20 thoughts on “How do you handle incoming missile fire?”

  1. What’s the context? Are you being sniped from a tower in an open field?

    Are you taking arrows behind stone walls?

    Is someone shooting up the tavern with repeating crossbows?

    Is someone holding a flintlock inches from your face?

    Context matters a lot in answering this.

  2. If you’re behind cover, cool, you have armor. Cover is 1-armor for okay cover, and 2-armor for awesome cover. If they just chill, they’re going to take damage at every reasonable occasion — like if they spend a lot of time arguing about what to do, or waiting for the volley to stop. Hiding from arrows isn’t a move. If they do something else that isn’t hiding from arrows, they’re likely defying danger to do it.

  3. If you mean how do you set up that they are about to be fired on I would say something like “Kobolds appear on the ledge above you, after a moment one eyes X and readies to throw his spear.” Or, “The archers draw back their bows and release a volley, the arrows fly straight before arcing down towards you.”

    If you mean what happens after I just ask “What do you do?”

    Alfred Rudzki  Things like “armor if you take cover” doesn’t make sense. Either you’re in cover or you’re not. If I duck behind a small stone wall, the wall doesn’t make me more durable, either the arrows strike the stone and don’t hurt me, or they get me so I take normal damage. If I’m hiding in a bush, then the GM decides if the arrows land or not, because the leaves aren’t going to stop the metal tip from digging into my forehead.

  4. Patrick Schenk Giving a bonus to armor from cover comes directly from the rulebook, page 21. If you’re just saying you don’t like that rule then that’s totally fair, but it is exactly what the rules suggest.

  5. Alfred Rudzki I think it would be fine if the cover protected them completely, rather than treating it as armor. If they sit there too long though, that’s a Golden Opportunity to reveal an unwelcome truth (some dark elves have left the treetops and are circling around to shoot them from an angle where they don’t have cover). And if the PCs try to fire back or break from cover, they’re probably Defying Danger to pop up out of cover.

    The Dungeon World guide ( https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3269630/dwdotcom/eon-guide/Dungeon%20World%20Guide%20pdf%20version%201.2.pdf ) actually has examples of quite similar situations on pages 14 and 15 – a character taking fire from goblin archers.

  6. Dave Sealy Page 23 actually. And it’s talking about temporary armor. Meaning things that don’t fully protect you. Like a wind wall or something, that will provide some protection, but wont actually stop the arrows.

    In the book they also use the example of a player wanting to defy danger to avoid arrows and duck into cover, GM says they are right next to is and don’t need to roll. Pillar completely nullifies the attack.

    Standing behind a castle stone wall doesn’t give you +2 armor, it gives you complete immunity to the begger throwing bottles (unless he’s got one hell of a throwing arm).

  7. Patrick Schenk It’s page 21 on the PDF I have. I agree that being behind a pillar or a stone castle wall blocks arrows completely, but I think it’s reasonable (and I read the text as saying), that an armour bonus be granted for hiding in cover such as a bush, or standing in a field of boulders or behind a low stone wall, if the PC’s response to the attack doesn’t involve them taking complete cover.

  8. “Temporary” doesn’t mean “don’t fully protect.” It means “give bonus armor for a short while,” obviously. Who the heck thinks temporary = doesn’t fully protect? And who mentioned standing behind a stone wall? That’s ridiculous, and I never would have mentioned that. That’s a pretty goofy example! 🙂

    In the book example they are ducking into cover, so of course they get to defy danger. The context given by OP was that the PCs are already in cover which obviously isn’t a move. So, the question is what should the GM do in this circumstance and my answer was give them armor because the book says so since they’re probably going to still take damage since they’re sitting ducks.

    (Plus, we don’t know what kind of cover they’re behind, so it’s a good rule to point out.)

  9. I’d say, as long as they are behind the cover and not acting in any way other than keeping out of the line of fire, they don’t get hurt or have to make a move. When they make a move to attack back or move out of cover, they defy danger. If they are partially covered by the cover, then if they do take damage I would give them extra armor against it, with the amount depending on how good the cover is or how they describe attacking from it. That’s just my two cents.

  10. Guys, both are valid options for a GM.  A lot of underbrush could conceivably slow an arrow so that it is not as effective.  Defy Danger is perfect for avoiding damage.  As I saw stated, you give the set up of your in the shrubbery under a visual cover and they are firing into it, then ask “what do you do?” after you describe the situation.  If they stay put, then you can nail them with damage, using a -1 or for dense brush a -2 as armor.  I would say that the important thing is how to set it up.  Cinematically, you first set up the scene: Arrows are coming at you from a distance, apparently on target, THEN ask “What do you do?”  They can stay put, allow themselves to be flushed out, raise a shield or barrier to block it (this includes a wind wall spell or other spell)  or even take FURTHER cover behind trees and the like.  Most of which is a Defy Danger with some creative descriptions.  Remember Defy Danger can use more than one attribute for different situations. 

    Being a “Fan of the characters”, If they stay put, I would prob give them +2 armor and have a 2nd party of baddies start searching the brush, putting more pressure on them.  If they “dive for cover behind trees” then I would have a Defy Danger to avoid all damage and maybe do 1/2 damage on a 6 or less and on a 7-9 (Reveal an unwanted truth) knowledge of the second group coming and that they are trying to flush you out.  If they abandon their cover: Defy Danger to avoid damage but by the fiction they are now in the open and definitely spotted.  The “Raise a shield and hide behind it” would be interposing a barrier between them and the arrows, not necessarily armor but keeps them from being positively identified.

    Lots of ways to handle this, much of it is depending on how you want to run it and what the players do in the fiction.

  11. Marshall Miller Yes, definitely! Defend could be used to get 3 holds and have the damage 1/8th, I would even allow a Hack&Slash to be made to attack the arrows, If successful they would roll their damage and that would minus the incoming damage.  With one person Defending, one person attacking the arrows (hopefully a fighter for better damage) and then +1 Armor from branches and the like, it is highly likely that with such good teamwork that no damage will be taken.  But not “being a Fan” let’s see what that does:  Zakath the Wizard, uses a cantrip to create a bit of wind and move more branches in the way of the arrows, Tracy the Thief grabs the Palidin’s large shield to hide the party behind, while Bendon the Brave, the palidin, bravely cuts the arrows out of the air.  (after some rolls: Cast a Spell, Defend, and Hack&Slash from the party) the party successfully avoids the attack.  Now brave adventurer’s, after failing their volley of arrows the Drow are now moving around and trying to flank you knowing that “Someone” is in the brush and they are dangerous and need to be dealt with, What do you do?

    Was that cheap, No.  As a GM (and being a fan), Applaud the teamwork and reward them with a brief respite to gather their wits.  They have just successfully handled the situation and made some great entertainment that will stick with them.

  12. Thank you all for reminder that the moves follow the fiction.

    I had the players use Defend a lot this past weekend. What I did not do was outline the fictional parts leading up to it to frame the action and that would then have informed what move should have been invoked. Still flexing my DW GM muscles I guess.

    “Arrows inbound… What do you do?” would have been enough.

  13. Chris Shorb Hey, No Prob.  As a GM, it is easy to get caught up in things but the key thing is the Fiction.  Remember to push the players to come up with some creative scenes.  If they are bland on their descriptions, ask for more details and to describe it, the sounds, the smells, the visuals, the feeling of excitement, blur of combat, These are the things that make the game just that much more fun.  In my early years of gaming, before this great narrative system, we had players jumping up and motioning how they are doing what they are doing, encourage that and make that type of action easier, sometimes awarding a +1 Forward for the roll is a good start to get the creative juices flowing.  Giving a +1 to a roll is NOTHING compared to your players making you see it, visualize it and feel it, and having them do the same for their other players.  It is all about the FUN.  That is what being a Fan of the PC’s is all about.  Enjoying them having fun, being bummed with them when their actions fails, bringing them to the brink of challenge and letting them overcome it.  But not making it seem like you are giving in and letting them win.  Make them feel that they have earned it.

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