Has anyone written up a playbook or move primer?

Has anyone written up a playbook or move primer?

Has anyone written up a playbook or move primer? Like, a series of questions to ask yourself when creating new moves for a class? I keep falling back on mechanical stuff and feel like a need an external prompt to keep myself nimble and out of that rut. Searches have proven fruitless thus far, any help appreciated!

22 thoughts on “Has anyone written up a playbook or move primer?”

  1. I’ve written quite a few playbooks myself. First, take a look at what’s already out there, and see if there’s an unmet need for a certain class. Is there a niche that is poorly covered by the existing classes, especially the base classes? From there, you can start to build a concept.

    Working from your concept of the desired role, you can brainstorm a list of things that the new class can do. Not just what he’s good at, but the how and the why of it. DW isn’t about racking up enough +1 bonuses to never fail. What are the cool things that this new class can do?

    Think beyond combat too. What tools does this class have when they are exploring? Interacting with others? 

  2. Thanks, Peter Johansen — I’m hacking Trail of Cthulhu +DW, so I’m not concerned so much about class redundancy as how to make DW-style playbooks that work in the setting.

    I’m trying to write up six playbooks, for specific PCs in a ToC campaign already in progress. I figured out a way to adapt ToC abilities that I’m pretty happy with, and that goes some way toward class-specific mechanical satisfaction, but I really want each class to feel cool and distinct the way they do in the best DW playbooks. The Architect is the most challenging so far! I’ve been looking at Project Cthulhu World for some inspiration.

    I haven’t had the time or focus to really brainstorm lately, but now that you mention it, that’s clearly what I need to do!

  3. I haven’t — I read lots of things about Tremulus being “just a reskin” so I’ve avoided it. But I should probably check it out and judge it for myself.

  4. It has more in common with the original Apocalypse World than Dungeon World but it gives you great playbooks and lots of non-combat moves. Worth a look in my mind.

  5. Tim Franzke, you’re certainly right that it’s not an easy transposition, but I think that, with the proper tweaks, it’ll work just fine for our purposes. We’re playing a little more pulp than purist, so that helps. The ToC system just leaves me kind of cold after three sessions, so I’m left feeling that I need something I can sink my teeth into, and DW is my go-to for RPG satisfaction.

    I pitched Cthulhu Dark to my group, but they want something a little more crunchy, and to be able to fight stuff instead of always run away. I’ve adapted DW enough times to enough different things that I think I can pull it off. We’ll see what happens…

  6. 1) Start with a character you want to play. Eg Han Solo in a medieval post apoc setting

    2) Flesh out the concept: a swashbuckling rogue that looks out for #1.

    3) What makes him unique in three situations? Combat: he shoots first. Social: “I know”. Support: Fixes transport under huge pressure.

    4) Write those three moves as his starting moves.

    5) Write 18 advanced moves in those three caregories a) as mechanical upgrades of starting moves and b) moves that expand his awesomeness by giving him new and cool things to do.

    6) Make sure his stats are compatible with a similar core rules class. Han is a ranger/ thief so give him those stats.

    7) Make sure your moves don’stack +1s to roll, except in really, really cool stuations.

    8) Make sure your +x to damage don’t stack to make him stronger than the comparable core rule class.

    9) Give him an utterly cool and op move with great risk.

    10) Playtest at all levels.

    Hope that helps. That is more or less my own mo.

  7. Oh and write moves that enable great fiction! My Street Rat has a move “Freestyle Fighting” that hugely rewards acrobatics by awarding buffs on a hack and slash follow through. Of all the moves I have written this has had the biggest effect on cool storytelling at the table.

  8. So I folded together some of the advice given here, took some stuff from Project Cthulhu World, and looked at the free tremulus playbooks to get an idea of how tremulus handles things (underwhelming). I put together a set of basic moves, adapted abilities and Stability/Sanity/Health from ToC, and wrote up six playbooks (Architect, Doctor, Hobo, Private Investigator, Clergy, Criminal). Result: total success.

    One thing I did was set up a system where whenever someone rolled a 6-, I could either make a move right then or take a “doom token” from a token bank and put it in front of me. I had to spend these tokens to make hard moves or advance one of my behind-the-scenes “doom tracks.” This system helped create a sense of mounting danger, reduce the slam-bang rollercoaster of calamity that characterizes a typical DW game, and took the pressure off of me to introduce something new every time someone rolled a 6-. Every time I took a token, they would grumble and moan. Can’t wait to drop the hammer when they try to summon an Elder Thing.

    With a couple more tweaks, this hack may be worth sharing.

  9. Doom tokens are a great idea. Mounting dread seems so much more appropriate for a horror style game then the immediate reprecussions typical of Dungeon World.

  10. Grats!

    Can you post what you created?

    Also I would maybe not call it hobo, isn’t that a negative term? Might be offensive to some people.

  11. Yeah, hobo is maybe not the best term, I was just using the ToC Occupations. But there is a certain iconic aspect to it that appeals.

Comments are closed.