While in the presence of this enemy, every time you get a 6 on a die while rolling a move you can either keep the 6 or reroll that die. If you keep the 6 this enemy develops 1 pulsing growth on their body that seethes with magical energy. When this enemy dies its growths explode in a cascade of magical energy, if you are caught in the blast roll+CON and subtract the number of growths that exploded. On a 10+ you are unaffected, on a 7-9 choose 1, on a 6- the GM will also choose one.
- You take b[2d8] damage
- You gain a new debility of your choice
- Something you carry, the GM will tell you what, is destroyed
This move has one mechanic that I quite like which is having players decide whether to keep a rolled 6 or not, knowing that keeping it could lead to some nasty results. It combines a couple things I really like in my games: risk/reward scenarios and rerolling dice.
The original version of this move had the blast from the dying creature simply deal damage based on the number of bubbles that exploded. So if the monster had 3 nodules and you killed it, everyone took 3d8 damage. Functional, but a little boring.
With the addition of the roll+CON-nodules mechanic makes things a little more intersting. The options I have in the list are just hard moves that the GM can make as normal on a 6-, so they aren’t terribly interesting, but they’re better than straight damage. I’d like to expand them to be a bit more fiction based but for now they do fine.
Subtracting the number of nodules from your roll is similar to what I did with the Heresy World Health/Wounds system I wrote where you subtract the number of critical wounds you have from your roll. Subtracting from your rolls adds a tiny bit more math, but I think the mechanic here enforces the narrative; the more nodules there are the more dangerous this enemy is.
One thing that might change after more playtesting is the trigger for nodule growth, namely whether this happens too often or too rarely. If needed it might worth forcing the choice of rerolling or not onto a 5 as well.