13 thoughts on “How does actually combat work? What happens on 6- hack and slash?”

  1. The short answer is “the GM gets to make a move.”

    The GM may inflict harm, or use group resources, or place characters in perilous positions, introduce new threats … Although the list is finite, the GM really has endless options.

    The easiest move, with a threatening enemy, is to inflict the enemy’s damage on the character whose player rolled 6-.

  2. on a 10+ you hit, and can choose to deal extra damage if you give the enemy an opportunity to retaliate.

    on a 7-9 you hit, and the enemy retaliates.

    on a 6 or lower, you miss and the enemy still retaliates.

  3. On a 6-, you as the DM get a chance to make a move. That is actually one of the big shifts in DW. You don’t get an initiative turn like in D&D, but instead cause interesting and dangerous things to happen as a response to PC failure.

    For example, the elven fighter in your party is trying to lunge forward into a horde of ghouls trying to  mow them down with a mighty swing of his axe. He rolls hack and slash and gets a 5. Now as a DM, you have to decide what exactly that means and make a move in response. That’s where the DM moves come in. You could just say the fighter’s attack is completely ineffective and the ghouls all take a nasty chunk out of him, which is the hard move, deal damage. Or you could say that his swing is overzealous  and one of the ghouls is able to disarm him, which sets the player up for what they do next to try and recover their weapon or improvise in the situation at hand. You could also reveal the unwelcome truth that even though he hits with his axe, the ghousl are completely unphasd by his physical strike as their flesh knits back together.

    A 6- is very much a situation when the ball gets kicked into your court and as the DM you  get to determine what happens next. The answer is usually something bad for the PC, but something that sets them up to try and get out of trouble and be more awesome in the process.

    Is that helpful?

  4. The answer is “Work with the Fiction”.

    If the fiction would be better to have the attack miss and something happen, go with that.

    If the fiction would be better for the attack to succeed, but something horrible happens because of it, go with that.

    Hard move means that the cost is great. Something has really happened.

    The idea should always be in the forethought of your mind: Fiction first.

  5. These answers are good examples of how DW is not just a straight-up substitute for DnD, as was reflected in the answers to your previous question. Tim and now Andy have referenced the DW Guide – it really does a good job of illustrating how DW is different.

  6. Ok, can someone answer to question “I want to decapitate this orc with my sword! What happens?” How to handle that? I see that it’s very free form so I’d assume it’s possible but I now need simple example how to cope with that.

  7. Jacek Brzezowski As the DM, I would say “OK, roll” the player would roll 2d6 as normal, and if it were a 7+ I would have them roll damage. IF that damage is more than the health of the orc, then their decapitation happens. If not then “The orc dances out of the way of your strike, but not quite quickly enough you leave a deep gouge on his shoulder and chest as you blade swings by.”  Was the orc surprised? give them a bonus. Do you expect the orc to be a challenge? If not, maybe on a good roll, just let the player take the head.  It is up to you!

  8. Ok, so orc attacks a hero (no surprise) in some example I read that the hero makes h’n’s in response and see who deals damage. Shouldn’t it be more logical to first avoid danger (or how it is called) and then make h’n’s so to give both parties same chances or am I digging to deep?

  9. It depends. If the Orc attacks the capable fighter she can just block and then counterattack because she dealt with this a thousand times before. She is THE fighter!

    Now let’s use her wizard friend as an example. She knows magic but not much about combat right? She probably needs to defy the danger of the Orc attack first since this IS danger to her (but not the fighter).

    However, the wizard could be a war wizard who fought in the 8 year war against the orcs. If that is the case then an attacking Orc might not be a danger to her.

    Does that help?

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