dragons and other threats

  • 3 Replies
dragons and other threats
« on: January 13, 2013, 04:00:57 AM »
How do you handle a dragon or something similar?
In many other games the dragon has high armour, is hard to damage, and hits easily.

In DW characters could make their hack n slash and defy danger rolls and the dragon is dead.
Is there some way of just saying, you can't attack it?




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Re: dragons and other threats
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 04:40:15 AM »
G'day Chris, welcome to the forums!
You aren't the only one to find this a little odd... DW is far more than HP and damage attrition. Read this, it should help :)


Especially the example with the 16HP  dragon!
Ask more questions if you have them, have fun with the game.

Re: dragons and other threats
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 05:42:54 AM »
Thanks for linking that post.
I had read the 16hp dragon bit linked from somewhere else, but while cool, it left me thinking "well, one more hit and it would have been dead"

reading the whole thread answers my questions, cheers

Re: dragons and other threats
« Reply #3 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!