“Uh-oh! Ranger, you’re surrounded! Three of those mutant goblins appear out of the spray, tittering and chittering and leering at you like you’re dinner. Water splashes all about as the tide comes in. The sea cave is starting to flood. What do you do?”
“I’ll take a defensive stance, spear braced behind me, and clear my head. I’m ready for the them. Defend?” Sure! She rolls, gets a 10+. Holds 3. She’s basically ceded the initiative by Defending, because she’s waiting to see what they do. Looking at the GM to see what happens. Soft move time.
“The one behind you, up on that rock, coils up and pounces, trying to tackle you and probably sink those teeth into your throat. What do you do?”
Which of these is best represents how this should resolve?
Version A: The Ranger spends 2 hold… 1 to halve the mutant goblins attack, another to deal damage back at the attacker. She describes pivoting away from the pouncing mutant and bringing her spear up to block it, then launching a kick into its solar plexus. The Ranger takes maybe 1/2 of d8 damage (let’s say only 3 points in the end) and stumbles but isn’t tackled, while that attacking mutant backs off, injured. The other two goblins, though, launch themselves at the Ranger (who still has 1 hold). “What do you do?”
Version B: The Ranger says that she pivots away from the pouncing mutant, bringing her spear up to block it’s attack and punting it hard in the solar plexus. The Ranger rolls Hack and Slash, gets a 7-9. Deals damage, suffers the enemy’s attack. In this case, I say that the leaping pounce of the goblin tackles her to the ground, raking and biting, for d8 damage, before she manages to kick it off of her (doing damage). She spends 1 hold to halve the effect/damage, from 6 HP down to 3 HP, and manages to keep her footing. She’s also spends another hold to deal her level in damage to the mutant that attacked her; let’s say that’s enough to drop it. The other two goblins, though, launch themselves at the Ranger (who still has 1 hold). “What do you do?”