I’m having a problem.

I’m having a problem.

I’m having a problem. It seems like stupid people know nothing and never stop to think about anything in Dungeon World. The pain of a miss is just too great to risk rolling spout lore with a -1 modifier.

My problem isn’t that low-intelligence characters know very little, it’s that they don’t know anything about no subject what so ever.

I don’t know how to deal with this.

15 thoughts on “I’m having a problem.”

  1. The pain of a miss… You mean when you get to mark xp? 😉

    Now that doesn’t change the fact that low Intelligence heroes don’t know much, but is it really a problem? Low Strength characters don’t shine at hand to hand combat…

  2. You say that low INT people can’t “consult their accumulate knowledge” very well, right?

    I see it this way: low INT people aren’t very capable of retaining knowldge, even if they study a lot. So, it doesn’t sound so wrong.

  3. The trigger of the move is “consulting your accumulated knowledge.” Things that you just know don’t trigger the move.

    If you’re an 8 Intelligence fighter you still probably know a lot about the best bars in your home town, swords, etc.

    If you want to know about the best bars in some distant town (that you might have heard about from other folks in the fighting pits, maybe) you’d be consulting your accumulated knowledge.

  4. Are you the GM, or a player?

    If you’re the player, talk to your GM.

    If you’re the GM, you are missing two absolutely beautiful ways to use Spout Lore. The first is to make the GM move: Reveal an unpleasant truth. Oh, you’re spouting lore on a ghost? Hmmm… okay. It’s the ghost of the guy your party killed last week, and hoo boy, is he gonna cause problems for you! 

    Another is kind of underhanded, but a legit move in my opinion. Reveal an unpleasant truth… that isn’t really true. “Well, what you know about these orcs is that they belong to the Red Hand tribe (true), a tribe notorious for their sense of honor and the fact that anyone can challenge their leader to single-handed combat (false… and potentially dangerous, too!)”

  5. A miss on Spout Lore might mean that the “low intelligence” character thinks THE WRONG THING and gets into trouble because of it. Or maybe their suggestion gets someone else in trouble.

    To take a real world example, there are a lot of “dumb people” in the world that are plainly ignorant of the truth.

  6. Sure, most often that move being “offer an opportunity without a cost.”

    Like, you’re the fighter, and you say “What do I know about swords? Common around here, or reserved for the nobility?”

    If you ask me this about your home town, I’ll just tell you. In my opinion you haven’t gotten to “consulting your accumulated knowledge,” this is just a fact of life to you.

    If you ask me about distant town that you could reasonably know about, I’d say you triggered the move. If you fail, I’d probably make a soft “tell them the requirements or consequences and ask” and say “you knew so many people in the fighting pits it’s a bit of a jumble. You know that the people who reserve purple for their royalty also reserve swords, since a fellow put fighter chose to wear purple based on his people, but you can’t remember if it’s these people. Find a noble, see if they wear purple, and you’ll know for sure.”

    Having a low int does mean you know less! It just doesn’t mean you’re completely ignorant of your surroundings. It may indeed mean a player never decides to stop and consult their accumulated knowledge, but I feel that’s a reasonable choice: some people just trust their instincts.

  7. Basically: the move triggers when there’s something you might know about, but it’s not sure. If you choose not to take that action (consulting your knowledge) much, that’s fine, it doesn’t mean you know nothing.

    Unless you’re Jon Snow. Then you do know nothing, unless you roll+Int.

  8. Here is an option for “safer” spout lore, if you want…

    Each character gets two “Expertise”.

    One is related to their class in some way, one is related to something in their background.

    Each character can also gain an expertise whenever they gain an odd level (so, 3, 5, 7, 9) based on something they’ve learned about while adventuring or in downtime.

    When you spout lore about something you have expertise in, on a miss, treat it as a 7-9 but take -1-forward.

  9. Sage LaTorra, I understand what you’re saying about “might know” but I don’t think that’s clear from the way the move is written. It’s not how I read it.

    One way to determine “might know” is: if you have first hand (experiential) knowledge you don’t need this move. If your knowledge is secondhand, something you’ve heard word of mouth or read in a book or inferred logically, then trigger this move.

  10. Mike Harvey if you’ve got a better wording I’d love to hear it. We tried a lot with this one, and this wording (especially “consult”) was the best we got.

  11. I’ve always played that in general the fiction dictates the stuff a character knows “off the top of his head”. Spout Lore has always been a more “intentional and focused” attempt to recall, remember or come to a conclusion based on the sum total of a character’s knowledge. 

  12. You can bring this idea of World of Dungeons forward if you want; you have an area where you’re skilled and even on a 6-you do what you set out to do.

    Your fighter knows everything there is to know about pit fighting, so when she Spouts Lore about pit fighting, even on a 6- she gets everything absolutely right.

    Like that guy over there is from a warrior culture that revenges all slights with blood, and oh yeah, she stiffed him on her last bar tab. Absolutely right!

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