Question: How would you people handle being on fire in DW?

Question: How would you people handle being on fire in DW?

Question: How would you people handle being on fire in DW? My wife threw a lantern in the face of a rather dry zombie yesterday, and I regrettably didn’t actually handle it very well, meaning that I only let her deal class damage to it, because I didn’t think straight. I told her so afterwards.

My problem was how to handle the fictional time, because the zombie would eventually burn to a crisp, but it might take a couple of seconds to do so. As everyone knows, a lot can happen in a couple of seconds, and I thus made the terrible decision of not letting it have anything bu a colorful effect. I should have rewarded the initiative.

How would you roll with it?

27 thoughts on “Question: How would you people handle being on fire in DW?”

  1. I’d probably do ongoing damage to the zombie until it ran out of HP. More importantly, there is now a ZOMBIE ON FIRE and woe to anyone who gives me a golden opportunity to use it.

  2. How would you handle ongoing damage? This was something I came up against when running WoD, that with no turn structure the decision when to inflict additional fire oil damage on a burning monster felt very arbitrary, more or less ‘they’ll go down when I feel like it’.

  3. In FATE I just treat such things like characters. The fire is a character that keeps attacking its target until someone attacks it to death. The fire does burning damage, and is damaged by rolling, water, etc. damage. It also can grow. An easy way to do that is add the damage it’s doing to it’s pool of HP, and the effect of it’s attacks. 

    Not that familiar with DW rules, but hope this helps. 

  4. While playing the slave pits adventure, one of my player tried to throw a fire beetle oil lantern at some assassin vines but he rolled a 6-. So I gave him the choice of hitting an ally with it or or it shattering at his feet and setting himself on fire. He chose to catch fire.

    I made up the rules on the fly that he would take 1d4 damage ongoing and could defy danger dex to stop drop And roll and extinguish the flames or roll plus con to endure the flames and act.

    He tried to defy +dex and fail, so the paladin was rolling around on the ground, burning, taking a total of 3 or 4 d4 in damage before he was safely put out .

  5. Alex Fradera Whenever anyone’s action (or my reaction to it) involves the Flaming Zombie, have the torching player roll their damage die again.

    If the “camera” is off the zombie, nothing’s happening, but if the “camera” is on it, the ongoing fire matters.

  6. I think mostly, being on fire is something that happenes to you. You are now on fire and in terrible ongoing pain. You probarbly have to Defy Danger to do anything but drop+roll (or something like that). When he has extinguished the fire through proper action (not really a move i think) you roll damage to see how much he got. The longer he took the higher the roll. So start with a 2d10+3b of damage (armor ignoring) and either up the dice or the + x. When he takes enough damage to die from that you roll last breath. 

  7. On a monster:

    A zombie probarbly has no problems with beeing on fire. IF it is a magical zombie he might not even stop before beeing completly burned to crisp. If it is a more “biological” zombie he will stop working before that. 

    On a normal clever enemy he is now on fire. Roll your class damage. The enemy is out of the combat until it finds a chance to take out the fire. 

    An animal might flee in terror. 

    Just think how it would work in a story and figure the mechanics out afterwads. 

  8. But “an action” can take very long or no time at all. Discerneaning realities takes much more time then defying the danger of falling into an acid pit. 

    Monster moves are the same. 

    The concept of actions really doesn’t work in DW in any way.

  9. I’d say class damage and give the lantern +fire. Let the fiction handle the fire.

    I’d ask the bard or the mage but I’m pretty sure that the undead burn forever. That’s why they bury them after cutting off their heads and why torches in dungeons burn indefinitely….

  10. Cool scenario – props to the player. I’d recommend following the game flow and working through from the fiction to the consequences before a move is chosen and a roll is made. This could be Hack and Slash, so your call might have been the best one, but it depends on what the player was trying to do in the fiction. Talk to them about the intent, and if there is no clear move that applies choose an appropriate stat and let them know what the consequences of a 10+ (burn up quick?), 7-9 (bash around like a headless chicken setting everything on fire until it dies?) and miss (now the zombie does fire damage?) would be. (You can even ask the players what might happen.) Then let them roll for the move if they still want to do the action now they see how it will play out.

    Also, don’t be afraid to correct (or even ask the players opinion) in the moment, like in all the move examples.

  11. I would simply describe the fire, the zombie still moving towards the player but now on fire. Slowly describe how the flesh burn and eventually how it simply fall on its knee. Make it has hard or soft as the scene require. You don’t need mechanics for this. In doubt I ask my player what should happen.

  12. Perhaps have the fire only damage the zombie when the players interact with it.  Attacks against the zombie gain 1d4 fire damage, but also if a player holds the zombie back against a wall using a staff, the zombie burns and takes 1d4 damage.  Defying danger to dodge under the zombie’s attack?  It takes another 1d4 damage.  

    So the zombie will die faster, possibly a lot faster, but hey there’s always more zombies.  Also, a flaming zombie probably deals some extra damage when it bites you, so it’s a double-edged benefit.  

  13. Dave Tarr Because the fire tag on the weapon set the zombie on fire in the fiction, you can use the fiction to add to the ways you can damage the zombie.  With no weapons, you could say, “I keep backing up, giving it time to burn,” which is now a valid form of attack that it can’t defend from, thus automatically dealing class damage again.  Though, you might have to defy danger to keep backing up without ending up against the wall/obstacle.

  14. Marshall Miller Yeah exactly, though I probably wouldn’t use class damage. Whether you’re a wizard or a fighter, the zombie is gonna burn the same.  Should the fire damage ignore armor?  I’m never sure where to ignore armor in DW.  

  15. uhm, last time I remember catching fire:

    an evil sorcerer fireballed the fighter, after he suffered damage I said “you’re on fire, what do you do?” the wizard jumped in and said “I try to extinguish the fire with my flowing robes!” that was defying danger and with a weak hit I concluded: “you save your buddy but your robes are gone for good. You’re naked!”

  16. So he was Defying the Danger of getting roasted? Doesn’t really sound like actual Defy Danger to me (but i could be wrong on the fictional trigger)

  17. Everytime anyone takes an action include the zombie burning, and do environmental damage to it each time. The number of burning damages will make the fire significant even if the amount is small. Anyone interacting with the burning zombie needs to make a Defy Danger roll first, which is also a burn action on the zombie. The zombie becomes an excellent vehicle for failed move responses and will try to pass its ‘burning” tag onto others.

  18. My take:

    “I throw the lantern at the zombie!”

    “Great, Defy Danger with DEX. A hit means you get the zombie, but depending on your roll there may or may not be collateral damage.”

    “Cool. I rolled an 8.”

    “The zombie’s on fire, but some of the lantern oil splashes on the wooden floor behind it, igniting it. The Ranger will have to deal with that in a second. The zombie will burn to a crisp pretty quickly, but in the mean time you’ve got a flaming zombie flailing it’s arms at you uncontrollably. What do you do?”


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