Ally

  • 15 Replies
  • 8682 Views
Ally
« on: October 10, 2012, 09:43:23 PM »
A phrase in the Cleric and Wizard spells has me wondering: ally. The phrasing of the spells that state they can be cast on an ally seems to imply that the spellcaster cannot cast the spell on themselves. Am I missing something here or maybe reading too much into the word? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

*

Scrape

  • 378
Re: Ally
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 10:37:28 PM »
I read it as "someone other than yourself," but it might work differently at every table; whatever makes sense to you and your group. Part of why I love Dungeon World is that it doesn't weigh itself down with really exact rulings and explanations. Instead, it sort of presents an impression and a rules framework and lets you build from there.When in doubt, I usually ask the character in game: "What do you do when you cast that spell? How does it work? Do you think it would work if you cast it on yourself? Have you ever tried?"

That said, there probably is a correct answer, but until then I'd say to just go with your gut.

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Ally
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 07:00:39 AM »
Scrape as always has the right of it. Discuss it at the table, ask provocative questions, what does ally mean to you [cleric]? If you cast it on yourself, to whom are you allied? Your God? Your companions? Something more sinister?

This then gives you all the grist for the 7-9 complications or miss hard a move as you'd like.

Ask questions and build on the answers, make your dungeon world what you want (as a group) it to be!

Re: Ally
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 07:10:53 AM »
Thanks, Scrape & noofy, for your input. I agree that asking the player to interpret that is a pretty good idea, it does make each experience of play unique.

At the same time, I feel a push to say what the rules require as GM. All the moves, including the spells, imply a certain base setting. There is lots of room for interpretation on what a Goblin is and what it does.

The choice of the word 'ally' seems very specific. If a Cleric can only cast Cure Light Wounds on an ally and not themselves, that is a very different approach to the character than one that can cast the spell on anyone including themselves.

At the table I said the spell could be cast on the spellcaster as well as any allies. Next I'll try putting it back on the player to describe what they think it means.

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Ally
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 11:52:54 PM »
Just remain consistent and all will be well.

Re: Ally
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 09:00:40 AM »
noofy, thanks. That's sound advice.

Re: Ally
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 12:11:24 PM »
What noofy said - like so many things in the game, it's about interpretation and asking questions.  Who do you consider an ally?  Does your magic work if that "ally" hates your guts?  Are you an ally to yourself?  Etc etc.

Re: Ally
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 03:13:56 PM »
skinnyghost, in running more of DW I find I'm trying to find that line that separates "say what the rules require" and "ask questions/use that information". The line seems to keep moving on me. ;)

Re: Ally
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 05:12:38 PM »
I am an incredibly lazy GM who is really good at making my laziness seem like I'm including the players.

"I don't know anything about the Goblins, why don't YOU tell me about the Goblins?"

Re: Ally
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 05:17:28 PM »
"I don't know anything about the Goblins, why don't YOU tell me about the Goblins?"

We're you secretly listening in on my last session?

*

Scrape

  • 378
Re: Ally
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 12:06:10 AM »
Yeah, that's a trick my group learnedly from ApocWorld and now we all do it, all the time. It's really great for investing players in the world.

Re: Ally
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 03:48:20 PM »
What noofy said - like so many things in the game, it's about interpretation and asking questions. 

Cure light wounds says "Heal an ally". Consume Unlife says "heal yourself or the next ally you touch". I assumed the difference in wording is purposefully significant - that is, when the question came up in our group, I carefully examined the rules, and finding a spell the strictly separates "yourself" from "ally", I must therefore rule that "yourself" cannot be an "ally". If that isn't the intention, both spells should say the same thing, and it probably also be clearer that such decisions are up for group discussion.

*

Scrape

  • 378
Re: Ally
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 04:06:23 PM »
The wording of particular rules can be super-important, but as far as I'm concerned, pretty much every decision is up for group discussion at my table.

I asked my dwarf Cleric what Words of the Unspeaking looked like and he told me that a face formed on stone objects and spoke to him. A few sessions later, he used the spell in desperation while being pursued: he wanted a stone face to grow out of the floor and attempt to trip the pursuer by biting its leg. I immediately said "sure, roll +WIS" because as far as I'm concerned, our shared fiction overrode whatever the spell description said. We established how the spell works: it makes a face grow out of the stonework. It'd be more incongruous to say "but it can't bite" because of some text.

Similarly, if the group decides "ally" means a friend, a brother-in-arms, an ally of your god, or just a target, I think the important thing is consistency- that it always operates that way, and that it defines how his magic works a little more. Plus, asking the player leads to more fun and interesting rationale than "because the rules say so."

"So your god doesn't care if the ally is a non-believer? Why is that? So your god holds you to a different standard than non-believers? How do you feel about that?"

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Ally
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 06:33:53 PM »
Can I just say, I like that we are having this discussion! It gets to the very heart of the 'World engine. Its about maintaining consistency in your Dungeon World, reincorporating like crazy and asking provocative questions and using the answers to drive play. I Love it :)

Re: Ally
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 03:12:36 PM »
Is the official answer "be consistent within your group"? This question came up at the end of last session with regards to "Cure Light Wounds", and my gut was it could be used on the Priest casting it but wanted to simply double check.