In the RPG thread about DW, I think it is Adam Koebel who mentions that legendary warrior so badass that the player can’t just hack and slash her and has to figure out a different way to fight her
I know some people might be upset by this, because it seems rather arbitrary. For these people, would it be out if place to reward them with1 XP? It could represent the experience of learning to fight the best badass warrior ever, and could be a sort of a “Good try kid, try again.”
20 thoughts on “In the RPG thread about DW, I think it is Adam Koebel who mentions that legendary warrior so badass that the player…”
How is it more arbitrary than a dragon whose scales cannot be pierced? In a way, both those characters are cheating. But then, I GM hard and that might not work for you.
Hence, custom move!
When you learn something about a powerful foe for the first time mark XP.
REMEMBER: giving out xp isn’t a reward or a thing you do for no reason. It’s a mechanism, like anything else, and can be hacked.
Adam Koebel – What do you say to players when their moves don’t trigger? Like if a wizard wants to pickpocket the greatest thief in the world or a fighter tries to kill the aforementioned badass fighter?
I make a move.
GM: This badass fighter shows up.
PC: I attack!
GM: She kicks you across the room. Take 1d6 damage.
In both of these cases hopefully the GM has provided some clue that the thing they’re fighting/pickpocketing/whatever is beyond them.
When Flying Woman beats you and you take a lesson in your defeat, mark XP if you act on lesson learned.
I think what you said Adam Koebel is true: you DM harder than I do. I love the idea of presenting foes that cannot be defeated in the usual way, or require special means (like a powerful magical sword or lance or stuff.)
Easy Hack: Add “Did we learn something new about a notable monster or enemy?” to the questions at the end of the session. That way, they get an XP for trying (but learning something about how to overcome it) and/or an XP for [actually, eventually] overcoming it.
Adam Koebel and by “I make a move” do you mean “I craft a new move that represents what happens” or do you mean “I consult my GM moves and execute one of the moves”?
GM: After days of hard climbing, you reach the summit of Mount Wo’dan and enter the sanctum of the Invincible Sword Princess. She stands casually, her sword held in a tiny hand, looking as though she’d been awaiting you. Her lip curls in a sneer and she deigns just a single word to you; “kneel”
Fighter: After all that? No way! I’ll show you who is the best fighter in the 14 Kingdoms! I rush at her, drawing my sword in one movement, using my Strikes Like Lightning Style.
GM: You strike like lightning alright – you hit the pillar behind where she was with a tremendous force and the old temple shakes with the assault.
Fighter: Wait, I didn’t even get to roll?
GM: You could always try again.
Fighter: I do! I rush at her again, using my Rain-on-the-Mountain Maneuver!
GM: Your rain of steel falls on the dry stone floor. “You’re pretty fast.” the Princess says, obviously mocking you. What do you do?
What you can see there is the final scene of what was probably a rising situation – there was some showing signs of an approaching threat (the peasants at the foot of the mountain speak of the Invincible Sword Princess and how she cannot be defeated by any known style) and giving them an opportunity that fits their abilities (if the Fighter is willing to be humble, he might be able to learn something from her).
In the actual fight, just straight-up freaking out and attacking her is silly. She can’t be defeated. So that’s the player giving the GM a golden opportunity. In that example, I was gentle, and I used a monster move, maybe “dodge a blow”. When he tried again, I used “reveal an unwelcome truth” but I very easily could have dealt damage.
This is a really useful example. Thank you. 😀
Mark Diaz Truman you’re welcome! I think part of the way the game evolves is learning the interplay between the GM and the players. You learn the way the conversation feels.
Adam Koebel – Yes, I think that’s been the best part of learning to play the *W games in general. The back and forth between the players and the GM really makes sense to me now, and it opens up options that I didn’t think were really possible in roleplaying, a kind of flow that fits the fiction without needing too much guidance on my part. 😀
I’d probably give the Invincible Sword Princess an instinct like “punish the arrogant but teach the humble” too.
That’s very, very interesting. I had never considered doing this.
I would be interested in seeing a link to the original conversation, if anyone has one available.
I have my players well trained.
Player: Hmmm – I try to figure out what she’s doing to dodge my blows.
Me: Why Player, that sounds like discerning realities.
Wizard: Do I know what allows people to dodge like that?
Me: Why Wizard, that sounds like spout lore. Do you?
The players have the tools to deal with this. And ‘announce future badness’ helps it not feel like Gotchas.
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