I have a couple of people who have expressed interest in playing DW, and I want to make sure I have fully grokked the campaign structure. So here’s how it goes, in as plain and concise language as I can. Please correct me if there is something overlooked.
The first session is mostly to establish the world and the group’s place in it. Building off of the initial details and what the players offer by asking them questions, the GM builds a rough outline of a world, giving just enough detail to get the first adventure going and leave plenty of blank spaces.
Now that the world is established, the GM can come up with some dangers, the Big Bad guys. Each danger has an Impulse, that’s what the Danger wants. If the danger is a group of cultists, their Impulse may be to summon their elder God.
Next comes Grim Portents. These are the events that warn the players that the Danger is taking another step towards their goal. A Portent should be some kind of significant event that the characters can interact with, not something that happens off-stage. When all of the Grim Portents come to pass, the Impending Doom is realized, something very nasty with far-reaching repercussions.
The GM can now add more details to the world’s history and to the map. Not a lot, just a few places of interest that will become relevant as they relate to the various Fronts that will come marching along. The details will be filled in by the PCs when they get there. There should be ample opportunities/questions to make the characters more involved, not only by tying them to the world and Fronts, but also the people and places that are still only rough outlines yet. When the PCs interact with them, they become more detailed through play.