So, I’m fixing to GM my first Dungeon World campaign… one of my characters wants to play a thief, but their soul point of reference is a rogue type. They are intent on some sort of a disarm move.

What would be the best way to to handle this? Defy danger on a +dex roll? A custom move created for the class? Can’t be done reliably?

(cross posted to /r/dungeonworld)

12 thoughts on “Disarm”

  1. Can everyone disarm people or just them? If it’s everyone, it’s just a defy danger like any other combat maneuver (pushing, tripping, etc). If it’s unique to them, I’d require them to take a move for it. As Emir Pasanovic points out, I’d model that move after Called Shot.

  2. I’d go with a custom move. Work with him to design it. Replace one of the best basic moves with it (he can choose that move later on a level up). Concentrate on the 7-9 results to make them really interesting because I suspect the player will use the move a lot. At first blush I’m imagining GM choices like: the item drops within easy reach, the item breaks (if breakable), the target has a holdout weapon, etc.

  3. And yes, anyone could attempt to disarm an opponent I guess, so make the move interesting and special because that’s what is going to make the game exciting for this particular player.

  4. So, based on a reddit reply, was thinking of taking a 2 directional approach… incorporate it into their backstab ability… If they can catch an enemy unaware, give them some chance to disarm. However, if they are trying to face an aware enemy, base it on defy danger + str. I’ll look at the range ability and try to add that in.

    I think any character should be able to attempt to disarm, but I think the “gravy” move would be for thief to do it as part of backstab, maybe mixing in the ranger component. Thanks for the answers, this helps.

  5. Hmm if replacing backstab, I would make it always an option – not requiring them to be unaware. The reason is that they can backstab a dragon, but cannot disarm them, so it’s already a hindrance against the right opponents.

    I’d also make a note that this player is clearly asking to face armed humanoid opponents more often than monsters.

  6. I don’t see how disarming is related to backstabbing. I wouldn’t mess with that move. It feels like it diminishes/confuses both to me. BTW on a 10+ or maybe on a 12 it could be a take-away move. You disarm them AND you get the item if you have a free hand.

  7. Keep in mind this isn’t just about weapons. “The evil villain is holding the orb of power and it’s crackling with energy about to be released, what do you do?”

  8. Disarm (replaces Poisoner)

    When you attempt to disarm a foe, roll +STR (or +DEX if you’re using a precise weapon. On a 10+, you disarm them. On a 7-9, you disarm them but expose yourself to their attack, before or after disarming them (GM’s choice).

    Flick the Wrist (advanced move)

    When you roll a 12+ to Disarm, choose 1:

    • Also deal your damage

    • Send their weapon flying wherever you wish

    • End up with it in your hand

    • Position yourself to deal your damage to them at will; they clearly perceive this and can stop fighting in response.

  9. Doesn’t leave much space for ranged attacks disarming someone, and who doesn’t want to be a PG13 gunslinger like Lucky Luke but with a crossbow. 🙂

  10. Emir Pasanovic

    Lucky Luke

    requires Disarm, level 6+

    When you attempt to disarm a foe with a ranged or thrown weapon, roll +DEX: on a 10+, you disarm them; on a 7-9, you disarm them but pick 1:

    • You have to move or hold steady to make the shot, exposing yourself to a danger of the GM’s choice

    • They don’t drop it completely, but they are left fumbling with it for a few moments

    • You deal unwanted and unintended harm, to your target, what they were holding, or others (GM’s call as to how)

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