So, boxcars.

So, boxcars.

So, boxcars. They’re rare (2.77% chance). They’re almost half the probability than getting a 20 on d20. Yet, no mechanic involves them in DW.

There’s the rare odd move with 12+ result, but I’m talking “natural 12” here, which is lower chances than 12+.

Getting a “critical hit” was always a fun and exciting moment in every single RPG I’ve played. I don’t know a single player who doesn’t cheer and yay when one is rolled.

Last game (first DW game with this group), I had one player who was in a bad spot who rolled 12 and I noticed his excitement was somewhat lessened when he learned there was no extra effect. Sure, I gave him extra narrative power, asking him to describe the awesomeness of his move and told him to make it grand and over the top. It was ok, but I still felt like it would have been cool to tie-in extra mechanical effects.

What do you think? Would it be fun/possible to create a generic move that applies to all moves to grant extra effects to a roll of 12? (because it would be mad to add a boxcar entry for each and every move). Is it desirable? How do you handle this if you go pure narrative?

9 thoughts on “So, boxcars.”

  1. This seems like it could be a great spot for the player to receive a boon based on their class. Wizard accidentally unleashes an ancient powerful magic, Rogue finds the perfect moment of hiding, etc. You could add it onto their move.

  2. At my home table I use a “renown” system, which lets them narrate their action “over the top”, and someone takes notice and the story spreads. That part of it is fun too because you get to decide how the story spreads. The higher the renown, the more (and more influential) people know about your exploits, which helps drive fiction. I never codified it (until now) but a rough draft of it would be something like:

    When you roll a natural 12, describe how astonishingly well you succeeded at you task. Then describe how

    and why someone took notice and fled to tell the tale. Mark Renown.

    When you enter a civilized area, roll a d6 for each point of Renown. For every 4 , 5 or 6 one or two common people in the area know of your exploits. For every 6, a powerful or influential person has also heard your stories.

    Embellishment is a large part of it too. The story spreads like a fish story 🙂

    That might not be exciting or flashy but my players have a lot of fun with it, specially when they enter an area and aren’t recognized:

    “Oh com’on. Tell me you ‘aven’t heard ‘f Balor the Orc Slayer? Killed six orcs with one arrow?”

    “Who?!”, with a confused look and a shrug of the shoulder, the barmaid moves to the next table to clean up after a spilled mug of Ale.

  3. I like that. Reminds me of Wil Wheaton’s Ashes of Valkana actual play (using Fantasy Age system). When a character rolls boxcars, he asks them : “Tell us you this is still remembered/talked about 100 years from now”.

  4. I don’t do anything special mechanically, other than a few 12+ results. I do let it influence how I resolve a move. I had players in a playtest PbtA do something really insane…. and roll a nat 12. The dice have spoken.

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