Here they come! The swarm of orcs smashes into the front rank of soldiers, snarling and snapping. The line buckles, but holds… for now! You can tell that they won’t last long under this ferocious pressure. What do you do?
The Fighter hoists her shield readies her sword. “If you’ve got any clever ideas, Ranger, now would be a good time!” I’m staying alert, ready for an attack if one of them makes it through the lines or something. Defend? I got an 8, so… 1 hold.
The Ranger hops up onto one of the battlements and scans the approaching forces, assessing the situation and looking for any edge he can get. Rolls Discern Realities and gets a 10+. “What should I be on the lookout for?” A little to your left, there’s a spot in the line where your forces are really having a hard time with it. It could give way any moment. “Ugh… who or what is really in control here?” You spot a big old one-eyed orc, maybe like two ranks back, right near where the line is about to collapse. There’s sort of space all around him, and he’s urging the orcs on… he’s clearly a lieutenant or war-priest or something. “Okay… what here is useful or valuable to me?” Um… honestly? Your bow and arrows. You take that one-eyed priest out, and it’s going to change the course of this battle. What do you do?
“I’ve got a shot?” asks the Ranger. You’ll have to roll Volley, but yeah, you can try? “He’s not surprised?” No, he’s in the middle of a battle… he’s got his one eye all sorts of peeled for danger. “Okay, I’ll draw, take aim… fire! Volley… whew! A 7. I guess I’ll move to get the shot, placing myself in a danger as you describe it.”
Okay, so… you’ve got to hop and weave closer to the front line, then jump up onto one of those huge stones the siege engines tossed earlier. Roll your damage!
The Fighter interjects… “I’m staying close to the Ranger as he does this, so I can protect her!” Cool.
Ranger nails it and rolls 8 damage! The one-eyed orc goes down! But for the danger, I say that as he takes the shot, the weak point in the line breaks and a swarm of orcs rush through,. Three of them are rushing right at you in your obvious spot, what do you do?
The Fighter is like “oh no they don’t! I spend my 1 hold and jump in front of the Ranger and redirect the attack to myself. I’m hacking and hewing left and right at those orcs!”
Okay, cool… but how do we resolve that in game?
Option A The Fighter’s just Hacking & Slashing. The fact that she had 1 hold from Defend doesn’t really even matter, because she was fictionally positioned to do intercept the orcs anyhow. (But she loses the 1 hold because she’s not defending anymore.)
Option B The Fighter is Hacking & Slashing, but the 1 hold she spent means that those orcs are fixed on her and the Ranger is definitely in the clear.
Option C The Fighter doesn’t actually need to spend the hold. She’s Hacking & Slashing the orcs, but keeps that 1 hold because she’s still defending him. If she rolls a miss on the H&S and I have the orcs rush past her, then she might spend that 1 hold to intercept them. But on a 7-9 (or a 10+ if she exposes herself), she could use that 1 hold to half the damage or effects of the orcs’ counterattack.
Option D The Fighter intercepts the orcs and she’s got their attantion, but she suffers the orc’s attack in full. In this case, let’s say is damage (d6+2, 1 piercing & messy, +2 extra damage for the three orcs attacker her.