Weary from a recent bout of system-hopping, my group voted the other night on what system we should commit to for a real meaty campaign. In the end it came down to D&D vs Dungeon World, and by golly, Dungeon World won, albeit with a hint skepticism on several fronts.
Well, to be honest, there was a distinct hint of “Well, if this crazy game blows, at least we won’t have invested a lot of prep/learning time in it. No harm done.” So… as DW’s primary advocate and soon-to-be fledgling DWGM, I feel like the pressure is slightly ON.
You know what really bugs me?
At one point in the pitch, I was explaining the collaborative relationship between character generation and world-building, and I said something to the effect of “If Grym the Barbarian tells me he learned how to chuck a spear hunting giant centipedes in the foothills of an ice-covered mountain range, then that’s how I know, as the GM, those monsters & places exist.”
One of the players said “Then what if I tell you I’m a bedouin warrior from a hot desert planet?”
What I should have said: “Well, that would be excellent. Our fiction would account for the barbarian’s transmission to your dune-covered realm! Did he fall through some kind of portal? Was he brought here for reasons unknown by a group of celestials whose ship crashed in a sandstorm?”
What I actually said: “Well, I assume just because it’s more of a story game, we won’t all turn into a bunch of dicks.”
So yeah… not good. I have about two weeks to work on my SAY YES muscle. This is gonna be good for me…
PS. I’m planning to take, like, ZERO prep work into the first session. Well, a few ideas or images, a list of names to stick on NPCs, but that’s about it. If people have had much better experiences starting things off with a “Starter” doc, then feel free to set me straight!