Is there an (un)official rule on the maximum bonuses that can stack on a roll?

Is there an (un)official rule on the maximum bonuses that can stack on a roll?

Is there an (un)official rule on the maximum bonuses that can stack on a roll? I’ve been house-ruling it to +3, at least, until one of my players said that he’d been rolling +4 due to ongoing effects. So where does it end? 

Hack and Slash

stat bonus +3

following a charging paladin: +1 forward

ally Defends: gain +1 forward against the attacker

after having Discerned Realities: take +1 forward

another ally Aids you: take +1

spending a Preparation: +1 to the roll

Bard performs Arcane Art: +2 instead of +1 for Aid

after the Cleric Blesses you: +1 ongoing

So that’s a +10 to the roll, and I could go on…

What would you consider to be a max bonus/penalty? My house rule is +3/-3, but it’s on shaky ground.

30 thoughts on “Is there an (un)official rule on the maximum bonuses that can stack on a roll?”

  1. Well, there’s no “GM fiat” in DW: if a Move happens, happens, you roll, and you get what you get.

    Even if it’s a very easy one, you still may get a result where you have to make calls.

    Some moves have decisions to make, even on a 10+ success, and a 7-9 success is very probable anyway.

  2. So, nothing official in DW.  Anyone know if there’s a cap in Apocalypse World, or anything else apart from Monsterhearts?  +5 is an instant (partial) success.  -5 is not quite an instant failure.  Maybe I’ll cap it there.  +/- 4 makes sense, too.

  3. When success is guaranteed there is no need to roll the dice.

    Also what is going on in the fiction that so many people are supporting the second guy to attack after the paladin already went charging in ahead of him? My point is how can you support that scenario in any fictional sense?

  4. also

    Look at how many dice are actually hitting the table. The OP makes a lot of assumptions that everyone got 10+ on their rolls to aid/defend/bless/Arcane Art.

    In all honesty if the attacker is simply to follow the paladin and use their own plus 1 from DR, success is all but guaranteeed. Odds are one of the other die rolls will lead to a chain of events that could have been avoided.

    As a GM I would encourage this, simply because a) they are using lots of diverse moves and b) more dice rolling means more chances I get to make a move.

  5. Seriously, skipping rolls and outcomes you’re skipping a key mechanic of the game (that creates parts of the fictional outcome)… you’re making the game poorer.

  6. Rolls aren’t really a key mechanic of the game, though. The key mechanic is the fiction. Rolls aren’t supposed to be the major focus. At least that’s always been my take on it.

    And it’s not really skipping a roll. If they’ve done so much prep to get a +10 bonus or what have you, then it’s a success no matter what they roll. So why roll?

    The whole point of DW is that, if it makes sense in the fiction (more often than not) then let it happen. Also FYI Arcane Art doesn’t add its own +2. It changes an existing +1 to a +2.

  7. The consensus seems to be right; If the players put that many resources into a roll, they’ll succeed. But what about all those other rolls to get to that +10? That’s a load of rolls, and a lot of option for GM moves.

  8. …Wait. I just realized. For there to be like a +10 bonus, wouldn’t that mean there’s like 10 players in the session? Because with just 4 players, how would they stack up to +10? Some of those bonuses would be used in the rolls to get bonuses.. o-o;

    I’m missing something here.. >.>

Comments are closed.