Question on how you would have handled something:

Question on how you would have handled something:

Question on how you would have handled something:

I had a door in a dungeon with a series of gemstones next to it like a keypad. One of the characters decided to try to pry one out of the wall to take it, and was thrown backwards, knife left stuck partially behind the stone.

The cleric decides to smack the knife with his shovel (his holy symbol) to knock it free. I can’t decide if I want this to rip the gem from the wall or let the knife go free, so I think a Defy Danger roll would work well, but I can’t figure out an attribute to roll. In the end, I had him roll + nothing (suggesting it was a “luck” roll).

What would you have done?

11 thoughts on “Question on how you would have handled something:”

  1. The best choice might have been to give them the choice and ask- no roll required. “You can smack the panel with your knife stuck in it no problem and either the knife breaks and the gem pops out, or the knife is knocked loose but recoverable.

  2. Eric Farmer the intent of the cleric was pretty clear clear – he wanted the knife out but the gemstone left in the wall, but didn’t want to touch the knife for fear of getting flung across the room. So ripping the gemstone out was more a risk of his action than a choice, in my eyes.

  3. Or, a quick custom move.

    When you attempt to pry a gem loose from the panel, roll + nothing. On a hit, you pry a gem loose into your greedy palms. On a 7-9, pick one:

    • Nothing useful to you is damaged

    • You are not magically shoved back

  4. Oh, I see. If the gem panel was magical, Defy Danger + Int? Or + Con if it was enduring a physical challenge? I can see where the confusion is now.

  5. I’m not sure why he’d need to roll at all for that then. Generally, you should only roll when there’s something interesting in the narrative at stake and you want to see what happens. He should be able to just do it – it’s not even a difficult task.

    I’ve noticed that when the moves in DW don’t feel like they apply to the situation for me, it’s frequently because I’m playing it with the incorrect mindset (like as if I were playing D&D)

  6. To clarify, the interesting thing (surprise! It’ll electrocute you!) already happened, and the cleric knows to avoid it anyway now (uses something non conductive or whatever), so there’s no need to focus on it longer. Alternatively you can just deal damage as he pries it loose and gets zapped and move on. Not sure if it was actually electricity or not but same idea.

  7. Eric Farmer yeah, I’d do Con if he was going to grab it and rip it out. I almost considered Str to see if he could even knock it out of the socket. How would you justify Int?

  8. The Defy Danger roll depends on the approach the player takes and what has been established in the fiction. If they puzzled out the magical padlock and used some clever thinking to recover the knife, then Int is a way to go.

    The stake of the panel being broken if you remove the knife is a good one. Roll that into my initial suggestion of just setting stakes and asking is probably the best option.

  9. Aaron Griffin True! But it still sounds like a good time to present a choice like Eric Farmer​ suggested. You can get the knife loose but it will damage the panel. Let him choose which is more important.

  10. I might go with Defy Danger with DEX (for precision) or even WIS (for being super careful and calmly tap-tap-tapping the dagger out with the shovel).  

    On a 7-9, I’d probably give him a choice: get it out in tact but take some damage, or realize that this approach isn’t going to work but stay safe.

    On a 6-, I’d probably have the dagger snap and the tip stay wedged in there, now almost impossible to get free (or to use that key of the panel).  

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