How would you handle this situation?

How would you handle this situation?

How would you handle this situation? 

GM: The baron picks up his sword and steps forward. Looks like he wants a duel. What do you do?

Player: I knock the weapon out of his hand and threaten to run him through if he doesn’t surrender immediately.

15 thoughts on “How would you handle this situation?”

  1. Possibly a defy danger (acting fast so = dex), to see if he manages to knock the weapon away.

    On a ten, he does as he said. 7-9, perhaps he knocks the blade but the baron keeps hold of it, the duel can continue. 6 or below, the baron is faster and disarms the player (completely turn it around). Or be boring and have him damage the player.

    Remember the different moves you can use as a GM. I might do this wrong being a new GM to Dungeon World, but that’s how I tend to let my sessions go. If a player says they do something, if I feel like they should roll for it then they will. If not then they do as they said. 

  2. It depends on a number of factors: how difficult an obstacle you want the baron to be (maybe he has another weapon ready), how central to the story you want the duel to be; are there other people in the room?

    Basically, I’d say a Defy Danger (on STR or DEX, depending on the description) to disarm the baron, and the rest guided by fiction and/or Parlay. But if you already described other people (NPCs) in the room they might react: maybe acting like this is seen as cowardice or not-honorable, maybe this baron has guards around him (but don’t put them inside the room just because you don’t want the baron to lose…).

    But mainly my question to you is: is this a situation that’s really happened in play? Or it’s just you playing “what if…”? Because it makes a difference. 🙂

  3. Is the baron completely incapable with a sword and a complete craven? If so, then he cowers on the floor and surrenders immediately.

    Is the baron completely incapable with a sword but not easily intimidated? If so, then you easily send the sword flying from his hand. Now make a Parley move and lets see what happens.

    Is the baron pretty handy with a sword but a complete coward when he’s not holding a weapon? If so, make a Defy Danger move to disarm him. If you succeed, he’ll probably give in to whatever demands you make.

    Is the baron pretty handy with a sword and not easily intimidated? If so, make a Defy Danger move to disarm him. Then you’ll have to make a Parley move and we’ll see where things go.

    Is the baron a first class swordsman? If so, he deftly parries your disarm attempt. Make a Defy Danger move to hang onto your own weapon.

  4. Does the fiction support the character being able to do that so handily? Then I’d say yes. What a wonderful gift the player has given you. 

    Does the fiction make this less than a fait accompli, which seems likely? Then I’d see what move was engaged. Ask lots of questions. Understand exactly what is going on. I don’t recall if disarming is a specific option in DW; maybe you need to write up a custom move quickly.

  5. If the Baron is a pushover with no sword training, I’d go straight to a Parley roll as his sword goes flying and sticks into a wall.

    If the Baron knows how to hold a sword and use it, he redirects his sword movement from the disarm attempt into an attack. The player wasn’t actively attacking, so Defy Danger.

    As a complete noob to DW, that’s my take.

  6. The baron is old, fat or weak: The player does it without a roll.

    The baron is an decent warrior: Roll+DEX to disarm him. On a +10, the baron is disarmed and at the player’s mercy. On a 7-9, the baron is disarmed, but have the player pick 2.

    – The sword lands far from the baron.

    – The baron doesn’t lash out with a hidden dagger.

    – The baron doesn’t call out for the guards.

    The baron is an great warrior: Roll+DEX to disarm him. On a +10, the baron is disarmed. On a 7-9, the baron retains his sword, but is open to attack. (+1 forward)

  7. All of the above is good, but from my viewpoint I’m also thinking about:

    Is the PC’s threat real? Is the danger that he might kill the Baron and that would be a very bad thing for the party and/or Barony etc.?

    Is there a duelling etiquette in the setting? When you say ‘looks like he wants a duel’ does he call for his second, does he assume a guard stance, does he call out the PC?

    Is he doing this because he’s genuinely had enough of the PC, or is he acting from other social pressures? 

  8. WHY? Is the Baron picking up his sword and wanting a duel?

    What is his motive? His Instinct? His role in the scene? What does he want from the characters?

    This determines whether its a player move is triggered or even more so a GM Move (such as give the player an opportunity with a cost).

    Remember to think dangerous.

  9. I would ask one of the players  what they’ve heard about the Baron’s swordmanship, and take it from there. If he has never actually duelled someone then let the player roll but f he is regarded the world over as the greatest swordsman ever to have lived then I would look back to Player McSwordSlap and ask if he’s sure.

  10. Been out of circulation fr a while this summer, good discussion on the relationship of narrative solutions in combination with potential player moves. 

  11. Shit, or

    “before you make your move, the baron’s skin melts away to reveal his true form, that of a bat-winged baboon-headed demon with three eyes, he is closing in on you with a steady gait of confidence, do you still want to try to disarm him?”


  12. GM : “Are you doing that fancy twirly disarm thing, or just brute-forcing it out of his hands?”

    Player “Brute force!  He isn’t made to let go – it’s TAKEN from him.”

    GM : “Cool!  He sees ya coming though – give me a (defy danger) Strength check.” (Dexterity if they went the other way)

    Player “I got… X”

    GM :

    10+ “You send it flying, waaaaaaay out of reach, with one sudden flick of your sword.”

    7-9 “Your sword flicks momentarily.  Suddenly, his weapon is on the far side of the room.  It happens so fast you’re not sure if it’s your sword or his but there’s a new, disfiguring gash running from the noble’s chin to the point between his right eye and ear.” (Future Badness – no WAY is he going to let that slide)

    Miss – He leans back at the last second, his sword dipping, raking you across the back of your sword hand.  Your grip weakens momentarily, and he takes the opportunity to flee, ducking behind one of the tapestries lining the hall and retreating through a hidden tunnel.”

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