Fun with Hack n’ Slash.
The more my players trigger the H&S move, the move comfortable we have become with moving away from the traditional move/action/attack format used by other, more traditional rpgs.
When we first started experimenting with Dungeon World, naturally, we stuck with what we were used to. Our combat scenes were still being played out on almost a turn-by-turn basis. A hack and slash move typically consisted of a single blow by the player couneterd by a single blow by the enemy.
Then some wonky stuff started happening.
Sometimes, especially on a 7-9, the results of the roll didn’t quite jive with the fiction. How could the player land a blow that killed the enemy and yet the enemy still managed to hit and deal damage back, when the fiction would seem to indicate that the player hit first?
Clearly, we were all still thinking in terms of “turns, rounds, and actions” within the rigid boundaries of an entirely different system.
Then we finally came to realization that the Hack & Slash move could be used to resolve the outcome of a “scene” as opposed to an “single action”. In other words, Hack & Slash got us past the whole I-GO-U-GO way of thinking and encouraged us to let the result of the roll guide us in how the battle should be narrated.
No longer did an attack consist of just a swing and a hit or miss, followed up by a counter attack.
Now, an attack might consist of several thrusts, parries, dodges and repositionings, some screaming, maybe a tumble between the legs or a flip over a swing.
It was liberating.
And when everyone at my game-table finally understood and bought into it, Dungeon World became a real game-changer.
Thanks to the minds behind it!