8 thoughts on “Here’s my first draw of page 1 of my Wardancer playbook.”

  1. The trigger terminology is a little confusing. If I perform the shadow coil dance, the text makes it sound like I trigger two moves, although systematically what’s happening is that I trigger Wardance and then spend the hold I get from rolling on Shadow Coils. Also, Shadow Coils seems more to be an option under Wardance than a move in its own right. It seems like separating the dances out like the wizard’s spellbook and/or calling them something different (like the Masks Nova’s Flares, which I’m guessing this is based on) could help solve this problem.

  2. What James Mendez Hodes said is spot on. On top of that, the trigger feels a little flat, ficion-wise. Plus, I think you’re missing some opportunities for interesting design space. Oh, and I always try to make “hold” a specific named currency.

    So, I’d probably do something like this…


    When you find the pulse of a battle and slip into your wardance, roll+CHA: on a 10+, hold 2 Flow; on a 7-9, hold 1 Flow; on a 6-, hold 1 Flow but find yourself cut off, surrounded, or exposed to an enemy’s attack–the GM will tell you what happens.

    While you maintain your wardance, you can spend Flow 1 for 1 to:

    * Slip from one foe to the next

    * Roll with a with an enemies blow, reducing the damage by half

    If you stop moving (because you are restrained, stunned, etc.), you lose all your Flow.

    Float Like a Butterfly

    While you are unarmored, unencumbered, and hold Flow, you gain +1 Armor.

    Obvious advanced moves include:

    * Adding options to what you can spend Flow on

    * A move that gives you +1 Flow when you wardance

    * A move that increases your Armor bonus to +Flow instead of +1

  3. Other comments…

    Swift: that’s… pretty interesting. Minor thing: I’d probably reword at as “When you Defy Danger using your superior speed and reflexes, treat a 7-9 as a 10+.” You don’t really need indicate rolling with DEX there, and I can imagine a case where maybe they used INT or some other stat (Flow?) but otherwise met the trigger.

    Subject of attention feels a little… off? What’s the space that this move is supposed to fill? Like… is it meant as a way to intimidate foes prior to battle and force their hand? (If so, maybe make it more like I am the Law.) Is it meant to draw attention to yourself and get enemies to engage you? (If so, make it more like the What Are You Waiting For). Or is it meant to be used “socially” as a way to draw all eyes on you? (If so, maybe a hold-and-spend move would be good… though that starts to overlap with Wardance mechanically and I’d personally avoid it.)

    Backgrounds On Born for This and Not My Choice, the fiction doesn’t seem to mesh with the mechanics. Why does being “Born For This” mean I do +2 damage when fighting with two short blades? Why does being forced into the roll make me better at dodging?

    Epiphany is a good link between concept and mechanic, but the mechanic is… specious. Giving someone a multiclass move at 1st level grinds character creation to a halt, as the player spends however long looking at all the unused playbooks looking for the “best” choice (or just a good one). Plus, who knows what kind of broken shit they could come up with?

    Personally, I’d hone the backgrounds to be more about external fiction than internal motivation/history. I think a good vein to tap is: how did you learn to do this? Three options that come to mind:

    * you’re part of a secret society/lodge (move = something about either calling on brothers/sisters of the lodge, and/or people recognizing and respecting your lodge’s reputation)

    * you are possessed by a spirit when you dance (move = while you hold Flow, you’re immune to mind control/can strike spirits as if they were flesh/can see intangible and invisible foes/something else along those lines)

    * you were taught by a wise old master (move = pick a player to be the memory of your master; when you ask this player for your master’s advice, take +1 forward to act on it)

    * you taught yourself to wardance by watching the beasts of the natural world (move = your hands and feat and body are lethal weapons with the hand and close tags)


    The best requirements are those that prompt interesting actions, actions that are more specific than just “play your class.” These mostly get at that. But the best requirements also require some some observable outcome rather than just motivation. So instead of “Leap recklessly into danger” I’d go with “Cause trouble for yourself or your allies by taking an unnecessary risk.” That sort of thing.

  4. Subject of attention, all mentioned. I see it as your trying to get attention to you (away from your companions) and a side effect on 10+ is that observers think you’re awesome or they think you might be too skilled for them.

    Can be used for combat or social encounter

  5. I’ve a bit more time this morning to answer questions. So here goes!

    For the wardance moves, here’s what I’m trying to achieve:

    It’s inspired by the Druid’s shapeshift mechanic. You use one move to generate holds then it is implied that once you shift, you keep your form until you have no more holds.

    Here’s the same : you start by activating the Wardance move and generate holds. It is implied that you keep wardancing until you have no more holds. While wardancing, you can shift the style of dance by using a hold from a wardance move (Shadow Coils, Whirling Death, Women Mist, etc)

    Maybe I don’t need to actually say : while you are wardancing and just specify in the Wardance move that you wardance until you have no more hold left?

  6. Do you feel it’s against the philosophy of DW to use another class’ move?

    For example, the Thief’s Shoot First move makes perfect sense for the Wardancer (renamed Act First). Does it lessen the uniqueness of the Thief? Is it a cheap trick?

    Considering the multiclass moves, I guess it’s fair?

Comments are closed.