Condensed Classes in Dungeon World

Condensed Classes in Dungeon World

Condensed Classes in Dungeon World 

Imagine a Dungeon World Class. But it has only 6ish moves. You start with 2 of them and can get uo to 2 of your class and 2 of another class. 

Basically the way an Apocalypse World Playbook works.

What problems would this create?  

40 thoughts on “Condensed Classes in Dungeon World”

  1. The only one I can think of is that it would kind of eliminate the gradual level up process, where a level 10 character can look back and see how different they were at level 1.

  2. I’ve been working on an alternate take on this, a shortened DW class:

    page 1 looks almost exactly the same with 3-4 beginning moves, etc.

    I replace all alignments with drives

    I replace all race moves with a ‘Background’ which I then define as a CC, any CC at all, and they take the first move of the CC in place of a  race move.

    then I cut back the advanced moves, maybe to 8 at 2-5, and 5 at 6-10 (13 total, instead of  20)

    Here’s an example:

    I would eliminate the paladin as a class. and make I am the Law and Lay on hands and a couple other moves into a ‘Holy Warrior’ background CC.

    those who wish to be classic paladin types can play a fighter with a holy warrior background.

    but you can also have holy warrior clerics, rangers, or wizards without any trouble.

  3. My son said the other day that instead of classes he would like to see skill trees – all moves available to all but some moves prerequisites for other moves.

  4. It’s the way I’m making my Awakened Mage class, and it got me thinking of ways to mod all the core classes in interesting ways.

    If I’m not careful I may end up with a ‘half-hack’ that is to core DW, what 3.5 and 4 were to original D&D haha

  5. Is the current supply of Compendium Classes robust enough to supply your notion, Jay Vee, or is there a lot of heavy lifting & effort ahead for that intent? 🙂 

  6. I feel like they sometines need to be because then you can push power level a little more. But a lot of stuff works with much lesser entry requirements (at least my stuff does) 

  7. Yeah, we’re having a CC availability issue in our campaign as well. The one I sponsored (the Bearer) is in use, and maybe a Dread Pirate one?, but that’s basically it. We like the role they serve but don’t have much to choose from without doing a lot of design work. 🙂

  8. I should write CCs for characters when things already happened. For instance, they killed a ninjazombiedragon. Write the CC “Ninjazombiedragon slayer” after the fact. That could work.

  9. Tim Franzke and Fred Hicks I aim to change that! 😀

    firstly, there are a lot of things in fantasy fiction or even just going back and looking at D&D that can inspire good CCs, as well as implicitly encouraging players to make their own (and run them by the GM first of course)

    -I see my version of backgrounds being a sort of paragon or prestige class, except you get the first move of it right at level 1

    -I could make CCs for various skills or professions (I have a trapmaster I’m working on right now)

    I could make some racial CCs as well

    (I have a few basic sketches for a couple of moves that only elves get, or only dwarves get, that are too big for the current ‘race move’, but not cool enough to base a full class on, or their something I feel a player shouldn’t have to choose between playing a class they like, and being a cool dwarf or elf person to do it)

    -This isn’t also to say that I wouldn’t also keep CCs around in their original capacity, where your character does a cool thing that allows them access to another CC

    So yeah, I think there may be some prime, untouched, design space there 🙂

  10. Yeah. I’d love to see “generic” CCs built around professions, alignments, particular weapon keywords (forceful is a big deal for my Fighter), races/cultures. They’d provide easy entry points (instead of the exotic requirements: chances are you’d start the game already satisfying reqs for one or more of these) and give folks a nice set of second axises to follow to diversify their characters. It’d also play well with our group’s makeup, where the players in attendance change session to session and the total pool of players may well exceed the comfortable range of playbooks we want in use.

  11. (just going to drop the link to all my Compendium Classes here because it is relevant )

    Right now i too am thinking that “Class Addon” (compendium class that you start with at level 1) is the better way to go. I would make most of them class specific however. I like a Class System and the inherent choices in that. 

    Fighter Fighting Styles

    Deity Choices 

    Rougeish Archetypes 

    etc. all make good Class Addons

  12. Mountain Giant Style(BigAss Hammer)

    When you hit an enemy with a forceful weapon and throw him of his feet you get to decide where exactly they land or whom they hit in the fall 

    Whipping Truck

    When you wield a two-handed weapon by bearing its heft with just one hand, ignore the two-handed tag.

    When you charge into a group of enemies and bring your hammer down in a giant krakakoom roll+STR On a hit you deal 1d6 to each of them (roll once) but on a 10+ choose 1, on a 7-9 choose 2 

    – You get attacked by two of them

    – You get yourself into a Spot doing it

    – You damage something you didn’t intent to hit 

    Imposing Stature

    When you parley with a display of might you use STR instead of CHA.

  13. Wynand Louw

    The way I’d do a Forceful Fighter CC is like this.

    1. Explosive Charge

    When you Charge an enemy in combat You may:

    * Add the Forceful tag to your attack, or the Messy tag if you already have Forceful.

    * Knock an enemy into another enemy, or obstacle (Deal your damage when you Defy Danger+STR)

    2. Force of Personality

    You may add your STR to Carouse, Recruit, and Aid rolls

    this is really rough and I already see where it needs more work, but it already brings to mind a boisterous wrecking ball of a fighter.

    edit: and I’d steal lots of Tim’s ideas above 🙂

  14. Forceful is already introducing some fun messing around with fictional positioning, range bands, that sort of thing. Think: if someone is slinging around Mjolnir, what sort of moves would result?

    I like a number of the suggestions I’m seeing. 🙂

  15. Tim Franzke, are you still interested in discussing the consequences of playbooks with only ~6 moves?  I have thoughts/opinions, but don’t want to derail the thread if you’re happy with where this is currently going.

  16. Hammer of the gods

    When you slam your mighty weapon into the ground at your feet, roll + STR,

    On a 10+, everyone in the area is knocked away and put in a spot, the GM will tell you how.

    On a 7-9, as above, but the area cracks and begins collapsing. The collapsing environment becomes a threat/front…

  17. I think it’d be interesting to use it as a “core” of a class or a proof-of-concept. Does this set of moves work? If yes, then maybe it can become a full class. If not, then you rework and try again.

  18. I actually would like to go back to smaller classes yes. I want to try putting a proof of concept together tomorrow or sunday but would be happy to discuss. 

  19. OK, cool. 

    So, DW is more zoomed in than AW, particularly where combat is concerned.  The moves (H&S, Defend, Volley) and mechanics (HP, damage, recovery, lack of “gang warfare” rules) all lend toward more blow-by-blow combat in DW than in AW.  More of DW “happens” during combat than in AW, so almost all the classes have a move or two that makes them contribute to a fight in the particular way.

    Other DW moves (particularly the core moves for each class) come from the need to carve out that class’s niche and define what they can do/are good at.  The thief’s moves in particular jumps to mind; what kind of a thief would you be if couldn’t pick pockets or open locks? But so do Cast a Spell and the wizard/cleric moves that support them. 

    So if you cut down on the number of starting and available moves per DW class, you’re likely to see less focus on how each class contributes to a fight.  And you might have to come up with other ways to define what the class is & can do. 

    A lot of that could be handled with “stuff” rather than moves per se.  Like how the savvyhead’s workshop, the angel kit, or the hocus’s cult are defined outside of their moves… you could do similar with a spellbook, a cleric’s deity, a druid’s land, etc.  And sorta how the driver gets a no-shit driver plus another move, the thief could always get something like tricks of the trade and another move or two.  Not all theives would be backstabbers or trap-finders, but that’s probably OK.

  20. I’ve been working on something similar off and on for awhile. The idea being a character is a collection of smaller parts, vs one giant playbook. I feel like community playbooks have been steadily getting bigger (including Grim World) due to the desire for meaningful advanced moves. The problem is, if you have an idea for a class, the idea needs to be big/flexible enough for ~25 moves.

    If I find some time, I can share what I have so far.

  21. I want my characters to be able to grow into doing more and more awesome stuff. If a lot if smaller CCs can do that it would be cool. But at the moment the AW model seems a bit restrictive. The amount of 3rd party classes out there is staggering and a lot of them are really good so there is really a lot of choice at the moment. 

  22. Jay’s method above could also help players tailor their builds to suit certain campaigns. The base classes could be simple combat or exploration stuff you regularly see in fantasy settings, but you could get backgrounds that emphasize more of that, or something more courtly intrigue based, or war campaign based, or kingmaker based.

    The only danger I see is diluting strong archetypal classes, which is the strongpoint of *world systems. That said, you can get a wonderfully powerful archetype with less moves, as AW proves. It all depends on how much of your playbook messes with how the class interacts with combat or other facets of their adventures.

  23. Yeah, for that reason I intend to mostly keep to the core classes as put forward in the book in my project. (exceptions for stuff like paladins which in my mind are just religion flavored fighters)

  24. Fred Hicks and Trenton Kennedy I’m very interested in what you’ve said about a more modular character creation!  There’s a lot that can be done with this.  race, social, cultural and professional backgrounds could have moves attached to them or be requirements for moves, as well as affect starting equipment, etc.

    I’d like to see more movement in this direction!

  25. Oh, I didn’t mean that, Tim.  I’d like to see what you come up with, too.  I’m just more interested in this other thing.  It doesn’t mean I’m not interested in what you’re talking about.

  26. I would personally like to see smaller playbooks (one-page, one-side)… then take the rest of the moves and put them in a pool for any player to grab. Do advancement as normal.

    I’m envisioning each advanced move on its own card (daunting task by itself) and only one copy of each card per group of folks. You could group sets of cards with a dominion such as martial, arcane, thievery, etc.

  27. Matt Miller I played around with something like that for a while (even down to the cards idea). I found that it was hard to make interesting moves seperate from the core concept of the class/playbook.  But I think the idea has legs.

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