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AW:Dark Age / I miss Going Aggro and Manipulate
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:46:44 PM »
I really like the new Basic Moves, especially Draw Someone Out. But I'm missing that step in between violence and demand; where a player shows that they're serious but gives them a chance to acquiesce. I miss Aggro or Manipulate. Check this out:

Player: "I yell at him: 'you swore fealty to my father! You will not deny me now! Join my cause and maintain your honor."
MC: Are you Claiming Your Right? Sounds like it. Roll Hard."
Player: "Sure, it's an... 11! Bite it! I stare him down, fiery."
MC: "The wayward lord stares right back: 'Times have changed. Lords have changed. I owe nothing to you.' He's calling you out, but you get a +1forward.
Player: "Damnit. I draw steel and hold out my blade, like 'Bend your knee or I'll bend it for you.'
MC: "Are you willing to kill over this?"
Player: "Uhhh, I don't know. Maybe, but I don't want to. I want him to know I'm serious, but I want him alive to lead his men." is there a Move that comes next? I would've previously used Aggro or Manipulate, depending on how far the player is willing to take it. They deserve a roll because they've got that +1forward. What happens next?

Dungeon World / NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« on: October 13, 2012, 01:20:05 PM »

Are you excited to play Dungeon World, but still having trouble understanding it?
Grab this 60-page guide and ease your troubles! The image above is the download link!

Edit: The above link is an updated .rar file containing the print & pdf versions of the updated guide. For those who aren't interested in the print version, here's And the direct link to the pdf version can be found here. for reading on a screen.

This is specifically geared toward new and inexperienced players, and written from a GM perspective. It's for people who are having trouble understanding how NPCs attack without rolling dice; how combat turns work without initiative, that sort of thing. There is some useful advice for combat and writing custom moves in there, for the slightly more experienced player or the just plain curious.

What could possibly fill sixty pages, you ask? Stuff like this:

*Full explanations of the GM moves: what they mean and how to use them!
*A list of Worse Outcomes and Hard Choices to spark your creativity!
*In-depth guide to Dungeon World combat, guaranteed to answer all your questions!
(Narrating battles, triggering moves, dealing without initiative, handling multiple enemies- tons of info!)
*How to write custom moves for your campaign!
*Full worldbuilding advice, from Fronts and Dangers to Grim Portents and beyond!
*A sample campaign front, ready to run: The Great Wyrm of Axstalrath!
*Two Races and Five Compendium Classes[/b]... and how to make your own!
*8 pages of Actual Play, fully annotated to help you understand how it all fits together!
*Sweet pictures of dragons and dwarves swinging axes!

Here's the backstory:
For a while now, I've noticed that some new players have trouble with Dungeon World, especially those that don't have a background with ApocWorld or related games. The player/GM move structure can be confusing for beginners, and we get questions in here all the time like "What happens when I roll a 7-9 for my NPC?" or "How come it's just as easy to hit a dragon or a crippled man?" For a while, I've been answering these questions to help out new players, both in this forum and over in the really great Dungeon World thread on SomethingAwful. I really like DW and I wanna see everyone understand and play it!

So I posted a "Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World Combat" that people found really helpful and they asked me to write a longer guide. Fellow SA member Sean Dunstan (forums name Evil Mastermind) signed onto the project with me, andit snowballed into a sixty-page illustrated guide with tons of advice for new players.  I encourage anyone who has lingering questions about the game to download this guide and check it out. Also, the illustrations really are pretty awesome, so if you like awesome things then you should probably check it out, as well. Enjoy!

Dungeon World / Cleric healing the whole party between "encounters"
« on: October 02, 2012, 03:56:36 PM »
You know that thing that players do, when the Cleric wants to heal the entire party after a fight? Rather than cast the spell on each player, which kinda pulls us out of the story, I made this move:

When you call on your god to heal the entire party while resting, roll +Wis.
On a 10+, your petition is fulfilled.
On a 7-9, choose one: exhausts you. Take -1ongoing until your next rest.
...your god demands something in exchange, a favor or tribute. The GM will tell you what.
On a Miss, your constant need has angered your diety in some way.

What do you think? It was pretty fun when we used it.

Apocalypse World / In depth combat: more rolls=more dangerous
« on: September 18, 2012, 05:58:05 PM »
This is something that's bugged me for a while, not sure if it's been asked before. Basically, if I use one Seize roll to simulate an entire combat (taking over a bunker, say), then the PC suffers Harm as established, so like 3 Harm for example, from the enemy's weapons.

However, if we zoom in a bit and make two Seize rolls, maybe one for the bunker entrance and one for the building itself, it seems to increase the danger. The PC is now facing duplicate Harm for each roll. What am I missing here? This doesn't seem right.

Essentially, the more rolls we make the more opportunities for hard moves and therefore damage. Can someone clarify this?

Dungeon World / Aiding/Interfering and the game fiction
« on: September 07, 2012, 02:28:48 PM »
This is something that's bugged me for a while now. I don't fully understand how basing Aid/Interfere on +Bonds is related to the game fiction. Like, if a PC helps his friend sneak by providing covering fire, he's not rolling +Dex. Or if he helps his buddy climb a cliff, it's not +Str. Instead, he rolls +Bonds in both cases. It feels kinda like a legacy mechanic sometimes, a holdover from ApocWorld.

In ApocWorld, the Aid/Interfere rules made much more sense to me, because stats were more descriptive and moves were broader; both in definition and in terms of how much action they covered. I could easily see how Aiding someone depended on predicting their actions in that game.

But Dungeon World stats are very much a hard measure of physical ability; they dictate just how strong or fast a character is. To me, it makes more sense that those stats might come into play when Aiding. In a social context, like corroborating a story, I could see using +Bonds instead of +Cha: you need to really know the person to predict what kind of story they'll concoct. But I dunno, I don't fully understand how "_______ has trusted me with a secret" helps you provide covering fire for them.

How do I base this in the game fiction? When a PC helps his buddy climb up a wall, can I ask him for +Str or will that somehow muck things up? Can anyone shed some light on this?

Dungeon World / What do my players do with their coin?
« on: August 28, 2012, 01:02:04 AM »
My players come from a very D&D background, where you can buy a +1 sword or common magic items. So far they LOVE Dungeon World and the actual adventuring aspect is amazing. But they're heading back to town and want to spend that hard-earned loot, and they're disappointed with the equipment list.

Because damage is class-based, they see no incentive to buy fancy weapons and armor. I told them that fictionally, I will make it count: like if I break their sword they can call bullshit and say "no way, that's a Finely Crafted blade from the famed blacksmith Darius" and I'll be like, "good point!"

But I don't think that thrills them. Obviously there's Carouse, and rare maps and bribes and all that, but what can I offer them that will really make them excited? I know that DW isn't as loot-based as D&D and the campaign is going strong, fictionally, but these guys want upgrades and I need advice.

I'm thinking about letting them purchase equipment tags, sorta like the fighter's signature weapon. Is that a reasonable route? What else can I do to satisfy their loot-cravings without getting into fiddly bonus territory? Advice appreciated.

(Edit: I wanna clarify that I know DW is about deeds, not loot, and that my players know this as well. But I can just tell they wanna drop some coin on shiny new toys)

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