Last night, we came to the conclusion that if a monster flees (just flees, not something like retreat to call…

Last night, we came to the conclusion that if a monster flees (just flees, not something like retreat to call…

Last night, we came to the conclusion that if a monster flees (just flees, not something like retreat to call reinforcements and so on) and a character pursues it, it doesn’t trigger defy danger.

That’s because you roll DD when you act despite an imminent threat. A monster fleeing is not a threat; and even if he will return at some point in the near future, it’s not an imminent threat anyway. So if a monster just attempts to escape from the characters, the fiction will decide whether or not the characters can reach out to it.

8 thoughts on “Last night, we came to the conclusion that if a monster flees (just flees, not something like retreat to call…”

  1. of course, my friend, of course!

    This actually came up when the triton assassin, at less than half his hp, attempted to flee; the fighter, who just gained a trident that allowed him to ignore any negative effect from water, mundane or magical, pursued him. Who’s faster underwater? A triton or a trident-empowered fighter? We argued a little bit, like “does a triton swim as fast as a doplhin?” but then we said “hey, what the hell. The fighter sprints and flanks him, end of the story”.

  2. Yeah, ultimately I ask myself, “Does it matter?” Putting myself in the monster’s shoes, is there any help nearby? Am I retreating for survival or to seek backup? Sounds like overthinking but if there’s no help and the monster is just fleeing for survival, it makes little impact for it to get away or be cut down by a PC – either way the combat has ended. Of course, most PCs won’t let a monster flee because they don’t know if it is going for help or truly no longer a threat. If they decide to chase it down and kill it, so be it. Deal damage.

    On the other hand, if you’re feeling saucy, you could have a bigger, badder monster that both the fleeing creature and PC don’t expect. Perhaps they are chasing a fleeing goblin when a couple of ghouls quickly emerge from the shadows, one chomping down on the goblin while the other rushes at the PC. Hmm… I may just pull that kind of stunt next time myself!

  3. I’m not sure where the Defy Danger comes into this. Chasing a fleeing enemy. In the fiction could the character out-run or out-endure the fleeing foe? If yes, they catch them. If no, they don’t.

    Does, in the fiction, the fleeing creature do something to help escape like knocking down a stack of crates to create an obstacle? If yes, describe it and ask the player what they do. They may try to hurdle the obstacle with a dex check where the danger being they trip and no longer have a chance to catch their fleeing quarry.

    Ok, so let’s say they catch them. This was a dangerous opponent moments before. How does the fleeing antagonist react? Is the character trying to kill or capture. If the fleeing flight-risk just wants to get away in a panic and the character just wants to kill it, the character just does damage.

    Or maybe the fleeing figure turns and fights?

    Maybe it’s just instinct to turn everything into a roll that’s ingrained in us by other games. I had some characters crossing a rickety bridge and thought about what move I’d make to see if it fell. Then I realized I’m playing Dungeon World and decided if the fiction (or drama) called for it to fall.

    In my case it did because my party was being careful and I wanted to reward them for it by making their safety measures pay-off. If your party takes out an insurance policy, let them cash it in.

  4. the move does not trigger when there’s some generic danger around, it triggers when there’s an imminent threat! Both imminent and threat have very clear meanings, especially when put together.

    Now, I’m arguing with the author of the game, so…

  5. Imminent: will happen soon (unless prevented). The monster will get away soon!

    Threat: something that’s not in the characters’ best interest. The monster getting away is bad!

    Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean that they just roll automatically. If the monster clearly has them outpaced (a gazelle, say) no roll (they have no way to defy that danger). If they do nothing about it, no roll. But if they act to prevent that danger from occurring it can be defy danger.

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