Okay, this Friday I’m going to GM my first ever proper DW game.

Okay, this Friday I’m going to GM my first ever proper DW game.

Okay, this Friday I’m going to GM my first ever proper DW game. As in the characters are going to do stuff. The only problem is that I am very confused as to what to start with. I have done character and world creation. But my question is, should I create an adventure? Should I plan a rough outline of the scenario? Should I come to the session with only one idea, and roll with whatever happens? I find the rulebook beats around the bush somewhat.

10 thoughts on “Okay, this Friday I’m going to GM my first ever proper DW game.”

  1. Give them something that will bring them together, preferably something that spurs them to immediate action. But more than that, come with questions you can ask that will establish the world.

  2. In my experience, the best DW adventures start with one idea and then let the players drive the rest of the story. If you are really uncertain, flesh out a place where there are mysterious things, but don’t be surprised if the players walk away from it. Go wherever they go, and ask them what’s there for them to find.

  3. Yeah, a solid idea + questions is good. It can be anything, really…

    After character creation, you’re getting started…

    “It’s just before dawn in the mountain pass, where your caravan has set camp for the night.

    Player A, where are you heading? A city, trading outpost, defense keep?Player B, what friends have you made in the caravan?

    Player C, what is the caravan carrying that is so valuable?

    Player D, what have you been promised in your destination? Is it money? Something else?”

    Then maybe some other questions like this…

    Then: “Which of you would be awake already?

    Okay, Player A, you hear a movement from higher up the pass… it could be nothing, but you’ve heard rumors of hill goblins in the area, and they’re terribly good climbers. What do you do?”

    And go from there.

    Now, you have action (the approaching goblins), connections to the immediate and further world (the caravan + the destination), a reason to be here (hired to protect the caravan), and so on…

  4. I could sit all day and plan sample scenarios… the other thing is you could do 2-4 of these “loose” scenario plans and ask the players which they prefer, like…

    Caravan guards

    Captured prisoners


    Tomb robbing

    Mercenary soldiers


  5. For your first session you do not need a lot of traditional prep. You won’t need an adventure or any concrete plans for what should happen during the session. An opening scene and making sure to end the fiction with “What do you do?” will take you to many wonderful places.

    However, many folks find they are more at ease if they have some starting information already laid out. I would consider two approaches if you want to have some prep done up front:

    1. You can use an Adventure or Dungeon/Adventure Starter. Here is a list of free products (http://goo.gl/7DgIku) that will serve this purpose. While any of these is suitable, the two I see used the most around here are The Slave-Pit of Drazhu (http://goo.gl/OxEAma) and The Indigo Galleon (http://goo.gl/gLb6ZB).

    2. You can create a basic adventure outline, grab a few monsters, and try to be loose and open. I had my first session not to long ago. I started an adventure with my family (http://goo.gl/9QQCPp) and one with just my wife (http://goo.gl/AwKwrg). This format and these adventures in particular, have both worked extremely well for us.

    If you need a quick map for a random dungeon I highly recommend DavesMapper (http://goo.gl/QeLrSm). Also, simple 5-room dungeon adventures are available here (http://goo.gl/bjMW3P).

    The most common advice for any new game is to begin by asking questions. This is a great way to get players invested, connected, interested, and interacting with the world. Some people ask two or three basic questions to get started, others (like myself) have a five minute interview where I ask them about their PC’s history, personality, motivations, goals, and desires.

    +Johnstone Metzger wrote two articles full of questions and alternate bonds which I personally found useful in my pre-game interviews; Setup-Up Material (http://goo.gl/Ra93f8) & Setup Questions for Non-Humans (http://goo.gl/WXN3Ti). He also created a slimmed down and reorganized version of the Dungeon World rulebook called Truncheon World (http://goo.gl/30wHXA). I personally recommend it for personal reference.

    It is a common practice to begin your game in media res. This means start in the middle of the action. Several great examples can be found over at Reddit in this thread (http://goo.gl/wkhc6N). The idea is to start in a situation that demands immediate decision making on the players part. This makes it extremely easy to “Begin and end with the fiction”, “Ask questions and use the answers”, “Fill the characters’ lives with adventure” and “Play to find out what happens”.

  6. Starting in the middle of the action seems to work well.  After the immediate threat is gone, you can ask the questions like ‘why are you guys here, anyway?’  I started with goblins attacking them in a cave, their guide bleeding out, and a chimera freaking out and threatening to bring the whole cave down.  It gave lots for them to react to, and partway through the fight someone put in “Why are goblins even attacking us?  This is the worst vacation ever!” and I pounced on that, used it to build the rest of the adventure.

  7. Alexander Davis or work a few of the ideas into the story and let them decide what problem to tackle, maybe there are consequences for neglecting the other problems. If you don’t guard the caravan there is a shortage of whatever they were transporting in the area, if you don’t free the prisoners you find in the next city that one of the prisoners was a noblemans son and he knows you made the choice not to help.. ect.

  8. Eric Satan , well, I like one strong/immediate thing and a number of ongoing concerns and hooks, so players can pick which lead to pick up

    But you really want to get them into something exciting quick, for new players

  9. Did you make characters (and world building) as a group session? What came out of that that sparked folks interest? Start there. Or after there! I have been digging starting in media res with the big bad lying dead, or the dungeon collapsing around them, or the characters in dire straits after a bungled con.

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