Finally got to play DW thanks to Steve Kunec running a one shot for us tonight.

Finally got to play DW thanks to Steve Kunec running a one shot for us tonight.

Finally got to play DW thanks to Steve Kunec running a one shot for us tonight. Ended up with a TPK, but honestly, I had fun regardless. Hope I can play with him again!

22 thoughts on “Finally got to play DW thanks to Steve Kunec running a one shot for us tonight.”

  1. I liked your build of them I saw the other day Steve Kunec  I actually plan on using it as is.  I think it showed they were solitary though, which pushes their HP and Dmg up quite a bit. If you’re running them three at a time, you may want to pull that Solitary tag which would maybe get their power where you want it. I think it would make dmg a d6 instead of d10 and their HP would drop a die or two as well.

  2. To be fair to me, it wasn’t all three at the same time. It was one, then two a little later. Plus, the players were rolling pretty bad.

    To be fair to the players, I should change the “solitary” tag when they’re working with neogi. I’ll change that right now on the codex. I also should’ve tried other hard moves besides damage. 

  3. Of course, we were also without weapons and armor, and we really didn’t do the best job of trying to find out gear either. And those bad die rolls had a big hand in our demise too.

  4. Steve Kunec

    I’ve been loving hard moves without character damage. Particularly hard versions of “use up their resources”. I’ve been damaging armor and weapons for hard resource consuming moves instead of just damaging their bodies. Losing a point of armor is pretty serious business. I’ve also been using more debilities. Had a guy try to attack a ghoul with his torch and rolled terribly. The ghouls shoved the torch back in his face and rolled 8 for damage. I gave the player a hard choice. Take the damage or a debility, scarred, with some permanent facial scarring even after the debility is removed. He took the scarring to stay on his feet and we decided that his eyebrows probably would not grow back. Everyone loved it and there was no HP loss so the group was able to keep delving.

  5. Steve Kunec , Mike’s approach is kinda what I was talking about when I stressing that the DW rules specify that the creature “makes an attack” not that the creature “does damage”.  There are many ways to be cinematic and cruel to the players without grinding on hitpoints.  There’s a reason why in DW a dragon only has like 26 HP – this game isn’t designed to be an HP attrition system the way D&D and especially computer RPGs are.

  6. Footnote to the other players in our session: In that same spirit, I was thinking that as we were getting brutalized by the combat and down to like 1/4 of our HP, we should have been proposing things like “My arm is now broken” or “That probably left me bleeding profusely from my face – I can probably barely see now” rather than just being robots with an HP gauge that just ticks down to zero.  DW should invite creative fiction and much less bean counting.  (I feebly tried to do that my saying that my shoulder had been dislocated after I was bashed through that door, but it didn’t seem to trigger any similar narrative)

  7. That’s something I should have done. I chalk it up to no experience with the game/system, so I wasn’t really “getting it” when it comes to things like that. Something to remember next time I play a *world game

  8. Brian Bloom

    Exactly this! In our game session last night I was making lots of hard moves but not doing a lot of damage. Group was fighting a horde of cave spiders and the hard moves tended to be the players getting pinned down and slowly covered in webbing. Much of the conflict revolved around getting other players back on their feet (as it is in D&D with characters out of HP) but the narrative made more sense and felt less like “whack-a-mole” style game play where players drop to 0 HP and pop back up again after a heal/surge/whatever. A player going down due to 8 spiders pouncing on them and only getting up after someone cuts them free of webbing feels much more satisfying than going down for 0HP and coming back up because…heal.

  9. I take to heart the fact that other “things” beyond HP loss can be used for hard moves, and next time I will be more aware of my options, but I guess I struggle with the arbitrariness of when to apply HP loss and when to be cinematic.

    When is it appropriate to apply HP loss and when not to?

    And if I do that to one player and not to another, is that fair?

    To be clear, I’m talking about the 6- case.

    I should also point out that another player suggested making hard adventure or dungeon moves. Being a first adventure, I had little prepped in terms of that stuff.

  10. I think the perfect time to take HP is when they have lots! I like to hit them with damage early and get players to that tense stage where any one damage roll could take them out, and then play hard moves that put them in a spot or make hard decisions. Think of a cat with a mouse. You get to be generous and evil GM all at once.

  11. Steve,

    It’s also up to us as players to make suggestions to, as Brian pointed out. That would help you not impose HP loss, and it allows us to help tell the story with more than just basic actions and die rolls. I’m glad we’re having this discussion, as it’s been helpful to me in getting how the game plays. I have a feeling the next time we play this (or Monster of the Week if you still want to run that next), things will go better for all of us

  12. I’m also thinking since we were all one hit from going down that I should have been buffing rather than healing (as the damage was high enough that even with a max healing roll most of us would still gone down on a single hit).

  13. Maybe some of you have already read it, but there’s a great guide to how to play DW the way it’s meant to be played:
    It’s targeted at GMs but I think everyone can benefit from the examples and elaboration about how the fiction drives everything. DW isn’t meant to be played like D&D. It’s about narrative, fiction, and story telling. The numbers and the dice are just there to give some uncertainty to the outcomes.

  14. Brian Bloom, that’s a good point about storytelling. Yet, if it was only about that, then there wouldn’t be a HP mechanic.

    Part of DW is like playing D&D. Characters are meant to lose HP, and at some point the GM needs to use that as a hard move.

    I’m finding it’s more of an art than a science, and I hope all I need is more practice. Otherwise, it feels arbitrary and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

  15. Steve Kunec

    I totally get what you’re saying about arbitrary and a bad taste. But you’re offering a false choice. It’s not a binary calculation “Story or HP mechanics” as your comment implies. The reality IME is that the HP mechanic actually HELPS drive the story.

    With regard to your previous comment about “is it fair” when you take HP from one player and not from another and instead use some other hard move. First, you obviously want to make sure your non-HP reducing hard moves follow the fiction and that they feel about as punishing as taking HP. In the case of my game on Friday, it felt natural that a spider would attack with webbing and that it wouldn’t do damage so it felt right and was sufficiently detrimental. That’s a personal balance question and one that you and your players will need to hash out. But this brings up one of the core conceits that DW pushes, the hard choice. Sometimes it’s cool to tell the player the consequences and ask. So say “well, this just happened, it could turn out either way depending on what you think/do”. Then let them make the decision. Did they want to take the 6HP dmg and be very vulnerable (1HP left), or end up webbed in a corner (perhaps MORE vulnerable but with more HP). Tough choice and makes for good fun.

    Back to how HP and story comingle. The presence of the HP mechanic is a driving force for story tension. If you’re down  to 1 or 2 HP, then the 3 goblins left standing are actually scary. If you have full HP or a game with no HP, 3 goblins would feel very different and lead to different fictional situations. So even a story driven game benefits from a limiting mechanic like HP. TL:DR You just need to find that sweet spot of when it feels right to use the damage hard move as opposed to others that are supported by the fiction. Ask your players for feedback after the game if your choices felt right and made the game more interesting for them.

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