The Damage Thread has made me think there should be a few more moves in combat that you could do, to get away from the constant need to probably do Hack and Slash. So Here are a few I’ve been thinking about.
When you are surrounded by enemies Roll +STR On a 10+ Choose Two, on a 7-9 Choose 1:
– You Manage To Get out Safely but their still on your tail
-You Manage to Stay in the fight for enough time for your friends to get here
-You Manage to Deflect the blows of the attacks.
When you see a friend in danger and about to get attacked Roll +Bond. On a 10+ You manage to Step in the Fray and your friend gets to escape. On a 7-9 you are both now the target of this enemies ire.
When you are fighting some monsters and want them to just go away. Describe how you do it and Roll +Relevant Stat On 10+ Choose Two on a 7-9 Choose One
-They Don’t take you to their leader
-They don’t take your valuable items
-They don’t punish you Physically
8 thoughts on “The Damage Thread has made me think there should be a few more moves in combat that you could do, to get away from…”
I chuckled at the last one. Maybe it should be that they DO take you somewhere. “This battle is boring, just take me to your leader.”
I can see the idea you’re going for, but i don’t agree these moves are necessary.
For “when you’re surrounded” any of the results could be a result of another move, if the player triggers it. The first option could easily come from a defy danger. The second and third are essentially the same thing, but the second compels the PC’s friends to act as well – what happens if the player(s) of those friends wants to do something different?
The second move is basically Defend, but narrowly tied to only one of the optional ways to spend hold from Defend.
The third move encourages players to “say no” to the fiction by Moving to abandon an encounter, but then forces them to accept at least one bad result of the encounter regardless. In DW, the GM is NOT adversarial to the players, and no scene should be designed to punish the characters. The scenes are there to make the characters’ lives exciting, to give them a chance to shine (or suffer).
Players, including the GM, should collaborate to explore scenes, rather than “want them to just go away.” hell, even if the characters (not players) want an enemy to go away, make it exciting. There should be no “just” about it. Scare em. Beg em. Fool em. DO something.
I think the concern is in your initial statement that combat involves a “constant need to probably do Hack and Slash.”
Combat in DW simply shouldn’t turn into that. The GM should be turning up the heat, forcing the players to react to dangerous situations. The players’ moves should be snowballing, pushing them into new fictional positions each time the dice are rolled. The GM should be highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the playbooks at the table.
Unless otherwise prescribed in a specific move: When a player Moves and rolls a 6-, it should go sideways in challenging and fun ways; when they roll a 7-9, they should get what they want, but at a meaningful cost; when they roll a 10+ they should dance in the spotlight and enjoy some advantageous position in the fiction.
Moves snowball. The world is dangerous. Nobody gets to sit back and simply swing a sword at the enemy. They have to dance, to dodge, to flee, to kill. It’s gotta get wild!
If your DW combats are going stale, it’s likely that you’re running them the way it is often run in other systems. Chances are your group settles into round-robin turns of attack, much like an “initiative order.” Simply trading blows should never happen in DW. Every action should matter, for good or bad, and should change the terrain of the conflict.
It is argueable wether you want a move like that or not but the last one would be way better as:
When you are fighting some monsters and want them to just go away. Describe how you do it and Roll +Relevant Stat On 10+ Choose one, on a 7-9 Choose two
-They take you to their leader
-They take your valuable items
-They punish you Physically
Its just cleaner and is easier to communicate to the GM.
The problem with the first move is that it triggers automatically when you are surrounded. You have no choice in the matter. Also the first and second option can’t really be chosen together.
The second move is basically just Defend.
I don’t think the game needs new combat moves per se but they can be fun.
I agree with you Andrew Fish that combats should be like that and I do try to get combats like that. I think theae moves are kind of there for me and the players to think about combat a lot more.
As I was saying in the damage thread, I think a lot of times players see low damage as bad is because they gor success but didn’t see that much out of it. I like to think of these moves as a way to show that you can have success meaningfully and not have damage be the success.
Clarifuing combat, not ssying these moves are great just saying that these are what the moves came up with.
As for the third move being defend I found actually this come up before…defend is a hard move to play like that because the defend doesn’t give the options thst the player wanted and it was more defy danger.
I think you could get a lot mileage out of revising Hack & Slash to account for more fictional inputs & outputs. The one I’ve been tinkering with (but never actually tried out) is:
Revised Hack & Slash
When you engage a foe in hand-to-hand combat, make your intention clear and roll +STR.
10+ Your maneuver works as well as can be expected; inflict your damage if appropriate
7-9 It works but with one of these consequences:
– It costs you something (footing, gear, advantage, etc.)
– It’s less effective than it could be (roll damage twice, take the lower result)
– You caused unwanted harm or danger
– You expose yourself to your enemy’s attack
If you were fighting from a position of relative strength or safety, you choose. Otherwise, the GM chooses.
I like that move.
Yeah really like that move. Will totally use that!
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