Movin’ on Up: Some Arbitrator Advanced Moves

A while ago I posted the initial starting moves for the Arbitrator, which you can read in full here. For a brief recap here are the starting moves:

  • I Am Justice: tell an NPC to do something based on your authority
  • Detective: gives clue-finding abilities to your Discern Realities
  • Confessor: torture a captive to extract useful information
  • Take Them Alive!: forgo doing damage when attacking to attempt to subdue and capture your target

The goal for the first version of Heresy World is to have at least 20 advanced moves per class, with at least 10 available for levels 2-5 and at least 10 for levels 6-10. A lot of these can be pure number upgrades to other moves, but at least a few should introduce new mechanics.

Below I’ve written out some of the new first advanced moves for the Arbitrator.

Shield Moves

The image in my head of an Arbitrator is very like that of a Paladin, and I always picture those guys with shields.

Shield Weapon (New)

You expertly wield your shield as part of your offense. Add your shield’s armor to your melee damage.

Shield Wall (New)

When your allies take cover behind your shield, they gain the armor benefit of your shield.

Sacrifishield (New) (Placeholder Name)

When you take damage you can choose to have your shield take the damage instead, destroying it.

This name will obviously have to change to be less silly but for now I like puns so I’m keeping it.

Sacrifishield 2.0 (New)

Replaces: Sacrifishield
You can now also use your shield to stop damage done to allies within Reach.

More Moves

This One’s Mine

When you call out a target as your own, you deal +1d4 ongoing to them. This lasts until an ally attacks them, you attack someone else, or the target is defeated. While this is active you deal -4 damage to other targets and your allies deal -2 damage to your named target.

This move is very similar to the Exterminatus advanced move for the Paladin. I’m not sure the negative damage effect is necessary for this move. My worry is that people will just call out targets before they swing their weapon every time, but I think there might be a more elegant way to get around that.

Targeted Investigation

When you publicly name a person or organization that you are after, roll+Cha. On a 10+ hold 2, on a 7-9 hold 1. You may spend hold to get an automatic 10+ on rolls that directly involve your target. Proceed with caution, they know you’re coming.

Your Eyes Betray You

When you  listen closely to someone roll+Wis. On 7-9 the GM will tell you one thing they’re lying about – if anything. On a 10+ the same and take +1 forward when acting on that information or against that person.


When you roll a 7+ with Confessor you may choose to select zero options from the list. If you do so, roll+Int – on a miss your captive dies.

The roll on this move is pretty different than your normal Dungeon World rolls as it really is just pass/fail, there are no partial successes. I like it though.

Local Informant

When you reach out to a local informant for specific information roll+Cha. On a 10+ you gain some intel and choose one. On a 7-9 the GM will also choose one:

  • Word comes slowly
  • The information is incomplete
  • You get two conflicting versions
  • Someone learns you’re prying
  • Your informant demands something in return

This one may need to have some more added to it to force the roleplaying and backstory creation needed for a local informant to actually exist. I think this move has a lot of potential for creating interesting stories.

That’s the first batch of advanced moves I have for the Arbitrator. The final list will likely include these – with some adjustments – and some simpler advanced moves that just give some stat bonuses.

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