I’m GM-ing my first DW session tomorrow I’ve planned some encounters and a rough story flow.

I’m GM-ing my first DW session tomorrow I’ve planned some encounters and a rough story flow.

I’m GM-ing my first DW session tomorrow I’ve planned some encounters and a rough story flow. It suggest leaving gaps in the rules but I’m worried a gap will become a void! Anyway fingers crossed – see you on the other side!

28 thoughts on “I’m GM-ing my first DW session tomorrow I’ve planned some encounters and a rough story flow.”

  1. Be careful not to plan too much. DW doesn’t actually have “encounters” in the D&D prep sense. Just start the game in media res, with the group in a spot and doing something exciting.

  2. Well I enjoyed myself – I arrived late due to a pesky work event (Grrr) so by the time I got there the boys had created their characters. Introducing them took time and I eek’ed out some details about the gods, magic and elves in that time. Lots of Fae references with all the characters so I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes. The mighty Ogre I threw at them at the entrance of the Dungeon was dispatched pretty quickly actually so I need to be aware of the power of the Fighter….. they worked themselves into the puzzle room where they have managed to open some of the doors. That’s where it ended, which is fine as I want some time to re-work the plot a little. 

  3. Oh they all created character’s who had strange quirks and mentioned Fae touched quite a bit.. one of them woke up in a ditch and has no memory but his sword has Fae sigils on it…. the Elf is from a secret school of magic that dabbles in the forbidden Fae magics….I think they’re hinting at something…

  4. One think I found difficult is that they are seasoned gamers and were a bit passive as is traditional in RPGs…how do you bring out the storyteller in them and get them to drive the story? Lots of questions – I guess?

  5. Well, you said you think they might have been hinting at something. I think it is your responsibility to find out what it is they are hinting at. Maybe they want to see a lot of Fae enemies, allies, or organizations. 

    It is important to ask your players questions and then use what they say.

    Would I be right in guessing that the mighty Ogre and the puzzle room were created/prepared before players even made their characters?

    What if one of your players had the balls to say, while creating his character “My fathers father’s father killed the Ogre God, and since then no one has seen another Ogre.

    Would you have still put the Ogre at the doorway?

  6. No I would have adapted it but I knew that I would have to lead them into how DW works. I’m pulling information out of them a bit at the moment. I also need to be more confident about changing up on the fly. I will be modifying the sketched plot for next time and need to prep some more questions!

    I’d really like to be a player with a seasoned DW GM to see how it can be done…it would really help. 

  7. It does help! I highly recommend Misha Polonsky and GM Rondor as GM’s. Also I’ve never played for Kasper Brohus , James Bennett , or Tim Franzke, but based off of their content and playing along side some of them, they defiantly “get” it.

    Happy hunting!

  8. Matt Smith Wow, someone who never played with me as a GM recommends me as a GM? I get weird feels now 😉

    Eadwin Tomlinson Prep to your hearts content, but remember that even just the basic moves gives the players a lot of leverage over the fiction. So prepare to throw some of your hard work out of the window.

    I’ve decided to prep very little in DW. I like going where the players take me, it’s always a pleasant surprise. Besides, I find that my players tell better stories than me, so I really only try to spur their imagination.

    When I prep, I know it might not get used, so often I only design a monster between games, if we have already established that its there.

    The one thing I hard the hardest time overcoming was the fear of running out of ideas during the game. I quickly learned that players are more than happy for answering all of you questions. When you run out of ideas, you just start picking _their heads. Hilarity ensues 😉

  9. Kasper Brohus That’s my fear too. I’m happy to chuck stuff away and recycle if it ever comes up again. I figure once I’m confident I’ll just have some NPC personalities and some monsters in my pocket and away we’ll go. DO you guys really put the narrative entirely in the hands of the players. Can you give me an example dialogue for this…. do you say you turn the corner ‘[player name] what do you see?’ or ‘you turn the stone altar [player name] what happens next?’ that type of thing? or is that too direct? 

  10. no. that is outside of a character. Players can only say things their character know and have learned. 

    You can however start like this: 

    “So you stand before this tower, why are you here Ranger?” 

    “To slay the evil Goblin Whichalock!” 

    “What has he done to you personally Wizard?” 

    “He slew my master and robbed his magical lanternstaff” 

    “A magical lanternstaff? Cool, what did it do?” 

    “x y and z but mostly it looked cool and has sentimental value” 

    “So he was collecting different magical implements for a ritual? What did he take from your faith Cleric?” 

    “The holy light of the city of Shadows!” 

    “Cool, tell me about that!” 

    and so on. Then you have established why they are here and what they know already. 

  11. Eadwin Tomlinson As a GM, it is your responsibility to narrate in the moment, as such I do this when they ask. What I meant was that I shift my attention along with the players. When I fail to conjure up anything, then I just ask them what they think would happen.

    One session, one of them asked “what here is valuable to me?” when searching a murdered girls room. I was out of ideas, so I asked. Eric Nieudan, the investigator (with 8 Wisdom…) suggested a blackmail letter. Instant story seed, and probably a lot more interesting than seeing me twist my head for 5 minutes.

    One thing I like to do is to give “vague but sufficient” descriptions. Then players then ask the questions they feel are necessary to have answers to, and that usually give me some ideas. Especially because players have a weird tendency to ask “yes or no” questions. Saying yes gives you free details.

    Did that answer your question?

  12. Tim Franzke Oh yeah, that thing as well! 🙂 You can do it mid-game too though, but it is probably less premeditated. Ask questions about the players’ characters whenever you want! “So, when were you last in Halisburg? What did you do here?” That kind of questions has an uncanny ability to generate adventures on the fly, based on the answers. 

  13. it’s also the direct permition for the player to insert the thing they are most interested in directly into the fiction and emerging world. 

  14. let’s say you are Spouting Lore about Gnolls and the GM asks you “how do you know all this about Gnolls” 

    “oh they attack my hometown yearly. Every young boy and girl learns how to wield a crossbow and spear against then” 

    BAM instant invading Gnoll Army. 

  15. Coming late into this conversation, but first off: wow, thank you Matt Smith ! I will say, you are an awesome GM as well (I still want to finish that session off where Maal’osh was about to  meet his ex-gf, the transformed Spider Demon, btw – just saying). Kasper Brohus and GM Rondor are both great GMs as well, as is James Savko Aaron Mehlhaff and brian meredith (there’s my bit of name-dropping!)

    Anyway, in regards to getting stuck: I agree with what everyone is saying. In the last two Hangout sessions I’ve run, I got stuck on quite a few partial success options; if I really couldn’t think of anything, I just asked the players. I remember playing a game that Kasper Brohus ran, and the same thing happened to him: I rolled a partial (correct?) and he was having a hard time coming up with an option, so I chimed in with an idea and he took it and thought of an even better idea based off it.

    I sometimes like to ask questions where I’ll set up part of the result, but I’ll have the PC fill in the blank. To give you an example from a Hangout session I ran yesterday, we established that the Thief had several informants who brought him news from time to time. Thief and the rest of the party are at an inn when I tell the Thief: “The front door opens and you suddenly recognize one of your informants standing there, their eyes meeting yours. Who is this informant of yours and what do they look like?” 

    I think it really helps to think of this game as a conversation. It’s not the GM telling the PCs a story. It’s also not the PCs telling the GM a story. It’s the GM and PCs telling a story together by having a fantastic conversation.

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