One of my gang is playing a Druid and wants to have an over-the-top pivotal scene where his emotional devastation…

One of my gang is playing a Druid and wants to have an over-the-top pivotal scene where his emotional devastation…

One of my gang is playing a Druid and wants to have an over-the-top pivotal scene where his emotional devastation allows him to shift into a huge dragon.

Without simply flooding his homeland with huge dragons to justify his shift beyond the humbler drakes, I am considering a custom move, maybe even charging some XP (maybe level+4) to activate it. How does everyone feel about using XP as currency to limit this glorious grandstanding? I want it to be big and amazing, but not every player, every session.


When a devastating life-event acts as a crucible for the advancement of your powers, you may exceed the restrictions of your class for one dramatic scene. A halfling could engage a much larger enemy, a cleric could receive a public audience with their deity, or a druid could shift into a huge dragon.

During this scene, your moves work as normal, only BIGGER. 

22 thoughts on “One of my gang is playing a Druid and wants to have an over-the-top pivotal scene where his emotional devastation…”

  1. Give him a magical item that allows him to tap into the destructive forces of draconic magic. An item with a few charges that can be recharged at a significant cost. 

  2. Calle Andén Nice!  His intention is more of a spontaneous, off-the-rails-with-grief moment, so the magic item requires too much planning in this case.

  3. I personally wouldn’t charge them that much XP for a one-time effect. Either a smaller XP price or make it a permanent addition to his character (even if it only works with extreme emotion).

    Calle Andén ‘s idea might work as an alternative, although it doesn’t sound like what your player wants.

  4. I’d say that XP as currency is always bad in game design. Find another price, negotiate it ahead of time – with as many options as you can think of. Then play it out, let him have his big moment; be a fan of your player ! Then spend a few sessions cleaning up the mess.

  5. I’m with Llaneza here – XP as a cost isn’t a great idea. Presumably there’s some dramatic cost associated with the character’s over-the-top grief, and that’s what it costs to turn into a dragon. There will always be moments in games where you need to fall back on negotiation with the players to figure out what to do, and I think this is one of those moments. There’s no need to be excessively mechanistic about it.

    p.s. This is like the second thread about druids turning into dragons in like a week. Is someone going to write a compendium class?

  6. I like the idea—it’s similar to the main mechanic in kirin robinson’s Old School Hack:

    That game uses something called “Awesome Points” as the main reward currency. Other players may give you an awesome point whenever you do something especially creative or entertaining. You spend awesome points to trigger special effects in the fiction or to access advanced powers from your class (one time only). When everyone has spent a certain number of awesome points, you level up.

    Anyway, your example of transforming one time into a dragon reminds me of a more modest stunt I pulled in Tim Ballew’s OSH game: My goblin kept all his gear in his stomach (because why not?), including a flask of lantern oil, flint, and tinder.

    At one point, I had a chance to make a ranged attack, but no ranged weapon. So I ignited the oil inside my gut and belched it out. Since I had the awesome points to pull it off, Tim allowed it, in the spirit of awesome. He made it clear it was a one-time thing, but that was enough.

  7. It’s like a deeds point from burning wheel…

    I say go for it Matt Horam! I mean, all you are really doing is telling them the consequences and ask what they do?

    I think Xp are the perfect currency for this sort of thing.

  8. That was a major concern. He started describing this whole movie-like sequence and I didn’t want him to write himself out of a surprise. I’ve got two now, one minor, one major, and all based on ideas he gave me by accident.

    Keep the dream alive!

  9. I would keep it in the fiction and think of it like a ritual per the wizard move. Be a fan of the characters, and offer a hard choice: “You don’t get something for nothing – what price will the spirits of nature exact to fuel this transformation?” Perhaps he is willing to sacrifice his shapeshifting until a great quest can be undertaken to restore it?

  10. I’ve been toying with a move for when the player throws themselves, caution to the wind, into a struggle they’d rather die than fail at.  Something similar.

    …Or Die Trying

    When you voluntarily enter into a situation with no thought of surviving, just succeeding, take three mania.  When you take damage sufficient to kill you, regain half your hit points, take a debility, and gain 1 mania instead.  If you can not take a debility you die with no Last Breath save. 

    When the situation calms down and no immediate threats present themselves, you collapse, dead.  Take a penalty on your Last Breath roll equal to your number of debilities.

    You may spend a mania at any point before rolling to take a 12+ result.   While you hold mania your actions take on an intensity that is impossible to ignore – you may spend a point of mania to ignore a limitation inherent in a move.

  11. I think if something makes ficcion more interesting, emotional, epic, let it be! Let your player have real fun, let him/her transform into a dragon, even not always he/she wishes – maybe it requires a lot of time to reload, or it needs a huge emotion charge, as Naruto used to invoke the power of his inner demon, Kyuubi, when conffrontating a peril beyond his reach (I’m sorry but I’m a fan of animes). That is what I would do – let the players have fun, and have fun with it!

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