Bag of Holding, 6-, and Hard Moves…

Bag of Holding, 6-, and Hard Moves…

Bag of Holding, 6-, and Hard Moves…

As I’m reading the Magic Items section, I started to wonder if rolling a 6- is an opportunity for the GM to activate a Hard Move, regardless if there’s “danger” lurking. In the case of reaching inside the Bag of Holding, as a GM, would you penalize a player for rolling 6-? Simply saying, “You do not retrieve the item” is mundane and boring, as far as Dungeon World is concerned.

So, what would be the proper way to handle this scenario, and all scenarios where failing doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing?

11 thoughts on “Bag of Holding, 6-, and Hard Moves…”

  1. I would look at the list of moves for the GM, and see what comes to mind… e.g. “You spend a lot of time rummaging through the bag, and fail to notice the skittering sound behind you” or “Something in the bag grabs you and pulls you downward” or “You pull out the lantern you were looking for, but it begins making a loud ringing, like church bells and you can’t get it to stop.” 6- isn’t supposed to be a penalty, really. It’s just supposed to be an opportunity for problems to arise.

  2. A miss always triggers a GM move, usually a hard move.

    So yes, if a player rolls a miss on the move to fetch items from a bag of holding, something happens that causes more problems for them (or the party). Chris Rogers’ example are all good, but if you can’t think of anything on the spot you can always give them the bad side of both 7-9 choices (it takes a long time and you only get something similar).

  3. Any good adventurer is going to have used a bag of holding to defeat a nasty monster by stuffing them in it. On a 6-, that’s your cue to let it loose!

    “Something just bit your hand… what is it?”

  4. What Craig said. Make as hard a move as you like, while following the principles. If there’s no reason to throw another monster into the mix like James’ idea, you could always Reveal an unwelcome truth, Point to a looming threat, Make them backtrack (maybe to get a replacement for the thing they can’t find in the bag), Offer opportunity… There are a lot of great options besides adding more immediate tension to the scene. Don’t ignore the “as you like” part of that phrase! It’s usually better in the story to build up to the more direct hard moves.

    1.”Something shifts in the bag.” Reveal an unwelcome truth

    2. Later someone else fails. “The very thing you need got churned to the top of the bag. You didn’t even know one of those was in there.” Offer opportunity, with or without a cost

    3. “The bag thrashes in your hand and leaps away, down the ravine. Better get your rope ready.” Use up their resources

    4. Finally, “As you reach into the bag, jaws clamp down on your fingers. It seems this Bag of Holding is home to a Bag Badger.” Introduce a new faction or type of creature

    Letting the mystery and problems build is fun, and often just good practice in *World games!

  5. Reveal an unwelcome truth/Use up their resources: “You retrieve the item but it is partially digested.

    Separate them: You are pulled into the bag…

    Offer them an opportunity with/out a cost: A former owners journal, an old map, etc…

    You can always just add some flavor doing things like the players always hear a what sounds like a music box coming form the bag when it’s open or occasionally strange smells or colorful but harmless fumes sometimes escape.

  6. You’re allowed to think off-screen too, although I think revealing an unwelcome truth in that regard is probably a good idea when it happens.

    You pull out a wand of fireballs, wait do you remember putting that in there? (Meanwhile, a powerful wizard is hunting down the person stealing all the items from >his< bag of holding)

  7. A 6- is an opportunity for as hard a move as makes sense. For the bag of holding, that may be as simple as “well, you don’t find it. How long are you willing to spend looking?”

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