I posted this to rpg.net the other day and was only met with one reply. Bad timing or no interest, I’m not sure.

I posted this to rpg.net the other day and was only met with one reply. Bad timing or no interest, I’m not sure.

I posted this to rpg.net the other day and was only met with one reply. Bad timing or no interest, I’m not sure.

Anyways… How do you folks resolve 7-9s for defy danger? I feel like I’m not doing a good job.

The way I handled one such roll is as follows…

The ranger is facing off against a dragon man, she just resolved a 7-9 hack and slash against him where she was knocked to the ground. I setup a soft move and describe the dragon man puking flames at the ground which begins to flood towards her. I ask, ‘What do you do?’ The player responds by saying she wants to roll away and pop up with her bow at the ready. I say, ‘Sounds like you are defying danger by acting fast. Roll plus dex.’ She does so, and scores a 7-9.

I falter a bit but then make the following offer… You may avoid damage by letting the flames destroy some of your ammo or by leaving yourself in a vulnerable position or you can take the damage and be ready with your bow.

This was my 2nd session. Neither player spouted lore nor discerned realities. What can I do to encourage the use of those moves? Should players use those moves at least once during every battle, if not vigorously with each new and strange thing they encounter?

11 thoughts on “I posted this to rpg.net the other day and was only met with one reply. Bad timing or no interest, I’m not sure.”

  1. I think that’s a great 7-9 result. When I was training myself in AW with Act Under Fire, I would essentially consider 10+ success, 6- a hard move, and a 7-9 both success and a hard move, success and players choice between two hard moves, or just a crap version of what they were trying to accomplish. My approach had grown more nuanced since through practice, but it’s a nice guideline to start with.

    As far as spout lore and discern realities, I’d just keep an eye out for when what they are describing is either of those. If they ask you if they know things about a monster or a place, ask them if they’re spouting lore. Or even just straight up tell them they are. If they say that they’re keeping an eye out, or looking around, tell them to roll DR. Players, IMO, shouldn’t so much use moves as do things that trigger moves. It’s a different conceptual head space, but one worth thinking on. As for “every battle” or “every encounter”, well, the next time they’re one off from a 7 or a 10, suggest that maybe that +1 forward from DR is worth it.

    What kind of Fronts are you putting together? Those could be built in a way that really invites the Spouting of Lore.

  2. Thanks, Zack. 🙂 My confidence as a GM is pretty beat but I’m trying my best!

    The example I typed out happened at the end of a 4-hour session. I don’t think any of my previous defy danger results were thought out as far as that one.

    Is giving choices the best way to resolve a 7-9 on defy danger?  Sometimes I go for a ‘worse outcome’ and it feels like I’m doing either an overly hard move or a move so soft that doesn’t move fiction toward a new situation.

    Fronts are… difficult for me. I’m used to just keeping notes on paper about certain things… and let the player’s interactions make them move. So I haven’t really put together any fronts yet (last session was the 2nd). But I have a dragon cult of kung-fu mutant shapeshifters, a mysterious dark lord in a misty castle whom might not actually be a bad guy and the exploratory force of a titanic empire. I haven’t even introduced the dwarves and elves of the land yet. (they are exploring a new continent)

    The session felt too straightforward because they never stopped and said, “I’m looking around for [blank]” or, “He just swallowed a black root, do I know anything about those?” (an enemy actually did that, I was sort of stunned when the ranger and druid didn’t spout lore about it)

    Perhaps I need to highlight how useful spout lore and discern realities can be… especially as noted above, +1 forward when acting on an answer is nothing to sneeze at.

  3. Cool! I really like defaulting to choices on DD/AUF, because it puts things out of my court. Worse outcome is fine if it is still a more or less success. I’d say “a pretty soft move” is an okay thing in that case, so long as then you soft to someone else and reframe the situation. The reframing is what kicks situation back into play. “An 8? Yeah, you shake your head roughing your way through the poison as it runs through you, but take -1 forward on your next roll since you’re still blurry from it (worse outcome). So, Raggi, you just saw Joanne take a day to the thigh and lose it for a sec. What do you do? The nasty lizard person is still out there”

    On Fronts, if you’re having trouble getting into them, just think that they’re just a list of “things that would have happened if the party never got involved”. Then, sometimes but not often, the party doesn’t get involved and party of what would have happened comes true. It’s basically knowing that plans never survive first contact with the enemy and writing it the plan all you can see it die.

  4. If I may suggest, let your characters invent the fronts. You just describe things, and ask them what the dangers are. This gives them the oppurtunity to invent the enemies THEY want to see, you just fill in the dangers as you go, and make up some loose stories on how these things could possibly change. For example.

    You say a tower sits in the distance embedded into the mountain. And that’s all.

    Someone might Spout Lore about the evil Elven wizard that lives at the top of the tower. BOOM. GIve him a motive and you have a front right there, invented by a character, who wants to see that kind of bad guy. Remember. GMing for Dungeon World is half work from you, and half work from your PCs. Let them have some say in who the bad guys are, and you can have fronts develop based on the interests of the characters.

  5. When they see the tower and say “What’s dangerous about it?” Turn that question back on them, say “I don’t know? What IS dangerous about it?” This requires THEM to invent the danger, and you know have a new front, for little to no effor or confusion, plus it makes to PCs happy to invent their own enemies.

  6. The general defy danger outline by Aaron is great!

    For a worse outcome here is another trick:

    Usually a player does X to accomplish Y. So there are two things that can succeed. The act or the intend. So let them choose between both.

    Yeah you can dodge out of the fire but the only safe space is over there where the ground is full Ob embers. On the other hand you figure you could just lounge forward and avoid the flames but then you would be right at the dragons muzzle. What do you do?

  7. Late to the party here, but there’s been lots of good advice so far.

    When my players get a 7-9 on a Defy Danger I very quickly think about what the character was trying to do. (Side note. If I’m not clear on what the character’s intended action was, I ask.) Then I think about something the character would want or need given the situation. Then I ask them to choose between the two elements. That to me is important. I always give the player the choice.

    “Sure, you can get over to your friend in time. But you’re going to have to drop your shield to do so.”

    “You can totally avoid the dragon’s gout of flame. But you’re going to be on the other side of the room from the Wizard.”

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