I’ve been thinking about prep vs. improv lately. I’ve played a few DW sessions and GMed one for some new roleplayers. The game I GMed went relatively well, but I found myself having trouble thinking on my feet every time the players wanted to know what to do – I got great feedback from you folk after the fact, but I can’t help thinking that especially in the case of players who are looking for “the point of all this” a slightly more directed adventure might have been better.
On the other hand, the DW text clearly states that you are playing to find out what happens, and certainly not playing to play out a pre-planned story. That said, there are GM moves that involve exploiting your prep. I know the prep can be ideas, fronts, dungeons, etc, but I’m running a one-shot soon for another new group who are very excited, and I I’ve been brainstorming some aspects of what is essentially an adventure/mystery. Now I don’t know how it will play out, and the types of characters who experience this setting will certainly change it, but to some extent I’ve thought up a possible villain, a thematic dungeon (full of blanks), and a few other locales or things that I could imagine happening.
My question is, am I disobeying the central tenets of DW if I give my players agency but also portray them in the midst of this adventure I’ve planned? I guess I’m wondering where the line between too much guiding and adventure fronts lies. I have some monsters, some settings, some events, and some locations planned. Some of them the players could absolutely influence, but others (like confronting the villain, or exploring the cave that the evil that is plaguing the town comes from) I guess I feel it would be strange to avoid.
Any thoughts on this?
Lots Of Prep