Put myself into danger? Sure, why not?

A lot of the moves in Dungeon World have some slight drawbacks on partial success, the most common one being that you can “draw unwanted attention”.

This might not seem like a big deal, but there is actually a lot of ways to use this as a GM. A good way of doing this can be to save a players hide.

Imagine Grobrek, the Dwarf Fighter, swinging savagely with his axe at some demon overlord. The take swings at each other, and after some time Grobrek is reduced to 2 HP. Now, death is an eminent threat, so Haldir, the Elven Bard, decides to weave a healing spell into a small perfomance with his flute, healing d8 damage on Grobrek.

Haldir rolls and gets an end result of 8 on his roll+cha. Now, the GM can either choose to reverberate the effects to other targets – the demon for example – or he can choose to have Haldir “draw unwanted attention”.

Seing that Haldir has 18 HP left, the GM decides that a good way to make the game interesting wouldn’t be to heal the demon, but to let it loose on Haldir, cutting Grobrek some slack. The demon makes a flap with its wings, evades a blow from Grobrek and lands besides Haldir, grabs him by the neck and lifts him from the ground.

“What do you do?”

We have just used a “consequence” of a partial success to save a players character. Now the bard is in trouble, but hopefully his friends will come to his aid.


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About Undreren

I'm a university student from Denmark, currently taking my candidate degree in Mathematical-Economics. I have played pen & paper RPG's since 2004, but my interest for the phenomenon sparked about 3 years prior to that. I'm an amateur programmer and knows Java and Haskell as well as some rudimentary HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript.

2 responses to “Put myself into danger? Sure, why not?”

  1. Nifelhein says :

    Draw unwanted attention is also not the same as reinforcements, it can be as simple as you pointed but it means the GM can use it to put the player on a spot.

    • Undreren says :

      This is one of the things I really enjoy about Dungeon World, it makes you able to “adjust the pressure” in a very thematically appropriate way.

      The article is basically about the DW equivalent for fudging dice, except for the “dice” part. 🙂

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