Clarifying "Make a Stand"

  • 13 Replies
Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« on: December 19, 2010, 05:53:49 AM »
In the first game I MC'd of Dungeon World we had and interesting effect from the Basic Move "Make a Stand" that I agreed I'd try to get some advice on.

The Halfling Fighter advanced alone to the Goblin Village and was attacked by 10 Goblins. He "Made a Stand", rolled 10+ and chose "Deal Normal damage to the enemy" and "You also defend against all nearby enemies, they are all effected by this move" intending to hit and (with the damage roll) kill all 10 goblins. I ruled this was OK and in an awesome scene he slaughtered 10 goblins.

We debated after the game if this was the intention of the move. It seems out of proportion with the damage of "Hack and Slash" although you do need to roll 10+, take the hit and roll moderate damage.

So here's my question: is this an intended way to use this move?

By the way love this hack. It convinced me to buy AW.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 12:40:57 PM »
What was the situation when the move was made? Where were all the goblins? What was happening, fictionally?

I think Dungeon World moves are more vague than Apocalypse World moves, but it's still the same basic system and that requires a fairly detailed, visceral description of the imaginary positions and events. You know, "to do it do it". How was the halfling making a stand?

It might sound pointless, but it matters in AW and I believe it matters in DW.

The outcome sounds fun and awesome, so if that's good, then it's good. But I probably wouldn't have handled it that way. First off, were all 10 of the goblins really nearby, so that he could defend against them? Were all 10 of them attacking him at the same time? In my opinion a move should rarely resolve a whole scene or conflict. I am not questioning your judgement, but I think this brings "Make a Stand" in perspective relative to "Hack and Slash".

As a side note I was talking to Sage about this move and I think there's definitely a problem with it. I think it's (amongst other things) because original D&D doesn't really have a "Constitution Move" and it's hard to reincorporate it.

Interesting topic.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 01:42:35 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

I agree that DW moves are more vague than AW moves. I haven't had any similar problems MCing AW moves, and have played a lot more AW than DW now.
Probably too much group / fiction context:
- We've recently stopped playing D&D 4E because we found it limited our freeflowing style. Everyone was keen to try DW ironically because we want every roll to matter.
- Set the game up as a one-shot trial, so the players were playing faster and looser than usual.
- Party of five in an evil forest on a specific quest but were sidetracking to check out a goblin village on their own instigation. Was letting them go with their interest, but had made it clear that the village was going to be a challenge for them.
- Most of the party tied up with the Goblin sentries in trees, but the Fighter charaged up to the village alone. I let him know that there were 40 or so goblins in the village.
- The Fighter smashed open the gate using Bend Bars.
- I described how 10 goblins were counter attacking to take the gates back, and he chose Make A Stand and rolled 10+.
- We talked about how to rule this, with pros and cons either way and I made a ruling to keep it moving. The roll really defined the Fighter as a character as he hadn't had a chance to shine yet and it defined our need for every roll to matter.

We all agreed that killing a bunch of monsters in a single 10+ roll was awesome afterwards. It felt like the best possible spirit of 3:16 was present in this game as well. Since then I've been thinking about how I can capture this as a consistent part of the game with house rules. Not looking to be power gamerz, we just want quick but challenging combats.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 06:49:01 PM »
Just read the latest draft version on Sage's site which clarifies this: "if you choose to effect all on a 10+ ... you split your damage between them". So should have split the damage roll between the monsters.

Also notes that when you Hack and Slash with a 10+ you can "kill outright (lower level Monsters) and effect everyone he can reach". This gives me the cool multiple kill option I was looking for so I'm very happy with this.

A couple of semi-related follow-up questions:
- Can a person with a bow reach everyone they can see for Hack and Slash? Thinking of limiting this to monsters in a certain area.
- How are people handle Hack and Slash with a bow against monsters not threatening the character and only with melee weapons? I'm following the fiction and playing that the character doesn't take damage from making the Hack and Slash.

And a completely unrelated one:
- Cleric doesn't get d6 weapons or chainmail. I'm houseruling that they can have these. Anyone else doing the same?

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 04:25:33 AM »
Just read the latest draft version on Sage's site
I seem only able to find the 10.08.25 version on and this doc doesn't include the updates you discuss. Is there somewhere else you found the new version?

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 04:47:52 AM »
That's in the latest draft. If you get 10+ on Hack n Slash, you can choose max damage and then divide it amongst everyone you can see. (Technically, you can't kill every lower level monster by picking those two options, as "kill outright" is not a damage you can divide. But if you want that multiple kill option, do it.)

If you're not wading into battle with your bow, it's Pull a Stunt, not Hack n Slash.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011, 04:40:50 AM »
Sorry - I'm not looking at the current version (10.08.25) so we are talking apples and oranges. I'm looking at the next version Sage and Adam are drafting and tracking as part of their open design process. It looks only about 50% finished has a great new draft move for the Cleric and some additional sections. Tracked version is here:

This is only a draft so it may change, but I found the basic move clarifications on page 17 really useful for my current game, so check them out if you are hitting issues. In these basic moves clarification my reading is you can:
- Kill lower and make it everyone you can reach on a Hack and Slash; and
- Only divide damage on a Make a Stand - solving my concern.

Johnstone - Not sure that the intention is to use Pull a Stunt not Hack and Slash based on the notes on p17 of the new draft, but it is a very cool way to handle it. I'm thinking of giving this a go. Cheers.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011, 05:40:47 AM »
I checked the new draft.

So, there's a couple ways you can handle it. It says under "To Do It, Do It" you have to wade into battle to use Hack n Slash. So if you are standing back using missile weapons you aren't wading into battle, so you can't use Hack n Slash.

Which means you've got four other options:

1. You're Making a Stand: If the enemy is charging and you're just standing there shooting your bow at them, I guess you would be making a stand yeah?

2. You're aiding or interfering: You could be shooting your bow at some dude so he doesn't hit your buddy, or you could be shooting your bow at some dude in order to help your buddy pummel him.

3. You're Pulling a Stunt: I guess if you're trying to do something other than just hit the guy and do damage, you'd be pulling a stunt. Like shoot out his eye? Pin his foot to the floor? It reads like it's not for just shooting an arrow into somebody you dislike, but...

4. The last option is that it's not a move. Just roll your damage.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 05:49:30 AM »
You're right, the clarification in the Moves section is really good, because the wording of the moves at the front doesn't reflect the intention (it kind of makes affecting all enemies within reach but not insta-killing them into a rather sub-par option, though).

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2011, 05:10:12 PM »
I agree not insta-killing does seem sub-par in comparison to dividing damage. Especially at higher levels given the damage that killing a lower level monster would require. For example, at level 10 you could kill a bunch of level 9s which would be a huge amount of HP. I like the idea, but at higher levels it may seem wonky.

We had a rule back in 1e AD&D that a high level fighter could kill as may 1st level monsters as their level. Not sure if it was a house rule or an official expansion (ie: Dragon Mag), but it gave a similar feel without the potential high level wonkiness.

I have another potential idea, but it is pretty radical so I might start a new thread for it.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2011, 11:15:51 AM »
Doesn't the AD&D fighter already get attacks equal to his level against 1HD monsters? So insta-killing them all just saves die-rolling. The monsters have 1d8hp each, and your average 3rd-6th level fighter rolls what, 1d8+3 for damage on average?

A 6th-level fighter insta-killing five 5HD monsters feels a bit excessive, but then again, characters are supposed to be awesome. I guess somebody will have to play until 6th level and find out...



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Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 06:59:36 PM »
Sorry I missed out on this thread, some thoughts:

We'll make Hack and Slash clearer. It's for times when you're in danger as well. I think I'd count shooting a melee combatant who's not coming at you and isn't attacking a friend and you're not trying to do something weird as just doing damage.

You're right about some potential funkiness with high levels and Hack and Slash. I've got some ideas on fixing that, but I'll have to think about them a bit more.

Making Hack and Slash, Pull a Stunt, and Make a Stand truly fit D&D-style combat has been a challenge, so please ask questions. It's better we figure this stuff out now.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 09:31:09 PM »
Johnstone - Yeah, I have no problem with a Fighter killing a bunch of minions or even a cool 3:16-like vibe. I'm worried about weird stuff at higher levels like: "Man these Wights are hard. *Ding* I just leveled up. OK a 10+ on Hack and Slash and I just killed them all."

Sage - I think I posted elsewhere that the sole reason I bought and now love Apocalypse World is this hack, so it would be safe to say I am a big fan. "Hack and Slash" has worked brilliantly almost all the time and "feels" like D&D, but I agree there are a couple of rough edges that I'm now feeling that can be filed off by clarification. I'm happy to ask questions, shoot the breeze or playtest stuff to help make this game rock even more.

Re: Clarifying "Make a Stand"
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2011, 01:32:00 PM »
Another thought here and something we do in our game from time to time:

"damage" can also be an abstract concept, like "danger". So in this case, the halflings "damage" could be hacking the enemy to bits, but it could also be forcing them to hesitate, stand down, or fall into confusion.

So, for example, one could imagine a halfling "taking a stand" to cow a single charging goblin into abandoning his charge. Stretch that to "all enemies" thanks to the effect of rolling a 10+, and you have one brave halfling cowing an entire attacking platoon, which is also cool.

I also heartily endorse just hacking them to bits too. That's cool D&D stuff right there.