Food for thought as I read through the book.

Food for thought as I read through the book.

Food for thought as I read through the book.

Originally shared by Stacey Chancellor


Here is another interesting thing about Dungeon World. If you are not paying attention, it can use your knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons against you.


Let me explain. Both games have the same base attributes of: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. 

That is all fine and good and there is a bit of comfort in that, right up until the point where I kept reading the book and found it screwed me a bit. 🙂 When I talk about Dungeons an Dragons, I am speaking of 2nd ed. The rules would probably apply to the later versions as well, but I don’t like them, so I felt the need to clarify.

My point is that I can make a 2nd ed. character in my sleep. Or at least know how I would assign attributes for every type of character. Even though I have not done it in like 4 years.

This is relevant due to the fact that in 2nd ed, there is not an actual benefit to having a high wisdom score if you are a thief. It was always my dump stat for that particular character. The only mechanical benefit was for clerics or characters that could cast priest spells. 

Fast forward t now now, where I made a thief. I mistakenly used assumptions that I created in my mind based on past thieves I made playing D&D. So, now I read the book and find out that wisdom is the stat used to “discern realities”, which is the skill used to pretty much figure shit out…and if you take watch, it may help you to notice when someone is trying to kill you or your party.


So, noticing things would be a pretty good thing for a thief, no? So, I was going to give that 8 to Wis, and would have had a -1 to every Wis related roll.

You sneaky bastards that wrote this game. I don’t know if there was a part of you that did this on purpose. But to be honest, that would be sneaky as hell, and therefore awesome. 🙂 I really hope that is the case, cuz I wonder how many people this tripped up, other than myself. 

Or I could just be that inattentive. That has happened before.

11 thoughts on “Food for thought as I read through the book.”

  1. We talked about this a lot—is it worth telling people “hey, you’re a thief, you’d better put a decent score in Wis.”

    The conclusion that we came to was that we didn’t want to force it. Since failure is interesting (and since you’ll be good at something else to make up for it, since you use the array of scores) there’s not a huge penalty. Sure, you’ll be a nearsighted thief, but you’ll probably also be better at (say) winning people over (or whatever).

    The thing that we did do is give instructions on how to choose ability scores. The things that it says (which is easy to overlook) is to look over the moves and see what you want your character to be good at, then put your highest score in that. Rinse and repeat.

    The fact that this trips some people up in unintentional—we want everyone to enjoy the game. Though it does amuse me a bit that we throw some assumptions overboard.

  2. It was my own fault. I allowed the game to be lulled by my past experiences in D&D. I did it without even really thinking. It was also via hangout and I was reading the pdf on my phone. There was a bit of disconnect (as hangouts can do sometimes). 

    I have to completely redo my character based on reading the actual moves section now. That is fun, it was a fun little thought to talk about. 

    I kind of wish it was done on purpose. 🙂 I respect cheek. 

  3. Yeah, I almost wish we did that, but our top commitment is to making a game that everyone can play. I feel like being cheeky here (just to be cheeky) would have run counter to that.

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I also think Wisdom only really came to represent a characters senses with D&D 3e, so if you’re approaching the ability scores with a 2e perspective, then that might be part of why you’d miss it’s importance to everyone as a stat. Just a thought. I’ve definitely had to make sure that I remind myself that, while it looks a lot like D&D, it isn’t, so I can’t make any assumptions about everything. That said, it’s also the best edition of D&D my group has played in a long while, too. 🙂 

  5. I did it so unconsciously that it took me a moment to even realize that I was doing it. Which is why it was so funny when i was reading the PFD about how I had assumed very, very, badly.

  6. Our Thief did this, too. Dropped her lowest modifier in to Wisdom. Then she spent most of the game not noticing when bad stuff was about to happen. 🙂

  7. Mouse Guard, and by extent Burning Wheel, taught me that failure is where a game gets interesting. You want to fail just as much as you succeed, otherwise it’s just boring. 

  8. I’m a fan of giving each class a range of recommended ability score arrays to choose from (just like Apocalypse World does), and then letting them choose their own if they don’t like the available ones for some reason.

    If each class offered say five different arrays, it would be clear from scanning them that Wisdom is a fairly important ability for the Thief, but wouldn’t force people playing the Thief to choose a high Wisdom. It would also speed up character creation, which is something I am a big fan of.

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