Discern Realities: this is more of a “how do u do it” question.

Discern Realities: this is more of a “how do u do it” question.

Discern Realities: this is more of a “how do u do it” question. Rolling on DR gives you a choice between 0-3 questions to ask the gamemaster. The more ive played the game the more I find its faster just to answer my player’s question directly. For example a character prodes the floor with a staff looking for traps.they roll a 12 and get to ask 3 predetermined questions from the list. I just tell them the truth. A 10 plus role might get them extra details pertaining to the trap. I just find the players reading over the questions slows things down and takes us out of the story.

Does anyone else do this? Am I detracting from my players in a way I dont realize?

11 thoughts on “Discern Realities: this is more of a “how do u do it” question.”

  1. Generally, you do want to keep to the questions as written and just tell them the rest. Some advanced moves allow characters to go ‘off the script’, so by allowing any questions you’re invalidating those characters. 

    What I normally do is start describing an area to the party. If a player asks for more details and their character would honestly know, I just tell them. (First job as a GM, as written in the rulebook: First and foremost, you describe the immediate situation around the players at all times.) http://book.dwgazetteer.com/gm.html

    If it’s something they might need to recall or search for, I’ll ask for a move. If they don’t ask, they can just proceed at their peril 🙂

  2. You can always just tell them what happens as a result of their actions. They wanna look in the box – tell them what they see. My test is: do they want to look closely enough to expose themselves to danger? Do they want to let their eyes adjust to the dark so that they can really see in before entering the room? Do they want to find something in a book and not just scan the forward? Do they want to listen in enough to get some real dirt? Those are DR.

  3. DR is maybe my favorite move in the game, and there are a couple of things that I think the question list accomplishes that just describing the situation doesn’t:

    So, here’s the thing about DR. It’s not a perception check. It’s a scene-framing device.

    What’s really going on when someone rolls DR is they’re asking, “What’s this scene about?”. And the questions are their way of guiding it towards things they want it to be about. (Someone who’s asking “What’s useful or valuable?” wants something different from someone asking “What should I be on the lookout for?”)

    Also, I find: The 7-9 result, 1 question, never quite gives you all the information you wanted. On the 10+, with 3 questions, you get more than you were looking for.

    How often does the 3rd DR question get prefaced with “Ummm, well, I guess, “? They got what they wanted with the first 2. This is where “What here is not what it appears to be?” or “useful/valuable” pops up a lot.

    And suddenly there’s something in the scene that wasn’t there before, because the player wants it to be there. That’s strong, and it doesn’t happen if you just describe what’s there.

  4. DR is all about setting up new threads to be explored. Feel free to say “what here is useful or valuable to me… like weapons or armor” or “what should i be on the lookout for… when opening that chest” the DM can give you what you want or decide something else is more interesting. When you get extra questions your character can notice other things. A hidden cach, scrach marks on the wall, something sparkling in the dark puddle over there. Now you have many options to investigate. Even if you only get one question, it doesnt have to be the obvious question. Im looking for weapons, what should i be on the lookout for? This means your character is looking around for obvious weapons but might miss a hidden treasure because he is also moving cautiously and watching for danger. The +1 you get from those questions is also hugely important.

  5. DR is a better way to ask, what do you do. As the DM you describe a room and when the players ask a question then tell them to roll DR. Now they get to tell you what they are most intrested in exploring here.

  6. Yeah, I think the most important thing to remember about Discern Realities is that it’s NOT a perception check.  If the character is poking around a box or a spot on the floor, they are NOT “closely studying a person or situation”.  Just tell them what they find.

  7. A lot of really great advice here. A few of my players balked at only being able to ask what was in the provided list at first. They wanted to be able to ask anything, because they felt the list was reatrictive. I explained that if what they wanted to know really couldn’t be answered by one of the DR questions, then they weren’t triggering DR. They should just ask, and I would answer.

    I’ve never heard DR explained as a scene framing move, but that’s exactly what it is.

  8. Chris Stone-Bush yeah, it kind of feels like a scene-expanding move sometimes, you know? Like, saying to the players “OK, here’s the opening shot. Where do you want the camera to focus in on?”

  9. Something that takes a bit getting use to in DW is that players shouldn’t be saying what move they are using – the GM instead decides when a move is activated. So, if someone is stomping the ground hoping to find a trap, it will not necessarily trigger a DR move. Maybe the floor just breaks, maybe they activate a secret panel, maybe nothing happens.

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