First pass at a #DungeonWorld  class; I’ve been reading over the rules in preparation for running a campaign soon,…

First pass at a #DungeonWorld  class; I’ve been reading over the rules in preparation for running a campaign soon,…

First pass at a #DungeonWorld  class; I’ve been reading over the rules in preparation for running a campaign soon, so this was as much a comprehension exercise as anything, but I would greatly appreciate comments.

I’m coming from a D&D 4E setting, so I’m trying to find the right balance of “obvious” mechanics (which my players will grasp easier) vs. moves that are pure fiction.

12 thoughts on “First pass at a #DungeonWorld  class; I’ve been reading over the rules in preparation for running a campaign soon,…”

  1. First off kudos to you for writing this and laying out your work for us to judge. Very brave of you. Here are my thoughts on your rune carver.

    1. Your human background allows you to swap a debility for a sigil. Do you ever get that sigil back? I assume they come back after a long rest but I didn’t see that written anywhere.

    2. The Worldshape move sounds neat, but I’m not sure what it’s point is. From what I gather you can flatten a hill or open up a tunnel, but it doesn’t say that anywhere. The move needs a little more explanation and some limits to what it can do. Otherwise you end up with moves that are so open they lend themselves to abuse. (See the Mage class, myself and Tim Franzke have discussed that point a lot. Moves need limits of some sort.) 

    3. Fortress of Power is great but I’d redo the choices. The players have to choose either +1 ongoing for themselves or -1 ongoing for their enemies, or the move will do nothing. I would change the choices so that you automatically get the +1/-1 on a hit and then choose other good things you get due to a high roll.

    4. This class feels like it should be a WIS class not an INT class but that’s just a personal preference. Maybe that’s due to the fact that there is no fiction attached to this class.

    5. Hole through the heart- Make camp to recharge or just a short rest?

    6. Orthography would be very iffy in terms of usefulness. You’d really need to have the GM on board for this to work. Not a bad move but could be very situational and not see much use.

    7. Monument sounds neat but the “Defend your allies” is really open to interpretation. Needs more structure to it.

    8. Smoldering steps sounds cool, but once again it needs some sort of roll or structure to the move.

    9. Capture the moment sounds like your can just keep negating damage forever. Needs clarity and limits.

    I did this look over really fast (kids are running around while I write this) so I probably missed a few things. Overall you have an original direction (which is great), but you just need to but some limits down. Keep up the good work. 

  2. That’s a good draft. The alignment and background moves are ok, but don’t think you’re done with them. 

    Runes. There’s an awful lot on them as a mechanic as well as a fictional element. 

    Starting moves. 

    Painted Magic. That’s an interesting and original mechanic.

    Worldscape. What’s a heart rune and how is it different from a  regular rune or a rune of power ? How do they work and what’s their relationship to sigils ? This is a classic case of a move where when you have one choice, you have no choice, why would you ever take a shape you didn’t intend ? Who decides what an unintended shape is ? There’s a lot about runes in this move and the others. And if the rune is dispelled, does the landscape revert ?

    Architect. Consider letting the player pick what and the GM pick the how.

    Fortress of Power. Runes again. The choices here are off. It takes as long as it takes in the fiction, so there’s the first choice out the window. You established what you’re circumscribing when you took the action that triggered the move; there’s nothing here that says you can’t circumscribe an entire continent, it’d just be a campaign in its own right (that’s a feature, like the Wizard’s Ritual move). The third choice has more legs, setting up a ritual like this is likely to be noticed by another magic user of some sort – but only if there’s one in the fiction (or the GM’s Fronts) set up to do the noticing. Ongoing is a powerful semi-permanent bonus, are runes really that powerful ? And on the last option, only players roll dice so this isn’t anything supported in the game. 

    I like the idea, but its implementation needs rethinking.


    Time. That’s odd. it’s not wrong but it’s odd. And it suits Time poorly to my eye. 

    Sun. +2 armor is a lot, test it at +1.

    Moon. Also very powerful. be sure and check how many moons your world has. Consider +1 even with the limitations.

    Advanced Moves, 2-5.

    Tattoo Artist. Everyone will take this early on. It’s the DW equivalent of a Feat Tax. 

    Hole Through the Heart. Interesting, but the trigger is vague. “May” is too vague as the sentence is constructed, “…you may choose to have it harmlessly absorbed by one of your sigils.” is probably a better construction.

    Stone Chains. Neat stuff. Shouldn’t this require the Earth sigil to be available ? I’m a big Avatar fan, and this is treading on Earthbending territory. What other kind of crazy stuff can you do to manipulate elements for which you have the appropriate sigil ? As written I can master 4 elements at level 2 and pick this up at 3 and be basically the Avatar. You talk a lot about big stuff like fortresses and natural formations of unspecified size which establishes the scope of the powers, and then it gets down to martial arts stuff like this. Focus.

    Wandering Sigil. Con is your secondary stat for this playbook, are there any other moves you can come up with that roll +CON. Being able to hand sigils out, even at a cost, makes balancing them important. Why not immediately hand the fighter Sun and make her immune to damage ?

    Geomagical Study. You’ve got choices here, so make it a +INT roll and phrase the options as questions the GM must answer, that keeps commonality with Discern Realities.

    Orthography. Handy, sure, but worth an advance ?

    Civil Engineer. Are runes of power and sigils interchangeable terms ?

    Arcane Autopsy. What magic is available to trigger this move ? I suggest dropping “use magic to…” and phrasing it more like Geomagical Study. Wandering Sigil implies you can reclaim a sigil at will, this move should say “reclaim” instead of “regain”. But the ghost thing is cool.

    Monument. Ok. Worldscape plus an afternoon and I have a spy point, a magical defender as big as I want, or a teleport recall point. That’s a bit much, especially as a level 2-5 move. Another effect to consider is a bonus to Parley when using this monument to your power as leverage.

    Runesteps. Neat. Colorful. Will anyone ever spend an advance on it ?

    Surveyor. There’s an awful lot of just Earth moves for a class with sigils covering all the elements and then some.

    Home of my Ancestors. +1 forward or ongoing ? If ongoing, it should only be while they’re within your wards.

    Advanced Moves, 6-10.

    Painted One. Again, a no-brainer choice that brings you up to 5 sigils.

    Carver’s Compass. Never make the GM pick a bonus like this, rephrase it as questions you can ask the GM, 2 on a 10+, 1 on a 7-9. Add “identify a weakness to the defenses.” The trigger is a bit odd, why is it a place you’ve been before, and not one that you take the time to study ?

    Geomagical Thesis. Add two more options to the Geomagical Study list, choose 3 on a 10+ and 2 on a 7-9.

    Edifice. That’s getting scary powerful. 

    Wall of Sigils. How exactly do you use sigils, in the fiction, as a defense ?

    Annex. That’s handy.

    Smoldering Steps. Does it leave any particular rune ? If runes are sigils, shouldn’t the effect depend on which one ?

    Give up the Gift. Do you always regain lost sigils when you rest ? Interesting mechanic. This will need testing.

    Capture the Moment. What if, in the fiction, you can’t reach them to inscribe the rune ? If this is meant to apply to monsters and NPCs, they don’t really ‘act”, the GM just makes moves. But this is close to workable.

    Infuse. Capitalize Aid, and a Hinder option.

    The World Whispers Underfoot. Find a synonym for “disposition”, disposition also happens to be a synonym for location in the tactical sense.

    Good luck !

  3. Nice start though the thing that jumps out at me first is the races, as someone without all the 3rd party pdfs/books, you might have to put a bit more on the page with the wight/giant unless they have those books (no clue if they are going to be too overpowered or not for the class), also what about the other core races as the more tribal or isolated elves or halflings might be doing something similar with their language or some precursor rune language all are using.

    Also haven’t looked at the big excel list of classes up on the G+ DW Tavern but wondering if something similar might be done in part/whole. Might have to look again as it’s been a while since seeing this & the world hack excel sheet.

  4. I’m fleshing out a new campaign world, borrowing some flavor from another project I’ve been working on (Norsaga, specifically this card: Concept is a utilitarian clan mage who serves as an engineer, driven by a desire to study and improve the world. A geomancer, almost.

    This is also the reasoning behind the giant and wight races; I’d like to add them as options for existing class, but for now their existence doesn’t extend beyond this PDF. 

    Thanks for the feedback so far. On open-ended vs. restricted moves, what’s the sweet spot? For example, Monument currently says it can “leap to the defense of your allies.” Should this be more strict a la the Defend move? “The monument can intercept 1 attack made against a nearby ally, preventing all damage from that attack?”

  5. Ok. Here’s one the OP needs to answer. The sigils cover all the elements, but the moves only address Earth. There’s a good reason for that, what is it ? You’ve probably got one more really cool move you haven;t thought of yet on the other side of that answer.

  6. You’re right; thinking about that question has lead me to rethink some things, as have the generous comments so far.

    I’m retooling the class into more of a clansman architect/utility mage, whose drive is to improve himself and his community. I’ll post a v1.1 when I’ve got it finished.

  7. That’s a nice angle to take. For some reason that sounds like the first playbook in a community-building set of classes. Do a hunter or the clan chief next.

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