Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Quigley

Pages: [1]
Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: February 05, 2013, 01:26:06 PM »
This discussion started with the statement that the Druid was too powerful and could easily overcome any obstacle and the GM seemed powerless to do anything.

Strictly speaking, no, that’s not accurate.  I proposed that the Druid is able to overcome any PHYSICAL BARRIER AT LEVEL 1.  Pardon the screaming emphasis, but I’ve read too many posts suggesting that I add something other than physical barriers to compensate.  This is not a solution.  It is merely replacing a physical barrier with a different threat.

What I’m being told is: the druid IS that powerful.  Give up on physical barriers and do something else instead.

This is an oversimplification, but I break down most adventure obstacles into three categories: combat, social, and physical barriers.  A level 1 druid is capable of subverting everything in the last of those three with a single move.  Imagine if the bard had an ability that could charm all NPCs at level 1.  Or if a level 1 fighter could destroy all creatures.  Go ahead and play this game when all combat or NPC interactions are resolved with a single ability or even a single die roll.

Dungeon World / Re: Post your Monsters
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:29:12 PM »
Creation of Mad Science
Construct, Solitary
16 HP
1 Armour
Weapon (1d10+2 damage, forceful) Close
Special Qualities: Made from disparate parts.

Created by mad science from the parts of others, the creation of mad science is a twisted, conflicted thing. What memories still swim within those once-dead limbs, what base urges linger in that recombined genetic code? This is science that has never been tested, never been prototyped, and can never be repeated. Each creation is unique.

Instinct: To struggle between true nature and following orders.

*Fly into a rage.
*Follow true nature of disparate parts.
*Grab a foe and strangle.
*Ignore injuries.
*Obey orders.
*Reveal buried memories.

Love the description for this one.  I've never been big on the mad scientist archetype in a fantasy setting (seems more steam-punk), but this description really fits the fiction.

Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:22:50 PM »
When you boil it down, I suppose there are only two things that can be done: change the GM moves or change the class move.

Changing GM moves includes suggestions like spider webs, pigeon-eating orcs, twanging bows, and ACME DruidX-3000 anti-shifter land mines.  The GM makes a move to balance the ease with which the druid slips past castle walls, locked doors, chasms, and human guards.  It means the GM gives up on physical barriers and substitutes a different threat.  The idol isn’t an idol, at all.  It is a mustaschio’d evil twin that is poisoned, has it’s own personality, and leaves the seat up.  Getting past the trapped room is no longer the real obstacle.

None of that sits well with me.  If your answer is to make more moves, or make harder moves, then the concept of a broken move is not possible for you.  Players could start with god-like powers and it would not be a problem because the GM can “be more broken” in retaliation.

The other option is making a change to the class.  Making the transformation partial, as suggested by Lucacc, is one idea.  Taking the ability tiresome or time consuming were two others.

The best complication I’ve come up with is something like what happens when a wizard fails a casting.  Roll less than 6 and a wizard risks losing the spell.  Perhaps the druid risks losing that specific form until he levels up.  Or maybe the chosen animal loses abilities, or it gets mutated.  Give the player choices.  This doesn’t solve the problem, but adding risk reduces the potential for abuse.

Another option is to set a limitation.  Grant the druid three animal forms at first level.  Add more as he levels up.  This allows the GM to better plan the fronts and dangers around the abilities of a few animal forms, rather than the entire animal kingdom.

I’m not sold on any one of those options, but at least they address the real issue.

Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:36:45 PM »
Be a fan of the characters, but make as hard a (shapeshifting) move as you'd like y'know? So the housefly's moves could be:
*lay larvea
*Spread disease
*Bite and leave a sore
That sort of thing.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think the players could rightly accuse me of being a twit if I leave “fly” off the list of moves for a creature named “fly”.  To my eye, that does not follow the fiction.

Keep in mind, the player hasn't done anything wrong.  He’s just being creative and using the move the way it is written on his character sheet.  I do not consider creativity to be synonymous with power-gaming.  I've only had one session with the druid player and he's already figured out how he can circumvent most any physical obstacle.  He doesn't even know the rules, so I have a hard time labeling what he's doing "power-gaming".

Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:27:57 PM »
Who says the idol just becomes a possession? Who says the Druid can just transform to human and back again unmolested? "That's a lot of transforms in quick succession. Sounds tiring. Roll con to Defy danger. Lets see if you transform back to human before the cat gets there." Who says you can just transform into a housefly? why has the Druid spent time studying a housefly's nature? Its a religious pursuit and the housefly is its totemic animal? Where is the GM in all of this? He transforms into a bird? Foretell imminent threat with the twang of bow strings. Make a move. Any move.

That’s a lot of questions, Noclue.

Who says the idol just becomes a possession?

If I start making restrictions on what counts as a possession and what does not, I’ll need a consistent ruling for it.  I’ve been thinking along those lines, but things get tricky.  That the druid must be in contact with the item is a given.  I’ve already ruled that the item may not be a living creature.  If I rule that the item must be in the druid’s grasp, then something like a shield strapped to his body does not morph.  Not my intention.  Given the choice between brewing a complex set of rules for that one sentence and just fixing the class ability, I will probably fix the ability.

Who says the Druid can just transform to human and back again unmolested?

The dice.  If the druid rolls it, the druid can do it.  The rules say nothing about it not being possible.  They don’t even say that he or she needs to return to humanoid form before morphing into a new shape.  I’m a fan of the characters and I’m not going to say “no” just because the outcome doesn’t fit my vision of the story.

"That's a lot of transforms in quick succession. Sounds tiring. Roll con to Defy danger. Lets see if you transform back to human before the cat gets there."

Roll+CON is a nice soft move with -1Forward or -1Ongoing as consequences.  Where appropriate, I’ll try that.

The sudden addition of a cat or pigeon-eating orc screams deus ex machina in my ears.  If the area is a trapped room, there is no sensible reason for orcs to be nosing around in there.  Besides, this doesn’t solve the problem.  The druid is still the master of all inanimate obstacles.  The only difference is that I’m now piling on additional threats on top of my traps, cliffs, and locked doors.

Who says you can just transform into a housefly? why has the Druid spent time studying a housefly's nature? Its a religious pursuit and the housefly is its totemic animal?

The rules say he can just transform into a housefly, and I quote, “You may take on the physical form of any species whose essence you have studied or who lives in your land:”  My druid chose river delta as his favored turf.  While a housefly may not be a perfect fit, mayflies, dragonflies, horse flies, and other winged insects would all be fair game.  Heck, I’m waiting for the guy to morph into a microbe.

He transforms into a bird? Foretell imminent threat with the twang of bow strings.

Again, this does not fix the problem.  See pigeon-eating orcs above.  That is merely ratcheting up the threat level to compensate for an ability that does not scale well with the other classes.  This is what I meant when I wrote about the game devolving into DM vs Druid.  Sooner or later, the player is going to get annoyed that I am constantly thwarting or complicating a class-defining ability. 

Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: January 30, 2013, 04:30:17 PM »
Pigeon man's gonna be mightly slow trying to fly that idol out of there. Orcs eat pigeons don't they? ;)
If a sparrow can carry a coconut...  Nah, he just morphs, flies to the idol, grabs it, then morphs into another flying form.  The idol is one of his possessions and melds into his new form.


Senses for the animal form have to be similar.  Otherwise, memories and thoughts would be alien to it.  Yet the rules state, "You still use your normal stats...".

Dungeon World / Re: Shapeshifting animist is a poor substitute for Druid
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:54:16 PM »
I like Lucacc's idea.

My issue with the druid is not so much the flavor.  I just think that morphing into any animal at any time is too potent for a level 1 character.  The ability to transmogrify into a mosquito is not far from the ability to teleport.  Mundane barriers like castle walls, prison cells, and pit-falls become useless.  Gotta get that idol, but you're afraid the floor is rigged?  Just send in pigeon man.

Rather than being a nature-loving, free spirit of the forest, the druid in my campaign has become the thief, assassin, and spy.  Got a campaign based on political intrigue?  No problem.  The druid just takes the form of a house fly and finds the bedroom of the local baron.  The druid morphs back to human and slits the man's throat.  Alternately, he becomes the literal "fly on a wall" and listens to all the plotting and planning.

For every physical barrier in the game, the druid has an animal form to solve it.  So my players start every encounter by sending in the druid.  The rest are just along for the ride.

Are there creative ways to curb this behavior?  Absolutely.  But then the game devolves into GM vs druid.  Can I just ask the player not to be so opportunistic?  Sure, but if I have to go to those lengths, it suggests to me something is a little broken.

Dungeon World / Re: Post your Monsters
« on: January 28, 2013, 10:59:36 PM »
I'll give one a shot.  This is more like an NPC, a single beast used as part of a largr plot where a mage is learning to create golems.  This flesh golem is one of his early creations.

(unique, large, construct, slow) 13 hp, 1 armor
Claws (d8+3 close, reach, forceful, messy)
Special Qualities: Regeneration1

Natural enemies an ogre and a troll met and fought to the death.  Godo was assembled using parts salvaged from the scene of the battle.  An uncoordinated, lumbering beast, he fights with claws and brute strength.  Each time Godo takes damage, he regenerates 1 hp.

Instinct: To destroy

-rend limbs from bodies
-use smaller beings as a club

Dungeon World / Re: Front Help? Trolling for Ideas
« on: January 21, 2013, 11:12:31 AM »
Another band of adventurous NPCs has obtained an object of power.  They plan to bind the dracolich with it.  Good intentions aside, this group clearly does not have what it takes to get the job done.  (They are too old, too young, too inexperienced, too stupid, too drunk, playing by d20 rules, or whatever.)  The PCs recognize this.  They fear these incompetent NPCs will be slaughtered and the magical object will instead fall into the hands of the dragon.

Dungeon World / Re: You are a forgotten god...
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:45:40 AM »
I'm going to Disney World.

Afte that, I'm looking for a way out of the ring.

Dungeon World / No monster tag for "speed"?
« on: January 13, 2013, 09:53:32 PM »
I'm working on my first DW campaign and have come away surprised there are no monster tags for speed or agility.

This came up because I'm creating three specific monsters that are more like NPCs.  All three are flesh golems, though not the zombie-lite creatures described in the core pdf.  The first is agile, he has three arms and is deft at moving through the trees in an almost ape-like fashion.  The second is a big, slow, dopey brute with far more strength than skill.  The last is armored, skilled with a sword, and lethal.  I picture the third as being something akin to the Kroenen character from the 2004 Hellboy movie, if that helps.

Anyway, as I was trying to transfer these characters from my thoughts into the language of DW, I was surprised to see no monster tags to describe speed.  I'm not the type who thinks that every concept needs a name or mechanic to support it, but I figure speed is a pretty basic thing.  I suppose it could be covered with a note in "Special Qualities", but it seems like it would show up in there an awful lot.

For the first two of my gruesome threesome, I was thinking of the terms nimble and ponderous.  I haven't come up with a single word to describe the third.  Dashing and mercurial have the right poetry, but not the proper connotation.

I figure if I'm having trouble describing it in my own notes, I may end up with problems during actual gameplay.  Or maybe I'm just anal about the details. 

Thoughts on the issue?

Dungeon World / Re: dragons and other threats
« on: January 13, 2013, 09:20:20 PM »
I had the same reaction to the 16hp dragon, but once I fully grasped what tags like messy really mean, I got over it.

By the way, first time posting... DW newb... great thing you have going here.

So, my take-home message from the dragon encounter described in that thread probably isn't unique, but I describe it in different terms.  In that encounter, the dragon's best defense was its offense.  It doesn't need impenetrable armor.  It can keep attackers at a distance through superior firepower.  In military circles, they use the term "projection power" - often when talking about aircraft carriers.  It's not a perfect analogy, but I think a dragon has something like that.

A PC trying to get within range to trigger hack and slash needs to get past the reach tag.  Doing so puts them in a whole lot of danger... potentially (b[2d12]+5, 4 piercing) if they fail to defy danger.  Roll that up and see what it means.  I once had a player ask what die I was rolling for damage following a fight with an epic-quality creature (2nd ed D&D).  I answered, "such-n-such doesn't deal damage; it deals death."  Dragons should be like that.  And if a player can successfully defy that kind of danger, then good for them.  They should be able to smite the big lizard.

In my opinion, it helps to think about monster tactics preparing for encounters.  In my campaign settings, dragons are highly magical.  So, when a party got wise and took shelter in a stone fortification, I had the dragon transmute stone to metal... specifically copper.  Then I had it superheat the copper with its breath weapon.  The simple ability to fly can keep a dragon out of hack and slash danger.  Strafing the area with fire is another way to keep dangers away from a dragon.  Ask yourself, "If I were a dragon, how would I destroy a group of PCs."  Dragons have a big arsenal.  Use it.  Or, as described more eloquently in the linked thread, there's more to being dangerous than just being difficult to kill.

So, yeah, that's my take.  Happy gaming!

Pages: [1]