How do folks deal with making moves (and the failures and qualified succeses) during “downtime”, ie, in a situation…

How do folks deal with making moves (and the failures and qualified succeses) during “downtime”, ie, in a situation…

How do folks deal with making moves (and the failures and qualified succeses) during “downtime”, ie, in a situation without implicit narrative pressure (combat, negotiation, escape, etc.).

I’ve tried it a few different ways and none are entirely satisfying.  The prototypical situation is healing between encounters but the same applies for strategically spouting lore or the like.  The problem mostly occurs with repeated failure.

 – Make Dungeon/Front/Other moves.   This works OK sometimes, but it creates a sense of urgency that feels narratively wrong.  The threats are all indirect, distant, or the like, but a failure shouldn’t be just free XP, and similarly a 7-9 should have some effect.  This is especially problematic when the cleric tries to heal everyone in the party, which yields 2 failures, 3 partial successes and a success.  Narrating 5 consequences/moves ends up feeling odd.  I want the players to feel “relaxed” enough to search the rooms or consult their books.  So…

 – Make Moves in these narrative contexts be roll free; just let the cleric cast as many heals as they want, as much Spout Lore as they want, etc.  This actually mostly works, except it still feels a little weird with the “special” abilities like healing and other spellcasting. So, I might…

 – Make moves be roll free, but have it be explicit that this takes time, which causes DM moves (not spoken, but understood), but there’s no risk of failure (and no risk of XP) either.  I haven’t tried this so it might work, but it still feels like it’s a little off thematically.

Thoughts? Other suggestions?

19 thoughts on “How do folks deal with making moves (and the failures and qualified succeses) during “downtime”, ie, in a situation…”

  1. The way you both describe is how we’ve been largely playing, except I’ve left whether a payer loses the spell or chooses a different consequence up to the player which is how it’s written in the rules.  But, the “darkling swarm” that attacked them following a botched spell or constant dungeon moves creates an tempo I’m trying to avoid.

    Plus, under lots of circumstances the players have been in, “wandering monsters” don’t quite cut it with the narrative, and spontaneously coming up with other effective “spots” to put the players in feels odd and often narratively disconnected from the casting of a healing spell.  For example the cleric (of a god of currency) felt his purse lighten on one of his recent 7s, which worked OK, but would get tedious repeatedly.

  2. Here’s the thing. As David Guyll said, if the player triggers a move with their character’s action, then you make the move and roll dice. That’s the rules of the game. There is no safety in Dungeon World.

    If the Cleric heals people with magic, then roll the Cast a Spell move every time. If the player doesn’t want to risk rolling all of those times and people don’t want to proceed until they’re healed up, they can either start carrying healing potions, or rest until they heal naturally. If they choose natural healing, then just jump ahead in time to where they’re all healed up, but advance your Fronts.

    The same goes for any move made during a “no pressure” situation. By trigger a move, a player is saying I’m risking a miss to get the benefits of this move. Just giving it to them cheapens that. No risk = no reward. The players can narrate their characters doing things that are similar to moves but don’t actually trigger them if they don’t want to risk rolling dice, but the benefit should not be as good as if they made the actual move.

  3. I will sometimes give a +1 forward or hold to the monsters for those downtime fails/partials. They add up, and I just tell the players I’m keeping that one for “later.”

  4. Bismuth Crystal you can’t roll for the players, and decide for what the characters know. You are not following the principles. On spout lore, the players roll, you give informations honestly according to the result, on  miss you make a move, and there’s no move about giving wrong information.

  5. Matthew Gray making camp is free of risks, requires only rations and one night of sleep, healing half maximum hp.

    Casting spells is intended to be risky.

    Besides: a cleric with +2 WIS has only 1 in 6 chances to get a miss. 2 over 6 rolls is double frequency, unfortunate or bad dice.

    Also, to reduce the need for multiple castings, there’s the advanced move devoted healer (+level to hp healed).

  6. Bismuth Crystal if you play DW, you as DM you have basically no restraints on what you do in the game, that’s why one of the principles is follow the rules. rules are not made to be broken. Rules can be changed, but not according to your whim as a DM, they should be already on the table before.

    Also, whatever philosophical justification Tim uses, a lie is a lie. And the moves tells to reveal a truth.

    To end my notes, you are clearly ignoring that when you get a 6-, you have to make a move, and you’re not actually doing it in your way of managing spout lore. If you would, spouting lore would not be taken lightly, because a couple of failures could make a front advance to its final outcome, for example.

  7. My players have been completely broken of the traditional, “Encounter’s over, cast Cure Light Wounds until we’re all fine” mentality. In fact my group works hard to avoid rolling dice unless absolutely necessary. 

    For me this was a good gauge of whether or not I was making moves that were appropriately HARD. There is no way my group would attempt more than a single Spout Lore roll for fear of what could potentially happen.

    They are especially paranoid to make rolls outside of combat where hard moves are sometimes less obvious but far worse in the grand scheme of things. 

  8. Okay. Then lets say it is 

    Turn their move back on them 

    you are still in your right to tell the PC that they know something that is not true. That is not lying to people. 

  9. I really am not. You shouldn’t lie to people, that doesn’t mean you can’t tell them that what they think they know is wrong. Or that they don’t see something. 

    The no lying part is meant much more for Player to Player interaction, not in what you tell the PCs. 

    So when i tell you your character remembers X after you rolled a 6- i might tell you that this is not actually true. But your character doesn’t know. And it is now your obligation to play your character as if they think X is true. 

    It would be lying if the thief asks, using Trap Expert, “is there a trap here” you say no and then activate the trap. That is lying. 

    Telling them their senses/memories/knowledge betray them is not lying. 

  10. Yeah, Tim Franzke’s not being evil at all. He’s playing the game as written. 

    If I roll to Spout Lore, get a 6-, and he tells me “you’ve read that demons can only be harmed by silver,” he’s not lying.  He’s telling me what my character has read relevant to the situation.  The GM move he is making is turn their move back on them or reveal an unwelcome truth. And because he follows the principles of never speak the name of your move, I don’t know which.

    But don’t forget that I know I rolled a miss.  I marked XP.  That information is extremely untrustworthy.  I know this as a player. So what do I do?  Do I play as if I believe that information?  Do I play as though I doubt what I read? Those are interesting decisions for me to make as a player, informed by the social interaction with my GM and my own play style.  It might also be informed by whether or not I have any silver on me. 

    Here’s another way he could answer: “You’ve read that demons are only vulnerable to silver. Or is that cold iron, and *devils* are only vulnerable to silver? You can never get that straight.  And did it have to be blessed? Maybe it had to be blessed.  Or maybe it was cold iron or a blessed weapon?  You know Father Petrus would know, but he’s all the way back in Battlemoore.” 

  11. Jeremy Strandberg Tim Franzke

    My original comment was referring to hiding the gm rolling for the players in secret.

    Anyway, there is never the need to give false informations as a result of the spout lore move. There are dozens of different possibilities.

    PS: do I really have to tell explicitly that the evil gm thing was a joke?

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