Creating an ARMS Character for Dungeon World: Part Two

It’s Tabletop Tuesday here on Adventure Rules (actually on a Tuesday this time!) and today I am going to continue with my project to create an ARMS character for the RPG Dungeon World. If you missed the first part, you might want to check it out as today’s part will build on that. Specifically, we’re going to be putting together the twenty advanced moves that build upon the starting moves we created in part one. So like Ribbon Girl after a double jump, let’s dive right in!
ARM Getter, Guard N Charge.PNGThese are pretty straightforward level-up moves that build naturally after the starting moves available to the class. ARM Getter allows the character to collect a new signature weapon, further increasing his or her versatility. It’s also a reference to how you gain new ARMS in the video game, so that’s cool. Guard N’ Charge is actually a mechanic in the video game – holding down the button for guard, dash, or jump allows you to charge up as part of that action. This move makes it so that charging can become a part of your battle strategy rather than having to take your attention away from the fight to focus your elemental energy.
On the Ropes, Double Jump.PNGNow we can delve a little bit into the special moves utilized by different competitors in the ARMS league. Springman’s signature ability is to have permanently-charged punches at low health, so On the Ropes captures that. I took a note from the Barbarian class, which has a low-HP move like this which only activates at 3, 2, or 1 HP. Ribbon Girl’s Double Jump in-game helps her to move in unpredictable ways, and I tried to capture that with this move. In the context of Dungeon World, I actually envision that Double Jump will have more usefulness outside of combat, combining with the Grab N’ Go move to really open up interesting movement options for this character.
Gone in Smoke, Take a BreatherNinjara’s special move is to warp around the stage by dashing in midair or by guarding. Because he doesn’t cross the distance between places, this allows him to avoid punches very effectively and makes him hard to pin down. Gone in Smoke allows this character to take advantage of the power to reappear in another location, either performing this action with Defend hold (to represent guarding) or as the result of a successful Defy Danger (to represent air dashing). Take a Breather also functions on Defend hold, allowing you to recover HP by spending hold. This is based on Master Mummy’s ability to heal when guarding, and allows this character to heal up while fighting defensively. Of course, spending all of your hold on healing will prevent you from being able to reduce damage or redirect attacks from allies, so it’s important to use this move carefully.
Mean Left Hook, Snake DashOne of the most devastating abilities in the game is Min Min’s Dragon Arm – when she charges up or succeeds on a grab, her left arm becomes a dragon that permanently charged the attached ARM. This move allows the character to accomplish this same thing, making their left ARM a deadlier weapon until damage is dealt. Snake Dash plays off of Kid Cobra’s ability to charge his dashes, moving much further and faster than a character normally could after a dash. To represent that in Dungeon World, if someone attacks this character while he or she is charging up their ARMS, they get a bonus to Defy Danger to represent their ability to quickly dash out of the way.
Star Struck, Brass Tacks.PNGStar Struck is Twintelle’s ability to slow down punches coming towards her as she is charging. In this situation, it applies to anything in the character’s immediate vicinity and could theoretically be applied outside of combat by a clever player. The character can still move normally while close objects are slowed down. Brass Tacks refers to Max Brass, the reigning champion of ARMS. His ability to shrug off minor blows while charged up makes him a force to be reckoned with, and for this character it will make it difficult for enemies to knock him or her around. Imagine someone with this ability facing a giant, and imagine that giant’s frustration when it can’t knock him off of his feet!
ARMS Max BrassAt this point we have covered the personal abilities for all of the ARMS fighters, as well as covering the first ten advanced moves for our character. These are the moves that can be selected starting at level 2 up through level 5. During these levels, the character will be developing his or her unique style and choosing the moves that establish their role in the party. Some of these moves can combo together for interesting effects – Brass Tacks, for example, will be useful in combination with many moves. Guard N’ Charge, On the Ropes, and Mean Left Hook all create new options for charging up, and since the character has “power armor” when charged, he or she will be able to take advantage of that armor at almost all times during combat.

The next thing to look at will be the moves accessible at levels 6-10. These advanced moves are the most powerful moves available to the class, helping the character to truly stand out as a hero in the game world. They often build off of 2-5 moves, though they can also stand on their own. Because I’ve used up all of the character abilities at this point, I’ll now have to be a little more creative and come up with some advanced moves of my own.
ARMed to the Teeth, Supercharged.PNGMore straightforward moves! As the character gets stronger, you want that strength to translate directly into more combat options and better combat performance, so these are some pretty good options to have available. With both ARM Getter and ARMed to the Teeth, this character has a total of five different ARMS to choose from at any time. This makes the character pretty versatile and also makes it so that you can have one weapon of each element in your arsenal (if you so choose).
Rush, Dive BombYou can’t have an ARMS character without a Rush attack, right? Rush attacks are the ultimate damage-dealer in ARMS combat, so here they allow the character to deal a series of blows using each ARM in their arsenal. To have a good Rush, you definitely want to have all five possible Signature ARMS. And since you’ll definitely be Charged Up, that’s gonna be pretty devastating when combined with all of the elemental effects and extra damage. Dive Bomb offers yet another way to charge up, and opens up a strategic option by giving you an attack bonus after descending from above. It definitely makes jumping as a method of defense a lot more appealing.
Skillshot, ARM GuardThese moves help the ARMS fighter to Hack and Slash more effectively. Skillshot makes it so that even a failure is not a total failure when it comes to damage, allowing you to chip down the enemy somewhat before taking punishment. ARM Guard takes a partial success and allows you to trade one equipped ARM for a full success. This can be useful when looking at a counterattack from a particularly ferocious opponent – better to lose an ARM to a dragon than the whole upper half of your body, amiright?
Protective Charge, Slam DunkAnother set of simple but helpful moves. Protective Charge provides some armor to a class that otherwise won’t have much at all – this will be important for characters taking the Master Mummy approach rather than the Ninjara approach. It also combines well with On the Ropes, giving a permanent armor bonus at low HP. Slam Dunk gives a damage bonus for attacking using a grab, adding some extra combat usefulness to Grab N’ Go.
Third Arm, Team TetherThird Arm plays off of the concept of characters like Twintelle and Byte-and-Barq, allowing you to gain an extra limb to wield in combat. This is helpful for expanding how many combat options you can juggle at once and also helps when flanked by multiple opponents. Team Tether is a reference to the team matches and lets you use a Defend hold to rescue an ally who is being tossed by an attack.

The starting and advanced moves for this class are all now accounted for, but this is ultimately just a first draft of the concept. Next week, I’ll have done some “off screen” work to finish the first draft, and we’ll spend the post going over the draft to identify problems with how the class might work in actual play. Just off the top of my head I’m able to notice some serious issues with my original design, so it’ll be a good chance to see my editing process in action. Thanks for reading today, and remember to come back next Tabletop Tuesday to see us get one step closer to creating an ARMS character for Dungeon World!

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