This came up in my home game recently.

This came up in my home game recently.

This came up in my home game recently. The Ranger was trying to shoot a wind spirit with an arrow, but it was much too quick and far away for a regular Volley to have any chance of success. The Ranger then tried to observe the spirit’s patterns of flight and how it reacted to the arrows he was shooting, then lead the target to get the hit that way.

I said, “What will you risk to accomplish that?”

He replied, “That the spirit gets bored and flies off.”

I told him to make his Defy Danger roll, with that as the danger. On a hit, he’d have a chance to Volley and get his mark.

What do you think about this?

10 thoughts on “This came up in my home game recently.”

  1. It works, but feels weak. I’d rather a danger with some teeth. Maybe a danger like “You are hypnotized by it’s tranquil movements”, or “while you are so focused something else sneaks up on you”, etc.

  2. Well, more about the practice of asking a player to define the Danger that will be Defied when I draw a blank. I assure you, losing that spirit would have been really bad.

  3. What did the wind spirit want in this situation? That aside, a more dangerous risk might be running out of ammo – that kind of tactic sounds like something that would burn through a lot of arrows to me. The ranger loses 0-2 ammo on the defy danger, depending on how well they roll.

  4. I think it works just fine, especially after reading your follow up stating that losing the wind spirit would be really bad news. I see it as a version of the GM move: Tell them the requirements or consequences and ask. In this case, you asked the player what the consequences might be.

  5. Firstly, how did you know that the spirit was too quick for a normal Volley? Did he try to shoot it several times and missed all of them? Was it a monster move you were making (Move with the speed of the wind)? Did you just say “oh, you can’t”? Out of the three, the second is the best, because it stems mainly from the fact that there is a prescriptive reason for it * . The first would be somewhat acceptable, as you could use the succession of 6-s to Reveal and Unwelcome Truth. The last is lame, because you’re just sorta saying that “I’m right, you’re wrong, GM’s word is law”.

    Secondly, the grounds for DD should be a little higher, imo. I think he was totally defying a danger there, but not “The spirit gets bored”. Nothing should be boring in DW, not to the players, not to the GM, not to the NPCs. There is always adventure lurking around every corner. I think the proper danger might have been “If i can’t hit it, what’s to stop it from attacking me” or something similar.

    Also, not knowing what you made him roll for DD, i think that he should have been using INT for that, as he was calculating when and where to shoot to give him results.

    * Even with the prescriptive reason, I, personally, don’t like telling my players “no, you cannot do that,” especially when it comes to something they’re good at (such as the Ranger and archery). I might apply a serious penalty to the roll, as even the fastest creature should not be completely immune, otherwise it would be too intimidating for players, and they’d just want to leave. I mean, seriously, it would be comparable to throwing a ghost or other incorporeal entity at a Fighter or Barbarian. What are they going to do? Angrily wave their sword through its body? Most of the time, if a character is rendered completely or almost completely useless, the player gets really bored and is just eager to move the story along.

  6. I think I would have them observe for free, but make it at a cost. So for example you can shoot it a kazillion times but strike off an ammo. (Based n the fiction) Then I would tell him however you have set up how the spirit flies around (need more info to help with that). Now in terms of how you “lead it away”, what are you doing with that. How are you accomplishing that?

    There is really like half a dozen ways that you can resolve the fiction and rules, so there is no right answer, there are some better and some worse. I like hearing about how others handle it, it helps ,e as a GM. I would like to hear more about the situation and background though to better address your question.

  7. I dislike the “make a move to see if you can make this other move” setup. I might have gone with a custom move instead to resolve can you hit by leading the target, maybe rolling against int instead of dex. Something with more downside than Volley and incorporating the stakes discussed.

  8. Custom move might have been something like: you can roll+Ammo expended (your choice). On a hit, you can either do damage or enrage the spirit to come after you. On a 10+, both. But if you miss, the spirit escapes.


    you can roll+Int. On a hit, choose 1. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 12+, choose three. But, if you miss, the spirit escapes.

    o You deal your damage to the spirit

    o You don’t expend two ammo

    o You enrage the spirit, which comes after you

    They are pretty close to the same. The first one is easier to say at the table.

  9. Lester Ward I dislike the ‘make a move to see if you can make this other move’ setup

    Like, in general? So if I’ve got a short sword and the enemy has a spear, you wouldn’t have my defy danger to get inside their reach and, if successful, initiate H&S? If not, how are you handling that sort of situation? (see also: trying to attack a terrifying creature)

    Peter J regarding the general approach of “I think you’ll need to defy danger, but you tell me what the danger is…” You can make a legit case for it in the rules, as Chris Stone-Bush points out. You’re telling them the requirements (defying danger) and asking, but you’re telling the player the mechanical requirements rather than telling the character the fictional requirements. It’s sort of violating “address the characters, not the players,” but it’s doing so in service to “ask questions and use the answers.” So… sure?

    Personally, I probably wouldn’t do it, at least not the way you presented it. Like, I’d totally say something like “I feel like this is more difficult than usual, and that you’d be defying danger, but, like, what do you all think the danger is?” And then we talk about it, maybe someone comes up with “well, it gets bored and flits off before you can line up your shot.”

    But I’d be uncomfortable with calling for the Defy Danger and saying “you tell me the danger!” Feels like it’s stepping too far over The Line to me.

    Probably the most important question: how’d the player(s) like it? How did it work out for you?

  10. They didn’t seem to mind, but it did leave me feeling like I had painted myself into a corner. I also feel like I had rubbed up against a gap in the rules; where you want to make a situation more challenging but aren’t sure how.

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