Okay, guys – I need another bit of help.

Okay, guys – I need another bit of help.

Okay, guys – I need another bit of help.

The DW campaign continues, and , for the most part, it’s going incredibly well.

However, the Thief and the Paladin …. really don’t like each other.  Really.  It’s come to blows more than once and, unfortunately, the dice mechanics aren’t working as well as I expected.

I do, however, feel I’m doing something wrong.  

The rules as written assume that for every die roll, there’s a reaction.  That obviously doesn’t work nearly as well with PCs – how do you handle those instances where PCs decide they want to try to kill each other?

9 thoughts on “Okay, guys – I need another bit of help.”

  1. This is a tangential suggestion, but allowing players freedom, validating their choices, and following the fiction in terms of what happens to the characters and how they develop means that — almost inevitably — you may reach a point in your game where it doesn’t make sense for all of the characters to stay together anymore. This is totally fine!

    Let one or more of the characters go off and do something else, if that’s what they really want (or try to kill each other, whatever, but that can be socially disruptive unless the players are both really into a fight to the death; see what the group wants). As a player, if your character is no longer interested in going on adventures with the group, make a new character who is, or stat up a current NPC as a PC and just keep on rolling. Doing anything else isn’t really following the fiction, right? It’s forcing a social arrangement that doesn’t make sense on characters who wouldn’t otherwise be travelling together.

  2. When someone fails a roll, bring in a diversion to break up the fight.  Suddenly, ogres.  Ask what it would take to get them on the same team and build off of the answers.  Use a PC-NPC-PC triangle to invest them both in a part of the fiction.  Ask the paladin/thief what is redeeming about the other (loaded questions!)  Injure the thief and make the paladin decide to let them die or save them.  Capture the paladin and make the thief decide to free them or not.  Place a new playbook on the table and ask who wants to play a new character, add XP tokens until someone agrees.


    [These are all ways of dealing with “guys, stop fighting” and not “here’s how you two will fight.”]

  3. By default rules, the aggressor rolls for H&S, and then aggressee rolls to interfere. On a fail from the aggressor, you can either choose to make a move (ie, a distraction), or I suppose you could turn things around give the other player a chance to act. It’s not really something Dungeon World is meant to handle, and so you’ll have to just be quick on your feet, and find solutions both players are happy with.

  4. Colter, I really gotta disagree that DW isn’t meant to handle it, and I think it handles it pretty well. Fairly decent coverage of it here: http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/17868/dungeon-world-how-do-you-handle-player-vs-player-situations/p1

    And the PCs only roll to interfere if they, y’know, do something to interfere, but if all they’re doing is saying “I fuckin stab that sonovabitch in the face” at the same time, then both roll H&S, and both resolve them independently. It does certainly mean that they can both be taking loooooooooads of HP damage, especially if they each roll 7-9. 

  5. If it was me not rolling dice, I’d want something that kept the dramatic tension going while also encouraging the PCs to not finish one another off. I’d make ’em get a Bond with one another. Something antagonistic.

  6. Aaron Friesen ‘s post, a couple above mine has a link to a great discussion on this topic.  If you want to cut to the quick…  I was about to post Sage’s final (as of me writing this) post in that thread an p.2.  But, I suggest you do a bit more reading than that.  If you are not a DW Master, give yourself some perspective and read through some of the examples people give.

  7. Is the issue that the Thief and Paladin hate each other? Or that the Thief and Paladin’s players hate each other? Because those are two very different situations.

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