crossposted from the dungeon world reddit

crossposted from the dungeon world reddit

crossposted from the dungeon world reddit

Hey, guys! My gaming group has decided to move past our short lived D&D Next campaign and I have stepped up and volunteered to DM dungeon world for our next game. While I am a dungeon world fan boy and eager lurker of the subreddit and DW tavern my only true experience, as well the only experience of my group, has been with a single live game that had transitioned into a extremely short lived play by post game on roleplay online. It appeared out group didn’t have the patience for play by post though my friends, apart from one, and I really enjoyed the system.

The one friend, however, really really dislikes Dungeon World and I want to remedy that if we do intend to go forth with this new campaign.

We have talked extensively on the topic and it appears that his major qualms with the system are as follows:

-Missing (or hitting on a 7-9) an attack shouldn’t get himself stabbed. He wants to miss and have a chance to defend himself on the opponents turn.

-He didn’t feel like his character was special or heroic and he felt like his character was a big screw up and messing up all the time.

-Felt like failure was too common with most the results being the worst, and the majority of rolls coming up “bad” (7-9). Granted he did roll -6 far more than was statistically probable. With just one live session and a short lived play by post career his character was nearly level 3.

Granted most of these I feel like could be remedied by good dming and proper move use. I am learning just as much as the rest of my group and I hope he will manage to enjoy it this time around.

So have any of you convinced any naysayers of the beauty of dungeon world? Any tips for a new DM hoping to wow his friends in general? Thanks for the help, everyone!

PS – Here is a link to our short lived play by post game. The player in question is Nook, if your interested in looking it over –

19 thoughts on “crossposted from the dungeon world reddit”

  1. It seems like he’s not getting that 7-9 isn’t “bad”, and it isn’t “failure”. It’s a partial success. He still did what he wanted to do, it’s just that there’s a bit of a cost to it. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that DW removes the gap that comes between your action and the GM’s response (which, in combat, might not come until three other people have gone).

    Also, in your first example, 7-9 on a Hack & Slash isn’t a miss, it’s a “you hit him but left yourself open”.

  2. Maybe it would help if you describe his 7-9 much more as a success? Level 1 characters can be big heroes, level 1 does not mean you are some lowlife. Make them do epic things. Basically just by changing the way the fiction works, how you narrate could help improve things.

  3. I’ve have success with converting a friend who, having read AP reports and looked through the book, initially thought DW was crap. And kept saying it on podcasts as well!

    I managed to lure him into an online game and he gradually learnt to enjoy the system, finally seeing its strengths. I hear he’s working on a hack now 🙂

    I think you need to be very clear about how moves work – they are triggered by the fiction – and make sure your friend understands it is not a turn-based tactical game.

    Maybe have him read the DW guide as well?

  4. Point 1-Being attacked does not mean that you automatically take damage. Say the ogre is going to club your player like a baby seal during boot making season. The PC decides that instead of getting out of the way he charges up and swings his sword at the Ogre.

    PC rolls an eight. PC does damage and suffers an attack. Ogre clubs the player and sends him flying across the room and puts him in a crater in the far wall. No damage but he’s now stuck in a wall.

    PC rolls a five. PC takes a club to the face. PC goes flying across room and is now weakened or take damage.

    It’s really up to the GM on how he wants to dole out damage. You can give the player plenty of chances to not die. Just remember that if he wants to attack an on coming freight train with out getting out of the way well so be it.

    Point 2-Need more info. Sounds like it carried over into point 3.

    Point 3- His dice are broken or fate hates him.

    As for advice as to GMing Dungeon World

    My first time running Dungeon world

    Some advice on running one shots

    I have a bunch of other Dungeon World articles on my blog. Check them out if you need a little more.

  5. Just to expand a bit on what I said before:

    One thing that can be hard for some people to “get” is that DW doesn’t work on a normal binary pass/fail system, and that there are consequences to your actions.

    In, say, D&D, failure doesn’t usually have an immediate consequence. If you fail a roll in combat, the retaliation may not come for a couple of turns later, so there’s no connection between the action (attack a skeleton) and the consequence (the skeleton attacks you back). Out of combat, a lot of the time failed skill rolls tend to boil down to “nothing happens”. If you fail a “pick locks” roll, yeah you might set off a trap, but if not then the only consequence is “now the fighter has to break the door”.

    In *World games, the consequence to an action happens immediately, and that might be part of the problem. What you have to make clear is that he’s not being punished for rolling a 7-9, nor did he fail. He did what he wanted to do, just not as well as he might have liked. There’s going to be some sort of reaction to what he did, but that’s life.

    Now, if he just wants a game where he can’t fail often, well…that’s a whole different topic.

  6. Damn that was fast. Thanks for the responses, everyone! I’ll definitely have to check out those links above. Yeah, I really need to steer away from damage as a consequence for a majority of partial success / failure hack and slash moves. In your games do you try and keep straight up damage hard moves to a minimum? Is doing damage the fall back move if you can’t think of anything else that’s more interesting given the fiction?

    I feel like part of the problem comes from him being the one who casts the die that messes him up. In that way he feels way more responsible for the failure, even if it was just a repercussion of his ultimately good partial success roll.

    And yes, his dice did hate him that day and the dice roller on Roleplay Online seems a bit wonky as well. I cringed every time I saw his dice come up low because it was just reinforcing his already negative feelings towards the game. I will definitely suggest he read the dungeon world guide though he may not have the patience for it because he has already made up his mind on the system. 

    Here’s hoping he come around in the upcoming weeks! Thanks again. Ill try and report back if his feelings change or not.

  7. A technique I try to use that I nicked from Leverage: failure (or in DW’s case: imperfect success) doesn’t need to mean that the character screwed up, it could mean that something the character couldn’t predict happened, or that the odds were impossible even for amazingly skilled.  It’s not always a good fit, but might be part of the solution.  You can help with this by setting up likely responses in advance. “You can tell the orc is a skilled warrior, almost as good as you. You’ll almost certainly hit, but you’re probably going to take some blows as well.” or “Attacking the ogre is like attacking a mountain. You can do it, but you’re probably going to get smacked as well.”

  8. I had a player with a similar issue on the 7 – 9 thing. During his first combat encounter he fought an orc, Hacked & Slashed rolling an 8 and did 10 damage. The fiction went like this:

    “You easily dodged his barbaric ax swing while spinning around and separating his head from his shoulders with your great sword. You’re showered with blood erupting from his neck stump and are blinded for the next couple of moments because of the gore!” 

    His response; “Awesome!” These days he’s a total convert and running the game for his other group.

  9. That is Awesome John Lewis =D.

    I will definitely suggest he read the dungeon world guide though he may not have the patience for it because he has already made up his mind on the system.

    Brad Morton your player is really only looking at reading the first 27 pages (actual count 24) as that is all that relates to the player side of the game. The rest is pure GM advice on fronts, custom moves, etc… If you wanted to condense his reading further you could cherry pick the areas you think he would benefit from and copy & paste them into a word file. If you go that route he may easily only end up reading half of that. A lot of the guide reiterates the same principles from different viewpoints to really ingrain the teachings.

  10. As I pointed out over on reddit, in that short snippet the player in question frames his miss as a failure, when that might not be the case. It might be useful to clarify that a 6 means it’s the GM’s turn to make a move. It’s not his turn to tell us how he failed.

  11. Yeah, the play by post format is definitely not the greatest medium for dungeon world. My group was already invested in a pretty long running savage worlds game and I had really wanted to give DW a try. That led to a rather quick foray into play by post which was fun, but definitely not fast enough for our group and, as we found out, not suited to the whole conversation aspect of the game

  12. 1) Getting stabbed on a miss: Explain to him that real life melee is not turn based and that this system is a much better representation of real life melee chaos.

    2) You mean like any first level character? Tell him that once a stat hits 18 it becomes very difficult to miss.

    3) 7-9’s are the most interesting rolls. He should learn to love them!

    There are three ways of playing an RPG: Narrative driven, game driven and simulation driven. It seems to me you friends preference falls somewhere between the last two – he may not care much for a narrative driven game like DW…

  13. Alan De Smet “You trade a flurry of blows with the Orc. During the pause that follows you look each other in the eye. The Orc moves his left foot an inch to his right and the tip of his blade three inches upward. You aren’t sure what he did with his grip, but he did something. What do you do ?”

    I need to run PbtA again.

    And damn me but I desperately want the player to respond with something that triggers Discern Realities.

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