A chimera opens its jaws to unleash flame at the Paladin.

A chimera opens its jaws to unleash flame at the Paladin.

A chimera opens its jaws to unleash flame at the Paladin.  He chooses to stand firm, taking cover behind his shield and letting the flames wash over him.  Is he defying danger?  Defending (himself)?  If it depends, what circumstances would lead you to choose one or the other?

17 thoughts on “A chimera opens its jaws to unleash flame at the Paladin.”

  1. Actually, the book reads, on page 64: “Defending yourself is certainly an option. It amounts to giving up on making attacks and just trying to keep yourself safe.”

  2. Defy Danger’s trigger is “When you act despite an imminent threat or suffer a calamity, say how you deal with it and roll.” Based on that, I’d say this sounds more like Defend, but I might ask the player what they’re actually trying to do; if he’s raising his shield and enduring the flames while he moves towards an objective, I’d call that Defy Danger (the danger being, you’re toast). If he’s focused entirely on keeping himself safe, I’d call it Defend.

  3. It could be either (or heck, they might want to use Bloody Aegis or something), so I’d honestly just ask which one they wanted to trigger instead of trying to guess. I know you’re not supposed to say the names of your moves and all that jazz, but there’s enough overlap between triggers that I find clarity of intent more helpful and important than sticking to the prescribed lingo. This also applies in many other situations, naturally.

  4. That’s a bit of a disservice to the other moves, though. I’m pretty sure everything you do can be framed as Defy Danger, and that’s basically what World of Dungeons does.

    Besides, he’s raising a shield to defend himself, so you could as easily say that it dictates Defend.

  5. I would say the main difference between the two moves in this situation is that the player has much more control over the outcome if he uses Defend, whereas he leaves things up to the GM if he says he wants to Defy Danger. The results of a 10+ on either move will likely be similar, but on a 7-9 for Defy Danger, things can get messy.

  6. For my two bits, I tend to view Defy Danger as an incomplete sentence with an implicit “and…” at the end. defy danger and cross this pit of vipers. Defy danger and grab the treasure from the fire. The “and” sets up the fiction, let’s me know what success means and gives me hooks for lesser results.

    In this scenario, I’d go with defend because the player’s not doing anything to move the ball forward. It is probably a mechanically stronger move but it leaves the tempo in the GM’s hands, so the GM may well make another move because the player has not done so.

    Though more likely, another player can now act. One subtle thing about defend is that while it’s a non-move in 1 on 1 situations, in any group scene, it often allows some control of pacing, usually setting up the defended player to do something. It’s less clear cut in this situation, but there’s a good chance the fictional result of the defend is a opportunity for someone else to act.

  7. A follow-up question: if he is defending, even on a 10+ he is going to take damage. If he defies danger and succeeds with a 10+, does he avoid damage completely? In other words, can he mechanically mitigate more damage by holding up his shield and sound something else at the same time?

  8. I agree on Defend. I hate the fact that people use Defend on themselves, but it is acceptable and is more appropriate here than Defy Danger. DD would, as others have said, be more in the situation that you are attempting to accomplish something while enduring an attack on you. Yes, you could “accomplish” defense of yourself, but that’s just reaching. I’m talking more about choosing to run through a wall of fire, jump from a very tall height, or something along those lines as an accomplishment while enduring something.

  9. shaydwyrm A 10+ on Defend will allow him to half the damage he takes three times to 1/8 of what is dealt: that’s 1 or at worst 2 HP. Yes, he’d take a little damage but fictionally that seems right (it’s not as if he’s diving clear of the line of fire).  

    While that’s not quite as good as completely evading the threat via Defy Danger, the difference on a 10+ is small and Defend gives him options that Defy Danger doesn’t:

    – 10+ he can choose to take a little more damage and deal damage to the chimera or setup an ally’s move.

    – 7-9 he chooses whether to take half damage, or wear the lot while dealing his own damage or setting up an ally’s move.

    Can he mitigate more damage by doing something else to trigger Defy Danger?

    The trigger for DD is ‘When you … or suffer a calamity ‘. Being in the line of a chimera’s fire breath sounds like a calamity to me, so the move is available if he wants it.

    It really comes down to whether he’s standing his ground so he can hit back, or whether his sole focus is saving his own skin in that moment.

    From what you’ve described, it sounds like he’s putting himself in the line of fire (literally) to stay in the fight, which makes Defend the perfect move.

  10. Tim Franzke It’s not explicitly stated one way or the other in the rules, but is there a compelling reason you wouldn’t allow a player to choose that option more than once? Since it says halve the damage OR effect of the attack, would you let them choose the option twice to reduce both the damage and the effect?

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