Picture this, the party arrives at a door that looks unopened for years.

Picture this, the party arrives at a door that looks unopened for years.

Picture this, the party arrives at a door that looks unopened for years. The thief steps forward, does his thing and opens the door. Beyond, the room is deep in shadows, at least part of it is, however at the far end it rises in a series of curved steps to a dais, on which a large ornate chair has been set up with its back to a huge painted image, its colours faded with age that seems to depict a naked female writhing amidst numerous coiled serpents. This dais is brightly lit, in direct contrast to the doorway through which the party now peers.

Lounging within this chair is a brightly dressed Goblin, who from the shining band worn askance on his head, must be some kind of king. Beside him obviously in deep conversation stand two more Goblins, who from the bizarreness of their dress, must be advisors of some kind. The ‘king’ looks a picture of boredom, even over the distance he can easily be seen yawning.

Other than this group of three the room close to the ‘king’ has several, you count ten or fifteen, guards. All armoured, equipped with spear and shield, and all as bored and inattentive as the ‘king’. A flash of light on metal draw your eyes to a small balcony above his majesties throne, you notice two archers patrolling above, these look as if they might be more alert.

There are two other entrances to this room, to the left and right of the dais, both of which have two guards posted to each side

Before the door and the dais lies a large chest, half ruined and covered in dust, this side of that chest all in in shadows on the other the area of brightness begins.

With a grin the thief squeezes through the doorway and hugging the shadows moves up to the chest. Once there he slides over the chest towards an unsuspecting guard, knife in hand. Because he is suddenly noticeable to the patrolling archers a Defy Danger (Roll+DEX) is called for. He rolls an eight, whoops! He slides over the chest but alas is spotted by one of the archers. The archer is now in a quandary does he ring the alarm bell, or does he fire a volley of arrows and shout a warning? He fires an arrow, it skitters off the wall near the thief’s head and the guard , up till now unaware of his impending doom, looks around. The thief now announces a Hack and Slash (Roll+STR), rolls 11 skewers the unlucky Goblin and finishes by throwing his knife (Volley) at the next Goblin guard.

Meanwhile, as the knife is launched, I return to the rest of the party….

Question: Does this sound right? I see it as a flowing event, from his sipping over the chest to the killing thrust and the following knife throw. Would you make the thief roll for moving through the shadows, or just allow that for take? When the archer fires his arrow at the thief does that get a separate roll or are the circumstances covered in the previous Defy Danger roll, and the arrow is simply a consequence of that roll of 8?

4 thoughts on “Picture this, the party arrives at a door that looks unopened for years.”

  1. That’s holding the spotlight on one PC for a pretty long time, by the sounds. At the latest, I would’ve switched back to the party after the thief killed the first guard; stealth was basically broken by then, so going for another surprise kill after that (especially when there are other PCs at the table) is kinda pushing it, imo.

    It sounds like the arrow clattering into the wall was a perfectly reasonable consequence of that 7-9 result. You gave them a lesser version of what they were after: they got the drop on the guard, but the archer spotted them. No additional Defy Danger required–and to be honest, I’m not even sure how they would defy the danger anyway, if the arrow wasn’t actually going to hit them.

    That said, I likely would’ve given the Thief the option to Backstab the guard still. If they were still in the “oi, what was that noise?” step of reacting, they’re totally a surprised or unsuspecting target.

  2. James Etheridge

     Thanks,. I thought that I would keep the spotlight on the thief as I envisaged him throwing the knife immediately he pulled it from the first victim.

    The archer fired the arrow in response to the thiefs roll as he crossed the barrier and became visible in the brighter light. So the arrow was fired at him.

  3. I’d say you did it perfectly. Less rolls, more story and gm moves is what DW is made for. The rogue is the best rogue around, just let him do his job if it make sense. Again I think you play it right.

  4. Well done. And it’s tough when players split off from one another. Feel how the group is handling it. If they are all just as interested in seeing if the thief gets the gold or gets the blade, then keep at it

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