I’ve always allowed players to jump in with the Aid/Interfere move after seeing another player’s roll and it’s never caused problems. But in last Saturday’s one shot game, players declined to help each other on numerous occasions after seeing that granting a +1 would not change the results.

An easy way to address this is to simply say players have to make the Aid/Interfere move before the target rolls for their move. That could still be a bit unsatisfying though, as successful help might still not do anything.

Has anyone tried changing the Aid/Interfere move so that it increases or decreases the effect level of the target’s roll? Turning a 7-9 into a 10+, for example. If so, how did it go?

9 thoughts on “Aid/Interfere”

  1. I always try to keep the “to do it, do it” mantra in mind. Sure, if you see your friend’s in a bad spot and nothing you can do would help them you’re allowed not to interfere. However, the “how” is always more important – if you leave them helpless they might be much worse off than without any help, even if a 5- fail puts you both in a tight spot.

    Example: A couple of adventurers are fighting masked bandits on a narrow mountain road. The bastards fight dirty, so when one of my player misses his hack and slash I tell them the bandit deflected their blow and used a moment of imbalance to push them off the cliff. I’m going for a hard move here, Defy Danger might allow them to survive the fall with just some damage, but they’ll fall. So if someone’s crying “I try to catch them”, that’s an Aid for me. It makes thematic sense for the Bonds helping the characters here, and the dice will tell me how much does the aiding character expose themselves to the bandits…

  2. An idea that occurs to me: if they can’t bump up the result of the other play, tell them they can interfere and either cancel the action or take it over entirely. Either way exposing themself to risk.

  3. Sounds to me like a case by case difficult choice (soft move).

    ‘So fighter, the cleric rolled a 4 on his defend, so even with your (successful) aid you won’t bump it up enough for a hit yeah? So what about this… Your +1 Aid will actually allow the cleric to make a 7-9 Defend move, BUT In edition to exposing yourself to danger (if you roll a 7-9 on your aid roll), in your haste to help; you’ve shrugged your backpack off and the contents scatter across the narrow bridge – one of which is sent plummeting to unseen depths below… I wonder which item it will be?

  4. A )

    Uncharted Worlds does just that. The “helping move” lets you jump one level up or down (help/interfere).

    Problem then is what about stacked help. Two people helping a third in DW is +2, two people helping a third in UW is… a weird thing.

    B )

    You could also use the version in AW 2E:

    “When you help or interfere with someone who’s making a roll, roll+Hx. On a 10+, they take +2 (help) or 2 (interfere) to their roll. On a 7to9, they take +1 (help) or -1 (interfere) to their roll. On a miss, be prepared for the worst.”

    So you can go up to +2 if you are lucky. You are now willing to risk in more situations, the ones you’d make a difference with a +1 and the ones you’d make a difference with a +2 too.

    C )

    “Show the consecuences and ask” AKA if you want a very big reward, I’ll be very harsh with your bet:

    Do you really want to save her? Well, I guess you could jump in the face of danger, get harm and then roll defy danger. 10+ you get that damage and then you get to make her succeed; 7to9 you get that damage and you get to make her succeed only to get even more hurt/in an even worse position yourself; less than 6 Dude, you’re fucked up and you made her fucked up too.

  5. The current (unpublished) version of Fourth World (which already changes the move to use any stat, sort of like defy danger) changes the 10+ result to add/substract the stat the aider/interferer used, rather than +1/-2.

  6. Yeah, I’ve done exactly that in DW (specifically for Stonetop). A 7+ shifts the results a full outcome (miss >> 7-9, 7-9 >> 10+, 10-11 >> 12+ if it matters).

    We’ve also roll +STAT (instead of +BOND) because of how Bonds work in Stonetop, and changed the 7-9 result to be “the GM will tell you what’s required to get involved, or the cost of doing so—you can back down and stay out of it, or accept the GM’s offer and shift the result of the roll as if you rolled 10+.” (That was because the “you also expose yourself to danger, retribution, or cost” result always seemed bad to me, and more of an inherent part of how you choose to get involved.)

    We’ve played ~20 sessions with the move like this, and I’ve found that:

    * It doesn’t really impact whether Aid/Interfere comes before the roll or after (see for discussion). That seems to be more about the group’s social dynamic than anything else.

    * It DOES make Aid/Interfere before the roll a reasonable thing to do. And it’s definitely eliminated those “I Aided but it didn’t matter” moments and made the “I Aided but it caused new problems” moments feel more worthwhile.

    * It has made Aiding after the roll less a matter of the dice (i.e. why bother Aiding unless they rolled a 6 or 9) and more a matter of stakes and opportunity. They get much more interested in Aiding when there’s a miss (or even a 7-9) on a clutch roll.

    * That has caused some spotlight stealing. On a miss, we end up “holding that thought” and seeing if anyone wants to/is able to jump in Aid. And especially on a 7-9 to Aid, there’s the negotiation of extra cost/consequence to get involved. And then we get back to the original roll, which is now modified.

    * The spotlight stealing wouldn’t be so bad, except that it now can happen on any roll. I actually find myself missing the mechanical trigger of rolling a 6 or a 9, prompting us to be like “ooh, an Aid could make the difference, anyone want to jump in?”

  7. And if you’re interested, we recently (like, last session) started trying this out:

    When you help another character who’s about to roll for a move, tell us how you do it. If everyone agrees that it would help, roll a d6 and you can replace one of their dice with yours, but you are exposed to any risk, cost, or consequences associated with the roll.

    When you jump in to help another character who just rolled, tell us how you plan to do it and ask the GM what else is required or what that consequences will be. If you get accept, increase your ally’s roll by +1.

  8. Alpo _ You don’t stack Aid in DW. The rules state, “No matter how many people aid or interfere with a given roll, the target only gets the +1 or -2 once. Even if a whole party of adventurers aid in attacking an ogre, the one who makes the final attack only gets +1.”

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