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When a Druid shifts shape, they get a certain amount of Hold with which to carry out actions. An issue came up in the session I ran tonight with exactly what this means.

The player in question was of the opinion that whatever you spend the point of Hold on just happens, without having to make a roll. The situation was that he was this large monitor lizard thing that had a move called 'crunch on stuff' or something similar. What was unclear was whether he still needed to make a Hack and Slash roll to be able to cause the damage with the move, or whether spending the Hold meant he automatically succeeded.

I am wondering whether the issue comes from a poorly defined move on my part, as you could argue that 'crunch on stuff' is simply what Hack and Slash would be whilst in the form of a lizard.

Does spending Hold make you automatically succeed with the move?

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1 Answer 1

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One of the writers of Dungeon World, Sage Latorra, addressed this in this thread.

A note on shapeshifting in general: taking on a new form is, in a way, saving up successes for particular tasks. The druid makes one roll and, through the clever selection of a form, can turn that into 1 or more successes. The cost of this is the new form: since everything is triggered by the fiction taking on a new form changes what rules engage. That's the fundamental tradeoff of a new form: that form's strengths turn your one roll into more successes, but that form also limits your options.

So it would seem that this move was indeed intended to be used as automatic future successes. The druid could also make a Hack & Slash roll without spending 1 Hold, though.

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"The druid could also make a Hack & Slash roll without spending 1 Hold, though." Not by choice, though. Moves always trigger by the fiction, or not at all. If they crunch on stuff, they spend the hold, done. Only if they "attack in melee" without triggering "crunch on stuff" or some other move, would Hack & Slash trigger. –  SevenSidedDie Mar 12 at 23:26
Is it an issue that crunch on stuff seems to be a subset of hack and slash? Should I be being more creative with my moves so that doesn't happen? How do I know which of the two moves triggers in this instance, as it could theoretically be either –  Phil Mar 12 at 23:30
I think the more specific of the moves would be the one triggered. In this example, you're not just "attacking in melee" but doing so by "crunching on stuff" so the latter would be triggered. See also SevenSidedDie's comment. –  Serpentine Cougar Mar 13 at 18:46
"Crunching on stuff" implies other details. I'd let the PC break bones (free damage + fiction crippling), or destory armor (reduce AC). That may help distinguish it from Hack and Slash. –  Alan De Smet Apr 18 at 22:42

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