16 thoughts on “Question: If a character listens at a door, what is the roll?”

  1. Why roll? Either they hear something or they don’t. If there’s nobody there or the door/wall is too thick, they don’t hear anything. If they’re talking loudly or the wall is paper-thin, they do.

  2. If he is just listening for a short while, for example to hear if someone is talking behind the door, I would not use any move, just describe what he is hearing – or perhaps let the player have a go at making something up by himself. But if he is listening for a longer, for example to determine patterns of movement or something like that (‘closely study a situation’), I would clearly use dicern realities – questions 2, 3 and 7 are applicable, IMHO.

  3. Tell them what they hear honestly. If they want answers to what might be going on in the room beyond and/or they are willing to listen long enough for the situation to change on them, Discern Realities.

  4. While I completely agree that this is perfect for a GM move, and that’s exactly what I would do, I do want to point out that Discern Realities could also totally work in this situation. I don’t see a reason someone couldn’t closely study a situation by listening at a door. In practice, I imagine it would go something like:

    PC listens at Door

    GM makes GM move

    PC hearing that, wants to listen further

    Discern Realities triggers.

  5. My understanding is that unlike other RPGs you don’t make a move in this game unless there’s a “risk.” If there is no risk it is only part of the fiction. The GM adjudicates. This is why you gain XP for failures. Because you don’t forget the consequences of your failure. : )

  6. Chris Stone-Bush, perhaps Sir Savage meant that you only ROLL when there is an element of risk, which is true. You make a move whenever it is triggered, but any roll implies some risk, and no roll-based move is triggered in the absence of risk.

  7. I wonder if that’s actually the case Justus Goldstein-Shirley. My impression is that you only roll when instructed to do so by a move (as some moves are non-roll), and that you only make a move when its fictional trigger is met regardless of whether there is risk involved or not.

    I think you’re right that any roll implies risk, but that’s not the same as saying no roll-based move can be triggered in the absence of risk. The Druid’s Shapeshift move can be triggered when the Druid is standing in the middle of an open field with absolutely no danger nearby at all. But the DM gets to make a move if the dice come up as a 6-, so there is always risk present when you roll the dice as you say. It’s just that sometimes the danger happens because of the dice roll, and is not a trigger to roll the dice.

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