Saturday, May 5, 2018

Damage is a Fickle Bitch

The chief complaint I get from my players about DW is that players roll 10 or 12, and get a damage roll of 1 (or sometimes 2-3 if they took the extra d6) and that damage tends to gets soaked by armor. On Reddit someone even told me that late game DW tends to turn into a bit of a survival horror. I haven't tested late game myself, but I can tell you how incredibly frustrating it is that people who are supposed to be capable combatants but roll a series of very low damage rolls can't always take it on the chin like a champ. It is with that in mind, that I randomly thought about making damage less fickle :

Typically a character's base dice will be a d6, d8, or a d10 (with one notable instance of a d12). In order to make damage less fickle, assume one of the following

  • Subtract 4 from everyone's dice type, and add the remainder to a d4. For example, a d10 would be 1d4+6, and a d6 would be a d4+2
  • Subtract 6 from everyone's dice type and add the remainder to a d6. For example, a d10 would be 1d6+4, and a d6 would stay a d6.
Whichever option above is chosen, only modify the base dice. Additional dice granted for any reason remain unchanged.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

On Killing (Not by David Grossman)

In Dungeon World, the price of a typical murder is apparently 5 coins, and the price of a higher profile assassination is 120 coins. This seems awfully low. Given the price of "A Hearty Meal for 1" of 1 coin, I evaluated a coin to be roughly equivalent to 5 USD (given that McDonalds had as of the time writing this a 2/$4 deal where you could get two double cheeseburgers). This means a murder is 25 bucks and a higher profile assassination is 600. This is fitting with the standard DW status quo that prices are low, but also suggests that life is cheap. It also doesn't account for the mark's threat level. These factors should be considered when evaluating the price of an assassination:
  • The number of moves a target has that can be harmful to the assailant.
  • The maximum damage a target can bring to bear. This doesn't refer to the damage the target itself can deal, if it can order others to fight for it.
  • The HP of the target. or the highest HP of  its body guards. (3 minimum)
  • The Armor of the target or the highest among its body guards

For example, a Noble doesn't have any listed attacks, or HP, but they can issue orders and offer rewards to anyone beneath them (2 moves). Often, this is a Knight. which can bring to bear 10 damage, has 12 HP, and 4 armor. Therefore a Noble would be worth 2*10*12*4=960 coins. A King who has  A Whole Damn Army would use 2*19*30*4 would be worth 4560. A mere bandit has 3 threatening moves, can do 6 damage, and has 3 HP, which is 3*6*3  or 54 coins.

If you don't like these you can round to the first significant figure to get a price in tens, hundreds, or thousands. The above prices would become 1000, 5000, or 50. For the purposes of abstract coins, a significant figure 50 to 100 coins is A Chest of Riches, anything over 3 such Chests is a Giant Sack of Loot. 3 of those is "A Small Hoard" which increases the Resource statistic that armies use.

P.S.- It is noteworthy that just because you want someone killed, doesn't mean you're going to get it done by hiring some rando off the street. If you pay 120 coins to them (or 5, or 50, or 1000, or 5000, etc), they might go kill your guy, or they might pocket the money, go brag, and end up on a pike outside the city walls. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Optional Spell Points variant

The default rule of Dungeon World is that Wizards can just cast a certain number of spell levels (Level+1) Clerics can Commune for the same number of spells, and everyone else in Core operates under the assumptions of any spells they chose for Multiclass Moves. It is with that in mind that I give you

Empowered Spellcasting
Replaces Commune or Prepare Spells
Instead of having to pray for spells or prepare spells, now you do that with Spell Points. You are not shoehorned into a restriction of which spells you can cast on any particular day, merely how many spell points you have. There are a few options here depending on what your GM wants to use

Eqivalent Spell Power
You get Level+1 Spell Points that you can spend as desired.

Attribute Based
You get Level+(Casting Attribute), where Casting Attribute for Clerics and Disciple (Class Warfare) based casters is +Wis, Casting Attribute for Wizards and appropriate Magician (Class Warfare) based casters is +Int, and Casting Attribute for Bards and other Magician (Class Warfare) casters is +Cha.

High Power
You get Level*Casting Attribute Spell Points.

As per normal spellcasting, there are risks associated with the amount of energy you spent to cast the spell. In this system it works differently. A badly cast spell generates a number of risk equal to its level. So a 3rd level miscast spell generates 3 points worth of effects

  • Forget the Spell: Doesn't happen. You know the spells you know and that's it. You merely lose additional spell points, reducing risk by a point per Risk reduced.
  • Let's Make a Deal: You are contacted by a powerful, potentially corrupting, entity. This removes all Risk Points your last failure or 7-9 generated.
1 point
  • Unwanted Attention: A single Horde tagged creature appropriate to the spell or the area arrives. before your next turn.
  • -1 to Cast: This lasts a number of your turns equal to the spell's Level
2 Points
  • Unwanted Attention: A single Group tagged creature appropriate to the spell or the area arrives.before your next turn.
  • Valuables are Damaged: When you roll Treasure, reduce the number of rolls you make by -1, or assume the value or amount of goods in a roll with a value or amount is halved.
3 Points
  • Unwanted Attention: A single Solitary tagged creature appropriate to the spell or the area arrives before your next turn
  • Environmental Effects: Everyone should Defy Danger for the remainder of Combat before they can make Hack and Slash attempts. If damage is to be had, the amount is either the Caster's Base Damage (possibly with added moves) or the Spell Damage, whichever is better. 
Mix and Match: Choose effects from lower point value entries in combination with each other.

Backwards Compatibility
Some of the Risks are appropriate choices for 7-9 or 6- in games that don't otherwise use the rule.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hits like a truck driver

You ever wonder about that expression? Now you know. Anywho, this is a random joke monster I thought up. It might see use in the more tech savvy areas of my campaign, but not likely.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Generating a random dungeon in DW with Tarot

This reddit post suggests you can draw tarot cards to make a dungeon, but doesn't provide much in the way of guidelines to finish it off. In Dungeon World, it could be fair to assume the same thing about dungeons that you do about treasure. That they are related to the damage dice of the enemy. Damage dice in dungeon world are very small. I don't recall seeing anything bigger than (b[2d12+9] damage). The average dungeon befitting a boss monster with just such damage would be 6.5+9 or 15.5. Call it 16 since it's the better of two rolls, which are presumed an average of 6-7. Another example, the bandit king (b[2d10]), would be probably about a 6 room dungeon. You can toy with it too. Goblins might not have half the damage roll in dungeon rooms, and a Noble who has a Knight probably has twice the Knight's damage roll of rooms in his castle.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Gashes: An Alternate take on HP

From a redditor: 
I’m not about this stressing over games business. I think it’s completely valid to just wing it. [...]
Let’s say my immolator gets a 6. I don’t mark health points, I just tell him you’ve got a decent cut on your leg. My thing is to just make it believable. So you can’t take a ton of gashes and just be ok, but other than that, health is totally in the fiction.
So I know people like and take comfort in knowing their HP, and I told them so, but I had another redditor bring up Defy Danger. On the G+ community, there are a lot of people who don't like Deal Damage As Established as a move. And of course, this player doesn't really like HP. This got me thinking about medical states (good, fair, serious, critical, dead)

When you have have not been injured, you are in Good Condition +(CON-gashes)
If you suffer up to +CON gashes, you are in Fair condition (-1)
If you suffer up to twice +CON gashes, you are in Serious condition (-2)
Anything more is Critical condition (-3)

Endure Punishment
When you take a hit or worsen an injury through vigorous activity, roll +Condition. *On a 10+, you're fine and can continue. *On 7-9 take 1 more gash. On 6- you're out. What this means depends mostly on your Condition. At Fair you are merely unconscious. At Serious or worse, take your Last Breath.

Keep rolling damage normally. Use the damage value to find out if damage exceeds armor. If it does, a gash is scored. If it doesn't, nothing happens.

Getting Bogged Down
Wounds in real life don't really get reflected in games that have HP. If you would like for wounds to have impact, if you are Fair or worse, add +Condition to any +STR, DEX, CON or WIS rolls.

Monster Gashes
A monster can take 1 gash per 8 HP rounding down (so the Apocalypse Dragon {26 HP} can take 3 gashes if you can find a way to gash it).
A monster can deal 1 gash for every 8 average damage it can do rounded up. Add a gash for using b[2d6] or higher.

Healing Magic
Whenever someone casts a Cure spell or uses a move like Lay On Hands, each d8 they heal counts as one condition state (e.g. healing from Critical to Serious, Serious to Fair, or Fair to Good)

Recover Move
Normally this heals you in full, but this change itself is evocative of a far grittier game, and as a result, you can say that each day using the Recover move only heals one condition state.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Drunken Debauchery, Stealing from Conan

The Drinking Contest introduces gobs of opportunity to get smashing drunk, and a rules-y way to handle it. This expands further on the drinking contests, and the aftermath. It goes beyond the Carouse move, but can often accompany it. I introduce to you (this rule is meant to be used with Abstract Coins): 

Drunken Debauchery
When you spent a night on the town, and got too smashed to remember, roll 2d6+ the number of drinks you had (if this is unclear, add your Constitution score). This isn't really hit or miss, consult the following table:

2: Behold My Grace! You boasted of your adroitness! Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Balancing on a Ledge/Beam/Rope; 3 = Bull-Leaping; 4 = Dancing; 5 = Five-Finger Fillet; 6 = Juggling Random Items.
3: Behold My Might! You boasted of your strength! Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Arm Wrestling; 3–4= Wrestling Match; 5 = Keg Tossing; 6 = Lifting Heavy Objects.
4: Behold My Stamina! You boasted of your constitution! Roll 1d6: 1–3 = Drinking Contest; 4–5 = Eating Contest; 6 = Long Distance Running / Swimming Challenge.
5: Big Business! You invested another 1 point of Wealth in a merchant’s caravan / ship venture! GM secretly rolls 1d6: 1–2 = It’s a con; 3–4 = It’s legitimate, and in 2d6 months you’ll have doubled your investment (if you’re still alive and around!); 5–6 = It’s legitimate, but the caravan / ship didn’t survive.
6: Brotherly Love! You woke up next to one of the other players’ characters (referee determines randomly)!
7: Brrr . . . Chilly! Someone stole your coat / clothes while you were intoxicated!
8: Dangerous Liaison! You bedded the son / daughter / husband / wife / temple virgin of someone who can make your life in this area very difficult! Roll 1d6: 1 = Local Crime Lord; 2 = Local Militia Commander; 3 = Local Sorcerer; 4 = Local Temple Leader; 5–6 = Important Local Leader / Noble.
9: Drunken Brawl! You started a drunken brawl! You must spend Wealth on damages and fines to avoid incarceration, or flee and be declared outlaw. Roll Wealth. If you don’t have enough wealth to pay the fine and do not flee, you will be incarcerated and your belongings will be confiscated and sold.
10: Fire! You accidentally started a fire in the inn / den of ill repute you were carousing in! You must spend an additional 1d20 × 10 gold pieces on damages and fines to avoid incarceration, or flee and be declared outlaw! Roll Wealth as #9.
11: Gambling! You gambled away your money on a game Defy Danger with +WIS (at -1 if you took a Debility for the drinking contest) vs. Wealth dropping to 0. Unlike normal Defy Danger moves, on a 12+ with this one, you gain +1 to your wealth level (if possible). Roll 1d6: 1 = Dice Game; 2 = Card Game; 3 = Cock Fight; 4 = Dog Fight; 5 = Arm / Wrestling Match; 6 = Pit Fight.
12: Go Directly to Jail! You woke up in jail charged with a crime! Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Drunken Disorderly; 3 = Lewd Conduct; 4 = Vandalism; 5 = Theft; 6 = Murder. You decide if your character did it or not. An escape may be necessary . . .
13: Have at You! You incurred someone’s anger (or were angered yourself) and have agreed to a duel, physical or sorcerous!
14: How’d I Get Here? You woke up in a strange place with no idea how you’d got there! Roll 1d6: 1 = Aboard a ship (maybe heading out to sea!); 2 = In a tree or on a roof; 3 = In the back of a wagon (maybe travelling somewhere!); 4 = In the nearest stable / animal pen; 5 = In the nearest temple; 6 = In the sewer / gutter.
15: How Embarrassing! You made a complete idiot of yourself in public! Locals snigger behind your back and consider you a complete imbecile. Roll 1d6: 1 = You emptied your bladder . . . unexpectedly; 2 = You exposed yourself; 3 = You fell flat on your face unconscious while attempting to seem intimidating / skillful / powerful; 4–5 = You performed the worst drunken song and dance . . . ever; 6 = You soiled yourself.
16: I Hereby Swear! You made a foolish pledge, loudly and in public to do something hazardous. Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Clear Nearest Monster Den / Ruin; 3–4 = Bring Down Local Bandits / Thieves / Thugs; 5–6 = Steal Valuable From Important Local (roll as in Dangerous Liaison! to determine who).
17: Just Married! You woke up to find someone claiming to be your new wife / husband! Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Attractive; 3–4 = Average; 5 = Ugly; 6 = Pass the bucket! GM also secretly rolls 1d6: 1–3 = It’s a con attempt; 4–6 = It’s true.
18: Love Never Dies! You woke up next to a corpse! Roll 1d6: 1–2 = They died of natural causes; 3–4 = They died of drug / alcohol overdose; 5 = You think you accidentally killed them; 6 = You think you murdered them. GM also secretly rolls 1d6: 1–3 = It’s a setup; 4–6 = It’s true.
19: Mooooo! You woke up next to an animal! Roll 1d6: 1 = Chicken; 2 = Cow; 3 = Goat; 4 = Horse / Camel; 5 = Pig; 6 = Sheep.
20: My Land! You gambled / spent your money and acquired the deed to something! Roll 1d6: 1-2 = Disreputable Inn; 3 = Nearest Ruin; 4 = Plot of Wildland; 5–6 = Run-Down Farm; You are eligible for either Householder, Merchant, or Shopkeeper as appropriate once any GM imposed restrictions are met.
21: My Precious! When you were passed out or otherwise engaged, someone stole your single most valuable-looking item! Track ‘em down and make ‘em pay!
22: Ooh, Shiny! You spent your money on a truly gaudy but otherwise unremarkable item. Reduce Wealth by at least 1. Roll 1d6: 1 = Armour; 2 = Garment; 3–4 = Jewellery Piece; 5 = Shield; 6 = Weapon. GM determines the item.
23: Robbed! As 21, but 1 Wealth instead.
24: Tattoo! You spent your money on a fantastic tattoo! Say what, and  roll 1d6: 1–2 = It actually is awesome; 3–4 = It’s fairly good;5 = It has an obvious flaw; 6 = It has an embarrassing flaw.
25: Unexpected Companion! You woke up next to a member of your preferred gender. Determine attractiveness as Just Married! entry.
26: Yer Mother! You seriously insulted someone who can make your life in this area very difficult. Roll to determine who as in Dangerous Liaison! entry.
27: You’re so Generous! You donated your money to a worthy institution. Roll 1d6: 1–2 = Local Poor; 3–4 = Local Temple; 5–6 = Orphanage / Urchins.
28+: Madman! Roll twice and apply both results!