I have seen debilities ran one of two ways:

I have seen debilities ran one of two ways:

I have seen debilities ran one of two ways:

1) They make the relevant modifier -1

2) They reduce the relevant modifier by -1

I’ve never been too picky about how a GM runs it, but I’ve always thought they make the relevant modifier -1. Has anyone else gotten this impression, or any other I haven’t listed?

8 thoughts on “I have seen debilities ran one of two ways:”

  1. Yeah, what Jeremy Strandberg​ said. Debilities reduce the relevant ability modify by -1. Not to -1. It’s on page 28 of the DW book.

    That being said, a debility that reduced an ability modifier to -1 would be particularly nasty.

  2. I have found debilities awkward to write/name in text anyway. Essentially they are nothing but “take -1 ongoing” or perhaps “take -1 forward.” So I write them that way, like “take -1 INT ongoing” for an INT debility. No point in using a term when it adds a completely unnecessary level of complexity and is not any more economical to express.

  3. Interesting. I’ve found that the debilities do generate fiction, typically from my players. Like, they play up being shaky or dazed or whathaveyou.

    Also, you can make debilities matter by making custom moves or classes or magic items or whatever that rely on them and interact with them. It’s a lot more elegant to say “mark a debility” than to say “take -1 ongoing to a stat of your choice until you Recover for 3 days (or 1 day with a healer). You can’t choose a stat that’s currently receiving this penalty.”

  4. I actually don’t even like that prescriptive text. In practice, the duration and label is more dependent on the fiction for me. And players almost never get a choice on which stat is affected. So I wouldn’t ever add that text. But I see your point.

  5. Interesting perspectives, but I’m inclined to agree with the Ray Otus quote that I plus 1’d, about how it’s just another -1 ongoing. Maybe that had some effect on my bias toward them becoming -1 instead of only lower by -1. I’m thinking about scrapping them for Visual Novel World.

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