[RPG] How to handle Reach in Dungeon World

combatdungeon-worldreach

How does reach actually work?

If I am wielding a long spear against a goblin with a dagger ("Staying far out of its reach, I make quick thrusts at the goblin's head!"), do I roll Hack and Slash? Do I simply roll damage? What happens if I roll Hack and Slash and roll an 8?

And if I have a spiked shield (hand weapon) and want to attack a large ogre with a halberd (reach weapon), do I have to Defy Danger to get up close, but then get to hit automatically once I'm close? What about if I had a longsword (close), so our weapons are only 1 range-category different. Would that turn it into a Hack and Slash, or would it be a Defy Danger first to get in range, and then a Hack and Slash to attack?

Here are two example situations I'd like to understand better:

1) Player with reach attacks goblin with hand weapon, using his reach to stay safe.

2) Player with a hand weapon attacks an ogre with a reach weapon, inside of the ogre's effective range.

In example 1, if you have to roll Hack and Slash for that, then that means there is no difference between a reach weapon and a non-reach weapon, so you're ignoring the narrative.

In example 2, if you have to roll Hack and Slash for that, then it means the ogre can attack the player in a way that violates the rules (the rules say that a player with a reach weapon can't use it against an enemy with a hand weapon that manages to get up close). So monsters can violate that rule, but players have to follow it? What?

Best Answer

If I am wielding a long spear against a goblin with a dagger ("Staying far out of it's reach, I make quick thrusts at the goblin's head!"), do I roll Hack and Slash? Do I simply roll damage? What happens if I roll Hack and Slash and roll an 8?

You roll hack and slash as long as, narratively, it makes sense for the goblin to be at the spear's weapon range. If the goblin is already on top of you, you can't use hack and slash to damage the goblin with the spear.

The 7-9 result, "the enemy makes an attack against you" could be a monster move or a GM move.

Basic Moves: Hack and Slash

The enemy’s counterattack can be any GM move made directly with that creature. A goblin might just attack you back, or they might jam a poisoned needle into your veins. Life’s tough, isn’t it?

Monster Setting 1, Cavern Dwellers: Goblin

  • Charge!
  • Call more goblins
  • Retreat and return with (many) more

Charging you with its dagger could also be reasonable, since "Charge" is a goblin move. The fact that you're trying to stay out of its reach is being compromised by its move and your middling roll. Dealing damage probably isn't appropriate, but the goblin could get inside your spear range (sign of an approaching threat, show off a downside to their equipment).

And if I have a spiked shield (hand weapon) and want to attack a large ogre with a halberd (reach weapon), do I have to Defy Danger to get up close, but then get to hit automatically once I'm close?

It's a defy danger to get close because the danger is an ogre with a reach weapon, without which you can't hack and slash. But, having defied the danger, you still have to make a hack and slash roll if you want to jab the ogre.

Related Topic