7 thoughts on “Hey guys, quick question.”

  1. Why do you act like the two are mutually exclusive? Tags in DW are things which affect the fiction, they give inspiration to you as the GM. 

    When your ranger is threatening someone to make them leave, having a huge intimidating bear growling beside them is going to do wonders: any normal person would be running off, without even a roll. 

    If your ranger sends his fast wolf to chase down an escaping enemy it makes sense. But if he sends his slow mule to make chase, then its not going to work.

    You should frequently make reference to the animal’s tags in the game, even when it is having no real effect, just to keep it in the player’s minds. But when that tag could be the deciding factor, that’s when you make it count.

  2. Christopher Patterson remember when I said you could just remember “the Fighter is exhausted” and make moves whenever that piece of fiction leaves the PC wide-open to trouble? Similar idea here!

    Keep in mind, as much as possible, the animal’s tags and make moves as they provide golden opportunities — here’s the cool part though…

    You’re mostly looking for golden opportunities that favor the ranger since the animal mostly has beneficial tags! If the animal is BIG and things look like BIG would help aim one of your MC moves at an NPC and reward the Ranger and her companion. Remember to let the Ranger get away with cool things if they use their companion to do something their tags say they’re good at!

    And sometimes, remember the weaknesses of the companion! Remind your Ranger if they’re about to do something that their companion will screw up, or can’t follow through on! So you’re sneaking down this hallway? Remind them oh but what about Scruffy? He’s too BIG to not attract attention. That’s legit! If the weaknesses give you a golden opportunity, set up for it and follow through like normal. You can also use the weaknesses to retroactively explain hard moves you make on a miss! So the Ranger misses on an attack? Maybe their BIG companion got in the way at the last second and completely blocked your line of sight, giving the enemy time to slip away?

  3. I play a ranger in one game and run one in another game, and while I won’t pretend the bonuses aren’t sweet (especially if you go cunning to boost your Track & Discern Realities) they have definitely ended up being secondary in play to the impact of a smart, capable animal on the fiction.  While they may not do damage per se, their entry into a scene is still very potent, and they provide a great way for a character to expand his scope of action and for the GM to expand her tools for communicating the setting to players.

    Put another way, in both my games, the animal Companions are seen as generally smarter and more capable than any of the PCs.  And with good reason. 

    The only caveat I’d throw in is to make sure to talk about how the animal is going to fit in the game.  If the GM expects there to be significant barriers to the animal coming up in play (like, your animal is a mule, but the game is largely on ships) then it’s best to communicate that at the outset of things.

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