Smoothing AW wrinkles in D&D combat

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Smoothing AW wrinkles in D&D combat
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:42:08 PM »
I've just got a few conundrums about some of the DW combat moves.

1. In Hack and slash, its a given (before the roll) that you deal your damage, and the NPC deals theirs - right? Make a Stand and Pull a stunt both have damage reducing options, meaning that taking damage is a given when you make either of these moves - right?

So on a miss , you still suffer damage and the enemy may too, but the DM gets to make a hard move in return (like extra damage, or taking away your stuff, or isolating you, or negating your damage etc..) Is this intended way to do things? Cause we've been doing it this way.

2. What about make a stand? Why would you choose taking half damage over preventing an enemy from dealing damage this 'round'? What happens if you aren't using rounds, just a move snowball? In my mind, even when fighting (or defending against) multiple apponents, preventing the most dangerous enemy would make more sense than taking half damage from any one opponent. Unless its half total damage from all opponents?! Ahhhh, now that makes sense! Can anyone clarify?

2. How do Folks iterate ranged attacks vs melee? What we've been doing is using Hack 'n slash (or sometimes make a stand or pull a stunt), with the range tag meaning the opponents are 'out of reach' and therefore can't inflict their damage. Is this right? If so, it reduces a fair few choices null and void - like 'take half damage'. So does this mean you can only choose from the remaining options?

3. When pulling a stunt, is the damage suffered assumed to be from (potential) opponents? Or perhaps its environmental, if so then I'd use the GM move for inflicting harm as per the situation? Is this right? How much harm? Like in the AW health clock? Or a condition?

Thanks for your help folks!

Re: Smoothing AW wrinkles in D&D combat
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 08:20:21 PM »
I'll leave someone else to get into the detail as I'm short on time, but some links that might be useful:

Some of this like ranged weapons discussed in this thread:

Also recommend you check out:
- Sage's January blog on combat here:
- The as yet unpublished draft next version which has some explanation of specific moves through:

Re: Smoothing AW wrinkles in D&D combat
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 03:32:32 PM »
Heya, wightbred - we're working on a pretty significant restructuring of the combat moves.

Grab the latest copy of Dungeon World Hack here and take a look.

In a loose sense, here's some feedback on your questions.

1) It's a given that, in DW combat, damage is an ever-present danger.  Every failed roll or choice made not to avoid it it becomes available for the GM to dole it out.  If you're in a combat situation, damage is all around you.

2) Make a stand has been altered pretty significantly.  I think the new version of DWH will clear some of this up for you.

3) We've left conditional environment hazards up to you.  You may end up with a Dungeon Front describing the traps and dangers of the current adventure - if you do, you'll have ideas there to dole out appropriate damage.  Generally, if it makes sense narratively, it'll make sense mechanically - just let the dice fall and rely on your GM (or your sense of fairness as one) to guide you in situations like this. 

Damage comes from being in combat - whatever aspect of that damage (an ogres club, a nasty fall, a spikey pit) is going to be related to the move made and failed or the damage ignored.