Had an idea, and wanted to share with the community to get help.

Had an idea, and wanted to share with the community to get help.

Had an idea, and wanted to share with the community to get help. It’s not strictly limited to Dungeon World, but it is so very heavily inspired by it, I wanted to share here. 

I’m trying to build a list of evocative questions to ask players of their characters during character generation. Actually, as part of play, I’d want to have these written down and let them randomly choose a few, then pick the one they like best, and go with it. Each is actually a defining phrase and a pair of leading questions after. It’s the kind of thing that most Dungeon World GMs do naturally, but I’d like to make it easier for other non-DW groups to get into the feel.

The concept is to give the players a fact about their character, then ask a pair of questions, one calling for action, and one giving them power to act.

Here’s a few I’ve got already: 

* A dead relative’s ghost still haunts you to this day. What can they teach you, and on whom do they want you to extract revenge?

* Your own parents drove you from your home town. What power do you have that they fear, and why is someone from your family following you?

* You carry an heirloom from a great, great ancestor. What powers does it hold, and who seeks to take it from you?

* You have knowledge others would kill to know. Who’s trying to kill you, and why is the knowledge so powerful?

* You are bound to a powerful supernatural creature. What powers does it give you, and what does it ask in return?

* A face haunts your dreams. What danger is this person in, and what can you gain from finding them?

* You’ve been affected by a terrible curse. What horrible power does the curse grant you, and what must you do to be cured?

* The prophecies speak that you are the chosen one. Who intends to keep you from fulfilling the prophecies, and what powers are you prophesied to wield? 

* Through your veins flows the blood of something more than mortal. What makes others fear you, and what hungers must you sate to wield these powers?

Looking for and open for suggestions for more!

13 thoughts on “Had an idea, and wanted to share with the community to get help.”

  1. You can ask questions just based on the character’s class.

    Who taught you to use a sword?

    What was the first thing you ever stole? Did you give the guild its fair share?

    Who taught you magic?

  2. You could tailor the questions to say something about the setting and the character’s relation to it. “Which of your relatives died in this castle? What keepsake of theirs are you trying to retrieve, and what will you do with it when you get it?”

  3. That is a great idea.

    “How was your family effected by the Wizard Wars?”

    “Where were you when the orc hordes swept in from the north?”

    “What did your parents tell you about dragons?”

  4. Yours is good too, Judd Karlman – perhaps you could get even better results mixing all those ideas: class, setting and follow-up questions: “Why did you take up a sword instead of a bow or wand, against the wizard’s invasion? What curse did the wizards put on your blade, and what will you do when you catch the fiend that did it?”

    Colin Stratton – what’s the end goal here? As nice as it would be to have a comprehensive document of questions, I feel you might get better results with setting guidelines for asking good questions, rather than an exhaustive list.

  5. Niccòlò Ricchio that would be Awesome. I just realized dungeon world could do that setting perfectly… I’m off to make lords and earth power.

    You have suffered from horrible visions since childhood depicting an impending doom, what do you need to stop the doom, what event caused the visions to start?

  6. Niccòlò Ricchio I love it. Stealing! Same with yours, Thomas Roberts .

    Joe Banner , the plan is to make a cheat mechanic for players who are less creative, to give them a crutch to make more interesting and dynamic characters. To define characters past what class they are and into (at least with my current weekly group) usually uncharted territory.

    Or, a less nice way of putting it, forcing my D&D players who think saying you’re a human rogue says everything about your character that anyone would ever want to know into a different field more like DW, without forcing them completely out of their comfort zone.

    This, Judd Karlman , is why I want something like this, because too many times have I DMed for a player who has intentionally removed as many ties to the remainder of the game world as they can. I know, I shouldn’t force it on the characters or the players. I probably won’t. But that’s what pet projects are for, right?

    That, and these would make awesome helpers for a one-night stand in any system.

  7. For wizards

    You came to magic in a unique way, describe How you learned your first bit of magic and what your family and friends did when they found out you had magic.

    Cleric, your diety is rather young, How did it come to it’s divinity and What is service to your God like for the average layperson?

  8. Colin Stratton , that turtling behavior is well known to me, it’s often inherited by seeing one own ties repeatedly raped in various waysncampaign after campaig, by gms not necessarily evil or bad, but just following bad gm advices from bad gaming culture. Or just having to juggle a complex campaign with subpar system. I usually see these players recovery fast after learning to play modern rpg and learning t btrust the gm again.

    So you may no need to go to these lenghts, but a list of useful, inspired questions is of course always welcome.

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