I am the GM for a Dungeon World campaign and had the following situation:
The player characters had just finished killing off a bunch of satyrs that were ambushing an NPC in the woods. One of the characters was wounded, so the bard decided to weave their lute playing into a spell to heal him, triggering the Arcane Art move from the Bard move list. The bard got a 7-9 result which means that the spell works but either:
- Draws unwanted attention OR
- The magic reverberates to other targets, affecting them as well.
This is the GM's choice. The thing is, I'd rather not do either of those at this moment. The PCs have just fought and won a battle, and now I'd like to give them a chance to talk to the NPC, do some investigating and get some plot relevant information.
If I choose to have the spell draw unwanted attention, I could have the spell draw out a new threat, e.g. a monster hears the music and comes to investigate the source (indeed I did do this when the bard got a 7-9 result during the fight), but I feel like that is just prolonging the fight and not really adding anything interesting to their lives.
I could have the NPC react to the magic, but I'm not sure how to make it 'unwanted', other than simply having the NPC proclaim the bard to be some sort of witch and refuse to deal with that character. A valid option, but not one I'd want to use all the time, and there may not always be an NPC around.
The other GM choice, magic reverberates to other targets, seems even less suited, as there are no 'enemy' targets around (and as I said before, I don't want to introduce a new one at this point), and healing other PCs as well seems like a bonus more than a setback!
So, my question is: What options does a Dungeon World GM have in this situation? How do you respond to the 7-9 result when the PCs aren't in combat, and you feel that adding a combat threat would detract from the story, rather than add to it?