I ran a successful game at our regional sci-fi gaming con this weekend.

I ran a successful game at our regional sci-fi gaming con this weekend.

I ran a successful game at our regional sci-fi gaming con this weekend.  I do feel like Dungeon World is the perfect Con-system for one shots. However, I did have one player who refused to do anything.  How do you help new players break away from the 3.5 / 4.0 mindset and actually do something?

31 thoughts on “I ran a successful game at our regional sci-fi gaming con this weekend.”

  1. Refused to do anything, even in the face of imminent danger?

    “The goblin charges you, crude spear leveled, what do you do?”


    “Uh, okay, take some damage. What do you do?”


    “Okay, the goblin keeps stabbing you till your dead.”

  2. He was playing a ranger, and even when something was directly attacking him. He comforted his pet and just got smacked around.  It was really strange.  I honestly can’t tell you why he was at the table. First rule of RPGs: Do something, do anything!

  3. Yeah, I don’t know that’s something a game can “fix.” I’d just tell him “hey, if you don’t do something, these goblins (or whatever) will keep stabbing you till you’re dead.”

  4. Tim Franzke I find that in 3.5/4.0 a lot of players hold actions to see what the bad guys do before making moves. In a more tactical mini based game, this can give you a big advantage.

  5. Tim Jensen He seemed to have a great time with character creation and the improv nature of answering questions to build the setting, but when the action started he just kinda sat there and got stabbed. I think he shot sometime one time the entire adventure. He eventually fled the scene when he was going to die and refused to re-engage. I kinda just let him out after that point. 

  6. James Savko in a way, DW is all held actions. You can seize the initiative and do stuff, but ultimately, when the GM looks at you and says” this is happening, what do you do?” it’s time to step up and make it happen.  If you say “I wait until he does X and then I Y” you can jump right to X happening.

  7. Did the game follow up on all the fun stuff that he did building his character and the setting?  Was that improvised material exploited by the adventure you presented?

  8. The game was 100% based off the improved material at the start of the game. The other 3 players had a blast, but this one player just didn’t seem to want to do anything. 

  9. James Savko that’s… Weird. I’ve run DW at several cons now, and have never seen that sort of thing. If a player wants to sit still and get stabbed to death… well, maybe that’s how they have fun?

  10. I had a similar experience with Marvel Heroic once. The players all made characters and then I threw adventure at them. One player just wanted to go to a bakery and for a long walk on the beach. It was frustrating, to say the least.

  11. Sometimes those guys are having a great time just soaking it all in. When I get one and he (or she) resolutely refuses to either engage or leave the table, I just route around them.

  12. Jason Morningstar I have a player like that in one of my weekly games. They just like to be around – they’ll doodle on their character sheet, laugh at the jokes, and just sort of halfway pay attention but any time I ask “are you having a good time?  can I do anything to get you more involved” they’re all “no way this is rad” 

    To each their own, I suppose!

  13. I had a friend in college who never wanted to play, just watch us play D&D. She had more fun than we did some nights. And my PHB has some really pretty colored spell pictures from when she’d bust out her colored pencils to keep her hands busy.

  14. Yeah, I know a few players like Jason and Adam describe. I don’t take their failure to engage personally, I just feed them occasional leads and make sure I listen if they’re talking and otherwise route around them.

  15. Adam Koebel , curious question, is there a way to order the book without the PDF? I backed the Kickstarter at the PDF LEVEL and wonder if there’s a way to avoid paying for the PDF twice.

  16. one of the reasons my group plays DW is because we have some “lurkers” like that and the lack of Initiative (capital I, versus their person lack of lower case i initiative) makes it very easy to let them fade into the background when they need to.

  17. I think, based on Guy Milner ‘s post, is where is my petard! I want one to go blow up dragons with. I can get hoisted right alongside those scaly bastards.

  18. I’ve only played DW with by sons (8 & 10) and they also have this problem. They play makebelieve all the time but the moment there are rules and dice etc their ability to improvise seems to shut down.

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