A couple of rules questions came up in last night’s game. Any help appreciated:

A couple of rules questions came up in last night’s game. Any help appreciated:

A couple of rules questions came up in last night’s game. Any help appreciated:

(1) How do we handle a Druid’s pack (e.g. he turns himself into a cave rat and summons his pack of rats). We had the pack stick around and fight for him as a single entity until either it took 3 hits or he ran out of holds. Should he have had to spend holds everytime he wanted the pack do something?

(2) The Druid’s Advanced Move: Elemental Mastery. What limits should there be on what can be accomplished with this move? It seems to turn a Druid into a 5th-level wizard. Or, do I just make “nature’s price” commensurate with the strength of the attempted effect?


5 thoughts on “A couple of rules questions came up in last night’s game. Any help appreciated:”

  1. To number 2, I’d say yes, with a caveat. Nature is not fluid. There are laws and consequences for violating them. The cool thing about thinking about it this way is that dramatic effects can still happen as long as you’re respecting the laws. You want a rainstorm? Way easier in the plains than the desert. You want thunder and lightning? This is a good time of year for it.

    Mage the Ascension had the concept of “coincidental magic”, which basically meant that the magic was indistinguishable from reality being itself, but that meant making sure that the “effect” of the magic was logically grounded.

    I’d do the same with a druid’s magic. The more they want to do something Nature is unlikely to do on its own, the bigger the cost.

  2. Joseph F. Russo The Earthsea books had a similar concept of equilibrium or a butterfly effect…I’m reminded of Gandalf’s refusal to stop it from raining in a recent hobbit film. Was that because he wouldn’t or couldn’t?  I lean towards wouldn’t. Or Merlin’s ordeal at raising the fog at the start of Excalibur. It worked him ( perphas he rolled a 7?)

  3. 1) I would say that making the pack do something counts as making a move, so yeah, I’d probably spend hold for it. You could also just treat spending the hold for the “Summon the Pack” move like an automatic 10+ on Recruit, then treat the pack like a hireling, though that would be a little too complex and long-lasting for my personal tastes.

    2) This is an open-ended move, and the question isn’t one of rules, but of scale, so it’s a question for your table. My go-to comparison for the scale question is Bend Bars, Lift Gates. There’s no inherent defined limit to what qualifies as an ‘inanimate obstacle,’ so what would you say is the biggest, toughest thing a Fighter could smash through? A thick wooden wall? An iron door? An entire building? A mountain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUQcS4xhhqo)? All potentially valid answers, depending on how powerful you want the PCs to feel.

    The point to take away is that all your players should be able to engage with the fiction on the same scale as one another. If you think the Druid should be able to make a volcano spring up from the earth so long as they can pay the price (or even not pay it, if that’s the choice they make), that is totally cool–so long as you’re also cool with the other characters doing stuff that’s on that same level. If you think that’s too big, but calling down lightning is probably okay, that is also totally cool–again, so long as you’re consistent across the table. If you feel like something is too much, then hey, looks like the elemental spirits feel the same way.

  4. Building on what’s been said before, you may find it useful to think of bigger, more improbable moves as having a higher stakes. A rainstorm in a humid swamp is low stakes, a rainstorm in the middle of a desert is high stakes. The higher the stakes, the harder the moves you should make in response.

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