As I couldn’t find the discussion, I’ll bring it up anew (if you find it, link it for me?)

As I couldn’t find the discussion, I’ll bring it up anew (if you find it, link it for me?)

As I couldn’t find the discussion, I’ll bring it up anew (if you find it, link it for me?)

How do you handle the terrifying tag?

I feel like just describing a horrifying event and how the creature is doesn’t quite do it right. Is there a suggestion to make it work better?

16 thoughts on “As I couldn’t find the discussion, I’ll bring it up anew (if you find it, link it for me?)”

  1. True, but I want to cover those who don’t react to the standard message. Because I don’t want to misrepresent the monster in the initial confrontation.

  2. I’m worried my power of description might be lost on players during the first part of the encounter. The initial reaction to the monster should have them consider fight or flight

  3. Your description might just need to include the word “terrifying” or “horrifying” and then if anyone thinks they can just walk up to this thing go ahead and ask them to roll DD wisdom.

    Also, you could make a custom move:

    When you walk up to creature X like an idiot, Roll +Wis. 

    On a 10+ you get a shiver down your spine

    On a 7-9 You can run for cover, or are unable to move.

    on a 6- You fall to the ground and wet yourself.

    Just for funzies. 

  4. In every game I’ve run, Dragons have a custom move.

    When you approach a dragon, roll + WIS.  On a 10+ you shake off the intense waves of fear and can act normally. On a 7-9 you’re shaken, hesitant or uncertain. On a miss, you cannot approach, the fear is overwhelming.

    On a 7-9, generally I’ll call for a Defy Danger throughout the fight when I think fear would cause problems.

  5. Could you consider taking a -1 for the duration of the fight on a 7-9. You still master your fear (you do not run away) but your are still badly shaken (partial success)?

    Too simple and mechanistic?

  6. I usually use the fact that the monster is terrifying as a fictional fundation for my DM move.

    You’re so afraid you drop your sword. You’re so afraid you run from your comrade. That sort of things.

  7. For myself, outside of a horror setting, I haven’t had a chance to use the terrifying tag.

    My understanding is you present it as terrifying and scary then let the player’s base their moves on that. I have never been a fan of telling a hero you are afraid, rather I would let them tell me How they react to something scary. Npc’s… They run for the hills as does anything else that has self awareness.

    Players get the hint quickly when everyone else is running away.

    I also use the tag to help me described the monster.

    Example a terrifying housecat. The predatory glare of this animal hints at it’s deep malice, it’s scared face and missing ear would otherwise give this compact beastling a humorous bearing but on this feline it gives proof to it’s past victories over all challengers, it’s rumbling growl changes to a warning hiss as it’s filthy and bloodstained claws explode out and swipes at you.

  8. This is reminiscent of an old argument of how social/psychological effects work against PCs. If a PC is intimidated into doing something against their will, does it ruin player agency?

    For something like like, I would definitely require Defying Danger to stand your ground against something horrible, though I’m not sure what a partial success or a failure might be.

  9. I think player agency is built in the rules. The way the game works garantees the PC have every chance to be their own agent. As a DM, you don’t have to worry about it that much. Do your moves when you can, be hard when you have to.

    Sometimes, hard moves are good. And “You’re so scared shitless you drop your sword” is a hefty good hard move in my book — it’s totally a legit “take away their ressource” DM move. It’s just a moment after all and it comes after a failed roll or a golden opportunity. Players know bad stuff happens when the dice or their choices provokes hard DM moves.

    Afterwards, the player gets to play his character again and say things like “okay, I get ahold of myself and…” 

    Allowing Defy Danger before that makes it a soft move, which is good sometimes. But I don’t think it’s the only way to go. Be bad when you can, guys! It makes good games!

  10. Peter Johansen That’s one of the things I’m worried about. I don’t want to generate that effect. I’d love it if a description properly conveyed the sense of terror, but sometimes you can’t encapsulate it for everyone. Which is why I was looking to see if there was a solution that people were aware of, without reducing it entirely to a mechanical effect. Fiction first after all.

Comments are closed.