14 thoughts on “I finally ran my 1st DW game.”

  1. DW, like every other PbtA, uses only “intrinsic” difficulties for every roll.

    You always roll+Stat and act as stated in the move (<6, 7-9, 10+).

    Example: “convincing someone” isn’t more or less difficult depending on who it is.

  2. I’m sure this has already been discussed at length somewhere in here, but the G+ search tools aren’t the best.

    I would say that the idea of GM set Target Numbers are against the spirit of Dungeon World and Apocalypse World inspired games. DW has moves triggered by actions in the fiction, and those moves are designed to inspire new directions in the narrative, not just create a success/fail decision point.

    So, saying, “I, the GM, think you have a 65% of success here” is a pretty traditional way of handling a decision point in an RPG, but that’s not the angle that DW takes. Instead, it’s more of a “…and here’s what happens now in the fiction, let’s fail forward” idea.

    Instead of talking in the abstract, though, I think the best thing to do is to address a specific situation, and then see how it’s typically handled in DW.

  3. I agree with Phil Lewis, rolls are static in that a full success is a 10+, a partial success on a 7-9, and a failure/GM move on a 6-. The difficulty will only change if a character has high or low stats or are being helped/hindered by another character.

    The only way you could make a situation more difficult for your players is make them roll more. However this difficulty needs to come from the fiction. If you force your players to roll for every little thing, they will get tired quickly.

    Explain in the fiction why the have to roll so much, “the ogre has a cunning look in his eye, and holds his club in a defensive position, it’s going to take some work to get inside his guard,” “the thief guild contact is shifty and nervous as you sit down to talk to him, he’s not going to divulge any secrets easily.”

  4. There is another way to make a situation more difficult if you’d like. One basic construction template for building a custom move goes about like this: take what the PCs are trying to do, break it in half, and think up an interesting consequence or twist that might result.

    Then, they roll + stat, on a 10+ pick 3, on a 7-9, pick 2:

    – they do half of what they want

    – they do the other half of what they want

    – they dodge the consequence.

    So, like, when you hurl yourself and the Idol of Mambrino off the temple wall to the jagged plains below, roll + dex, and pick from:

    – you land in a safe place

    – the idol lands in a safe place

    – you don’t break any bone in your body.

    If what they’re doing seems super-difficult, then do the same thing, but on a 10+ pick 2, on a 7-9 pick 1, and optionally on a 12+ that was sweet, brother, take all 3.

  5. That’s the ticket. The narrative contains the difficulty. As opposed to a binary pass/fail for a given action, you present the situation as more dire, and make choices available which force risk or goal loss.

  6. Oh, one more thing! If there are actually a couple of big, obvious downsides? Break what the PCs want to do in half just like before, but this time include a separate entry for dodging each downside.

    Then that “choose 3” you get on a 10+ involves a bit more actual choice.

  7. Dungeon world isn’t interested in how hard a task is, it’s interested in what the fictional consequences of an action are.

    It’s also why the results of a move aren’t exactly success/fail. It’s good consequences, mixed consequences, bad consequences.

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