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Topics - Glitch

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Dungeon World / Campaign maps?
« on: May 13, 2012, 10:35:46 AM »
I haven't played yet since the awesome new rules for developing the world map in game, but was wondering if anyone cared to share images of their maps?  It would be interesting to see how these rules have manifested during games.

Dungeon World / Constitution overpowered?
« on: March 01, 2012, 09:19:46 AM »
In the thread on PC HP we came to an analogy of HP representing the level of mistakes a character can make and still survive.  I don't think this gels with the new rule establishing starting HP as Constitution score + base.  This rule implies that HP (at least at the beginning) is more representative of how physically tough you are.  I think it really should corrolate with class more, the Fighter should always have more starting HP than the Wizard, regardless of Constitution.

I'm also worried that any player with an ounce of min/maxing in them will always slot their 17 in Constitution now.  I think this is a shame, because the prior starting HP system didn't lead to this stat imbalance.

To preserve the concept of what sage communicated about what HP represents, while still retaining the desire to give starting PCs a bump to increase their survivability, I propose the following:

Your starting HP is equal to twice your class' base, plus your CON (modifier).

Here are some quick comparisons of the systems.

Beta 1.1:
Wizard (8 CON), HP=12
Fighter (8 CON), HP=15
Wizard (17 CON), HP=21
Fighter (17 CON), HP=24

Proposed revision:
Wizard (8 CON), HP=7
Fighter (8 CON), HP=13
Wizard (17 CON), HP=10
Fighter (17 CON), HP=16

In the second scheme, the Fighter always has more HP than the Wizard, reflecting the nature of what HP should represent.  It also restores CON to a more balanced stat among the others.


Dungeon World / Groupware-powered Generators
« on: February 16, 2012, 12:11:53 PM »
I'm starting up a web site called DMMuse that will offer random tables and generators that anyone can contribute to.  The idea is to offer a resource that can help a GameMaster out in a pinch with a spark of inspiration.

The first service is a Fantasy NPC generator that could help seed ideas for GM's in Dungeon World games.  I invite all of you to try out the service, and submit your own NPC's so we start building out a huge collection.

If anyone has any ideas for other kinds of groupware-powered generators you'd like to see implemented, please let me know.

Dungeon World / PC to PC Parlay
« on: February 14, 2012, 05:43:43 PM »
I haven't played AW, but I have listened to the Walking Eye actual play.  I'm trying to imagine how PC to PC Parley would work in DW.  I'm most confused about the Defy Danger if the other PC refuses the Parley.  It would be great to hear some actual examples about how something like this went down in a game.

I guess I'm having trouble with the fact the the move seemingly forces the person making the Parley roll to somehow back up their threat, otherwise, why the Defy Danger?  This seems to take agency away from that player.  What if they wanted to bluff?

Dungeon World / Cult of the Worm God PDF
« on: February 07, 2012, 11:32:42 AM »
I'm working on compiling playbooks for my home campaign, based on the efforts of a malignant Worm God to insinuate itself into civilized realms.

I plan to create a series of playbooks ...

1) Cult of the Worm God (how the Worm God operates in a city)

and a series of playbooks detailing Deathhole Dungeon, where the Worm God itself actually resides ...

2) Deathhole Dungeon Site (describes entrances and surroundings)
3) Kobold Quarter (a Kobold tribe occupies the first level)
4) Worm Spawn Quarter (the Kobolds are in conflict with the Worm Spawn who've risen up from below)
5) The Untouched Quarter (ruins of castle dungeons and a temple that once occupied this site but were swallowed into the earth a century ago)

and more playbooks as needed to describe lower levels if my players decide to explore deeper.

Here's the first completed playbook ...

Dungeon World / Session Report: Deathhole, Group 2
« on: January 22, 2012, 06:07:35 PM »
Yesterday I ran my Deathhole dungeon for another group, this time they were all experienced old-school D&D players.  It was cool to see a completely different story unfold with the same Fronts and Locations that I had run for a different group a few weeks ago.

We started with a Thief, Cleric, Wizard, and Paladin.  I started the game in a bar in town.  Bonds had been established and we played out a Bond where the Cleric always had the back of the Thief.  There was a brawl with some farmers, the Thief coming out 28 Gold richer, and 3 burly farmers left unconscious on the bar floor.

On the way to the Paladin’s order, there was 30 minutes of role-playing about an Elven heirloom that had popped out of the Thief's garments during the fight.  This was the necklace that the Elf Wizard had suspected that the Thief had stolen all along!  At one point, one of the players said he felt guilty that they weren't involving me in the game (as the GM), but I told them to go ahead - it was pure gold and I was taking notes and establishing more facts about the world as they had fun playing their characters.

At the Order, the Paladin examined some bodies of recently defeated enemies, and noticed strange stitched up incisions at the base of their necks.  Unlike the previous group, these players didn't think to go all the way in their examination; otherwise they would have discovered the Larva in the craniums like my former group of players had done.

After spending the night in the Order's mansion, they set off for the site of the Deathhole, which I pointed them to through various clues obtained during the four hour long city adventure.

The climax came during their first big battle on the grounds of the site.  Attacked by Leucrota, the Wizard was wrestling with one on the ground.  The Paladin said he wanted to strike the creature with his long sword.  I decided to "Tell them the Consequences and then Ask", and warned him that, since the monster was wrestling on the ground with the Wizard, if his blow missed there would be a good chance he'd strike the Wizard.  The Paladin thought his god was looking down on him, because he took a mighty swing, and rolled a ... 5.  Somberly, I described how the combatants twisted below his descending blade, and asked him to roll damage against the Wizard - which came up an 8!  The Wizard failed his Last Breath move, and the Paladin's player was in semi-shock.  This veteran D&D player said quietly "I never killed a PC before."

Just then the pizzas came, so the Wizard's player created a new character, a Fighter.  When we resumed, I described how the Fighter appeared, climbing up out of a secret entrance to the dungeon.  He did a great job describing his months of captivity below: the cells where they were all kept, the hideous screams he heard when someone was taken away.  It was all ad-libbed, but it actually fit what I had prepped quite well ;)

When we wrapped up I asked for their opinion of the game.  They liked the fact that they could help build the world more than in the D&D games they'd played before.  One player thought my Hard Moves on failed rolls were a bit much.  He was used to the chance of a critical failure being a 1 in 20 ala D&D.  But objectively speaking, there was only one PC death despite those Hard Moves, and that came after a clear warning that went unheeded.  Hey, the Paladin could have dove in and try to grab the Leucrota off the Wizard instead of swinging his sword into them!  I think it's a testiment to the level of intensity that this game can generate ;)

Dungeon World / Session Report: Deathhole
« on: January 14, 2012, 11:57:41 AM »
Yesterday I ran my first game of Dungeon World for a group of four players.  A couple of the guys had played D&D before, while the other two had not played RPG’s but had more experience in strategic board games.  Overall the game was a breeze to run – and it was the most improvised RPG session I’ve run to date.  I’m not a great improviser, but I let the players help me out in this session, and together we created a story that flowed like Oil of Tagit.

I also suffer from a tendency to over-prep, and tried to reign that in for Dungeon World.  But I still mapped and fleshed out a complete dungeon level with two Fronts;  not to the level of detail of Bloodstone Idol, but close.  As it turned out, more than half the game took place in the barely sketched out city (Vangbad), and was totally improvised.


Walton the Fighter – His claim to “fame” was that he had married the ogre princess but then had to kill her.  I can’t wait to integrate that into the game!

Rook the Halfling Thief – He and Walton have a series of cons running in Vangbad.

Gunther the Dwarven Cleric – A Cleric of Sidmier, the god of civilization, with sad eyes, strange hear, and a flabby body dressed in a habit.  His religion is insular and cultish, and values offerings of rare and exotic materials and knowledge.

C3P0 the Wizard (don’t ask) – Has a bond with an NPC in town, Sister Selena, who is with the temple of Venes, the goddess of love.  He demurred when asked about details of this “bond”, saying only that it was “personal”.

This brings up one twist that I threw into the character creation process.  I gave each player the choice of establishing one of their Bonds with a random NPC instead of another player.  I had 20 random NPC’s briefly described, and they rolled 1d20 to see who they had the Bond with.  This was nice to get them integrated into the city as well as with each other.

I used the Wizard’s Bond with Sister Selena to throw some “Signs of Doom” out to the players.  She’d been having disturbing dreams about people in the city who were not what they seemed, walking around with masks that only she could discern.  These masked people then made a two day march to a shunned site, the Deathhole, and marched grimly down the hole into the blackness below.

I fully expected to start the action right at the dungeon entrance, but the players had a different idea.  Rook, the Thief, started describing a scene where he and Walton had scaled the back wall of a two story tavern building.  He was now trying to open a shabby safe in the upstairs room.  Long story short, with the Wizard trying to create a diversion and Walton blocking the door, they swiped a few gold pieces and bottle of fine whiskey from the safe.  They managed to make their escape before the bartender’s mother could get into the room to see what the commotion was.

The brazen group that they were, they then strolled right into the front entrance of the tavern, which we called Marlowe’s.  The fighter won an arm wrestling match with Vlad, the bartender, earning a few more coins.  Afterward, the Wizard spied Vlad pulling one of the levers on the tap, which opened a secret panel behind the bar.  Vlad quickly closed it, hoping no one had noticed.

C3P0 the Wizard cast his Contact Spirits spell, and a motherly old spirit admonished – “you should help those poor people down there!”  They came up with a plan to distract Vlad and sneak into the room beyond the secret panel, but the whole thing degenerated into a brawl, with Walton clocking Vlad and rolling 4 stun damage, knocking him out cold.  The other patrons then started swarming the PCs, but C3PO caused magical Light to issue forth from his staff.  These yokels, not used to seeing magic, were sufficiently impressed to back away, allowing the group to open the secret panel and venture down into the root cellar below.  Soon they heard the loud click of a very big padlock seal the door behind them.

Down in the root cellar, they confronted four men armed with swords, blocking the way.  Further beyond, four bodies laid against the root cellar walls, some of them snoring.  Some Discern Realties and the players noted that a couple of these armed men were dressed as city watch, and it was certainly strange that any of the watch should be standing guard in the root cellar of a tavern.  One of the four guards calmly told the PCs that no, there was no bathroom here, go back up.  When the PCs pressed them about the bodies laying against the wall, swords were drawn and a swift battle ensued.  Walton’s signature axe, Telula, cleaved one of the guards in two, beheaded another one, and all four were quickly defeated with minimal harm to the PCs.

Able to now examine the bodies, it turned out two of them were dead (consequences of a miss on a Discern Realities roll).  The other two were out cold and could not be roused.

The PCs were about to try and Make Camp down here, but were interrupted when the padlock snapped open, and Vlad’s mother poked her head in.  “You better get out of there now, I’ve called the watch!”  But when she stepped down and saw all of the bodies on the floor she became quite fearful and agitated.  Vlad then came in behind her, and when he saw the scene, he had a complete emotional breakdown, saying “it’s all over now, they’re going to kill us all.”  Long story short, Vlad had been forced to collect victims for a mysterious group known as the Order of the Worm.  He’d slip some poison in a likely drifter’s drink, then collect the bodies in the root storage for later pick up.  He was quite sure that if he refused to participate in this activity, the Order would kill him and his family.  He seemed particularly worried and afraid of the black cloaked man who always came in the carriage for the pick-up.  Something was very “off” about this man, who never showed his face, and Vlad doubted this man’s very humanity.

I then revealed another Grim Portent.  I had planned to reveal these Portents in the dungeon, but decided to go with the flow and work them into the unfolding city plot.  Vlad told the players to examine the back of slain guards’ necks.  Walton nonchalantly picked up the severed head, and saw the gruesome stitched-up incision at the back of the neck, following all the way up along the back of the head, concealed by long hair.  He promptly pulled the skin away, and saw a long vertical seam in the skull itself.  Using his axe he carefully split the skull apart at this seam, and what he found inside shocked everyone.  A writhing, foot long maggot occupied the otherwise empty cranium.  When Gunther Sanctified this abomination, it sizzled and dissolved into a steaming pool of ooze.

In the scenes that followed, the players decided to take the two survivors, Vlad, and his mother to the temple of Sidmier for safety.  They told the temple priest about their plan to enter Deathhole to get to the bottom of this threat.  The temple was hesitant to offer any aid, but finally relented in allowing Vlad and his mother sanctuary, but instructed Gunther to seek out the old library of the twisted sage that was rumored to be among the dungeon levels beneath.  He was to bring back as many volumes of secret knowledge as he could find there.

And so finally, after spending the night at the temple, the group undertook the Perilous Journey to the site of Deathhole dungeon.  First they tried to use their grappling hook and rope to descend directly into the vast sinkhole, but found they didn’t have enough rope.  Regrouping, they were then accosted by a small pack of hungry Leucrota.  They slew two of the animals quickly, before the last one sprinted away.  Close to this encounter site, they discovered some old tracks next to an improbable grouping of three boulders.  Gunther used his Dwarven ability to speak with the stones to learn that this was a secret entrance to the dungeons below, and that it had been recently used by “those who are not what they appear”.

An interesting scene in the twisting tunnel leading down played out, when the Wizard rolled a partial success on his Light spell and decided to be put in a spot.  As a consequence, I had him turn around to see the snarling grin of that last Leucrota that had stealthily followed them down the tunnel, right in his face!  The player running the Wizard then came up with a brilliant idea to get himself out of that spot.  It started with a variation of the Spout Lore move that I used pretty consistently in this game.  In this variation, the player simply states a fact about the subject in question, and doesn’t make the roll+INT until it comes time to test that assertion in play.  So, C3P0 spouted off about the Leucrota’s favorite prey, a certain type of deer.  He then cast Prestidigitation to create the illusion of that deer making a call from outside the tunnel entrance.  While it might have been pushing the envelope with the cantrip, it was such a clever idea that I rolled with it.  Anyway, he had two chances to fail with this plan.  If his Spell Casting roll failed he would be toast, and even if he succeeded in casting the spell, he still had to roll to see if his knowledge about the Leucrota was accurate.  As it went, be succeeded in both rolls, and the beast quickly lost interest in the Wizard when it heard its favorite meal outside!

After a seemingly endless journey down the dark tunnel, it finally opened up into a huge cavern covered with fungus of all shapes and colors.  I had saved one of my moves from an earlier failed roll, and decided to spring it on the players now, as a Sign of Doom.  They were confronted by five strange humanoid worm men who charged to attack.  The melee was quick and brutal, and the players found themselves in a fungus cavern with five slain Moggits at their feet.

Gunther “recognized” some of the fungus as a Dwarven crop, the “red spotted Mushrooms” and claimed that they could be used as Rations.  OK, a Spout Lore roll would have to be made when that assertion was tested.  As it happened, Walton decided to chomp into one of them on the spot.  The roll came up an 8, so, while yes, they can be used as Rations, there will be some complication that I’ll reveal at a later time (mwahaha).

It was getting late at that point, but I wanted to leave things off with a little cliffhanger.  Since I’d noted on my map that there were 15 Moggits tending the gardens here, the players looked up to find that the other 10 had closed in and were now surrounding them, slowly advancing.

The session was a blast.  The mechanics really worked well to help us all develop a story that flowed very well, and was definitely off any rails.  If anything, I had prepped the dungeon a bit too much.  More sparse notes on each room would have served just as well.  And hell, the first ¾ of the game didn’t even take place in the dungeon I’d mapped and prepped.  But the development of a Front allowed me to still tie the threat into the story that did develop, and guide it to a degree.  A very satisfying experience overall, and the group wants to continue with Dungeon World and keep this campaign going!

Dungeon World / Bargains with Death?
« on: January 12, 2012, 05:39:25 PM »
Does anyone have any good ones they've used or can suggest?

Dungeon World / Liquidating your Assets
« on: January 12, 2012, 10:11:03 AM »
With my first game approaching quickly (tomorrow) I'm trying to tie up loose ends I forsee during the session.  In my dungeons, the players might drag quite a bit of treasure out, not in coins and gems, but in other valuables that they'll need to sell in a settlement.  Any opinions on this custom move to handle these transactions?
When you seek to sell the valuables you looted from the dungeons, roll +CHA.  On a 10+ you get offered a fair value for the items.  On a 7-9 select two below.  On a miss select one below.

  • You don't draw any unwelcome attention during the process of locating a buyer.
  • You manage to get everything appraised, and can be confident that none of the items is a worthless fake.
  • You are offered a price, but you feel it might not be the best offer you might receive.

Dungeon World / Turn or Command Undead
« on: January 08, 2012, 11:48:36 AM »
It strikes me that this Move doesn't capture the fun flavor of turning undead present in old school D&D.  I'm considering the following variant ... thoughts?

When you hold forth your holy symbol to the mindless undead before you, roll+WIS+Level.  On a hit, choose targets whose total level is less than your roll.  If you are Good, you keep these creatures at bay as long as you maintain the Turning (they will not come closer than 5' to you).  While maintaining the Turning, you may move but cannot perform any other actions.  If you are Evil, give a short command - they will follow it for a few moments.

Dungeon World / Spout Lore Variant
« on: December 27, 2011, 05:28:35 PM »
I was considering including a variant of Spout Lore which would push some of the world building to the player.  Being new to the game I was wondering what experienced players think of this idea?
The GM has the option of executing the Move as written, or using this variant:

When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, you confidently recite a single fact about the subject.  Make your INT roll only when it comes time to test your assertion; when that fact is acted upon in the fiction.  On a 10+ your memory served you well and the fact is established.  On a 7-9 your prediction is accurate to the letter, but possibly not in the spirit you intended, or there is some unforeseen complication.  On a 6 or lower the GM should use a hard move to communicate the true answer.

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