10 thoughts on “Another question concerning defy danger.”

  1. With Defy Danger, I usually tell the player what stat to use as part of my narration:

    “The ogre bellows, spraying spittle everywhere, and swings its massive club towards you. Give me Defy Danger with DEX to scramble out of the way in time.”

    However I’m always open to things the players suggest, provided, as Alfred Rudzki said, it makes sense given the fiction. If a player said they wanted to raise their shield and just take the blow (Defy Danger with CON) I’d totally let them. Catch the ogre’s arm as it comes down? That might be Defy Danger with STR. If the player ask to do something that doesn’t fit the fiction, I ask for an explanation, consider if it might work (keeping the “Be a fan of the characters” in my mind) and then ask for something different if it really doesn’t make sense.

  2. Remember also that the player doesn’t look at their sheet and pick a move; they narrate what happens and then roll accordingly if their narration fits the trigger for a move (often with the GM telling them what to roll).

    “The ogre swings his club, Defy Danger +Dex” is the wrong way to do it – the right way to do it is “the ogre swings his club, what do you do?” Their answer determines what move gets rolled, if any move at all.

    (It’s entirely possible that there is no move with a trigger that matches what they describe their character doing, in which case there is no rolling, what they describe just happens and the GM gets to make a move in response.)

  3. Yep, as Alex Norris said: see what they do, then see if a move has triggered.

    For me, as a GM, with a huge burly ogre, if the player says they “know something about ogres and their ways” I’m going to push them pretty hard on what that is and how it means they don’t get a big ol’ club right to the face. I guess there is some answer that makes it happen, but I’m having a hard time imagining it (especially since defying danger doesn’t mean they get to make up facts about ogres).

    Holding their shield strong or taking the blow might work, but it partially depends on the fiction established. If an ogre isn’t much stronger than a human, sure, those might work. But in my game ogres hit like trucks. If a player says “I hold up my shield and deflect the blow” I’d say something like “well, this is an orge, he’s towering over you and the club is like getting smacked by a truck on the highway, that’s not going to do much. Do you want to reconsider?” (If the player and I had been on really different pages about this I might rewind a bit and let things play out differently. For example, if he had got into combat assuming this was possible, I might be a nice GM and say “okay, let’s rewind a bit, your character isn’t that stupid.”)

    It’s worth noting that not every danger can be defied with every stat. If you can find a way to defy a club with charm and social grace, good for you, you managed to defy it with Cha. But I’ve yet to see a situation where you can actually make a club miss you (or mitigate it’s effects) by smiling at it.

  4. What if the player just says “I swing at the ogre”? Is this now Hack and Slash, since trading blows is understood to be part of being in melee? What about trying to stop the ogre by shooting him first (especially in the case where the club swing is the Danger from a 7-9 Volley)? Or either of these actions, specifically targeting the ogre’s club hand?

    (I’ve had players try the first two responses, and I’m never quite sure whether to say “lol golden opportunity, enjoy your damage”. It feels hasty. No one’s yet been savvy enough to try the targeted counterattack.)

  5. I think that depends a lot on the established fiction. As Sage LaTorra said, if the ogre is the size of a small house, well, enjoy your damage. Trying to hit the ogre’s arm as it swings at you is really just going to put you directly in the path of its tree-club. Crunch. Of couse you should make that perfectly clear to the player and give them a chance to revise their answer.

    However if ogres are human-sized, then swinging at it in order to avoid an attack seems reasonable. That wouldn’t be Hack & Slash in my opinion though. H&S is the Move when your intent is simply to deal damage to a foe. Other effects, such as disarming it, are incidental. In this case, the player’s goal is not to deal damage, but something else. So H&S wouldn’t trigger.

    If a player wanted to strike a foe to avoid an attack, I would call for Defy Danger. With Strength if the player wanted to just bat the weapon away with brute force. With Dexterity if speed mattered. With Intelligence if the character knows anatomy and wants to hit a pressure point or joint. Or with Wisdom if they want to quickly look for and strike a weak point.

    The same goes for shooting a foe with a ranged weapon, though Defy Danger with Strength makes less sense here.

  6. I think its is great to let the player choose which stats they want to use (though in this case I do not think WIS will help you much. WIS will tell you “avoid engaging ogres in hand-to-hand combat whenever possible”).

    On point though: if the ogre swing its club at you because you rolled 9 or less on a h’n’s roll, then you get hit according to me. No fancy dodge to avoid a GM Move (deal damage) as a result of a fail or partial success from the player. You eat it.

  7. Indeed. The same goes if you got a 10+ on your H&S Move, but decided to take the +1d6 damage in exchange for getting hit. There’s no dodge or Defy Danger Move when you take damage as part of a H&S Move.

    Though now I think there should be some sort of Compendium Class or Advanced Move that allows you to do just that. 🙂

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