A thing happened in our game last night that was kinda cool, but I don’t recall ever happening before.

A thing happened in our game last night that was kinda cool, but I don’t recall ever happening before.

A thing happened in our game last night that was kinda cool, but I don’t recall ever happening before.

The setup: PCs were in the woods, a few days into a perilous journey (using Perilous Wilds moves). They make camp. They roll to Make Camp (+nothing, determines what happens during the night). 6-, so: threat approaches!

I look at my notes for the region and spot: rage drake. That’s all I got. I’m kinda picturing a T-rex, just not quite as big. But still big. Other than that, I know nothing. Ask the ranger… she says they’re known for being berserkers, get in a frenzy and just keep going even when they should be dead.

Cool cool. We go with that. Events unfold. Most of the party flees, but not all. A fight starts. Everyone’s treating this monstrous rage drake with respect, doing some damage to it but not enough to bring it down.

Then, the ranger’s saber-tooth cat (statted up as a follower) leaps at it and rolls a miss. The follower has 15 HP (which is a ton, actually!) but we haven’t established how much damage this thing does.

So I look at the monster creation questionnaire. Clearly this thing is solitary (d10 damage), but I really like the saber-tooth cat and don’t want it to die! So (and this is where the thing happens that I don’t recall happening before), I ask the other players:

“Based on how I’ve described this thing, would call it large or huge?” (“Huge!” they all say.)

“Would you say it’s demonstrated unrelenting strength?” (“Oh yeah!” they say.)

“And, um… y’all picturing it’s armaments as vicious and obvious?” (“Uh huh…” they say, starting to get nervous)

“Well, okay… that’s gonna be…” “…1d10+7 damage.”

And we roll it and everyone’s super tense cuz this could kill the ranger’s pet who like 4 of the PCs have bonds to and oh thank goodness it was only 9 damage! But it could have gone the other way.

What I think is interesting is that we created this monster from pure fiction, on the fly. And when it mattered, we asked ourselves what the fiction demanded this creature’s damage be. And none of us (not even me!) liked the answer. But we went with it, everyone holding their breath, and played to see what happened. And it was awesome.

I love this game.

9 thoughts on “A thing happened in our game last night that was kinda cool, but I don’t recall ever happening before.”

  1. I use the monster creation rules on the fly all the time (almost exclusively even) and never would have thought to “show my work” like that. But from the object lesson, it’s clear that actually increases trust at the table. Brilliant!

  2. * slow clap * I think one of more difficult things to learn to do as a player of the more improv heavy games is to answer questions honestly and then follow through on the results, even when you don’t like the answers.

  3. Hi Jeremy. I think you did it wrongly (of course, this is your game, and these are just my two cents) because you are using Perilous Wilds rules, but not all of them 😀

    If you let a player character to have a Follower, you should build the follower with his rules. So, it isn’t important if the follower is a veteran Elven fighter, a Sabertooth tiger, or a friendly hobbit. If he’s dangerous in fights, he should have d8 damage (pag. 22).

    Rarely the Followers have stats good as player characters, or actual monsters, ’cause they aren’t protagonists of the story.

  4. This is a great example.  In the future you don’t need to do damage on a 6 or less.  You just need to do a move.  While in this circumstance it makes sense to do damage, you could roll the damage and have the creature take 1/2 and be knocked aside and stunned.  That is if the Rage Drake was interested in another meal.   It could also have clocked it (technically doing no damage) and then took it and ran off.  Intending to feed it’s children a live meal latter.  This of course would have caused chase, put the cat out for a few spots of “what do you do?” and given the cat a chance to act later, or to even save the day.  But all in all, I like the directed questions to the players and letting them collectively decide the stats based on the fiction you presented.  It helped you imagine the creature through your player’s eyes and helps with calibration of your descriptions for the future.  Excellent job.

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