Fighting multiple opponents

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Fighting multiple opponents
« on: September 10, 2012, 06:54:34 PM »
I'm in my second week of running the game. A question occurred to me as I thought back about the session, which is: What do you do about fighting multiple opponents?

The flow of the fighting was fine at the time, but on a couple of occasions, either deliberately or by opponent actions, single characters ended up fighting groups of opponents. In original DND, this would have been dangerous, with those characters being attacked by each opponent; in DW, when the character rolled a 7-9, I was dealing the damage of a single monster, regardless of how many were being fought. As I look back, it doesn't seem quite right, with a group being no worse than a queue. But contrawise, it's not like the players were ignoring the extras, so I couldn't just assume the rest got free hits.

Perhaps I'm over thinking it. In one case, the surrounded player was dragged down by the mob - the move following the fiction, right? Any other ideas?


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Jingo

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Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 07:17:39 PM »
This was in the 2.3 beta. I didn't see it in the pre-release, but it's possible I missed it:

"It's a brave monster that goes into battle alone. Most creatures fight with someone at their side, and maybe another at their back, and possibly an archer covering the rear, and so on. This can lead to multiple monsters dealing their damage at once.
If multiple creatures attack at once roll the damage die for each of them and take the highest result. If some of the creatures deal a different amount of damage roll the damage with the highest potential for each creature involved in the attack and take the highest result.

A goblin orkaster (d10+1 damage ignores armor) and three goblins (d6 damage) all throw their respective weapons—a magical acid orb for the orkaster, spears for the rest—at Lux as she assaults their barricade. I roll the highest damage, d10+1 ignores armor, four times: once for the orkaster, and once for each of the other goblins. I take the highest result, a roll of 8, and tell Lux she takes 9 damage ignoring armor as the acid leaks into the scratches left by the spears."

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 08:04:27 PM »
I can't help to remind people every now and then that a 7-9 on Hack'n'Slash does not mean automatic damage, but just that "the enemy makes an attack".
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 08:26:42 PM »
But if the attack (i.e "move") chosen reasonably would damage, then it is automatic. Right?

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I can't help to remind people every now and then that a 7-9 on Hack'n'Slash does not mean automatic damage, but just that "the enemy makes an attack".

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Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 12:19:11 AM »
Yeah, but like, what does the group of enemies do? They're not just standing around in a circle, taking turns stabbing. They're grabbing the PC, holding him back for their friends to attack. They're tripping, attacking from blind spots, surrounding and overwhelming the poor player. Work that game fiction. How do "hack & slash" a mob that's overwhelming you? Get into the gritty details and show the player what it means to be surrounded by enemies.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 02:17:08 AM »
But if the attack (i.e "move") chosen reasonably would damage, then it is automatic. Right?
dealing damage is a hard move. If you are doing a hard move on a 7-9, you better have a good reason! As it's being previously said, hack'n'slash is intentionally left open to interpretation: on a 7-9, sometimes the character deals his damage, and then the gm will describe the enemy's attack ending with "what do you do?" Sometimes it's appropriate that the character just suffers damage.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 03:59:46 AM »
This was in the 2.3 beta. I didn't see it in the pre-release, but it's possible I missed it:

"It's a brave monster that goes into battle alone [etc.]"

Thanks. That isn't in the pre-release.

Quote from: (not that) adam
dealing damage is a hard move. If you are doing a hard move on a 7-9, you better have a good reason!

Hmm. I'll bear that in mind in future. I've got a major mindset difficulty so far in that it appears monsters are seemingly forever "threatening" action, but rarely get the chance to actually cause real effect.  That may well be the way it's supposed to be.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 05:05:44 AM »
well, on a missed hack'n'slash, the threat comes very true!
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 08:01:44 AM »
But if the attack (i.e "move") chosen reasonably would damage, then it is automatic. Right?
dealing damage is a hard move. If you are doing a hard move on a 7-9, you better have a good reason! As it's being previously said, hack'n'slash is intentionally left open to interpretation: on a 7-9, sometimes the character deals his damage, and then the gm will describe the enemy's attack ending with "what do you do?" Sometimes it's appropriate that the character just suffers damage.

I'm not sure this is accurate. The text says that dealing damage is a hard move, true, but it also talks about dealing damage on a 7-9 Hack and Slash result. For instance, the very first example of play under the Hack and Slash description has the GM dealing damage to someone who suffers an enemy's "attack."

Also, in the section discussing the Hack and Slash move's development: in the previous version of the move, you explicitly took your enemy's damage on a 7-9 result. However, it wasn't changed to "the monster makes an attack" because dealing damage was seen as too severe, but rather because the developers wanted to give the monsters opportunities to use their moves (which can often result in damage as well, but don't have to), not "just" deal damage.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 09:11:11 AM »
why no one ever believes me? I should save this post on my bookmarks, finding it every time is becoming a pain. Here you go.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

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Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 09:40:22 AM »
Because the book says you can deal damage on a 7-9 hack&slash. You can also make a "move," but I use that to describe the attack and any other effects. The "Attack" the monster makes doesn't have to be damage or only damage- "it grabs you" is also an attack.

But the implication of 7-9 hack&slash is that the attack hits and the character suffers it. Whether it's being damaged, tripped, pushed, grabbed, disarmed, whatever. I don't think they should roll again to avoid it. Otherwise what was the price of that 7-9 h&s? If damage is an option, that implies success for the monster.

In the thread you linked, skinnyghost says "it can be damage or it can be a move. It's intentionally left unspecified so that the GM has more room to choose." I think it's pretty clear that the GM uses the fiction and the danger as established to make the call. But in the situation we're discussing in this thread, a PC surrounded by enemies, it is 100% appropriate to hurt the PC. He cannot defend against all those enemies if he's just rolling hack&slash.

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 10:07:51 AM »
I never said the contrary :( I must work on my forum-communicating skills. I was just pointing out that H&S does not deal automatic damage on a 7-9 (which is a common mistake).
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

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Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 11:00:09 AM »
I never said the contrary :( I must work on my forum-communicating skills. I was just pointing out that H&S does not deal automatic damage on a 7-9 (which is a common mistake).

Gotcha, that's true. It kinda sounded like you were saying something else and people seemed to be getting confused, I wasn't arguing or anything so I hope it didn't read that way.

Bottom line: Hack & Slash doesn't happen in a vacuum. If the danger is established, like "the giant is reaching to grab you" then the "move" on a 7-9 is "you're grabbed." But if it's like "the giant is swinging his club" then the move can be damage, or even damage and "you're knocked down," if the game fiction has established that the giant is strong enough to knock you down.

The move should always flow from what's been set up in the fiction as the threat, I think that's what we're both saying.

If the PC charges toward a tentacled monster and you call for a hack&slash, maybe the "move" is "tentacles reach toward you, what do you do?" Because being grabbed was not yet established as a threat. Does that clarify things?

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 03:09:07 PM »
I think the confusion is perhaps the way you are phrasing this (assuming I actually get all the subtleties).  With a 7-9 with Hack and Slash one of the "make an attack" options is to deal damage to the character, and to do so "automatically", i.e. without further moves or die rolling.

Having a "hard move" as a result of Hack and Slash makes complete sense if that hard move is "the orc you are fighting slips past your guard and stabs you in the teat."  This, to me, is not an unannounced hard move.  We were in a triggered Hack and Slash, after all.

To me there'd be little point to have a character engage an orc, triggering Hack and Slash, have the character roll an 8, and for the response to be "watch out, the orc is going to attack you!" 


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I never said the contrary :( I must work on my forum-communicating skills. I was just pointing out that H&S does not deal automatic damage on a 7-9 (which is a common mistake).
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:19:59 PM by ScottMcG »

Re: Fighting multiple opponents
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 03:20:34 PM »
I meant that most often people think that on a 7-9, you ALWAYS suffer damage, no matter what. I for one fell for this the first time I played and also some other people here on the forums. Slow dog wrote:
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when the character rolled a 7-9, I was dealing the damage of a single monster
I thought, hey better safe than sorry, so I posted about this. Sometimes 7-9 on H&S brings damage, sometimes not.

That said, after this, I will no more use the word "automatic" when writing about H&S :P sorry for wasting your time.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.