31 thoughts on “Rules question….”

  1. I think that would be up to how the fiction goes and what the player wants to do. If the player wants to go and fight off all three Orcs with his Hack and Slash then you as the DM decide how you want to do it, let it depend on one roll or maybe multiple Hack and Slash rolls. Perhaps after he hits one he has to Defy Danger for the other two it’s up to you and the fiction really. 

  2. I would say that depends on context.

    Did the Fighter know all three orcs were attacking him at once because of the narration? That would, to me, require that he make a Defy Danger roll to not get hit by the others so he could deal damage to the target Orc and I would not have him roll Hack and Slash at all.

    If he rolls Hack and Slash and he doesn’t have a move that lets him use it to engage more than one opponent (or you just don’t mind the precedent being set that Hack and Slash can be used to engage multiple targets) then yes, he’s blatantly ignoring a threat and I’d call that a Golden Opportunity and just have the Orcs deal damage.

  3. Off the top of my head… (and I don’t know if someone already discussed this, if so, pardon the redundancy)

    If the Fighter is fighting al three Orcs trying to fend off their blows and kill ’em all, would it make sense to split the total damage?

    Example: the Fighter rolls a H&S success and his damage (1d10) results in, say a 7. The Orcs have 4 HP each, meaning he kills one (4 damage), severely hurts the second (3 damage) using up his damage roll and leaving the third one unscathed.

    If he rolled a 10, he would kill two Orcs (4+4 damage) and leave one badly wounded (2 damage).

    It’s kinda what happens when a PC gets hit by his opponents: the highest damage die gets rolled and he gets +1 damage for every opponent.

    In the above example, since he’s trading blows with three Orcs he would get, say, 1d8+2 even if, after the clash (namely, the H&S roll) one or two of the Orcs end up dead, cause the fight is brutal and blood must run. 🙂

    Does this make any sense? I’m waiting for a wise word, Tim Franzke . 🙂

  4. Thanks everyone for your replies.  Great community.

    The Fighter is aware of the orcs.  I am visualizing an Amon Hen sort of encounter.  Fighter see the orcs, orcs see the Fighter.  Fighter attacks Orcs.

  5. Matteo Casali if the fighter can damage all the orcs with her manoeuvres them she deals her full damage to all of them. Splitting like that doesn’t really happen in DW.

  6. I think you may be making the mistake of treating moves as buttons to be pushed. Moves are very, very context dependent. If the fighter attacks the orcs, the GM should ask how, and what he does when the three of them surround him. Depending on the situation, the Fighter may find themselves acting despite an imminent threat and therefore Defying Danger, the danger being the two orcs flanking him.

  7. If you want chapter and verse on Tom’s point, p. 58 of Dungeon World under the description of Hack n Slash:

    “If the action that triggers the move could reasonably hurt multiple targets roll once and apply damage to each target (they each get their armor).”

    Matteo is right on with how much damage the fighter could take on a 7-9 result, even if the orcs end up dead. 

    I tend to favor fewer rolls, so yea if it’s a melee with 3 orcs I would do one hack n slash. 

  8. The other two orcs would only Deal Damage if the GM chose that as their next move.  If the player got a 10+ I’d certainly say that he did it in such a way that he hurt an orc while evading the attacks of the others.  But remember what it says in the book, the GM shouldn’t always default to Dealing Damage, maybe the Orcs see their comrade go down and they try to Disarm the fighter or do something with the environment.  Mix it up.

  9. My gut says it depends largely on the context of the scene itself and the demands of the fiction.

    If you as a GM envision the encounter as one where the hero is mowing down waves of generic scrubs with impunity, then, no I probably wouldn’t have the other orcs do auto damage. Mechanically, I would just treat the orcs like a swarm (see the DW guide for advice)

    If you envision something more gritty and see each orc as formidable challenge, then at the very least I would probably think that avoiding the other orcs attacks is defying danger.

    Unless the fighter does something that blatantly offers the GM a golden opportunity, I would refrain from any sort of auto damage.

    Is there a absolute right way of handling the situation? Maybe . . .

    But I think that an eye for good theatre and a little common sense can go a very long way in Dungeon World.

  10. To Karlen’s point, I would say that in a melee with 3 opponents, you are going to take some damage, unless you are extremely lucky or skilled or both (i.e., 10+ on your roll). Would they also try and grab you, disarm you, grapple you to the ground where they could shank you repeatedly? Almost definitely. I wouldn’t consider “deal damage/other move” on a 7-9 a binary. Perfectly legit to do both, e.g., “They’re all over you… you run one through so deal your damage, but your blade sticks in his rib and jars from your grasp, seizing the moment, his friend pins your arm in a chicken wing as the third jabs his knife into your side… d8+2 damage… Ranger, your buddy is in deep now, the orcs are forcing him to the ground as their upraised daggers flash bloody in the setting sun – what do you do?”

  11. Follow the narrative flow.  If the fighter does something clever that lets him attack both foes at once, let him deal damage to both.  Roll once, apply tags seperately.

    Also, remember that one of your most useful GM moves is tell them the requirements/consequences and then ask.

    GM: “The orcs spread out and brandish weapons, coming in toward you, grinning and jabbing, penning you in.  There’s that statue to your left and the sheer drop down the hill behind you.  The orc furthest to the right lunges at you with his ax, coming down overhead like HAH!  What do you do?!”

    Fighter:  “He’s coming from my right?  I’ll quick step in towards him, shield up to catch his ax before it gets momentum while I stab underhand into his gut.  Hack & Slash?”

    GM: “Yeah, but that’ll give the other two orcs a chance to close in. You sure?”  

    Fighter:  “Sure I’m sure.  Rolling!  12+.  I’ll just do damage, no extra.  I get a 7, 2 piercing.”  

    GM:  “Cool, it’s just like you say.  You get in close, catch his ax before he bring it down and run him right through.  His eyes just bulge and he goes limp on you, still caught on your shield and sword.  The other two are coming right at you.  One just to your left, the other almost right behind you. What do you do?”

    Fighter:  “Crap. Um, I’ll heave the dead orc at the one on my left and keep spinning to block the other one’s attack with my shield.  Hack & Slash again?”

    GM: “No, you’re not really attacking, more like acting despite a threat.  Defy Danger with Dex, or Str.  I could go either way.”  

    Fighter:  “Strength it is.  7.”

    GM:  “Hard choice, then.  You can either get the one on your left tangled up and prone but take a hit from the one behind you, or we’ll say the one on the left sidesteps the dead orc but you block attack from the one behind you.  Which one do you want?”

    Fighter:  “So tie up the one and take damage, or no damage but I’m still dealing with both of them?  I’ll take the latter.”

    GM:  “Cool, cool.  You spin fast enough to block the meat cleaver the one behind was swinging and he keeps chop-chopping. The other dodges around the dead orc you hurl, then comes in jabbing with his short spear.  They’re both in front of you, driving you back towards the drop.  What do you do?”

    Fighter:  “I’ll feign that I’m getting scared and tired, lowering my sword guard to draw the one on my right in.  I’ll crouch down a little, pulling my shield back and angling it up.  I’m hoping they both close in a bit.”

    GM:  “Yeah, sure, but that’ll put you like right up against the edge.  You sure?”

    Fighter:  “Yup.”  

    GM:  “Okay, it’s like you say.  They take the bait and close, one still chopping at your shield,  You can dig your back foot in and feel the ground shift a little, go tumbling back down the sheer drop.  The orc with the spear commits, lunging at you full-out.  What do you do?”

    Fighter:  “I SPRING!  I’ll slash out to my right at the orc with the spear while I ram my shield into the butcher-orc.  I’m hoping to ram him clear back into that statue on the left.”

    GM:  “Sweet, roll Hack & Slash.”

    Fighter:  “8.  Huh.  So what happens?”

    GM:  “Well, you’re not fast enough to avoid the spear, so you’ll take a d6 damage, 1 piercing.  But, yeah, your attack works.  Roll damage for both of them.”

    Fighter:  “Cool, that’s… 3 damage I take, less 1 armor after piercing.  And they take 6 damage, 2 piercing.”

    GM:  “Actually, the 2 piercing is just on your sword.  So you open the throat of the one with the spear and he tumbles past you down the hill.  But the guy with the cleaver, you shield-bash him and drive him into the statue.  He takes 5 damage after armor, but he’s still up, pinned between you and the statue.  He’s kicking at your legs, flailing with his arms, trying to get a blow in over your shield.  You realize you’re bleeding a little from around your hip where you got stabbed.  What do you do?”

  12. Again, context.

    My GMing specifically?  No, on a 10+ the fighter has succeeded in dealing damage without exposing himself/herself to risk.  Even when there’s a lot of risk.

    On a miss or a partial success, the consequences go WAYYYYY up when you’re fighting multiple opponents.  [Orc damage + (# of orcs – 1)]  at a minimum, a non-numerical GM move as well probably.

  13. Sean brings up a good point. The players have a lot of ability to up the stakes of a roll. In his example, he’s charging a group of three orcs and swinging at all three. The reward for success–and the risk for failure–are both much higher now. On a miss, the GM can freely have all three orcs attack the Fighter.

    I will echo Jeremy’s comment on telling them the requirements/consequences and then ask. If a PC attempts a very risky move with a potentially large effect, the GM can respond by setting a requirement to make that move (i.e. Defying Danger to get into a position), or give them fair warning of the consequences if they fail. The player then has the choice of accepting the raised stakes, or changing their mind.

  14. 1. Be a fan of the characters  2. Play to find out what happens.

    10+ is a clear success: the fighter takes out one orc while avoiding the other attacks.  This may not be what you anticipated, but the fighter did get a 10+ so let them have the glory of their roll.

  15. I think what Jeremy Strandberg posted was real great advice all around. I’m super new to DW and stuff like that is really helpful to read.

    However, something I have noticed as a relatively new player and GM to Dungeon World in regards to advice and how the games works (this includes the well known DW Guide that’s out there and other examples of play) is that often times, the advice includes 1 character. In this case I realize the initial question by john white was specifically about a single Fighter versus three Orcs. The questions/fiction keep going back to the Fighter since she is the only character in this fictional example. But what would you do different if there were three other players at the table?

    How would you incorporate them into this scene?

    Is it OK to resolve this entire encounter between the three Orcs and Fighter without the input of the other characters as the players sit silently and listen to the events?

    Apologies if this isn’t the right place to ask all this. Maybe I should start a new post? I’m new to G+ (made an account to post here).

  16. JD W 

    There are a few things in play here. 

    #1 Is it OK to resolve this entire encounter between the three Orcs and Fighter without the input of the other characters as the players sit silently and listen to the events?

    It definitely is not. It is okay to focus on the fighter for a bit to see what is going on with her but then you should switch to another character. Make a move and ask them what they do. Are they engaged with orcs themselves? Are they free to act and support the fighter? 

    It depends but give them something to do. 

    Giving the Fighter a big spotlight moment is cool but we need to know what the other characters are doing in the meantime. They are most likely not just standing there and watching. 

    #2 . But what would you do different if there were three other players at the table? How would you incorporate them into this scene?

    As said above it depends. When there are more orcs the are most likely engaged with them. The Thief is sneaking aroudn them to ex the Orc Shaman that does the ritual while the Bard is in the middle of all of that ,trying to stop other orcs from approaching the Ranger who has free range to shoot at whomeever they want (for now). 

    For all of them it is quite clear what they are doing but how do you deal with the Ranger? The usual thing for me would be to go with something along the lines of: 

    “You see a lone orc retreating, possibly to call for backup. You have a good shot at her. Then, from the corner of your eye you see how the fighter takes down the first orc but the other two are aiming to stab her with their swords. Do you want to put an Arrow through them or stop the retreating orc? Maybe want to help the Bard instead? He can’t hold the line for much longer. What do you do?” 

    This is putting them in a very tight spot. It is much more interesting then “Who do you want to shoot at?” 

    Let’s say the ranger shoots at the greenskins engaged with the fighter. This might take out one orc and will definetly have an impact on the other. Maybe giving the fighter enough time to Defy the Danger of their attack or to launch a full on counterattack instead (depending on who your fiction is set up). 

    If there are no other goblonoids in the area then they can all rush in to help the fighter of course.

    Does that help?

  17. Tim Franzke

    Thanks for the reply. I know it’s difficult to talk theoretical with DW since it relies so much on the actually “here & now” of the fiction. Your extrapolation sure does help!

  18. Another cool trick for dealing with multiple players and simultaneous action:  describe the situation, ask each player what they do, but don’t let anyone roll any dice until everyone’s declared what they’re up to.  Let folks go back and change their declared actions, sure, but get everyone to commit and then have everyone roll (assuming their declared action triggers a move).

    Then, look at the results and resolve them in whatever order makes the most sense.  Sometimes, this will call for follow-up rolls (damage) or even moves.  Follow each of those to a logical pause point, and then start over: describe, get declarations, roll, resolve.

    It’s a great, great way to keep everyone involved and active. It also tends to avoid “the fighter rolls +3 to hack & slash so let her do all the work.”  

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