7
\$\begingroup\$

One of the choices of the Elemental Mastery Druid move is:

You avoid paying nature's price

What does that mean?

For instance, Leafwillow (my Druid PC) wants to start a campfire. She calls on the primal spirit of fire and chooses "The effect you desire comes to pass" (that means she's got the campfire) along with "You retain control" (that means she retains control of the effect, so the fire won't spread anywhere). "You avoid paying nature's price" remains. As the GM, what "price" should I ask her to pay?

Related: How do I manage the options of Elemental Mastery?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You are a player here asking this, right, not a GM looking for ideas and limits? I answered for a player but a GM's answer would be longer. \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Nov 2 '18 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Glazius I'm preparing a Dungeon World game as a GM, but I don't have much experience with DW. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Nov 2 '18 at 14:23
9
\$\begingroup\$

One of the game's designers had this to say on the Apocalypse World forums during the playtest:

You call up a horrible conflagration to burn your foes, but you want to send it away when you're done, so you give it your blood and take some damage (or sacrifice something valuable or some other method of harm) and you can send it back to the elemental mess it came from. If you can't pay the price, the leash comes off...

When Leafwillow chooses to have to pay nature's price, that means that for its task to be finished, nature will have demands to make of her, so it doesn't go out of control.

Alternately, if Leafwillow chooses not to be in control, that means that in order to do what needs to be done she exposes the people involved to danger or risk because the elements are out of control.

The exact details of what's going to happen, the risks to take or the price to pay, are not known to her in advance. Elemental Mastery isn't supposed to feel predictable, like the known consequences that happen when Wizzrobe or Clericsdottir Casts a Spell and gets a 7-9. Leafwillow is poking nature, and nature is a lot bigger than her.

As the GM, you have carte blanche with the price to be paid, but don't be worried. You didn't kill your players the first time they rolled a 6, right? Even though you could do whatever you wanted? You made a move that followed, and it's the same here. After the dice hit the table and Leafwillow is weighing her options, you can be more open about the price to pay. (But maybe not; maybe willingness to trust in Nature is itself part of the price.)

Some possible paths forward if you're stuck:

  • Turn their move back on them. Ask Leafwillow what she offers in trade. It's possible her answer will be enough inspiration, but maybe it isn't or she punts it back to you (with like a "what do you ask of me, great fire" sort of thing) which is fair, you run the universe.

  • Exploit your prep. It isn't the element's price in specific, it's nature's price. Leafwillow summoned the elements in a location. Did you prep that location? What does the location want?

  • Blood's good; you need blood to live. Arguably this is the canonical example, see quote above. It is at the least heavily hinted by other playbook text, like the bonds, that some part of the Druid's rites involve blood. So there's an easy answer for a price to pay.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is specifically about "You avoid paying nature's price" option, not "You retain control". Found more details from Adam: "You call up a horrible conflagration to burn your foes, but you want to send it away when you're done, so you give it your blood and take some damage (or sacrifice something valuable or some other method of harm) and you can send it back to the elemental mess it came from. If you can't pay the price, the leash comes off... Again, it was written with that intent." \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Nov 2 '18 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Hmm. This structure should be better? Needed to pivot from "what the Druid needs to know" to "what the GM needs to say" but this should be clearer? \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Nov 2 '18 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you think the "take some damage" price example from the game author should also be mentioned, don't you? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Nov 2 '18 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Yeah, with the new focus it's a better lead quote. Replaced. \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Nov 2 '18 at 17:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.