Dungeon World

1) I'm assuming the following is correct about the Undertake a Perilous Journey move:

a) The destination was the Goblin Slave Pits of the nefarious Black City of the Fallen Dwarves.

b) They knew their way there either via map, they'd been there before, a guide, instruction of some sort.

Remember if both (a) and (b) aren't in play, you don't UaPJ, its just typical move structure as you set out to wander the wild in search of x. For UaPJ, the move requires, hostile terrain, a destination, and the PCs know where they're going.

2) What were the results of the UaPJ move (the mechanics and the fallout you put on the group, please)?
Their destination, specifically, was the Black City. I guess in my mind I had it planned to put them in the Slave Pits to start the session. Perhaps wrong?

They were given instructions to pass through the Fungal Forest to get to the Black City.

The UaPJ move was done at the end of the previous session, which due to real life issues was over three weeks ago (and before I started this thread), so I don't recall a lot of the details. I think the trailblazer and scout succeeded on a 10+ and the quartermaster got a 7-9, losing some of their rations (which as we discussed above, wasn't a harsh enough move).

How did you convey the fiction (your soft move) after the player made their move? As close to verbatim as you can get off recollection, please.

What GM move did you attempt to make (from the list)? How successful do you think you were at it?
The goblins are startled and back away from your group.
Barbarian: "We come in peace, as ambassadors, to speak to your leader."
Me: "You're trying to win them over by talking to them. That's a Defy Danger - Charisma."
Barbarian - rolls a 7-9.
Me: "The goblins stare at you in confusion for a moment, before turning tail and racing towards the orc overseers. You think you could overtake them before they reach their destination, leaving the rest of your party behind."

Sorry that the language wasn't as descriptive or creative as what you wrote. So in this case I gave a hard choice - splitting the party and attacking the goblins (destroying their credibility as ambassadors) or allowing the goblins to flee and summon their bosses.

I think it led to a fun combat and an entertaining session. So I guess it was successful on that front? Just not sure if I'm "doing it right."
 
Their destination, specifically, was the Black City. I guess in my mind I had it planned to put them in the Slave Pits to start the session. Perhaps wrong?

They were given instructions to pass through the Fungal Forest to get to the Black City.

The UaPJ move was done at the end of the previous session, which due to real life issues was over three weeks ago (and before I started this thread), so I don't recall a lot of the details. I think the trailblazer and scout succeeded on a 10+ and the quartermaster got a 7-9, losing some of their rations (which as we discussed above, wasn't a harsh enough move).
Sounds good. I would definitely say UaPJ triggers there.

For QM 7-9, consider some alternatives to Rations (though Rations are still good):

1) Maybe what s/he foraged to cook up in camp on the way was tainted and one of the PCs needs to Defy Danger Con with a Debility or a lesser complication on the line (take -1 Forward with relevant stat).

2) Perhaps the cooking fire got out of control and they have a choice to make; take -1 forward on the next move that involves their hands (due to burns) or they lose 1 Adventuring Gear (maybe a tent catches fire), Bag of Books, or Bandages (something flammable).

3) Maybe you uncover an unwelcome truth; someone's Dungeon Rations weren't stored correctly and every time they consume 1 from it, they have to Defy Danger Con to avoid the consequences...

The goblins are startled and back away from your group.
Barbarian: "We come in peace, as ambassadors, to speak to your leader."
Me: "You're trying to win them over by talking to them. That's a Defy Danger - Charisma."
Barbarian - rolls a 7-9.
Me: "The goblins stare at you in confusion for a moment, before turning tail and racing towards the orc overseers. You think you could overtake them before they reach their destination, leaving the rest of your party behind."

Sorry that the language wasn't as descriptive or creative as what you wrote. So in this case I gave a hard choice - splitting the party and attacking the goblins (destroying their credibility as ambassadors) or allowing the goblins to flee and summon their bosses.

I think it led to a fun combat and an entertaining session. So I guess it was successful on that front? Just not sure if I'm "doing it right."
I think that is a pretty good hard choice there, assuming that establishing social currency with the goblins was a goal for this group going in.

Sounds like it worked; yielded an interesting decision-point which snowballed into an enjoyable follow-on conflict (which is basically the point of play).

I'll comment on the rest of your post tomorrow.
 

Crusadius

Explorer
So what would be necessary is a change of the player mindset mindset to not treat a 6- as a failure (or a 7-9 as a partial failure), but instead seeing them as a source of interesting complications.
The way I see it is that the Players are rolling dice for both their character and the opposition. Either they succeed or their opposition does (or both manage to ding each other). A single dice roll rather than two (or 4 if a system has resistance/dodge rolls).
 
Alright, lets dig back in. Going to, again, segment this to focus on each interval.

The barbarian tried to climb out of the trench. (I had the player roll Defy Danger - Strength to climb out. Result was a 7-9.) I gave the option to ruin the climb for the other players by knocking loose the handholds or to make enough noise in the ascent to let the Orcs know the group's precise position.
Just curious about your thinking and your framing:

1) I like the first option. What did you have in mind in terms if the ramifications on the fiction/potential action declarations for the players? It would take them awhile to traverse the climb and that would likely mean that they would be mid-climb when the Orcs arrived? Take -1 forward? They would have to find another way to get out (eg Defy Danger Str was no longer on the table)?

2) What were the implications on the fiction of their actual choice; the Orcs knowing their precise position? Do you think the players understood the implications?

Two orc slavers with whips and a huge brute orc mutant berserker barreled down the trench to their positions. The berserker swung his jagged blade wildly. The fighter stepped forward to Defend the cleric, but the slaver ensnared him in a whip (failed a Defy Danger with a 7-9), but he broke out with a Defy Danger - Strength (10+) and was able to Hack and Slash the slaver and cleave off his head.
So I'm envisioning the battlefield as a mining pit that features the following (you could call these Scene Tags - complications that can be used as framing or complications):

  • Uneven ground
  • Haphazard piles of ore
  • Cleft floors and walls with fissures
  • Rotten, failing ladders to above
  • Rickety rope ladder spans a bisecting chasm
  • Winch, pulley, and hook hold a load of sacked ore precariously above
  • Stalagmites dripping mineral pools slick with sweat, blood, and dead rats

That sort of stuff.

Two Orc Slavers with Whips. VERY good choice! Reach + Forceful Tags. That is thematic and mechanically compelling.

Berserker with a jagged blade. Messy tag I assume? What did you go with in terms of its range? Close or Reach (a Greatsword with violent, sudden rushes should be reach)?

So the Fighter wanted to Defend the Cleric from the Berserker's assault, but you forced a DD due to the Reach tag (as you should). Its unclear if you went with a choice for the player or you just put a complication on them; in this case Forceful tag (they're grappled).

A hard choice here may have been something like: "as you see the whip coming to ensnare your weapon arm, you can choose to let it be slapped out of your hand away from you and evade (thus disarming yourself), or you can get entangled in its constrictor-like grip." Alternatively, "the peel of the whip cracks like thunder...the goblin has amateurishly split the sack of ore hanging above the battlefield. Its going to come down on you and the Cleric and the rushing Berserker. You can shove the Cleric free of the falling debris field, but you and the Berserker are going to be buried waist deep (1d4 damage and Forceful tag)...or you can escape yourself (in which case, the Cleric would need to Defy Danger)."

So if that Defy Danger (whip) failed, then the Cleric is left on his own for a moment against the Berserker while the Fighter brute forced himself free. I don't see where you resolved that fiction with the Cleric vs the Berserker's assault? That is really what the complication is for that group; the Fighter can't defend the Cleric against the Berserker's assault.

Did the Fighter get a 10+ on their Hack and Slash after they succeeded on the DD Str at 10+? If they didn't, a 7-9 complication would mean damage and Forceful tag (maybe they kill the Slaver, but they might be tripped and sent sprawling into a terrain hazard like cleft stone or one of those diseased pools)?
 
1) I like the first option. What did you have in mind in terms if the ramifications on the fiction/potential action declarations for the players? It would take them awhile to traverse the climb and that would likely mean that they would be mid-climb when the Orcs arrived? Take -1 forward? They would have to find another way to get out (eg Defy Danger Str was no longer on the table)?

2) What were the implications on the fiction of their actual choice; the Orcs knowing their precise position? Do you think the players understood the implications?
I'd probably have had them to try to find another way out (since everyone is so good at Defy Danger Strength anyway) or risk getting caught by the Orcs.
I told the barbarian that his climb would be so loud and noisy that he would give away the group's position and that the orcs would know exactly where the disturbance was coming from.

So I'm envisioning the battlefield as a mining pit that features the following (you could call these Scene Tags - complications that can be used as framing or complications):
I have been running DW so "fast and lose" that I haven't been using tags for scenes nor creating dungeon moves, just sort of coming up with them on the spot. I know the game recommends making tags and moves, but I don't see how to do that without any idea what a group might choose to do from game to game.

hard choice here may have been something like: "as you see the whip coming to ensnare your weapon arm, you can choose to let it be slapped out of your hand away from you and evade (thus disarming yourself), or you can get entangled in its constrictor-like grip."
I did give him the option to get ensnared completely or have his beloved shield get pulled away.

Berserker with a jagged blade. Messy tag I assume? What did you go with in terms of its range? Close or Reach (a Greatsword with violent, sudden rushes should be reach)?
Yes. I gave him reach. Everyone had to Defy Danger to close in with him. The cleric, getting a 7-9 on his Defy Danger to close in had a hard choice to open himself up to the attack or get dangerously close to the tentacles coming out of the walls. He chose the sword damage.
 
I told the barbarian that his climb would be so loud and noisy that he would give away the group's position and that the orcs would know exactly where the disturbance was coming from.
So here is what I'm asking:

What disadvantage for the players is happening as a result of the above move (and do you think your players could suss it out)?

Put another way, what is changing in the fiction as a result of the orcs knowing exactly where the disturbance is coming from? What would you say is the Soft Move (from the GMing list) here?

Is it Reveal an Unwelcome Truth? And, if so, is that "Truth" that the bad guys will be coming, they'll be coming in force, and the PCs better act quickly to avoid this engagement (that they otherwise wouldn't want to entertain)?

I have been running DW so "fast and lose" that I haven't been using tags for scenes nor creating dungeon moves, just sort of coming up with them on the spot. I know the game recommends making tags and moves, but I don't see how to do that without any idea what a group might choose to do from game to game.
I run it the same way.

These wouldn't be pre-planned tags. Just take a moment at the outset of the conflict to (a) imagine the fullness of the situation to yourself out loud, (b) give the battlefield interesting characteristics to make it dynamic, (c) declare the portents/complications/costs to both the players and yourself so that both of your moves are informed by these dynamics.

I did give him the option to get ensnared completely or have his beloved shield get pulled away.
Good deal.

Yes. I gave him reach. Everyone had to Defy Danger to close in with him. The cleric, getting a 7-9 on his Defy Danger to close in had a hard choice to open himself up to the attack or get dangerously close to the tentacles coming out of the walls. He chose the sword damage.
Couple things.

Just to be clear:

When the Fighter couldn't defend the Cleric (because he was ensnared by the whip) and you told him that the Berserker was charging wildly into melee with him and swinging that terrible blade (that out-reached him), the player of the Cleric responded with something like "I'm going to try to evade his wild swings by rolling inside of his reach and closing to melee."

Something like that? Then you gave him the choice above, but allowed him to close to melee, correct?

Final thing, if other enemies are in range and ar threats, remember to add +1 damage for each (and if any of them have the ignores armor, Forceful, Messy tags, those apply as well). The one Slaver with the Whip was occupied with the Fighter. What about the other?
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