21 thoughts on “A monster has 2 armor and your player hits it for 8.”

  1. I usually don’t and wouldn’t reccomend it. Isn’t there a Principle about always ending in fiction? You just describe how the armor works and how it partially stops the blow, that’s it.

  2. Of course. Look, the game is not about the numbers, they’re the least interesting thing! Armor 1 is a leather armor or a tough hide, isn’t it? Higher armors are scales, plate suites or even divine or magical protection. Of course they have to be described differently, and I’d add that if you don’t, you’ll easily end up bored.

  3. So if you don’t let the players know that they are mechanically dealing less, doesn’t that just mean that the monster relatively has 18 hp’s of damage instead of 14 due to all the dmg reduction?

    Do you keep track of Hp’s?

  4. I… don’t understand the first question. I keep track of HPs, yes. And I let the player know that they are dealing less damage. Or rather, I let the characters know that, through fiction. I wuold not (and could not, actually, without violating at least one Principle) say “Jack, you deal 2 point of damage instead of 4, because of armor”. What I say is “Thraraxes, your huge sword hits the target and the blade bits the flesh… although less then you expected. The lizardman’s scales just deflected the blow a little bit”. Y’know. Something like that.

  5. I don’t know a single system (I’m sure there is one, but I’ve never heard of it) where you are suppose to tell the players that kind of stuff. The player doesn’t need to know how much damage they did, they just need to know if their attack did any damage.

    They don’t need to know the dragon has taken 12 damage and is probably only one hit away from death. They just need to know it’s covered in cuts, bleeding heavily and it still has the dagger the wizard threw embedded in its eye.

  6. Nope. As above. I narrate the effect of the armour without talking about the numbers – especially if the armour saves it from going down. On another note: i’m really enjoying your presence in The Dungeon World Tavern and how are engaging people in discussions through your questions. Good on ya 🙂

  7. Lu Quade thanks Lu! My presents and questions are definately self serving, so it’s not all altruism, but I’m glad you said so. Sometime I just want to talk DW philosophy and it’s nice to get like minded people to respond. Also you should come on my show sometime.

  8. I don’t tell the player anything about the mechanics of the monsters they’re fighting. I narrate how hurt the creator looks, and change their behavior accordingly (for monsters that care about dying, anyways). Monsters often try to run away in my games.

  9. By the way, I’m looking down at the handbook and the two Principles I was talking about are “Address the characters, not the players” (page 160) and, more importantly “Begin and end with the fiction” (page 162).

    The last one says “Everything you and the players do in Dungeon World comes from e leads to fictional events. When the players make a move, they take a fictional action to trigger it, apply the rules, and get a fictional effect.” and, in my opinion, saying “you deal 6 points of damage because the monster has an armor of 2” is not a fictional effect.

  10. >if you don’t let the players know that they are mechanically dealing less, doesn’t that just mean that the monster relatively has 18 hp’s of damage instead of 14 due to all the dmg reduction?

    Armour is fictionally different to more hitpoints. If the monster’s got 2 Armour, a light blow will do no harm at all – “Your sword just scrapes over its hide, not hurting it all”. I recall a fight against a shadow where I narrated many blows passed through that did nothing at all, vs. a slight resistance and visible tearing from those that did.

    >Do you keep track of Hp’s?

    1 Hp monsters are my favourites, so you don’t track at all. Kobolds and Goblins got 1 HP in my game.

  11. So if you aren’t telling them the explicit numbers, when the monster deals damage back, how are you dealing {w} (2d12+3) ?

    Adrian Brooks​, Nikitas Thlimmenos​, Aviv Manoach​ Patrick Schenk​

    How do you tell the players if not ‘roll two d12’s, take the worst and than add 3’?

  12. You describe the monster attack (begin with fiction), tell the players to roll the dice and apply the modifiers, just like it is (switching to mechanics) and then describe the result: broken limbs, superficial wounds, being thrown away or trumped (ending with fiction).

  13. +Andrew Huffaker You’re putting words our mouths now. There’s no mechanical reason the players need to know a monster’s Armour Value or Hit Points, whereas there are very good reasons for saying how much damage a monster does to them; i.e. the rules tell you the player rolls the damage. Which immediately communicates the expected damage range of the foe.

    Now, you could do it all fictionally, by concealing both players’ hit point totals and the actual damage a monster does. But it’s onerous, and players prefer the clarity of knowing their own hit point totals.

    Most games have the GM rolling for Monsters’ damage, of course, and thus the damage range may be concealed. If you do that in DW I’d recommend at least indicating whether each value looked like a powerful blow or otherwise.

  14. Adrian Brooks I like what you said in your last paragraph. The rules say that the GM never rolls dice in DW, but in some cases, like you said with damage, I feel it could still be useful for narrative support.

  15. Not having your hands on the dice removes any temptation; any possibility; of fudging the damage rolls. I feel that’s important, though I’m not sure why. Something like; in DW, if you think you need to not hit as hard you do it fictionally, by making softer moves, having the monsters act less aggressively, rather than messing with the numbers.

  16. Adrian Brooks I totally agree. Let the fiction be your dial, not the dice. But it’s not that simple right? Sometimes players want to just know the hard and fast of it. Not just fluff.

  17. I follow the same pattern already articulated by others.

    One thing that helped me: As an implication of the mechanics, H&S is not the player’s “to-hit” roll in Dungeon World.

    H&S determines which side gets the upper hand in a clash, which might involve several blows on both sides, even if none of them are “telling”.

    The damage roll is more akin to the “to-hit” roll in other games. To make your attack count, you have to deal enough “damage” to get past the enemy’s armor.

    This is borne out in the range of class damage dice and especially in the method for setting damage for monsters. Bigger damage dice and bigger damage bonuses indicate the creature’s ability to land telling blows even more than the sheer power of it’s attacks.

    On Friday we had a scene in which one of the PCs was chasing a little sauropod. After scoring a wound above the monster’s eye, he was flying beside the beast while it ran, and he said he wanted to slash it again on the throat. Since the sauropod was blind on that side, there was no danger to defy and it wasn’t H&S, so I told him to roll damage.

    “I’m attacking it’s throat, shouldn’t it just go down?”, the player asked.

    “You’re both in motion. The damage roll will tell us whether the your slash gets the throat, and if it drops the monster.”

  18. That’s really good, Deep Six Delver​. It’s easy for me to forget that h&s is not necessarily a turn based narration of blow by blows. It’s more of a gauge of overall momentum by action.

  19. As almost everyone else in this thread seems to suggest, I also simply narrate the implied effect of armor. Same goes for narrating the difference between a 1 or an 8 on a d8 damage roll.

    However, I want to humbly suggest trying what Adrian Brooks suggested before me, using 1 hp monsters for a lot of the fights. This happens to be in line with older versions of D&D where many of the monsters were designed to go down in 1 hit. In dungeon world, I find that it rarely serves the game if monsters stay up for multiple hits, bossses/leaders/single monster encounters excepted. I like my combat swift and brutal (both ways). Getting hit by a sword HURTS, man. YMMV.

    Personally, I barely keep track of HP myself but simply let the fiction guide me on what kills a monster. Now, this may not be your cup of tea if you like sticking to the RAW but i’ll just give you an example:

    Someone takes a stab with a dagger at an heavy armored orc? That’s not likely to insta-kill him unless he has no clue you are there (or some other fiction that would make that plausible applies). It might give someone else an opening to finish him off though.

    Someone succesflly swings a sledgehammer to that same orcs brain? I don’t care how much HP he has, he is probably not likely to survive that. I might not even have the player roll the damage but simply ask him to describe how he splattters the orcs brains.

    [note that this last example is smth to be careful with, you don’t want to be inconsistent and/or make things too easy for your players. Also, rolling damage dice is something many players enjoy – if they do, by all means, go nuts with the HP tracking :)]

Comments are closed.