Hey everyone, just wanted to see where everyone stood on something.

Hey everyone, just wanted to see where everyone stood on something.

Hey everyone, just wanted to see where everyone stood on something. In my games I tend to allow people who attack a distracted or unaware enemy without rolling hack and slash, but I realized I have never had to address someone shooting something that was unaware unless it was the Ranger using Called Shot. Do you all let other characters who are attacking unaware targets from range just roll damage like with a Hack and Slash or do you have them roll Volley unless they are the Ranger? Also, I tend to have spell casters roll Cast a Spell even if the target doesn’t know they are there. Do you have any opinions about that as well? I look forward to hearing from you all! And I hope you had a happy holiday!

13 thoughts on “Hey everyone, just wanted to see where everyone stood on something.”

  1. i’ve wondered this myself. but i came to the conclusion that it’s easy to just swing your sword at someone when you’re sneaking up behind them, archery is always difficult. the ranger’s Called Shot specifically states that they can just deal damage for one of two reasons:

    1) they just copied and pasted the Thief’s Backstab and changed it from melee to range

    2) the Ranger is so practiced at archery that they can shoot an unmoving target in their sleep

    Spellcasting is archery on steroids. Bad things can always happen, even when you just want a little light. i always make them roll for magical effects unless they have some serious aid (scrolls, gems of arcane power, etc)

  2. I have been talking about for ages how the volley move is kinda broken.

    And yeah you need to roll this. On the other hand, a weapon that doesn’t require you to aim (because maybe it magically always hits) never makes you roll volley.

    The move is weird.

  3. Aaron Griffin As long as they are already hiding I tend to not make them Defy Danger to shoot, however I do have them do it if they want to remain hidden.

    Mark Weis You and I are of the same mind on how we justify things, sir.

  4. “If you attack a defenseless or unaware character, ask the MC if you could possibly miss. If not, they die. If you could, roll volley”

    Boom, problem solved with a straightforward player facing move.

  5. Aaron Griffin that’s true, but it was an example. the H&S move also doesn’t trigger if they’re defenseless, ie you have them tied up or they have surrendered

  6. William Nichols you should also ask if they are able to be hurt by your arrows (or whatever) otherwise it also works and deals damage against stuff it really shouldn’t.

  7. Scott Selvidge Hiding and doing things while hidden are a little different. The danger of exposure when attacking is likely present – the difference in exposure when shooting from range might simply be who notices.

    If I jump out of the shadows with a dagger to stab a guard, I’d roll DD to see if I get the jump on him (maybe the Druid quickly rolls Aid, saying “I covered him in dark swamp muck to mask his scent and reflection”). If not, he might turn and defend, or might die while yelping loudly and alerting everyone.

    If I shoot at the same guard from the wall, I’d probably expect them to die regardless. But the danger to defy might be exposing myself to get the shot – maybe someone sees a glint of the arrow in the moonlight (Druid: “I coated his arrows in the same muck!” rolls Aid).

    There’s always risks in these sorts of things. The risk when doing sneaky stuff is exposure.

  8. Aaron Griffin Right. But if I’m going to make them roll for firing at an unaware enemy from a distance I would just make it Volley, not Defy Danger. If they want to try and remain hidden afterwards then I would have them DD to keep their position from being compromised, unless they chose to put themselves in danger as an option. Then they would have definitely been exposed. It would also depend on the enemy they are shooting on whether I let them auto-kill it. But that’s just how I GM. I do make them defy danger when attacking someone unaware from melee range unless something is distracting the enemy in a way that would keep them from sensing the player (loud noise to mask footsteps, something drawing their gaze away from them, a strong odor keeping a hound from smelling them, etc).

  9. First lets look at the fiction.

    Normal Guy or thing that is hurt by your arrows: Not aware of you.

    No roll, just roll damage. They are not aware of you and not alert. Now if they were someone that was supernaturally aware, like another thief or something, then sure, roll. OR if it is a big plot point that they be able to defend themselves, then roll.

    Dragon or something not hurt by your arrows: No roll aware or not. You describe the arrows being fired off, even hitting and then…doing no damage, bounces right off that dragon scale. They will get the hint real fast. No Hack and Slash is triggered or Volly is triggered as you can’t hurt them. Why Roll?

    Magical Spell: Something can always go wrong, roll always, even on a 6- I would give them their damage on an unaware opponent. Say, a Fireball into a cave. They can’t avoid it and are vulnerable to it. So boom, roll damage. Now the side effects of the spell, that is what you are looking to add drama to. You as the GM want your Moves to come into play. So, play out the magic, roll always as they could mess up and be at a negitive on their next spell, forget their spell, or other effect (such as a creature move or an environment move) in response to the mess up.

    Something to remember here: Fiction First and the Heroes ARE heroes. Let them be for sake of having fun (fan of the PCs) and for the story. ONLY if it is important to the story or adding to the drama do you have a roll. (Magic is Drama on it’s own)

    Tell a good story. Fill their lives with danger and drama. Let the good guys be Big and epic and powerful and IMPORTANT. They are the focus of the story.

  10. The way I handle it:

    – If your melee target can’t fight back, no Hack & Slash.

    Volley always triggers when attacking with a ranged weapon, because hey, you might miss.

    Cast a Spell always triggers when casting a spell because magic is complicated and dangerous.

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