Help with Bonds

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Help with Bonds
« on: November 27, 2012, 05:49:12 PM »
I understand how Bonds can help bring the party together, and can help trigger some roleplay and/or action during an adventure. I was planning on having my group's PCs not know each other prior to the first session - during our first game, they will be brought together.

If they don't know each other, they can't yet have bonds. I'm thinking of starting WITHOUT Bonds, play the first game, then have the players choose bonds based on what happened in the adventure (IE, the fighter decides that he needs to be protective of the mage, or whatever).

Thoughts?

Re: Help with Bonds
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 06:53:25 PM »
Easy as pie.  Tell everyone to write a single Bond at character creation based on the descriptions given, but instead of choosing from the list, tell them to write down their first impression of one other PC.

Things like;
"Xotoq is obviously a complete bad-ass."
"There's more to Ivy than meets the eye, I think."
"I need to get on Halwyr's good side, that guy is a creep!"

Then play as normal, replacing the bonds and adding new ones at the End of Session like normal.

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Re: Help with Bonds
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 09:01:46 PM »
Yeah, totally easy to do. My players started as an established group but still left a lot of their Bonds unwritten and filled them in over the course of the adventure. I'm kinda curious; with the PCs not knowing each other, are you still starting out with a high-tension kick-off? Like, "so you're all attending this opera when suddenly..." or something?

Re: Help with Bonds
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »
Great suggestions, thank you.

What I'm thinking about doing is this - introducing each character individually in a sort of quick "mini-adventure". Then they'd all be brought together as a group. So, for instance, I'd spend 10 minutes with the Thief. The Thief would be in the middle of a "job", and he'd have to use some of his skills to rob, evade, whatever - just giving him a chance to get familiar with his character. At the end, he'd be caught by the city watch. Move to the next character, and so forth, until they all end up in the same location. Here, they meet an NPC that enlists them individually for their skills and prowess, and makes them a "group". This NPC will become their guide to adventure!

It's a way for them each to tell their origin story (to some degree), and to have a reason to bring them all together. I dunno, I'm still mulling it over as I read and re-read the rules.

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Re: Help with Bonds
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 10:12:59 PM »
That's cool, that's interesting. In my experience, Dungeon World works best when you open with a bang; it serves the same function of letting everyone get used to their abilities and simultaneously showing off to the rest of the group. If you start them off separately, consider beginning their narratives with the same spirit, like open with a pivotal moment: "Thief, you're hunched in the back room by the safe, magical alarms ringing like crazy, a pack of guards banging on the door. The heist was supposed to be so easy, but you'll have to figure out what went wrong later, the door has started to give and you can see the first guard readying his crossbow. What do you do?"

Also, don't rule out just starting them together and letting them riff on their backstories in play. "So, here you all are, barely more than strangers. The Black Wood Beast is only fifty paces away and it's just bitten a deer in two. It sniffs the air and turns toward the boulder where you're all hiding, letting out a snarl. How did you let the Captain talk you into this?" And as the game progresses, let them determine how they came to be there.

Either way, you'll find that letting the players fill in the details makes them more invested in the game world, not to mention that it saves you prep time. Win-win. So always be like, "where did you learn to do that? How do you know this guy? Who gave you that lucky lockpick?" Stuff like that will give you great idea fodder.

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Re: Help with Bonds
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 12:49:20 PM »
GM: "Dogo, how is it that you ended up in this stinking pisspot of a jail?"
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