In Dungeon World, if a PC deals "stun" damage to an NPC by using a weapon with the 'Stun' tag, what are the mechanical effects?

I believe the rule book states that a character that has taken stun damage must 'defy danger in order to do anything at all,' or something like that. Since the GM doesn't roll for an NPC to do things, how does this work in Dungeon World mechanics?

P.S. - I'm not asking about the narrative. Once I understand the mechanical effects, I can craft the narrative to fit it.


1 Answer 1


For NPCs, the rules specifically say:

A GM character that takes stun damage doesn’t count it against their HP but will act accordingly, staggering around for a few seconds, fumbling blindly, etc.


So the only "mechanical" effects are that you should make the narrative make sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ DW NPCs pretty much don't have mechanics beyond HP/armor/damage. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21, 2019 at 19:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ ...but in powered by the apocalypse games, narrative is often used to adjudicate a number of things that would require mechanical adjudication otherwise. If the NPC is staggering aroudn and fumbling blindly, there are all sorts of narrative actions that get easier, or perhaps don't even require a roll at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Mar 21, 2019 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, exactly. There's only a tiny bit of hard mechanics, everything else is narrative. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21, 2019 at 19:38

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