The topic of PvP recently came up again over on the Reddit group. I remember seeing an interesting way to handle PvP in “A Storm Eternal”, and I think we could make it work for DW.
When you resort to the sword to enforce your will, roll+STR. *On 10+, hold 3. *On 7–9, hold 2. *On a 6-, hold 1. If your opponent is a fellow player’s character, they roll too and hold accordingly. If an NPC, the GM holds in secret based on the skill of the NPC (1–4, generally). Spend your hold in secret, without knowing how your opponent is spending theirs.
• For each hold you spend to strike hard, inflict +1 Harm.
• For each hold you spend to defend yourself, suffer -1 Harm.
• For each hold you spend to come out on top, you better your chance to win.
Both of you reveal how you’ve spent. Exchange harm simultaneously, and then whoever spent more to come out on top has the other at their mercy. If this is a tie, both get 3 more hold to spend, secret as before, and so on until someone wins or someone is killed.
The question is how to go about switching harm to HP…
3 thoughts on “The topic of PvP recently came up again over on the Reddit group.”
Replace 1 harm with “1 damage die.” And the damage die is your class damage. So if the fighter spends 3 on striking hard, they’re doing 3d10 damage. The wizard who spends 3 only does 3d4 damage. Don’t come to blows with the fighter.
I’m dubious as to how well this would work in a DW framework, though. Regardless of how you port the the damage, damage is fundamentally different in DW than it is in Storm Eternal (or AW Dark Ages, which is where this move originally came from). If I remember correctly, most PCs have 1 or 2 armor… meaning you’ve usually got to spend a lot to inflict just 1 harm. But any harm that does get through is a pain in the arse to heal. In AWDA, at least, you only naturally heal 1 harm per season and if you don’t get special care, excess harm is permanent. As a result, the decisions about striking hard vs. winning vs. defending yourself are really poignant.
In DW, your HP bounce back super easily; the lasting threat isn’t there, and the tactics thus change significantly.
Plus, PCs with the highest damage output usually also have the highest HP (and often the highest STR). So you’ve got a huge imbalance there… which is maybe what you want?
I think you’d want to run through a handful of “likely” exchanges between core classes (fighter vs. paladin, paladin vs. thief, druid vs. thief, etc.).
Hmm. Just thinking about those hypotheticals made me think of another issue. The SE move continues looping if no one outspends the other to win. But in DW, the druid would almost certainly shape change after the initial exchange. The wizard would try to break away and cast a spell. No one but the fighter/paladin/barbarian is going to want to stay in the scrum, but the move doesn’t give those other PCs an “out.” Normal DW combat usually does.
Is roll +STR fair? Perhaps something like, the player can choose DEX or STR?
How about this. Mostly based off of the AW2.0 Single Combat move but with some inspiration from the MF0:Firebrands Sword to Sword game.
When you come to blows with a PC, whoever attacks first is the aggressor, their target is the defender. The aggressor describes how they attack and rolls+STAT (whichever is appropriate). If the defender is aware of the attack they can choose to give the aggressor −1. On a 10+ the defender loses this exchange. On a 6− the aggressor loses this exchange. On a 7-9 the aggressor may choose to end the combat, but the defender can choose to fight on as the aggressor. If there is a loser of this exchange they must pick from the options below.
– submit to the winner’s mercy
– suffer harm and fight on as the aggressor.
I think the GM decides what “harm” is, it can be rolling the winner’s damage dice, but it might be something more fictionally appropriate.
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