I’m winding up to starting a new DW campaign as game master.

I’m winding up to starting a new DW campaign as game master.

I’m winding up to starting a new DW campaign as game master. I’ve never really liked the effect that the XP questions “have you looted a treasure/defeated a so and so?” had on play. I’ve always like RPGs for other reasons – beholding the awesome vistas, unearthing the hidden dark secrets.  

Especially, I got to thinking about how in the best fantasy movies there are always these amazing landscape panoramas, and yet in game so often I whiz by the wilderness travel to get players to the next action bit. I want to break that habit. So I thought, “what the hell, it’s hacking time!!” In my new campaign I am going to road test these XP questions to replace the old ones:

1. Did you stand in awe of a magnificent vista?

2. Did you discover the secret nature of some person, place, or thing?

These could also be GM principles (“Present magnificent vistas” “Reveal the secret nature of a person, place, or thing”) but I wanted to involve the players in making sure we all pause and appreciate. 

Because magnificent vistas!

14 thoughts on “I’m winding up to starting a new DW campaign as game master.”

  1. Sounds cool! Make sure that the game gives them a chance to do this, as the PCs will be somewhat as your mercy in discovering magnificent vistas.

  2. Love it! I say do it.

    Also ask yourself this question though: what role do you want fighting to have? Should players be encouraged to engage with the combat moves through the XP questions? Would you prefer to (as I do) just encourage them to face “danger” generically, with fighting just being one form of that?

    If so, you might consider adding a third question to “end of session”:

    * Did we face significant danger?

    Or something like that.

  3. Be sure to make your questions something the players can actively strive for.

    You can also ask the players what sort of things they want to be doing, and build group drives for that.

    Avon may want to have a quest about reuniting his brother with his childhood sweetheart, so you create “bring true love together” as a goal.

  4. the end of the session questions are interesting because their answers are the result of a character’s choices. I LOVE your second question, but the first one sounds dull to me. how about something like “have you explored new land?”

  5. Changing the XP reward questions can greatly influence the type of game you play, especially if you select the playbooks and make custom player moves in mind. You could also add, remove or change the XP rewards per front or adventure, like achievements or challenges in videogames.

    “Did you discover or explore a new or unusual location?”

    “Did you solve a crime or a mystery?”

    “Did you resolve a conflict without resorting to violence?”

    “Did you steal something without getting caught or implicated?”

  6. I love the vistas question, and would love to hear how (if at all) it influences play.  In my gothic horror DW game we changed out the loot question for “Did you protect an innocent from evil?” which pretty blatantly laid out what they were supposed to be doing.

  7. Thanks everyone for your comments so far! There is definitely a huge potential for tweaking and adjusting play this way. I’ll keep everyone posted how it goes (game starts next Monday night).

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