Question for fans of World of Dungeons:

Question for fans of World of Dungeons:

Question for fans of World of Dungeons:

I keep thinking about adding “Close Combat” and “Shooting” as skills, i.e., a character won’t ever truly fail an action, but they may face a really epic and disastrous cost for that success when they roll 6-.

Ok, put down those tomatoes; before you throw veggies, consider…

If your shtick is the great archer of the Westwoods, or Swordmaster of the Seventh Legion, how lame is it to blow an attack against a hobgoblin on a 6- roll? DW and WoDu can make the 7-9 pretty severe, even though “success” still happens. Having the assurance that one character never misses, but everything else may go terribly wrong as they hit, doesn’t seem any worse to me than saying “Character X with Athletics ALWAYS clears the cliff when she jumps.”

Thoughts? Anyone ever tried it? Does it break anything?

10 thoughts on “Question for fans of World of Dungeons:”

  1. If the character is the great archer of the Westwoods, he wouldn’t fail anyway if he got 6-. It’s just that circumstances suddenly made the shot impossible. The hobgoblin’s friend suddenly jumped on you from behind. The enemy sees you and dives behind cover while activating some trap. It’s all part of being a fan of the caracter, I don’t see a need for skills.

  2. Thanks, David! Interesting. I see that. I’ve never been a fan of the “retroactive move nullification” interpretation of 6-: since the trigger question is what do you do?, it seems to end up saying “no, I guess you didn’t get to try.”

    Would you handle, say, Athletics or Sneaking in the same way?

    To be clear, my motivation in possibly adding combat skills is to make characters who really want to be combat specialists have better flavor, and to let characters who want to specialize in something else stand out. The usual “fighters have Athletics” thing is a bit too vague for my taste.

  3. I don’t think adding generic flat “good at hitting stuff” matches the stated goal of adding flavor. Sounds like you want something a bit more unique.

    Perhaps by adding special gear that works the same as a skill for that character? “My grandfather’s rusty blade”, “the last bow made by Donyan the Archer before he died”, etc

  4. Anything the character has been specifically said to be awesome at (I’m a ranger is not enough, you need to be Bowstring, the best archer east of Imaria), I will try my best to never made him fail at it unless it’s a truly amazing feat for which lesser men wouldn’t even get to roll.

    And what they answer when you ask them “what do you do” is their intent. Preventing them from taking the shot is no more unfair that preventing them to cross the trap ridden hallway when they failed their Defy danger. The scene with the hidden hobgoblin would play out something like “As you line your shot you feel a sudden pain on your back. As you turn you see a smaller hobgoblin smiling at you holding a bloody dagger.”

  5. Good thoughts – thanks. However, these counters seem to me like effective reasons, perhaps, to move away from World of Dungeons’ rules as written, not necessarily reasons to avoid adding “hitting stuff” 🙂 to the list of skills. Whether the skill in question is combat or sneaking or diplomacy etc., wouldn’t all these approaches apply?

    To clarify, my question is: if you find the WoDu rules as written/skill system effective for play, then why not treat combat skills exactly the same way you’d treat any other character specialization? I assume the “why not” is because WoDu is envisioned as a hack n’ slash dungeon crawler, where the point is to get to the next round of fighting stuff.

    Instead, I’m wondering whether the system could support a little more free-ranging play that would encourage PCs to see killing stuff as just one approach among many – in which case it would be meaningful to specialize in fighting over against other things. If you follow the “Advanced World of Dungeons” materials, you’ll note that new skills have proliferated. Why not combat?

    I hope that’s clear. I haven’t actually got any skin in the game at this point: the interest is basically academic, and of use as I think about which systems work in hacks, etc. Thanks.

  6. WoDu presents an incomplete set of rules you’re supposed to build on (no rules for death, no instructions on how to arrange your rolled stats, etc). The point is you’re supposed to color outside the lines. So, you’re on the right track.

    As for your question about is it worthwhile to spend your skill slots on combat, doing so will set a tone for your game. A character with this specialization will be mechanically never able to miss an attack, even if they have to pay a dire price.

    This won’t break the game, if that’s your concern. But I don’t think it will encourage players to see violence as only one approach among many. Rather the opposite as it means a player who takes this specialization is gonna be rewarded for trying to solve their problems with murder.

    Since combat is such usually such huge part of the game it’s an awful large portion of the narrative pie to dole out in a single skill. I think just about everyone will want this skill. NPC’s included.

    So, while it won’t break the game, it will change it, drastically. And maybe that works at your table. It’s WoDu! Make it your own! But would shoot for something smaller in scope, personally. Maybe “disarms” or “trick shots” or some part of combat that my character is really good at rather than the whole thing.

  7. Dylan, good insights, thanks.

    Ok, then, as I mull those over, let me tweak my question one more time, more generally: how many of you who do play WoDu find that the skills system as written works fine? How many of you feel that the “you never truly fail” skill system should be altered? How many think something like a freeform Aspect system would work fine where WoDu currently plugs in skills? 🙂 Many thanks again.

  8. WoDu skills system works just fine at my table. Try it, rules as written for 3 sessions and then if you want to change it try and hack it. See how that works. That’s the point of WoDu. It’s a fragmentary rulesset you’re supposed to make your own.

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