multiple attackers, multiple defenders

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multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« on: September 23, 2011, 02:35:23 PM »
I'm not sure what to do when a character is fighting more than one monster at a time, or if multiple characters are ganging up on one monster and they all choose to hack and slash. There are many ways these situations could be handled, but it would be nice to see some official examples.

Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 06:17:48 PM »
Here’s a hypothetical example. Folgyr the Heavy Handed and Wevyl the Umber Mouse team up on Kurthos, the conciliatory Orc warlord. Are either of these options more legitimate, or should the DM be free to choose whichever one suits his fancy?

Folgyr: I lay into him with my mace (hack & slash). I hit with a 7 and trade blows with the Orc. I do 7 damage.
DM: … Kurthos apologizes and compliments your heritage as he connects with his axe. You take 6 damage.
Wevyl: I get behind the Orc and stab him (hack & slash). I hit with an 8. I guess I trade blows with the Orc, but… do I? He’s only got one axe, right? Does this mean he’s hitting both me and Folgyr at the same time?

Option 1
DM: Yes, he’s really strong and swinging his axe all over the place as he apologizes. Just getting close to him is dangerous.

Option 2
DM: No, Kurthos can only hurt one of you at a time. So you hurt him while he’s engaged with Folgyr. If you had hit with a 10, you could do the extra +1d6 damage and still not get hurt.

If Option 1 applies, is there anything about the warlord that could change to make Option 2 apply (i.e., if he only had a dagger or if Wevyl were invisible)?

Here’s another hypothetical example. Glim and Glimmer, the Orc twins, team up on Folgyr. Should one of the options below be the default response, while others only apply in special circumstances?

Folgyr: I swing my 2-hander in a broad arc in front of me. Can I hurt both of them? I hit with an 8. I do 7 damage.

Option 1
DM: You can only hurt one orc at a time, so you hit Glim for 7 damage. As you pull back for another swing, Glim stabs you under your arm for 5 damage. At the same time, Glimmer gets behind you and breaks a chair over your head for 5 damage. If you had hit with a 10+, you could have chosen to hurt one of them while avoiding damage from both of them, or hurt both of them while taking damage from one of them.

Option 2
DM: You can hurt both of them at once because that would be cool and your weapon is clearly designed for that sort of thing. You slash both of the twins for 7 damage. Glim stabs you under your arm for 5 damage. Glimmer staggers back, grabs a chair and throws it at you for 5 damage. If you had hit with a 10+, you could have avoided damage from both of them, or you could have done an extra 1d6 to one of them while taking damage from that one.

Option 3
DM: You cut Glim on the head for 7 damage just as he stabs you under your arm for 5 damage. While that’s going on, Glimmer gets behind you and tries to break a chair over your head. Roll Defy Danger. Incidentally, if you had hit with a 10+, you could have opted to take normal damage from Glim while avoiding Glimmer entirely (no roll to Defy Danger).

Obviously, the rules do not explicitly allow some of the things I suggested in these options. I'm not shy about making house rules and trying to think about what would be fair and what would be in line with the principles of the game. On one hand, it seems like fantasy is full of examples of heroes fighting 2 or more opponents at once and having a good chance of success. On the other hand, there are many other examples where even a strong hero is in big trouble when he's outnumbered 2 to 1.


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noclue

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Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 02:28:37 AM »
It's not that complicated. Kurthos whacks the orc and the orc hits him. If Wevyl is Hack and Slashing too and rolls a 7-9, then orc spins around and whacks him one as well.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 12:32:17 PM »
I agree with noclue. It might be less difficult conceptually if you think of the rolls more like a movie fight scene than the way rpg fight scenes are traditionally organised. Folgyr comes at the orc with a heavy blow and the orc gets him in return, in the next action beat Wevyl thrusts at him from behind landing a blow but the orc spins in rage, striking him with his heavy axe, etc.

In the second example, with two orcs attacking a PC, if you are treating the orcs as individuals, then Folgyr wounds one of them (maybe while the other comes at him with a chair - because that's awesome! - then the next action beat is Folgyr rolling Defy Danger). I would probably treat the orcs as a group at that point and apply the group rules - that's effectively the same thing, but with some armour bonuses.

Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 06:13:40 PM »
So, when 2 PCs gang up on 1 NPC it's possible for both PCs to be hurt in a single exchange, but when 2 NPCs are ganging up on 1 PC, the PC can only hurt one of the NPCs, no matter how good he is? This might seem unfair to a player, if that's how it works.

For the group rules, are you referring to the rules for gangs in Apocalypse World or something else, specific to Dungeon World? If Dungeon World has its own group combat rules, I can't seem to find them. Where are they?

Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 07:37:13 PM »
Oh, of course *facepalm*, you should count one of the PCs ganging up on the monster as hack and slashing and the other as aiding. If they both want to attack, yes, they both risk taking damage.

Bear and mind that when two PCs gang up, if they're both rolling hack and slash, that's two moves, so two separate "exchanges". If one is aiding, it's only one exchange.

The DW group rules are in the Adventurers Guild document. They're pretty much the same as the AW gang rules, IIRC, so you could use those instead.

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noclue

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Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 01:55:46 AM »
Bear and mind that when two PCs gang up, if they're both rolling hack and slash, that's two moves, so two separate "exchanges". If one is aiding, it's only one exchange.

Yup. And when two NPCs gang up on a PC, the PC can Hack and Slash one and then Hack and Slash the other one. Two separate moves again.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: multiple attackers, multiple defenders
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 03:12:01 PM »
OK, so this sounds like sort of a Bruce Lee approach to multiple attackers; even when people are ganging up on someone, we assume that the outnumbered person moves around just enough so that no one is really attacking simultaneously or gaining any special benefits. The monsters tend to get in each other's way and so do the PCs. So maybe Folgyr swings his 2-hander in a wide arc to get Glim to step back (hack and slash) while Glimmer is getting a chair, then Folgyr backs up to pommel-strike Glimmer with a second hack-and-slash action (hopefully ducking Glimmer's attack).

I like it. It's easy to remember.

Of course, when Bruce did it, he did not even have to move around.