I’m noticing some awkwardness in how Scout Ahead and Navigate interact.

I’m noticing some awkwardness in how Scout Ahead and Navigate interact.

I’m noticing some awkwardness in how Scout Ahead and Navigate interact.

First of all, nominally, they are “resolved” in that order. If this means that the consequences of a failed Scout Ahead are resolved before the Navigate move, then an aced Navigate afterwards feels weird. Likewise, it also feels …hollow if you don’t resolve the Scouting failure, and the Navigate is aced. Does the move for that failure just dissolve? If not, it seems awkward for the Judge to come up with a move for that situation.

Second, if there’s an enforced order of resolution, it feels like Navigate should be made first, to decide the exact path through an area the party (and thus the scout) takes, with the scout’s situation being more “local” to that path. If the navigator is terrible, it may lead the party into danger, but the scout has a chance to still alert them before they stumble right into it.


12 thoughts on “I’m noticing some awkwardness in how Scout Ahead and Navigate interact.”

  1. Couldn’t the Scout say,

    “Hey, I see a couple ways ahead. Shorter but more challenging or longer yet easier.”

    Navigator then makes the call and that is the result of their decision.

    I’m at work so don’t have access to the moves specifically, but we could read the concepts of Scout and Navigator in that way… And maybe the GM can make the decision based on how the players describe the fictional way they are moving forward through those Wilds.

  2. If someone rolls a 6- on Scout Ahead and the GM introduces a challenge or threat, that threat is dealt with in the usual way (ask them what they do, etc.). Things may very well snowball from that point in the usual fashion.

    Once the threat is resolved and the party regroups to continue their journey, the GM can decide whether that means calling for another Scout Ahead roll or going right to Navigate, depending on the nature and degree of the interruption. In other words, a 6- Scout Ahead roll may result in a kind of “reset” of the Perilous Journey procedure.

    I see how the procedure can feel awkward. I arrived at it after a number of different approaches, and it worked well for our group. For 2e I can be more explicit about the procedure, or reexamine it based on feedback.

    To that end, David Perry and Rob Brennan , have you experienced awkwardness/confusion in practice, or are you reacting to the way the moves are written? I would love to know specific details about what makes the moves hard to use in play.

  3. In my current game (as a player), I think we end up not resolving a failed Scout Ahead before rolling Navigate to see if we “get out of the trouble” with a 10+. It always felt weird, but I realize now this is not quite what is intended.

    I also feel like it would be pretty rough to have to roll another Scout Ahead after an encounter before finishing the journey (at least in the context of our game where we’re trudging through wilderness each session with 3-4 PJs just to get to a known dungeon and we’re all like 0 WIS and INT 🙂 ) Obviously it’s the Judge’s call.

    I also think, since the two moves are intended to always be rolled in context of each other, the wording of the moves and their 7-9 options could refer to each other more intuitively. If I feel up to it later I’ll try rewriting them to show what I mean, but maybe you get it.

  4. Hi Jason Lutes to clarify, I have not used it in anger yet (we did play some dungeon stuff on which I have thoughts). I just felt it was jarring on read-though. When I scout and get a danger (even on a 7-9!) it feels weird that navigate can tell me on 10+ that there were no dangers. I realize that this can be interpreted as no additional dangers…but it still feels off. Now you seem to be saying that it could go scout (miss)->snowball that implies that you have to scout again before you can navigate?

    Would it be an idea to roll navigate first to determine if there is anything that needs to be scouted? (like stay sharp) and then I am thinking could scout be replaced with stay sharp?

  5. And yeah as in the second part of my OP and as Rob Brennan says above, I feel like Navigate should be rolled first.

    Of course, the distinction between Scouting and Navigating has always been a little wishy-washy in my head, even in DW. I need to actually go hiking with someone and see how it works out 😀

  6. Thanks guys, this is helping me see other ways to approach those moves. Maybe even by consolidating them into one? Part of the idea with keeping them separate originally was to give different stats more play during a journey, but there are other ways of doing that.

  7. Hmm. I’ve been thinking about using “declare the stat you use” more broadly… I wonder if there’s a sane way to do it for this, maybe depending on things like the terrain. Hacking through underbrush (STR), recognize landmarks if you’ve been this way before (INT), trudging up a mountain (CON), etc. Maybe it’s best left to GM to decide to trigger associated Saving Throws instead. But I feel like details like that often get left out of actual travel in-game, since PJ is The Thing You Do To Travel.

  8. I feel compelled to point out that just because the Navigator avoided dangers, doesn’t mean the Scout didn’t stumble into one…simplistic, but it works. The party can blame the Scout for the trouble later, or they can owe the party for rescuing them.

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