So, I recently got together with some friends, and with their encouraging, finished a playable first draft of my…

So, I recently got together with some friends, and with their encouraging, finished a playable first draft of my…

So, I recently got together with some friends, and with their encouraging, finished a playable first draft of my Dungeon World hack, Adventure World. The key difference between the two is that Adventure World moves the focus away from dungeons, monster-slaying, and getting loot, and towards high adventure, cool ways of solving problems, and inter-character drama. I’m working on writing up a play report, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a little preview of what I’m working on with Adventure World, to help give context to the adventure’s I’ll be describing. 

This includes the first page of basic moves, and the first page for each class. Notice that I’ve changed the ability scores around  (all the “physical” stats have been compressed into “might” to give room for the completely new stats “moxy” and “magic”), and replaced the HP with something very close to AW’s Harm mechanic (to encourage less frequent but more serious wounds). I’ve also removed the race section—in my own world, the majority of adventurers are human, and I eventually plan on replacing the racial moves with a variety of background moves. 

These are six out of the planned ten base classes. Four of these are completely original work, the Druid is pretty much straight from the original, and the Mage is a modified version of gnome7’s class of the same name. 

The Veteran (as posted here a while ago), is the battle-scarred tough guy who’s seen it all. It is one of the more combat-oriented classes, and serves to give a party a person who can get into a straight-up fight and win handily.

The Hero is centered entirely around the Artifact, which is a highly open-ended magic item that tends to create as many problems as it solves. 

The Witch is heavily inspired by Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and serves as the spell-list spellcaster, with a strong theme of the temptations of power, and the risks/rewards therein.

The Priest is the “cleric replacement”, and is very dependent on the whims of its deity. I designed this class to evoke the feeling of a spellcaster who really isn’t self-sufficient the way the Mage or the Witch is.

All of these classes are, of course, rough drafts. I’ve had a chance to playtest the Hero, Witch, and Veteran during my most recent games, but I’m a long way off from actually producing anything. Eventually, I’d like to compile a full document for Adventure World, complete with advice on running with the new moves and classes, modified and expanded GM principles, new ideas for Fronts and Steadings, and lots of other fun stuff.

Questions and critiques are more than welcome, and I’ll get to work on giving some examples of what this has looked like in play.

7 thoughts on “So, I recently got together with some friends, and with their encouraging, finished a playable first draft of my…”

  1. Really like the colour coding of the moves.

    Really like some of the classes – but not the Druid, Mage or the Priest so much. I’m not sure exactly why … I guess I’d say, that Hero, Veteran, Witch, these all speak to strong pre-D&D fantasy archetypes. The Priest? Not at all. I can imagine a character gaining power from trusting in another entity, but I don’t think it would look like picking two domains off of a list – and particularly not a list that included flashy things like Fire, Madness or Undeath. What about a Fated hero or a Doomed hero or an Oracle or a Demigod or something like that? 

    The Druid? Again, it’s such a D&Dism. I think you could have a lot of fun with an Outsider class drawing from Sage and Adam’s Barbarian and stuff like wood woses, or a Shapeshifter class with selkie and lycanthrope inspiration rather than the AD&D druid.

    As for the Mage, I guess I feel like it’s missing a sense of its place in the story. The Hero is going to be the protagonist, the Veteran is going to be the wise mentor, the Witch is going to be inscrutable and a bit horrible and not trustworthy. With the Mage, I know what it is physically capable of, but not really how I should play it. But you might be looking for something very different.

    There’s a formatting problem with the first alignment move of the Hero. Dangerous has been spelt ‘dangeros’ in the Hero section.

    It’s a silly thing and you should probably ignore it, but it slightly offends my sense of symmetry that all the classes are exactly one page except the Witch needs a supplementary one. Not something you can help, I think, just something that occurred to me. 

    I really like the idea of the Scar and the Cause. I don’t like that the Scar gives a penalty or that the Cause only removes that penalty, though. I don’t have a solution to this, except maybe to look to the Paladin for beefing up a cause. 

    Should the Mage and Witch have different names for their spells, since they seem to work very differently? Charms, hexes, workings, weaves, incantations, etc.

    I like that each class gets to contribute narratively – the Hero with their artifact, the Druid with animal moves, the Priest with invocations, the Mage and Witch with spells, the Veteran with seen it all before.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Thanks for the feedback! Pretty much every concern you’ve voiced here is something that’s been nagging me in the back of my mind, whether not I’ve acknowledged them. 

    The idea that the presence of the Hero, Witch, and Veteran makes the Druid and Priest feel out of place is really interesting, and probably a good sign that I’m starting to latch on to a thematic idea that’s more refined than I realized. I’m not sure what to do with the priest (perhaps shift from “worship a god” to “serve a powerful being” and push into more of a warlock territory with pacts), but I’d definitely love to take the druid further down the “strange fey shapeshifter” path and away from the D&D-isms. 

    Now that I think about it, I think the fundamental line of thought here is that every class should be able to answer “How does this class expand the story?”. The Witch’s spiral downwards into darkness, the Hero’s Artifact and all the questions that accompany it, and the Veteran constantly adding detail to the history are all things that intuitively create narrative. Meanwhile, the Priest, Mage, and Druid are all just a list of powers with comparatively less potential to create new stories and expand the fiction. I’m going to have to head back to the drawing board and see what I can do to fix this.

  3. This all sounds really cool, and the conversation you’re having with Chris Sakkas is a great advancement.  Could the priest be the element of righteousness, like a Paladin or Monsterhearts Chosen?  

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