or whatever for folks to get healed?

    Okay, so you’re healing everyone to full? Like all the way? Okay, that’s cool. So, it’s 40 minutes later and… (grim portents grim portents grim portents all up ins).

    Alternatively, the enterprising player who says “No my magic is lightning quick and only takes a chord to do it!” you use every Miss as a chance to magically ruin everything — after all, they decided their magic fires off at the twitch of a finger.

    It shouldn’t be too big a concern if everybody gets healed bunches. That’s an excuse to throw more dragons at them.

  6. I rule something like:  the closer the target is to already being at full health, the longer the the song takes.  How long do you really want to spend, Bard?  Oh, okay.  Fighter, the bard is droning on and on about goddamn King Ethelred again.  You’re getting pretty bored.  What do you do?

  7. Well, it might be easier if the party just made camp and healed half their HP. If they are not in danger or in a hurry (pretty much the same in DW), why on earth would they do otherwise?

    Guess it was just me being weird…

  8. I made my bard player break strings. To repair he has to use a part of his kit or take -1 forward until repaired. Or just have something else happen. Bandits, fae, anything attracted to noise could investigate or show up.

  9. Alex Norris suggested: “Show Signs of Approaching Danger: the area isn’t so safe”.  I like that!  The characters may have legitimately checked and made themselves safe before sitting down, so that it seems uncool to just spring a wandering monster on them, but you can totally say: “Hey, Ranger watching out the window, a new group of bandits just came into view up the road.  If the Bard keeps playing, they’re totally going to hear you.  What do you do?”

  10. First of all, they can already heal to full by making the camp move, no need for a bard for that, if they want a quick heal and get going then complications are the way to go, a single cord bursts, something comes because the music drew attention and the like.

    On the other hand if they are looking for a quick fix they are probably on the clock for something, that is what you should make them feel it cost them, not entirely, but if they wanted to beat someone to a place, they get there just after said person, for example.

    Overall I don’t even ask for rolls if there is no chance for conflict, but in these cases I would ask, and they would know there could be consequences.

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