DW GM First Impressions (part 1)
In preparation for the convention event I’ll be running this Friday evening, I sat down with a couple of friends yesterday so that I could get a feel for the GM side of the game in a low-stress environment. It went pretty well, but I did find myself challenged at times. Bear with me, this is going to be a long post, but I would appreciate feedback.
I walked them through the character creation process. While it proved to be a good way to go over some of the basics of the game, it took perhaps a half hour. I’m considering making pre-gens for the convention event, though I could be talked out of it. Any thoughts on this?
As we were short of party members, the players ran two characters apiece. Kyle had the Bard and the Cleric; Rob had the Fighter and the Thief. I asked them a bunch of questions about their characters and felt good about that aspect of the game.
I started them in front of the cliffside main doors of the dungeon, and told them that the doors were hanging listlessly off their hinges. The Dwarf wanted to ensure that they were safe, but he blew his Discern Realities check. Here was my first challenge, as the rules don’t cover what happens on a failed check. I took a suggestion from this forum and told him an obviously false piece of information: “The doors look JUST FINE.” They weren’t, of course, and when he Defied Danger to avoid a falling door, it hit the ground with a crash that echoed down the hall.
The Bard wanted to use Bardic Lore on the doors to determine what creatures lived in the dungeon, but we decided that was beyond the scope of that move. I didn’t want to just say “no,” however, so I told him that there were scratches on the doors that were indicative of goblin weaponry. He told us that he’d heard about goblin in a song, and even sang a couple of bars.
The Cleric rolled a 7-9 when casting Light, and opted to draw unwelcome attention. I said that he had used his “outdoor voice” inside the long corridor.
They proceeded into the hall, encountering a couple of chatty magic mouths. The Cleric rolled another 7-9 on his Guidance spell. I felt that drawing unwanted attention was no longer an option considering all the noise they’d already made, so he instead opted to lose the spell. I toyed with having his deity mislead him, but as the spirit of the rules are that a 7-9 is fundamentally a success, I had her point him toward the secret door beneath the magic mouth.
(continued in part 2)