Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack

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Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« on: July 18, 2012, 03:35:32 AM »
This is a hack to use Dungeon World Rules in a Wheel of Time setting. Any comments would be much appreciated. Very much a work in progress. Can expand on any points if needed.

Classes:
Gleeman – Essentially same as vanilla Bard, Arcane Art rebadged to Gleeman’s Music.
Wilder – a heavily rebadged & somewhat modified Cleric. More on this later.
Armsman / Blademaster – Vanilla Fighter.
Warder / Oathman (ie Defender of the Stone, Queen’s Guard, Whitecloak etc) – Modified Paladin. Mostly similar, but replace Quest with Oath (basically a rebadge, an oath of fealty), replace the divine aspect of Lay on Hands with a rousing speech, same effects.
Woodsman / Wolfbrother – Basically vanilla Ranger. For story reasons would insist that the animal companion is a wolf, but I know that everyone who picks this class in my groups will do that anyway.
Wanderer – Vanilla Thief. I’ll need to rebadge the poisons.
Initiate – Heavily rebadged & somewhat modified Wizard. See below.
Noble/Commander – I’m going to grab Antisinecurist’s Noble from here and rebadge anything I need to.

Not sure if I’ve missed out on any iconic classes here. I think most of the characters from the books are covered? There is a lot of basically multiclassing described in the books, but I don’t want to delve into that too much because in my experience it just leads to headaches and min/maxing.


Backgrounds:
Replaces Races. For simplicity’s sake I’m making them independent of class choice. Let me know if any are particularly over or under powered.

Borderlander – Shadowspawn Hunter (+1 to hit & dmg vs Trollocs)
Cairhienin – Streetsmart (+2 to parley in urban setting)
Domani – Seductive (+2 to parley in seductive setting)
Ebou Dari – Duellist (+2 to hit when using dagger vs dagger-wielding human)
Illianer – Mercantile Background (+2 to Supply & Recruit rolls)
Midlander – Luck of Heroes (+1 to Defy Danger when risking self for others)
Tairen – Gambler (+2 to Carouse rolls)
Tar Valoner – Diplomat (+1 to parley with someone from another culture)
Taraboner – Educated (+1 to Spout Lore)

Channelling (Magic):

Ok, this is where I think the d20 WoT RPG really struggled. I like the way spells in DW are generally much more flexible than in D&D, so most spells I’m just going to simply rebadge as weaves (ie, Cure X Wounds becomes Healing, Cause Fear becomes Mirror of Mists etc).

Embrace the Source: A free action for Initiates, while Wilders basically have to do a Cast a Spell check to get over their block. This is the largest advantage for female initiates over female wilders.

Hidden Weaving: Basically I want Wilders to have some way of masking their weaving from regular people as something mundane (ie, how Nynaeve made people think she was mad good with herbs when she was in fact Healing). Perhaps where possible 7+ they successfully cover the weaving, 10+ they get +1 forward?

Cover Profession: again for wilders, I want them to be able to pull some benefit from their cover profession, ie Village Wisdom, soldier, whatever. Not sure how to handle it mechanically though.

Iconic Weaves:

I think most weaving can be handled by the Wizard’s ritual mechanic. Severing/Stilling, Bonding, large weather manipulation, major healing etc. Just handle it as required. But the following weaves are things that will come up I reckon:

Arms of Air – this is a major one, and I know from past games that players are way more inventive at using this weave than Robert Jordan. If it’s not designed well can be totally game-breaking.
Warding – rebadge the various cleric/wizard spells that do the same thing.
Lightning – 5th level?
Fireball – same as vanilla Wizard spell.
Earthquake/Riven Earth - 3rd level?
Shielding – really not sure how to handle this, and it’s really important.
Travelling – what level would this come in at? 5th?

Things I need to work on:

A Madness mechanic. I know I will have players who will want to be male channellers.

Balancing the weave list for Wilders & Initiates. Would it be a disaster if I just merged the two spellbooks?

I don’t really have any way of dealing with the Five Powers (air, fire, earth etc) and the various Talents (Cloud Dancing, Illusion, Earth Singing etc) as described in the books. I really don’t want to overcomplicate the channelling system, but…

Like I said, comments & criticism appreciated.

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 08:12:13 AM »
A Madness mechanic. I know I will have players who will want to be male channellers.
Maybe this could be helpful.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

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stras

  • 130
Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 05:25:14 PM »
This ... is an excellent idea.  But while you have a fantastic start I worry you might be sacrificing detail for speed.

Gleeman - has no actual magic.  I'd take away the healing from the song at the very least, and gleemen were less magicians with spellsongs and dragonborn voices, and more ... the thief.  A charismatic well traveled charlatan.  You'd have to hybridize a class of the two methinks.

Female Channeler / Male Channeler - these are base classes.  Wilder, Aes Sedai, Asha'man are all Compendium classes or simply 'racial' moves that modify the base channeling threat.  Maybe even per-shawl for Aes Sedai (as in Blue Stole, Green Stole etc).

That said your spellcasting probably needs to change.  You need a 'connect to the source' move, followed by 'channel power' that generates a per-element hold where your spells are based on a base element cabling set (think Ranger animal statistics, but one for each of the source 'weaves' where females have water and wind as stronger options, and men have fire and earth and both run equal in spirit).  And probably a selection of the weaving skills (artifact making, shielding, healing) as advances.  You'd have to merge the spellists and re-write to accommodate for talents unlocking certain spells, and cost in channeling.

Stick to Oathman, Warder is a Compendium Class that grants them supernatural healing and attunement to their Aes Sedai.

Rangers are Wolfbrothers, but replace half-elven with wolfbrother and lock out some of the abilities by having it be required.  God Amidst the wastes should probably become Dreamwalking.  Speaking of which there needs to be a Dreamwalker compendium class.

Things you're missing: Aiel and Ogier.  A big list of artifacts.  Something to handle Legends in the Dream and the real.

Your backgrounds are a good list, but mathematically problematic (+2 to parley for example guarantees that a +3 in charisma creates a 'never fail' scenario on parley in a city) and usually will swing probability ridiculously into the upper ranges.  My recommendation is to aid specific moves.  Ex: if borderlanders are good combatants, let them re-roll a single damage die.
Since Tar Valoners are good diplomats, give them extra questions to ask on Discern Realities about loyalties, or price.  Or something to help with 'holding something over' a person in a Parley.  You see?

Just some quick thoughts while I'm at work.  Again - awesome idea, I look forward to seeing what you do with this.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 05:57:04 PM by stras »

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 07:09:38 PM »
Awesome, thanks for the feedback. Omnibus reply incoming!

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I worry you might be sacrificing detail for speed.

Argh, so do I, but we'll see. Channeling as described in the books is really difficult to accurately capture in a game while keeping it fun for non-channelers. Not only are there a ton of individual talents and weaves described, each of those weaves is quite flexible. I don't want to go the 3e D&D route and have 50% of the PHB taken up with one classes' options. In the books, non-channelers are still very powerful & useful, and I want to keep that in my game.

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Gleeman - has no actual magic.

True, but I think of HP as a more abstract thing. I could see an inspiring song, chant or poem rousing warriors and making the difference between them breaking and holding. I see the Band of the Red Hand singing Jack'o'the Shadows etc and Gleemen reciting The Great Hunt as making a real difference to the fighting efficacy of the hearers.

All that said, I think I'll make Gleeman a compendium class anyway.

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Female Channeler / Male Channeler - these are base classes.  Wilder, Aes Sedai, Asha'man are all Compendium classes

First up, thanks for pointing out Compendium Classes. I was unaware they existed in DW, and yes, a lot of my classes are better suited to be compendium ones.

Second, I see Wilder/Initiate as being the basic divide. Self-taught (using WIS as a base) vs taught by an institution (using INT). There is also the gender split, but mechanically, what is the difference between a man Healing you vs a woman? Sure, one feels hot, the other cold, but at the end of the weave you're topped up by X HP all the same. Same same fireballs, etc etc.

This is open to argument though of course. Male/Female could make as much sense, with different weaves being available at different levels (ie, Fireball being a 1st level weave for men, a 3rd for women, Arms of Air vice versa and etc).

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'channel power' that generates a per-element hold

I like this idea. I'll try to come up with something along those lines.

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Aiel and Ogier

I deliberately left them out, because they wouldn't make sense in my particular campaign. I guess I should just go on and include them anyway. Aiel would have some handy bonus to Hack & Slash (only while using spears/hands and while veiled), and Ogier would have a bonus to strength & HP?

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A big list of artifacts.

I have the d20 WoT RPG sourcebook, which has a list already and most don't need much conversion at all. I will rebadge some of the ones in the DW sourcebook though and post them.

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Something to handle Legends in the Dream and the real.

Agree. So much work!

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Your backgrounds are a good list, but mathematically problematic

Ah well spotted. Yeah, I'll rework them.

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Maybe this could be helpful.

Yes! Ty vm for this.

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 09:03:53 PM »
Ok, here is my list (so far) of Zero (ie, rotes / cantrips) and First Level Weaves. Let me know if any are OP or I'm missing anything iconic. Brackets contain the particular powers used to make the weave. Users will need affinity with at least one of these to cast the weave.

Zero Level Weaves

Light [air, fire] (Common) (Light) – you weave a fist-sized ball that glows with channelled light, about as bright as a torch. You have complete control over the colour of the light, and it lasts as long as you can see the weave.

Purify [air, spirit, water] (Common) (Sanctify) – food or water you hold in your hands is swept free of impurities and spoilage.

Prestidigitation [air, spirit, fire, earth, water] (Common) (Prestidigitation) – You can use the One Power to perform minor tricks. You can touch an item to clean/soil it, you can create very minor illusions and so on.

Sense Shadowspawn [spirit] (Common) – When you cast this weave you feel a strong discomfort if any Shadowspawn are nearby. You cannot determine the type, number or direction of the Shadowspawn though.

First Level Weaves

Heal Light Wounds [air, spirit, water] (Common) (Cure Light Wounds) – at your touch you Weave flesh back together. Heal an ally of 1d8 damage.

Mirror of Mists [air, fire, spirit] (Common) (Cause Fear) – Choose an intelligent target you can see and a nearby object or person (can be yourself). The target is afraid of the object so long as you maintain the weave. While you maintain the weave take -1

Blade of Fire [air, fire] (Common) (Magic Weapon) – with this weave, you can either create an otherwise normal handheld weapon (sword, axe etc) from flame, or you can imbue an ordinary weapon with a charge of fire sets the target alight. +1d4 damage, take -1 to Cast a Weave while maintaining it.

Alarm Ward [air, fire, spirit] (Common) (Sanctuary/Alarm) – You create a large dome-shaped weave around an area. You are alerted whenever a person or shadowspawn crosses the ward. Anyone who receives Healing within the ward recives +1d4 HP.

Walk the Dream [spirit] (Common) (Speak with the Dead) – you lightly enter Tel’aran’rhiod while sleeping. You can ask three questions of anyone you come across in the dream realm.

Arms of Air [air] (Common) – you can lift a single item or creature that weighs less than 50kg through the air. Or you can manipulate an object from afar as if with one hand.

(Detect Magic) – you can tell if an object was created with or uses the one power.

Dream Speak [spirit] (Common) (Telepathy) – you lightly enter Tel’aran’rhiod while sleeping and can speak with any another sleeping person.

Disguise [air, fire, spirit] (Common) (Charm Person) – you cast a complex weave around a person (including yourself), changing their appearance. If the subject draws too much attention to themselves the Disguise will fall away.

Folded Light [ air, fire] (Common) (Invisibility) – you fold light about a person or object, rendering them invisible. The weave persists until the subject attacks or otherwise draws attention to themselves. Can be cast over more than one person, as long as they do not move.

Grenade [earth, fire, air] (Common) (Magic Missile) – you imbue a small rock with the One Power, and use a weave to fling it towards an enemy. Does 2d4 damage (ignores Armour).

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 09:49:36 AM »
I'm very flattered you're interested in using my Noble, and I'm excited to see any changes you might make! :)

I don't know much about WoT, but I did play in a D&D3.5/WoT mash-up at one point (years and years ago), so I'm interested to see what you do. I wish I knew more about it so I could offer more useful advice!

- Alex

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 02:15:48 PM »
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I wish I knew more about it so I could offer more useful advice!

At this point people who understand the maths & mechanics of DW are just as useful to me as people familiar with the IP of WoT. A large concern I have is that the two magic-using classes are not too overpowered. They should be slightly more powerful than vanilla wizards & clerics (there are a lot of story-imposed restrictions on the use of magic in a WoT campaign, so a power bump needs to happen to balance that), but not so powerful that they become the best at everything.

So yeah, as I expand the list of Weaves (spells), let me know if you see any pitfalls.

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stras

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Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 03:40:40 PM »
Convict, power/balance is an illusion.  Rand can make beams of light that cut entire sections of reality out of ever having been, but I like Matt, and Perrin is the character I feel closest to.  What you need to strive for is the 'cool' factor, and feeling like you can contribute.

The average fighter I've seen in most systems is a pretty boring dude who sometimes gets perks based on which weapon he picks.  Here they have named signature blades, can talk to the spirits of the people they kill, and are probably my favorite class (ok no that's the Druid).

In AW my Gunlugger can drop small armies, but the Savvyhead talks to objects, solves all our puzzles, and fixes my guns which break.  The point is that in combat there's no question which is stronger, but we both rock, and I'd happily play either because both are useful, and both are fun.  Just different focus.

If you run 'crunch' what's important is that everyone has a role.  Male channelers risk madness.  Female channelers can burn out, and lose their grip on the source when they get hit hard (hence Warders).

Just make sure everything is in that 2-6 7-9 10+ breakdown evenly (because that's what generates story) on rolls, and everyone is awesome and has stuff to do.

Just because Bob the Asha'man can Rolling-ring-of-Earth-and-Fire a whole army doesn't mean I wouldn't rather be running with a pack in the dreamlands.

That's your target.  Aim at it's heart, and be awesome.

I'll hit some specifics when I get time.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 04:20:52 PM by stras »

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Jingo

  • 25
Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 11:52:20 PM »
I love the WOT setting and am anxious to see what you do. I've been running a d20 email adventure based off of their Prophecies of the Dragon source book for several years now, but it's fizzled out.

But it'd be interesting to try out DW in a setting where there's an established cannon. Not sure how that would all work out. But I think there's enough blank history--where only bits and pieces are known where you could throw in a lot of blanks and come up with some cool adventures.

I totally agree with what stras said in both his posts. Excellent points.

Keep up the good work and keep us informed!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 12:13:28 AM by Jingo »

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 07:47:24 AM »
Ok, here is my first major update. Let me know what you think.

Channeller classes
There are two classes, and differences for men & women, but I’ve decided to mash them altogether in one post because of reasons.

Initiates use INT to cast weaves, have a bonus to Embrace the Source, can cast weaves from more affinities.
Wilders use WIS to cast weaves, have a cover profession they can draw from.
Men: when starting pick their two affinities from fire, earth & spirit. When they have embraced the source, they take +1 to Hack & Slash, Volley & Discern Realities.
Women: pick starting affinities from water, air & spirit. When they have embraced the source, take +1 to Discern Realities.

Affinities:
Pick two affinities (ie earth, fire, air, water, spirit). You may cast weaves outside of your affinities, but at a penalty. Initiates take -1, Wilders -2.

Cover Profession:
Wilders may choose one move from another class. Treat your level as one lower for choosing the move.

Embrace the Source:
Roll + WIS/INT (Initiates get +2 to this move)
On a 10+, you successfully embrace the source. You may then Cast a Weave as a free action.
On a 7-9, you embrace the source, but you choose one:
•   You suffer splitting headaches. Take -1 to all INT/WIS checks till you get a decent rest.
•   It takes a frustratingly long time to do so.
•   The effort takes a physical toll. Take 2 points of damage.

Cast a Wave:
10+ the weave is cast. Flame on.
7-9 the weave is cast, but choose one:
•   If it is an ongoing effect, you cannot tie it off. You must either maintain it (take -1 ongoing) or dissolve it.
•   It has only half the strength/effect it usually would
•   Immediately make a Defy Danger (Madness/Overchanelling) move

Maintaining/Tying Off Weaves:
Some weaves are ongoing. While you maintain them, you take -1 to Cast a Weave. However, you can tie them off as a free action. If you do so, beware that they will unravel at some point, and are more susceptible to being forcibly unravelled by other channellers.

Defy Danger (Madness/Overchannelling)
Roll + WIS/INT.
7+ nothing happens. Carry on.
<=6 Oh shit. GM chooses.
•   Take -1 permanent to relevant statistic
•   Suffer prolonged bout of madness (male)/inability to channel (female)

Level Zero Weaves:
Anyone can cast these as a free action while the have Embraced the Source.

Dry (push water out of clothes/fur)
Light (fist-sized globe of light)
Keeping (preserve food etc)
Finder (tracking bug on small object/keepsake)

Level One Weaves:

Air: Harden Air. Ongoing. You weave an invisible shield of air. It can block arrows, and stop a regular person from walking through it. Would not stop a charging knight on horseback.
Water: Raise Fog. Ongoing. You summon a thick, obscuring fog.
Earth: Grenade. You imbue a small rock (up to fist-sized) with the One Power. On contact the rock explodes, dealing 2d4 damage (ignores armour).
Fire: Flame Weapon. Ongoing. You either create a flaming sword out of nothing, or imbue a regular weapon with flame. +1d4 damage.
Spirit: Heal Minor Wounds. Heal one ally of 1d8 dmg on touch. They need to hold still while you do this.

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 09:26:02 AM »
Oh, I have a number of comments on these, now... I hope you don't take this too harshly, I want this to be the best it can and it's very exciting! :)

The bonus from embracing the source is better for men than women, generally, but this probably balances out since women can do so much more easily (though see my comment below). Is this bonus +forward? +ongoing? It's not clear to me.

Affinities and cover profession are fine, sure! I'm not sure why you include "Treat your level as one lower for choosing the move.", since level doesn't really affect many moves (except spellcasting).

Embrace the Source:
> The initiate bonus might be a bit too much. At 1st level, they'll probably only fail if they get snake eyes, and if they advance their key stat at 3rd level they *cannot* fail this check.

> There is no real conception of "free action" in DW. Instead, maybe say "You may then Cast a Weave with but a quick gesture and simple word.".

> It might be easiest to handle the headaches as giving a debility until rest. This has the same effect, but fits into the existing framework.

> The physical toll should probably be random damage. This makes it a bit more of a gamble or risky.

Cast a Weave + Defy Danger: I feel like you should just write up a custom move or two rather than call this "Defy Danger"; it'll be clearer and neater.

Tying off Weaves: Again, no concept of "free action".

Level 0 Weaves: "Anyone can cast these as a free action while the have Embraced the Source."; again, no free action, but also, is this even if they roll badly on embracing?

The weaves themselves are all cool and pretty balanced. Grenade probably shouldn't ignore armor, and I'd like more fictional details on harden air.

- Alex

Re: Dungeon World / Wheel of Time Hack
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 05:17:33 PM »
This is great feedback, thanks.

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The bonus from embracing the source is better for men than women

Yeah, this is me trying to be consistent with the books. They are explicit in saying that men are stronger natural channellers than women.

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The initiate bonus might be a bit too much.

This was intentional. In the books, I can't find an example of a healthy etc 'initiate' who cannot Embrace the Source at will. 'Wilders' (ie, the self-taught) almost always have a 'block', some emotional barrier making Embracing the Source Difficult. I wanted to somehow replicate that.

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There is no real conception of "free action" in DW.

Yeah, I'll reword it. It will now be "you may now treat this move as if you'd just got a 10+ on Cast a Weave

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It might be easiest to handle the headaches as giving a debility until rest

Done!

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> The physical toll should probably be random damage. This makes it a bit more of a gamble or risky.

Hmm. Would 1d4 be too much?

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The weaves themselves are all cool and pretty balanced. Grenade probably shouldn't ignore armor, and I'd like more fictional details on harden air.

Grenade, done.

Harden Air is now replaced with: Shield of Air. Ongoing. You weave an invisible barrier (about the size of a regular door) that can sit anywhere within a stone's throw. It will stop most things from passing through, but will not prevent (for example) a charging knight.

I know from experience that my players are tricky SoB's when it comes to the various Air weaves (which are mostly about invisibly holding things in place/moving things about). Like, harden air in the d20 version at level 0 means they can basically freeze a ~1ft square space. Que months of charging trollocs being tripped over & backstabbed, enemies having swords frozen in their scabbards, enemies having their cloaks pulled up over their heads and so on. I don't mind being creative, but when a ~3rd level character could disarm 10 enemies in ~6 seconds it gets a little out of hand!