Ran my first Dungeon World

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Ran my first Dungeon World
« on: June 19, 2011, 01:56:37 AM »
Hi all. First timer. I wanted to give some feedback and join the adventure's guild. First some background. Long time roleplayer and sometime gamemaster, but not familiar with this system. I  mainly run d20 styled games. As a full-time dad with little time to get together for face-to-face group of the old gaming buddies, I usually end GMing for my 13 year-old boy.

He was asking to play an RPG that was something new and where it didn't take an hour to make characters. So, we gave this a shot. I didn't really have anything prepared at the time, but I broke out a PDF of Dungeon World I had sitting around when I was a player of an earlier game.

He decided to play a befuddled aged wizard character, and after he examined his whopping 4 hit points, he also decided to make a second character (a fighter) and play both.

I eventually took over the Fighter character to help improve social interaction, but he would play it like a hireling--giving it orders and so on.

The adventure setting took place in a small village a few days journey from real civilization and the adventure hook was him seeing something suspicious pass by outside his window on a dark and windy night.

We got bogged down a little on figuring out how well could his character spot something that was hidden. We thought perhaps Discern Realities move, but the wording is "When you closely study a situation..."

But his char wasn't closely studying it... He was just glancing out the window to get a better look. So, I guess it was hard for us to break away from the standard d20 "make a spot check" type roll. Eventually I just told him what he saw according to what I thought would be most fun and just ran with it.

One of the cooler aspects was his Contact Spirits spell which he employed to figure out who or what it was that passed suspiciously by his window. I like how the spirit decides the questions it asks itself on a hold. We enjoyed role-playing that out and it added a lot of flavor to the game. The spirit, in fact, instead of just answering the questions and leaving, would try to bargain with the wizard to see what it could get out of it for providing information.

The spirit told him someone had tied and that launched off an entire investigation scene and the plot thickened from there.

It was decidedly light on combat since he was playing a wizard char so the adventure was largely investigative with him tracking down the murderer which turned out to be a small boy in the village, which in turn wasn't really a small boy but only a shape-shifter type creature that had taken the form of the real boy. He killed the shifter when the murderer's treachery was revealed and the boy attacked him, and blasted it out the second story window of the boy's room with his magic missile spell with all the villagers.   

We liked how quick it was to make a character and the speed of the game. We had played Tracy Hickman's XDM previously and wanted something fast, but with a bit more structure. This seemed to fit the bill.

Some things that I think would help the game:
  * Give more examples of things. Combat for example. I know there aren't rounds or initiative, but he got a little upset when things started to happen without him because he didn't speak up when I paused to let him say something. Maybe take a typical encounter and describe the moves that would be used for different things as a party of characters works through it.

  * Explain what a hold is better. It took us a while to grasp what a hold really was. Give some additional examples.

  * There are things that are mentioned but aren't explained in the PDF. For example, Make a Stand or Pull a Stunt are referenced in some moves or spells (like Sanctuary for Cleric) but the rules don't explain these elsewhere (at least not in the version we had). I still don't know what they are. There may be others.

  * Maybe provide some optional rules for running an undersized party (maybe even 1 on 1) games if such variations are available.

All in all we had a fun night an will likely grow our oneshot into something larger. Thanks for the good work.

Re: Ran my first Dungeon World
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 01:18:37 PM »
Sounds fun.

It does seem like a lot of people coming straight to Dungeon World without playing Apocalypse World first are not understanding the "hold" stuff right off the bat.

Good feedback.