So, one of my players who is playing a druid has asked me if: when shapeshifted in a creature like, let’s say a cat,…

So, one of my players who is playing a druid has asked me if: when shapeshifted in a creature like, let’s say a cat,…

So, one of my players who is playing a druid has asked me if: when shapeshifted in a creature like, let’s say a cat, would be more appropriate to use DEX instead of STR to hack and slash, due to its natural ability.

I’ve thought about it, but I’ve just came up with more questions, like:

-what are you fighting?

-what about the animal moves?

-SO, if you are a cat, your damage would still be a D6?

-and above all: what about the fiction?

So, what do you think about it?

EDIT: also, since I’ve begin to play Aw I’ve always felt such a relief to have left behind (boring) discussions like that, about what’s the proper stat to use for an action, commonly encountered in D&D games.

EDIT 2: I’ve just realized that in the description of the move shapeshifter it reads: “some moves may be harder to trigger – a housecat will find it hard to battle with an ogre.

20 thoughts on “So, one of my players who is playing a druid has asked me if: when shapeshifted in a creature like, let’s say a cat,…”

  1. If by ‘a cat’, you mean a lion or something, then you might be able to claim that your ‘weapons’ have the precise tag. If we’re talking ‘housecat’, though, then at that point it’s more a question of how you’re triggering Hack & Slash at all. Housecats don’t ‘trade blows’.

  2. Colter Hanna I mean “housecat” (pardon my vagueness). And yes, that was my thiught but I didn’t want to step on the players feet or preventing him from doing something.

  3. …also, all the doubts about damage dice size are clearely not an issue, because:

    -I don’t think the game works that way

    -if I look at the move “red of tooth and claw” it says: appropriate animal form (something dangerous), so…

  4. That’s pretty much spot-on. Damage dice are used when a character successfully makes a physical attack that actually has the potential of causing serious harm, so just like a fighter trying to stab a dragon with a butter knife, a druid shapeshifted into a relatively harmless form isn’t going to be dealing damage like that.

  5. If the Druid is in housecoat form they could H&S with something of equal threat. If they have to fight something bigger, they will need to roll shapeshift again or revert to their normal form

  6. I was thinking about that: If the druid is shapeshifts into a little sparrow and get it with a broom/stick/mace/wathever, according to the fiction it is legit that he could get squashed.

    Considering also that, by the book, he takes the innate abilities and weakness of the form, so I guess a soft body it’s one of that.

    How would you handle this?

  7. If I understood correctly from the book and the AW forums, you don’t roll hack & slash when you attack in animal form. Instead, you exchange hold and the action happens if it makes fictional sense.

    The way I do it: a bear clawing on some goblins? They’re dead. Of course 1 move can only let you kill a reasonable amount of them (2 or 3, in my opinion).

    If it’s a creature more capable of holding themselves on a fight (a Orc, a human warrior), you should deal your damage. No roll+anything, just deal your damage.

    A housecat attacking most creatures won’t deal damage. He may distract an enemy or claw him in the eyes, if he can somehow reach (in that case I feel like 1d6 is reasonable).

  8. Just a slight problem with my approach: the Formcrafter advanced move states “When you shapeshift choose a stat: you take +1 ongoing to rolls using that stat while shifted.”

    I’ll search the thread on the AW forums to see if I can make sense of all of this.

  9. While shapeshifted you can still trigger moves, like it says in the book: “You still use your normal stats but some moves may be harder to trigger—a housecat will find it hard to do battle with an ogre.”

    So yeah, a housecat might trigger hack and slash against a dog or a wolverine or something, but probably not a human (despite how often my cats have tried to prove this wrong).

    As for giving a cat’s claws precise, I’d slightly lean against it because then every form you’re going to be doing more work to think about tags and such, but it’s not horrible or anything. 

  10. Sage LaTorra I’d prefer to play by the book (not because it’s the Holy Book. Isn’t it?) but because someone (who has created the game…) has already done all the dirty job and has make some choices based on what he had in mind, how he would like the game to be.

    So the precise tag it’s a valid option, that I could easely see in my games, but why should I? The game already offers a lot of possibility as it is written, soI’d stick to the animal moves.

    I used to have a cat when I was a child, but he wasn’t an hell of a bastard like my aunt’s cat who always aimed for the eyes. Tht’s why now I have two dogs.

  11. Anyway, just to say something that comes from that kind of discussion, I used to play Aw with a group of six friends but annoying discussion like that lead me to split the group in two separate gaming group: on one side the annoying polemic players, on the other …well, the “good” players (as for goodfellas).

  12. Sage LaTorra both you and Adam Koebel posted in the AW forums what amounts to “taking on a new form is saving up successes for particular tasks”.

    So, my take from this and what you said now is: the moves the GM gave the player are always successful, but cost you hold. The player may still trigger different moves: he has to roll, but he doesn’t spend hold.

    Am I reading things as intended?

  13. What about if you want to make a move but don’t want to spend hold (to prolong the shape shifting)? Can you try to roll?

    Probably not, after all, “to do it, do it”.

    But you could rationalize it as “you are trying to attack the goblins without letting the animal instinct dominate you”.

  14. André Rodrigues no, that’s not the intention.

    When you shift into an animal form you’re saving up a few success at the moves specified by that form. You’re also changing your fictional positioning, so that different moves may trigger.

    So when I change into a bear and get “terrifying roar” and “rip something apart” that doesn’t mean I can’t hack and slash with my big ol’ bear claws. If I say “I slaw the goblin” I probably triggered hack and slash. If I say “I go with my bear instincts and just go feral, ripping him apart, using my move” then I didn’t trigger a move, I just spent hold to get an effect.

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