Ok, I’m sure this has been adressed before, so if so, just point me in the right direction.

Ok, I’m sure this has been adressed before, so if so, just point me in the right direction.

Ok, I’m sure this has been adressed before, so if so, just point me in the right direction.

Anyway, how to run Npc vs Npc? If the plaers have saved someone from a dungeon whose a good fighter and armed them, how would you control them battling with the enemy? Or other things? Or a duel that perhaps the Npcs are watching (betting on.)

8 thoughts on “Ok, I’m sure this has been adressed before, so if so, just point me in the right direction.”

  1. Hey Lu! If it’s a duel, treat it like a mock battle with a bunch of flavor text. Just make it interesting, and decide who you think should win. If the NPC is helping the party, though, treat them like a hireling.

    And this might just be my opinion, but I think they should only rarely be in the spotlight! Like most things, combat should be about the PCs- about what they do, and how badass they are when they do it.

    Welcome to the Tavern 🙂

    Edit: oh and I just remembered a post I saw over on GM Tips the other day: a wild idea might be to let the players control the fighters if it’s NPC vs NPC (as in the duel example). Again, this’ll keep them engaged, and the spotlight will be on them- albeit as different characters.

  2. Hey, Lu H! Welcome! In regards to your question, it depends on how it happens:

    – If they are helping a PC out and adventuring with them, stat them out as a hireling

    – Otherwise, follow the fiction. Can a well-armed and armored fighter take on a few goblins? Certainly. An elder dragon? He’s probably going to roast.

  3. Yup. I totally agree with Giovanni Lanza . As with most stuff in Dungeon World, you just follow the fiction.

    I’ve never had PCs start out with or gain Hirelings (probably because I’ve only run one-shots so far). But I have had NPCs join a party during play. In that case I run them like any other PC; their fictional capabilities are a guide of what happens to them and what they can do.

    Plus, you’re telling a story, right? In my opinion, it’s totally OK to have NPCs do things (or have things happen to them) to make the game more dramatic, tense, or whatever other tone you’re going for. Seeing the little halfling villager the party has become attached to get run through with an orc spear is going to get a reaction from the players.

    That being said, like everything else in Dungeon World though, don’t pre-plan things. While I do agree with Kaillan Reukers about keeping NPCs out of the spotlight, I don’t really agree that the GM should decide who wins. The fiction should decide the fate of an NPC.

  4. Outside mechanical rolls the fiction must always make sense, I agree Christopher Stone-Bush, but that’s still a rather large domain. We might be at cross-purposes, but I still hold that the GM would ultimately decide the fiction at this point- unless another player spoke up to contribute to the fiction. It’s hard to say though. Dungeon World is really more supportive of glossing over the fight, then having the winner point out his sword to the crowd and challenge one of the PCs, putting them in a spot, or some such.

  5. We might be talking at cross-purposes, Kaillan Reukers. I guess I’m taking issue with the phrase “the GM decides”, since to me, that means the GM is pushing their own agenda, rather than playing to find out what happens.

    I know Dungeon World is not Apocalypse World, but as DW is a child of AW, I often turn to AW for advice when running games. In this case, I am thinking of the AW Principle of “Sometimes, disclaim decision making.” There’s four ways to do that in AW, but there are two relevant to the question at hand.

    1. Put it in the hands of the NPC. The GM asks themselves “Is (NPC) really going to do X?” or “Is (NPC) capable of doing X?” It still is the GM’s decision, but you’re looking through the lense of the NPC and fiction in question. It’s not “I, the GM, want Sir Galahad to charge that red dragon.” and it’s certainly not “I, the GM, want Sir Galahad to charge that red dragon so I can show how badass he/the dragon is.” It’s “Would Sir Galahad charge the dragon?” If the answer is yes, then he does. If the answer is no, then he doesn’t.

    2. Put it into the hands of the PCs. In this case you say something like, “Sir Galahad hefts his shield and draws his sword. He’s obviously going to charge the red dragon. What do you do?” If the players don’t stop him, then off he goes! Of course, NPCs should do things that make fictional sense, as you said, Kaillan Reukers . An NPC who is a terrible coward is not suddenly going to run screaming towards a dragon just so you can let the players decide what happens to them.

    So again, the fiction decides what happens when NPCs interact with NPCs. Not the GM. I mean, it’s the GM who narrates what happens, so they are deciding in a way. But the decision is based on the internal consistency of the fiction, and not simply because the GM wants something to happen.

  6. I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with saying “the GM decides,” but using the proper Dungeon World lingo, you might say “when everyone looks to the GM to find out what happens, the GM makes a move.”

  7. HI! I think that if two NPC gain the spotlight, it’s because the players find it interesting!

    Maybe this is a situation coming up in every city.

    So, this could be a custom move, where you indirectly involve the PCs.

    When Billy the Bodyguard is engaged in a fight you’re betting on, rol + CHA (WIS, INT) and shout some encouraging-threathening-warning. Take +1 if Billy relevant skill is 3+. Take another +1 for every 100 coins you spent (max 2).

    On a success, Billy wins. On a 7-9, also choose 2:

    Prize comes with strings attached

    The loser has many friends

    Billy died shortly after, so you don’t haveto pay him

    Like it?

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