A post i made about my problems with understanding the Slayer Class from Grim World

A post i made about my problems with understanding the Slayer Class from Grim World

A post i made about my problems with understanding the Slayer Class from Grim World

Okay; my problems to understand the Slayer. 

The Slayer at Level 1 has 2 main mechanics, Thirst and the Arsenal.

When you roll a 6- you get hit with a hard move from the GM. bad

You also get a debility bad

This means you can now roll Hack&Slash with a +1. not impressive

Depending on my Manifestation i might get another move too. okay

So i get punished extra harder then everyone else on a 6- and i get a little little payoff. In fact, i can only use this if my STR (or other stat depening on move) is lower then 1. 

So let’s look at how i would build a starting character. 

You definetly want a high CON since you WANT to FAIL! MORE! then other classes in order to use your class feature. In order to use thin thing your class is about. 

So you should probably get a +1 STR in order to use H&S with Thirst reliably with Thirst. 

Still, you need to roll 2 misses before this option becomes good. And every miss gives you a debility that makes you suck more. 

It is kind of a death spiral i guess that will get you to a higher thirst. 

On the other hand, when someone rolls good, they rarely get to use their classes thing. Their class feature is dead then! 

Next thing. Getting Thirst is hard and damaging to you. So once you are at a confortable level, lets say 3 or 4 you actually DON’T want to kill something. You want to hit something hard and then move to the next thing or otherwise all your work goes away. 

To recap my understanding. 

Your main class feature hurts you harder when you fail.

The payoff isn’t good until you are really beaten down.

And once you are at that point, you don’t want to SLAY stuff because it would reset your Thirst again.

The next thing, your missed rolls will not only impact you, but the other party members as well. So why would they want to have you there? 

Slayers Arsenal is a cool move, but as i said, you actually don’T want to kill stuff. So you will use it to give your allys the tools to kill the monster, not yourself. 

Also, you can’t start with a -1 STR because you need to carry a 4 weight Arsenal around with you, in addition to armor and weapons. 

I don’t understand why i would want to play a class whose main feature is mostly drawback with some nice moments here or there. 

Please someone explain that to me. It goes so counter against everything i learned about game design. 

Maybe there is something obvious i am missing, please explain.

(will look at advanced moves later)  

17 thoughts on “A post i made about my problems with understanding the Slayer Class from Grim World”

  1. From a purely mechanical standpoint the Slayer is lacking. You get to apply your thirst to Hack n Slash and one other thing depending on your motivation. The advanced moves help make your thirst a little more interesting and allow you to work around a few of your drawbacks. Overall it is backwards of what the general class design for DW is. High rolls are good and make your class shine more.

    I’ve seen a slayer played once and he did just fine. He usually got up to 3-4 thirst during a fight and would take out his mental stats first so he could be that much more of an ass beater. Once the fight was over, if he didn’t get all those kills he needed to clear his thirst, he was just grumpy from not getting said kills. For role playing slayers are a blast and I’d still recommend them. If you’re trying to min/max I’d stick with a fighter/paladin/barbarian.

  2. Hmmm. This is an interesting topic, and I’d love to hear Trenton Kennedy about it. Here’s some thinking.

    I’d make my character as follows:

    Strength 9 (-1)

    Dex 10 (0)

    Con 16 (+2)

    Int 12 (0)

    Wis 15 (+1)

    Cha 13 (+1)

    I’m probably going to be carrying my maximum Load from the get-go, but that’s okay. 

    I’ll take the Tenacity Manifestation, so I ignore the effect of the Sick debility.

    Whenever I roll a miss, I’ll get 1 xp and 1 Thirst, and suffer a hard move and a debility. Debilities, I’ll probably take in this order: Weak (-1 STR), Sick (-1 CON, canceled by Tenacity), Confused (-1 WIS), Stunned (-1 INT), Scarred (-1 CHA), Shaky (-1 DEX). That way, with my first Debility, I’m going to actually be getting a +3 from what I should have on Hack & Slash, as I roll my Thirst of 1 for a +1 instead of my STR of -2. When I take a second debility, I’ll be getting a +4 difference, and roll a +2, without any attached negative.

    I will have a hard time rolling Slayer’s Arsenal, of course. On the one hand, I personally would consider requesting to change the stat it’s based on anyway — I’m not sure I see why it’s +STR. On the other hand, however, I can see a feedback loop. I go looking in my arsenal for a useful tool, roll -1, and miss. So, I get a debility and a hard move, but I also get an XP and a Thirst. The pain of a hard move is always going to be dependent on context. When I go hunting in my arsenal while we’re in the safety of the castle, the hard move isn’t going to necessarily be that bad. When I do it in in the middle of a worm infested dungeon, it might be nightmarish. So what that tells me is that I might want to try this kind of move in safety, actually. I’ll build up debilities and Thirst, without getting slammed too hard by the hard moves (hopefully). 

    I’m treating this somewhat akin to how I treat Spout Lore when I’m a dumb Fighter. Of course I’ll Spout Lore despite my -1 INT! Why? Because (1) it’s fun, (2) I get XPs if I fail, and (3) did I mention how fun it is? So, as the Slayer, I have yet another incentive to try things I know I’m not good at.

    And then if I do kill a monster and get rid of my Thirst, yippee! I lose all those debilities! And what that means in context is that I need to start missing rolls again, so I’m going to keep Hacking & Slashing, either rolling my +0 Thirst, or my -1 STR. I’ll get slammed a bit, yeah, but that’s what my 24 hp and +2 CON are for. And I’ll rack up some Thirst again right quick, and be killing lots of things in no time. 

    I think a clincher for me is the Welcome Thirst advanced move. The ability to take 1d4 Thirst every morning is there so that you can instantly give yourself some useful Thirst, without putting yourself at risk. That’s the key. You want to rack up some Thirst in non-combat contexts, so that when the fight comes around, you’re ready to kill the big bad. 

    I think I also like how I could see playing the Slayer a bunch of ways, and this is just one of them, with a bit of an emphasis on min-maxing. I think the potential for interesting story-telling and stuff happening surrounding the Slayer is good. I like rolling misses in DW! It makes things more interesting, and I get xp!

  3. Well, why play a Barbarian, then? Or a Paladin? I see what you’re getting at — the Slayer is supposed to be all about killing stuff, right? But the Fighter already does that, and seemingly does it better. So why play the Slayer? The Barbarian and the Paladin are both really good at killing stuff, but they have lots of other bits attached, which makes them interesting separate from the Fighter.

    Well, the Slayer does, too. I see in the other thread that Matt Horam says people who play it figure out they’re playing the Addict, soon, and I think that’s exactly it. You don’t actually play the Slayer because you absolutely want to be the slayingest bastard around, I think, although it’s unfair to say that you WON’T be good at slaying. You will! Absolutely! The way that the Paladin and the Barbarian are both good at fighting, but they have some hoops to jump through, the Slayer is good at fighting but has some hoops to jump through. 

    I think playing the Slayer is about having fun with the whole addiction thing, and how that makes you act, more than just being good at killing stuff. The same way that the vast majority of classes are.

  4. I just fear that debilities don’t make the addiction fun. There just isn’t enough payoff. Look at the Infernal in Monsterhearts for a take that I know is fun.

  5. Sounds like Brendan Conway is getting at that DW is more about Role Playing and not Roll Playing. The classes all shine in terms of story and DW is a very forgiving system (depending on DM) so you can get away with a class that isn’t min/maxed like other classes.

    Or maybe the fighter is too good and needs to be nerfed into the ground.

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