I am attempting to stat up a mythical monster, the Shaggy Beast of France.

I am attempting to stat up a mythical monster, the Shaggy Beast of France.

I am attempting to stat up a mythical monster, the Shaggy Beast of France. Legend has it that it was invulnerable with one notable exception: it died when someone hacked off its tail. 

My question: would it be better to give it 4 armor and declare that the killing blow had severed its tail; or to leave HP and armor blank and simply give it the special quality “may only be killed by cutting off its tail?”

11 thoughts on “I am attempting to stat up a mythical monster, the Shaggy Beast of France.”

  1. The latter. Don’t forget that everything follows the fiction, not the other way around. This isn’t a tactical dice rolling game.

    I’d make sure the character has the opportunity to cut off the tail in the fiction. They might sneak up on it, they might surround it, but at my table this would likely involve a Defy Danger move.

  2. I suppose it would depend on how you want the encounter to go. If you want a hard and drawn out combat then high armor and HP might be a good way to go. If you want something more cinematic, maybe go for some Defy Danger, Spout Lore and Discern Realities to go for the tail.

    I would personally go for either and see how your players run with it. Make use of narration to show the invulnerability of the creature aside from the tail. Maybe combine the non-combat options to allow for an attack on the tail that ignores armor/grants the attack piercing.

  3. You can do both. But first you must decide if pcs know this about beast. Gurps handles these issues by having a hit location table and a mechanic for called shot location. You can do similar or just note a % of its hp to be for tail. Then any hits to the rear area count toward that amount and make a secret note of it.

  4. I would strongly advise against adding mechanical hit locations to Dungeon World. Fiction should drive mechanics, not the other way around. DW should always be fiction first.

    Hence the player characters don’t remove the tail because they rolled a location, or managed to do 25% of its HP as damage. The do it because it happens in the fiction

  5. Ok but that means the players have to learn to hit tail in game or cheat by metagaming it. A hit location and I really can’t believe this must ne explained Sheesh, is like a last resort way to move it along if party isn’t getting it. It is no more no less non-fictional than a to hit roll is. Gawd.

  6. Well. Someone could just describe doing it and get lucky. You can describe how it allways keeps it’s tail away from them. 

    They can Spout Lore (this is not metagaming) 

    or they can just realise they can’t hurt it and run away. 

    I see no problem

  7. Robert Reppert and that would be exactly why DW also does not have a to-hit roll.

    Internalizing how “hack and slash” is not a to-hit roll and should never be treated as such is a hallmark of DW clicking. Otherwise there is still much getting to be got.

  8. This would be the 10+ i guess. A 7-9 in my game would be that they remember something about special properties of the tail, not more. They have to figure it out themselves, that they have to hack it off. 

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