Just read the Dark Heart backer supplement. Thoughts:

Just read the Dark Heart backer supplement. Thoughts:

Just read the Dark Heart backer supplement. Thoughts:

The Planescape love is on full display here, and it feels great! I’d been knocking around the idea of running a Planescape-inspired DW game before I ever heard of this, and now I’m not sure whether I’d use the original Planescape boxed sets or this.

“Populating the City: Rules for the intermingling of species” gives me a curious sort of warm fuzzy. Great way to acknowledge sexuality and introduce it to a DW game that (a) is notably different from the AW/Monsterhearts sex moves, and (b) feels perfect for the setting being described.

I’m not as sold on the mechanical stuff as I am on the setting. The author appears to have abandoned several DW move principles for no discernible benefit. You’ll find moves where the GM rolls (not just table lookups, of which there are many), and moves that explicitly ask you to retroactively fit the fictional situation to the dice roll, both of which feel very DW-backward. I’m curious what the design impetus is behind these things.

13 thoughts on “Just read the Dark Heart backer supplement. Thoughts:”

  1. Happy to answer any and all questions, with as simple answers as I’ve got! If you can point to some specific moves that bother you, that might help focus the conversation. I’m totally open to the idea that I might have messed some things up, because I’m operating from a slightly broader perspective that includes not just DW but all AW hacks.

  2. If you say so! It’s a pretty light hack, in my opinion. The only player move I changed is the rules for races and most of the GM rules are still intact. It’s light enough that it works for both DW and WoDu, which means it doesn’t alter the core mechanics at all.

  3. Sabe Jones I just checked and I don’t see any places where the GM rolls that aren’t essentially random tables, so apologies if that came across wrong. Let me know where that was unclear and I’ll fix it!

  4. While we’re on the topic of Dark Heart, I just came upon this quote in Glen Cook’s Angry Lead Skies and it seemed to fit Dis perfectly: ‘All the races infesting TunFaire seem capable of interbreeding. Often the mechanics aren’t easy to visualise but the results are out there on the street. At times nature takes a very strange turn. And some of the strangest are among my friends’.

  5. Upon another look, that’s true: even the DM rolls that are structured like standard moves (with miss/partial hit/hit results) fulfill basically the same function as random tables. It feels like there are a lot more during-play table rolls in Dark Heart than in vanilla DW, but it’s a difference of degree, not kind.

    The move that most bothered me was “when your group braves the same dungeon again”. Here you have a player rolling a move, but the results of that move don’t follow from the fiction of the character’s action*. Stepping through the door of the dungeon a second time retroactively makes undead have shown up and made a home there? That doesn’t click.

    But given this further pondering, maybe it’d be a simple fix for me to use that move as another GM table lookup style thing. Between sessions, you can roll the “move” to help guide the process of revising and mutating an existing dungeon. You do that sort of thing already in DW in a less structured, follow-the-fiction way using Fronts, so this gives you a little randomized tool for deciding just how much to change a dungeon between visits. That’d break the feeling of disconnect that I’d get having a player roll the move in the moment.

    * Incidentally, this is also part of the reason I sometimes struggle with the Spout Lore move, especially miss results!

  6. Yeah, I agree that the “returning to the dungeon” move is a bit weird, partially because the player rolls the move but then it gives the GM points to spend on dungeon moves. It could definitely be a GM “random table” roll instead, but like you say there’s already a bunch of those. One thing I tried to do with many of the GM table moves was to say “roll or choose,” which allows the GM to just make the obvious choice, based on the fiction, if there is one, but roll if they don’t have any strong ideas about the result and want the game to offer more support. Does that make you feel more or less satisfied with all the tables?

  7. Adam Koebel just demanded I turn in the final files for Planarch today, so if anybody spots any remaining issues (Sabe Jones, these have been very helpful so far; thanks!), speak now so I can make any changes before it goes to print.

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