I am just starting out with dungeon world and I am slowly going through the circle on information, but my main…

I am just starting out with dungeon world and I am slowly going through the circle on information, but my main…

I am just starting out with dungeon world and I am slowly going through the circle on information, but my main problem I am having right now is monsters. Most of the monster in the book tend to have like 3-6 hit points and my fighter doing a d10 a shot is walking through them. Now I know I can just make the hit points higher and move on or through a larger amount of them. But I am wondering if others have run into this problem or if I’m missing something before I start tinkering.

16 thoughts on “I am just starting out with dungeon world and I am slowly going through the circle on information, but my main…”

  1. That happens sometimes.  But remember that your monsters shouldn’t always be in a position to actually be hit.  They should push, pull, trip, tackle, hug, anything to inconvenience the players if that’s something the creature should do.  Monsters should be challenges the players should have to work through instead of a corpse pile waiting to happen.  Just remember to work with the fiction and make the combat interesting.

    Also, if you’re looking for tougher monsters, I convert monsters from D&D and put them on my blog (http://diceanddungeoneering.blogspot.com/) using the monster creation rules from the book.  Maybe they will put up some challenge for your sword swinging warrior.

  2. Start with situations like “well, you killed that goblin, but now you’re surrounded – there’s no way you’re going to be able to kill them all before some of them get their knives into you” if your PCs are in the habit of just wading heedlessly into crowds…

  3. Also, if the PC is rolling less than 10s, there could be a number of unexpected consequences. So, for example the PC might kill that goblin but break their finger, meaning two handed weapons can’t be used until the finger is cured or at least splinted.

    FATE uses a system of Consequences, which let an opponent “tag” for an attack bonus, eg the consequence “Broken finger” could give opponents +2 to attack, damage or whatever.

    This is easy enough to tweak into DW, and adds complications to make the story more interesting. So now the PC has to find the village shaman to get their finger healed…

  4. The party will (almost) always win in a synchronous fight.  If you or your players are bored because of how ‘easy’ combat is, consider stepping up your soft / hard moves.  Remember : Kobolds, dragons, bandits and the like cheat.  

  5. Dungeon World is subtle in its focus, but fighting in this system takes away all that turn based hitting to more of a free movement. Basically you got to really make sure that you act like the monsters, for example, if its a horde they overwhelm the players so even though they ccut through them there are more and more iof them on their way. If its a group and its clever they try to do dirty tactics or go around people and make sure they don’t get hit, solitary creatures usually have a lot or armour or defences so well your not getting through that with your average weapon and that fire breath is really nasty.

    Its really all about the fiction because yeah I’ve seen GMs not realise this and put more and more bigger monsters just because the fighter can kill them easily which is boring.

  6. Enemy too tough? Find another angle.

    An intelligent enemy is always looking for an advantage, no matter how powerful the opponent.

    Withdraw, pull the enemy down into the troll’s lair…then attack from behind while they’re fighting for their lives.

    Worked (against the Spartans) for the Persian Immortals.

  7. Ok Moves! Got it. So that leads me to a followup question. Lets say they are facing a Choker. On 7-9 Does the Choker grab and start to choke you. They would then try to defy danger or hack and slash and kill it. So if they 10 that they escape. But if the 7-9 again they escape and ??? I think that is where I’m failing my group is working out the moves.

  8. If they are being choked, you don’t have to LET them hack and slash – especially if they’re using a weapon that’s too long to fight something that’s choking them.  So they have to defy danger to get free unless someone helps them.  If they defy danger, 10+, they get free, if they defy danger and 7-9, then you can offer them a ‘bad deal’ – such as maybe getting three if they lose their weapon, or maybe if they throw the thing off, it’ll just latch onto someone else.

  9. * You get free but take 1d10 hits before you do

    * You get free, barely, and now you’re gasping for breath and dizzy from lack of air.  Take –1 forward (and the DM will narrate the choker being able to do something first that you can’ t stop until you catch your breath)

    * You get free, but you have to shrug out of your backpack to do it.  Hope you didn’t need any of that stuff.

    * You get free, but your lantern gets smashed.  Gosh it’s dark in here

    * You get free, but as you do it shoves you so you clatter into the Wizard

    * You get free, and realize that your startled yelling has attracted something charging into the room from your left

    * You get free, but it’s bent your breastplate badly.  Take –1 ongoing on DEX moves until you can fix it.

  10. Well, a 7-9 on DD is, “you stumble, hesitate, or flinch: the GM will offer you a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.” So you have lots of freedom! The “worse outcome” bit lets you make pretty much any move you want, though I’d stay towards the soft moves on partial successes. They escape, but not with their weapon/shield/equipment (use up their resources). As they yank themselves out of its grasp, it holds onto their arm, wrenching it and spraining/dislocating/breaking it (turn their move back on them). They pull away just fine, but as they do so, they see more monsters rushing down the corridor towards them (reveal an unwelcome truth and show signs of an approaching threat). Breaking free puts them in the middle of the mob of monsters, where it’ll be hard for their allies to help them (separate them). Or even something as simple as “pulling free leaves deep gashes in your shoulders; take d8 damage” (deal damage). You could even present some of the above as choices: “its grip is actually more on your coat than on you; you can slip free but only if you abandon your enchanted robes” (tell them the requirements or consequences and ask). Lots you can do, especially when you remember that your moves don’t always need to be directly related to the player’s move that preceded it.

  11. The pool of HP paradigm is very hard to break. There is a pile of good advice already given. I like many others came to DW from DnD and was not used to seeing something with 3 HP offered as a challenge. Until you get to something like the “lowly” Kobold and it’s kin.


    The Kobold attacks in a horde Hordes are 10 or more

    monsters all attacking your hapless party at once. There is enough variety in Kobolds to make an encounter very challenging and even to make your party flee for their lives.

    Look at the variety of moves that Kobolds have.

    \The Kobold slinger throw’s alchemical bombs, and can call Dragons or Dragon Kin.

    \The Kobold is cowardly and rarely fights fair

    \The Blue Sorcerer targets the most dangerous foe and uses runes as a trap

    \Kobold Dragonshields guard it’s allies/Block with it’s shield

    All of these monsters have 3 HP each but when used in concert with each other and leveraging their moves a party can be ground to dust.

  12. I have turned a mob of goblins into a single “horde” creature, plus a Boss goblin. The Horde is “killed” (ie survivors made to run away) when it takes 30 points of damage. Each hit can be narrated as a couple of goblins being skewered or smashed (I just say 1 goblin per 3 points of damage, for example). However when the “Horde” hits, it either gets multiple attacks, or pumps out a whole lot of stabby damage. 

    Perhaps kobolds only do 1 or 2 points of damage, but if a horde of 10 hits you it’s an automatic 10 or 20 points in one go? 

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