I got interestex in DW since I wanted to find alternative to DND Next.

I got interestex in DW since I wanted to find alternative to DND Next.

I got interestex in DW since I wanted to find alternative to DND Next. I am going through core book now and I was wondering if running DW as a DnD replacement is a good way without changing my style as a DM. DW has a lot of mumbo jumbo about not preparing and creating game ad hoc. I am not saying it is bad but as for now I am not into it and wanted just a new ruleset to my old style. Will it blend? Does anyone here experienced DMing DW way and old school way with DW ruleset? Please don’t write why and how it is better with new way, just if it works without making a whole game ad hoc as what I’m interested in is running some old modules which are pretty much closed with no ‘blank spots’ (although I don’t say I don’t improvise in any way).

21 thoughts on “I got interestex in DW since I wanted to find alternative to DND Next.”

  1. It worked for me when I moved over. My GMing style is to have plot points that I know are going to happen and let the player fill the in between. That style seemed to transition pretty well.

    If you want to write down and have detail figured out, more power to you! All that detail can really make the world stand out. I think why the book encourages a little more spontaneous GMing is to allow the players some control and creation as well.

  2. DW is run in a completely different way then dnd and requires different skills. Have you read the DW guide to see how it actually runs? Using dnd as a reference won’t help you that much since both games tackle the same tropes from different angles.

  3. Jacek Brzezowski If you’re flexible and let the moves lead you into unexpected directions, I’d say you can run standard adventures. It’ll work perfectly with sandbox dungeons such as B2.

  4. Thanks for input. Maybe I got it all wrong and I need to rethink my decision about using DW as I play with my old group and it is mostly about ‘good old times’ so making it all different experience might not come easy for allof us.

  5. I read through all this and as much as I was enthusiast of this game and I really wanted i to be thing I think it’s not for me. I feel it’s like trying to play DnD with Fiasco. Sure, you can do a DnD playset and maybe somewhere it will remind of the game but it’s not it. And every time I check out something new I end up back by the source. DW has some really good ideas but it can’t fully appeal to everyone I think. My issue is that I’m chasing ghosts with this. I want to play DnD because that is what I feel most comfortable and yet I’d like to check something new and in the end everything fails 🙂

  6. For me DW revitalized my love for games. It brought the experience back to my early memories of why I played D&D when I was younger. Anything was possible back then, rules were guidelines but not a limitation, anything could happen. As I played more and more types of games it felt like the rules began to stifle the creativity and began to take over the narrative control of what my characters could do. I too was chasing memories of how I used to play and enjoy the games and have now found a game that brings all of it back in a simple format that has the spirit and feel of what D&D used to be.

  7. I’m going to respectfully disagree with a lot folks here and say that Dungeon World will work just fine with a traditional GM prep style. You won’t be playing it like a lot of folks do, but that’s OK. The prep-less aspect of DW is largely a GM-facing thing. If your players aren’t expecting an ad hoc campaign world or adventure then it’s no harm at all if you prep your heart out. In my opinion, there’s little to nothing in the player facing side that will suffer if you go the traditional route. Go for it!

  8. I ran a couple games at GenCon, and wanted to have as much prep as possible for two reasons. First it gives me as the GM a better idea for what to do when the game inevitably goes in a direction I’m not expecting. Second, in a convention setting with a strict time limit and “generally” focused players everyone is playing towards a somewhat shared goal. I think that this is fairly close to “old style” DnD like you are mentioning.

    My “Old School” group (more likely just old) has had fun playing Dungeon World, and in general the feeling is that it is like older versions of DnD where you had a module and a goal, but the individual encounters felt more free-form. 

    I think you can simulate older versions of DnD just fine, and that the flexibility for when things get away from the DM is an added bonus.

  9. YES IT WORKS FINE! I’ve played it both ways… no prep by the book, but also running D&D modules as written. It doesn’t get more prepared than a module! We played part of B4 The Lost City the same way we would in D&D and DW handled it smoothly and without hiccups. In fact we thought it was better than either D&D or DW… some of my players like the DW mechanics but dislike the build-an-you-go setting. Running prepared material in DW proved to be the silver bullet. I was worried that the system would veer away from the prepared material, but that didn’t happen. DW doesn’t force you to improvise, it just supports it. Playing it in a traditional D&D style also does not miss out on the goodness of DW just employs it in a different way.

    You sound discouraged. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Before you discard the idea, try it! I think you’ll like it and it will be fine.

  10. I’ll echo what other people have said. You can pay Dungeon World with less improv and more preparation. However I’ve found that for myself, more preparation occasionally limits my ability to use the GM Moves.

    In one game I had the map drawn out, encounters keyed to specific areas/events, and a general plan of attack for the Big Bad. When it came time for me to make GM Moves, I often found myself thinking “Well, that can’t happen as the bad guys are all over there.” or “There’s nothing in this area that makes sense as a consequence based on what the character just did.” As a result, the game started to grind to a halt. The character’s Moves weren’t resulting in things they needed to react to, so they made fewer Moves, and things really slowed down. Finally I just threw my mad and keyed encounters away and things got better.

    So, you can play Dungeon World as a more traditional, “GM prep heavy” game. But I strongly suggest you not be a slave to that preparation.

  11. Ok I did not run into this problem. You just have to think about how you’d keep things moving in d&d. In dnd you really only have one move. .. hack n slash. Everything else is ad-libbed by the dm. Just do the same thing in DW, except you have extra moves to prompt you, and combat has more texture. The only difference is that you have already decided what is where, etc. Nothing stops you from adding extra detail to that… We did it in dnd all the time. Then again if your paying in dnd mode is perfectly ok to say “no there is nothing there” regardless of what the player rolled. People expect that. And players who are uncomfortable with a totally adlibbed world will actually like it. Is a feature not a bug.

    And if the game slows down… ninjas attack! 🙂

  12. This is a good thread. I have always run a loose game but I usually have a loose plot. I do set scenes but I like the style if play to see what happens. I think even in a pre planned adventure there is plenty of room for that idea. Some players want to be given firm objectives and the module provides that but to open it to letting things flow where the the players take it and being open to letting things go in unexpected directions can make for some really enjoyable scenes. With a little flexibility you can keep them on track to follow the module and have those scenes that are created off the cuff.

  13. I put back my DW book on shelf yesterday, looked on new Next playtest and thought that I like DnD and would be into it but there’s one thing I don’t like that DW handles well – level advancement that don’t make a goblin just a nuance or the fact you can’t run straight on dragon. DW is perfect for this. I woke up today and while cycling I actually again started to think about DW… my head hurts. I wanted to ask you guys WHY it would destroy classic modules and well well – I got you people convinced that it’s ok to run it 🙂 

    When I started DnD playtest with Caves of Chaos actually first whole session had nothing to do with the prepped scenario and was an improvisation, so maybe DW is for me?

  14. Jacek Brzezowski Welcome Home. The playstyle in DW isn’t really anything new – you’re just not used to seeing the system tell you about it, and have GM moves. That’s the biggest conceptual leap, I think. Sounds like you’re about there.

  15. I think one of the main things to consider from what people here are saying is to be ready for the players to do things that will upset the prep. Some of the moves various playbooks can bring out can make things go in wildly different directions than you were expecting.

    It sounds like you know how to improvise and that your players like playing with some structure, so you’re probably in good shape. The players may surprise you, though, and not necessarily because they are trying to upset your plans; they may not even realize what they’re doing. What you don’t want to do is downplay the PC’s abilities in order to protect the plot. Make sure they’re getting what they’ve worked for (even if that’s just activating an ability and succeeding on a dice roll).

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