Having just spent the last half an hour answering questions like: “So if the Druid turns into a chicken and lays an…

Having just spent the last half an hour answering questions like: “So if the Druid turns into a chicken and lays an…

Having just spent the last half an hour answering questions like: “So if the Druid turns into a chicken and lays an egg and then the egg hatches…?” and “So if the Druid turns into a cow and we milk it…?” and… “So if the Druid turns into a sheep and we shear it and make the wool into a jumper…?”, I conclude that I hate the Druid base class. I literally spend 90% of the time thinking up moves for creatures that “Could conceivably live in a forest… Honest… It’s a big forest…” And 10% of the time actually GMing the rest of the players. It’s no longer a game of Dungeon World. It’s basically Druid World. The Druid has an answer to everything and the other players are becoming lazy… “Yeah, just let the Druid turn into a giant eagle and fly us there.”

What’s the maximum/minimum size of a Druid in animal form?

What happens to the Druid’s clothes??

What happens to removable aspects of the Druid (such as feathers and wool and stuff) when the Druid shifts back into human form, if these aspects are removed whilst she is in animal form???

Give me a fighter, a rogue and a mage any day. I wish they were all bloody bards. What the #%@! happened to the normal laws of physics and magic??!

44 thoughts on “Having just spent the last half an hour answering questions like: “So if the Druid turns into a chicken and lays an…”

  1. On a 7-9 or 6- result, have the Druid get stuck in one of these ridiculous forms, or attacked, and ask one of your other players what they do when they help the Druid. Have the nature spirits become angry at the Druid for abusing their gifts, and take away forms once they’ve used them.

    Did you say a male Druid turned into a female cow to be milked? Was that a 7-9? Well, it seems that when you changed back, something went wrong! You’re now a woman! What do you do?

    As a giant eagle carrying your adventuring buddies and all your stuff, the journey will take 2 days. Your appetite is greatly increased, you’re going to need to eat the equivalent of a whole cow’s worth of meat instead of a days worth of rations. Maintaining tat form for so long is also going to take a toll on your mind as the eagle spirit begins to invade your perception of yourself. You begin to lose your identity and become the eagle, inside and out. You start to think those you carry are more like prey than companions. What do you do?

    Every time your Druid rolls less than 10, they’re asking you to mess with them. Instead of thinking of the rules of magic like they’re a new set of physics, think of it like storybook magic, where your power comes at a personal, often emotional or situational cost.

  2. When he fails a roll, hard move. Turn into a bear. .you just sat on a party member, or enraged a nearby momma bear. Turn in to an eagle…without hold…and watch as your weak talons drop the rest of the party right on top of pointy trees…

  3. Really. Use hard moves. You always change shape. BUT without hold you cannot use anything other than basic moves, can’t fly as a bird or roar as a lion

  4. “What’s the maximum/minimum size of a Druid in animal form?”

    What’s the maximum/minimum size of the animals that inhabit his chosen land?

    “What happens to the Druid’s clothes??”

    per the shapeshifting move: you and your possessions meld into a perfect copy of the species’ form.

    “What happens to removable aspects of the Druid (such as feathers and wool and stuff) when the Druid shifts back into human form, if these aspects are removed whilst she is in animal form???”

    Good question. Ask your Druid. Then remember the answer when they roll 9 or less. “Looks like you left a tuft of fur behind as you left. The goblin shaman will be able to magically track you.”

    “The spirit of the Ram appears before you in the spirit world, proud and stubborn. ‘You were not given my shape to borrow in order to be sheared.’ He bellows a challenge and lowers his head to charge.”

  5. Also instead of answering those questions ask the player how does it work, and let him spout lore. 

    If he 7-9 or fail, hard move. Like, ambiance of goblins or town guard mistakes them for some other group.

    Get the fiction moving. Every thing should move fiction forward.

  6. Less flippantly – ask the party “do we care about this? Does it matter?” If yes, just decide how it works. You are the GM and you are allowed. If you don’t want to, ask someone else. Their answer is now the answer.

  7. “So if the Druid turns into a cow and we milk it…?” Then the randy bull in the next field over has amorous attentions. Can anyone say Pepe Le Pew?

  8. No you’re not even supposed to do those for a shapeshift. As written you allow the shapeshift successfully and the set-back is that they only get 2 hold instead of 3.

  9. Why did you let yourself get pulled into theoretical crap?  This is not a druid problem, this a GM problem. Just shut down worthless discussions.

    Also when does magic have laws?

  10. You can make a soft move whenever the player’s look at you, wondering what happens next. But you shouldn’t feel the need to make a soft-move on a 7-9 any more than a 10+ when using shapeshift.

  11. I’d make a hard move any time they ask a silly question. What happens if a druid turns into a chicken and lays an egg? please. An orc is stabbing you with a halberd what do you do?

  12. Damn, now I gotta know. What were the answers?  Would the druid have to change genders, can they do that?  Unfertilized eggs don’t hatch.  Does this means there was bird sex?

    Really, I should ask as there a chick or was there breakfast?

  13. Oliver, check out hash tag #DruidWeek for a lot of advice and discussion.

    A cow could have a Give Milk move that produces a ration. You still would need the proper equipment to do it.

  14. Wow, thank you for the epic response.  There are some really great ideas here.  I especially like the idea to lock them into their current form – could take the RP in a different direction as the group try to find a cure (meanwhile, grim portents go unnoticed…).  I love the idea that the animals each have a spirit guardian that will become angry if their form is misused.

    Ben Jarvis (and Adam Koebel) you’re completely right that this is largely my fault for not being a better GM and effectively losing control and/or not reminding the players that they should be focussing on the fiction.  This is only my third session GMing ever, so I’m still learning a lot as I go.

    I think I was using the “hold” rules incorrectly (I was making up full custom moves for each possible move, for example: Bat Screech: 10+: Deal D8 damage to all enemies in a 10 foot cone; 7-9: You draw attention to yourself. Choose one: Use an extra hold (if you have one) to do D6 damage to all enemies in a cone; Do no damage.  This was taking a long time).

    Tim Franzke, thanks for the hashtag.  I’ve already gleaned some great stuff from there in the last twenty minutes or so and will continue reading.

    I’m thinking I might write a post on the Druid egg…

  15. Oliver Clare It sounds like you have the problem figured out satisfactorily for your needs, but I did want to point out that unless I’m missing something you can’t really mess with a druid in the ways suggested. The Shapeshifter move is pretty clear on what happens with a roll of 7-9 and there doesn’t seem to be a call for a GM move. If I were the Druid player I would be pretty upset if my GM reinterpreted a rule in that way. Just something to think about.

  16. Those moves the druid gets ate just monster moves. No need to come up with anything fancy.

    In fact, I didn’t come up with any at all. If the druid wanted to do something that sounded like a reasonable move for that form, then they could spend a hold and do it.

    For example, in bear form they might decide to maul someone. That’s a thing a bear does, so they can spend one hold and roll their damage. No need for me to come up with a canon moves list.

    If you’re coming up with a list of moves for every possible animal in that area, you’re doing it wrong.

    Ask then what animal they want to turn into. Now they can do whatever that animal does. Easy.

  17. But if you just give them anything they want without some limit then you are giving then to much power. There should be moments where they want to do x and y but no animal gives them acces to both because you just get a few moves per form.

    Just my opinion.

  18. Just because they get all the moves an animal could do doesn’t mean that any animal can do anything.

    It would be stupid to say “You turn into a bear. Okay, you get the moves: Catch fish, protect your cubs and hibernate for winter!” when the player just wanted to eat a guys face. Clearly bears can eat a guys face, so the Druid should be able to do that.

  19. I tend to give the animal form a couple of moves that the Druid can’t do in his normal form. So, “bite a dude” is not usually a move, because the Druid can already hack & slash, but “fly” would be.

  20. Either way, I still feel the Druid is overpowered. At level 1 the Druid gets: Bite, Fly, Explosive Bat Poo, Poison, See in the dark, Rend, Add Reach, Go Tiny, Scale Sheer Surface, Web, Spit Fire/Acid/Whatever, Breathe Underwater, etc., etc., etc.

    The Mage gets Magic Missile…

    It might be more balanced if the Druid had a limit on the number of shifts per day/session (perhaps equal to his or her level). This would mean at low levels, when she’s getting used to the character, there’s less experimenting. And higher levels the Druid would probably not notice the limit.

  21. The wizard is getting EVERYTHING with ritual. He also gets charm person, summon spirit and invisibility. All of these have way more uses then magic missile. They are also kickass at spout lore.

  22. I don’t have druids in my game… but only due to aesthetics. On a rules level, I’d be perfectly happy to have one.  I figure the druid can solve any problem with his shapeshifting – but every time he does, he’s inviting golden opportunities for me to mess with him grin

  23. Bear in mind that dragons and sand worms could conceivably crop up, meaning you suddenly have a 500 foot sand worm taking over the rest of the evening’s role play. And you WILL be asked “Can I ride it?”

  24. Heh. Yes that could be troublesome – I think I might go with the ol’ Natural Creatures vs Monsters dichotomy in terms of what he can shift into. 

    Of course, that might be a bit joy-killing. If he really wants to turn into an enormous sandworm then I’m going to be asking some serious questions about how a halfling druid acquires so much extra mass. No matter the answer: fun possibilities for consequences.

  25. First time I ran DW, the druid picked Frozen Wastes. He then proceeded to turn into a snow hamster, which the barbarian threw at a group of goblins. Mid flight the druid turned into a narwhal.

    To add some perspective on the tone of the session, the barbarian was running around naked and crushing enemies with his butt cheeks. Mortal Pleasures etc.

    I would definitely make shape shifting take a moment and some concentration in the future, especially in a more serious game. So trying to shape shift with a goblin lunging at you gets you stabbed, unless you defy danger or something first. Heck, maybe I’d add a Quick Shifter advanced move for druids to learn that let them change instantly if they want.

Comments are closed.