Volley – One of the biggest quirks in Dungeon World
Lets settle this once and for all
You know how you can’t Hack&Slash a Dragon or an Iron Golem with your wooden training sword? You are not engaging in melee in any meaningful way because you can’t hurt them with your weapon. We all understand that or if not it get’s quickly explained.
Now let’s look at Volley
When you take aim and shoot at an enemy at range, roll+Dex
Now let’s imagine a situation in game.
MC: “So Seraphine, the Dragon has its giant leathery back to you, Becca the Fighter keeping it busy. While she does so, what do you?”
Seraphine: “I take out my Shortbow and adjust my aim. I take a valuable moment and then shot at it. Every arrow after that coming quicker then the last. I roll Volley?!”
So Seraphine definetly took aim and she shot at the dragon right? That is what she does. When she rolls a 10+,
✴On a 10+, you have a clear shot—deal your damage
and then rolls a 6 for damage. So while a dragon can not be harmed (presumably) by a normal weapon. It can be by arrows. The rules say so.
There also isn’t a special quality on the dragon we could point at to explain why it doesn’t work.
An Iron Golem has Special Qualities: Metal though. Does that mean that someone can’t “aim and shot” at them in a meaningful way? For me that doesn’t make sense. I’d rather let the roll Volley and then explain how all the damage is negated by the arrows bouncing of the metal body.
That reasoning definitely works but it is weird to explain that in melee you need a suitable weapon while someone with a ranged weapon always has the right to roll.
Some of this is definitely that ammo is a limited resource that you might need to spend to continue firing and you are not always at fire-weapon range but still it is weird.
When we go away from Arrows and look at thrown weapons though it gets really weird because the dragon that you can’t Hack&Slash with an Iron Sword can be volleyed by an Iron Thrown Dagger and you get to deal damage.
What wording for volley would you suggest that would allow someone to say “yeah, normal arrows don’t work” without writing it in a way that is cringeworthy?
I do understand that this is a very strict reading of the rules and that you can just run volley with that restriction in mind but the move supports my reading more I think