I’m working on converting my World of Ro setting to something akin to Dungeon World, and I am wondering–how do you…

I’m working on converting my World of Ro setting to something akin to Dungeon World, and I am wondering–how do you…

I’m working on converting my World of Ro setting to something akin to Dungeon World, and I am wondering–how do you deal with races that have bonuses that are always available no matter what class they take?  Like say a race that can glide due to their wings.  No matter what class they take, all of them can glide.  How do I model this?  Thanks.  =)

25 thoughts on “I’m working on converting my World of Ro setting to something akin to Dungeon World, and I am wondering–how do you…”

  1. Give them access to a custom move, but make it so it must be taken at first level ( a la Half Elven from Ranger)?

    If its important enough to them that they have such a racial feature, they should take it.

    Though it’d be better if you just let them do what they should be able to do, and balance it somehow fictionally.

  2. I just repeat that bonus for each racial move. Here are some Pixie racial moves I knocked up last night:

    Pixie Wizard – Alteration: You can fly, though it’s difficult for you to fly more than about 2 metres above the ground. You can also change an object to a size convenient for the creature wishing to use it. If a creature other than the one that it is intended for holds it, the effect ends. 

    Pixie Fighter – Flicker About: You can fly, though it’s difficult for you to fly more than about 2 metres above the ground. You can strain yourself to teleport to a nearby location – even if you are just about to be struck by an attack. 

  3. Though it’d be better if you just let them do what they should be able to do, and balance it somehow fictionally.

    Yeah, I concur with this. This race can glide? Cool. They can glide. Maybe they’re looked at as a little creepy and alien in most other villages? Maybe the wingflaps get in the way sometimes? Maybe they’re light-boned?

  4. A nice way to do this would be to write race moves that assume gliding and let you use it in some way relevant to the class. For example:

    Fighter: when you use your wings to attack from above, take +1 to hack and slash.

    Thief: You are nimble on the wing: take a +1 to defy danger with dex.

    Ranger: Your bird’s eye view gives you a unique advantage. Choose one role for a perilous journey. You always succeed at a 10+ when you take that role.

  5. Travis Scott Brilliant idea, it’s like the Halfling Fighter, getting a bonus whenever he makes use of his small size when Defying Danger.

    Personally, I would change your thief example to apply to ALL defy danger rolls, if they somehow use their wings in a relevant way instead of just a flat bonus. It forces players to describe how their characters get out of the way,

  6. Travis Scott for most racial modifiers I’d agree that’s a good approach, but I think for this one it really undersells the basic advantage “*can fly*”.  I wouldn’t be willing to give out one that big without a counterbalancing disadvantage, like Giuseppe D’Aristotile and Ben Wray suggest.  My first idea would be “can’t wear armour heavier than +1”, but I’m sure there’s lots of possibilities. 

  7. Different strokes, Colin Roald . For me, there’s no advantage to that kind of “balancing,” since whether you’re standing on the ground or gliding while you fight and cast spells is largely cosmetic to my mind. All it changes is opportunities for fictional positioning, which everybody already has. E.g., how many times do we let halflings get a fictional advantage because they’re small? Lots, I think. But, again that’s just my take.

  8. I’m with Travis Scott here. Balance is less important in DW, because PCs can at least attempt everything, within reason. If you are ever in a situation where the only way to solve a problem is to “fly around”, then you are doing something wrong anyway. Being able to fly can be very helpful, but you are doing something wrong if you make it necessary.

  9. So, I totally agree that this is a matter of preference.  But, my feeling is that while strict “balance” is a mirage, you also don’t want a situation where one character simply has many more options for action than another does.  I mean, suppose three out of four PCs can fly.  The fourth one is going to end up feeling left behind sometimes, and I’d like them to feel like in other circumstances they have an advantage.  Like Ben Wray says, I just don’t want “able to fly” to be always better than “not able to fly”.  So if I’m giving out an advantage of that magnitude, I want to know what the downside is.

  10. Colin Roald One shouldn’t always have more options, but I am hard pressed to find a scenario where flight gives an advantage so huge that everyone else is worthless? In DW at least. In social situations, flying away is not really “an option”. In combat it is, but it’s only an “auto-success” if the GM chooses it to be.

  11. I don’t think we’ll agree there. I don’t see a downside as necessary. The advanced Ranger move “Camouflage” doesn’t have one. In fact, rarely does moves have downsides. I would rather think in terms of “when is it obviously not helpful?” than in terms of downsides.

    Of course, this is just my own musings. I have never played a campaign where the ability to fly was more than slightly helpful. Teleportation, on the other hand…

  12. Im just chiming back in to observe something. Colin, you described the gliding this as a “racial modifier,” and that may be where the disconnect lies. It’s important to remember that the each thing listed under a race is a move: they are racial moves, which don’t usually have a built-in downside. Like, we don’t say, “You’re an elven wizard, so you can do X! But you also are frail, so -2 HP.” You just get to be cool and do X.

    Any case, I think you should write up some race moves for a winged race and post them! I’d like to see your take!

  13. Wings aren’t a racial ability.  Neither is infravision or detecting distance underground or going unnoticed because you’re small.  Those are fictional elements of being a particular race that can be used to an advantage.  Humans have a class-agnostic racial ability, too – they’re humans.  They’re everywhere and people treat them appropriately.  So, it’s fair to say “you are of X race.  they have wings and can fly” and not have to make it a mechanical thing.  

    The important part is that they need to reflect their uniqueness in the class-race-abilities.  Like, how does this race fight or steal or pray or cast arcane magic differently from the whole rest of the world?  How does that reflect on the race as a whole?  

    Ignore balance.  Ignore trade-offs.  Just focus on what your moves and non-moves say about the race and their place in the world.

  14. “Ignore balance”?  Wow, you guys are way farther out there than I’m willing to go.

    But one last point:  I’m aware the Druid can fly whenever she wants.  There’s a trade-off for that: it’s that she doesn’t get to be the Fighter, or the Wizard, or the Bard.  There’s also a trade-off for Camouflage: it’s that if the Ranger takes it, he has to delay taking God in the Wastes or Well Trained or Blot out the Sun.  Opportunity costs are still costs.

  15. Balance should be fictional. If a race is obviously overpowered, that means they’re likely also to be, you know, in charge of the whole world. Or if there aren’t many of them, they’ll be used, hunted or manipulated by more populous races. Think about more than just mechanisms when you out your to creating a new race for DW. Ponder what it would mean to be super strong or be able to fly or cast a spell innately, etc.

    Being able to fly is a pretty cool power, but so is seeing in the dark, living forever and smelling out gold. You know?

  16. I think that I should be able to balance gliding (not flying) with the other races, as they all have their own bonuses as well.  This world also doesn’t have a generic human race, so there is no ‘normal’ or ‘baseline’ that races fall above or under.  The human-like race share a communal ‘Google’ function for facts other human-likes have seen/etc.

  17. Adam Koebel, I think I agree entirely with you, except that I’m not sure why people seem opposed to writing it down in the race description and on the character sheet, even if it’s in the form of a tag or something.  DW character sheets are supposed to be “prescriptive and descriptive”, right?  And “show a downside of their race” is a standard GM move.  IMHO, players deserve to have some idea what those downsides are when they’re choosing their races.

    Maybe it’s because you all assume races have powers like seeing in the dark, living forever, or smelling out gold.  They don’t in my game.  None of those are standard expectations as written in the rules, either.

  18. Colin Roald your hack is significant, then, which is totally okay.

    Just keep this in mind – the ONLY things the players know about the races of the world come from the race moves. 100% of the hardcoded info is there. Everything else is discovered in play.

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