(Cross-posted from the DW Forums. Discussion is probably more lively there.)
This morning I accidentally woke up and designed the Monk for Dungeon World.
So why is this post about the Battlemind? Because I think that’s a better name for what I’m thinking here. It sidesteps the whole orientalism/exoticism angle and gets right to what the class really is, allowing you at your table to place it into the world. It also more clearly differentiates this class for the Fighter with fists as their signature weapon.
The touchstones for this class are my half-remembered 3E psionics rules, the concept of the Monk, and the Greybeards from Skyrim. Usually for a class Adam and I would do a pretty thorough review of what that class looked like in each edition, but this is just an idea that sprung into my head.
So what’s the core of this class?
You start with these moves:
When you have time and tranquility to center your mind and body lose any Focus you had and gain 3 Focus. You cannot have more than 3 Focus at any time.
When you set your mind and body to combat choose a stance available to you and roll+Wis. Choose three of these stances to be available to you to start with:
- Serpent’s Coil: While in this stance you use Focus to Hack and Slash.
- Troll’s Strength: While in this stance your damage dice is d10+Focus.
- Dragon Turtle’s Shell: While in this stance your Armor is equal to your Focus.
- Dragon’s Foresight: While in this stance you use Focus to Defy Danger.
- Unending Life: While in this stance you cannot die. Don’t make the Last Breath move even if you reach 0 HP. As soon as you leave this stance, if you’re still at 0 HP, you make the Last Breath move as normal.
- Giant’s Reach: While in this stance your body is a weapon with these tags: Hand, Close, Reach, +1 damage, messy, forceful.
On a hit you assume your chosen stance until your concentration lapses. On a 7-9 you must also choose: spend one Focus or be put in some danger (the GM will describe it).
While you wear no armor, have Focus remaining, and carry less than your Load, you have 2 armor.
Fists of Power
Your body itself is a weapon with Hand range.
Damage dice is probably d8 (but see the Stances). HP is likely Constitution+8. Load is probably on the low end.
Focus is the main thing that the class’s moves revolve on. The core moves already demonstrate a lot of the core things moves can do with Focus: Spend it, count it, use it as a bonus. There’s a whole lot of advanced moves that fall straight out of that:
When you’re in a stance and take damage you may spend 1 Focus and leave that stance to negate the damage.
When you use Oneness you gain 4 Focus. Your maximum Focus is 4.
When you kill an enemy while in a stance you may change stances immediately, without rolling. Just choose a new stance.
Choose a new stance to add to your list.
When you concentrate on movement and speed you may spend 1 Focus to defy gravity: for a few moments, so long as you keep moving, you may run up and across any vertical surface.
When an ally successfully Aids you you may choose to gain 1 Focus instead of taking +1.