Town Moves and Prestige Moves

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  • 777
Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« on: February 05, 2011, 03:24:59 AM »
Hi gang, I've been loving AW and just started playing DW / apoc D&D with my nooby RPG friends. Its been great! After playing two sessions, I started thinking about pushing my version of DW more toward the 'play to see what happens' style of AW, and started by thinking about that stalwart of any D&D game: the town.

Stealing shamelessly from AW and Tony's ideas on his blog, I've cobbled together these moves and associated rules. Most are quite obviously AW moves in fantasy window dressing, but I feel the context is important. AW characters are already badass, whereas D&D characters are traditionally untried and slowly develop into figures of note within their world.

Thus the 'prestige moves' are ways of developing DW characters beyond 10th Lvl and also add something to the 'town experience'. I hope you find them useful.

I have thought about threats and fronts too, hopefully I'll write them up soon.

Oh, on an aside, I've been using 'Awesome points' from Old Skool Hack too. Instead of counters, they're dice. Everytime the GM plays a hard move or announces future dungeon badness, they plonk a die in the bowl. Any player may award another for 'awesomeness' during play with a die from the bowl. On any roll, one or more awesome dice from your awarded stash may be added to the roll, and any two die results chosen to make the roll. Used awesome dice are given back to the GM and experience checked for the usage of awesome!



  • 777
Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 03:28:26 AM »
Downtime Moves
In town is where you tend to have characters generate details of the world in the course of carousing and steer themselves into their own world of hurt.
Where do you go and what threats do you confront? This becomes part of the ‘planning’ of the adventure during the session. AW moves & philosophy fits into this wide-open sandbox phase, which gives you lots of cool material & background to carry into the zoomed-in phase of going into a particular danger.

The Town
First you need a town. As a group, brainstorm and answer questions in turn. Name your town. By default the town has:
•a couple of hundred townsfolk and as many dependent farmers nearby
•a mix of farming, hunting and crafting (surplus: wealth, want: hunger)
•a wooden palisade and sturdy wood and stone buildings
•a drafted militia of 2 dozen folk (3-harm gang medium unruly 1-armour)

Choose 4:
•the town is large, about 500 souls. Surplus: +1wealth, want: +1 disease
•the town is small, 50 odd souls. Want: anxiety instead of hungry
•The surrounding countryside is bountiful. Surplus: +growth
•For commerce add lucrative trade routes. Surplus: +1wealth, Want: +reprisals
•For commerce add fealty from beholden settlements. Surplus: +1wealth, Want: +obligation
•For commerce add industry. Surplus: +1wealth, Want: +idle
•For commerce add a bustling, well renown market. Surplus: +1wealth, Want: +1idle
•The militia is large instead of medium, 3 score or so.
•The militia is well-disciplined, drop unruly.
•The armoury is well stocked and extensive. The militia get +1harm
•The town is strong, the wall tall and mighty, the houses of stone and possibly magically built. +2armour

Choose 2:
•The townsfolk are dirty and unwell. Want: +disease
•The townsfolk are lazy. Want: +famine
•The townsfolk are decadent Surplus: -1wealth,
•The townsfolk are perverse. Want: +savagery
•The town is beholden and owes fealty: Surplus: -1wealth, Want: +savagery
•The militia is small instead of medium, only a dozen or so.
•The militia are a pack of wolves. Want: savagery
•The armoury is ill-equipped. The militia get -1harm
•The town is roughshod, with few well-constructed buildings and no wall to speak of. The militia get -1armour when defending it.
Once created, the town breathes a life of its own, the GM or players may call for a wealth roll with the seasons, as required depending on the fiction, or may simply take it in turns to roll whenever the adventurers return from the wilds or dungeons.

Roll+Wealth. On a 10+ the town has Surplus at hand and available for the needs of the adventurers. On a 7-9, there is surplus, but choose 1 want. On a miss the town is in want. Make hard moves as required.

Treasure is a loose measure of who’ll generally be able to get what stuff. Things pretty, portable and convenient to trade are called ‘trappings’, ‘oddments’ or in a halfling’s case ‘sparkle’.  In character creation, the players can describe what their trappings are or just list ‘sparkle worth n-treasure’ and leave them to be described later on, if ever.

Loot from adventuring can be collected in coin, jewels and pretty precious, but to be useful should be converted to a treasure rating in town. Treasure can always be used up to grease palms and take 1 forward to a town move.

You should treat the characters getting new gear and adventuring stuff the same as you treat everything else they do. That is, make Dungeon World Seem real and make the characters lives not boring: Address yourself to the characters not the players; make your move but misdirect and never speak its name; say what the principles, rules, situation and your prep demand.

Your players should keep track of their own gear on their character sheets of course, and you are under no obligation to provide them with any after character creation. However, this is adventuring after all! If somebody feels poor, they’re going to have to come up with an adventure to scratch up some treasure that’s all!

Things Worth 1Treasure
•A month’s living expenses, if your tastes are modest
•A fine weapon, suit of armour or exquisite set of clothes
•A month’s maintenance for a steed
•Bribes and gifts sufficient to grant audience
•Healing at a temple, or surgeon or apocathery
•A weeks employment for adventuring types
•A spell cast by a high level wizard
•A high class courtesan for the night

For more expensive goods and services, you should expect to make particular arrangements through the following moves. You can’t just wander around the town square, with trinkets and treasure a jingle-jangle and expect to find your heart’s desire.

Purchase Specialty Goods and Services (charisma)
When you go into a bustling market to pay money for goods and services through legitimate channels and its not obvious whether you should be able to just go buy it like that: Approach the appropriate NPC and choose one or more things you want to acquire from them:
•Succour, protection, or lodging
•Opportunities for adventure, fame, or personal gain (see adventure hooks)
•Specialty, magic, or rare stuff
•Information on a specific topic
Roll + CHA. On a 10+ Choose 2. On a 7-9 Choose 1
•It’s not expensive -1 Treasure
•It’s ready right away
•No strings attached

If you fail, you can have it, but it will be expensive and you’ll need to undertake an adventure first (see adventure hooks).

Go Through other Channels (varies)
Use this move to get stuff that’s not available through regular channels, or to use less legitimate means to get what you want. Each channel uses a particular attribute and has its own risk (in parenthesis after the channel name). A given town might have more or fewer channels, including channels not listed here (which the DM should make up).
•Get what you want through threats, violence, or intimidation (strength/embattled)
•Get what you want through fraud, theft, or trickery (dexterity/discovered)
•Deal with the local temple, church, or cult (wisdom/entangled)
•Engage in risky arcane research (intelligence/ensorcelled or magical mishap)
•Deal with the local criminal underground

Roll 10+ then Choose 2:
•There are no strings attached
•You don’t promise anything in return
•It’s not a matter of common knowledge that you got it.
Roll 7-9 then Choose 1:
•You can have it, but you’ll have to undertake an adventure first (see adventure hooks)
•You get it, but the risk comes true.
On a failure you don’t get it, AND the risk comes true.




  • 777
Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 03:32:36 AM »
Prestige Moves (available as an improvement beyond 10 LvL)

A Holding
At level 10, any class can acquire a small holding as an advance. They don’t include a gang or followers, though may have a small staff. The nature of the holding is up to the player, though should be in accordance with their character and logical within the fiction. A cleric founds a temple, a thief establishes a guild, a wizard a school, a bard a theatre, a paladin an academy, and a ranger a lodge.
By default the holding has:
•   3 score souls
•   uses hunting, farming, trade or minor craft as its commerce (surplus: 1treasure, want: anxiety)
•   A relatively secure manor, keep, warren, or compound

The player gets the wealth move and chooses 2:
•   The population of the hold is big, 5 score souls. Surplus: +1 treasure, want: +hunger
•   Your population is tiny, a score of folk. Remove want: anxiety
•   For commerce add fealty from outlying settlements. Surplus: +1treasure, want: +obligation
•   For commerce add industry. Surplus: +1treasure, want: +idle
•   For commerce add renown artisans. Surplus: +1treasure, want: +idle
•   For commerce add a thriving black market. Surplus: +1treasure, want: +obligation
•   Your folk are enthusiastic, eager and successful. Surplus: +growth
And Choose 1:
•   Your folk are dirty and unwell. Want: +disease
•   Your folk are lazy. Want: +famine
•   Your folk are decadent and perverse. Surplus: -1treasure, want: +savagery
•   Your holding owes fealty. Surplus: -1treasure, want: +reprisals
•   Your folk depend entirely on you for their lives and needs. Want: +desperation.

A Steed

At level 10 a Fighter, Paladin or Ranger may acquire an exceptional steed and take the move: Astride my Mount.
When astride my mount…
… if you hack and slash, add your steed’s power to the roll.
… if you pull a stunt, add your steed’s power to the roll.
… if you make a stand, add your steed’s power to the roll.
… if you parley, add your steed’s looks to the roll.
… if you help or interfere with someone, add your steed’s power to the roll
…If someone interferes with you, add your steed’s weakness to the roll

Choose a steed profile:
Power+2 Looks+1 1-armour weakness+1
Power+2 Looks+2 0-armour weakness+1
Power+1 Looks+2 1-Armour weakness+1
Power+2 Looks+1 2-armour weakness+2

Choose your steeds type:
Warhorse, unicorn, pegasus, dragon, wyvern, giant reptile, giant avian, giant amphibian, hippogriff or similar.
Choose its powers:
Choose as many monster moves as its power
Choose its looks:
Choose as many as its looks – sleek, tough, powerful, muscular, pretty, luxurious coat, regal, proud, handsome.
Choose its weaknesses:
Slow, fragile, lazy, difficult, greedy, skittish, loud, unpredictable, stubborn, messy.

A Community of Followers
At level 10, a Cleric or Bard may spend an advance to gather a bunch of followers and the move:
Fame or Faith: Your fame/faith, surplus and want all depend on your followers. When you return home from adventuring, roll+fame/faith.
10+ your followers have surplus. On a 7-9 they have surplus but choose 1 want. On a miss they are in want. If their surplus lists treasure, like 1-treasure or 2-treasure, that’s your personal share.

By default you have a score of followers, loyal to you but not fanatical, and they have their own lives apart from you.
(Fame/Faith+1, surplus: 1-treasure, want: desertion)

Characterize them: your cult, your family, your students, your staff, your court, your troupe. Choose 2:
•   Your followers are dedicated to you. Surplus: +1treasure and replace want: desertion with want: hunger
•   Your followers are successful and popular. +1fame/faith
•   Your followers as a body constitute a powerful arcane foci. +1ongoing to spell checks
•   Your followers are joyous and celebratory. Surplus: +party
•   Your followers are rigorous and questioning. Surplus: +insight
•   Your followers are hard working and no nonsense. Surplus: +1treasure
•   Your followers are eager, enthusiastic and successful recruiters. Surplus: +growth

Choose 2:
•   You have a handful of followers. Surplus: -1treasure
•   Your followers aren’t yours, more like you’re theirs. Want: +Judgement
•   Your followers rely on you entirely for their wants and needs. Want: +desperation
•   Your Followers use intoxicants. Surplus: +stupor
•   Your followers are aesthetics. Want: +disease or +hunger
•   Your followers are chaotic. Surplus: +violent
•   Your followers are decadent or perverse. Surplus: +savagery
•   Your followers are lazy. Surplus: +idle

If your followers give you insight on surplus you can ask your followers what they think your best course of action is, and the GM will tell you. If you pursue that course take +1 to any rolls you make in its pursuit and mark experience.

A Collective of Rangers
At level 10, a Ranger may take an advance to acquire a pack of fellow rangers and this move as Pack Alpha:
When you try and impose your will on the pack roll+WIS for the wisest course, or roll+STR for the hard choice.
On a 10+ all three, on a 7-9 choose 1:
•   They do what you want
•   They don’t fight back over it
•   You don’t have to make an example of one of them
On a miss, someone in the pack makes a dedicated bid to replace you as pack alpha.

By default, the pack consists of about a dozen hardened survivalists with the kit of a typical outdoorsman and no real discipline at all.
2-Harm gang, small, savage, 1-armour.
Then choose 2:
•   Your pack is medium instead of small
•   Your pack is well equipped +1 Harm +1 Ongoing to Survival
•   Your pack is disciplined (drop savage)
•   Nomadic; the pack is able to prosper without the need of civilised comforts. +mobile.
•   Self-sufficient; the pack provides for itself with hunting and tracking: +rich.
And choose 1:
•   The pack’s skills are not up to scratch. Vulnerable: Lost
•   The pack’s equipment is shoddy: Vulnerable: ill-prepared
•   The pack’s loose knit, coming and going as they choose. Vulnerable: desertion
•   The pack owes a high stakes NPC. Vulnerable: obligation
•   The pack is unwashed and unwell. Vulnerable: disease

Wizards Tower
After level 10, a Wizard can take a tower as an advance. When you design your tower, choose which of the following to include. Choose 3:
•   An observatory
•   A dungeon
•   An arcane garden
•   Skilled underling or apprentice
•   A store filled with magical miscellanea
•   An Extensive Library
•   A stable
•   An alchemical laboratory
•   A mystical artifact / relic
•   Magical Scrying item
•   Magical / Mechanical Booby traps

In the world, Magic has to have mystery, power, and unpredictability. Here's a magical research move.

When you go into your arcane library, laboratory, and workspace trying to get to the bottom of something or make something magical, tell the DM what you want. The DM will answer "Sure, no problem, but..."

•   It's going to take days/hours/weeks/months of work
•   First you have to acquire _____ (magical reagent)
•   You need some information you can get from ____
•   You're going to need ______'s help with it
•   It's going to cost you a lot of wealth
•   It's going to mean exposing yourself (and others) to significant danger
•   You're going to have to dissemble _____ to do it

For easy stuff, pick just one.
For medium stuff, pick one AND another OR another.
For seriously hard stuff, it's one AND another AND yet another.

•   If it’s a magical weapon or gear, use the descriptive tags for weapons and gear and make a custom move if it calls for one
•   If it’s a creature, give it a profile and up to 3 moves as per the monster guidelines
•   If its something else, you should certainly create a custom move to give it its function

Rogue  Moonlighting
At level 10, a Thief, Bard or Ranger can take an advance to get 2-juggling. Whenever there’s a stretch of downtime in town or between sessions, choose a number of gigs to work. Choose no more than your juggling. You may use your gang or followers move to get a +1 forward to the roll (or complicate the outcome!).

Roll+INT (calculated), Roll+ WIS (careful) or Roll+CHA (comraderie)
On a 10+ you get profit from all the gigs you choose. On a 7-9, you get profit from at least 1, if you chose more than 1, you get catastrophe from 1 and profit from the rest. On a miss, catastrophe all round! The gigs you aren’t working give you neither profit or catastrophe. Whenever you spend an additional advance you get +1 juggling.

Moonlighting happens in breaks in town and gives you good things to come back on. When a player announces the gigs they are going to juggle, be sure to get enough information from them to tell you what comes of it. Who are they dealing with, what for and why? If it hasn’t been planned out, have a little brainstorming session.

Paying gigs on-screen:
•   Profit: you can choose to come in on the end of the successful gig, or let the whole gig happen in a narrated summary, off-screen
•   Catastrophe: you can come in on the moment the gig goes sour, or you can summarise the failure and come in on the aftermath
•   Un-worked: Ignore them, un-worked gigs aren’t a thing

A gig’s catastrophe is just like any move you’d make: address the character, not the player, make your move but misdirect and don’t speak its name.

Gigs are listed (profit/catastrophe).
Paying gigs:
•   Infiltration (1-treasure / discovered)
•   Murders (3-treasure / embattled)
•   Theft (1or2-treasure / discovered)
•   Surveillance & Scouting (1-treasure / deceived)
•   Thuggery (1-treasure / embattled)
•   Racketeering (1-treasure / overthrown)
•   Prostitution (2-treasure / entangled)
•   Black Market (2-treasure / impoverished)
•   Hunting & Trapping (1-treasure / shut-out)
•   Negotiating or brokering (1-treasure / shut-out)
•   Deliveries (1-treasure / bushwacked)
•   Performance (1or2-treasure / shut-out)
•   Bodyguarding (1-treasure / embattled)
•   Enforcement (1-treasure / overthrown)
•   Fortress Defence (1-treasure / infiltrated)
•   Tutoring or Companionship (1-treasure / entangled)

Obligation gigs on screen:
•   Profit: you can choose to come in at the end of the character accomplishing it, or let it pass without much remark
•   Catastrophe: You should come in at the moment it goes belly-up.
•   Unworked: an unworked obligation is an opportunity for a hard move and you should take it.
Obligations often occur as the result of a failed move, though they occur mechanically the same way during a period of downtime in the town. Unworked, they aren’t ignored fictionally.
•   Avoiding Someone (you keep well clear / they catch you in a bad spot). Unworked: they’re all over the place, looking for you, it’ll be an effort in play to avoid them.
•   Paying Debts (you keep up with them / they come due -1 Treasure). Unworked: you’re falling behind and the sharks come looking for you in play to pay up.
•   Revenge (you victimize someone / the humiliate you). Unworked: the object of your vengeance is around and gloating at you.
•   Protecting Someone: (nothing happens to them / they disappear). Unworked: they are in urgent danger and you have to deal with it in play.
•   Pursuing Luxury (beauty in your life / you wind up in the gutter). Unworked: your life remains ugly and inconvenient.
•   Maintaining Honour (you keep your word and your reputation is increased / you cross a line). Unworked: Someone is spreading lies about you or you’ve compromised your principles by sitting on the fence. In play you start hearing bad rumours about yourself and people react to you not they way you’d hope.
•   Seeking Answers (you get a clue / you chase a red herring – see adventure hook). Unworked: the mystery deepens, or something casts your gathered clues in a more complicated light.

Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 07:51:50 AM »
Love the town stuff, this is seems a good extension into having the characters help define the world like new Cleric stuff Sage and Adam worked up, and the town is the heart of connecting the PCs to the world.

Was thinking of doing something like Action Points in DW lately, but haven't done it. Do you find the Awesome Points reduce the importance / challenge of the roll? I'm keen not to reduce the importance of being able to fail.

(Did you used to post on BW Forum? I seem to recall asking you about another dice mechanic for BW. This you?



  • 777
Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 06:44:47 PM »
Hey Wightbred!
Yup, that's me. As you can see I like to tinker.
Note that with AP, the player gets to choose which 2 die results out of the pool they want - its not a given that they go for the highest two. So in some ways it gives them more options to the scene. They may want to fail! Or get a success with complications (and still mark experience).

In regards to the town stuff: like I said, Its sort of an amalgamation of other moves posted on various fora, and its nice to have them on the one page.

Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 06:55:20 PM »
Oh yeah! They can choose what they want! I think I'm a tinkerer too: I'm having flashovers to Mouse Guard Traits right now...

Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 03:34:35 PM »
We've got some very big plans for larger scale adventuring stories in the works.  Right now, the scale of Dungeon World relies on the GM to provide the details about towns, cities and civilizations.  The adventurers in DW are about personal, small-scale stories of adventure and daring.

Later, though, once you grow from a fledgling fighter into a lord of the manor, you'll start to see rules managing these sorts of things.  Advanced Dungeon World looms like a dark cloud of grand-scale fantasy in the distance.

I've said too much already!



  • 777
Re: Town Moves and Prestige Moves
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 06:06:06 PM »
Huh. I woke up this morning and logged on to find Dungeon World Hack. Cool.

I will be still using all my town stuff until the real Dungeon World becomes available! Branson and Tonkin are eyeing off the prestige moves for their gay halfling thief (who wants to be a seductive assassin) and the fumbling wizard. They are purposefully hitting all their alignment moves, marked stat moves and bond moves in order to 'get' to the prestige stuff. I wonder what they will do when I show them the new hack this weekend....

Anyways, I really liked the Adventure hooks move and will still use it. I have an option that says on a miss, well I'll either make a hard move or choose the direction of the story, on a 7-9 you choose 1 element and on a 10+ you choose 2. Elements are either:
*the monsters or big bad you want to encounter,
* a plotline from the 'Big list of RPG plots',
* name a magic treasure and give some backround
* or a map / location - usually one of the 1 page dungeons or Tony's masterpieces.

This has come up with some cool adventures, including a dance party with bugbears, getting lost in the 'unmappable' dungeon and having to rescue a magical dingus that actually turned out to be Tonkin the Wizard's future impish familiar. Though a lot of time is spent in 'Dingledale' (the town) as it has become a pretty good 'home front' with enough threats of its own.

Sage and Adam, I would humbly intreat you to accept me into the adventurer's guild! I am eargerly awaiting the final product of Dungeon World and think you guys have done an awesome job! If I can contribute / playtest in any way please let me know.

Cheers, Noofy