6 thoughts on “What is a dungeon starter?”

  1. I like how Marshall Miller just /subs to this. They’re his idea! 

    They’re not an “official” part of Dungeon World in that Adam and I weren’t smart enough to dream them up. Marshall did, and we heppily post his because they’re awesome.

    My view is that a Dungeon Starter is like something that helps you make a front, but that’s just my view.

  2. For me, the dungeon starters have been a great jumping-off point for first sessions and one-shots.  They have enough inspirational stuff for me to riff off of as a GM, without being constraining in any way.  Then, once we’ve played a first session, asked a lot of questions, and seen what the characters are up to, I can create fronts for an ongoing campaign.

  3. The key difference between Dungeon Starters and fronts is their relation to the first session. During the first session, the GM comes to the table with a mind full of fantasy and adventure but no plot and they use questions to give the players a chance to flesh out the setting and situation in a way that interests them. So, how do you prep if you don’t know what the players will inject into the setting/situation?

    Dungeon Starters are a form of GM prep that don’t interfere with the rules for running the first session of a game. They use loaded questions as anchors to establish some facts about the setting/dungeon while still allowing the players flesh out the world with their answers. The remainder of the items in the starter form a crib sheet of material that is also related to those anchors – material you can draw from during your first session. Because you know those anchors, you can prep material that is most likely to be useful in play, no matter how they answer the questions. A full starter should have enough material to run a couple one-shots that are pretty different.

    After the first session, you can start to build fronts based on the fictional elements the characters engaged with in play. Fronts are useful because they focus your prep on the things players already care about. Material from the starter may well set up situations the players care about or are interested in, which then become the fronts you write after the first season. Because the material in the starter is still thematically relevant, it can continue to be a source of inspiration during later sessions and can support setting employing the fronts.

  4. If I recall correctly, Kickstarter backers got 6 or 7, a blank sheet, and a page or so of explanation about how/why they work and how to make them.  I will probably make the rest of them available at some point.  In the meantime, I’m happy to help people make their own or answer questions.

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