Hey everyone, if you do not know me or my company, my name is Dale McCoy and I run Jon Brazer Enterprises.

Hey everyone, if you do not know me or my company, my name is Dale McCoy and I run Jon Brazer Enterprises.

Hey everyone, if you do not know me or my company, my name is Dale McCoy and I run Jon Brazer Enterprises. I mostly do Pathfinder Compatible products but I have also done Legend and Traveller as well. I’m looking to do a Dungeon World compatible release to gauge interest. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions, they would help me alot. Thank you in advance.

– How much detail are you looking for in a front? (examples: block text of room descriptions vs a short description of an area, a map drawn to scale vs a simple map where exact scale is not really important, thick and heavy plot vs a vague plot allowing a GM to use the front as he/she sees fit, etc)

– Do you like new monsters? (Give me tons of new monsters, a few new monsters are cool, a few variations on existing monsters are best but not much new, no new monsters)

– Would you rather have new classes, new moves for existing classes, both or neither?

– Which of the following formats do you like for an electronic product (8-1/2″ x 11″ portrait, 6″ x 9″ portrait, 10″ tablet size [i.e. iPad, large android tablet] landscape, 7″ tablet size [i.e. iPad mini, Kindle Fire] landscape, .mobi/Kindle format, ePub format, and I don’t have a clue what any of this means)

Again, thank you,

51 thoughts on “Hey everyone, if you do not know me or my company, my name is Dale McCoy and I run Jon Brazer Enterprises.”

  1. Yeah, I think right now we’re at a saturation point for new classes. I’d like to see more setting stuff and adventures, myself.

    And as for fronts, less is more. You want people to play to find out what happens, so you don’t want to give a ton of detail on everything that’s going to happen.

  2. A front shouldn’t have much plot. It should be vague enough or else it wouldn’t fit into the game.

    I don’t know why fronts need room descriptions, maybe you can explain that…

    Give me cool new monsters and subtypes of existing once. 

    no idea about the format. 

  3. Good question.

    1) I don’t want set design – I want NPC motivations. I want the story arc to be in movement, lightly sketched out until the players disrupt it, with guideline on how the external movers might react (GM options). I do not want the typical Pathfinder fully-worked edifice, where the players ooh and ahh but don’t DO anything. I want shared storytelling.

    2) The DnD new monster syndrome is a response to boring standard monsters, where all the cards they hold is known. In real storytelling monsters aren’t cardboard sterotypes, they are ‘people’ with desires and motivations. Make interesting and appropriate monsters for the story; they can be new or old.

    3) the best would be compendium classes that tie back to the overall story arc, custom fitted to that campaign.

    4) Most of what I have is standard portrait, but landscape works better for me (10″ tablet). I use both PDF and .mobi, but mobi/epub seems to work poorly in graphic heavy formats. Dungeon World is OK in mobi, but I can’t imagine how Dresden Files would work right, for example.

  4. – How much detail are you looking for in a front? 

    Not much. Shallow Sea dungeon starter is a good example of what I want. If you’re doing something more complex than a simple front, like a setting or front assembly kit (that would be cool, by the way), Dark Heart of a Dreamer is your gold standard. 

    – Do you like new monsters? 

    Yes, bring them on! Or better yet, new monster creation rules that you can use along with standard ones.

    – Would you rather have new classes, new moves for existing classes, both or neither?

    Probably no new base classes, but maiking one or two wouldn’t hurt. Those are hard to do properly, though, and I would recommend community review before publishing. 

    Compendium classes, racial moves etc. on the other hand, are welcome, the more the merrier. And please do a few custom moves for various things like magic items, cultural quirks, environmental hazards, poisons etc, those are cool.

  5. I missed that part about room descriptions…and I’m sorry but I think I need to be That Guy and this needs to be said.

    Jon Brazer Enterprises I think you need to be aware that the design space for a DW adventure (or anything, really) is significantly different from, say, Pathfinder’s, and you really can’t design things for the two games the same way.

    With 3.Pathfinder, the assumption is that there’s going to be a lot of detail because that’s how the games are designed. Everything has a mechanical model, so you need to stat up every NPC, provide grid maps, create new spells, and so on. 

    With DW, though, the idea is that the GM is the one who’s going to come up with the details for his particular group. That’s what “play to find out what happens” means. Things like fronts or monsters should be skeletons the GM and players build off of, not a full page of numbers. 

    If you look at the monsters in the core DW book, their “stats” are a paragraph description, one damage-dealing attack, and a few moves. Compare that to how monsters look in the Monster Manual/Bestiary. Likewise adventures. Take a look at the dungeon starters; they’re like 2 pages long but still manage to present a complete “module” with fronts, a new monster or move or two, and maybe a map.

    In DW, a front (not an adventure, a front) should be like half a page long. Monsters should be a paragraph or two and three or four moves. Maps don’t need to be to scale because DW doesn’t use things like minis and ranges are abstracted to “close/near/reach/far”.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t put out DW stuff, I’m just saying it looks like you need to adjust your approach.

  6. Sean Dunstan Good points, but I just wanted to point out that in being malleable, even the definition of malleable changes.  Which is, I guess, the reason for the question.  I do use miniatures.  I also prep elements that can spur creativity and get past dm-block, and those can be elements for rooms and such.  But on the whole, I do agree with your statement as “That Guy” 🙂

  7. Sean Dunstan One thing I learned a while ago is that supplements should never be written for a great GM. A great GM doesn’t need a supplement, although plenty do, whether to get ideas or to save time. An average GM typically needs help and frequently uses supplements like adventures. Poor GM’s rely on such supplements just to have a game function from week to week. 

    I understand that DW basic design is vastly different than PFRPG. You can see on my website I’ve designed a few kobolds, asking for in input. But I also want to find out what a GM’s take on the amount of detail desired. I aim to please. If I hear overwhelming request for more detail then what is out there currently, I aim to please. But if current design is great then I stick with that format. 

    I’m new and I’m asking questions. As an old professor of mine one said, “The only dumb question is the question never asked.”

  8. kenji ikiryō Well, there’s a difference between using minis to figure out where people are in relation to each other (“wait, I thought I was over by the altar?” “Okay, hold on, let me draw a quick map here.”), and the way PF uses minis (“I move 20 feet do get into range with my spell, which has a 10 foot area of effect.”). DW doesn’t care about squares or hard ranges like that, so the kinds of maps you need are different.

    Likewise things like room cues and DM-unblockers. I have a few very general tables I like to use to help spark an idea (like the Dark Heart job tables or the WoD adventure/location/item tables someone on story-games made), but the trick with things like that is that they need to be vague enough that they can apply to anything. You want random tables to spark creativity, not replace it. I’d rather have vague descriptions I can pad out to what makes sense for my group and I instead of a page-long description of a room with a ton of detail.

  9. Sean Dunstan You’re preaching to the choir 🙂  I was just making sure to clarify that maps can help, and un-blockers can help, rather than these aren’t useful at all, which might have been taken from your statements.

  10. Just a quick thing about the Kobolds Jon Brazer Enterprises 

    They have things like 

    No retreat, even when to scared to act.

    Dangerous in a coordinated ambush

    Braver than he should be

    those are not moves, it’s not something they do. 

    On the other hand the Kobold Firecaster is really cool. Could maybe have a bit less HP…

  11. Something to consider is that, in DW, the first session has a different structure than later sessions. In the first session the world and characters and adventure get established, in play. Only after that do fronts get written. So, if you’re writing with the intent of your “adventure” being used to initiate a game, you need to be careful not to step on the toes of the first session procedures or the front mechanism.

    Fronts are really a mechanism for expanding on fictional elements that players have already engaged in. Because you’d be bypassing that step, consider including a bunch of fronts that can be mixed and matched based on what players engage with (more than would be used in any one instance of play). Fronts should be brief and evocative, they’re a prompt not exposition.

    A couple monsters, custom moves, items, etc. are good but they’re there to imply setting – make them count. The existing classes are pretty all-encompassing, compendium classes are the way to go. Maps are good but I’d rather have a couple of individual set piece maps that I can connect in play than a map that shows all.

  12. Dale, I would not want detail, I want color.

    Instead of a typical long paragraph, I want a quick-to-scan list of descriptions. Maybe like this:

    “Mess Hall: this is where the kobolds eat. If they players look they will find:

    * a sack with a half-eaten haunch in it

    * well knawed bones eveywhere

    * a drawing of an elf maiden, folded and shoved into the gap between stones”

    But tailored to fit the specific front, loosely tying back to the movers inside the adventure. As a GM I want lists of possibilities to coose from, to develop a plot in play, not have the story already written for me and the players to discover.

  13. Another point about DW. 

    DW is actually incredibly easy to run (good). All you need is there in the Book in the form of moves. 

    You only have to understand how to use them and that basically everything you do should be a move.

    That, together with the principles does create an awesome game!

    Just relying on prewritten material will not  teach you to use the moves and when to use them (like the Dungeon World Guide does).

    That is why i would focus on monsters, items, compendium classes (they are fun to do)  and that stuff. 

    Creating lists of questions for the first session stuff would be another thing (because the book doesn’t really help with this stuff) and the starting questions can focus the game in a lof of different directions. 

  14. Jon Brazer Enterprises Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying DON’T MAEK STUFF or YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!. I’m not a DW expert or a full-on member of the DW Cool Crew. I’m just trying to help here, in what I’m hoping is an actually helpful way as opposed to being nitpicky or something.

    And I can’t fault you at all for asking questions. Hell, it’s one of the GM’s Principles! Ask questions and use the answers 

    I do have to agree with Tim, though, the design on the kobolds could use a bit of work; your monster moves should be about what the kobold does, not what it’s like. What you have there are good starts for moves, though. Would you mind if I offered some feedback on those? I don’t want to take over the whole thread here or actually slip into 

  15. Poor Dale! I’ll answer the original questions:

    – details: well, exactly the detail level that one has when writing fronts by the book. The fact is, I’m totally not a great GM, but the way DW handles prep-making and prep-using is perfect! Maybe one could add things to the way fronts and prep are made (like in the Planarch Codex). That said, I’m not sure how I could handle pre-made fronts. I mean, when I write fronts, they are tightly bound with the characters we played during the first session. The only time I used a pre-made front was with the Bloodstone Idol front of the “red box”, it was awesome at the time but now I don’t think I would ever play it again. OTOH, I played a couple of dungeon starters and they were really cool!

    – monsters: the more the merrier. I’m always making up new monsters. It’s so easy and cool! 😀

    – classes: compendium classes FTW!

    – format: I print everything on A4s.

  16. Hard, ha. This is exactly the kind of feedback I am looking for (even if I did not ask the right kind of questions to get there). 

    Hard is when someone is defending an entire book of nothing but randomized numbers and letters (A-F to be exact, no I am not kidding nor exaggerating) and tell you that any kind of description to expand on those random numbers and letters is downright heresy and requesting I be banned for suggesting otherwise. Hard is when I create something what I believe to be brand new only to find out that it contradicts something that was written in an unofficial magazine by a now extinct company 30 years ago that is not available anywhere except for $150 on ebay (if then) and being called a ruiner of the game because I wanted to make something fun and interesting for a more modern audience instead of solely catering to those that that played the game before I was born. That’s hard. (end tangent)

    Trust me, you guys are no where close to being hard on me. 

  17. Jon Brazer Enterprises We’re saying all this because we care. 😉

    Something else I noticed, too: a front is separate from a map. An adventure front is basically the outline for what’s going on.

  18. How I see fronts: one or more wind-up toys, who head off in their soon-to-intersect directions. How that changes them remains to be seen. Then the players show and *really*mess with it. Worse than those kids and their damned dog.

  19. The best kind of DW adventure is a collection of dangers: a threat with some grim portents that tell you exactly what this threat is going to do and then what horrible outcome it has if the PCs don’t stop it. One of these on its own is a bit boring because the PCs will just fight it and win, probably, but when you have 3 or 4 of these, it becomes epic. Also the unexpected interactions between different dangers and their grim portents and instincts produces gold (as opposed to a large adventure with multiple threats and many characters but only one real plot-line).

  20. Jon Brazer Enterprises my view is, I like new monsters, but on the other hand they’re simple enough to create. To really grab my attention, the monsters would have to have/be some or all of the following:

    – Really new and unique concept

    – Great art

    – Lots of them at a decent price

    I can’t see myself spending lots of money on monsters unless I get a lot of bang for my buck or they’re super creative, since the monster-making process is so simple.

    For classes… I’d like to see new compendium classes, new moves and options for existing classes, and then new classes (in that order). At this point, the game doesn’t really need more classes, I think. That said, if you come up with an awesome new idea, feel free to make it happen! 🙂

  21. Also, dungeons are cool and everything, but the are also really easy to get. There are tons of free dungeons all over, and plenty of dungeon modules already made. If you make a new dungeon, make sure there is something novel about it. And don’t bother with empty rooms.

  22. Jon Brazer Enterprises this isn’t exactly what you asked, by the way, but… I’d personally be most interested in “setting”-themed books. Not, like, big overdrawn affairs, but similar to the “Sandstorm” book that came out for D&D a while back.

    So… new monsters, features for existing classes, compendium classes… plus a few locations and a few sample fronts (no metaplot!) all themed around a core idea. Be it a desert, alternate plane, ocean-going, whatever. But, it’s gotta be lean, cool, not bloated…

    And… Jonathan Walton ‘s probably right. Go play the game! A bunch! With everyone you can. Then you’ll get a pretty good handle on what it might need or might could use.

  23. Jon Brazer Enterprises : I’ve converted two loyal Pathfinder players in the past two weeks. Also, people who had quit RPGing altogether.

    Try it with your homegroup sometime as a one-shot. Just ask’em to give it a try. If they don’t like it, don’t push it, but for sure they should be willing to try something new.

    (He says, as he forgets that RPGers are a cowardly and superstitious lot… 🙂 )

  24. Jon Brazer Enterprises Once you know what you kind of thing you’d like to make, I’d be happy to help, be a sounding board, provide feedback, or contribute.

  25. Jon Brazer Enterprises You laugh, but I had a player get from level 1 to level 2 in one session because he failed his spellcasting so many times.

    And I’d be up for providing feedback and such if you’d be interested.

  26. I was going to say that maybe we could do some “how to make DW stuff” class-type things, but then I remembered that there’s going to be a panel for that at PAX next week.

  27. “Idea rich, detail light” is what I want from an RPG supplement now.  As others have said, Dark Heart of the Dreamer is the gold standard for this.  http://roll1d12.blogspot.com and http://chaoticshiny.com are also super useful to me of late.  Those should give you an idea of the level of detail I want.

    That said, I think the best approach to supplement creation is to a) run the game b) make stuff that makes your game  awesome and c) sell that stuff.

  28. I think the best approach to supplement creation is to a) run the game b) make stuff that makes your game more awesome and c) then sell that stuff.

    QFT. You’re going to create cool new stuff for DW in the process of running and playing it, or hacking it slightly to suit the kind of fantasy game you want to play. And other folks will find that stuff to be valuable, as inspiration for their own games or as material they can straight-up steal.

  29. Sean Dunstan next time, maybe! We’re already booked for this one.

    Adam and I mostly design by playing. For the forthcoming war supplement we’re basically saying “we’re going to each run games with war involved. Okay, now what do we need?”

    There are a few exceptions.

    Sometimes I have an idea that just excites me so much I make it even though I don’t have a use for it. These are usually free things posted online because why not.

    We also occasionally do stuff “on commission  mostly for the Kickstarter backers. They give us an idea, we make it. 

    But really, I think our best stuff is when we make stuff for what we’re playing.

  30. I think my tastes run a little different from many people here.  I like having a well-written adventure to crib from, and I definitely hear your point about pre-written adventures being good for DMs who are still learning the ropes.  The things I think are most valuable:

    * a whole bunch of NPCs (including monsters) with interesting motivations, conflicting plans about what they want to do (if the PCs don’t interfere), and ideas for how they might react when the PCs do interfere.

    * interesting events that might happen as a result of the NPCs’ plans

    * cool maps with interesting areas, lightly described

    * unique and memorable treasures

  31. What I want out of a Front is enough detail that it’s easy to come up with GM moves based on that Front. What I want from a setting book is a skeleton of detail, and the questions that will flesh it out.

    To take a Traveller example, I don’t want to know why there’s a heavily populated, low tech world one jump away from a sector capitol but outside the boundaries of the Imperium. I want to know that there is one, and what questions I should be asking when I’m turning the bare facts into campaign fronts. I don’t want to know who’s in charge of Lanth subsector, I want to be treated to a list of questions that make me think about why a poor subsector is tasked with protecting trade to and from the sector capitol, and what political machine toons are taking place because of that situation.

    Honestly, look very closely at the adventure starters. Those are perfect setting material. Tons of facts should be mere skeletons on which to hang material developed in the fiction by both players and GMs.

    As for electronic formats, understand Kindle, mobi, PDF, and ePub formats. They are of critical importance for a modern publisher and your only way to distribute copies of your product with no marginal cost (just RPGnow’s cut).

  32. If you’re doing a map, just have it be a loosely connected series of interesting locations. Write a few questions for each location the GM can ask herself or her players when the time arises.

    In fact, for most DW GM content, questions are your most powerful tool. Questions can both say something about the world, and ask something about it. For instance:

    “What traps are the ancient dwarves renowned for using?”

    It says there were ancient dwarves, and they used traps. It asks what the traps are. This is one of the core mechanics under the hood of DW rules, which are built on the improvisational theatre conceit of “yes, and”: the Conversation. “Here is a cool thing that is true, tell me something else about this cool thing.”

    Give us interesting seeds that will spark our imaginations, that the GM and players will build upon together, and you will have a solid DW supplement.

Comments are closed.