Quick question for you guys; how would you as GMs/PCs handle stuff like a fighter PC trying to pick pockets or the…

Quick question for you guys; how would you as GMs/PCs handle stuff like a fighter PC trying to pick pockets or the…

Quick question for you guys; how would you as GMs/PCs handle stuff like a fighter PC trying to pick pockets or the like? Just a Defy Danger with dex, or something else? My main concern is with it stepping on the toes of the thief, but I don’t ever want to say to a PC you can’t do that either. Any ideas?

14 thoughts on “Quick question for you guys; how would you as GMs/PCs handle stuff like a fighter PC trying to pick pockets or the…”

  1. Ok, so it’s naturally a bit harder to do inately because it’s not covered by a class move, and it’s more up to the player to fill in the gap almost. I keep on forgetting the GM acts as much as reacts. Thanks!

  2. A fighter trying to pick someone’s pocket is not triggering a move because they don’t know the tricks of the trade. If a big armored dude with a signature weapon bumped into you in the bazaar and stuck their hand in your pocket, you would bloody well notice. As a GM, I would just say what happens next. Or possibly phrase it as, “You don’t know what you’re doing enough to get away with that scot-free. Do you want to proceed anyway, or do you want to try something else?”

  3. Yeah; You should definitely NOT just substitute Defy Danger here – Defy Danger is good for a LOT of stuff, but it’s not a replacement for other moves. 

    At this point, it really comes down to “convince me your character can do this, oh, and aren’t you wearing scale mail? That’s going to make this harder…”  Unless there’s some reason to believe the character should be able to do this (such as the aforementioned “it’s something most people can do!”) then it is well within your purview to have it fail horribly (like it would if I tried to pick your pocket.)

  4. This whole situation is why moves exist – to give players a reliable means to accomplish their goals in the game. Without the move, you’re at the mercy of the fiction. You can’t hide behind the dice. 

    Lux: I have no idea what I’m doing, here, but I’ve seen Bug do this a hundred times. I’m going to walk up behind this guy and pretend to bump into him and then when he’s distracted, I’ll grab his purse.

    GM: Okay, well, you bump into the guy, but you’re a big gal and you’re wearing plate armor, so he takes a dive and ends up on the floor (Show a downside to their class, race, or equipment). He looks up and you and starts shouting about you being a big lug and how he’s going to call the guards. His purse is just lying there on the ground(Offer an opportunity, with or without cost). What do you do?

    Lux: I’m going to grab it, and run!

    GM: You lunge down and snag it up, and start running. You sprint about a block before your armor starts to weigh you down. You can hear the horns of the city guard behind you (Show signs of an approaching threat). What do you do?

    Lux: Bug always makes this bullshit look so easy. Forget it, this whole city is corrupt and I’m ready for a stand-up fight. Let’s do what I was made to do. I draw my sword and wait for these jerks to come.

    So, maybe I’d have let Lux have a Defy Danger there if she’d been in any way even close to getting what she wanted – taking off her armor, trying to be sneaky, etc. Narration is super important.

  5. You want to narrate yourself into a position where victory is assured (no roll necessary) or where you can make a move you actually have. That nebulous space in between is where the GM gets to make soft moves and complicate your shit. Which is obviously pretty fun. Characters tend to inevitably funnel towards what they’re competent at.

  6. Ok, cool yeah so everything is back to the fiction again (should’ve seen that one coming) and if the PC really wants a roll then let them if they can justify it. I think I’m starting to get this whole system more and more. Thanks for the examples guys!

  7. Chris Gill it’s less about justification and more about what makes sense. Like, track the fiction until a move is triggered. Otherwise, it’s just “player says, GM moves” back and forth. Defy Danger requires you “act despite an imminent threat or suffer a calamity” so, unless that happens, you don’t roll. 

    You might roll if the imminent threat is being discovered picking a pocket, or it might be the calamity of getting caught and trying to talk your way out before the alarm is raised, etc. It’s generally a response, not an active thing.

  8. For some reason, the specific trigger of “Defy Danger” never really sank in until I read this thread.  “…act despite imminent threat or suffer a calamity”.   We have been triggering that far too frequently, now that the actual English meaning of all those words has finally smacked into my brain.  

  9. Hans Messersmith Defy Danger is named that way for a reason. It’s not “Do A Thing”. Usually you’re triggering it to make a bad situation mildly less bad or you’re saying “damn the consequences” and going for it anyway. 

  10. Yeah, Adam Koebel that finally found fertile soil in my consciousness.  I haven’t been really using it as “Do a Thing”, but I have been using it for “Do a Troublesome Thing”.

  11. Adam Koebel Hans Messersmith Ok, I think I need to read back through all the basic moves now; thinking about what triggers them and how they work again.

    I’ve been trying to run this (Dungeon World) in one shots with one of my D&D friends (usually play Pathfinder) and we usually get into long discussions about the systems afterwards. This was one of those questions he brought up that kinda stuck with me afterwards.

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