How hard do you run?

How hard do you run?

How hard do you run?

Was thinking about this, how hard do you move against your players when they give you a chance to move? Do you hammer them hard with each miss, making them regret the day they were born? Or do you hold off on hard moves for one or two mis-steps?

Was thinking about this because of my session this week. I’m probably pretty soft in terms of moves outside of combat, at least on the first 6-, but I generally run at least one monster in each session as an absolute killer: a simple ghoul became a Super-Ghoul that ripped the barbarian’s ear off, and nailed him to the floor in with his radius and ulna after the barbarian took his hand.

I think I’m also looking for suggestions on how other people make combat harder. The past two sessions my tough monsters have been skilled enough in combat that it was a defy danger to even get close enough to touch them, hitting hard and knocking them around as I did.

5 thoughts on “How hard do you run?”

  1. What do you mean by making combat ‘harder’? Last longer (more moves)?Inflict more damage or narrative conditions /complications? Your examples seem to suggest that your combats are pretty ferocious!

    I like to use monster ‘moves’ to describe their re/actions far more than just dealing damage in combat. I also like to practice my fictional positioning, so at the end of the battle, the characters may have most of their hitpoints (mistake potential) but have broken equipment, broken limbs, bleeding profusely, lost their way, have sullied their reputations and are hungry and thirsty 😉 

    Be a fan yeah? take their stuff, drive them to the wire, but also give a chance for redemption. Your antagonists are secondary to the characters, so have them run away to fight another day, but don’t make them the star of the story.

    I think Johnstone came up with the index card idea – where each front has its grim portents written on a stack of index cards, with the impending doom at the bottom. Have your stacks ready on the table and as a miss occurs (or when there is a lull in the conversation and the players turn to you), turn over the next portent on the front stack that you want to advance and lay it on the table. NOW things just got even harder.

  2. As hard and fast as I can, usually, while sticking to the narrative weight that’s been established. I mean, if I say “this guy is known to cut the ears off his victims” and you flub a roll, I’m going to make my “take their ears” move like it’s written.

  3. I’m way too kind, but I often face the problem that I don’t use fronts. I mostly run one-shots that are purely improvised, so advancing a front is kind of not an option.

    Maybe I should start to prep a bit more, just for a change of pace…

  4. Hmm… I’m pretty bad about fronts too, they’re mostly what  I have worked out in my head and the campaign has been kind of the plot that grew out of the Cleric’s last breath roll in the first session.

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