Help a newb

  • 8 Replies
  • 4297 Views
Help a newb
« on: November 16, 2012, 12:46:17 PM »
I've read Scrape's excellent beginners' guide and I've MC'ed a healthy portion of Apocalypse World - I'm very comfortable with AW's approach to generating fun.

What I haven't done is ever run an old-school RPG, or even D&D 3e or later. I cut my teeth on 7th Sea and moved on to Savage Worlds settings like 50 Fathoms and Deadlands.

I ran a game of DW and got the sense that I was running it too much like AW (in the types of questions I asked, the bonds I elicited, etc.). 

How do I need to adjust my thinking? What assumptions do I need to ditch, and which do I need to take up, in order to get into the old-school mindset?

*

noclue

  • 609
Re: Help a newb
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 01:29:35 PM »
Don't look for where they're not in control.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: Help a newb
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 02:02:02 PM »
in my limited experience with AW, I found that while protagonists in DW are (almost) always a (more or less) tightly bonded team of adventurers, in AW they are way more indipendent one to each other (I mean, usually they are not a "team").
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Re: Help a newb
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 07:08:09 PM »
OK, so PC-NPC-PC triangles also aren't as important then, since they serve to foster instability and foment PC conflict, which isn't so much the point.

Incentive is easy in Apocalypse World, just threaten something they need and rock the boat all day. Since I'm not looking for where they're not in control, and not confronting them with wedge NPCs, what replaces that?

Do I learn this from the players, like "so why do you spend most of your time in lethal dungeons?" and then reinforce that periodically?

Or is incentive just not as important, like "adventure this way... take it or leave it?"

*

Scrape

  • 378
Re: Help a newb
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 08:59:02 PM »
Huh, that's a really interesting gaming background you've got. Like most players, I learned from dungeoncrawlers, so I take for granted that adventuring is just A Thing that PCs do. Try providing fantastic locations, mysteries, and artifacts. Those things tend to drive the party to action all on their own. People who are signing up for a dungeon game are automatically on board for the premise, so if you show them potential adventures then they'll probably grab what interests them most and run with it.

If you already feel comfortable building NPCs and factions and stuff, just concentrate on neat ideas for adventure locales and the rest will probably take care of itself. That'd be my advice.

Edit: in other words, I honestly think you can be like "adventure this way, take it or leave it" because who's really showing up for Dungeon World so they can say "nah, I'd rather not brave the Swamp of Doom to find the Golden Idol, that sounds unpleasant"

Re: Help a newb
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 10:32:57 PM »
Well put, Scrape. Thanks adam and noclue, too. I will heed all this advice.

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: Help a newb
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 11:20:25 PM »
Well, I dunno Bif, I've played DW in the same way as AW, and pushed on the players Bonds more than anything and it was a great dungeon crawling experience. The dungeon simply became the setting for adventure rather than the reason. Though the instincts of the dangers in the primary front had a rather large part to play.

Wedge NPCs became key characters in the fiction and served much grist up to the story games mill :) I think they work admirably in DW games.

Also, with impending dooms - BRING IT! Force the player's to deal with the consequences of avoiding the dungeon or the threats within.


*

noclue

  • 609
Re: Help a newb
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2012, 03:17:30 AM »
I ran a game of DW and got the sense that I was running it too much like AW (in the types of questions I asked, the bonds I elicited, etc.). 

How do I need to adjust my thinking? What assumptions do I need to ditch, and which do I need to take up, in order to get into the old-school mindset?

Here's a place where DW and AW run differently. In the first session of a DW game you
Quote
Start the session with a group of player characters (maybe all of them) in a tense situation. Use anything that demands action: outside the entrance to a dungeon, ambushed in a fetid swamp, peeking through the crack in a door at the orc guards, or being sentenced before King Levus.

In AW?
Quote
So no high-tension kick off from me, let's follow the characters around for a day and get to know them. Cool?”
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

Re: Help a newb
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2012, 02:36:27 PM »
Well, I [...] pushed on the players Bonds more than anything and it was a great dungeon crawling experience.
Yes, absolutely! Do what Noofy said! Bonds are still vital to the game and they represent what matters the most for the players; even better, they are the mean with which the player tells to the rest of the group "guys, I'm really interested in this".
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.