21 thoughts on “How do you like to handle vulnerabilities, resistances and immunities in your game?”

  1. I was wondering most about traditional stuff like divine vs undead, etc. I thought about treating it as a form of piercing, wherein divine attacks could ignore or reduce armour of a zombie or lich, and  magical attacks could ignore the armour of a spectre, etc.

  2. Personally, I’d handle it in the fiction. The Fighter’s blade passes right through the shade, but it recoils at the touch of the Paladin’s blessed sword. Or only the Wizard’s magic can hit it, as it’s made of magic. But I could see piercing or ignoring armor as another way to take it.

  3. A resistance could add a point or two of armor against a certain type of damage source, or just halve the incoming damage from that damage source (either before or after armor is applied).

  4. The reason I am thinking add/subtract armour is that it doesn’t cause a party without a wizard or cleric to completely fail and die on the spot, just makes things harder or easier for those with the right tools for the task.

    I think the best solution is a blend of mechanics and fiction. The fiction reinforces the mechanics to the ignorant players.

  5. I think you can handle it a variety of ways, as others have exhibited quite well. Me? I use tags like they’re going out of style. I tag the heck out of anything. They are often temporary or special but they are perfect ways for me to tackle the fiction from a GMs point of view without a lot of thought, planning, number crunching, or book keeping. Tags for the win!!

  6. Matt Horam  divine attacks could ignore or reduce armour of a zombie or lich, and  magical attacks could ignore the armour of a spectre, etc.

    In this case you can give the weapon or character in question the Divine tag. All of a Paladin’s attacks are considered divine. You immediately know that Divine attacks ignore or reduce armor against the undead. You could leverage its effectiveness, in the case of armor reduction, based on the fiction. If the Paladin does a simple strike may just be -1 Armor. If he describes the attack it particularly well or the situation (surprised or distracted opponent or he has momentum behind his attack like jumping from a height to strike or is swinging from a chandelier) then you could award armor -2 on the attack.

    Vulnerabilities: You can tag a monster if it has a specific vulnerability like magic attacks, blunt weapons (think earth golem or skeleton), rend weapons like a claw or spiked chains (think fleshy or oozy), or to a particular poison (think human vulnerabilities). Tags could look like Sorcery, Crushing, Tearing, Tainted.

    Resistances and immunities: These are far easier to handle. They can be temporary or permanent. A theif has resistances to the poisons he has mastered. A Paladin might have a resistance to corruption, a Cleric to spiritual, a Fighter to pain, a Wizard to madness, a Ranger to a range of plant based poisons or even medicines, a Bard to deception, etc… Did your Barbarian survive his brush with the Succubus’ Clap STD? Now he has an immunity to The Clap!

    The idea is to add a single word to just about anything in the world that quickly tells you a lot of information. It allows you to ascertain a lot with nothing more than a glance. I think Tags are one of the most powerful tools in the DW tool chest. I never leave home without them ^_^

  7. Marques Jordan I totally agree! Codifying custom tags is very useful and using them sparingly can avoid rules bloat to some degree. I guess the biggest danger is that the more homebrew your taglist becomes, the less portable your DW ruleset is in terms of new players, etc. (If that’s even an issue for anyone). I must ruminate upon all your glorious ideas, Taverners!

  8. The Grab Bag o’ Tags file has 

    5 holy


    6 unholy

    But they aren’t tied to any mechanics, so I guess my original post almost assumes tags without mentioning them explicitly, and the real question is what mechanics do you lot employ/enjoy to handle the interaction between tags such as divine, radiant, holy, unholy, tainted, magical, insubstantial, hardy, squishy, etc. It seems to be all about choosing the most cromulent word and then choosing mechanical results which won’t clash with future uses of the tag.

  9. I don’t really consider portability of the game to be an issue. Tags tend to make to just make sense. By adding on a lot of new ones, you really only run into problems if you’re trying to codify them for use by people beyond your own table. I enjoy looking at the Grab Bag o’ Tags for inspiration but I tend to name tags very specifically to the situation I plan to use them in. I don’t worry about what other people might think as long as it makes sense to me and my players.

    Most tags don’t even come up concerning the players. Tags, in my mind, really exist as keywords that you can use to realize what they stand for in the fiction. Standardizing and codification don’t really come into it for me. Does your situation require that you have such a list of permanent tags Matt Horam?

  10. In this case I can see where there is such a need. Though, when I read that section of your Artificer class (fantastic playbook!!!), my mind started to swim with the possibilities of other tags I thought I might come up with in addition to what you’ve offered. Nothing game breaking of course, but there is definitely some room for the imagination to run wild. I enjoyed this very much about the design =D.

  11. Marques Jordan It’s simple! Giovanni Lanza is writing an Eberron campaign guide for Dungeon World. I’m using his Artificer in my Thursday lunchtime game.

Comments are closed.