Last game session the Wizard was casting Invisibility like a maniac and he would always choose to draw unwelcome attention when he got 7-9. I have to say the first couple of times I just thought: Ok, the attention doesn't have to be immediate, maybe when he turns visible again in the middle of the fight monster's will jump on him thinking he's the most powerful. But I think as good as this strategy is, I wonder if there's anything else that could work better or work in the short term.

Can I technically call that this is not a valid option since there's nothing around to draw attention from? How does drawing unwelcome attention work when the enemy can't see you anyway?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not really an answer, but bumping into items or walking into water ponds is an option. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Nov 13 '13 at 13:48

Don't forget that by drawing unwanted attention, it doesn't have to be attention from the monster they think they're fighting! He's invisible, right? Well, How about he draws unwanted attention in the form of ghosts or spirits? Or monsters that exist in the narrow space between planes where things that are invisible go?

Your player chose to attract unwanted attention. Give it to him.

There were no spirits in that encounter? Well, THERE ARE NOW. The player calls foul and says, "You never said there were spirits here!" You say, "You made me give you unwanted attention! I didn't pick this, you did."

Also, please, on just the simplest level, remember that there are other senses. For example:

  • He becomes invisible, but one of the monsters can smell the brimstone on him
  • He becomes invisible, but his shoes on the stones sound like nails on a blackboard to a monster
  • He becomes invisible, but he power of the spell is glowing like a lantern in the darkvision of one of the monsters

And yes, think off screen. Maybe the unwanted attention is from some rival spellcaster, who suddenly sees someone invading his previously-private dungeon? Or think Tolkien-esque gazing stones that light up like fireworks because of his choice for unwanted attention.

Dungeon World works because of the way that moves feed back into the fiction. If there is a move with no impact on the fiction, something is wrong.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Short version: go reread/rewatch what happened to Frodo when he went invisible on Weathertop. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 13 '13 at 19:03

Per gomad: The attention can be from other sources, perhaps ones that can ignore invisibility.

The attention doesn't need to be from someone immediately nearby. A mage, demon, or magical defense system somewhere else may notice the burst of magic and sound an alarm. More enemies might arrive, or ambushes be set, or traps activated.

Per Zachiel's comment: the mage might accidentally make noise or otherwise attract attention. It might be the immediate opponents. It might be something nearby that is curious and now joins the fight.

The attention doesn't need to be hostile, just unwelcome. A friendly NPC might be stunned by the wizard's abilities, "By Thor's Hammer, where did you go? You just vanished! Hey everyone, Glor was right here, but disappeared!" Or that NPC might rush over to investigate, running into the wizard.

The attention could trigger before the spell. The opponent might see the wizard cast and disappear and realize they now face an invisible opponent. Invisibility is still useful, but not quite so useful, when your opponent is actively hunting for you and paying attention to sounds or footprints or whatever.


The attention drawn doesn't have to be to the Wizard—they're invisible, after all. It could be to the party, the room they're in, to some other magic in the dungeon nearby that the Wizard is suddenly resonating with. Think broadly about the party's current situation and environment.


Here's another way to approach the issue of 7-9 choices: the player must justify the choice within the narrative. For example, a PC is volloying with a bow and rolls 7-9. The player wants to choose to expend an ammo, but must first explain why it took multiple shots to hit the target. Otherwise it's not a valid choice.

In the wizard's case, maybe the cast draws the attention of a magical enemy who detects the wizards ongoing spell and attempts to dispell it or throws a fireball in that direction. If it instead does not make sense in the narrative that the cast would draw attention, then that is not a valid option for that particular 7-9 roll.


protected by Oblivious Sage Sep 14 '15 at 21:40

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