So I just got back from Dreamation convention where I got a break as game master and got to be a player.

So I just got back from Dreamation convention where I got a break as game master and got to be a player.

So I just got back from Dreamation convention where I got a break as game master and got to be a player. The person running it always dealt damage on a partial success for hack and slash which is the opposite of how I run it. It made combat brutal but also took away a lot of the cinematic shine of the system in my opinion. I’m not saying either is right or wrong but It made me wonder how others handle partial success on hack and slash. Just curious and not passing judgement but if you share your feelings on this it would be of interest.

15 thoughts on “So I just got back from Dreamation convention where I got a break as game master and got to be a player.”

  1. I do an attack with the enemy, as the rules say. It may or may not do damage depending on the attack (mostly it does), but it’s never “just” doing damage.

  2. 7-9 is always “something bad” but not necessarily damage. Perhaps the spear landed, but the shaft broke, or maybe they player didn’t succeed in the specific damage they were trying to deal… or maybe, the just got a knife in the gut!

  3. I much prefer ‘fictional damage’ to HP loss. Though that said, I am partial to HP being a measure of ‘mistake potential’, and when the player is low on HP, offering them an ugly choice: Do you take the damage (risking death’s door) or some other fictional nastiness (concussion, broken limbs, flung over a chasm, friend gored, spell book destroyed).

  4. I tend to use a partial success to bring a twist to the combat. As some examples; the goblins trip you as several of their kind emerge from the shadows. You slash the ogre but it slings you across the room into a bookshelf that now pins you. The Paladin’s mace cracks the lich in its skull but not before the creature summons tendrils of dark energy seeking to snare the hero. Granted coming up with these consequences is more draining on brain juice than just saying it counter attacks but I think it makes battles dynamic and more memorable.

  5. Yeah I think it depends on the combat and the flow really if its an epic combat and people are getting into then 7-9s will mostly do complication instead of damage.

    If I feel though people do just want to get it over with I will just do damage.

    I would like a rewarding that includes other types of moves on 7-9 because i feel most new gms will do by the book and the book just says deal damage.

  6. David Lamas that is correct but the wording does seem to point to pile on damage. Don’t have the book with me but isn’t it stated somewhere that dealing damage on a partial success is often the most boring course of action?

  7. Erik Buchanan Might be, the quote I found is on page 141 (spanish edition, so this may vary).

    “Doing damage is a move, but other moves might do damage too”.

    The example they give is that an ogre throwing a character against a wall does damage even if the move was to separate the characters because the fiction says that would do damage.

    That’s what an attack means to me.

  8. to me, the partial success just means use a monster move, and if the monster move is vague, i make it fulfill a GM move

    for example, the other day i was GMing a group and the fighter got an 8 on a HnS to chop an assassin vine that had his shield arm ensnared. I chose to make it super intense and fulfill the Messy tag on the vine so i had him take a little bit of damage for the vine being ripped off of him but i primarily made him lose his shield.

    It all depends on the fiction, the dice roll itself (for example, the dice rolled a 5 but the modifier made it a 7 i’ll make it slightly worse, or if the dice rolled a 10 but the modifier made it a 9 i’ll lighten the consequences), and the abilities of the player and of the monster.

  9. I prefer to see the 7-9 as a Success but with Drama. You as the GM CAN choose to do damage if it makes sense in the situation. You can choose to do another move. A GM Move, a Creature Move. But only if the fiction makes sense.

    One example: A Big Oger is charging your way with his big Ham Fists swinging about. What do you do?

    Swing with my Sword to cut down the Ogre in his tracks. 7-9 roll: The player does damage.

    GM: Ok you slice at the Ogres arms (roll Damage) and he is not happy with this and picks you up by the sword arm as he doesn’t want to get hit again, now you are in a grapple and he is squeezing your wrists something aweful.

    In this example, I didn’t do the damage but Fiction-wise the character cannot swing the sword at the Ogre and is up off his feet and grappled. Quite a situation but it forces the Player to think about the Fiction. Obviously the character will be making a Defy Danger next BUT what does he do? How does he do it? Is it time for another player to come to the rescue? If so, bounce the spotlight over to them and have them go. Plenty of Options. Another would be to swing at the Ogre doing damage but the swing gets the sword stuck in a tree. As I said: Success WITH DRAMA. weaving into the game the fiction.

  10. Matrix Forby I find going to defy danger on a partial is often an ideal way to make a scene more intense. On a similar Ogre story a player described jumping on its back to start hacking the base of its neck. The player got a partial success so I said “you grab the brute around the neck and slice deep into an artery. It screams in pain and then starts to run in reverse in an attempt to smash you into a wall. What do you do?”

    The player defied danger by quickly leaping off its back. She got a partial success so she avoided getting smashed into the wall but her sword spun across the floor on the opposite side of the ogre. To me this is a much more interesting fight than you stab the ogre in the back but it body slams you into to a wall.

  11. Yes, and you could simply roll the damage (maybe at a 1 damage) that is for the Ogre as the damage for the attack, I suppose that Damage AND losing your sword would be more of a 6 effect.  Yes you “Failed” I am going to let you do your damage but you take damage and lose your sword.  As I said: Drama!   It is the stuff of action packed combats that have feeling to it.  As the GM you could easily have the character do their damage, grab by the sword arm and throw across the room (into a wall, now Defy Danger+Dex to keep your sword)  and even other endless variations.  All have great Drama involved, great Action and counter action.  That is exactly what I love about the game.

Comments are closed.