Ahoy my virtual friends of DW!

Ahoy my virtual friends of DW!

Ahoy my virtual friends of DW! We played a great session last night, our 4th one in this adventure. My group made level 3 and our Druid took Elemental Mastery. I need some insight into what your experiences are with this move. At one point John the Raven King (Druid) was carrying a lantern when the party encountered zombies in a crypt. John casts EM and says “I call upon the flame to shoot forth and burn the zombie nearest Zithandra (Ranger). Essentially she wanted to create a fireball. She rolls an 11 and chooses two, with “You avoid paying natures price” not selected. What does this mean exactly? I wasn’t sure so I caused John to be burned ever so slightly for playing with fire.

What are your experiences with this? Did I do it right?

8 thoughts on “Ahoy my virtual friends of DW!”

  1. Nature’s price is up to you. What would a fire spirit ask of the druid? Maybe a taste of his flesh (which you did)? Maybe release it in the forest to burn wild? Maybe it desires to light the North Reach light house, so it can see the land for miles..

  2. Thanks Aaron Griffin. Now question for you. Is this bargain, if you will, something we should discuss prior to making the choice or let them choose and I narrate the result?

  3. I’ve interpreted nature’s price a few different ways (none of which are mutually exclusive):

    1) As some sort of “balance” that must be maintained. E.g. if the druid calls on the flames to lash out and blast her enemies, the price might be the druid’s own body heat. The flame spirits draw on her body for the extra energy, leaving her cold and shivering and confused.

    2) As some price that the spirits specifically demand. This involves playing the spirits as NPCs, deciding what these spirits might want, and posing it to the druid as a cost. This actually requires a bit of role-playing, and possibly letting the player change their mind after hearing what nature’s price will be. It might also not be appropriate during a tense, sensitive situation. So in your fireballing-the-zombies example, maybe the fire spirit finds the idea of burning such foul things to be distasteful, and demands that the druid find it something better to burn later. I like to have my elemental spirits demand future payments of my druids, and then…

    3) As retribution for calling on them again without having payed a previous price. Like, if the druid promises the flame spirits a chance to burn some fine aged wood after burning the zombies, and she calls on the fire spirits again before finding them some such wood to burn, then paying nature’s price might involve them burning the druid, or her stuff, or something important nearby, as they petulantly demand that she keep her bargain. Heck, this might be nature’s price on any subsequent use of Elemental Mastery, even if the druid calls up something other than the fire spirits. “Hey lady, no fair calling in scabs until you pay us what we’ve earned!”

  4. If you go with Jeremy’s 2nd option of a Chiminage-style price demanded by the spirits, you could run it like you would if they owe any other NPC a favour.

    Play out the action first until they have some time to talk, and then the spirits manifest and demand their payment. The Druid doesn’t have to agree to the first thing the spirits request, but something must be negotiated to the satisfaction of the spirits before they consider the price paid.

    And the personality of the spirits could be quite different. Fire spirits might be capricious, impatient and child-like, while earth spirits are very slow and patient, but ancient hard-line traditionalists who consider favours owed to be a huge deal… that sort of thing.

    And of course if the Druid doesn’t deal with spirits in good faith, maybe next time they’ll be less accommodating and start negotiating their price in the middle of the action instead of waiting until afterwards.

  5. I think you handled the 10+ price fairly. Burning him a bit seems fine, considering it was such a high roll. I would definitely not make any price on a 10+ very drastic. 7-9 could have been worse (I like the stolen body heat example). 6- on that move should be something major.

    Maybe the fire spirit he summoned is ravenous and spreads through the tunnels, causing the party to have to retreat. It then takes the form of a fiery serpent that snakes it’s way across the landscape, burning everything it comes into contact with. You would get a new enemy for the party, a grim portent, and maybe even a new front for them. That is unless the druid wants to try and ask the water spirits to put out the fire spirit. The druid would run the risk of failing that too of course. So it’s either a heavy rain that puts out the serpent, or maybe he ends up calling down forty nights of torrential rain. Whoops.

  6. Bryan Alexander Well, for one I wouldn’t stat it up since it’s a huge being of flame. But I would give it moves like “Incinerate something”, “breathe blinding smoke”, and “grow larger by consuming”. It would boil down to the party doing something big to stop it (like the aforementioned downpour or a ritual or something big) not just attacking it.

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