Talk to me about long-term play, if you’ve done it with Dungeon World, or other AW-family games.

Talk to me about long-term play, if you’ve done it with Dungeon World, or other AW-family games.

Talk to me about long-term play, if you’ve done it with Dungeon World, or other AW-family games. How many sessions have you had a campaign go on? Did it feel fun and satisfying, or run into trouble of some kind as it went on, and if so, what sort?

36 thoughts on “Talk to me about long-term play, if you’ve done it with Dungeon World, or other AW-family games.”

  1. So far we did 8 sessions of MH and had not hit a season end, it easily could have gone longer if RL schedules had not interfered.

    My 2 DW games are 6 and 4 sessions in. Still going very strong with no indications of trouble from the games systems

  2. That sounds very cool, Vasiliy! How’d it go, overall? I’m just trying to get a feel for how advancement works out past the first handful of sessions.

  3. I really wish DW had been around 10 years ago when I had nothing but time and nerdy friends. Now work and family obligations make time such a premium. I feel like I could play modern RPGs and fiction games every weekend and have something exciting and fun to say.

  4. Bruce Baugh Most PC in the campaign (except for 7th level Druid) were played for 3 to 5 sessions: my players really liked trying it out. And every character started at first level.  For us character advancement was not much of an issue. Story escalation, however, was very significant. In the first session they took out like 6 soldiers in an ambush. Last session was epic siege they repelled at a great cost.

    In my experience 7th level and 1st level characters go along perfectly, no overpowering or something.

  5. I’m running a weekly campaign using the GDQ adventure modules (halfway through module 2 now) and we’re now up to around 20 sessions in (sessions are typically about 2 hours long, so they’re short). The group is all level 5. We’re having a great time and it hasn’t run out of steam. We’ve had 4 deaths so far, but no character replacements yet. 

  6. 7-8 months of mid-week-night (so 3 hr) sessions. 2 major fronts. Characters are fifth to seventh level.

    Its been fun, and satisfying. There’s been no trouble coming up with stuff to do, and while I don’t run fronts by the book, there’s enough commuting time between sessions to do the mental equivalent.

    I’m currently worried about power levels – the wizard hurling fireballs easily sees off monsters that were previously dangerous, and two of the others will be able to do the same through multi-classing at next level. There will be a way to adjust, I’m sure, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

    Oh, and the multiclassing choices seems a tad unfair on the poor wizard. That’s through player choice, but I’m sad it happened

  7. I’ve been playing an Apocalypse World campaign for three months or so now, and I feel like honestly it’s just starting to get really good.

    Our group consists of three old-school roleplaying enthusiasts, one person who’s relatively new to the hobby (had only ever played a few sessions of Black Crusade and a half-year Geist: The Sin-Eaters campaign before this), and two people who are brand new to roleplaying and had never done it before.

    I think it took a while for us to all get up to speed with playing in this new style. The first few sessions were really fun as we collaboratively came up with the basic details of the world and the characters’ lives, but after that the campaign sort of floundered aimlessly for a while.

    Most of this was my fault, as the MC. In this brave new world of letting the players be involved in many of the creative decisions about the world, I was unsure of when to step in and start making plots and such. I still find Fronts to be by far the most confusing aspect of Apocalypse World, and I’ve mostly stopped using them, because I don’t really get it.

    So we wallowed around for a bit, but then I decided to just “start GMing” again, and make up plots, situations, etc. I tried to always stick to setting up interesting situations, with no firm outcomes in mind. This has worked fantastically well.

  8. I’ve done a couple longer Apocalypse World games. Usually 6-18 sessions. If scheduling doesn’t force my hand, usually opening the Advanced Moves starts to steer you towards a conclusion. And it’s satisfying. Not sure if a similar thing happens with DW.

  9. We’re thirteen sessions into our DW game, with a tight time slot (usually works out to about 90-120 minutes of pretty unfocused and digressive play. The characters have just hit level 4, so they’ve levelled up three times in about 20 hours of play or roughly once every 4 sessions. 

    Our group is not very focused though, so I imagine that others could get through a lot more story in the same amount of time. At this rate I’d say we could easily go another 20+ sessions easily. I haven’t started thinking about beyond level 10 in DW, but there’s room for plenty of excitement once we get there.

    [edited for typos]

  10. We just wrapped up a roughly 10 session run, playing about 3 hours per session.  All of the characters were 3rd level, and I think at least 2 of the 4 hit 4th after the last session.  We played out a nice, complete storyline in those 10 sessions, coming to a great closing point but with some threads still dangling if we decide to return to the campaign later this year.  I didn’t notice any problems with power escalation, and leveling up just seemed to provide them with some incremental boosts and a greater variety of options for solving problems.

  11. I’ve played a few several months-long games of AW, DW and MH. Length of the games never resulted in any trouble, but we did decide to conclude a couple campaigns when the fiction came to a natural stopping point. We’ll return to them after some other game runs.

  12. We’re six sessions into a game I’m playing. 1 session standard opener. 2 sessions resolving one front.  3 sessions into trying to deal with a second front and we just had a third front opened on us. (The GM hasn’t identified fronts; I’m guessing)  From memory, characters are 3rd or 4th level. For the curious, I’m keeping a journal:

    We’re 6ish sessions into a game I’m running. 1 session standard opener. I’ve been terrible at properly speccing out fronts and advancing grim portents, so it’s pretty much been a rambling mess with 1 partially specified campaign front and nothing in adventure fronts. The PCs de facto picked a danger as allies and were content to roll along with helping them without appreciating the impending doom. Only now are they realizing “Wait, what exactly does this Goddess of Drink want, and are we okay with that?”  The group is large, but with a high absentee rate, so I’ve got characters from 1st through 3rd.

  13. My experience in 3 AW campaigns is that they peak around session 8-12, when the advanced moves are opened up, and wrap up a few sessions after that. So 10-15 sessions total, more or less? It’s been a while, so my numbers may be slightly off.

  14. Oh wow. Thank you, everyone. I go off for chores and exercise and come back and boom.  I’m really happy to hear of everyone’s experience – given the pace I run at, I’ll be set for a good long while with any campaign, or at least can be. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. 😀

  15. Our game is 12 sessions, but I started as 1st level late joiner and only been in the last three – loads of fun though – one the great things is my first level cleric is compatible with a party of 5th to 8th level guys. Now I am just at level 3.

  16. I’ve been playing an Aw campaign as Mc for about 16 sessions, with six players over several months.

    Some characters took a secon playbook, but at some point they were too much involved in the story they were crating to bother about advancemente.

    Usually, I have noticed that is after 5 or 6 sessions of play that things become so real that you completely trust the fiction and the logic of the “world” you have created.

    Also, probably following the same logic, the game seems to improve the more you play a campaign, and in the same way it naturally lead you to an end.

    And…, *world games have the great power to be significant even if you play just one night (That seems to contradict my first statement, but it doesn’t).

  17. In my experience, really long-term DW (and AW) play tends to turn on the world more so than the characters, who die/retire. 

    Recently I got to play a guest session in a really long-term AW game and it was awesome. It was being dropped in to the biggest messiest snowball you can imagine. Play had mostly followed one hardhold, which I think was now on it’s third physical location and second hardholder. They’d played through almost all of Vincent’s playbooks and many others to boot. The amount of history here was huge, and all of it added up to make little things momentious EVEN THOUGH most of the current characters were only player characters for a few sessions at most.

    In a lot of ways it felt like playing in a published campaign setting. I was the new guy, who hadn’t read the book. I just kind of jumped in and caused problems. Everyone else were like the folks who’d read the entire setting—they all knew what was going on and appreciated all these wheels within wheels and callbacks and builds.

    To me, that’s what long-term play looks like. It’s about discovering/establishing this world that just keeps snowballing.

  18. See Sage LaTorra now I would want to take that freehold and see it 40 years later. Which I think the system could do very well also. To move and evolve over generations. As the playbooks arise in one generation. And new or reborn ones rise in the susbsequent generations.

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