I ran the first session of a new Dungeon World game last week and it went great.

I ran the first session of a new Dungeon World game last week and it went great.

I ran the first session of a new Dungeon World game last week and it went great. I’ve got a bunch of material I think I can use, but I’m having a few problems with Fronts.

Why is there a distinction made between Campaign and Adventure Fronts? Having read the DW book and the Guide by Eon Fontes-May and Sean Dunstan I don’t get the difference.

I’ve got a couple of related Dangers (a Necomancer and a Cult both worshipping Dragoth the Many Angled Menace) but I also have some Dangers than remain largely left blank (An unknown group of men building something in the wilderness). 

Making the related Dangers into an Adventure Front makes perfect sense to me, but I’m at a loss at what a Campaign Front looks like or is for and I’m inclined to have a couple of Dangers that have yet to be associated with Adventure Fronts.

Anyone have thoughts? Those of you that use Fronts frequently what do they look like and how do they help?

8 thoughts on “I ran the first session of a new Dungeon World game last week and it went great.”

  1. There isn’t much of a difference; it’s mainly in scale. An adventure front is something they could deal with in a couple of sessions or one trek out there, whereas a campaign front is the premise of the story.

  2. When reading the book I got the distinct impression that a Campaign Front was made of multiple adventure Fronts. I don’t know if it was in the book or advice I read here in the DW Tavern, but a Front that is completed but has one or more loose ends can easily move into the campaign front, often expanding into its own Adventure Front.

    Campaign Front: The Eastern Theater of WWII

    Adventure Front #1: Russia

    Adventure Front #2: France

    Adventure Front #3: England

    Adventure Front #4: Germany

    Didn’t finish off Hitler in Germany but you’ve defeated Germany’s defensive forces? Adventure Front #5: Austria is now added to the Campaign Front ^_^

  3. Marques Jordan Your example makes sense to me. Except that I’d move England up to #2 and put North Africa & Italy between it and France. Also could do Brazil/Argentina as an alternative to Austria, depending on how Germany goes. Sorry, History major.

    The problem I have is that the idea that Dungeon World specifically tells the GM not to come to the game with any sort of premise like that. The closest thing I’ve got to “The European Theater of World War 2” is “Group A’s Dungeon World” which doesn’t really make sense to me like my Adventure Fronts do (The 3rd Coming of Dragoth the Many-Angled Menace and the Taming on the Hinterlands).

    Your example also suggests that Adventure Fronts have a consecutive chronology to them, while my impression from the books was that they should happen concurrently. Is this just a artifact of the example or do you recommend developing an adventure chronology?

  4. Definitely an artifact of my example. When I wrote it I didn’t factor time into it at all. I understand where your coming from with fronts. The game preaches the less prep the better, yet it gives us a tool for structure like Fronts. Someone on here recently stated that when converting an adventure from another system, fronts are a great way to translate a module.

    Instead of trying to convert everything from the module, you just write down the basic outline (description), the big players (cast), big threats (danger), signs the big threats are alive and will progress if unchallenged (grim portents), what happens if they are ignored outright (impending doom), and the general motivations/adventure hooks to spur the party to getting involved in the first place (stakes).

    I did this to convert a B/X D&D Module B5: Horror On The Hill and holy crap did it work well. Using this structure you could outline the different areas of WWII that players can participate in (maybe some resolve themselves, like Germany invading Poland, where the Impending Doom is felt in other fronts but not because the players were directly involved). Obviously the more you use Fronts the more work you have to do as a GM but if you wanted to use the Fronts format and didn’t mind the extra work, I think they would work very well for tracking something HUGE like WWII.

    As far as Chronology is concerned the book, in my opinion, does push the idea that they are all active at the same time. But I don’t feel comfortable defining four fronts knowing that my players can only realistically participate in one or two at a time (if they are closely related/interwoven). So I’m designing multiple fronts but the ones players aren’t engaged in are either frozen in time or progress very slowly so the group has time to deal with them.

    There was a discussion recently on Fronts and how people used them (http://goo.gl/xVhGbW). That conversation also spawn another thread about micro-fronts (http://goo.gl/sLIkkc). Turns out a few people are using Pelegrane Press’ Conspyramids (http://goo.gl/NSMIKH). I could see these working well for the WWII example too.

    I don’t believe Fronts are an assumed part of the system. Instead they are there for those who wish to use them, much like the Settlement rules. I imagine a lot of people who enjoy DW’s low prep approach don’t take the time between sessions to manage Settlements, also a system you can do without if you like.

  5. You hold the first session without a plan. Based on questions, answers and whatnot, you get a few seeds to work with. You take these seeds and determine the scale of them. Something major and world shaking is likely a campaign front, while something threatening a town or group might be an adventure front.

    At any rate, if you’ve run campaigns and adventures in other systems, you already know what these are – they just take on a different format in DW. Having them broken into individual threats with grim portents gives you solid moves to make when advancing the front.

  6. Charles King The way I think about adventure fronts is:

    * There’s something bad happening in a localized spot.  Without interference, some real shit will go down.  How do the players intervene over the course of a few days or weeks?

    Then for campaign fronts:

    * Turns out a couple of those adventure fronts are all linked: Some real bad stuff is happening on a nation/continent-wide level, and if nobody steps up, it’ll all go to hell.  How do the players intervene over the course of a few months or a year?

    So an Adventure Front is like… the church in town has started losing worshippers, and there are strange groans coming from under the altar….

    A Campaign Front is like… turns out the Cult of the Dead Worshiper has gotten one of the three Rings of Solomon.  Some other people have/want the other two, and they’re all starting to put plans in motion…. plans that will burn the country to the ground if they aren’t stopped.

  7. Steven Lumpkin

     I just spent the last couple of hours trawling through this page (and others) for help on how to use fronts. This answer crystallised it for me so thankyou!! And then the cherry on the cake, I realise that my answer came from the guy who killed Lady Amsel and Fink ^^

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