Looking for Advice:

Looking for Advice:

Looking for Advice: 

Hi there, I’m pretty new to Dungeon World and have only recently got my group into and running it. First session we spent time making characters and learning rules, second session I borrowed an idea and made starting moves for the characters. This has set us up nicely with a couple of different adventures.

I’m now trying to put together my Fronts and I’m struggling to get the concept. I know I’m not supposed to be writing a lot of stuff out, but how much do I do?

For instance the characters are making their way to Mount Dread (thank the ranger for that), where on the highest peak lies the Temple of Stone Tears, an old and abandoned place belonging to the Lord of Light and Fire, Ragnarok (paladin’s deity). The paladin also received a scorched sword hilt and wishes to make the journey to this temple, in hopes to reforge the blade.

So we all know Mount Dread lives up to its name, we know there’s a temple somewhere near the top. 

Do I go about populating the Mountain without asking them if they know anything? 

When I asked the paladin why it was abandoned he said that there were only rumours of a danger from the mountain. Should I develop that into a front?

Any help would be great, thanks.

18 thoughts on “Looking for Advice:”

  1. I’m a little unsure from reading your post, but did you actually play during the second session? It sounds like you did, as the players generated Mount Dread, the Temple of Stone Tears, and that burned sword hilt. What else did they generate?

    If you’re running a campaign (as opposed to a one-shot), I’ve found it helps to simply drop the characters right into the action. Just get them to react and figure out the why as you go. If you do that, there should (hopefully) be lots of loose ends that need tying up. That’s what you build the Fronts from.

    If you’re already past that point, then I don’s see why you can’t just build stuff. But I would leave blanks (as instructed) that the players can help fill in. There’s nothing wrong with asking leading questions.

  2. I’ve run about 5 one-shot games because I’m still a bit baffled by Fronts, so you’re not alone.

    It seems to me that Fronts are a mechanic to provide escalation. They allow you to avoid that problem where only the players can trigger the next plot piece and if they don’t then the bad guy just keeps pacing up and down his throne room…

    If Dungeon World is about putting the players in danger, then Fronts are about doing that via the plot.

    I think…

  3. Basically, Fronts are just a way for GMs to collect their adventure and campaign notes. It provides a structure if, like me, you just sort of scribbled things everywhere with no real rhyme or reason.

    If you already have an organization method for your notes that works for you, there’s no reason you have to use Fronts. Personally making a few Fronts helped me see what parts of an adventure I needed to focus on.

  4. Depends too on GM style with DW, you could go ask the players more details on what could be the major thing up there or pick a thing up there from goblins to evil mind controlling unicorns, then let players fill in details.

    Another thing to try is ask players on the rumors they heard about a general area, then you can pick from the ideas, roll a die to choose or make a hybrid idea for world building.

  5. John Stroup has one called The Damned Isle. It’s a few posts down. Read through it. That front helped me wrap my brain around grim portents, cast and things. It also helped me see how the narrative moves forward outside of PC action. The players aren’t the only causal agents “happening” to the world. The world is filled with causal agents that “happen” to the players and each other. “Grim Portents” is more than just a suspense building device. It’s the world you create operating as it should.

  6. Benjamin Kramer Thanks for the try, Benjamin, but I get a “profile not found” response to that link.

    Hey, maybe I’m behind in my DW Tavern dues or something??  :/ C’mon Koebel & LaTorra, I told you I was good for the coin after we bust into Krinklewart’s Tomb! (where’s my beer anyway?)

  7. Wow guys. Cheers for the responses.

    We did play that second session, killed a big fire breathing lizard that was rampaging nearby. Wizard learnt of a hidden powerful artefact that was protected by a lava golem. This all happens to be on mount dread!

    I’m guessing my best bet is to decide the importance of these items and places and make fronts based off of them? For instance this abandoned temple might have been due to corruption from some dark power, someone’s trying to awaken it and the heroes will come across cultists. On the other hand Ragnarok is looking for a champion, and has sent out more of these scorched hilts to draw others together. Something like that?

    That way there’s no answer and we still play to find out, but there’s enough there for me to keep the story moving.

  8. I think Fronts only really work if you have defined the dangers and threats during play (by asking questions, doing Discern Realities, Spout Lore, etc.) such that it’s obvious/logical/organic to the players and the MC. If you feel that there are way too many unanswered questions about the Front, I’d say ask questions at the next session until it becomes defined, and then make the Front.

  9. Jon Homesley This.

    Fronts are more than a filing system. They are the agents in the developing history of your world. From the micro world of session level to the macro world of campaign level. Also they are the agents that oppose your PCs in attaining their personal goals, from the next meal to self-actualization. (Think Maslow)

    I said this before: I believe the idea of fronts RADICALLY change the dynamics of the game at the table.

    Think about

    1. Exploration as in ODnD

    2. Railroaded story lines as in Pathfinder Sociey.

    Both are radically different from the concept of fronts.

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