Question for the Tavern about debilities…

Question for the Tavern about debilities…

Question for the Tavern about debilities…

Do debilities incur a -1 to the attribute, thereby possibly undermining the associated modifier, or replace the modifier with a -1?

I haven’t been able to find explicit direction. My inclination is that the modifier is replaced, or else debilities are not really that bad, especially considering that you only get one per stat.

I appreciate any thoughts on the matter.


7 thoughts on “Question for the Tavern about debilities…”

  1. Michele McAllister No problem!

    It’s true it isn’t that bad, depending on your existing modifier. Keep in mind though that in DW just about anything mechanical can (and probably should) be brought to bear in the fiction too, which might be a lot worse.

    Someone with a debility in Strength doesn’t only have -1 to the mod, they are “Weak” in the fiction as well. Maybe it means they have to Defy Danger in situations where they wouldn’t normally, creating more rolls on the lowered stat and potentially more GM moves.

    If they’ve lost a pint of blood to a stirge and you slap them with weak, then their character is also pale and lightheaded, probably wobbly on their feet. If you are feeling nasty you could think of a million ways the problem compounds.

  2. That is great advice. I’m a decent story teller, but still learning to use the game, and hence mechanics, to inspire and be inspired by the fiction.

    With debilities, I have not been doing that, only allowing the mechanic to apply. Just thinking of the next game session I’ll be running I already see fictional application. Thanks so much.

  3. I think Chris Wolf covered it really well. I’ll just say that a 1 to the modifier isn’t negligible. With the 2d6 system +/ 1 meaningfully effects the rolls probability of landing in or out of a 10+ result and the other results for that matter. However, this shouldn’t hold you back from doling out debilities by any means.

  4. I had the very same questions few months ago, so it’s a fact that this is not well explained in the book.

    Comments made me realize that it doesn’t make sense if it would set your modifier to 1 as if you have -1 or -2, it respectively would do nothing or actually make you better.

    I also felt that a -1 to the mod isn’t much severe. But checking the stats, on 2d6 a +1 or -1 actually matters. It doesn’t influence a lot the 7-9 (+/ 5% probabilities) but has a hefty influence on 6- and 10+ (to a lesser extent), to the magnitude of almost 30% at times!

    If you want a more severe penalty for Debilities, you could always house rule that it actually sets the mod to -1 and if you have <0, it decreases your mod by 1. It shifts the paradigm a bit as a Debility becomes more and more dangerous when you have a high score, which actually kinda makes sense in my mind.

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