Hey guys, a query as i’ve yet to get a game of DW, so i’m a little curious – how ‘killer is Dungeon World, there’s…

Hey guys, a query as i’ve yet to get a game of DW, so i’m a little curious – how ‘killer is Dungeon World, there’s…

Hey guys, a query as i’ve yet to get a game of DW, so i’m a little curious – how ‘killer is Dungeon World, there’s 4e with lots of healing, recoveries and heroic characters and DCC rpg which is absolutely brutal. Where does DW sit?

21 thoughts on “Hey guys, a query as i’ve yet to get a game of DW, so i’m a little curious – how ‘killer is Dungeon World, there’s…”

  1. Depends on the hardness of the GM moves. 

    Depending on the likes of the group you can run both extremes. 

    Just don’t deal damage that often etc. 

  2. 4E is lethal if played by the book, but you can obviously go soft on your players.

    DW is even more flexible: you’re in charge of when the players take damage, even when monsters attack them – “deal damage to them” is just one of the hard moves you can make. If the player fails a H&S roll, you could narrate the result as the orc tearing their shield off and flinging it across the room rather than the player getting hit.

  3. Thats funny, i’ve been playing 4e since 2008 and have found it to be one of the most forgiving systems, with every class having access to some form of healing, combined with clerics – and healing potions made it very hard to TPK without going 2+ encounter levels above and using ‘dirty’ tactics such as focused fire.

    Add in to the mix a group of option savvy players who know how to min/max effectively(which is practically encouraged in the character builder, not a bad thing mind) if always felt it tough, especially at higher levels to offer serious threat to my players, and believe me i’ve tried!

  4. The in-game fiction and mechanics perform an elegant dance, the fiction leads.  The game itself is quite robust so you can play it like Indiana Jones or like Game of Thrones.  Where would you like the slider to be set?  We can help you get there.

  5. Marshall Miller I’de like an old school feeling game (in the same vein as 2e) where death and dismemberment is a real threat, but not something as harsh as DCC. I don’t want a wizard falling to one sword blow, but likewise I don’t want him ever thinking he could just stand there and take it. Perhaps GOT is a good example, a skilled swordsman can repel an attack, but there is no guarantee of his survival against superior odds.

  6. That’s pretty much right in the middle of what DW does well.  As was said above, how you use your hard moves will help set that tone.  There’s a world of difference between an ogre knocking you across the room and leaving you breathless, an ogre snapping your spear like a twig, and and ogre stomping on your leg, leaving it mangled.  As long as players aren’t knowingly trying to see if you’re willing to kill them, there is enough flexibility in the number of HP and the flow of soft to hard moves that players have a chance to realize when they’re in over their head and beat a retreat or surrender or lock themselves in.  The tone isn’t just on the GM though, the players also have a lot of input into the game and a lot of power to push play in ways that interest them.  It’s worth asking them where they want to put the pulp<--->gritty slider and then asking them to help you keep the slider from drifting too far.  It’s also important that the players understand that things will happen to their characters and that it will make the characters and the game more, not less, interesting — this isn’t a game about achieving that perfect build that you planned out, it’s a game about discovering your own character, the other players, the world, and what will happen to them.  

  7. To add on Marshall Miller was saying, a lot of character actions input the feel. DW has this wonderful feature of looking at the player and going, “What do you do” after setting the stage. Especially with hard and soft moves, allowing players to really decide how gritty things get. Do you aid your ally and lose an arm, or do you leave him to be impaled.

  8. I don’t think DCC is all that brutal after zero level. 😉

    Two of the four characters in my campaign died in the first three sessions. The other two original vets and the two replacements are still going strong. A couple characters getting a +3 in their primary stat does wonders for stopping the “string-of-misses” that can lead to casualties…

  9. Dungeon Crawl Classics! One of my favorite dungeon-crawling RPGs. It’s killer features for me are:

    ~The character funnel, where you start with a bunch of 0-level shlubs and find the hero(es) among them

    ~The hugely random spell effects

  10. Yeah, it’s a great game. I adore my blacksmith wizard.

    Just for some lethality contrast data points, in the six DCC funnels I either ran or participated in, about 75-80% of the PCs died to make it to first level.

    In the eight post-funnel sessions it took before some of of our characters started hitting 2nd level, we’ve had three near deaths but having clerics close at hand prevented each of them, so not a single post funnel death yet. These were with large parties of 10-15 PCs (4-7 players).

  11. It basically falls wherever you find your party to be.  The fun thing I see about DW is that it is modular based on how much your characters and DM get involved.  Want a bloody and dark game?  Roleplay it and answer the DM questions that way.  Want a light hearted romp through Gygaxian dungeons?  Roleplay it and answer the DM questions that way.

  12. So far, I’m finding the DW game to be EXACTLY as deadly as the groups feels it “should” be. As the GM, I set the stage and put the group in a “spot”. They make decisions and I can discuss the fiction with them so that I know exactly how risky THEY Think the situations are. If, after my descriptions of things, they clearly think they are in a life or death situation, well, they are. If they think the situation is one that would be easy to get out of, it will be.  It’s all based on my ability to describe (and allow them to describe) the world around them. Sometimes, the situation comes across sounding very scary. This makes them a bit nervous and hesitant. When this happens, I know the hard moves have to be a bit harder to justify it. I don’t want to trick them. If they think it’s deadly it is!

  13. Karlen Kendrick It really does, the best example is spout lore. Where it alters the world just by having the character speak. I give information sometimes, but you can turn it around on your players to alter their perception of the world based on what one person says. 10+ let them decide about something interesting and useful, see what happens. Especially when it’s about an unknown history

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