I am concerned that some of these moves might be a bit, well, lame, and I would like a second opinion. Thanks.

I am concerned that some of these moves might be a bit, well, lame, and I would like a second opinion. Thanks.

I am concerned that some of these moves might be a bit, well, lame, and I would like a second opinion. Thanks.



When you have successfully mapped an underground cave complex, or been instructed in the techniques of caving by an expert, the next time you level up you can choose to take this move:


Dungeon Crawl

When you defy danger to get through a difficult or dangerous passageway, on a 10+, you may also bring one of your companions through with you safely. On a 7-9, you may sacrifice a piece of your gear to ignore the consequences—whichever piece is most readily at hand or makes the most sense. If this is adventuring gear that is still undefined, say what it is now.


Once you have dungeon crawl, these moves count as level 2-5 class moves and you can choose to take them when you level up:


Bug Eater

When you make camp in a cave, or undertake a perilous journey through a cave, you do not need to consume any rations. If you act as quartermaster, you automatically succeed as if you had rolled a 10+, and you may take on a second job.


Lynx-Eyed, Like Burning Coals

Your eyes cut through the night and you need bring neither lamp nor torch to see in even Stygian darkness. When you defy danger in the dark, take +1.


Mental Map

You have perfect recall of the places you have explored. You can always find your way back to an underground location you have been to, without considering it a perilous journey. If anything has changed since your last visit, you spot it right away.



You can feel vibrations echoing through the earth. You can never be ambushed or surprised underground, even in the dark.


Once you have dungeon crawl, these moves count as level 6-10 class moves and you can choose to take them when you level up:



When you use the natural formations of a cave to your advantage, take +1 to defend and defy danger.



Requires: Tremors

When you ask a cave about someone or something else inside it, roll+INT. On a 10+, the cave tells where it is, what it’s doing, and answers any one question you ask about it. On a 7-9, the cave tells you either where it is or what it’s doing.


Strange Medicine

Requires: Bug Eater

When you have time to gather supplies in a natural cave, you can prepare a poultice that will heal one debility next time you make camp.


Specialty Option

If you want to start as a caver at level 1, you can replace one of the following starting moves with dungeon crawl:

Cleric: Turn Undead, but you deity’s domain must be knowledge and hidden things or what lies beneath.

Fighter: Armored.

Paladin: Armored.

Ranger: Called Shot.

Thief: Backstab or Poisoner.

Wizard: Spell Defense.


If you start as a caver at level 1, you may choose one of the following race options instead of those offered by your class:



Only the darkest and most violent of elves would willingly seek their fortunes underground. Choose a weapon. In your hands, weapons of this type have the precise tag, just as if you were the fighter.



You know how to take advantage of your small size underground, where you get +1 armour when you’re at all able to defend yourself.



Lynx-Eyed, Like Burning Coals is a starting move for you, not an advanced move.

15 thoughts on “I am concerned that some of these moves might be a bit, well, lame, and I would like a second opinion. Thanks.”

  1. I don’t think they’re lame, but some people might turn their noses up at a “plain” +1 bonus offered by a move.

    Additionally, I’d love to see an overall cartographer compendium class, mapping all sorts of places in addition to the underground.

  2. Tremors is different from the Shot first Thief move? If you have Tremors the GM always have to say when someone (or something) is tring to ambush you so you can make a counterplan? Maybe it needs to be specified, maybe not.

  3. I’ve never seen the Specialty Option. Is that you’re doing (the ability to take it at first level, not the Dungeon Crawl ability)? Did you crib that from somewhere? I like it.

  4. Iacopo Benigni Yeah, like Shoot First but only underground, plus whatever creative usage the player can get out of sensing vibrations. Is that good enough or is it just a lame version of Shoot First?

  5. Parker Emerson It’s my idea for a way to do multiclassing or modular character creation that stems from each DW class being (more-or-less) built around 3 moves, much like Apocalypse World playbooks. In theory, 3 compendium classes like this should build you a base class.

  6. Huh. I’m working on a parallel idea (different in implementation, but rather similar). Sounds like something akin to Legend System, which is what I’m modeling my idea off of.

  7. Oh cool (I’m actually not a goon, but I try to keep up with DW stuff). I should warn you then, you gotta split the classes into 3. This gets obscured a bit by some of what’s in each class, but for the most part, that’s how they’re designed. Splitting them in half will be a nightmare.

  8. Well, I wasn’t necessarily planning on truly splitting them into each class, but rather, allowing them to be “approximated.” I’m actually building them from the ground up using all (most?) of the existing moves, but not necessarily paired. (So, for example, right now I’ve got the Wizard’s Ritual and Bardic Lore as the two starting abilities for the Scholar.)

    I think you’re right that truly splitting them as they exist in half might be problematic.

  9. Mmm, yeah, if you do it that way you can balance them against each other. Probably less work too, if you only build the ones you want instead of trying to account for everything in the DW classes. Are you going for a “noun-verb” pairing (like Danger Patrol) or just “pick any two”? (I don’t know this Legend thing).

  10. For Lynx-Eyed, Like Burning Coals I’m not sure the + 1 is needed. Being able to see in the dark is pretty awesome!

    The one possible issue I can see is that so many of these moves are all about being under ground, so much so that the character will only be using their cool stuff when they happen to be underground. Lynx-Eyed, Like Burning Coals is a great example of how to get around this: instead of being explicity about being underground, it’s about something that’s most likely to happen underground, but can happen anywhere.

  11. Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that +1 myself. I was thinking it might add some drama/tension, like “put out the torch so I can get a +1!” “No! Then I can’t see!” “But it’s +1!” But, I mean… yeah… See in the dark is pretty dope on its own, so I should change that.

    The only other move I can think of that a Caver would have that would be useful above ground is Rope Tricks, but “you can use your rope as a weapon (reach, forceful)” feels like a weak sauce move. Your knots never come undone?

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