I got a kinda love-hate relationship with DW but I wish I soon will crashtest my fears.

I got a kinda love-hate relationship with DW but I wish I soon will crashtest my fears.

I got a kinda love-hate relationship with DW but I wish I soon will crashtest my fears. One of them is how you resolve bonds in long term campaign? I mean – it feels kinda forced that you need to create another one once you resolve one. I know the bonds can be big or small and it might be in a flow but I wonder how it turns out in games you people have played?

23 thoughts on “I got a kinda love-hate relationship with DW but I wish I soon will crashtest my fears.”

  1. I sort of like the idea of the players creating custom bonds for the ones in the team but not ones that can be resolved very easily. If there are members of the group that are attempting to cheat the system by adding something like “I really owe ______ a mug of mead for helping me out” then it may be good to see what the rest of the group feels is a good bond for that player to resolve. Don’t force it but let the player know that the bond is something that isn’t really paradigm shifting or an emotional hurdle that they need to get over. 

    Remember nothing is forced but I guarantee players will definitely want to create a new bond as it provides them with XP when that bond is resolved. Who doesn’t want XP? 😛 Just like in real life, mistakes (6- rolls)  as well as personal growth (resolving bonds) helps build your character up from the whelp he was to the great hero he is to become. Sometimes a few scars (physical, mental and emotional) are needed to help them along the way 🙂

  2. I encouraged players to make one of the two more short term. When doing a few sessions, I skipped players having them when they rolled up characters, and made sure at the end of the first night they all established their bonds. It added some cohesiveness to the group at the end of the night and could be a springboard for more story goals in other sessions. 

    Just seems figuring them out at the very beginning can be a little forced.

  3. Jacek Brzezowski Totally see that viewpoint. I think my players struggle at times getting their feet under them when they start new characters. Throwing in a bunch of relationship links where they had a goal associated with it, made some furrow their brows while they thought up something.

  4. I tend to keep about half of the Class bonds and nix the other half to write more fitting ones when i start to play. However, you can resolve bonds and still keep the same “idea” in them. 


    _I worry about Jack Marrows ability to survive in the dungeon” 

    turns into:

    Jack Marrow is a lost cause in the dungeon, protecting him is a fools errand 


    Turns out, Jack Marrow is still useful so i have to keep him alive if i don’t want to die to traps 

    Just because of what happens in the game you can change the complexion of the bond idea. It also forces you to change a bit of your character every session and that is a good thing in my book. 

  5. Tim Franzke Yep. Sounds about right. Remember that these characters are living, breathing heroes(as living/breathing as fantasy characters can get) and heroes have to start somewhere. Everyone makes an assumption that they have to shift from and grow from. The bonds would naturally grow from that basic seed sown at the beginning of the game. I like to  allow the players to weave basic backstories where each player has interacted at some point. From there, I will ask them what they think of the other player and from that seed we plant the bond 🙂

  6. I never really thought about this, it’s never been a big deal, so my thoughts may be a bit jumbled, but it just… happens? Resolving a bond should mean something significant in the relationship between two characters changed.

    Think of “[Name] smells more like prey than a hunter.” If that’s not true anymore, something changed. What is it? How does your character feel now? That’s your bond. Can go by degrees, as Tim Franzke described.

    Hope that adresses your question in a satisfactory way. Of course, if your players want something else, they’ll still have to come up with something interesting. If there’s nothing interesting for the players in the character relationship, maybe the issue is not DW. 😉

  7. My players love writing new bonds!

    At first, they struggled a bit to think up something, so I’d remind then about an interaction or notable accomplishment or failure, and ask the characters opinion about it.

    Like Tim Franzke said, Bonds change over time as actions change how the characters feel about each other.

    Here’s some generic bonds to riff off.

    _________ has much to teach me.

    _________ has much to learn

    _________ Insulted me

    _________ Misunderstands me

    ___________owes me

    I owe _________

    _________ is to blame for a past misfortune

    I respect _________ for their ways

    _________ may not know it, but I stole from them

    _________ stole from me, and I will have revenge

    _________ has something I want

    I trust _________

    I don’t trust _________

    I will convince _________ I am right

    I will protect _________

    I will learn _________’s secret

    _________ is arrogant beyond measure

    _________ saved something precious to me

  8. The Bonds mechanic is not my favorite part of DW (or really, most AW hacks, including Hx in AW itself). It works fine, but I tend to think there are better mechanics out there that haven’t been discovered or implemented in this engine yet.

  9. We’ve really expanded the Bond concept at our table to include Bonds with NPC’s, organizations, and others. Doing this has allowed us to include things like debts, obligations, and loyalties.

    “Resolving” the Bond tends to depend on the nature of the bond. One of my players has the Bond, “My family won’t come to any harm.” When the group rescued his kidnapped children he marked XP and reworded his Bond. 

    Not only does the Bond concept help tie the PC’s together but it can really help tie the PC’s to the campaign setting. As a GM Bonds can help you focus on the things that are important to the heroes.

  10. Mostly they’re roleplaying, however I have done a few other things. The character attempting to rescue his family was given a custom Move while fighting the kidnappers. Another was given given a damage bonus when dealing with the enemies of his guild. A third had Leverage over citizens when Parleying as a representative of the nobles he was associated with.  

  11. I haven’t done this yet but it falls along the lines of what John Lewis is talking about. Bonds, at the moment, give a constant bonus that remains the same as long as you resolve and create a new one (let’s say you only perform one per pair of people).

    When a bond is made, I would like to see the GM create a reward for each bond, or at least most bonds. That way, if you say that “my family will never be harmed,” for example, not only should the roleplay direct you into helping them, but the players have a tangible reason to actively pursue the story in that direction. If you do no resolve it in time, you lose the reward at the end.

    Sometimes, also, the reward can be ongoing, like what John was describing. I also like that idea.

  12. well a GM that is not picking up on the themes and content of the bonds and then leans on that is loosing an opportunity. When you write a bond about X, X should be part of the game. 

  13. Bonds, and their impact, are completely dependent on the fiction. Bonds between PC’s are easy because the players tend to manage them. Any Bonds connected to the setting or NPC’s have to featured and encouraged by the GM in order to make them relevant.

    On the plus side a character’s Bonds can inform you as the GM, as to what things you should focus on.  In my earlier example the character’s wife and kids were relevant because I mentioned that she was an apothecary, the heroes got to know her because of the potions she sold. Her spouse frequently mentioned having to get “permission” from the old lady to go on adventures. He even ran errands for her while party was doing things in other steadings. The party wizard began teaching magic to one of his kids and talked about one day having an apprentice. When they were eventually kidnapped (as part of a Hard Move) the whole party felt the sting and dropped what they were doing to rescue Verrick’s family.

    Like so many things it’s up to the GM to present a world where heroes can develop connections, commitments, and bonds, and to give those things real meaning.

  14. Like any other part of the game, bonds should be looked at as part of the ongoing action of the game. You have to write a new Bond when you resolve the old one because Dungeon World is about “What do you do?” 

    Avon doesn’t have your back anymore, huh? Pretty pissed about that time he left you to the Goblin Duchess?  Well, shit man, what do you do?  What now? Do you forgive and forget? Write a Bond. Do you hate his guts? Write a Bond? Is he just totally off your radar now? Tell me what you think about someone else.

    Things happen to characters all the time, Bonds are a way to mechanically solidify how those actions impact their feelings about each other as a team.

  15. I’ve always hated when a PC dies and the player’s new character is just sort of, “Oh you look trustworthy, come adventure with us.” Bonds are a great way of introducing the new PC.  

  16. John Lewis right, definitely. When a new PC comes in, the table should talk about how various members know the character. Often, a new PC will just have one Bond filled out and leave the rest for the end of the first session, to reflect a connection to the party (Oh, this is Lux, we attended the Grey Convocation together) and then whatever happened on their first adventure (Lux might write in “Barbozar is a madman, I will learn to tolerate his impulsiveness and gain his trust.” to reflect the Barbarian who so impressed her with his crazy fighting style. She might also change her Bond with whoever she was Bonded to originally – something like “Avon is not the man I knew in Convocation, he has become dark and dangerous.”)

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