In case you ever need to compare DW with D&D using movie analogies, this is the best one:

In case you ever need to compare DW with D&D using movie analogies, this is the best one:

In case you ever need to compare DW with D&D using movie analogies, this is the best one:

Apocalypse Now is an old-school D&D hexcrawl, so that’s what you play when you want to play Apocalypse Now, but if you want to play Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, right down to a player inventing the macguffin, you play Dungeon World.

You’re welcome.

18 thoughts on “In case you ever need to compare DW with D&D using movie analogies, this is the best one:”

  1. GM: So, these two G-men show up at your university. They want you to undertake this mission for them.

    Indy: Oh yeah? What’s the mission?

    GM: They say the Nazis are onto this thing and they want you to go find it.

    Indy: What’s the thing?

    GM: They don’t know, that’s why they came to you!  I dunno either, uh… it’s an arc-thing…?

    Indy: Oh, the Ark! A Biblical superweapon! If the Nazi’s find it they will conquer the world!

    GM: Holy shit! A superweapon? They are freaked! They give you a bunch of money, tell you to get on it. < makes notes >

    Brodie might be a PC during this scene, but if he is, he has this scene at Indy’s house:

    Indy: This is it, Marcus, the big score we’ve been looking for since forever!

    Brodie: Yeah, but I can’t show up next session!

  2. Spielberg uses this scene to establish Indy’s academic expertise (he is not JUST an adventurer) as well as the ark’s details, but from an rpg perspective, Indy’s player made everything up and the GM rolled with it.

  3. Yeah, I know you can ask the player questions but as the GM, I don’t like to give that away. Honestly, as a player it vexes me too. I’m thinking, “Make some shit up, GM! Do your job!” That might not be fair, but there it is.

    Is there a specific part of the DW text that leads folks to asking players to name the maguffin behind the adventure?

  4. I know what you mean, although I think this particular instance straddles the line between player input for the sake of building the setting together and player input that allows the PCs to be familiar with the setting, because Indy is supposed to be the expert — no one else knows as much about this stuff as he does. And really, what the macguffin is supposed to actually do isn’t particularly integral to the GM’s “Nazi Archaeology” Front.

    I could go on about player input but I feel like it would be too long for this venue and maybe an SG thread would be better.

  5. The book says to ask the players about the setting (as opposed to “what do you do?”) in the sidebars on page 162, and in The First Adventure section on page 178.


    Ask questions right away–“who is leading the ambush against you?” or “what did you do to make King Levus so mad?”

  6. I sometimes feel bad as a GM when i ask my players to much, like i am not doing my work/enough work. BUT 

    The imput of the GM is the question he asks. He asks a loaded question and points you into a direction, you then fill in the rest. The GM is still doing valuable work. 

    I just sometimes wish other players would ask questions too. 

  7. I think the GM running the whole game counts for doing their job pretty well. Asking some questions to get some input on what sorts of things the players are interested in is pretty fair.

    I really like this movie comparison.

  8. I’m not saying the GM isn’t doing their job well. I wasn’t saying my way was right or that you are playing wrong if you play this way.

    I like asking questions and use the move often. I started off the last game I GMed with asking about their last adventure, “Why did you venture into the Tomb of the Iron Lich?”

    I like building the setting with questions but I also like portraying a fantastic world and filling the characters’ lives with adventure and want to make some decisions towards helping that happens.

    It is interesting to me, where people choose to use which techniques.

  9. For sure. Some GMs will go with fully-written modules and others will recommend no prep, full improv where you ask the players for almost everything. I’m not passing judgment on techniques — whatever works best for the group works best for the group.

    Personally, if there’s a GM, I generally prefer the players only invent things their characters know, since playing a character is what they have been asked to do, but I’m not a stickler about it.

    That said, Raiders fits pretty much the full spectrum of Dungeon World play. Indy’s exposition about the ark could be interpreted as the GM’s answer to a Spout Lore roll, it could be interpreted as a player’s answer to the GM’s questions, it could be interpreted as boxed text even, and all three fit into DW. Other games too!

    But then you have the 4-trap linear dungeon (when Indy only has 3 hold), the fact that map elements are merely cosmetic, how failed defy danger rolls push the story forward, and how the bad guys should function as a front except that the GM only wrote one danger. In fact, the GM is kind of a dick in a lot of places (but it’s a movie so it’s okay).

  10. There’s a large spectrum of what questions the GM can be asking. If they’re not asking questions at all, they’re missing a lot of the game. But anything from “tell me about your hometown” (typical D&D backstory stuff) to “what’s important about the arc?” (more collaborative) is fair game.

  11. Ask questions, use the answers  

    It’s an excellent tool for engaging the players in the setting and thus the game and shouldn’t be overlooked.  However, there are instances where the characters just need to be allowed to make discoveries!

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